Would You Do What This Couple Did After Finding Something Unbelievable In A Fast Food Bag?

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Talk about a whopper of a true story.

Late in the afternoon this past Friday, Janelle Jones went to a Burger King in Rochester, New Hampshire, where she ordered a spicy chicken sandwich and sweat tea at the drive-through window. She was already on her way home when she opened the bag to find that the restaurant had messed up her order — messed it up in a big and unbelievable way.

Instead of her sandwich and drink, Jones found a huge bundle of cash — $2,631. Apparently, she had been given a bank deposit instead of the meal she ordered.

Foster’s Daily Democrat newspaper reports that Janelle called her husband, Matthew, to discuss what they should do with the small fortune that had dropped into their laps.

Matthew Jones admitted, “We are not perfect human beings,” and said the couple had considered the possibility of keeping the money, adding they could have certainly used the cash. But he said he and his wife are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and that “Jehovah sees everything.”

When the young couple returned the cash, employees of the Burger King were extremely thankful, especially since at least one of them reportedly faced the prospect of being fired if the money had not been returned.

And what was the reward for Janelle and Matthew Jones’ honesty — aside from their consciences being clear for having done a good deed?

Again, via Foster’s Daily Democrat: “A manager told me they would give me five free meals,” Janelle added. “The manager said he talked to the corporate office and they said to tell me ‘thank you.’”

h/t: KTLA

 

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

The News Of Russia’s Death Is Greatly Exaggerated

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The talking heads are all abuzz over the dramatic fall of the Russian currency, the ruble. Phrases like “financial collapse” and “full-blown currency crisis” dominate the headlines.  The leadership of Vladimir Putin has been called into question, with some news outlets saying he may be removed by those around him due to the economic losses they have suffered.

The downward spiral of the ruble, along with oil and sanctions, are definitely body blows to the Russian economy.  However, I think the world is underestimating, or maybe just doesn’t understand, Russia.

Stratfor put out a quote this week that I thought was especially enlightening: “The sanctions were designed to inflict more economic pain than the West could withstand.”  This in a nutshell is what we are facing with the situation in Russia.

One thing I can tell you is that this time, Russia will not be broken. The people support Putin, but what they really support is Russia. It’s kind of like that old saying: “I can talk bad about my family, but no one else can.”

Russians are used to enduring depths of pain that the West cannot understand. The Nazis killed twenty million Russians in World War II. We Americans can’t understand that depth of loss.

Stalin then killed another twenty million for good measure.  That was only seventy years ago.

Ukraine is near and dear to a Russian’s heart. It is the birthplace of Slavic civilization. White Russians hailed from Ukraine a long time ago.

It is where the Russian Orthodox Church was started under Vladimir the Great. Russia, especially under Putin, will never allow Ukraine to belong to the West, no matter how many sanctions we impose. Think of Texas being armed by the Russians, and you’ll get my point.

Putin will find a way out of this mess. It is rumored that China is preparing to bail them out. When this happens, the ruble will soar.

That’s why I’ve been counseling people to look at buying rubles, not selling. They still have hundreds of billions in foreign currency reserves and a whole lot of oil and natural gas.

Russia doesn’t make many; but they do make darn good weapons, and there are plenty of countries who don’t like us willing to buy them.

When Putin emerges from this crisis, he will be stronger than ever. He will be the man who saved Russia from the West’s conspiracy to destroy Russia. The people will love him even more.

Photo credit: Timofeev Sergey / Shutterstock.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Currency Wars Lead To Real Wars

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“Beggar-thy-neighbor” is a term coined by Adam Smith long ago.  It describes efforts by countries to use protectionist trade and other economic policies to solve their internal economic problems. In short, it means we’ll cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you.

This type of strategy can manifest itself in many ways. Governments can levy import duties, use adversarial regulatory tactics to protect their own industry, or the good-ole favorite, a competitive currency devaluation to make their exports cheaper.

The problem with currency devaluation is that your neighbor can play that game also. In the early part of the twentieth century, competitive currency devaluations were a large part of the cause of the horrific violence the world saw during the two world wars.

After World War II, the Bretton-Woods agreement attempted to prevent countries from using a devaluation to solve their internal problems. This worked for a while. However, with President Nixon taking the United States off the gold standard in the early 1970’s, the global economic consensus that followed the second world war has been largely eroded.

Today competitive currency devaluations are common, even encouraged and cheered. Governments now have no problem manipulating markets to their advantage, no matter the effect on their neighbors. The United States has been the largest player in this strategy.

