Is the American Economy About to Collapse?

Certain financial writers have been making a little news recently with sensational articles suggesting that the American economy is likely, in one popular writer’s opinion certainly, to collapse in the course of the next year—not sometime in some uncertain future time frame but over the next few months. What evidence does he have and how likely is it?

Escalating National Debt

Some of the major facts facing our economy are clear. One reason for fearing an actual collapse, rather than the existing persistent decline as debt service uses an increasing portion of the nation’s income, is that the size of the debt accelerates over time.

National Debt Chart

The national debt is sky rocketing and its escalation is near the tipping point where it will accelerate so fast it will be unstoppable. Factors beyond the Federal Reserve’s capacity to control will at some time push up interest rates dramatically if unchecked soon.


How to Increase Personal Productivity

One of the keys to success in any field is to discover and put into practice those skills that increase productivity. All else being equal, increasing your productivity has a direct correlation to increasing your income.

How I Learned About Productivity

When in graduate school I had the privilege of working with Dr. Elmer Gray in conjunction with my studies, particularly in learning more about writing. He had authored a couple of books in addition to many magazine articles and was working as the editor of a newspaper.

Project Plan Page

One of the invaluable skills he taught me was to plan carefully (even if quickly) what you were going to write. In particular, to get all the facts first, then organize your project into sections and write out a fairly detailed outline including the space to be allocated for each part.

Next, I learned to write in a disciplined fashion so that you would end up with only ten percent more material than you wanted for the end product. Finally, edit down to the intended size, deleting repetitious, superfluous material, unnecessary adjectives and the like.


Economic Disincentives: Woopi Goldberg and Dr. Ben Carson

There has been a lot of talk about economic disincentives recently, most of it confusing.

Recently Dr. Ben Carson appeared on The View. He and the ladies on The View, especially Woopi Goldberg, engaged in a debate that was quite significant. The problem is that they, and all the commentators I have heard, saw their views as polar opposites when they should have seen them as opposite sides of the same problem, a critical one for our nation.

Because there seems to be so little understanding of economic disincentive I thought I might share a little insight to help our readers understand what it really is and what it means.


Food Prices Increase!

For more than a year now I have been observing the widespread anticipation of rising food prices among those who claim to be experts on the subject as well as talk among everyday shoppers as they observe trends in the local grocery stores.

No one expects anything but higher food prices in the months ahead. But how well are we prepared?

Higher Prices Are Here Already

Two Gallons of Milk

Have you been to the grocery store lately? Just a few months ago I could run down to a local store and pick up two gallons of milk for $5.00. Not any more. Yesterday my daughter told me the best advertised sale price now for two gallons of milk is $7.00!

…No really good solutions are out there, I suspect, but in general there are two things that can be done.


Major changes underway!

Great News! The Work is Now Complete!

Final Update, June 10th

The entire Success With Money website is now redesigned to be media responsive so people can read it on all the smaller media now in use. It has been a big job, but I am sure it will prove worthwhile.

Recent reports show that more than half of all internet users now use portable, smaller devices instead of standard computers or laptops, so this has been a important update.

Everything is now complete except for any odds and ends that may show up. If you find anything that does not work, let me know. There are hundreds of links, for example, that had to be changed and I could easily have missed some or just messed them up.

All pages present before are still here so you can search for them or check the navigation. Unfortunately, all url’s had to be changed to go with a dynamic rather than static page construction. If there is something you are looking for let me know and I will check it out for you.


Whether the Job Be Great or Small

Often high achievers are plagued with a combination of two conflicting interests, a sense of perfectionism and a wide range of desirable activities. Perhaps most successful people experience this to some degree. What should we do when this is the case?

Perfectionism Drives Achievement

Obviously, taken to the extreme, perfectionism can be a negative. We are all familiar with what is called the “paralysis of analysis.” But a significant degree of perfectionism drives us to achieve high marks in school and success in our work.

Man thinking

When young I was indoctrinated with the old saying, “Whether the job be great or small, do it well or not at all.” It drove me to achieve reasonably high grades in school and eventually to continue my education until I earned a doctorate.

This attitude contributes to the degree of success the perfectionists have in all of life’s activities. Look at the Olympics. We watch in amazement at what some of these athletes can do, perhaps even more at their ability to focus for years on honing their skills.

No One Can Do It All

Here is the big problem with perfectionism. It inevitably leads to a great conflict that can affect life in a very negative way


Skills and Habits that Pay

Sometimes it is the little things that count most. A small cut on your finger can be a real irritant. Of course a cut finger will heal in a short time, but there are a lot of other little problems in life that keep us from doing the work we need to do, things that won’t fix themselves.


If we want to achieve more success with money or anything else, we need to increase our productivity. In this post I thought I would mention one of the little things that we can do to help us get more done.

Information Overload

As a person who is committed to learning generally I have long subscribed to newsletters and similar information on a variety of topics. I have been very selective about what I choose to sign up for. Even so the number of emails arriving in my inbox every day has become overwhelming to the point that I have decided something has to be done.

I know I am not the only one to find myself in this predicament. We all know this has become an information world. We all want and need to learn. Some of the best information is on the internet and some of these newsletters are among the best educational sources available.

But even if you are careful you can easily find yourself receiving so much email you will be swamped. This is not a good thing.


Time Is Money

You have no doubt heard the old saying that time is money.

Money with Timer

Saving Time is Popular Advice

Just today in an email from Sitepoint, one of my favorite resources for learning about web matters, I read a comment that relates directly to this point:

Trimming a few minutes out of common tasks can add up to hundreds of hours saved in the long term. That time could mean more clients, better work, new skills, or perhaps just room for those personal projects that are full of potential.

One of the best ways to increase your income and productivity in general is to learn how to save time. And the really good news is that it is altogether possible to do it on a massive scale.


Demand for Home Based Businesses

In a recent post I asked if you have you been thinking about starting your own home based business? I suggested that there may never be a better time to do it than there is today. Yes, even in this unstable economic environment. I want to explore some of the reasons for that thinking a little further.

In the last decade the number of employed people working from home has increased over twenty percent, but at the same time the number of people working in home based businesses has increased over twenty-five percent. Regulatory pressures on employers are anticipated to cause home based business growth to accelerate over the next few years.

Why a Home Based Business Now?

At the end of this year businesses across America will face a huge dilemma. The new health law will force them to make some serious decisions about how they will try to pay the increased insurance costs.

Many, perhaps most, do not have enough income to absorb this cost so what will they do? Several options are being seriously considered by many businesses.


How the Financial Crisis Changed America

Today I read an article from the folks at Fidelity Investments. They completed a study in February called The Fidelity Five Years Later study—referencing five years after the financial crisis began. The participants represented adults over twenty-five years of age, financial decision makers who have investments so they were above average in their financial commitments, as I am sure are those reading this blog.

The Crisis and Financial Attitudes

Here are some of the results I think you will find interesting:

  • 42% have increased participation in workplace retirement and health savings plans
  • 55% feel better prepared for retirement
  • 42% have increased emergency fund savings
  • 80% have a better understanding of their finances
  • 49% have purposely decreased personal debt
  • 72% have less debt now than before
  • 78% say they have made permanent behavior changes

What Do These Results Mean?

As you look through this list I think you will see many reasons to be hopeful for the future, at least among the people surveyed.