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Monday, November 23, 2015

Today's Fool: Blind Date From Hell

Sometimes it really is better to stay home instead of going on a blind date.  Melissa Bickel went on a blind date with a man who left while she was in to the bathroom and stuck her with the bill. She couldn't pay, and was arrested.

The only confusing part to me is the police offered to let her go if she just paid her share, but she refused. The jerk date who left her holding the bag returned the next day to settle up after police visited his home. The charges were dropped.

Melissa, sadly, is today's fool. You don't go to a restaurant unless there's money in your pocket, you can't depend on anyone in this world. But the greater question is: Why anyone would go on a blind date when you could just stay home?  In the words of Woody Allen, "Don't knock masturbation, it's sex with someone I love."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Caught With His Pants Down

The French caught this terrorist this morning with his pants down. The terrorist is today's fool for not only being a terrorist but for sleeping with pants off and a shirt on. Who spanks their monkey all night while the police are hunting you down? Glad you're a fool and going to prison.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Arbitration Only Benefits Employers With Discrimination To Hide

I've posted about Arbitration last week, but I stumbled upon a video that makes the best case against workplace arbitration. Sadly, the video was just removed from Youtube, but I found an article on it.

Mark Anderson was a trainee at Cantor Fitzgerald, a brokerage firm. They harassed him in an unbelievably sickening manner, but he couldn't sue them because he had signed an arbitration agreement.

This happened back in 1995, so I'm hoping workers on Wall Street have matured and cleaned up their act, but I think that's hoping for too much. And why are these ass clowns still in business?

Warning: this is not something to read on a full stomach.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Young and Educated? You're Probably Living With Mom and Dad

Interesting article in the New York Times about how 20 and even 30 year olds are still living at home.
Anyone who has a student loan knows the answer to this, it's so simple, but the New York Times, always a day late and a dollar short is confused. They are today's Fool.

“Some of what’s happening is probably economics, because the great recession really hit young adults hard,” Dr. Fry said. “But I’m still struggling with the economic explanation, since the labor market for young adults has improved in the last five years, and yet the percentage living with their family is still going up. It seems to be somewhat decoupled from economics.”

No, Sunshine, it's actually kind of simple economics. Rents have gone up, waaay up, and salaries have gone down. But the real problem is, most young people have at least $100,000 in student loans and the loans get bigger every year, thanks to compounding interest. After paying them, even with IBR, there's precious little left to do things like paying $3000 a month for a studio in NYC when you are lucky to be making $50,000 a year.

And this fool has a doctorate, as if anyone needed more proof that higher education is a waste of money.

full article here:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How To Beat Debt Collectors

Debt Collectors have a special place in hell waiting for them, along with law school deans and Sallie Mae employees. But until the day the collector calling you 24/7  is hit by a truck and dies a slow painful death, here are some tips for dealing with them.

First of all, they can't collect money until they get a judgment against you. Only your federal school loans and the IRS can dip into your accounts without a judgment. So for credit card debt, unpaid utilities, etc., they will have to go to court first and win.  So if they threaten to empty bank accounts or have you put in jail (not possible) make note of when it was said and who said it, and sue them.

I successfully fought off debt collectors on a Chase card because Chase did some questionable things. Not only was the debt discharged, they had to pay a $25,000 fine. Look for something illegal that the company did or that the debt collector is doing.

Examples: Chase added a charge of $350. to lower my interest rate. That's illegal, and they paid a fine for it. Debt collectors can't continue to call you after you send a certified letter asking them to stop. Debt collectors can't call your place of employment. They can be fined $1000 a call. If the debt collector calls at work cause you to lose your job, you can sue them.

If you want to pay, offer to pay 10% to 20% of the outstanding debt to have it wiped out. By the time a debt gets to a collector, it means that the owner of the debt has sold it to the debt collector for pennies on the dollar. They just want to get something.

Never forget that debt collectors are simply hustlers trying to get you to pay because they get a commission every time you pay.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Arbitration Fine Print Con

Ten years and twenty pounds ago, I worked on Wall Street. The pay was decent, the people were not. One of the downsides was that you had to sign an arbitration form to work anywhere that meant that if you were discriminated against or screwed over, you had to bend over again because you'd signed your rights to a trial away.

Basically, it boils down to this: You waive your rights to a trial and agree to have all disputes arbitrated. All decisions are final, no appeals. The fun part? Most of the arbitrators are paid by the firm you work for, so guess who usually loses? Right, the one who didn't pay. There's no public record like with trials, so companies can hide their dirty secrets. Sounds unfair because it is.

This practice is spreading and many more companies have joined the arbitration game. What do you do if a firm offers you a job but you don't want to sign? The offer will probably be rescinded.  It's worth it to try and negotiate the terms of future arbitrations if you must sign. Ask if the firm will pay all the costs and try to get them to let you have a say in the pick of the arbitrator. Most likely it will be their way or the door, so only you can decide how badly you need the job and to throw away your rights.

Why are firms getting away with it? The same reason banks screw us, insurance companies don't pay and cheaters cheat. Because they can, because we let them. Because nobody stands up and says NO.