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5 Worst Effects of Global Warming

By now, you should be familiar with the fact that global warming is effecting our planet in a negative way. Mounds of evidence exist to prove it’s devastating effects and why it’s happening. Greenhouse gases are to blame for the shifting, hotter temperatures of the earth, caused by naturally occurring events, humans, or both. Changes are happening. Time to make some effort to change the way we live. We have determined the worst effects of global warming to give you a better idea on how you can make the best lifestyle decisions.

5) It’s Hotter and Dryer

This is an obvious effect, yet requires further explanation. Temperatures across the globe are seeing increasing temperature, as the core temperature of the earth rises as well. The heat also comes in the form of heat waves. These heat waves contribute to more than heat stroke deaths and dehydration. They also come with wildfires, which the occurrence of those has increased dramatically in the last 3 years. Related to the heat, is drought in certain areas. With drought, you see limited water supply and difficulty with growing agriculture, leading to possible starvation. This problem is especially present in small, secluded villages in parts of Asia and Africa.

4) There’s a Hurricane A-comin’!

On the opposite end of drought, you have those that are dealing with devastating storms and flooding. Hurricanes have increased two-fold since 1985, which makes sense given that hurricanes needs warmer water to gain strength. Flooding and tornadoes are increasing AND causing more damage. Lives are being lost because of these storms, too. There are no signs of these storms slowing down.

3) I’m Melting! I’m Melting!….And Rising!

Where have all the glaciers and ice caps gone? They are melting! The rising surface temperatures are causing them to shrink, and where the ice used to be is now growing plant life. Some areas rely heavily on glaciers feeding into fresh water and providing drinking water to their people. Without the glaciers (that are steadily decreasing every year), the source will be depleted. And what does melting glaciers do to the water levels? They rise! Ocean and river levels are increasing and those areas surrounded by water could see their city life submerged before too long. The salinity of ocean water is affected as well, depending on where the glaciers are melting, and impacting the lives of sea creatures, plants, and coral.

2) I Feel Sick…

You think you are immune to all diseases that have been eradicating from the U.S. and the U.K.? Think again. The recent Ebola outbreak is proof enough that diseases are making a comeback, and here’s why: warmer temperatures welcome creatures like ticks, mice, and other disease-carriers. So the rising temperatures increase the amount of these pests, and it is spreading to places that used to be too cold to house them. A lot of these diseases are LETHAL. Ailments such as allergies and asthma cases are also on the rise, with increased weed growth and smog caused by the warmer temperatures.

1) Economic Storm

If we allow corporations and business to make our environmental policies for us then we will start to see even more problems. Corporations are only motivated by money and profit, they don’t care about any harm that can happen from their actions. In the short term money can be made but in the long term all the catastrophic problems that global warming will create will trickle down into our economy as well. Some have predicted that with global warming our world economies could come crashing down. This is a worst case scenario but one that is completely preventable.

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How To Fight Capitalism Corruption

The U.S. is a breeding ground for capitalist ideas and strategies. Many decisions made for business and financial purposes are based around the notion that capitalism works. While this is what can be interpreted as good, people have a tendency to abuse the system and choose paths that leads to corruption. Corruptive behavior involving capitalism is nothing new. Just watch CNN every now and then and you’re sure to see a story about how a business or individual used the capitalist structure to avoid taxes, make certain purchases, or to support a public matter to support their own interests.

Simply stated, corruption occurs when the aim is to benefit individual groups rather than a social or public purpose. They put their own needs in the forefront and make decisions based on those needs, illegal or not. It is thought that corruption is easy with the structure of today’s capitalism. Perhaps it is. There is always pressure to increase profits, lower costs, improve technology, etc., usually by a board or group of individuals in charge of a company. Some seek to secure special interests of the group, and do this by convincing government or political officials that what they want is “good for everyone.” Sometimes, corruption is easy to spot if you know what to look for. Laws and regulations are constantly being put into place to fight it, yet it still exists. We need to find ways to stop the corruption.

In order to reorganize capitalism to stop corruption, one way would be to have the workers (lower employees) direct the overall enterprises of a company. That way, the decisions to be made are apparent to everyone and reduce secretive handlings, increase compliance with laws, and require decision-making from all involved in the business, including the little guy. It’s harder to do bad things when everyone is watching.

Another way to fight it is to instill a better checks and balances system with an integrity basis. If companies were to input a strong basis of support for integrity, corruption wouldn’t occur nearly as much or even at all. But how to do this is a tricky problem. Of course, it must start from top, with leaders developing some kind of integrity program that values high performance, creativity, ethics, and values, while discouraging corruptive dealings. Many well-known brands have aimed to do business with integrity, but a lot still have not.

While the solution to corruption is not simple to find, one thing is for sure – government intervention is essential in some form. Government regulations put in place to protect the consumers and financial wrongdoings work to reduce corruption. The question is – how much government is too much government in business? Our forefathers did not anticipate that capitalism would need so much looking after, but that’s where we are. In an ideal world, all people would run their businesses and corporations with dignity, integrity, and morality. In reality, we are left with deception, fraud, and valueless leaders and decision makers. It’s true what they say – money is the root of all evil.

