The Theory and Implementation Of Float and the Value of Credit Card Use

Editor’s Note: This column is designed to provide food for thought and should not used to replace financial advice from a qualified expert. Colorado Citizen Press Does Not offer financial advice.

The Concept of Float

A basic definition of Float is making a purchase first, and have the expense later.

In an Economic class I attended at Colorado State University (CSU) in the 70s, float was discussed as the time it takes for a check written to a merchant to actually hit your checking account.

I know very few people that write checks anymore, but the theory of float still works with credit cards.

Using most credit cards allows you a float time with no interest to pay for a purchase, usually 30 days from the statement date.

Unfortunately, nearly half of millennials do not use credit cards like this. (According to George Washington University)

What are they doing wrong?

Nearly half of millennials only pay the minimum payments on their credit cards.

Yet, from the same study, 74% claim they are good at dealing with day to day financial matters.

Using credit cards with float in mind should mean that you have a mindset and the ability to pay that charge off when due or you need to find a way to defer or delay the credit card interest.

Credit-Cards

The Value Of Credit Card Use

Using credit responsibly can have a positive affect on your credit score. This can open the doors for low interest loans and favorable credit decisions in the future.

Many credit cards offer cash back options or other perks like airline miles or discounts at hotels.

Fraudulent charges on your credit cards, if disputed in a reasonable time, usually will result in no financial obligation to the real card holder.

Some credit cards offer free extended warranties with a purchase with their card.

Some cards will allow you to have deferred or delayed interest on major purchases.

With most credit cards you can now track your purchases online.

In Conclusion

Credit card use can be clean, convenient and safe.

However, if not controlled it can wreck havoc on your financial situation.

Once you get to the point where you can pay off your balances every month, or even just pay the minimum due on time to a deferred or delayed billing charge, don’t look back.

It should become an obsession with you.

Pay off most cards and find one that pays you back with something you like, either cash or some kind of reward, and one that you feel comfortable with.

Bottom Line Boomer has lived in Colorado for 40 years and has been a lifelong student of personal finance. His goal is to help provide a much needed education on personal finance for today’s world.

The Republican Party Deserve Better Than Another Darryl Glenn

The 2016 Elections

“Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing” is a quote long attributed to UCLA football coach Henry Russell “Red” Sanders, and the 2016 elections proved just that.

In 2016, Donald Trump pulled off one of the greatest political upsets of all time.  

With him be brought the type of campaign and marketing that make P.T. Barnum and Teddy Roosevelt look soft-spoken.  

At the same time Mike Coffman stared the political grim reaper in the eye and once again survived November unscathed.  

Regardless of how you feel about Trump or Coffman, they showed that hard work wins elections.

Yet in a year of political ups and downs, Darryl Glenn started at the bottom and got nowhere.

Where Donald Trump flew to battleground states and argued for his vision of America, Mike Coffman hit the streets talking to voters and winning their votes.

Where even the Senate Republicans fought the good fight and held onto their single-seat majority, Darryl Glenn remained all but invisible.

Now, almost a year later, with Darryl Glenn jumping head-first into the Congressional primary against sitting Representative Doug Lamborn and Owen Hill, it’s important to look back on why Darryl Glenn lost his Senate campaign.

There’s quite about you can say about Darryl Glenn’s loss.  Even now, looking back makes it all seem crazy and cartoon-like.

TV-AD

Darryl Glenn’s Cartoon-like TV Ad

 Did Glenn Lie on the Campaign Trail?

Just mere hours after Glenn handedly won the Republican nomination, the campaign was plague by one gaffe after another as stories about Glenn’s past assault charge started to emerge.

At first Glenn denied he ever went to jail.  

Within 48 hours he changed his story to blame somebody with the same name, then his brother, and the DNC.

It seemed like everybody was to blame but Glenn.  

So it came as no surprised that ultimately he laid blame to his father with a story that just didn’t pass the smell test.

