Yahoo Finance reprinted an article from Credit.com entitled “How to Make an Extra $1,000 a month”. Judging from the title, making more money is an appropriate subject for credible financial advisors like Credit.com and Yahoo Finance.
This is especially true since a recent survey (Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2013) by the Federal Reserve indicates that 52% of Americans could not completely cover a hypothetical emergency expense of $400 without selling something or borrowing money. In other words, 52% of the American people have cash savings of less than $400.
That result is:
1) Frightening (What’ll those people do if there’s a systemic collapse? $400 won’t last long); and,
2) Good evidence that tens of millions of Americans should be interested in earning an “extra” $1,000 per month.
• However, when I actually read the Credit.com article, my jaw dropped. The advice seemed appropriate for a 3rd World Economy—but not the USA. At least not the USA, I’ve known and remember.
To put my surprise in perspective, note that I’ve been so broke on two occasions (once around A.D. 1985 and again in A.D. 2003), that I was nearly homeless. My poverty didn’t last for more than a few weeks (at most) before I found a job or started a new business. Even though I was broke, I had resources (tools, knowledge, youth, strength, etc.) and The United States of America was full of opportunities.
But, judging from the recent “How to Make and Extra $1,000 a month” article, the opportunities that I once took for granted are now gone or dramatically diminished.
I.e., according to Credit.com, we should, “Get Creative About Making Money”. For example,
“There are few places to start when looking for extra money, and many of them are in your own home. First, you can sell things you don’t need, like used books and sporting equipment . . . .”
Great idea! Sell your stuff!
Except for one thing: in this recessed (or depressed) economy where 52% of Americans don’t have $400 in cash, how many things do you have that “you don’t need” that somebody else (who’s just a broke as you are) does need? If all we had to do to get out of debt was sell our junk to some other junk collector, the homeless could become instantly wealthy by selling the trash in their grocery cart that they don’t need to the other homeless who still have space for more trash in their grocery cart.
But the homeless aren’t buying more junk, and neither are most Americans. If you’re planning to sell your stuff, you’d better plan on selling it cheap.
“For a steadier increase in cash flow, consider monetizing one of your hobbies, whether that’s offering music lessons, selling crafty goods or teaching a fitness class. These options may mean you have to spend before you can earn (whether that’s on marketing, certification or supplies), but eventually, you could produce a lucrative side business.”
Likewise, if you invest all your spare money in Lottery tickets, you could also “eventually” get fabulously wealthy. You could also get rich by taking a frying pan to the creek behind your house and panning for gold . . . well, it could happen!
But—seriously folks—selling your “crafty goods”?
To who? The country is broke. Who’s going to pay you to buy another “dream catcher” to hang in their kitchen window?
More, how many people do you know who: 1) have a hobby; and 2) are so adept at that hobby that that they could make money selling their resulting goods or services?
There are a few such people, but not many. The average man who needs another $1,000 a month doesn’t have a significant hobby other than drinking beer and collecting the aluminum beer cans.
“You could always just look around for part-time jobs that fit your schedule, but if you already have your fill of “working for the man,” don’t worry — there are plenty more ideas you can come up with.”
“Plenty more ideas,” hmm?
Well, now, the fun really begins with Credit.com’s “7 Ideas for Increasing Your Income”:
“1. Search the Craigslist Odd Jobs Section. Beware of scammers and people soliciting illegal activity, however.”
That’s sensible. It could work for a few per cent of the 52% who can’t scrape $400 together but who do have their own tools and some experience in doing odd jobs.
But get this:
- “Sell Blood Plasma. You can do this regularly, but it’s not going to get you rich. Various online sources say you’ll get compensated between $20 and $40 for your time, and that figure may go up if you regularly contribute. . . . another source of income for young men [is] sperm donors, but that process can be more intense than selling plasma every few days or months.”
Here we are in what was once the greatest country on earth, and credible financial advisers are suggesting that, if you’re short on cash, all you need to do is sell your blood plasma or sperm.
As I wrote previously, I’ve been broke a time or two but, back then, the world was not so devoid of opportunities that anyone suggested, or I even imagined, that might sell my plasma or ejaculate.
“3. Tutor. Whether you have a flair for math, writing, foreign languages or computer programming, you can probably help someone learn and get paid for it. You can do this on your own or through private tutoring centers.”
Again, that’s sensible advice. But only for a few.
How many average Americans have a “flair” for anything that other average Americans would be willing to pay to learn?
