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About wjk

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  1. >>> I thought it was a nice article, positive and remarkably free of bitterness, blaming others etc. He comes across as a good bloke. Same here. Rather than dismiss the guy as a loon, view his story as a cautionary tale and learn what you can from it - especially since nobody's job is safe these days. The 8 kids and $300k/year thing aside, imagine what you would have done different had you lost a good paying job. One big mistake it appears he made was trying to defend his family's lifestyle once he was no longer employed. I'll bet another was being too choosey in his early job search. Yet another seems to be waiting too long to learn new job skills. On the other hand, the fact he, as a 50 year old homeless man, was able to upgrade his skills and get back on his feet is really inspiring. Also, I liked this quote: "I made a thousand decisions, large and small, that seemed reasonable at the time but cumulatively led to our situation". Isn't that how it is for many folks. The way to avoid that problem, at least when it comes to a job loss, is to hope for the best but immediately prepare for the worst.
  2. I used to debate issues like this but in the current economic environment I see it for what it is - a divide and conquer issue meant to distract people from the elephant in the room which is corporate welfare. If you add up all the benefit money given to poor people that didn't deserve it, the total is nothing compared to the billions that banks and corporations have raked in as a direct result of artificially low interest rates, bailouts, lax enforcement of regulations, tax loopholes, etc. While we can debate whether or not some poor person deserves benefits and to what degree, surely 99% of us should be able to agree that rich fat cats shouldn't be subsidized by the taxpayer. Whether you are radical left, radical right, or somewhere in between, that's the issue we all need to stay focused on people. When it comes to corporate welfare, the enemy of your enemy is your friend.
  3. I don't buy that. Wars are generally fought over scarce resources (although other reasons may be used to justify the war). Nobody wants to fight a war when jobs and welfare are easy to get - which is what we've had for the last 60+ years thanks to endless credit expansion. That party may now be over. As the resources get scarce again and neighbors start to enviously eye each other, being part of the EU won't change the endgame.
  4. >>> How would you fix the UK? Sometimes it's easier to pack your bags and move to greener pastures (like Canada). I think this is one such case.
  5. That said, there is a large group of people that squander any money that comes into their hands. Then when times get tough and the pantry's bare, they're the first to justify stealing with an argument similar to yours. Indeed, I wonder how many of those stealing manage to find money for the iPhone bills, cable tv, cigarettes and the like.
  6. In Canada, Tim Horton's (a big doughnut chain) recently admitted to bringing in over 1000 foreign guest workers to work in their stores and do 'the work that Canadians don't want to do.' Is it really that Canadians are too stupid or lazy to serve doughnuts and coffee? Or is it really that foreign guest workers are more likely to take abuse from management than a Canadian? I suggest the latter as foreign guest workers have far fewer options than Canadians and get to stay in Canada permanently if they can stay employed by a sponsor for 2 years. This is the future folks. Crap pay and crap, exploitative treatment to match. At the current trajectory, all the gains won by workers in the last century will be lost long before this century ends.
  7. I know a guy who's 70+ year old father married a young Cuban woman and brought her over to Canada, only to have her dump him a few weeks later. Not to be outdone, the guy's 70+ year old mother then married a young Cuban guy and brought him over to Canada, only to have him dump her a few weeks later. But as if that wasn't enough, the guy I know then married a Cuban woman and brought her over to Canada, only to have her dump him a few weeks later. Crazy but true. I know another guy who routinely goes to Cuba to bump uglies with the local women. He says they are literally throwing themselves at visiting foreigners for free hoping they'll get suckered into providing an escape route as described above. The trick he says is to see it for what it is and not get suckered. Though I've never been there, these stories (and there's many more like them on the Web) suggest to me that Cuba is a nasty hell hole that has morally corrupted its citizens and attracts equally morally corrupt foreigners. It's one of the last places in the world that I'd want to visit, let alone invest in.
  8. Agree. Plus these things are highly political. I would always take these surveys with a grain of salt. Live there yourself for a few months then make up your own mind.
  9. Depends how you measure success. I do think my quality of life would be improved if I was surrounded by more blonde babes.
  10. You need the free Adblock Plus for Firefox my friend. It removes ads from just about anything, including videos.
  11. 1. Find mentors / partners / employees that have key skills and experience that you may be missing. A successful software entrepreneur... A seasoned software engineer... A product / marketing / sales manager... An IP lawyer. Don't hesitate to give a partnership interest to the right people if that's what it takes since for you, x% of something that you will build with the right team is better than 100% of nothing if you are unable to do it alone. Investors may be important too at some point, but they are definitely not as important as your core team. 2. Ideas are easily stolen so get a non disclosure agreement in place and get everybody (potential investors, customers, employees) to sign it before sharing too many details. Also, never sign anything until your lawyer has reviewed and you understand the implications. 3. Quality software is expensive to produce. In addition to initial coding, there's quality assurance, support, enhancements, bug fixes, demos, beta programs, documentation, etc. Make sure you have all of this reflected in your cost calculations and don't expect to sell much until your software has decent quality. 4. Target a niche market and really focus on doing what it takes to make those customers happy. Start small and grow only once you have a happy paying customer or two in production. 5. Manage your cash flow super carefully and secure emergency lines of credit before you need them. Many otherwise successful young businesses go under because they ran out of cash. 6. Don't be discouraged if your business doesn't go anywhere. I read somewhere that successful entrepreneurs had 4 failures on average before they hit it big. Know when to cut your losses and move on to business # 2.
  12. No doubt the solution will be to bring in boatloads of women from India and the Philippines to serve as child minders willing to work for slave wages in exchange for citizenship. That's the system we have in Canada. Lots of takers too with young Philippine women currently being the largest immigrant demographic. After 2 years serving as a nanny for the sponsoring family, they get to apply for landed immigrant status. In addition to flooding the country with low skilled workers (to compete with the already huge pool of low skilled workers), the sad thing is a lot of these women already have a child back home being looked after by the husband / grandparents.
  13. At the margin, all the housing markets are linked. Consider for example all the retirees from Toronto and other large cities selling their overpriced shacks and bidding up prices in more retirement friendly locations. If there is a $1,000 house somewhere in Canada, it was probably only worth $500 before the bubble swept the land. A 1/3 fall would wipe out a 50% gain. You doomster. We can only hope. > though mortgages don't seem far out of line with rents Assuming that was true (I'm certainly not seeing it with the place I rent), renting is the better option right now because you will miss the fall in house prices.
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