It wasn’t just that his story seemed fishy.  It seems very unlikely that somebody would forget going to jail.

As I was soon to find out, half-truths and the blame game were seemingly the norm for Darryl Glenn.  

After hearing about his announcement this week, I reached out to numerous donor and political consultants around Colorado about Glenn.

Not surprisingly many thought Glenn himself cost Republicans the Senate on the sole issue that Darryl Glenn refused to put in the work and simply couldn’t be trusted.

Fundraising Trouble


One donor stated on a condition of anonymity, “I remember after the primary Darryl Glenn had told Kyle Clark that his fundraising was going well… Darryl told me the exact same thing… then a couple of weeks later the news said the campaign was $200,000 in debt.” The donor continued, “After that Darryl Glenn claimed he forgot about his night in jail and kept changing his position on Trump almost daily… I felt like he was never honest with me.”

That was only one of numerous stories I was told by people who still feel a bad taste in their mouth about Darryl Glenn.  

Who am I to argue with them?  

For months after Cory Gardner won his U.S. Senate seat the RNC was practically foaming at the mouth to take out Michael Bennet.  They went so far as to state it publicly.

Yet after months of being lied to, after dealing with a campaign that refused to make fundraising a priority, the story amongst the political consultants I talked to is that Darryl Glenn is too lazy and too dishonest to work with.

in a game where winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing… in a game where redistricting and the future of Colorado is on the line… in a game where hard work and honesty are valued, Colorado and the Republican Party deserve better than Darryl Glenn.

For the people of the fifth Congressional district, you deserve better as well.

The Process and Necessity of Having an Emergency Fund

This is part of the ongoing series of articles by Bottom Line Boomer. The purpose is to help individuals gain financial knowledge for today’s world.

What is an Emergency Fund?

An Emergency Fund is accessible money to help maintain your financial life when an emergency occurs.

Think of it as your own personal lifestyle insurance.

According to a recent survey, nearly half of American adults say they could not cover a $500 emergency expense.

Such expenses like unexpected medical bills, home or auto repair, a sudden need to travel to visit an ailing friend or relative, or even a job loss would send many Americans into debt!

Without these funds you may be forced to use high interest credit cards, take out loans, borrow from a friend or relative, or even file for bankruptcy.

EmergencyFund

How should I setup an Emergency Fund?

The funds should be accessible as you may need them quickly.

I recommend having more than one fund that you can access.  For immediate and smaller expense situations, you should have actual cash on hand.

This fund will be the smallest but the most accessible.  This should be stored in a fire-proof lock box or a safe.

Once you have actual cash on hand safely stored, move on towards setting up a savings account.

The bulk of the readily available funds should be saved in a savings account, preferably not one that you would see every day.

Other options for very dire situations can be cash value in a life insurance policy, after tax funds in a 401k, ( as long this is not part of your retirement funds), and a home equity line of credit.

My recommended fund value varies from a minimum of $1,000 to 3-6 months living expenses.  I feel 3 months is adequate for most, but your situation may be different.

There are many ways to fund these accounts, but most importantly you should be passionate and make it fun!

Make your weekly savings goal attainable.

Saving just $25 per week will give you $1,300 in only one year!

Cutting some wasteful variable expenses weekly will easily net the $25.

But other ways are to put any tax refunds, bonuses from work and even some extra money from a fun part time job into your Emergency Funds.

In conclusion, an Emergency Fund is the foundation of any financial plan.

To review, start with actual cash on hand in a safe. Then, start a savings account and have a disciplined saving budget.

With these funds in place you will have peace of mind knowing that you will have a bridge over troubled waters and will help you begin to secure your financial future.

Next week we will cover the theory and implementation of float and the value of credit card use.

Bottom Line Boomer has lived in Colorado for 40 years and has been a lifelong student of personal finance. His goal is to help provide a much needed education on personal finance for today’s world.