In an effort to keep borrowing money and keep interest rates low, so the federal government can service the debt, the Fed has actively intervened in the bond market, printing upwards of five trillion dollars. This is a different form of a currency devaluation. By printing all this money, the Fed has attempted to make the USD worth less, in order to stimulate growth in exports as well.

Japan is the king of quantitative easing, or printing barrels full of money. Japan has printed so much money that now as the government prints even more, it’s like pushing on an economic string.

All of the bang for the buck is gone. Just ask the average person in Japan how Abenomics is working.

China is playing this game in different forms as well, and now the European Central Bank wants to get into the act in a grander fashion.

The problem is that no country has ever devalued its way to prosperity. On the contrary, all of this market manipulation at the expense of other nations will not end well. This is the way wars get started because at the end of the day, economic manipulation runs out of bullets; and the only thing a country has left are real ones.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Start Looking For Some High Quality Assets On-Sale!

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If a Mercedes was offered at a thirty-percent discount, would you be interested? Well, typically no one wants stocks when they are on-sale. As I write this, the DOW Jones Industrial Average is down four-hundred points. I have been waiting for a crescendo of selling in order to start picking entry points; I think we are getting close.

I would recommend starting to look for a basket of high quality stocks with a good dividend. There are plenty out there which are down significantly. Yields at the bank or in bonds (stay away from bonds!) are at ridiculously low levels; however, if you can pick up some blue-chip companies that pay several percentage points in yield, you have a home run! And you can buy them on-sale today!

Don’t feel any pressure to buy. You may see further selling. In any event, we are at a much better buy point today than we were several months ago when the DOW was approaching 18,000. There is still a huge amount of geopolitical and economic risk in the market. But maybe you could start putting a little bit of money to work. If the market drops more, put a little more in. This is not a trading strategy, but a wealth-building strategy over time.

And I still believe gold is a good buy at these levels of below 1300. There has been a very nice base formed over the last couple years since the big sell-off from its peak. Gold is a currency and, with all the fiat-currency risk in the world, precious metals at a good price makes sense. Think of it as an insurance policy. Now go look for some quality blue-chips! Happy hunting!

 

Photo Credit: Stefano F (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Here Are 7 Ways You Can Start Saving On Next Year’s Taxes

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The holiday decorations aren’t up yet, and the Christmas carols haven’t hit the radio yet. That would really be rushing the season. But there’s one place where it pays to do your shopping early if you want to save money: Taxes! There are a few steps you can take now before the holiday rush to reduce your tax bill.

Increase Retirement Plan Contributions

Have the HR department take a little bit more out of your paycheck to increase your tax-deductible contribution to the 40l(k) or 403(b) plan. Unlike an IRA, you must make this year’s contributions before year-end. And the limits are generous: $17,500 if you’re under age 50, and $23,000 at age 50 or older. But even if you can’t contribute the max, every little bit will grow tax deferred.

If your company gives you a matching contribution, you get a double benefit — tax deduction and “free money.” You can’t afford to miss out on that deal. And though it sounds painful, you’ll get by without those extra few dollars in your paycheck.

Use Flex Spending — Save HSA Account

There are two different kinds of health care savings accounts. The Flex Spending account must be spent before year’s end. Don’t wait until the last minute to consider appropriate purchases. Schedule eye exams or dental procedures now, before the holiday crunch. This is use-it-or-lose-it money, so be sure to take advantage of any opportunities. For a list of approved spending items, go to IRS Publication 502 online.

But if you have a health savings account, it can roll over for future use. Although you do want to schedule regular preventive care, there’s no rush to use this money as it will grow tax-deferred to be used for some future medical expense.

Open Enrollment for Health Care Plans

Even if you already are enrolled in an individual health care plan for 2014, it may pay to check out the features of other plans, and their costs, for 2015. Yes, you’ll have to navigate Healthcare.gov again! But this year should be less confusing. Remember that open enrollment starts on Nov. 15, and ends on Dec. 31. Be sure to avoid this last-minute crunch.

Other Healthcare Deadlines

Seniors should check on new deals being offered on Medicare Part D. Even if you take the same drugs, or don’t take any drugs at all, you must have Part D coverage. Many plans have changed their pricing or their formularies. The best way to find out is to go to Medicare.gov and click on the plan finder tool.

And you might also want to check on the best Medicare supplement plan — or enroll in Medicare Advantage. You’ll be surprised at how much money you might be able to save by considering other supplement plans. You can compare Medigap supplements at the Medicare.gov website. Or if you’d like some handholding and advice, go to eHealthInsurance.com and they will help you find both a supplement and a Part D prescription drug program to fit your needs.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom