Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

October 3, 2008

Here’s an innovative idea with a potential for real social impact!

This seems to me to be a great idea: there are no losers.  I have been to Juarez/El Paso, and a house made out of a shipping container would definitely be an upgrade for many people, on both sides of the Rio Grande.  The shipping containers are cheaply obtained, and it appears these guys have mastered how to inexpensively convert them.  In a day when real estate is as uncertain an investment as anything else, and even a manufactured home can run you $100,000, $8000 seems like a bargain for an actual address.  That’s less than a brand new Kia!

Is it the home of the future?  Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing these in EPCOT any time soon, but I do think it has potential.  The applications are endless, and goodness knows there are countries all over the globe that have “slum problems.”  What do you think?  Would you buy one?

Here is a link to some other possibilities for shipping containers. . .


Too many secrets. . .

September 21, 2008

So much trouble over a piece of yellowed notebook paper!  What, his secretary couldn’t be bothered to type it up?  This is just like Fermat’s last theorem, except, you know, less intelligent.  Of course, 5.3 billion in sales is nothing to sneeze at; I mean that’s probably the most valuable yellowed paper outside of the Declaration of Independence.

Actually, the most interesting aspect to me is how many people attempt to duplicate the “original” recipe.  As if KFC is so good it needs to be duplicated.  I mean, I like it, sure, but it isn’t exactly the paragon of cuisine.

KFC’s secret recipe comes out of the vault

$50 million is a lot of pennies

September 17, 2008

Alright, do something for me.  I need you to really think about this.  Reach in your pocket, the one where you keep your change–or find your change jar or whatever you use–and fish out a few pennies.  Look at them closely.  What are you planning on doing with them?  Think about what you are saving up for.  And answer honestly, do you really need the penny?

I mean, if you are like me, you collect a few pennies each day when you get change from your coffee, or your lunch, or your newspaper, and at the end of the day you drop the loose coins in a jar (I actually use a small vase that I got with a wedding centerpiece) and one day, months from now, you’ll find yourself with a few hours to waste and you’ll count up all the pennies you have collected. You might even roll them!  And you might even get excited about the $6.53 windfall you’ve come into.  Or maybe you’re not like me and you’ll just head to the coin star machine at the grocery store, which will count your change and then take a chunk right off the top (in this case 58 cents*) and you’ll get excited about your $5.95 windfall.

And who wouldn’t be excited about an extra $6?  That’s a $5 footlong at Subway, plus tax, plus a cookie!  But here’s the thing: that six dollars you just saved cost the US Government ten dollars!  (and we all know where the government gets their money)  It seems because of rising material costs, every penny now costs 1.67 cents to produce.  (Actually that was in 2007, apparently costs have gone down a bit in 2008, but it’s still way above the face value of a penny.)  The US minted 7.4 billion pennies in 2007, and some basic math reveals that that $74 million in pennies cost taxpayers an additional $50 million.  Just so we can all enjoy that pleasant jingle in our pockets and continue to fill up our coin jars.

$50 million isn’t going to solve our national debt, but it will go a long way towards any number of public service projects like schools, homeless shelters, disaster relief, or AIDS/Cancer research.  And why do we continue to waste $50 million every year?  Because our government believes we can’t live without our pennies.

So take a look at that pocket change, and ask yourself, “What has the penny done for me, lately?”

If you want to see where I got my numbers check out this CNN article from last May.

*Coinstar stated fee