Category Archives: News

Lost Your Job? Get Free Drugs!

Alright, before I get some crazy comments or emails, I am talking about prescription drugs. Today, Pfizer announced that it will provide over 70 of their most popular drugs for free to those who have lost their jobs and health insurance. These prescriptions include some of their more popular drugs like Lipitor, Viagra, Celebrex, etc.

What’s the Catch?

The American drugmaker said that it will give the drugs away for up to one year for individuals who lost their jobs dating back to January 1st AND have been on the Pfizer drug for three months or more. 

Starting Thursday, patients can call a toll-free number, 866-706-2400, to sign up, and those whose drugs are not included in the program will be referred to other company aid programs. Starting July 1, patients can also apply through the Web site,, which has information about the other Pfizer aid programs.

This may be a ploy to get Washington on their good graces since Congress is starting to discuss the possibility of government run health care. What do you think?

Are you or someone you know going to look into this? Does it sound like they really care or are they doing this as a ploy of some kind?


Financial Lessons from Flight 1549 and New Video

I know I never really talked about this on the site but it surely was an inspiring moment. Seeing everyone get off US Airways flight 1549 was surely amazing. The shear talent of the pilot saved the lives of all of those people and they will forever be indebted to him. Even though it was a scary situation, we can find the positives of it in various ways. My favorite post about this subject was from Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck who had some interesting financial lessons from the flight.

Also, while reading some news stories this morning I stumbled across this video that diagrams the entire scenario from takeoff to crash landing. It even includes the dialogue between the pilot and the tower.

Retailers Ask Obama for Sales Tax Holiday

I got this interesting link in my email yesterday. Apparently, in an effort to stimulate consumer spending,  the National Retail Federation has asked President-elect Barack Obama to include a series of sales tax holidays in his upcoming economic stimulus plan. After a dismal holiday shopping season, retailers are really hurting for sales. The NRF proposed that tax holidays be held during March, July and October 2009, each lasting 10 days, including two weekends.

Many states already have sales tax holidays. Past holidays have been limited by dollar amounts or on certain items like clothing. In this proposal, the sales tax would be lifted on almost all taxable goods other than cigarettes and alcohol. The US Government would then reimburse all 45 states that have a sales tax. By temporarily lifting the sales tax for the three 10-day periods, the NRF estimates that consumers could save nearly $20 billion. Just think, that’s another $20 billion that the government will be handing out!

Your thoughts? Would it help you out?

Is There a Economic Stimulus Coming on Your Paycheck?

Check out this article over on CNN Money. Details are still a little unclear, but it looks as though Obama is planning a tax cut for the first half of the year. It will supposedly decrease your taxes by around $83 to $166 per paycheck.

This credit, dubbed the “Make Work Pay Credit”, could help get more money into the hands of consumers, thus increasing spending. The credit would essentially work as a payroll tax credit equal to $500 a year for individuals and $1,000 for couples. The money would be available before you file your taxes. This is due to the fact that your employers will just withhold less from your paycheck. Since Obama planned this credit for the middle class, it begins to be phased out for individuals making $75,000 or more ($150,000 for couples).

In my opinion, this is  good thing. However, I’m not real sure if it is being executed properly. I think that if taxpayers were to receive this credit in a lump sum they would be more likely to spend it. If they just get a few more dollars on their paycheck each week, they will be more likely to not notice the increase in pay.

How would you like to receive you money, lump sum or on each paycheck?

Are We Heading for A Depression?

In an October poll conducted by CNN, 6 in 10 Americans believe that it is somewhat likely or very likely that we will head into a depression. Personally, I blame the media for this. With several 24 hour news channels, we are constantly bombarded with negative news stories talking about how bad things are. I don’t see a majority of people living in mud huts, do you? Who did these people poll, 100% of the unemployed?

I feel that there is NO WAY that we will see another depression and even the experts seem to agree. Mark Riepe, a CFA at Charles Schwab, gives a great explanation on how a depression is highly unlikely. Here is a snipit of some of the numbers that were used to debunk depression fears:

GDP Growth

-27% in Great Depression vs. 1% today


25% in Great Depression vs. 6.7% today

Industrial Production

-52% in Great Depression vs. -2% today

If my eyes are seeing this right, these numbers are nowhere near Great Depression figures. Yet, when you watch the nightly news it seems like cardboard boxes are only a few months away. I think we may be getting to the point where we just have too much information available to us. Many people also fall into the trap of not forming their own opinion or doing the research for themselves. Many of these reporters can say anything that they want to and many people believe every word they say.

Where you one of the original people who thought a depression was probable? What made you come to that conclusion?

Anyone think the media is getting too powerful?