In this economy, why pay to learn anything if you can’t use the resultant knowledge to get a higher-paying job or start your own business and make more money?
If you have a “flair” for something that could be lucrative, why bother teaching others and building your own competition? Why not simply apply your “flair” and go get a better job, or go start a new business?
If your “flair” can’t help you get a better job, start a business and make more money, it probably won’t help your students, either. And they’ll probably see that and therefore decline to pay to learn your “flair”.
“4. Dumpster Dive. People throw out good things you can sell (or inexpensively repair and sell). If skulking around for treasures left on the curb or abandoned in an alley isn’t your cup of tea, you can accomplish similar feats at thrift shops. Don’t forget to look into posting fees on sites like eBay that can cut into your profit.”
Ohh, that’s just great.
Here, in the mighty United States, if you need a little more cash each month, why not take up dumpster diving? (It’s going to be a sport in the next Summer Olympics.)
And don’t forget—you can’t only make money by selling whatever junk you find in the dumpsters (assuming you can find anyone looking to buy that junk)—you can also cut your monthly grocery bill by eating whatever food you find in dumpster.
(Hey, little Billy, what do you plan to be when you grow up?
“I’m going to be dumpster diver!“)
Y’know, once you acclimate to dumpster diving, you’ll see that the homeless lifestyle isn’t as bad as most suppose. In fact, if you’re willing to be economically mobile (in a downward direction) you can solve all of your current debt problems by abandoning your home, cutting your costs and learning to live like a beggar in a cardboard box.
• Do you see what I’m talking about here? There was a time when Americans wanting to increase their income worked in factories to produce things that they could sell. Today, insofar as our industries are moved offshore, we don’t produce things to sell. Instead, we grub in the garbage to find someone’s else’s trash and hope to sell that.
The American economy is so bad that credible financial advisors are advocating that indebted Americans start digging through garbage to find something to sell—just like the homeless in 3rd World Nations.
Has America really fallen this far?
“5. Take Surveys. There are some that pay a bit in cash (about $5 per survey), while others are points-based rewards. Search for reputable sites.”
Again, that’s a semi-sensible recommendation—at least for high school kids who can’t find a summer job. But, if you’re an adult who needs an extra $1,000 a month, you’ll need to take 7 surveys a day, 7 days a week to meet your $1,000 goal (assuming you don’t get paid in “points”).
Do you think you can find 7 surveys a day that will pay for your opinion? You might be able to do so for a little while, but I’ll bet that you’ll quickly exhaust whatever supply of surveys might be available.
“6. Walk Dogs. Make sure you actually like dogs and are prepared to make the time commitment.”
Yes, there’s undoubtedly big money in walking other people’s dogs—and scooping up the dogs’ poop. I’m pretty sure that’s how Warren Buffett got started. (Ohh, don’t forget to pay your Obamacare premiums in case you get bit.)
And here’s my favorite:
“7. Participate in Medical Trials. This isn’t a decision to take lightly, and you’ll want to do plenty of homework before you start swallowing pills and taking injections in the name of science.”
In other words, you could make more money by allowing the government and/or major corporations experiment on your body. (In the name of science, could we amputate a few of your fingers, toes or other appendages for, say, $500 each?)
The list ends there and apparently only includes legal activities.
But don’t forget, there are always opportunities to make money dealing drugs, becoming a pickpocket, robbing banks and joining the Mafia or the CIA as a part-time hitman. You can also pimp out your sister or beg for quarters from Chinese tourists.
In fact, if you really need an extra $1,000 per month, here’s what you should do:
1) Work hard to remove every politician from office who’s supported global free trade, one-world government, low tariffs and the transfer of American industries and jobs to 3rd World Nations.
2) Work hard to remove every politician from office who’s: a) insisted that we fight and meddle in foreign countries over “American interests”; but b) refused to protect The United State of America from an invasion by foreign aliens who will take many of our remaining jobs—and are already adept at dumpster diving. (Apparently, our gov-co recognizes and will fight for U.S. special interests in places like Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia, but will not fight for American interests in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.)
The treasonous whores in the cathouse on the Potomac have to go.
Of course, if you focus your attention on removing those treasonous whores now, it may be five years or more before the economy picks up and you begin to earn an extra $1,000 a month in a legitimate job.
But, if you don’t start working now to remove the treasonous whores from Congress, the Senate and the White House, you won’t live long enough to see a US economy that’s sufficiently “recovered” to eliminate dumpster diving as a viable “occupation”.