Cheat Sheet Q & A:
Today’s question: What is the maximum number of people that can be laid off due to a minimum wage increase for the average hourly wage to be more that the old minimum wage?
Bottom Line: So in essence the question is how many jobs can be lost for the proposed minimum wage increase to actually be beneficial for the average person earning minimum wage. The hardest part was figuring out an objective formula to calculate the outcome. Here are my findings:
- 1.56 million Americans earn the current Federal min. wage of $7.25
- The difference between the current and proposed rate of $10.10 per hour is 28%
- 28% of the 1.26 million is 436,800 people who could lose their jobs and still have the Federal min. wage increase be neutral from the standpoint of average hourly earnings
So… If you take a look at the CBO estimates that accounted for a minimum wage increase to $10.10 per hour along with the Affordable Care Act, and estimated 2.5 million jobs would be lost by 2025. So in other words more Americans would lose work than currently even earn minimum wage.
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A record number of Americans now feel it’s acceptable to cheat on their taxes:
Bottom Line: So do you feel it’s acceptable to “color outside of the lines”?
- A record 12% of Americans say its acceptable to Cheat on their taxes
That’s up 33% (from 9%) in 2008. Here’s what’s perhaps just as intriguing… The body who conducted the study was the IRS Oversight Board. So these are people who were willing to answer that way to the IRS Oversight Board itself! It leads one to wonder what the real number actually would be? There are other significant findings. We simply don’t trust the IRS any longer.
- Two years ago 67% of Americans said that they trusted the IRS to properly balance enforcement and service
- Today after the many scandals with the agency… A record low 39% of Americans still trust the IRS
So with such a dramatic drop in trust it’s somewhat understandable that more Americans would feel as though it’s acceptable to cheat. Of course that’s never acceptable, regardless of what we think of the people running the IRS. It does all lead me to wonder about other areas of life. For example if at least 12% of Americans are willing to cheat on taxes where else will they cheat? Are they likely to steal from employers? Just a little food for thought. Integrity transcends many areas of life so while I’m with the many who are leery of the IRS these days, I take exception to the growing number of Americans who don’t feel as though they need to abide by the law. That makes them no better than the people they loathe at the IRS.
Which groups of Americans has the highest unemployment rate & what you can do to help:
Bottom Line: So frequently we take a look at age, race, and other demographic factors when discussing unemployment. We’re leaving out one very important piece of the puzzle. The status of Americans who are unemployed…
Lot’s of attention has been paid to the unemployment issues of returning veterans, and that’s terrific, we do need to do our level best to provide opportunity for those who have defended our freedom, but virtually no attention has been drawn to the issue with those who are disabled.
- The unemployment rate for the disabled is currently 34%
That’s easily the highest of any group. We know that in leaner time’s employers often do need a lot of productivity out each employee. We also know that there are some jobs that many disabled people may not be able to physically perform. Otherwise I think we need to pay closer attention to these Americans and provide them with the opportunity to be successful for themselves and for us. The benefits of work are many. With so many disabled Americans in real need of opportunity you’re likely to find a person who is driven, conscientious and will to work hard for you. I’ll spare the personal stories on this topic I could share but please consider hiring disabled Americans if there is an opportunity that works for you in your business.
Consumer Reports Cars of the year for 2014:
Bottom Line: Consumer Reports remains the most trusted reviewer of automobiles among Americans surveyed. That means that these cars rankings are perhaps the most relevant. CR is out with their autos of the year by class. And the winners are…:
- Small SUV: Subaru Forester
- Midsized sedan: Honda Accord
- Compact Car: Subaru Impreza
- Midsize SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe
- Green Car: Toyota Prius
- Pickup Truck: Ram 1500
- Luxury Car: Audi A6
- Sports Sedan: BMW 328i
- Minivan: Honda Odyssey
But the best overall car…: The Tesla Model S. In fact the CR folks continue to say that it’s possibly the best car ever to hit the road. For the complete report along with their commentary click this link: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/04/top-picks-2014/index.htm
Update on Bitcoin debacle at Mt Gox:
Bottom Line: The news isn’t good for anyone who had their bitcoin stored at the largest bitcoin exchange Mt Gox. The exchange never was able to open yesterday and it now appears that in addition to what appears to be an imminent bankruptcy filing, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin are missing. In other words it looks like it could be a total loss for those who used the exchange.
In brighter news for bitcoin loyalist, there was a bit of a rally around the bitcoin effect on the surviving exchanges. Rather than bitcoin collapsing yesterday, the value is actually about $100 higher today at about $575 as I type this than 24 hours ago with the news was breaking. That’s still more than 50% lower than it’s recent highs but it’s clear that the undercurrent of people wanting the bitcoin to survive is significant. What’s interesting is that one of the biggest losers in the Mt.Gox debacle called for regulation of bitcoin yesterday so that the exchanges are held accountable for proper business practices. This is what I’ve been suggesting before it can become a mainstream medium of exchange right along. More to come on this story…
Small business disconnect - online reviews are more important than small businesses realize:
Bottom Line: As you likely know I’m an enormous advocate for small and local businesses. After all I’m a former entrepreneur and small business owner myself. That being said there often are plenty of opportunities for small businesses to make better businesses decisions. I don’t remember who told me this but several years ago I was told… “small businesses deserve to be small”. The take away was that most small businesses are small because they don’t do enough well to be bigger. Now I think that’s not necessarily fair because there are many small businesses that don’t even desire to be bigger businesses along with many other valid explanations. That being said there often is plenty of opportunity for small businesses to do a better job taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves. Enter this survey…
Online marketing firm Yodle found the following:
- 90% of customers say that online reviews are very important to them
- Only 13% of small businesses actually have a plan to cultivate and engage customer reviews online
- In fact 25% if small businesses say that online reviews aren’t at all important
- 68% of businesses have never even looked to see if people are reviewing their business online
Those numbers all point to an enormous disconnect. Here’s the good news. It’s opportunity as well for businesses who aren’t engaging online reviews.