Money makes the world go round. Does it?

“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” requires money because “money makes the world go round.” Or does it?

The first-mentioned quote is the well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence and the second is a line from the song Money, Money in the musical Cabaret.

It is obvious that having financial stability – or a sense thereof – in your life is of utmost importance. There even is enough evidence that having financial wealth can add significantly to happiness. But is money the alpha and the omega?  Read more…

The number of abortions per day almost equals the number of people dying per day

“How can you say there are too many children. That is like saying there are too many flowers,” said Mother Theresa. There’s almost no decent debate to answer such an observation. Even when discussing abortion.

Abortion is not about population numbers and most often summarily not about unwanted children. There are deep sociological questions behind abortion. It is an extremely difficult matter, ironically usually most heatedly argued by men. We know of no woman who has an abortion gladly.  Read more…

Did you know? video 5

Titled “Iowa, Did You Know?” the 5th video in the “Did you know? Shift Happens” series of video by educators Karl Fisch and Dr. Scott McLeod is aimed at, as they mentioned, “Iowa policymakers, citizens, and educators and is intended to help them feel a greater sense of urgency when it comes to changing our schools.”

The facts stated in the video will, like all other “Did you know?” videos, leave you to think deeper about the changes affecting the modern world and your responsibilities to it.  Read more…

Arithmetic, Population, and Energy

Population numbers are often discussed. In particular when hot topics such as immigration, energy or sparse resources are debated.  “Too many people!” “Look at India,” some say, “9 million new mouths to feed every month.”

On the topic of the number of children born into the world, Mother Theresa gave a strong opinion: “How can you say there are too many children. That is like saying there are too many flowers.”  Read more…

You and the Real You

How well do you know of YOU? That depends on how much you remember of you.

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman explains that the actual experiences you go through in your life most often does not collate of how you view your own life. You are much more inclined to “know” your life from just a few memories – consisting of just a few minutes – you kept over directly or indirectly from those experiences.  Read more…

Countries with most public holidays

How many days in your holiday? How many days are you off sick? How many public holiday days are there? Economist magazine had a look at the day-off trends in different countries and came up with some surprising numbers.

We – although not all of us – seem to be working harder than the Romans did. Under Claudius, who was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54 AD, the citizens had the privilege of 159 public holidays, 93 of which were set aside for public games.  Read more…

What motivates you to do better?

Marketing experts will confirm that price is not the biggest motivator for purchases. Status is. People want things that will make them look better and feel better about themselves. Generally, the price of an item figures only third on the steps of purchasing behavior, preceded by good service.

But what about receiving money instead of spending it? Is money a big motivator for performance at the work place? Alas, again no. Time and again research has shown that for most people money is not the most important matter in their working life. Basically, the feel-good factor is the biggest motivator. Thus, again, status, albeit perceived status. That great feeling of contributing and appreciation… which money cannot buy from the best of people. Read more…

US Federal Reserve Bank

There is much ado about, well, much about the United States Federal Reserve bank. As the saying goes, if the United States sneezes the world catches a cold. Whatever the US Federal Reserve decides or wherever it falters influences the world. At least until this decade when the balance of economic power shifted from the West to the East.

The Fed, as it is known, is often the subject of conspiracy theories and much derided because of the secrecy of operation of the organization. Some believe the management of the organization to be responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 because of his Executive Order 111110, designed to curb the power of the Fed executives or even break up the bank. Read more…

The day the world changed

There is a moment in life when everything changes – not only for you but for the whole world. Sometimes you can call up the exact moment when it did happen but sometimes you have to think hard to recall the day. But it is there. The day that the world changed.

James Burke, the brilliant historian TV presenter, produced a series of videos to remind us of the memorable days in history that changed, well, just about everything for everyone. It is called The Day The Universe Changed.

Early on Burke suggested that “a forthcoming revolution in communication and computer technology would allow people all over the world to exchange ideas and opinions instantaneously.” Read more…

The bubbles

Recessions should be easy to remember because they hit so hard and so often. How many recessions do you remember? 2? 10? 20?

There have been hundreds of recessions and a number of depressions throughout history. In the United States, there have been 47 recessions since 1790.

The causes for recession are war or greed or both. The biggest culprits are private bankers speculating irresponsibly with other people’s money, as can be seen in the list of recessions. Economists Hyman Minsky and Richard Koo point the finger to debt accumulation by the non-government sector. Minsky put these culprits into three types: hedge borrowers, speculative borrowers, and Ponzi borrowers. Read more…

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