Never Forget

Slap on the sunscreen and fire up the grill, but let’s not forget what we’re celebrating on July 4th.

241 years ago, less than 3% of our Nation’s men mobilized to take on tyranny, by declaring independence from Great Britain .

The great pain of war would follow, but for these men, and hopefully for you me, the fight to preserve our Natural rights of life, liberty, and property was worth the sacrifice.

It is believed for every twenty able men serving in the war, one lost his life.

Look at what these great men of liberty had to say during that time period:

The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.– George Washington 

My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!  – Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. – Thomas Jefferson

The question is, not what rights naturally belong to man, but how they may be most equally and effectually guarded in society. – Roger Sherman

So, today as we hang out with family and friends gazing upon the fireworks lighting up the sky, let us use that moment to remember how blessed we are to live in this great land of liberty we call the United States of America.

Then tomorrow let’s get back to work because as Thomas Paine said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

Happy Independence Day from the team at Colorado Citizen Press.

Future

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with the Lowest-rated Legislator (according to the Progressive Left)

On June 26, Colorado’s Progressive Network put out a scorecard for each of Colorado’s 100 State Legislators.

The score is a compilation of ratings from eight (8) Colorado Liberal Groups:

One Colorado,

Conservation Colorado,

Colorado Education Association,

Colorado AFL-CIO,

Women’s Lobby of Colorado,

Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition,

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, and

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado

As expected, most Democrats scored very high and most Republicans scored low – with the most conservative Republicans at the bottom of the barrel.  There are a total of 54 Democrats and 46 Republicans in both the Senate and House chambers.

The rating of 1 to 100 (100 being the best for the liberals) features 36 Democrats getting perfect scores of 100 and all the rest scoring in the 90’s, except one slipping down to 87 (unfortunately due to his role on the Joint Budget Committee).

Only two Republicans managed to get into the 60’s (Sen. Don Coram and Rep. Dan Thurlow) while most of them (21) landed in the teens.

However, four House Republicans (zero Senate Republicans) managed to push their voting records into the single digits.  And one, the lowest score and perhaps the least favorite legislator of Colorado Liberals is Rep. Tim Leonard with only a score of 7.

On June 30th, we met with Rep. Leonard to ask him what he thought about being the legislator with the lowest Progressive score.  

Here’s our exclusive interview:

Citizen Press: Representative Tim Leonard, thank you for speaking with us today.

Rep. Leonard:  Always a pleasure to met with you.

Citizen Press: How does it feel to be the lowest rated legislator according to Colorado’s Liberal Progressives?

Rep. Leonard:  (laughing)  It feels great!  But did you realize our new generation of Progressives are so radical that they don’t even liked to be called “liberals” anymore?  

A low rating from these groups is a requirement for me – and they don’t expect anything else either.  They know me and we pleasantly pass on having to lobby each other.  Good people, but their ideas get hashed about every 50 years or so – just as a second generation is forgetting the conversations of their grandparents.  The Communists/Marxists in Woodrow Wilson’s day and the Communists/Socialists in Kennedy’s Day.  The same ideas are back based around the same theme:  I want more without having to work for it.  This has been our condition since Day One.  Wasn’t that Adam and Eve’s problem?  Having everything and then wanting a little more.

Interview

Rep. Tim Leonard received the lowest rating from Colorado’s Radical Left

So ranking lowest on this scale means I was a staunch defender of our constitutional rights, limited government, and fiscal responsibility.  Which I am.  I don’t get distracted with all the social issues and agenda items of these special interest groups.  So thanks to them for helping me define myself to my constituents.  I hope they blast out that scorecard.

Citizen Press: Were you surprised by any of the ratings?

