November 24, 2014

About Megan Russell

Megan Russell+ is the Systems Analyst for Marotta Wealth Management. A Cognitive Science graduate from the University of Virginia, Megan loves neuroscience, formal logic, creative writing, kittens, and her childhood. Her favorite blog series: Wealth Inequality in America.

The Economics of a Thanksgiving Turkey

The Economics of a Thanksgiving Turkey

The average factory-farmed frozen turkey from a grocery story is sold for as little as $0.67 per pound. Economics can offer five explanations.

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We Need a Partial Shutdown of Government

Partial Shutdown Needed

Unless McConnell is willing to risk a government shutdown, he will ultimately have to acquiesce to Obama’s wishes.

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Mailbox: Which States Allow Prize-Linked Savings Accounts?

The Drive of the Lottery

There are thirteen states so far. Does your state allow them?

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Do New Healthcare Plans Cost More?

Cost of ACA-Compliant Healthcare

Last year plans were being cancelled. This year, citizens are receiving notifications of rate hikes in the double digits. Is this really happening?

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Interview with Senatorial Candidate Robert Sarvis

Sarvis

We e-mailed all the senatorial candidates inviting them to be interviewed on our blog. Of all the candidates, Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian 2014 Virginia Senatorial candidate, was the only one to respond.

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The Drive of the Lottery

The Drive of the Lottery

The lottery is based on the most powerful way to motivate people and change their behavior: a variable reward in response to a specific behavior.

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The Mindset of the Lottery

The Mindset of the Lottery

The classic conversational pastime of answering the question, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” could help you or it could hurt.

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The Luck of the Lottery

The Virginia Lottery

Government-run lotteries have a sordid and monopolistic past. Should we enforce a separation of sin and state?

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Five Lessons from the Whiskey Rebellion

Protest

The Whiskey Rebellion established the sovereignty of “we the people” to tax and oppress any selected group.

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How To Diversify Highly Appreciated Stock

Dog and Turtle

Exchange funds, also know as swap funds, can provide investors with one highly appreciated security a way to trade it for an equivalently valued but more diversified portfolio.

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Appreciating Donor Advised Funds

Wrapped Gifts

There are five ways that both you and the government could make charitable giving more significant.

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How Can We Make Medical Insurance Affordable?

Doctors at work

We must return, as much as possible, to a fee-for-service approach to health care and restore the traditional doctor-patient relationship.

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Why Do Physicians Permit, If Not Encourage, Futile Medical Care?

Mark Marotta

We can only afford to allow others the freedom to strive against death when we are not trying collectively to subsidize it.

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Skin in the Game of Health Care

Piggy Bank on Money

“Shouldn’t patients and their families have some skin in the game as a brake on the profligate spending of other people’s money for health care?”

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Cryptic Medical Bills And Health Insurance

Eyechart

Next time you receive an unintelligible medical bill, remember how hard it is for your doctor to get paid.

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U.S. Health Care Costs versus Health Outcomes

Teddy Bear Hospital

Asians in New Jersey have the best life expectancy of any racial or ethnic group.

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Why Are Insurance Companies Reluctant To Cover Preventive Care?

Pink and Blue Piggy Banks

Now there is absolutely no charge for a costly set of test and procedures on the all-you-can-spend preventive care buffet.

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Do We Need Price Controls to Stop Exorbitant Hospital Fees?

Injured piggy bank with crutches

After the birth of my (David’s) first child, my wife and I noticed we were being billed for a very expensive bedpan and box of tissues that we had never used.

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Why Are Canadian Drugs Cheaper?

Money Pills

Why shouldn’t we just institute price controls in America?

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Chipotle’s Wisdom

Chipotle line

These quotes are provocative for what they say about us as Americans.

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The Wealth Of Nations Is Their Freedom

Berry Hard Work

“When institutions protect the liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all.” – Adam Smith

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Are We Lab Rats?

Lab Rat

If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.

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How to Open a Roth for Your Child

Open a Roth for Your Child

Someone has to be proactive about your child’s retirement and every year you don’t open a retirement account is another year you’re holding back compound interest.

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Our Government Versus The People

Hammer Lock

Government has never been known for customer service. But today it is known primarily for being against the very people it is supposed to serve.

