The usual loan terms are 12 months and over the course of your loan, you’ll receive periodic repayments which you can then re-invest in another entrepreneur or withdraw. In addition, you receive real business updates on the entrepreneur you’ve sponsored. So far, we’ve had a 100% repayment rate and we’re expecting at least a 96% repayment rate over time.
We think of Kiva as facilitating a kind of ‘grassroots capitalism’ — people here in the U.S. lending – not donating – a small amount to low income entrepreneurs in the developing world. For the low income entrepreneur, small amounts like $25 or $100 can provide the working capital needed to explode their small business growth, create a sustainable livelihood and enable them to repay you as an investment partner.
As I have said before, I really like helping people help themselves.
Output counted should only measure the value added – it should not count the entire value (not the same thing exactly but similar – when a HDTV is sold by the plant to a wholesaler and then the wholesaler sells it to a retailer and then the retailer sells it to a customer the economic data does not add those 3 purchases together to get the total value of HDTV sales). The measures are suppose to be the amount added at the point of measure. So the output of the local plant does not count the total value of say the car but the value added at the plant. Obviously, like with most economic measures, this data has plenty of room for error.
While they intend to measure the added value as far, this is not easy and there can be reasons to distort the data (taxes, bonuses…). The VAT, used in Europe, is helpful illustration (both of the concepts and some of the measurement difficulties).
I keep looking for better data (I am actually surprised how sparse the data is given the importance). I would not want to make economic policy with the very incomplete data I have been able to find. Still, my belief is real global manufacturing output is up. And global manufacturing jobs are down. If those statements are right, productivity increase is the only reason – by definition.
When trying to look at country specific measures it does get more difficult – to find data that is obviously clear. Still, based on the data I have been able to find it seems that the USA continues to increase manufacturing output and decrease jobs. This seems right to me though I do agree the data I have seen still leaves questions. Previous posts I have made on the topic include: Manufacturing Value Added Economic Data – Manufacturing Jobs Data USA, China and globally, even manufacturing jobs data can include data quality issues but it is probably cleaner than most of the rest of this data. The data from this Clemson study shows the USA has lost a lower percentage of jobs than most every other country – Global Manufacturing Data by Country
Global data sources certainly still has data quality issues but you can be reasonably certain huge double counting is not going on. If so you would see the global totals increasing hugely. If a GM car was manufactured with 50% Mexican parts and the GM counted 100% of the value and Mexico counted there value then you would have 150% of the total value counted. Which would then mean the global figures would be counted not just increased output but also going up as the countries “over-counted” their output. And remember, in this example Mexican output could include (40% of their 50%) from Brazil…
How to make your kids millionaires by Walter Updegrave:
Your first goal: Encourage them to contribute enough to get the employer match, without worrying about sorting through all the investment options. Just have them stick the money in a target retirement fund (or if that’s not an option, a stock-index fund).
You can talk to them later about boosting their contribution and fine-tuning their strategy.
The Great Wealth Transfer by Paul Krugman
The share of income received by the top 0.1 percent of Americans is twice the share received by the corresponding group in Britain, and three times the share in France. These days, to find societies as unequal as the United States you have to look beyond the advanced world, to Latin America.
This article obviously is strongly against the rising inequality. The article can go perhaps too far in some claims but overall is a worthwhile read on an important topic. My opinion is that too much income inequality is a danger sign for an economy. I also strongly appose huge inherited wealth and obscene CEO pay. But people doing well for themselves is not necessarily bad. The USA is better off for having Warren Buffett, Larry Page, Micheal Dell, Sergey Brin, Jeff Bezos… and I see nothing wrong with them amassing large sums. See more articles on the topic:
Rentometer is a cool interactive web site that maps rental prices near your rental (either as a renter or an investor). The site is new and expanding so the features are a bit limited now but still it is worthwhile and the new features will really make it great (active rental listings…).