Rep. Leonard:  Not at all.  This year there were a lot of radical bills put out in the House where the Democrats had the majority.  And since the Democrats are trained, ordered actually, to vote one way, there is a guarantee that those bills will pass out of the House.  The most radical ones, which these groups hand up to their favorite Democrat, pass with only Democrat votes.  It always amazes me though to see how lockstep the Democrats are in voting.  It makes me wonder what principles really form their debates.  Even after the Bernie/Hillary conflicts, I thought there would be more discussion in the Democrat Party on ideas.  Guess not.

Citizen Press: Do you believe that this rating could hurt you during your 2018 reelection campaign?

Rep. Leonard:  Are you kidding me?!  I have to figure out how to make a mailer out of this!

Just look at these organizations.  They are pure activists and lobby groups.  They funnel money from leftist billionaires in New York and California and then shuffle the funds around to each other to make themselves look bigger.  Eight different groups with only three main purposes:  keep abortions legal, plentiful, and subsidized;  create as many special groups that are not heterosexual to give the appearance of something other than the tiny minority they are, and then convey on them special rights to be intolerant to others; and third, divide the rest of the good people of Colorado into more separate groups like women, workers, immigrants etc, so they can make everyone angry at everyone and “fight for our rights!”  Conservatives like me just look at all these groups and call them Americans living in America with the greatest form of government, a Constitutional Republic, and the best economic system, free enterprise.  We are all in this together, so why spew so much division.  Unless it gains them more power in a more powerful government.  Hmmmm.

Whoops, I forgot two groups:  teachers unions and earth worshipers. Now I’m not talking about teachers and conservationists.  I’m talking about the unions that take cuts out of every teacher’s paycheck every month and use it to grow a bigger public education machine by funneling tax money toward themselves.  And I’m talking about environmentalists that view the earth and its resources at a higher value than mankind and our quality of life.  I am not talking about being good stewards of the land, water, animals, and air that we have been given to enjoy and use wisely.  I am talking about those that think the Earth is the deity and Man subservient.  

Did you look at some of the bills these groups thought were so important as to rate them as defining their organization?  These are the bills they think that the average working family in Colorado puts above the freedom to just live their lives without government in their way every time they turn the corner:

The Right to Change your Birth Certificate  — so if you change the gender with which you identify, you can change you birth certificate so your past gender doesn’t haunt you in the future.

Keep funding a children’s survey that asks every personal question imaginable about sexual identity, activity, and homosexuality.  Just reading the survey will make you blush if you don’t live in the world of sexual exaggeration.  I think that’s called lasciviousness.

Or how about the bill to ban counseling to kids under 18 years old to help them work through their hormonal changes.  This bill would have made it illegal to help them with their heterosexuality, but legal to push them into the homosexual behaviors and lifestyle.

These are just some of the bills they rated.  These eight groups think this is what Coloradans “value” over constitutional rights, good choices in public schools, well-maintained roads, and a dependable law enforcement and court system.  Are they crazy?  These groups are so wrapped up in their obsession with acceptance of homosexual behavior and the guilt-free killing of innocent unborn babies, that they think the rest of us are, too.  

Well, news flash:  my votes against these bills and for other bills that they objected to, like the free exercise of religion, are what the voters in my district want.  Sensible, simple, and sound government.  Not radical yelling by radical groups whipping up noise for their own agendas.

Sorry, that was kind of a long answer – I got whipped up there.

Citizen Press:  What do you think about some of the Republicans with high ratings in the 40’s, 50’s and even two in the 60’s?

Rep. Leonard:  These Republicans only hurt the Republican brand.  It’s like owning a coffee shop that starts selling more and more food and drinks.  Pretty soon, when folks ask where a good coffee shop is around here, you don’t even come to mind.  Stick with what you love and get better at it.  Republicans have a knock-out platform:  full of liberty, freedom, individual responsibility, free market solutions, and limited Constitutional government.  I love it and promote it every chance I get.  And that means every bill I vote on, I read; and I ask myself if this new law will make our citizens more free to choose, families more free to raise and educate their kids, and business more able to keep the fruits of their labor.  That’s why I vote No on all the Liberal bills – they just want to expand government into every area of our lives.

