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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Justice! Scumbag Shkreli Is Arrested!

Martin Shkreli, the scumbag Wall Streeter (was that redundant?) who bought a drug company and promised to reduce drug prices and instead promptly raised the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 a tablet to $750 has been arrested for securities fraud.

The fraud he's been arrested for is nothing to do with the greedy Daraprim move, but prison seems to be in his future. Finally some justice!

Here's the irony: The drug he raised the price on is used to treat a parasite called toxoplasmosis, which becomes active from a weakened immune system from HIV or chemo. I am hoping when he becomes someone's bitch in prison that he needs this drug to treat his HIV. Now that would be justice.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Doctors and Dentists Are Scammers, Oh My!

I despise doctors and dentists, and not just because I hate going for checkups and went to law school so am somewhat programmed to. I hate them because they order tests they don't need, keep you waiting in their offices and then act like the crap that comes out of them is lavender and smells like a rose.

Take my ex-dentist, please. Just last month she tried to give me two root canals. Feeling suspicious, mostly because she didn't bother to even look at my teeth before she told me I needed them, but also because of her Russian accent and the fact that she looked and sounded more like a hooker than a dentist.

Off I went to my old dentist that I trust (and looks like Tom Selleck) but is 200 miles away, only to have my suspicions confirmed. Not only did I not need the root canals,  I didn't even have cavities. All I can say about dentist #1 is: The Russian bitch lied.

Why do they lie and do unnecessary procedures? MONEY. One or two unnecessary fillings and a root canal adds up, that's about $2000 extra in her pocket. I think these doctors / dentists should lose their licenses after just one of these incidents. A few of the really egregious cases have gone to prison.

So what to do? You have to learn to say no and get second opinions if it feels off to you. I had a strange feeling about my dentist/hooker and followed up on it with a dentist I've known for years. Had I not, I would be out a lot of money and who knows what from the treatment I didn't need.

Bottom line? All anyone cares about these days is themselves and their bank account and most medical "professionals" have ordered tests and done treatments that aren't necessary. Patient beware.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Some Good News For Student Loan Holders

Finally, a little good  news. Today's post is not about a fraud or a fool, but sometimes you just have to spread good cheer. Fidelity Investments is offering employees student loan reimbursement as a perk!

They haven't worked out the details yet, but they recently announced this new benefit. Here's hoping it catches on to other companies soon!

If I were cynical, and I am, I would say they are doing it because the job market is getting tighter.  Giving this benefit as an incentive to stick around is cheaper for the company than deal with high turnover.

Whatever their reason, whoever had this idea at Fidelity deserves a nice cold beer. And may the idea spread to other companies soon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Waiter Turned Fake Money Manager

Gotta love this Fraudster. Today's scumbag is a former waiter who posed as a hedge fund manager and was able to get 17 suckers to invest $800,000 dollars with him. Of course he just used the money for himself, buying electronics and taking trips, but this fraudster also used the money for karaoke. Steal money to go to karaoke bars? He deserved to get caught.

When investors wised up and starting asking for their money, this is one of the excuses he gave "I'm going deer hunting." OK, but can you send the check before you take a shot at an innocent animal?

No surprise, he was found guilty on all 28 counts, which included securities fraud and larceny. Sentencing on Dec 18, no word if he will request a microphone while in his cell.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Don't Be Evil

Google's corporate slogan is "Don't Be Evil" but evil they are in so many ways. But today, let's just look at how one of the richest companies in the world is screwing some of their workers over.

Google has been hiring firms like Zerochaos and Lionbridge to hire temporary employees for up to one year. They require these employees to have college educations from top schools and speak another language fluently. They are hired to evaluate ads in other languages. They pay them $15 an hour with no benefits. The employees don't even get notice of when their contract will end, an email is sent the same day saying this will be their last day of work.

Seems to me it's evil to have billions of dollars and not pay someone a living wage.  So Google or Alphabet or whatever the fuck you're calling yourself these days, if you want your company slogan to be "Don't Be Evil" then you need to stop being evil and pay folks a decent wage.

In case nobody told you Google, replacing workers over and over probably costs you more than keeping them on and paying them a fair wage. I can only imagine the person at the company who came up with the bright idea of renaming the company Alphabet is the same asshole who came up with the "let's screw some employees because we can" idea.

Google, you're not just an evil hypocrite, you're really fucking cheap!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Wealth Gap Injustice

The wealth gap is far greater than I had thought, with the members of the Fortune 400 holding 2.3 TRILLION in assets. The average American net worth is around $81,000. 

Ever watch the movie Arbitrage with Richard Gere? I can't think of a better way to show how the rich are different from the average bear. I won't spoil it for you, but let's just say it shows rich privilege in all its ugly glory.

So what's to be done? The rich own Congress, and that's the reason they don't get taxed anywhere near what they should. If they had to pay a fair amount, the country would be in much better shape. The difference is in the tax rate. For example until 1982 and Ronald Regan, 70% was the rate on income over $215,000 for a married couple. Today, a married couple can make $450,000 and only pay 39.6%. Fair? I think not.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Victim Of Predatory Lending Or Just A Fool?

There was an article a couple of days ago in the New York Times, Lend With A Smile, Collect With A Fist. The title caught my attention, because as a holder of student loans, I know all too well where the fist goes, and sadly, no lube.

It talked about the compounding interest, collection tactics, the usual. However, they picked a terrible student to use as an example. It was a non - traditional student who kept getting worthless degrees and managed to put off paying her loans for 25 years without a payment. I admit I admired the fact that in a quarter of a century the loan companies didn't get a dime.

She claims now she can't make payments, I guess no one told her about IBR. Most of that debt is due to interest, no surprise after 25 years on non payment. I found it difficult to muster up sympathy for her, even though I have made as many mistakes, if not more, in life as she has. Maybe if she would stop whining and go on IBR like the rest of us?

Can't decide if she's a victim of predatory lending, or a fool for continuing to pile up worthless degrees. You decide, here's the link to the article.