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It Pays to Vote + 50 Ways Government Works for Us

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It’s starting to pay to exercise your right to vote… At least for close to half of US employees. Bloomberg reports that a record amount of companies are offering paid time off for their employees to vote. About 44% of U.S. firms are offering the perk to their employees for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, compared to 37% during the 2016 election, according to the Society for Human Resources Management. Additionally, 400 companies have signed on to efforts to boost voter turnout through ElectionDay.org and Time to Vote. But this isn’t the first time that politics have affected your pockets. Below is a list recreated by SEC.gov breaking down 50 Ways Government Works for Us:

1. Social Security payments help 51 million Americans.
2. College loan programs help millions who might otherwise not be able to afford higher
education.
3. U.S. Postal Service inspection programs help prevent mail fraud.
4. Social Security disability provides benefits if you become too disabled to work.
5. Medicare provides government health care for seniors.
6. Food stamps protect families facing hardship by helping them buy the food they need for
good health.
7. Organic foods are certified by U.S. Department of Agriculture standards.
8.OSHA regulations and inspections protect America’s workforce by limiting exposure to
toxic chemicals.
9.The federal minimum wage law makes sure every covered worker gets paid a basic wage.
10. The Family and Medical Leave Act provides the right to take time off from work to care
for a sick child or parent without losing your job.
11. The National Archives is the nation’s record keeper, overseeing the Declaration of
Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.
12. The Department of the Interior protects our national parks for the enjoyment of all
Americans.
13. Bank regulations limit your loss to $50 if someone steals money from your account with
your ATM card.
14. Copyright and patent laws protect an invention or creative work from being stolen.
15. Child-resistant packaging rules reduce poisonings from medicine and household cleaners.
16. Public education is available to every child.
17. The U.S. Mint prints currency and manufactures coin.
18. Inspection of meat, dairy and food protects against contamination and disease.
19. Truth in Lending laws discourage rip-offs by credit card companies.
20. School lunch regulations mandate nutritious meals.
21. Enforcement of the federal Clean Air Act guarantees commitment toward providing safer
air to breathe.
22. Federal dams provide electrical power, flood control and irrigation.
23. Federal deposit insurance protects bank accounts.
24. Construction and maintenance of interstate highways link the country.
25. The government provides assistance to artists and musicians to help develop and preserve American culture.
26. Military doctors eliminated disease like typhoid and yellow fever.
27. Regulations prevent the sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors.
28. The U.S. Weather Service provides storm and hurricane warnings.
29. Federal law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of age, race, gender, color,
national origin, religion, childbirth or disability.
30. The Federal Housing Authority helps Americans become homeowners.
31. Consulates and embassies help U.S. citizens traveling abroad.
32. FEMA provides support for victims of hurricanes, floods or other disasters.
33. The National Park Service maintains several thousand miles of trail for park visitors.
34. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers helps maintain the nation’s ports, harbors and
navigation channels.
35. Veterans receive education assistance through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’
GI Bill.
36. Each year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves new medicines.
37. The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world with millions of books,
recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections, which are made
available to the public.
38. Public water systems provide safe drinking water based on standards set by the EPA.
39. The Transportation Security Administration monitors the 39 billion tons of cargo t
hat are transported annually by passenger and freight carriers.
40. Thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration the United States’ air traffic control
system is the safest in the world.
41. Universities receive 60 percent of all research funding from federal agencies.
42. The Small Business Administration helps Americans start, grow and build businesses.
43. The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees equal opportunity for people with
disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local
government services and telecommunications.
44. Veterans Affairs’ facilities treat millions of Americans each year.
45. Customs and Border Patrol agents protect our borders every day.
46. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health sequenced the human genome, which set a
new course for developing ways to diagnose and treat diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s
Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.
47. Labor laws guarantee you cannot be prematurely replaced if you strike over unfair labor
practices.
48. The National Cancer Institute has made many discoveries in the treatment of the disease.
49. Economic statistics-keeping helps track inflation.
50. The “Do Not Call” Registry makes it easier for consumers to stop getting telemarketing
calls that they don’t want.

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ash Cash and not the views of BankMobile and/or its affiliates.

The Daily Digm (News)

Is the Job Market Booming or Are People Seeking Entrepreneurship Instead?

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Job openings in the U.S. continue to exceed the number of unemployed people, with 1 million more positions available in October than those Americans actively seeking work, per the Labor Department. The information, real estate, and education industries were seeking the most help. Until March of this year, job openings never exceeded the number of those looking for work in the 17 years since record-keeping began. This leads to the question: Is the Job Market Booming or Are People Seeking Entrepreneurship Instead?

The truth of the matter is that a 9-5 can be taxing on anyone especially those trying to raise a family.  There are a lot of people who believe that it is far better to be an entrepreneur than to work under someone, as an employee. This is mainly because of the flexibility as well as the ability to create your own schedule. Being an entrepreneur allows you to plan your work around your life’s needs, so you can have your cake and eat it.

In the past, it was much more difficult to run a business and have a good quality of life, but because of technological advances, it has become easier to manage both. And this isn’t only small local ventures; the internet has made the world a smaller place, so many entrepreneurs are running global businesses.

Women are also starting to lead the charge; they comprise of about 10.6 million women all over the world and produce 2.5 trillion dollars in sales annually! It takes a lot of patience being an entrepreneur because it is a tough job to take care of other responsibilities while running a business at the same time. You must learn how to keep your cool during stressful times and be able to put out fires simultaneously. Overall, entrepreneurship is a great option in today’s day and age but always remember… Quality of life first!

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Amazon Battling Against Scammers + Why Do Scammers Exist in the First Place

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Amazon is battling a torrent of seller scams on its website and has sacked a handful of employees it alleges took bribes and fed inside information to independent merchants, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company has fired some workers from the U.S. and India as well as purging several thousand dubious customer reviews. It’s also curtailed seller access to internal data and worked to curb techniques allowing sellers to game the site’s search results to their benefit.

 These dishonest sellers and employees make things difficult for those who are trying to do the right thing. But why do scammers exist in the first place? The truth of the matter is that money is an important aspect of life and many believe that cheating the system is the way they know how to get ahead. Money started as a simple concept then it became complicated.

Bartering became was a system of economics for centuries. A fisherman would exchange his catch with the carpenter for a table. Cattle, clothes and other necessities were traded without cash tender. The introduction of money changed that system making it of greater influence in our lives. So, why is money so darn important?

Global Exchange. Money is important mainly because it’s a tool for global exchange. Simply put, it’s important because we have made it important. Giving up other systems to heavily depend on cash and its many forms. You may not provide a product or service needed by a person who creates a need of yours. You’d use money as a medium of exchange used to obtain wants and needs.

Time. Money in some ways buys time. The key is making money work for you by creating passive income – monies earned which a person is not actively involved. Examples of passive income are royalties from intellectual properties, rental properties, or a business you don’t have to physically operate to earn a profit. Passive income equals more time to other things you love such as traveling with family, volunteering, or working for fun (not out of necessity).

Allows You to Make a Larger Difference. More money can multiply you. Volunteering at the local Girls and Boys Club requires your presence. Being able to donate financially to multiple local Boys & Girls Clubs makes an even bigger difference. Your reach increases with the amount of money you possess.

While money isn’t the most important thing in the world, it does effect the things that are. Using your money strategically will afford you more time, expand your reach, and pay for some pretty cool experiences.  And ultimately managing our money responsibly will assure that we don’t fail. Face it we are too important!

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NYC Introduces Minimum Wage for Drivers + How to Slowly Crawl Your Way into Wealth

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Living in a big city may not be what it’s cracked up to be.  The cost of living seems to be going up while wages are going down. Well thankfully for cab drivers they may be getting some relief. New York City is introducing a minimum pay rate for drivers working for app-based services such as Uber and Lyft. Drivers must now be paid a minimum of $27.86 per hour, or $17.22 after expenses, which city officials say translates to a yearly increase of roughly $10,000. The new pay rates, which will be implemented in 20 days, were criticized by the ride-sharing services. The changes will likely lead to fare hikes for riders, said Uber but drivers are at least happy. But what about another worker?

According to a 2017 CareerBuilder report, 78% of full-time workers said they live paycheck to paycheck. And while the cost of living continues to climb there are ways to get out of this slow crawl to wealth. Here are four tips on getting out of living paycheck to paycheck and live life more abundantly. 

Live below your means. The more we earn, the more we seem to spend. Think about it when you made less than what you make now, you survived. And then when a raise came along or some random lump sum of money like your tax refund you either made a purchase that increased your long-term expenses or wasted it on things that didn’t shift your lifestyle in a financially positive way. Start living below your means. This may look like downsizing your phone plan or apartment. Pretend you have $100 to 500 dollars less than what you make on a monthly basis.

Set Financial Goals. If your money doesn’t have an aim, it will land anywhere. When you have a financial vision, you are more likely to end up where you’d like to be. You are careful enough to put aside tax money, mortgage payments, and other necessities; take the same approach to build wealth.

Aggressively Save. Think of a number that you don’t want to go below when it comes to your savings account. Let’s say you want to have no less than 10,000 dollars in your account. Save until you get there without spending unnecessarily. Remember put aside an amount that you feel comfortable with but an amount that will also get you to your goal in a comfortable amount of time. Once you have arrived, don’t go below it.

Change your words. Words are powerful. Chances are if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you aren’t able to do things you like. And that can cause stress and discomfort. And you may have the tendency to complain. STOP. Your words have the ability to build up and tear down. Choose to build up with money affirmations such as “I have an endless supply of cash,” “money is flowing to me,” and “I place no limits on the amount of money I can make.” (IG: @paradigmmoney). Before you know it, you’ll be financially free and loving it.

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