Back to our lukewarm Republicans.  If their voters, and us fellow legislators, cannot count on them to vote according to the party platform, then we’d be better off with them switching to the Democrat Party and getting the Dems upset with spoiling their brand.  But at least they would have to fight their party less and could go home feeling good about all the money they gave to every group that walked in the door and how they solved problem after problem with the Big Smart Hand of Government.

Good ideas come from an exchange of thoughts based upon different principles so each side can better understand the view of the other.  Republicans that don’t understand what they should stand for do no service to anyone; they are just reeds blowing in the wind.

Citizen Press: Thank you for discussing the score card, if you have time, we would like to get your input on a few more issues facing Colorado.

Rep. Leonard:  Ok, shoot.

Citizen Press: Where do you think the future of politics in Colorado is going?  Will we see Republicans take back control of the State House?

Rep. Leonard:  I am no political analyst, nor do I have any desire to predict a bigger picture.  And personally, while I see the value in a majority in each chamber, my stomach turns over when the Republicans that got us that majority forget their platform and vote according to another worldview.  I’m a big believer in the End Never Justifies the Means.  When you add that to my knowledge that we have a big God, then anything is possible – all I have to be responsible for is my own words and actions.  God will take care of the rest.

Citizen Press: So you’re not really going to answer my question.  Alright, how about the national political scene.  Does it affect your job here in the State Capitol?

Rep. Leonard:  I just got asked by another newspaper today on my opinion about the health care discussions going on in Washington.  Maybe the media is seeing a growing trend on the affect of Washington’s decision on the common man.  A concept I think is a shame.  We should be so free to live our lives that the chit chat that comes from Washington ought never affect our everyday lives.  Now the President signs an Executive Order on one day, and my health insurance penalty is immediately postponed.  That’s not the way to run a government.  And not the design of our founding fathers.

Ok. Washington.  Yes, I think when Obama was in, the Democrats were emboldened to push their agenda of big government funded with lots of taxes.  The Republican’s heads were spinning playing defense.  A lot of freedoms were lost.  Now the energy is reversed and the Democrats are spinning in defense, except the Republicans are not scrambling to get those liberties back.  That’s the crying shame.  Obamacare needs to be repealed.  Immediately and thoroughly.  The tragedy is that the longer it exists, the tougher it is to transition to a free market system.  Hey, if a thousand businesses in the middle of the desert in Las Vegas can get ten thousand pounds of seafood every day to a hundred thousand happy customers, then the market can figure out how to match doctors and patients without the government.

Washington needs to let us keep our fuel tax revenue so we can build our own roads without their interference.  And they need to stay out of our schools – we don’t need their Common Core program so another round of educrats can get their hands on tax money.  And we certainly don’t need all their interference in welfare!  Among the Feds, the State, and the Counties, we have so many programs that we need programs to manage programs!

Citizen Press: In your opinion, what are the defining issues of the 2018 election season going to be?

Rep. Leonard:  Well I know sanctuary city issues will be coming up because I hear about new Democrat candidates running solely on that issue.  The just don’t get it:  all that regular Coloradans hear when Democrats talk about sanctuary cities is that they want to harbor illegal criminals and give them special rights that the rest of us don’t have.   Meanwhile the liberals work overtime to change the legal vocabulary written in Federal Code, “illegal aliens”, to undocumented immigrants so the audience will sympathize with a foreigner who wants to come to America but just doesn’t have his paperwork together.  That worked for a few years, but pictures of the endless streams of 20-year-old men coming to Europe and leaving their mothers and sisters behind in their war-torn country while they terrorize little Swedish and Belgian towns, is not playing any more.  Folks are waking up that refugees are coming in for a different reasons than their great-grandparents.