The Rise Of The Liberal CEO

We are familiar with the idea that big business is associated with Republicans. The ideals of doing business seem to align with those right leaning activists. But did you know that a number of wealthy CEOS of major corporations, those that are directly involved with big business, have close liberal ties? Many people may think this is about as strange as a buddist monk touting a new muscle building stack or the new top creatine supplement. Just doesn’t seem like it’s a normal fit for most. As most CEOs tend to support both parties, there are a few who specifically give overwhelmingly liberal. Along the way giving us a fresh take on business practices. Let’s look at a few examples of some of the most liberal CEO’s that are leading the way:

1. Brian L. Roberts

Position: Comcast, President & CEO

Donations: He has given thousands of dollars to President Obama’s campaigns, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic party of Pennsylvania, and DNC Service Corporation. His vice president, David Cohen, has participated in fundraisers for Obama and considers the president a close acquaintance.

2. Jamie Dimon

Position: JP Morgan Chase, Chairman & CEO

Donations: Of all his political contributions, he donates almost 50% to Democrats and less than 10% to Republicans. Tens of thousands have gone to state and national Democratic committees.

3. John Mack

Position: Morgan Stanley, CEO, retired

Donations: Supported Senator Hilary Clinton’s run for presidency. Contributed to Senator Harry Reid and Max Baucus, and financially backed Senator Barbara Mikulski in significant ways. He was previously a supporter of George W. Bush in 2000.

4. Jeffrey Brotman

Position: Costco, Chairman and Co-founder

Donations: A majority of his political contributions go toward Democrats. Some notable figures that have gotten his support are Vice President Al Gore, Senator John Kerry, former Senator John Edwards, Senator Patty Murray, and Rep. Norm Dicks. Democratic committees and PACs have received thousands of dollars from him as well. It has been over 20 years since the Republican party has seen a significant donation from Brotman.

5. Warren Buffett

Position: Berkshire Hathaway, CEO, Chairman, and Largest Shareholder

Donations: Buffett is a well-know endorser of the Obama presidential campaign, both in 2008 and 2012. He has contributed thousands of dollars over the years, and was even considered to be a contender as a Democratic economic adviser for Obama.

6. Jeffrey Immelt

Position: General Electric (GE), Chairman & CEO

Donations: While Jeffrey has been a democratic supporter monetarily, he has also worked for the party! Obama appointed him first as a member to the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and eventually became the head of the board. More recently, he was made the chairman of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness by Obama.

7. Howard Schultz

Position: Starbucks, Chairman & CEO

Donations: For the last 20 years, he has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates, overwhelmingly more than candidates of any other party. He famously called for a boycott to all political campaign contributions a few years ago to stop corruption on both sides, but he remains a Democratic supporter.

8. Kenneth Cole

Position: Kenneth Cole Products, Chairman & CEO

Donations: Cole has donated almost exclusively to Democrats since 1995. Candidate such as Rep. Nita Lowery, Rep. Jerold Nadler, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and Sen. Al Franken have all benefited from his contributions. He has also backed Obama’s senatorial and presidential campaigns, as well as Bill Clinton’s run for president.

Have We Learned Our Lesson From The Recession?

The 2008 recession was bad for most of the world. In the US the 90s were a time of vast wealth and spending, and the earlier 2000s were similar. Then…the economy crashed. Jobs and homes were lost, stocks tanked, and finances dwindled. Officially, this recession lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, but it felt like a whole lot longer, right? The best thing to do now is to take what happened and learn from it to make better decisions in the future. The following are the lessons we can learn from the most recent recession.

1. Don’t get a loan just because you qualify

Lenders were giving out loans to anyone that would take them. These loans were high risk, and lenders didn’t even pay attention to if the borrower could pay them back. By 2007, these people with the loans were beginning to default and the housing market started to crash. This caused the median home price to fall drastically. As of 2013, prices were steadily climbing again.

2. It takes a while for stock prices to stop falling

The worst thing to do is bow out. Smart investors will sit tight and wait. That might be difficult, as the initial reaction is to sell and cut your losses. Since it becomes a bear market in a recession, prices tend to stay low for a while before slowing rising back up. Just wait it out.

3. Just because you don’t invest, doesn’t mean you are free from risk

Don’t completely pull out from having any stocks at all. The best solution is to divide your money between stocks and bonds. Stocks can support you long term and be in line with cost of living increases, whereas bonds are more consistent and don’t pay out as much, but cover you in the case of another crash.

4. Keep your job

A lot of people have forgone retiring when they anticipated because of the recession. The smart ones will keep it a few years longer, building up more cash before going on social security. The last thing you want to do is retire, then find that you have to dip into your stock investments to get by. Working for a few more years during this recovery time period won’t hurt you.

5. Your kids might move back home

This relates to the job market. Because of the recession, millions of jobs were lost. Since the time of recovery, a lot of the those jobs have remained unavailable, shrinking the job market, and making it very difficult for those millennials graduating from college to find a job. No good paying job equals less money to live on, leading to moving back home, in some cases. The smart thing for parents to do is start a college fund when your children are babies. That may seem like a long time to be saving, but think about this: if your child is 18 before attending college, that gives you 18 years to save. Assuming you put $100 per month toward their college fund, the total comes to $21,600. Given the fact that public and state colleges average between $8000 – $22,000 per year, you are going to need to start saving early.

