The Antidote to Black Friday Consumer Madness

The Antidote to Black Friday Consumer Madness is a humorous novel about the way that the entire consumerism process can drive one crazy. It was written by Chris Pine, who is best known for his roles in movies like The Hunger Games and Captain Phillips.

Thomas Schaffner is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, where he has been teaching for 30 years. He believes that when people go shopping they have an expectation that they will get the best deal.

Unfortunately, Thomas Schaffner’s experiences in the book make it clear that most people are completely wrong. In fact, they are often very unpleasant, and drive consumers crazy.

One of the things that The Antidote to Black Friday Consumer Madness emphasizes is that while people do go shopping to find a bargain, many of them don’t know what they are getting into before they go shopping. They buy items because they believe them to be cheap, but in fact they end up paying more in the long run.

For example, Thomas Schaffner’s experience with a particular type of foam rubber toy was one that caused him to spend nearly $20 in order to get rid of it. As it turns out, it wasn’t the toy itself that were expensive, but the shipping and handling charges.

For The Antidote to Black Friday Consumer Madness, Thomas Schaffner doesn’t try to sell anything. Instead, he tries to sell the average person on the importance of taking care of their own self, and buying only from reliable, reputable sources.

It is ironic that just as a large chunk of the American population is trying to get away from Black Friday in order to avoid such inhumane practices, consumerism is on the rise again. As always, the people that lose out are the ones that can least afford it.

For a smart, tough, and well-informed look at what is happening in the economy today, The Antidote to Black Friday Consumer Madness is a must read. It does not take any of the usual anti-consumerism polemics that we see so often in the media or elsewhere.

Rather, it looks at the issue from a real human perspective and explores the negative emotions that often result. Most of all, Thomas Schaffner can relate to the very real struggles that so many people have when trying to figure out how to save money on holiday purchases.

Ultimately, Thomas Schaffner doesn’t suggest that you stop shopping altogether, though he does encourage you to keep track of the things that you buy so that you can avoid purchasing them. This is a good idea, since if you find that you are spending money on items that you would really benefit from purchasing elsewhere, you will be able to take care of those purchases in the future.

For some people, the kind of consumerism that results from Black Friday is actually an asset. Others, however, will definitely want to read this book, and find out for themselves the reasons why Thomas Schaffner wants you to avoid these consumerist practices.

The Antidote to Black Friday Consumer Madness is an interesting read that is filled with insights that are necessary to help you understand what Black Friday is really all about. Buy it, and get the insight you need to avoid the traps that it points out.

20 Tips to Help Trim Your Holiday Budget

If you’ve heard a lot about budgeting this holiday season, here are some tips to help trim your holiday budget. You can look at budgeting as a means of putting the basics together for a stress-free holiday and, if you do it right, you’ll be able to splurge on other holiday presents as well as items you truly need.

Take the time to set up a budget for yourself – and if you don’t have one already, you should make one now. It’s not easy to stick to, but doing so will keep you from overspending on holiday expenses. Set up a three-month plan with dates when you intend to start saving money for your holiday.

The first step is to get a handle on your spending habits. Think about what you spend your money on most, where your money goes, and how much you could be saving by doing a few different things. This can be the beginning of your budget. Then, it will be easier to put it into place.

Holidays, for many people, are not a moment to get extravagant with. However, people often don’t get the message when their card bill at the end of the month is rising very quickly. As you begin to plan your holiday shopping, set aside a certain amount of money for the holidays. Set up a separate account for each holiday, and make sure to make a point of putting money into that account each day that the holiday is coming up.

Consider buying your holiday gift early, and the following year. If you wait until the last minute, you will be surprised to see just how much you’ll need – and you may even be faced with the very real possibility of overspending, which can cause problems for both you and your family in the end.

Don’t stand around in the store and go through a small, familiar ritual. Avoid that! What you want to do is look for holiday merchandise at a lower price or a store that offers special promotions, and then purchase it for less than you usually would have in the past.

