Finance Careers

Cell phone versus accident statistics

By Swint Friday

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Protected: Introduction to Black-Scholes PDE

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College student 3-D printed his own braces to save money

Amos Dudley 3D printed his own clear braces to straighten his smile.

  • Amos Dudley's 3-D printed braces

    Amos Dudley’s 3-D printed braces.

    He scanned and printed models of his teeth and then molded non-toxic plastic around them to form a set of 12 clear braces, Fox13Now reported. He then determined how far he needed to move each tooth to correct misalignment problems, and divided it by the maximum recommended distance a tooth should travel to determine the design for each alignment tray.

    “It was very obvious which tooth [the tray] was putting pressure on,” Dudley told Fox13Now. “I was sort of worried about accumulated error, but that wasn’t the case so that was a pretty glorious moment.”

    In total, he has spent 16 weeks wearing his so-called “homemade braces,” and is currently wearing the final set. He said he’s already gotten requests to print braces for others, but doesn’t want to due to liability concerns.

    “I’m not interested in orthodontics,” he told Fox13Now. “It was more of a hacker project than making a business out of this.”

Socialism, Taxes and Economic Prosperity

Socialism, Taxes and Economic Prosperity

 

 

 

 

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Who Are America’s Millionaires?

June 15, 2012

There is a serious ongoing political debate over the tax rates paid by millionaires. Some say the tax rates paid by wealthy Americans are not progressive enough while others argue that the top rate should be lowered while overhauling the tax code. Neither side of this debate, however, has made any attempt to provide a basic profile of who these taxpayers are. How old are they? What is their marital status? What is their education level? What are their sources of income? In other words, put a demographic face on millionaire taxpayers.[1]According to the latest data from the IRS for 2010, there were roughly 268,000 tax returns reporting more than $1 million in adjusted gross income (AGI), a slight increase above 2009 levels. As Chart 1 indicates, however, 2009 had the fewest number of millionaire returns since 2004. Indeed, there were 40 percent fewer millionaire tax returns filed in 2009 than were filed in 2007.

When we look beyond these sterile financial statistics we learn that these taxpayers are typically married (and most of them are two-earner couples), they are highly educated, many are business owners, and nearly half are over the age of 55.

Chart 1

And while the political discourse frequently treats millionaires as monolithic, the data indicates that millionaire status appears to be fleeting or episodic. People rarely report million-dollar incomes consistently year after year because many of them become “millionaires” as the result of a one-time event such as the sale of a business or stock. Thus, it is likely that the taxpayers who reported $1 million or more in income in 2009 are not the same people who filed million-dollar returns in previous years.

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Real earnings of full-time, full-year female workers, by race and ethnicity, 2000-2014

9467

Black families the biggest losers under Carter and Obama Presidencies. Did best under Reagan and Clinton Presidencies.

African American Income

Black Median Household income: $33,460
(all races $50,502)
All Black Workers 2012 weekly earnings:$606
(all races $765)

Black Men weekly earnings: $633
(White men $854)

Black Women weekly earnings: $590
(White women $712)

SOURCE: 2012 3rd Quarter: Bureau of Labor Statistics – 16 Years or Older & 2011 Census Bureau American Community Survey

Median_Black_Income_Chart_2005_to_2011_optDuring the 1990s African American income grew tremendously. By 2000, 57.9% of African American households had an annual income of $35K or more compared to just 38.2% in 1970. However due to the recession that number dropped to just 46% by 2011 reversing much of these gains. The most dramatic change during this same period is the percentage of Black households making under $15K (from 14.5% in 2000 to 25.4% in 2011) which is well below the poverty line.

2012-Black-Family-income

Although incomes for African Americans have improved significantly since the Civil Rights era, they are still lower then the average Americans. For example the median income for Black families is $20 thousand a year less than the American median income. As you can see from the chart labeled Family Income 2010 that Black married-couple families make more than twice that of Female householder families. This charts also proves that there is a substantial benefit for those in a married-couple family regardless of race or ethnicity.

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Since 2008, our national debt and deficit has ballooned jeopardizing our future.

The story behind Obama and the national debt, in 7 charts

Since President Obama took office, the national debt has increased by $7.4 trillion. On January 20, 2009, it stood at $10.6 trillion; on Monday, it was at $18 trillion. That bit of data leapt to the front page of The Drudge Report on Tuesday, linking to an assessment from CNS News.com. The increase, the site’s Terence Jeffrey writes, “is $65,443 per household, $70,985 per full-time worker and $84,266 per full-time private-sector worker.” Grim.

We thought those figures deserved some context.