Medicaid expansion will have to be dealt with.  With Obamacare pushing 1,400,000 Coloradans into Medicaid, the State is now spending $6,600,000,000 on these folks who are now longer the poorest and most needy among us.  Can anyone honestly say that 1 out of 5 Coloradans is too poor to care for themselves?  For perspective, free public education has been in our state Constitution since its ratification in 1876.  It now cost the state $5.5B to educate 866,000 public school students.  Look how health care welfare has pushed by that in only four years!

It will take some fiscal discipline to handle these issues and I hope we have some Republicans ready to lead and stay together on budget problems.  Minority Leader Patrick Neville has been great along with the rest of the Republican House leadership team.  Maybe a chiropractic adjustment for a few others will help their spine.  I know I will do my job.  And hopefully get a woefully low rating again next year from those wanting to explode our budget.

Citizen Press:  Well, thanks for taking the time today to give our readers an idea of what a non-liberal progressive sounds like…

Rep. Leonard:  Oh, there’s still more where that came from!

Citizen Press:  I’m sure there is, but enough for today.  Thanks for your time.  (And good coffee, by the way.)

Rep. Tim Leonard serves in the State House for Colorado House District 25 representing western Jefferson County.

Personal Finance: A Necessary Education

Finance

As someone who was born in the 1950s, I’ve seen a lot of changes in our society.

Growing up, I heard stories of the Great Depression, then I saw gas shortages and the savings and loan bust, and most recently the dot com bust.

To put it mildly, our finanical world has gone through a lot in my lifetime.

Do today’s youth understand how easy it is to lose everything?

Many of today’s youth have never heard stories of what happened during the Great Depression.

Many of today’s millennials in America are so detached from poverty that they can barely understand it.

I personally knew people who were living in conditions that would shock many of today’s millennials.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised when I read this recent survey on the financial health of Americans.

The Survey: 49% of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck

Nearly half of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck according to a new survey done by GoBankingRates.

Whether it’s a friend, relative or co-worker, we all know someone who is struggling to get by financially.

What’s especially concerning to me is that many (if not most) Millennials and younger Americans have no idea how to budget their monthly income, account for expenses or even understand what they are getting themselves into when they use a credit card.

I’m not alone in thinking that financial knowledge should be included in any person’s education.

I’m hoping to help provide some useful information for America’s youth by writing weekly posts on Colorado Citizen Press.

To start, I want to lay out a basic outline.

So, what are the key fundamentals that people should learn for financial education?

In my opinion, some of the most important steps are:

  1. The process and necessity of having an emergency fund.
  2. The theory and implementation of float and the value of credit card use.
  3. The importance of meal planning and the proper use of a grocery shopping list.
  4. Planning for the future and retirement.
  5. Tips to save money on everyday activities.

I’m going to expand on this in future posts.

I hope you will provide any information you think is important for financial education in the comments below.

Bottom Line Boomer has lived in Colorado for 40 years and has been a lifelong student of personal finance. His goal is to help provide a much needed education on personal finance for today’s world.

Multimillionare Polis Complains of Money in Politics

Jared Polis, Colorado’s far-left candidate for Governor has pledged to reject corporate or PAC money for his campaign.

Our question, does that include his own corporate money?

Fundraising Email Complains of Corporate Money in Politics
Polis

The above image is a screenshot of a fundraising email that Jared Polis sent out on June 24th. He quickly complains about corporate money and also claims he will cap donations at $100 from individuals for his campaign for Governor.

He says he doesn’t want corporate money in politics, but the truth is, without his own corporate money, he wouldn’t be a politician!

A quick search on OpenSecrets.org shows that Rep. Polis is the second wealthiest Congressman:OpenSecrets

Polis made his fortune creating an online business and he deserves the money he made. Yet, his career as a liberal Democrat is all about attacking people with money.

Another interesting point is that Polis is refusing to take corporate money for his Governor campaign, yet he had no problem taking it during the last election cycle for Congress.