When shopping online, always set aside a budget and stick to it. Always find out exactly what is being offered before you buy anything. You don’t want to get caught up in impulse buys when the retailer offers a huge discount on the item you really want. After all, there are many great deals available if you just know where to look.

Buy in bulk at one time, as a group, on one of the cheaper holiday seasons. There are many benefits of doing this. For one thing, it will likely be cheaper for the store and for you.

How can you really cut your budget on the holiday season? One great way is to send electronic gift cards in the mail with your address on it, or to use coupon codes to receive discounts on items you normally wouldn’t consider.

Remember that there is a lot of marketing out there, and when you’re looking for bargains, it can seem like all of the traffic is directed to one website or another. By taking the time to research your online stores, you’ll be more likely to find great savings.

Keep track of your expenditures for the holiday season. By keeping track of your shopping, you’ll be able to put together a more comprehensive holiday shopping list. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to set out a shopping list and then forget about it.

Holiday shopping is great fun and there is a lot of opportunity to get great deals on gifts and gadgets. However, a little bit of planning and a little bit of creativity go a long way toward helping you avoid unnecessary credit card debt and tension over what you need.

Inexpensive lifestyle changes for better health

Americans spend billions of dollars on healthcare schemes. The answer to good health is always in a change in lifestyle. All you need to do is follow these simple tips to change your lifestyle and experience better health levels.

Regular sex

Don’t stay away from sex. Don’t be bored with your partner. Even if you don’t feel like it, get into the mood for it. Do it. Sex is beneficial for the heart. It increases the good hormones in the body. And before you know it, you could end up telling others to have sex regularly to shoo away their health problems. Research has shown damning evidence of the efficacy of sex in boosting your immune system. You could become a stronger man or woman if you have regular sex.

Sunlight exposure

If you day and night starts and ends in walled rooms, you could soon be heading towards health problems related to lack of sunlight. Sunlight boosts vitamin D levels in the body that are vital for making strong bones. In America, studies have shown that more than three-fourth of American children do not have adequate sunlight. Sunlight, especially early in the morning gives energy, stamina, and boosts the immune system.

Exercise

Regular exercise is a cliché. But it is an unavoidable word in any get-better-health article. The more you exercise the more you increase your immune system’s ability to thwart danger. Exercise also increase overall blood circulation and will make you a more productive human being.

Stop alcohol and smoking

Stop alcohol intake and give up smoking. All of the above tips are of no use if you smoke or drink.

Lower Class Enjoys All Benefits

With an eye on the next elections, the entire political system works on overdrive to woo the lower class, which is typically at the bottom of the economic pyramid. This assumes more significance since each member has a vote, and the total population of the lower class is fairly large, particularly in the poorer regions of the world. When such huge populations belong to the lower class in any region, it gives enough scope to the political machinery to keep themselves busy for their cause.

All kinds of promises are made to woo the lower class. These could include providing free electricity for houses or farm activity, free or highly subsidized food grains through the public distribution system, employment to eligible members in each household, free land for housing, free education in government schools, free books to students, free meals in schools, free transport in government buses and trains, free medical treatment, subsidized fuel for cooking, free night shelters for homeless, free old age pension, extra benefits to the girl child, low interest loans, free training for skills. The list does not end here. As elections approach, the lower class may also be seen to be coerced by offers of cash, or even popular household goods like television sets etc.

These measures provide great relief to the members of the lower class, since their financial conditions would otherwise not allow them to survive in the harsh economic environment where prices of all basics goods have risen beyond their reach, and they do not have any hope of ever earning enough to meet their own needs.

6 Ways to Help your Blog Reach Full Potential

This may come as something of a shock to some people, but not everybody in the world is a great writer. Those Nobel Prizes for Literature are not just handed out to some random yahoo they picked up off the street.

When it comes to putting together great words, a lot of bloggers are, to put it kindly, less than optimal. However, there are ways to take your blog from being ordinary into the realm of being extraordinary. Let’s take a look at some of those ways.

