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Thursday, October 18, 2007

A rant to: Finding a Job in America

I often find myself in the position of explaining what I do (as an IT contractor) to Indian project managers, who will take that information back to India to bid on the backlog of tasks that I work on for various clients.

In the companies eyes, they can throw about three Indians at the project for less than they pay me to do it. Often, the US-based companies own stock in the offshore firms, or they are subsidiaries of the US-based company. This is their way of making the transaction invisible to its own employees. However, as a contractor for 12 years I can see through the facade.

While the consumer has the power to make purchases stamped "Made in America", he is blissfully unaware that off-shoring happens at many levels. My point is that the large corporations should be held accountable, or regulated, to curb the off-shoring of labor. You would be hard pressed to find a shirt or TV or cell phone that is actually made in America these days anyway...

Until something is done to curtail corporate behaviors, we as Americans will have to live with LEAD in our children's toys, ANTIFREEZE in our toothpaste and pet food, e-Coli in our vegetables, and vulnerabilities in our electronic systems (where are the servers housing your social security numbers?).

Unfortunately, both Democrats & Republicans make these issues political sticks with which to bash each other, but it's an American problem. If a child grows up mentally challenged because it chewed on an Elmo painted with lead, it is ultimately the corporations and politicians who are retarded.

Finding a Job in America

Yesterday, I received this email from a relative. My response to it will be the next post...

Joe Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock ( MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 AM. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt ( MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes ( MADE IN KOREA).

After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator ( MADE IN MEXICO ) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN ) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA ) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) filled it with gas (from Saudi Arabia) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB ...

At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his computer (Made In Malaysia ), Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in A M E R I C A...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

How to win at Monopoly: Buy Houses, Charge Rent

Remember how to play Monopoly?

The object of the game is to purchase multiple properties, so when an opponent lands on your property, they have to pay you rent. This all time classic game is truly a mirror image of life. Controlling properties (homes, apartments, offices, etc.) gives YOU the upper hand in the game of life. After all, it will be you getting the rent check each month.

If you've done your homework, and bought your property below its market price, you will be cash flow positive. As an investor, you NEVER want to be cash flow negative. If you are cash flow positive on multiple properties, you will have a great second stream of income. This extra money can be put in savings, in the stock market, or into another property.

If you are "jonesing" for a new Lexus, first I would suggest a used Toyota, but if you must have that car because you've earned it, then pay for it with the extra income that you've managed to build. Avoid paying for it from your primary salary, and never ever lease!!! After all, who wants to rent? :)


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