OpenSecrets.org has the data:
OpenSecrets

Not to mention, Polis has his own PAC, Fearless PAC, which spent over $600,000 in the 2016 election cycle. LINK

So, where will Jared Polis get money for his Governor campaign?

Corporate & PAC money of course…

Money from his own corporation & PAC!

Masterpiece Cakeshop’s Case to be Heard in Supreme Court

How about some good news?

As you may know, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop has been standing strong on his belief in traditional marriage.

And his perseverance is paying off. Denver 7 reports:

Masterpiece Cakeshop owner says he’s lost 40% of business, welcomes SCOTUS hearing

by: Blair Miller

DENVER – The owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, whose case involving his denial to make a cake for a gay couple was taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday after being declined nearly a dozen times, says the lower court’s decision, which will now be argued in front of the nation’s highest court, has caused him to lose business and that he’s received threats.

Jack Phillips spoke with his attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative group that took up his case, after the Supreme Court decided it would hear oral arguments in his case sometime later this year.

In a prepared statement, Phillips said that after 23 years of being open, the shop is losing business after the Colorado Supreme Court last August declined to review the case, agreeing with a Colorado Court of Appeals decision that said the shop could continue to enforce its religious beliefs, but not while operating as a business in Colorado.

Read the rest of Denver Channel’s article here.

Fake News, Worthless Reporting: What is the Difference?

Goodbye Colorado Statesman. Hello Fake News!

Fake News

Fake News. It’s all in the news lately.

Readers can hardly trust what they read and they are becoming evermore aware of “reporters” who shove manure their way. What’s worse: making up stories to make a point or twisting news to make the same point?

Readers are running out of reliable news sources.

Take the June merger of the Colorado Statesman with Colorado Politics. The Statesman has been around for decades reporting on the details of sausage-making at the Capitol and makes no apologies from writing “pure left” or “pure right” articles. But the effort was mostly to fill the paper with an even mix of both in order to attract the most readers.

Colorado Politics is a new blog creation from the Colorado Springs Gazette which tried to get into state politics with writers formally from the Denver Post and the Gazette. In the last year, it showed its readers it still had a long way to go with balanced articles. Without any track record, it has no idea of the readership and value it provides.

But on June 1, Colorado Politics thought it grew up enough to merge with an old competitor who managed to weave the delicate partisanship of appealing to political hacks on both sides of the aisle. Of course, they took the name of the Statesman to help its reputation. Its staff now includes an ex-Denver Post reporter, three folks from the Gazette, two from the Statesman, and one from the Durango Herald.

However, instantly it became another opinionated blog.

So my first read is Senior Political Correspondent, Joey Bunch’s (ex-Denver Post) introductory ground-rules statement on June 8th on “our guiding light is fairness, followed closely by accuracy and honesty in words and intent. Our value depends on your faith in us.” Wow. That had to be hard to type out. Who made him write that?!

Okay, after I finished wading through the bull crap, I found an article in the June 12th edition that I thought might be worth reading. Construction defect reform. That should be too boring to screw up. This year’s bill passed both House and Senate with plenty of bi-partisan support and was signed by the Governor. If there were adamant opponents or proponents reporting with hidden agendas, that should be a thing of the past.

No such luck with the Denver Post “reporter”, Joey Bunch.

Let’s just start with the title: “Insights: Construction defect reforms cost lawyers, but they might not save much for home buyers.” Hmmm, sounds like this paper still has an axe to grind after legislators managed to come together.

Read the article yourself here.

I am not going to detail all the strange interpretive clauses like: “Tort reform is a ghost of Mississippi” or “Priced-out homeowners are the straw men every tort reform has to have” or “Let’s be logical. At the rate they’ve been throwing up housing developments in metro Denver the last 20 years, they weren’t building Sistine Chapels. Plywood, nail gun and go is more like it. Caulk is the great equalizer.”

Who has the time to read a BS fake news article like this? I only slogged my way through so I could prove to myself that “fairness and accuracy” were as fake as all the twisting of this story.

