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Michael Lewis
Michael R. Lewis is a retired corporate executive and entrepreneur. During his 40+ year career, Lewis created and sold ten different companies ranging from oil exploration to healthcare software. He has also been a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC, a Principal of one of the larger management consulting firms in the country, and a Senior Vice President of the largest not-for-profit health insurer in the United States.

Living With Superbugs, Viruses & Bacteria – How to Prevent Disease

By Michael Lewis

sicknessNewspapers and television news reports have shrieked the appearance of new “superbugs” and the dangers they pose for humanity. “Deadly Superbug Scare: Flesh-Eating Germ in 31 of 63 State Hospitals” headlined the “Boston Herald” on March 7, 2013. ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser proclaimed earlier on a March 6th newscast that “bacteria that start in hospitals often find their way out into the community. That would be a nightmare scenario.”

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How Parents Can Maximize Tax Deductions & Credits for Children

By Michael Lewis

filing taxesIt is that time of the year again: The days you wrestle with old receipts, canceled checks, W-2 forms, 1099s, and monthly statements from your banks, mortgage brokers, and credit card companies, documenting every possible payment to lower your federal income taxes.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the average tax payer spends 16 hours preparing and submitting their tax returns, struggling with a complex tax code of almost four million words undergoing constant changes (579 times in 2010 alone). More than half of taxpayers rely on someone else to fill out the forms for them; another 30% use tax software from firms such as TurboTax to complete the tax forms. The IRS offers free tax help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with tools to electronically file returns, calculate withholding, or determine whether a payer might be subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT).

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Big Government vs. Small Government – Which Is Ideal for the U.S.?

By Michael Lewis

governmentThe term “big government” stimulates plenty of images and emotions, and they’re generally negative. Words like “bureaucratic,” “inefficient,” “intrusive,” and even “corrupt” are often associated with the term. Economists charge that big government interferes with the mechanisms of free enterprise. Libertarians believe it seeks to control private or personal freedoms guaranteed by the “natural law” eloquently philosophized by John Locke and formalized in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. And politicians claim big government lacks checks and balances on its exercise of power, leading it to represent special interests to the detriment of its citizens.

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How to Encourage Imagination in Children – Importance, Definition & Quotes

By Michael Lewis

imaginationImagination is the ability to see “what can be” from “what is.” Galileo Galilei’s famous experiment of falling objects occurred in the laboratory of his mind, not from the balcony of the Tower of Pisa. Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity was rooted in a thought experiment at age 16 where he imagined chasing a beam of light; and supposedly, his final breakthrough came during a daydream, lying on a country hill in 1915.

As the great scientist said, “Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

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Top 5 Business Management Tips From an Old Pro

By Michael Lewis

managerC. DeWitt “Dee” Brown, Jr. was a self-made man, starting as a hod carrier and apprentice bricklayer after graduating high school and proceeding to build one of the largest masonry companies in the United States with multimillion-dollar projects across the country. Dee was hard-nosed and pragmatic, his 1950s crew cut and Texas twang reminders of an early life when a day’s work was expected for a day’s pay.

A practical businessman who understood that profits were neither guaranteed, easily achieved, nor perpetual, he led his company, Dee Brown Masonry, Inc. (DBM), through cycle after cycle of booms and busts in the construction business. He expanded to exploit opportunity and shrank to survive adversity, but always surviving, meeting payrolls, eking profits when he could, and borrowing capital when he had no choice.

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What Is Sequestration – Definition & How It Cuts the National Debt

By Michael Lewis

sequester aheadWhile our country’s ability to borrow money is a valuable asset, particularly in times of need such as wars or economic recessions, continuously maintaining high levels of the debt in comparison to our gross domestic product is detrimental, even devastating to citizens. Government debt is simply an IOU to be repaid by future taxes upon its citizens and businesses; excessive debt must be repaid eventually, as has been discovered in recent years by citizens of debtor countries such as Greece, Italy, and Spain.

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How to Be a Good Manager – Common Qualities & Characteristics

By Michael Lewis

business managerIn daily life, most of us have had experience “managing” others, whether it’s organizing a church fund drive or directing a crew of employees. Simply defined, management is the act of coordinating others to achieve a goal. The process involves planning, task assignment, monitoring, providing feedback, and, when necessary, correction.