Related: Real Estate Investing Articles
A good idea that reduces friction in the marketplace. Options are transferable, the problem with employee granted options is there is no reasonable marketplace to exchange the options for cash (the friction is very high). Google’s engineers focus on reducing friction in many processes. Many others just accept that the level of friction is inevitable. Google realizes it is not. More on Google Management.
The universities are good resources, producing numerous engineering graduates, and there are people here with advanced research skills suitable for research and development, Stephens said. Syn-Tech needs electrical engineers, software engineers and engineering technicians, he said, adding “we have had very good luck attracting (engineering technicians) locally.”
Florida manufacturers employ more than 399,000 Floridians. The state Agency for Workforce Innovation reported that manufacturing employment was up to 394,700 in June 2005, a gain of 3,200 jobs over the previous year.
Dairy Industry Crushed Innovator Who Bested Price-Control System by Dan Morgan, Sarah Cohen and Gilbert M. Gaul:
Last March, Congress passed a law reshaping the Western milk market and essentially ending Hettinga’s experiment — all without a single congressional hearing.
Most U.S. dairy farmers work within a government system set up in the 1930s to give thousands of small dairies a guaranteed market for their milk and to even out prices for consumers. Farmers who participate in regional pools operated by the federal government or the states deliver raw milk to cooperatives or food processors. They get a guaranteed price, whether the milk ends up in a gallon jug, cheese, butter or ice cream. In Arizona and other federally regulated regions, the Agriculture Department uses a formula to set the price processors pay for raw milk, issuing “milk marketing orders.”
Developed for a bygone era of small dairies and decentralized milk plants, the system lives on when 3,000-cow dairies are not uncommon and huge cooperatives and food companies dominate the business. Business groups, fiscal conservatives and some dairy organizations have called for Congress to overhaul the complex system of protections and subsidies, which they say is costly to taxpayers and consumers. A recent USDA study acknowledged that “dairy programs raise the retail price” of milk. The watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste estimates that the programs cost U.S. consumers at least $1.5 billion a year.
These programs are effectively taxing everyone to pay special benefits to a few. Now perhaps you believe in this case milk production and purchase should not be part of the capitalist market system. That is a possible opinion. Somehow I doubt the politicians that take huge payments from huge dairy cartels to stop competitors from selling milk are doing so because they believe the market is incapable of delivering milk just as it delivers soda, water, hamburgers, cereal, pizzas, soup… Regulation is needed in various ways in the market. The problem is every special interest tries to claim the market needs to be regulated in a way that gives them benefits and the correlation to market needs and action seems to be very clouded by money received by politicians.
It just seems more likely they are willing to do what they are paid to do. But others can see it differently. Certainly the whole political system seems very beholden to special interests to pay rather than to making decisions that are best for the country. That could change if political leaders choice to lead but a majority doing that is unlikely. More likely it will continue until the voters don’t allow special interests to reap huge rewards on the backs of the general public through congressional action. Remember last year when Congress forbid the Medicare system (with a law) from negotiating for lower drug prices?
Putting away some money is vital, even if you are young and in debt by John Waggoner:
Starting small – If you don’t have a 401(k) available, at least open a Roth IRA. You contribute after-tax money to a Roth, but you pay no taxes on your withdrawals at retirement.
More on Roth IRA’s.
Learning about the economy is not required to learn about investing but it helps to get the basics. One of those basics is that it is not easy to know what is actually going on today, or to predict what will happen in the future (other than the fairly accurate “close to what it was last year”). So when reading about the economy you have to accept that there often is plenty of room in the data to allow for differing opinions. Here is one opinion: Cracks widen in U.S. economy:
The weakness in manufacturing started with autos, was compounded by housing, and recently has spread to big-ticket capital goods such as technology and telecommunications equipment, Mr. Jester said. In addition, a broad array of manufacturers are cutting back because of an unexpected buildup of inventories this fall that has to be worked off, he said.