Business Agenda — Make Consumers Spend!

Sometimes we get too caught up by media and TV about all these things we should purchase and own and to upgrade our life-style to be happier. What they want to do is to brainwash us so we inherently make purchases without hesitation and any deep second thoughts.

How do we defend ourselves? To defend ourselves, we must first understand what we’re facing, so let’s understand these people’s agenda…

The people sellling these “things” are business people. They have their agenda. What is the agenda? It’s none other than – making as much money as possible, under the postulation of a capitalistic society, and guess from whom they want to make the money? Us! We the consumers. We have to understand that they are driven by profit, by business. They need to make their numbers, their quotas because it’s their jobs and we are living in this wonderful society of capitalism. That’s why we must think for ourselves if those things really make me happy.

Now I’m not saying it’s their fault since they are just doing their jobs, but we need to defend ourselves here.
Since the best defense is the best offense…
Let’s take offense in that they are trying to take our money from us!
Let’s be stubborn, stay frugal, and fight against these people who are trying to take money away from us!

Each time you want to buy something, think about if it’s really useful and add values to your life, and make sure you are not buying because they told you so.


Originally posted 2007-09-16 11:54:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Irrational Beings with Rationale

I like to theorize, although I may only have the vision of a donkey filled up on a dozen beer. My theory today is that human beings are merely irrational beings with rationale. Below are a few examples to support this theory.

Banks, real estates brokers, and home buyers who fearlessly bet on the real estate market to go up forever. Haven’t they heard what goes up must comes down? And how can anything grow forever?

A president and politicians who think a $600~ per person tax rebate will save people from losing their home and cover the losses in their retirement/pension plan.

People who are easily swayed and hastily change the opinion on a person due completely to rumors and stories about someone else who is remotely associated with him.

Someone in a dire or unfavorable somehow think, hope, or pray that the situation will somehow change without themselves changing.

Those are my few examples… What do you think about my theory? Do you have any examples from your experience? Why don’t you leave a comment and let me know?

Of course, my theory can be disproved as easily by counter examples. Hence, it is just a theory.

There is a reason for me to say this. I believe people make decisions irrationally more often than not, where they are mostly influenced by ego and emotions. I am not judging or saying it is bad per se, but if we can base our decisions and expectations on this understanding as we observe such is the case, we will come across less disappointment and misunderstanding in everyday life.

On the other hand, it is also useful to be self-conscious when you are trying to rationalize an irrational decision. This should help mitigate some of the bad situations we tend to get ourselves into. Some food for thought.

Originally posted 2008-05-14 23:12:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Moderate Income Resident House… Really?

My dear friend D told me that his friend has purchased a house somewhere in the South Bay Area. Of course it is something to congratulate about as we all know how steep the housing prices are here. But something really confuses me…

Basically the area that is selling the newly constructed homes is only aimed and restricted to moderate income households. The restriction roughly goes something like this: 129k for 1-4 people household, 135k for 5 people household and so on… I asked D for a number of what the house costs his friend. The answer is a little over 800k.

This immediately leads to the next question… how the heck can something with moderate income afford these houses! Mind you, the 800k is the lowest priced model home. The others cost up to 1mil+.

Let us do a bit of calculation with the assumption of a 800k house, a healthy 20% down payment, and an interest rate at 6.05% for 30 years fixed mortgage. The payment comes out to $3,857.72 a month. Also assuming a household with max. income allowed of 129k, it results to around 6k after-tax per month. If we tag on utility, property tax, living/food expenses on top of the 4k~ payment, it is really walking the edge!

The fact is, I have played down the price tag, assumed a healthy 20% down payment (160k!), and also assumed a average interest rate. Let alone there are other living expenses (eg. insurance…) I did not mention.

In a nutshell, I’m just lost how they calculate the income restriction with houses priced like this… can anyone explain? I would love to hear :)

Originally posted 2007-06-04 23:39:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Getting Comcast Discount

A majority of US population is getting one of their dreaded utility bills from Comcast. My 6 months period of Comcast service with the most basic cable TV and internet was just over, and my bill went from below $35 to above $60.

Yesterday, feeling being ripped off by Comcast, I called them up and then calmly and logically explaind how I can substitute the basic cable TV with an antenna that I already have ($15 –> $0) and cable internet with DSL ($40+ –> $20+). The gently-spoken rep on the phone promptly and kindly offered me these “existing deals” to reduce my internet bill combined with an upgrade of my cable TV to extended cable for a total of $50 per month until the end of 2007.

Hmmm, so it’s not as cheap as it was before, but I am getting more channels for a lower monthly fee. I would say it’s a good deal, and now I get them ESPN channels and all, hehe.

All it took is for me to call them. Need to cut down monthly expense? Feeling ripped off like I did? A lower cable+internet bill could be waiting if you take the initative to call Comcast too. What are you waiting for?

Originally posted 2007-06-14 22:37:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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