Sadly it seems even after the events of even just a few years ago we are on a path to repeat the mistakes of the past. The only way we can stop this is to learn from the mistakes that we as an entire world have made and quit trying to live in delusion that things will turn out different.

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How Government Spending Cuts Puts Us All At Risk

Whether we like it or not, spending cuts made by the federal government happen all the time.  Certain choices are made to limit spending on particular things, like education, for example. Most conservatives see that these cuts are a positive outcome, noting the decrease in the nation’s high debt. Yet, think about this: would you like it if someone decided to take away a fraction of YOUR spending money, without asking? I’m guessing not! There are a slew of ways we all are affected by the cuts, and not in good ways. We have examined some of the ways below.

Layoffs

This is, by far, the largest downside to spending cuts. When specific cuts are made to government programs, funding, or any kind of support in businesses, people will see an increase in the amount of layoffs that occur. Federal employees have the most risk since they are rely on the government paying them directly. Consequently, the need for unemployment pay goes up. But again, since unemployment benefits are given by the government, those could see cuts as well. Do you see the connection? By keeping government spending constant or increasing it, you wouldn’t need as many unemployment benefits because a lot of people would still have their jobs.

Education

Teachers can feel the harsh burn of spending cuts, as it relates to losing their jobs. And those that are not fired, take on at least double the responsibility and pressures to meet school performance standards. Head start schools sometimes see cuts and those that benefit from those social and developmental programs, mainly lower income families, will need to find help elsewhere. Even colleges can be affected, in the form of work study programs and grants being cut.

Military

As we saw with the major government spending cuts in 2013, military personnel are exempt from the cuts, but military civilian workers are not. Basically, if you’re aren’t currently serving in combat, your pay will be cut. That’s a loss of income at up to 40%. The budget at the Pentagon can be cut as well. And those veterans that need a proper burial? It may take 3 weeks or longer since the funerals at Arlington National Cemetery are government paid for.

Food

If any food safety programs are cut, this could mean food inspectors jobs are cut, and the rate at which the food that is inspected slows down. This may cause meat and processing plants to close, temporarily or for good, resulting in more job loss and a shortage of food. With a shortage usually comes high demand. And with higher demand? Prices go up. Chicken, eggs, beef, and milk are usually the food that is affected the most.

Parks

The National Parks Service gets their funding cut all the time, as it is not seen as a necessary spending area, compared to other departments. That’s why you see a decrease in opened hours for parks, less picnic and camping areas, and closures for periods of time. The amount of visitors goes down and tens of thousands of citizens are affected by these cuts to parks.

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Is It Time To Legislate Health?

Do you think that laws should be put in place to stay fit and trim? Is it necessary? Think about this: 100 years ago, people didn’t worry about eating too much. Their focus was on staying free of disease, ailments of war, and sometimes, just having enough food to feed their kids. And while some of these concerns still exist today, they exist on another level. Those cheap foods that families purchase are, more often than not, unhealthy. Fruits and vegetables cost can be pricey and just aren’t a feasible option to those on a super tight budget. Plus, with all the stressors of everyday life, physical activity gets put on the backburner. On the other hand, there are people that can afford to eat healthy and workout, and just choose not to. Should we force people to be healthy? Let’s take a look at some reasons for the government mandating its people being and staying healthy.

1. The economy would benefit from healthy eating

Obesity is such a strain on the economy. Over ⅔ of the U.S. population is overweight, and of that, ½ is obese. With a higher number of those that are obese comes people that suffer from diabetes, cancers, and diseases, caused by unhealthy eating. Because they suffer, expensive drugs are needed to cure or treat the symptoms. Think about all that money spent on their healthcare going to another source in the economy. More healthy people means more money for the economy.

2. People are unable to choose healthy habits for themselves.

The thought behind this claim is that people have the choice to eat what they want, and most choose unhealthy eating habits. Mandating healthy eating would mean taking foods that are deemed unhealthy out of the equation and not even offer them as an option. If people don’t have a choice other than to eat healthy, then they will have to eat healthy. Unfortunately, this would be VERY difficult to enact, as brands that provide unhealthy choices have a lot of pull in societal and political decisions, and would rather not get rid of products that make them a lot of money.

3. Parents can’t always control what their children eat

In today’s world, it is very common to have a household where all caretakers work full-time out of the home. This results in children needing outside care during those times. So schools, after-school programs, and daycares should all have mandates for providing only healthy options for the children, so the parents won’t have to worry how the child is eating when not in their care. This is already legislated to some extent, but it can be improved.

4. Children benefit from healthy eating more than just physically

Past studies, mainly in Britain, have been done that show how healthy eating affects young children as they grow. What was found was that children that ate healthy from the start would achieve highly in education compared to those that ate unhealthily at a very young age. So to make everything equal and to give every child a chance to succeed, it would make sense to mandate healthy eating and legislate against making poor food choices for our young children.