Monday, April 18, 2011

The gap between Rich and Poor:A different look

You have heard it all before. The cliches` about the "widening gap" between the rich and poor and how a small percentage of individuals control most of the wealth and so on. Today I will share with you a perspective seldom mentioned, if at all. Many people simply do not invest their money, or simply squander what they do have. Here is a simple example; Google stock(GOOG) made its debut on August 16, 2004 at $100 a share. If you invested $1000 in the purchase of 10 shares; by 2007 those shares would have been worth over $700 each. In other words your small investment would have multiplied seven times. Many individuals fail to understand that geting rich is a process for the most part. It is about making good decisions over and over again. For example; does it make sense to buy a brand new car and make car payments for five years at a ridiculous amount of interest? Instead paying cash for a reliable used car and having money to invest seems to be the sensible choice.There is a wise proverb that I like very much; "A fool and his money wil soon part ways." What we are getting at here is that lack of information leads to ignorance, and eventually leads to lack of resources. Example: A crafty car salesman tells you about a great "deal" on a vehicle. You are uninformed, and easily tricked into a five year payment plan on a new vehicle. Now you have signed the papers and are bound by contract to pay the principle and interest monthly. This situation leads to a lack of resources, because you are now "trapped" in debt. Debt creates a barrier between you and investing. How can you invest if you have no funds? I believe that the less resources you have, the better manager you need to be. Unfortunately the opposite is usually the case; it is the wealthy that manage their assets properly. For the last two years we have been in what is known as a "bull" market, alot of money was made and still is being made. If you do not know what a bull market is; let that be your signal to learn all you can about money management and investing. The poorer you are; or the less resources you have, the more important it is for you to know how to manage your money. With consistent, good money management you will gradually find yourself with more and more. The principle is simple: "He that is faithful in least is faithful in much."Do good with what you have, and you will end up with more.

Ethical challenges of Facebook

As with any new frontier there will be unforseen benefits and problems. It is simply the "nature of the beast." Social mediums have connected people in a way previously unmatched in our history. We no longer have to wait for 6pm to find out the latest news or gossip. With social media; everyone is a news reporter. This is both a blessing and a curse because along with quality news, there exists a tremendous amount of mis-information. Specifically, Facebook has to wrestle new issues such as "cyber bullying,"and employee privacy. There are several cases in court as we type concerning people who have been fired due to ill advised postings on Facebook. Ethical questions arise; does the employer have a right to monitor employees` Facebook pages? Some say yes, as long as the employee is a work; but what if the employee is at home complaining about his/her boss? Cyber intimidation is another hot topic; should Facebook protect targets of "smear" campaigns? When writing about free speech in the first amendment, the founders of this great country could not have imagined Facebook. What standards or limits should Facebook place on free speech?; should hate groups be allowed to set up pages? Atheists?Religious groups? Facebook has walked a fine line between embracing everyone and alienating few.However, as more people join, this task becomes more complicated. Different nationalities, cultures, political, and religious views all being meshed together in social medium.On a more sinister note; we must consider that such mediums make it easier for people to be monitored by government agencies. Will your posts come back to haunt you one day? What about the selling of your information to corporations for advertising purposes? Security has always been an issue with Facebook; people have been victimized by identity theft and in an extreme case murdered after a stalker used information innocently provided by the user to find her place of residence. Other relevant issues; are child saftey, specifically from pedophiles hiding on Facebook. In closing, I would like to say I like Facebook, and that for the most part it is a beautiful thing, however there is a dark side as with anything else. How Facebook handles the "dark side" will determine its future and place in history. We know more about each other now than perhaps at any other time in history, but  is this a good thing or will familiarity breed contempt? Only time will tell, but Facebook is a Pandora`s box and it is wide open.
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