Tag Archives: personal finance

(1093) Repairing our way to a better world?


So, here’s a bright idea from Sweden designed to cut carbon emissions, resource consumption and garbage production.  We think it might be a poverty fighter as well.  Basically, Swedes should soon see a worthwhile tax break to fix their stuff.  Those with a sense of thrift should get a lift from this policy.  Canada needs this.

Waste not want not: Sweden to give tax break for repairs
theguardian.com

image: TomD. via Flickr/CC

(1025) Comedy host John Oliver gets it

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If this blog had a board of directors we would appoint Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver to upon it sit.  He looked right into the dark heart of suburban poverty and social difficulty in a recent episode of his popular show to razor sharp effect.  How so?  He took the American sub prime auto loan industry out for a run, that’s how.

Oliver starts with the difficulty faced by many of his adopted country’s working poor: that trap between horrendously long commutes through the sprawl via public transit or buying some nasty set of wheels from a self-financing used car dealer.  There’s some impressive research and real world tales of woe brought out and then capped off with a hilarious skit spoofing the whole sad machinery of extortionate high interest loans, overpriced shitboxes and repossessions.  It has gotten so out of hand of late that some observers are seeing a repeat of the mortgage crisis of 2008 taking shape in US auto financing.  We’ll see soon enough.

image: staci myers via Flickr/CC

(938) US student debt racket

jailWithin the vast net of financial scams and debt-based swindles that compose much of the source code underlying modern American life is an education-related indenture of $1.3 trillion.  This generational thrashing is the stuff of revolutions, surely.  Is there not a single history degree out there in the hands of the direly mortgaged young Americans?  Education was supposed to be one of the things motorizing the new economy.
Wasn’t it?
Stop paying your student loans and debt collectors can send US Marshalls to arrest you
boingboing.net
The feds are now arresting people for not paying their student loans
vice.com

(926) Affordable Internet

digital divideThe Internet is pretty much now a necessity, especially when it comes to looking for a job or studying.  ACORN Canada calls for a national affordable Internet policy in a new report so that low income Canadians won’t be left out of the advantages of connectivity.
Internet for all: Internet use and accessibility for low-income Canadians
16-page .pdf file
Anti-poverty advocates call for affordable Internet. The high cost of home Internet services is taking a bite out of food budgets for low-income Canadians, new survey shows
thestar.com

image: RV1864 via Flickr/CC

(915) Apres 1976: generational lockdown

UBCAt what point does a society consciously decide to move off of a real estate bubble?  Can we even think of doing so?  Recent data from a University of British Columbia professor reveals the standpoint of Canada’s youth in regard to the “benefits” of home ownership.  A sample: it would take 23 years for a young person in Vancouver to save the downpayment on a typical mortgage from a typical wage.
Young people have it tougher than parents: UBC prof
bc.ctvnews.ca (video 1:40)