These are the data on which the argument hinges. The Department of the Treasury releases daily updates on the amount of debt held by the government. There are two categories: debt held by the public, which is the sort of debt you think of when you think of government debt — Treasury bills and bonds and notes and so on — and “intragovernmental holdings,” which are securities held by other government accounts. The CNS News article didn’t adjust for 2014 dollars, which we’ve done below.

imrs.php

Before 2009, it was relatively flat. Then, it exploded — almost entirely in the “held by public” part of the debt.

But if you zoom in a little closer, say, from January 2008 to January 2010, you see something interesting: the fuse was lit before Obama took office. (Note that this graph is only the “held by the public” part of the debt.)

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We have the worst workforce participation since Carter.

Labor Participation Rate Drops To 36 Year Low; Record 92.6 Million Americans Not In Labor Force

While by now everyone should know the answer, for those curious why the US unemployment rate just slid once more to a meager 5.9%, the lowest print since the summer of 2008, the answer is the same one we have shown every month since 2010: the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which in September slid from an already three decade low 62.8% to 62.7% – the lowest in over 36 years, matching the February 1978 lows. And while according to the Household Survey, 232,000 people found jobs, what is more disturbing is that the people not in the labor force, rose to a new record high, increasing by 315,000 to 92.6 million!

And that’s how you get a fresh cycle low in the unemployment rate.

participation rate sept 2014

So the next time Obama asks you if you are “better off now than 6 years ago” show him this chart of employment to the overall population: it speaks louder than the president ever could.

Employment to population ratio_1_0

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Heightism not Sexism explains wage disparity.

Australian Economist find that height is as or more dominant than sex in wage disparity.  Very simply, the taller a PERSON is the greater their pay.  Men on average are 8.5% taller than women explains virtually all of the wage gap.
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$1,000 pair of Lou Boutins worth their height in inches!

Tall women’s salaries leave short girls in the shade

Height advantage: Taller women get paid higher salariesHeight advantage: Taller women get paid higher salaries

It may be a tall order for some women to accept.

But shorter females earn less than their loftier colleagues, a study claims

Those who stand at 5ft8in and above are twice as likely to earn more than £30,000 a year – or up to £5,000 more than their vertically challenged friends.

The researchers asked 1,461 women over the age of 16 to give details about their salary and measurements.

A fifth of those questioned who fell into the ‘tall’ category said they earned £30,000 and above compared with 10 per cent of women under 5ft8in.

At the same time, 20 per cent of the tall women said they saw their height as a source of ’empowerment and authority’ compared with just 5 per cent of shorter females.

And the study revealed that the taller you are, the more comfortable you are likely to be with your body.

A quarter of women over 5ft8in said they would not change anything about themselves.

In contrast, 90 per cent of females in the ‘short’ category said they were unhappy with their looks, the study for clothing chain Long Tall Sally found.

Arianne Cohen, author of The Tall Book: A Celebration Of Life From On High, said: ‘Research shows that tall people are consistently more successful in the workplace.

‘Not only do they earn more but they’re more likely to be in leadership positions.

‘As taller people have a downward eyecast when speaking to shorter colleagues, they are instinctively perceived to have authority and confidence.

‘It means that those who are taller are respected by their colleagues and bosses, giving them a thriving atmosphere that leads them to more success.’

The 24/7 Work Culture’s Toll on Families and Gender Equality

The biggest obstacle to women in joining the highest ranks of the business world is a lack of family-friendly policies. That, at least, has been the conventional wisdom in recent years, and it has been embraced by progressive companies that offer flexible schedules or allow people to work from home.

But some researchers are now arguing that the real problem is not the lack of family-friendly policies for mothers, but the surge in hours worked by both women and men. And companies are not likely to want to adopt the obvious solution.

The pressure of a round-the-clock work culture — in which people are expected to answer emails at 11 p.m. and take cellphone calls on Sunday morning — is particularly acute in highly skilled, highly paid professional services jobs like law, finance, consulting and accounting.

Offering family-friendly policies is too narrow a solution to the problem, recent research argues, and can have unintended consequences. When women cut back at work to cope with long hours, they end up stunting their careers. And men aren’t necessarily happy to be expected to work extreme hours, either.

Photo

Erin Reid, left, an assistant professor at Boston University, and Robin Ely, a professor at Harvard Business School. “These 24/7 work cultures lock gender inequality in place,” Ms. Ely said. CreditErik Jacobs for The New York Times

“These 24/7 work cultures lock gender inequality in place, because the work-family balance problem is recognized as primarily a woman’s problem,” said Robin Ely, a professor at Harvard Business School who was a co-author of a recent study on the topic. “The very well-intentioned answer is to give women benefits, but it actually derails women’s careers. The culture of overwork affects everybody.”