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The Economics Of Healthcare

Injured piggy bank with crutches

Michael Kirsch, a practicing physician and newspaper columnist, laments that there are questions he can never answer satisfactorily for his patients. His questions are central to the public policy debate increasingly being decided by voters and politicians rather than physicians and economists.

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FINRA Supports Regulation to Quell Competition

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Beware of government regulation, especially when a portion of the industry thinks it’ll be good for business.

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Fight the NSA with Your Choice of Search Engine and Browser

Browser Choices

We are all embarrassingly honest with search engines.

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Capability Is Tyranny

Bullying

Those who stand by and do nothing are complicit in aiding the loss of freedoms for others.

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7 Quotes to Summarize U.S. Surveillance

Surveillance Quotes

“We don’t have concentration camps and political dissidents and large numbers being hauled into prison because we don’t need that because we have effectively put prisons inside people’s minds.”

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Fourteen Ways to Avoid Paying Capital Gains

Like water for money

The capital gains tax traps wealth in an investment vehicle requiring special techniques to free the capital without penalty.

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Capital Gains Tax Gets More Complicated

Holding breath

Now you may pay one of at least four different capital gains rates. The strategies to deal with capital gains differ for each level.

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How To Bilk Obamacare

Wonder

Learn how a family of four can qualify for a full subsidy with an income of $140,000 a year.

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Should You Ditch Your Budget?

Ditch the Budget?

Could this scheme from Mr. Money Mustache change your budgeting strategy?

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The Purpose Of The Federal Reserve

Red pawn

Unlike the markets, members of the Fed are able to make decisions that are in exactly the wrong direction if they don’t limit themselves with a rules-based system.

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Microfinance: Loans That Change Lives

Kiva: Loans that change lives

With as little as $25 you can begin loaning money to developing world entrepreneurs.

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Government Requires 146 Minutes Of Service Each Day

Financial Time Perspective

Without taxes, you could leave your job every day at 2:34 p.m

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What Happened to the Gold Standard?

Biting Money

The U.S. dollar was first regulated by the Coinage Act of 1792 and prescribed as 371.25 grains of pure silver. The eagle, worth $10, was 247.5 grains of gold. One cent, worth a hundredth of a dollar, was 24 grains of copper. The value of the metal contained in the currency kept prices relatively constant [...]

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Why Is The Federal Reserve In Your Wallet?

Christian LIndeMann, The New King of PickPockets

Members of the Federal Reserve openly admit it is not a federal agency.

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What Exactly Is Quantitative Easing?

Piggy Bank

Quantitative easing is a sneaky way to make everyone dealing in U.S. dollars pay off the U.S. debt.

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How Does The Fed Control Interest Rates In A Free Market?

Federal Reserve 2014

Even as recently as 2007, banks were paying 4% interest. Now you have to go to the hundredth decimal before you find your interest rate.

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Tax By Inflation

The Fading Dollar

In its simplest form, the government prints money and uses the newly printed currency to fund government spending.

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Five Unbelievable Financial Advisor Regulations

gavel_t

To comply, most firms must archive and report massive amounts of information. Here are five of the more interesting regulations.

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Every Business Should Start a 401(k)

Small business owners

The president’s hope to restrict the plans should actually make owners more interested in creating one.

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Republicans: Defining the Three Factions

More freedom less government

Which part of the conservative party appeals best to you: promoting the welfare of big business, legislating morality or advocating personal freedom and responsibility?

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Is Social Security Stealing Your Chance Of Being A Millionaire?

You have got to be kidding.

Social Security withdrawals have enslaved workers to depend on government largess when they could have been independently wealthy.

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Obama Expands the Permanently Unemployed

Occupy Stupidity

The economics of the job market are complicated, and an executive order can’t grant America a higher wage.

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Obama’s myRA Plan Violates Multiple ERISA Laws

Go to jail

Willful violations of ERISA legislation carry criminal penalties of up to a year in prison for the plan sponsor and a fine of up to $100,000 for the corporation.

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Can You Fact-Check Without Reading the Article?

Holy face palm

Both authors claimed there were errors in our article all the while agreeing with our assessment of the unemployment numbers.

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We Were Wrong: Jobless Available Workers As High As 41.4%

Jobless 2013-12

We actually underreported the portion of jobless Americans. It did not include the people who are represented in the unemployment rate.

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Economic Freedom Matters 2014

Wall around Wall Street

Economic freedom enriches society, lifts the poor out of poverty and respects the agency and dignity of human choice.

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