Finances can be a stressor, regardless of tax bracket. Here are tips for making better money decisions.
- Whether you have a lot of money or a lot of debt, it matters how you handle your personal finances. A crucial step when it comes to saving is to reassess your relationship with money and to learn to adopt a broader, more logical point of view.
- In this video, social innovator and activist Vicki Robin, psychologist Daniel Kahneman, Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton, and author Bruce Feiler offer advice on achieving financial independence, learning to control your emotions, spending smarter, and teaching children about money.
- It all starts with education and understanding. The more you know about how money works, the better you will be at avoiding mistakes and the easier it will be to take control of your financial circumstances.
What good is a conspiracy theory you can't profit from?
- With over 2,000 items on Amazon and 6,600 items on Etsy, QAnon-related swag is now a big industry.
- Many top QAnon devotees are using this conspiracy theory to promote supplements, t-shirts, and pendants.
- This baseless theory is doing more harm than good to the child victims it purports to help.
The Cult of QAnon - Travis View | The Open Mind<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cec5501eadd206be6b90eff0a6767871"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/c5S9CSXo-Oc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Perhaps the most Alex Jonesy of the QAnon cult is <strong>Jordan Sather</strong>, who monetizes his <a href="https://twitter.com/Jordan_Sather_" target="_blank">Twitter account</a> with links to his supplement company, which, par for the course with this industry, makes hefty claims without the necessity of pesky clinical trials. <em>Increase your brain function! Improve exercise performance! Detoxify! Enjoy with a hint of stevia!</em></p><p>If Sather's colloidal silver reminds you too much of huckster-in-chief, David Wolfe, there's an array of shungite (98 percent carbon) pendants that "provide powerful protection against EMFs" (electromagnetic fields). If you're already energetically protected, check out Sather's t-shirt shop, which features a selection of Q-themed swag. If you'd rather throw money at him for pro-Trump propaganda, there's a Patreon link and a tip jar as well. </p><p><strong>Kim Cohen</strong> doesn't record meandering videos about UFOs. Instead, she uses her <a href="https://www.instagram.com/hofitkimcohen/" target="_blank">Instagram platform</a> to showcase the fashion brands that sponsor her as she "jetsets" around the world. Scroll through her stories, however, and you'll find her <a href="https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17847236774082158/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">Q Shop</a>, where she hawks mugs, iPhone covers, and hoodies—an ironic optic, given her <a href="https://www.glossy.co/beauty/i-love-you-my-beautiful-qanon-when-lifestyle-influencers-also-peddle-conspiracy-theories" target="_blank">views</a> on Black Lives Matter: "It's almost been two weeks, I believe. Yeah. And people are still f***ing doing s**t in the streets. Are you kidding me?" </p><p>Transformational life coach <strong>Bernhard Guenther</strong> writes exceptionally long <a href="https://www.facebook.com/bernhard.guenther/posts/10221759306999497" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">social media posts</a> and <a href="https://veilofreality.com/2020/05/26/prophetic-dreams-visions-and-the-waves-of-change/" target="_blank">essays</a> littered with GOP talking points on QAnon. These posts feed back to his website, where he offers private coaching sessions, webinars, and courses on occult forces. This makes sense, <a href="https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-apocalypse-in-america-the-smell-of-fascism-in-the-pro-trump-qanon-conspiracy-1.6809655" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">given</a> QAnon "followers speculate that Q is a time-traveling shape shifter, an ethereal non-corporeal being who obtains human form only to trick witless NSA officials into divulging sensitive secrets."</p><p>Two young Californians recently <a href="https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/save-the-children-qanon-child-trafficking?fbclid=IwAR0LmYrlR0eveHlt4aZ6smXyekQp1qYAsXYT5AQzuNsTa1XAcSey4tlqGL4" target="_blank">launched</a> <strong>Child Abuse Resistance Education</strong> in the heart of anti-mask fervor, Orange County. While not specifically QAnon-related, they're asking for donations on PayPal despite listing no actual projects on their website. The Q crossover happens in <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDXUnPOhsLJ/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">posts like this</a>, where they accuse the Clintons, Chrissy Teigen, and Ellen DeGeneres of being pedophiles. </p>
Bucharest, Romania, August 10, 2020: People display Qanon messages on cardboards during a political rally.
Photo: M. Moira / Shutterstock<p>Q-adjacent "<a href="https://conspirituality.net/redpilled/" target="_blank" rel="dofollow">wellness influencers</a>" like <strong>David Wolfe</strong> has been peddling trafficking conspiracies using QAnon rhetoric as well. He's called Donald Trump <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBcepKdDkIA&feature=youtu.be&t=305&fbclid=IwAR2p_sXTCApfD0B6ppf8ickMY-iZxf-xOowWkktfXBp9-Rti4bfdIwNNV1U" target="_blank" rel="dofollow">our only hope</a> for breaking up the global pedophile ring—a direct QAnon talking points—while alternately promoting his line of supplements and "superfoods."</p><p>The <strong>Save Our Children Initiative</strong> was founded by a "traveling beauty slayer" and an apparel marketer. Their <a href="https://www.saveourchildreninitiative.com/" target="_blank">website</a> falsely claims that 800,000 children go missing in the United States every year. As foster youth expert Regan Williams <a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/qanon-child-abuse" target="_self" rel="dofollow">told me last week</a>, the number is closer to 25,000-29,000, and 94 percent are recovered within four to six weeks. </p><p>Their site <em>also</em> claims 8,000 children go missing each year, on the same exact page. This group is selling t-shirts and hats, as well as accepting donations, although how those donations are used is unknown. The site claims your money will go "to a charitable organization recipient and towards outreach programs for this cause." </p><p>As I <a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/anti-vaxx-social-media" target="_self">wrote about previously</a>, ad revenue from targeting anti-vaxxers (and ads directly purchased by anti-vaxx organizations) generate upwards of $1 billion for social media platforms. Similar motives are <a href="https://sfist.com/2020/08/05/despite-bans-qanon-exploding-in-popularity-facebook-google-and-twitter/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">driving ad revenue</a> for QAnon-related merchandise, while QAnon video producers are monetizing YouTube by running ads by Nike and Apple during their shows. </p><p>One uncomfortable truth about QAnon is obvious: companies and influencers are using a conspiracy theory that purports to save children for ad money, coaching sessions, and merchandise sales. What good is a conspiracy theory that you can't monetize?</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Affluence could be our real downfall.
A detailed analysis of environmental research has revealed the greatest threat to the world: affluence.
COVID-19 may strengthen the case for universal basic income, or an idea like it.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown millions of Americans into unemployment, highlighting the impracticality of living paycheck to paycheck, which a shocking number of Americans must do. Yet pandemic unemployment is just a glimpse of the fallout the US can expect in a future where more and more jobs are automated.
- Is universal basic income the answer? In this video, a range of experts from economists to entrepreneurs and historians explore different facets of basic income, like why we need it, how it's different to welfare, and how we'll pay for it.
- Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's former Minister of Finance, explains why he's not in favor of a UBI tax, but rather the creation of a public equity fund: "[T]hese days capital is socially produced ... Take for instance ... the capital stock of Google. To a large extent it is produced by all of us. Every time we search something on the Google search engine, we are adding to the capital stock of Google. This is not just a consumer transaction. So, if capital is socially produced why are the returns to capital privatized? On what basis?"
What's your favorite argument for (or against) UBI? Let us know in the comments!
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>