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The Public Pension Funding Trap

To make up for shortfalls in contributions, plans take extraordinary risks to earn higher returns.

By ANDREW G. BIGGS

May 31, 2015 5:56 p.m. ET

54 COMMENTS

State and local government pensions were national news during the recession, as unfunded liabilities rose into the trillions of dollars and overheated commentators predicted that rising pension costs could push governments into bankruptcy. Today attention has faded and the public-pension industry claims that plans are back on track. Don’t be too sure.

Governments are still failing to make their full contributions; as recently as this week New Jersey’s chief budget analyst deemed it not “fiscally or physically possible” for the state to make its nearly $3 billion full pension contribution this year. Public pensions are taking greater investment risk with the money they do receive. If those investments fail to pan out, the budget picture for many governments will once again be grim.

 

Thanks to rising stock markets, the average pension funding ratio, which compares a plan’s assets to its benefit liabilities, rose to 76% from 72% in 2014, according to the Public Plans Database. This led the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems to crow in December that “the vast majority of public pensions are well funded and are growing stronger as the economy continues to recover.” More recently the National Association of State Retirement Administrators statedthat “most states have made a reasonably good effort” to fund their plans. The “perception that many plans and states have failed” is wrong; funding problems persist, Nasra said, in “only a handful of states.”

WSJ

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U.S. Gets “Big F” on Health Report Card

By Dr. Mercola

In a health report card published in September, titled “F as in Fat,” the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health1 predict that half of all American adults will be obese by 2030.

The report also predicts obesity-related illness will raise national health care costs by $48 billion annually over the next two decades by adding another 7.9 million new cases of diabetes, 5 million cases of chronic heart disease and stroke, and 400,000 cancer cases – all courtesy of Americans’ ever-expanding waistlines.

That prediction is only slightly more dire than the American Journal of Preventive Medicine‘s projection that 42 percent of all adults will be obese by then.2 According to the authors,

“If obesity were to remain at 2010 levels, the combined savings in medical expenditures over the next two decades would be $549.5 billion.”

Weight gain since 1970

That’s no chump change, especially in light of the current struggles to keep Medicaid going, and the fact that medical expenses not covered by health insurance is one of the top reasons for personal bankruptcy in the US. Most families are already only one bad diagnosis away from a financial catastrophe and many are at risk of abject ruin should their health fail.

To me this is yet another compelling argument to stay as healthy as you can by following the recommendations on this site, many of which cost next to nothing. All you need to do is give your body the raw materials like healthy unprocessed food, sleep, exercise, appropriate amounts of sunshine to optimize your vitamin D levels, love, emotional balancing and staying away from toxins and poisons and you probably won’t need to set foot in a doctor’s office or hospital, outside of an unfortunate accident.

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U.S. Weight, Lifestyle and Diet Trends, 1970- 2007

For this post, I compiled statistics on U.S. weight, health and lifestyle trends, and graphed them as consistently as possible. They span the period from 1970 to 2007, during which the obesity rate doubled. The data come from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Some of the graphs are incomplete, either because the data don’t exist, or because I wasn’t able to find them.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30+; overweight is a BMI of 25+. Yes, it’s frightening. It has affected adults and children (NHANES).

The percentage of Americans who report exercising in their spare time has actually increased since 1988 (BRFSS).

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The chicken market is so hot right now. Why can’t I trade on it?

By Lydia DePillis January 10, 2014
You might not have noticed yet, but there’s a calamity underway in the beef market: Cattle futures have reached record highs, driven by smaller herds that have been winnowed by years of drought.


That’s some pricey beef! (Barchart.com)

Over time, that will make beef more expensive on the shelf. But at least in the shorter term, the retailers that sell a lot of it — big fast-food companies, for example — are able to hedge their risk by buying futures contracts, which lock in the price for a certain amount of time. That at least allows them to plan for the supply problem by factoring price increases into their menus.

The same isn’t true, however, of poultry. Americans have been eating more and more of the birds in recent decades, but there is no futures market for this increasingly valuable commodity — which saddens commodity traders who see consumers opting for chicken as beef prices rise.

“If I could be ‘long’ chickens right now, that would be the trade of a lifetime,” trader Dan Norcini of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho told The Wall Street Journal.


That’s a lot of fried chicken. (Pew Environment)

Too bad for him! But so wait: Why is there a futures market for beef, but not for chicken?

Well, there used to be. Different commodities exchanges have tried three times to cash in on the growing demand for poultry, first with the Chicago Board of Trade in the 1960s, again in the 1980s and 1990s with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Each attempt has failed, for reasons that tell us a lot about how agribusiness works.

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