This is the capsulation of what we are witnessing all around us: progressives hell-bent on pushing socialism who cannot accept the fact that normal people don’t want what they are selling. So they stay fixated on their soapbox while all the rest of us keep moving on with our lives.

Half way through the article, Mr. Bunch throws a dig at Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Cole Wist (R-Centennial) who worked on passing the construction litigation reform bill. And then the author launches into some psycho-babble therapy about a class action lawsuit in Mississippi 20 years ago about cars and injuries.

Mr. Bunch never returns back to his subject of construction, but yaks about medical lawsuits, doctors, insurers, and caps on claims. But not before he throws in this “unbiased” piece of commentary: “the real victims were the people who couldn’t get access to quality heath care, while out-of-state doctors made off with millions in legal fees.”

What on earth is going on in this article? Is this reporting?!

The only thing worse than fake news is twisted news. Welcome to the new Statesman – the Blog of the Capitol.

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The Greatest Pyramid Scheme of all Time?

An Investment that doesn’t always pay

College can be an excellent investment that propels graduates into high powered careers. Plenty of my colleagues finished their undergrad degrees with starting salaries similar to a tenured professor’s pay. The old promise of a better, financially secure life for college graduates is still true for engineers. The same cannot be said for the liberal arts. Today, liberal arts education is functionally identical to a pyramid scam!

A Pyramid Scam?

Pyramid scams work by requiring new recruits to pay a membership fee to their recruiters. If the recruit then manages to sign up enough new recruits, the recruit is promoted and gets a share of the membership fees. Recruits who fail to generate enough new recruits get nothing. Some variants of pyramid scams involve a token transfer or goods or services to disguise the nature of the scam. Participation trophy degrees are the token service that covers up the liberal arts pyramid scam.

The availability of meaningful career opportunities outside of academia distinguishes legitimate education from pyramid scams. For example, the average engineering graduate has little to no trouble finding meaningful employment. There are numerous employers ranging from defense contractors to the oil giants and equipment suppliers. While engineers thankfully can and do take teaching jobs, this is not necessary to an engineering career or even the highest paying career option. The service provided by engineering education has legitimate value outside of training more engineers.

In contrast, history and literature majors have far fewer options for employment in their field. On average, they could work as librarians, high school teachers and similar low prestige jobs. The pinnacle of a liberal arts career is to be a tenured liberal arts professor. But there are far more liberal arts majors than liberal arts jobs at all levels. This makes the top of the field dependent on the tuition of new recruits and extremely competitive. In simple terms, the best positions in the field are funded by the recruitment of excess members who have a near zero odds of attaining a good position in their field. This is the basic structure of a pyramid scam.

What’s the value?

But what about the transferrable value of an education? In the days before participation trophy degrees, a good liberal arts education was valuable. It taught critical thinking, provided a rigorous academic background, and signaled that graduates were both smart and motivated. Grade inflation and the gutting of academic standards mean that most liberal arts degrees provide very little value now. Many liberal arts graduates are in jobs that do not realistically require any degree. The return on investment for liberal arts degree is declining with some programs going negative!

Liberal arts education is effectively a debt driven pyramid scam. It provides extremely limited utility to the average graduate from the average university. The skills are non-transferrable and participation trophies from all but the most prestigious schools have limited signaling value. The pinnacle of a liberal arts career is the tenured professor. The continued employment of the liberal arts faculty requires them to recruit far more students than will ever be employed in the field. A lucky and morally suspect few become liberal arts professors. The vast majority end up with nothing tangible to speak of besides student debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The liberal arts pyramid scam trades the future wellbeing of innocent students for the decadent and privileged lifestyle of its increasingly useless faculty.

The Deplorable Doctoral Candidate is an engineer, climate skeptic, entrepreneur, critic of academia, and occasional blogger. You can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DepPhDcandidate