1. Practice for Someone Else

When you first start learning to write, you are going to be bad at it. Your sentences are either going to sound like a tentative child wrote them, or like they were scribbled on the coffee shop wall by someone who has had one cappuccino too many for their own good. Almost nobody starts off as a heavy talent. But you can learn, and a lot of people will all but pay you to get better through focusing on their instructions. A lot of employers are very forgiving, and will help you a lot.

2. Keep a “Beater” Blog

If you have one blog that you want to have become great, you might want to practice your riskier ideas on a blog that you don’t care about. A good idea is to write what you’re thinking about on your beater blog, and then read it a few days later. If it still sounds good, clean it up one last time and put it on your more beloved blog.

3. Take a class

There are a lot of online writing courses out there you can take. Every one of them will give you honest assessments of both your technical ability and your skill at handling a particular “voice”. If you don’t know what that is, a class will help you learn it and practice it.

4. Dictate Your Thoughts on the Computer

One of the best ways to write is to just write like you talk. This way you’ll be congruent with it, and nobody will think you’re just trying to put up a front. This will also tell you the real problems with how you communicate. Do you start thoughts and not finish them? Do you sound like you’ve come from the back woods and never quite left? This will tell you the harsh truth.

5. Hire an editor

Many of the best writers in the world are simply that good because they have great editors. These people look for more than just spelling and grammar. They tell you whether you’re easy to follow, and how you can improve.

6. Read other blogs

It never hurts to take some inspiration from others. Look at what they do well, and seek to imitate it. Learn from their mistakes.

When it comes to writing a great blog, you’ll be in good company. Just keep working, and you will make something great. How will you improve your writing?

3 Reasons Why You Want to Work for Cricket Communications

When looking for a job, you shouldn’t just apply anywhere. There are lots of good companies that aim to treat their employees with respect and provide them with benefits that they can really take advantage of.

Cricket Communications is one of those companies, and has even won awards — namely the Best Companies for Hourly Employees by Working Mother magazine. Here are three reasons to work for Cricket:

1. Benefits

Many companies are stingy when it comes to benefits. If you aren’t a full-time employee, you aren’t likely to qualify for health insurance and other benefits, but at Cricket, you qualify for health insurance by just working 30 hours or more a week. Cricket also helps employees by providing a subsidized gym facility so that employees have a place to exercise and stay healthy. Some employees may even be given a prepaid Blackberry phone to use, depending on their role in the company.

2. Corporate Culture

Another reason to consider Cricket for employment is the culture that is created by the company’s leadership. According to senior vice president of human resources for Cricket, Len Stephens, “Our hourly employees are the key… so it makes good business sense for us to develop and sustain a work environment that supports inclusion, promotes productivity and ensures that each employee can realize success.”

3. Education for Employees

Cricket is also committed to providing the benefit of education opportunities for employees. One way this is done is through tuition reimbursement. Another way is through on-the-job skills training.

All employees want to feel valued and important. Cricket aims to provide that for its employees.

Creating long lasting relationships at work

There is no hard and fast rule that working environments are only for professional relationships. In the modern era, working professionals spend a lot of time at work. In fact they spend almost all their time at work. So it is inevitable that they develop personal bonds with their colleagues.

Have not we heard numerous stories of how colleagues became friends? These same people then went on to start their own venture. A working place is ideal to create friendships. There is nothing wrong with it. Your human capital management director might say that it is best in the interest of the organization to keep only professional relationships. But does the heart listen?

Unlike before, you have to more open about your friends at your working place. This way, you will gain more trust. On virtue of you acknowledging that you have the flexibility to develop personal relationships with colleagues, you will become a more affable person.

If you are a manager, developing personal relationships with people can have its advantages along with the disadvantages. The advantages being that your team members will be more loyal to you. They will understand you better, and always stand by you. The disadvantages are that they might take you for granted. And then there is this problem of familiarity. Once they get to know the softer side of you, you might be taken advantage of.

