Everyone has opinions, and I am not the exception. On occasion I come across articles or reader comments as I scour the internet in search of information that, for one reason or another, capture my attention: sometimes because I find them interesting, sometimes because I find them to be the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Here I will put forth my opinions in regards to these bits of information that have collared my interest.
Back to Blog
On what seems like a daily basis one can read such lines as "the rich are benefitting the most from the stock market's historic run", or "most Americans aren't benefiting from the stock market boom", or "...the direct benefits to most households will be limited", or "rewards—associated with the stock market don’t accrue to many Americans." While it is true that the more money you have invested in the stock market, and since rich people tend to have the most money invested, then it is most certainly true that the rich will fare better than their poor counterparts when the stock market is on the rise. However, it can also be said that when the stock market falls, the rich fare worse.
Who benefits from the rise in the stock market? Anyone who is invested. There are no laws or rules that prohibit the non-wealthy from investing. Anybody can put their money in stocks. And it is even easier and cheaper now than ever before to invest. Many stock brokers, such as Charles Schwab, only charge $4.95 per trade, and many investments can be started with as little as $100. Robinhood charges no fees for trades and has a $0 minimum balance. Trades, even of major stocks, can be made for pennies.
(more to come)
Back to Blog
I once made the statement in class that alcohol is never good. One of my students disagreed and suggested that sometimes alcohol can be advantageous. I then invited her to a debate. My proposal was to trade stories about alcohol consumption. The rules of the debate would be simple. She would tell a story of when alcohol use resulted in a positive ending in a situation where, if there had been no alcohol involved, then the results would have been negative. I would then give an example of a time when alcohol use resulted in a negative ending in a situation where if there had been no alcohol involved, then the results would have been positive. The first person to run out of examples would be declared the loser. She declined my invitation.
In another situation a coworker, who was prone to alcohol abuse, informed me that any kind of addiction was bad: alcoholism, drug abuse, coffee, and even going to church too much. Since everyone was prone to some sort of addiction, he claimed, then it was best for him to choose the one that was the most fun for him. My response to such illogical thinking is this: I know people who were killed due to the use of alcohol, many who have lost their jobs due to this addiction, several who have lost their families as a result of alcohol, and even some who have killed others through their abuse of alcohol. On the other hand, I have yet to hear of anyone who has endured any of these situations because they went to church too much.
Hollywood tends to berate Christians, Christian values, believers, and church going on a regular basis. Yet at the same time they continuously extol the virtues and gloriousness of alcohol; it is praised as the solution for everything. Whenever one returns home from a rough day at work, they need a drink to relieve the pressure. If they return from work after a rewarding day, then they need a drink to celebrate. Some type of alcohol is drank at every meal. One must go out every evening after work and drink to socialize with their friends. Alcohol use is always portrayed in a positive light. Everyone who drinks is beautiful, or handsome, or rich, or smart, or well-liked. Hollywood tends to never portray the negative sides of alcohol use: the drunk driver killing innocent people, the drunk man returning home to beat his wife, the alcoholic who cannot keep a job, or the drunk lying in the gutter in his own vomit.
As the following news articles convey: alcohol use causes sorrow and heartache on a daily basis*. According to the CDC, 29 people are killed in the United States every day in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. "This is one death every 50 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion." (Impaired, 2019) But it is not just drunk driving that results in the deaths of people. An article at Very Well Mind states that "Alcohol is typically involved in the most severe incidents of violence towards partners" (What, 2019). They go on to say that many women are not only hospitalized, but also die as a result of their husband's alcohol use.
*Note: the dates posted under the article headlines are not necessarily the date the incident happened, but rather when the article was published or updated.
In 2017 there were 10,874 people killed in alcohol-impaired- driving crashes, an average of 1 alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes. US Department of Transportation.
Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides (2016): 34,865 Center for Disease Control
An estimated 88,0008 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
In 2012, 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9 percent of all global deaths (7.6 percent for men and 4.1 percent for women), were attributable to alcohol consumption. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Why don't you 'like' my status? 'Drunk husband beats up wife for not commenting on his Facebook update'
October 7, 2011
Drunk Man Beats Two Daughters To Death After A Heated Argument With Wife Over Food
August 7, 2017
Indonesian woman was beaten to death by drunken husband
February 5, 2018
After Beating Wife, Drunk Man Allegedly Kills Newborn Daughter In UP
August 30, 2018
Drunk Driving Accidents Still a Major Problem in New York 2019
February 19, 2019
Mason City man accused of beating woman while driving drunk
April 9, 2019
Driver in accident that killed 3 teens smelled of alcohol: police
May 29, 2019
Serial Drunk Driver On Trial For Deadly Multi-Car Crash
June 3, 2019
Mother of teen killed in Salem drunk-driving crash: 'She had dreams and she wanted to conquer them'
June 4, 2019
Suspected drunk driving accident seriously injures three near Ely
June 5, 2019
Fayetteville mom of 10-year-old killed by suspected drunk driver to hold rally
June 6, 2019
Mother And Son Killed, 3 Others Injured In Crash Involving Suspected Drunk Driver In Dallas
June 6, 2019
Suspected drunk driver crashes into parked sheriff’s vehicle with deputies inside
JUNE 8, 2019
2 victims identified in 'horrific' I-20 crash with drunken driving suspect in Arlington
June 8, 2019
Two children killed in Michigan after drunk driver hits Amish horse-drawn buggy: police
June 9, 2019
California man died in April at Dominican Republic resort after drink from hotel room minibar, family says
June 9, 2019
Illegal immigrant charged in 3 DUI deaths now also facing weapons counts, authorities say
June 15, 2019
Back to Blog
It goes without saying that President Trump's presidency has been unlike any we have ever seen before. Whether you are for him or against him, that is one thing that everyone can agree on. Everything he does, says, or insinuates seems to infuriate the Democrats, and confuse the Republicans. One thing that really stands out, especially now that the Russian collusion accusations seem to be fizzling out, is the issue of whether he will or even should release his tax returns. Many in the media, in Congress, and on late night TV have been overly adamant in enjoining his compliance to their demands. President Trump has vehemently denied their requests. Wikipedia succinctly describes it like this: "Since Trump's election, he has refused requests to release the returns, making him one of the few presidents in recent times to not reveal their tax returns. Historians say he has been the first major party nominee since 1976 not to make his tax returns public (wikipedia,2019)". I, on a personal level, do not really care. Following are the reasons I would give as to why it does not matter.
First of all, there is no law that requires him to release them. In the eyes of the law, whether or not he releases them is completely his prerogative. Granted, nearly every other president in modern history has released their's, but that sets absolutely no legal precedent for him to follow suit. Why the aforementioned agitators are so obdurate in their demands for something that is not legally required is beyond anything that I can imagine. If he does something illegal, then by all means go after him with the full force of the law behind you, but do not waste time, money and energy on something that you yourself would not be willing to do outside the stipulations of the law.
Secondly, and this is said with no corroborating evidence, but it is my opinion that 99% of those demanding his tax returns would not be able to read or understand them even if they could get their grubby little paws on them. I know I would have no idea what I was looking at; I am not an accountant, a tax attorney, a financial analyst, or even a bookkeeper. I would venture to say that most of those demanding to see his tax returns are not either. If you could get your hands on his tax returns, I dare to ask, what would you do with them? Oh, but you say, he must be hiding something; why else would he refuse to let the public see them? This, of course, brings me to my final point:
Reason three. The IRS has a slew of accountants, tax attorneys, financial analysts, and maybe even a bookkeeper or two working in their offices. I am fairly certain that they have all, either in tandem or alone, gone through all his tax returns with the dedication and accuracy of the most finely tuned comb ever produced. It is my humble opinion that if they had found any sign of wrongdoing, they would have already gone after him. So it seems to me that since they have not, then probably they have found nothing. Therefore it raises the question to Joe Q. Public: if the IRS has not found anything, what in the world makes you think you can?