But let’s think positively. The disadvantages are just speculations. Creating long lasting bonds at the workplace has its plusses. Even when you leave the organization, your bridge to it remains open to you. You can call upon your organization anytime.

It’s good to be materialistic

What the pope said, or your Buddhist monk said might be OK. You still have a choice. When you work for something you ought to enjoy it. The pleasure of the senses is what drives the modern day human being. Being materialistic comes at a cost. What’s wrong with being materialistic if you paid for it?

Materialism is not bad after all. It drives us to buy. To buy we need to work. To work we need to study. To study we need to work. Yes, all this creates a parallel economic activity that activates the good behaviors in us.

Materialism spurs us to work hard to improve their purchasing ability. By upping our purchasing power, we create a competitive streak in us. In a society, competitive streakiness is an indication of a changing society.

Materialism changes the society. It makes us more productive. It inspires us to work for something. Actually, if we did not have anything to work for, we would by grazing on the plains without any purpose.

Materialism creates healthy competition. Without it there would be no silent races. We all need someone to beat. It could be ourselves. But that is just being plain moral. We still need to beat somebody. Just as a reference point, we keep someone as ours. There’s nothing wrong in it. If you are not wishing for that person’s downfall, you are all good and virtuous.

Materialism is the backbone of consumerism. Without consumerism things won’t sell. Shops will be shut. Product development activities will never see the light of the day. Innovation will become extinct. The world will become a boring place.

3 Good Consumer Buying Techniques

What the pope said, or your Buddhist monk said might be OK. You still have a choice. When you work for something you ought to enjoy it. The pleasure of the senses is what drives the modern day human being. Being materialistic comes at a cost. What’s wrong with being materialistic if you paid for it?

Materialism is not bad after all. It drives us to buy. To buy we need to work. To work we need to study. To study we need to work. Yes, all this creates a parallel economic activity that activates the good behaviors in us.

Materialism spurs us to work hard to improve their purchasing ability. By upping our purchasing power, we create a competitive streak in us. In a society, competitive streakiness is an indication of a changing society.

Materialism changes the society. It makes us more productive. It inspires us to work for something. Actually, if we did not have anything to work for, we would by grazing on the plains without any purpose.

Materialism creates healthy competition. Without it there would be no silent races. We all need someone to beat. It could be ourselves. But that is just being plain moral. We still need to beat somebody. Just as a reference point, we keep someone as ours. There’s nothing wrong in it. If you are not wishing for that person’s downfall, you are all good and virtuous.

Materialism is the backbone of consumerism. Without consumerism things won’t sell. Shops will be shut. Product development activities will never see the light of the day. Innovation will become extinct. The world will become a boring place.

How to Deal with Medical Malpractice

When the doctor or nurse makes mistakes, how can you tell when it’s time to call a lawyer? How far should their margin of error go?

The answer is ambiguous; what some may consider an egregious act, another will consider a simple mistake. But if it costs the patient money or keeps him/her in the hospital, should the health professional be held responsible?

Find a Los Angeles malpractice attorney who can help you decide if you have a good case. No good lawyer will take a case he or she doesn’t think can be won. But make an informed choice on the lawyer; don’t hire on a whim. Here are some things to look for in a good medical malpractice lawyer.

Hire Someone Who Knows Medical Malpractice

  1. Hire a lawyer that specializes in medical cases. Malpractice is specialized so you need someone experienced.
  2. Where did the attorney get his degrees? Does that school have a good focus on medical issues? Does the attorney have a history of dealing with this kind of case?
  3. Does the lawyer sit down to talk over everything personally? Does she listen to you? Is she too busy? Does she have the resources to put into the case in order to win?
  4. Find a lawyer that not only has experience with medical malpractice cases, but one that has a history of winning them. You want someone who knows what he’s doing and has done it hundreds of times.
  5. Check out the stability of the lawyer’s company; medical malpractice suits are often costly, and it takes money to get expert testimonies, process medical tests, and get witnesses.