There are a variety of different management styles, each geared toward different organizations and situations. For example, the command-based and discipline-oriented culture of the military may be essential to the battlefield, but does not generally transfer to the more relaxed culture of a law firm.

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How to Prevent Mass Shootings & Gun Violence in America – Statistics

By Michael Lewis

gunAnother dark day in America, one of 62 similar days in the last 30 years according to statistics compiled by Mother Jones. Despite the shootings having occurred in a state with some of the more restrictive gun laws in America, the acts of a single deranged white male has again brought the nation to its knees in sorrow, along with renewed calls for stricter gun controls.

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What Is the Federal Reserve System – History & How It Affects You

By Michael Lewis

federal reserveThe words of Saint Paul to Timothy in the Christian Bible have resonated throughout the ages: “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Federal Reserve System (otherwise known as the “Fed”), the mother of all money in the United States, has been publicly reviled since its formation in 1913.

Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr., father of the famed aviator, claimed that “This [legislation] establishes the most gigantic trust on Earth…the worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking and currency bill.” Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr. said the Federal Reserve Act “seems to me to open the way to a vast inflation of the currency,” a consequence abhorrent to anyone with significant wealth that would be devalued as a result.

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The Impact of Technology on the Workplace – 5 Steps to Protect Your Job

By Michael Lewis

factoryDo you find it hard to make ends meet these days? You are not alone. For millions of workers, wages and disposable personal income have flat-lined or fallen during the last decade. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, median income for working-age households (headed by someone under the age of 65) slid from $62,541 in 2000 to $55,640 in 2011, a 12.4% decline. While wages have been stagnant, the prices of everything from healthcare to housing has risen dramatically above the rate of inflation, leaving almost half of Americans living paycheck to paycheck.

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Understanding the Value of Private Label Store Brands – Reasons to Buy

By Michael Lewis

shoppingSales of private label brands have exploded in the past half-decade as consumers have done the best they can to get through the economic recession. According to market researcher Packaged Facts, store brands accounted for almost one-third of new food and beverage items introduced in the United States in 2011.

While monetary savings are usually the primary impetus for choosing private label products over national brands, purchasers have discovered that there is little tangible difference between the two categories of products in taste, use, or quality of ingredients. The lack of differentiation and the clear cost advantage of private brands are imposing fundamental changes on the retail industry today, affecting pricing, advertising, merchandising, and product selection.

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Moving Back Home With Your Parents After College – How to Make It Work

By Michael Lewis

moving homeAt some point in your life, you have likely heard the phrase, “You can’t go home again.” However, as popular as the saying may be, it’s entirely wrong: Millions of young adults are moving back home to live with their parents, sometimes with children of their own.

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How Can We Reform U.S. Entitlement Programs? – Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid

By Michael Lewis

social securityThough they managed to avoid a fall from the fiscal cliff in the last hours of 2012, Democrats and Republicans continue to wage political war over the economic and ideological future of America. Presidential elections do nothing to resolve our broken political system – rather, the American public is likely to experience an emotional roller coaster ride where the country careens uncontrolled through a series of economic near-disasters and last-minute rescues, as neither political party is willing to accept compromise. The future level of defense spending, foreign policy objectives, immigration, infrastructure investment, and gun control will trigger acrimonious debates, but little agreement in the midst of a tenuous economic environment where one misstep can plunge the economy into recession.

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Importance of Medicare and Impacts on Healthcare & the Federal Budget

By Michael Lewis

medicareImagine a community where all of the physical structures were constructed 50 years ago of wood, have antiquated wiring, and are heated by open fireplaces before the widespread use of home fire alarms. Despite the homeowners’ collective attempts to live safely, fires commonly break out, rapidly moving from house to house, often destroying and damaging whole blocks of structures so that one-third of the structures need rebuilding each year. In such a community, the costs of home insurance would be astronomical – $3,000 (or $36,000 a year) for a $100,000 home wouldn’t be an overestimation. Every year, premiums would increase due to the rising costs of replacement materials and labor. In such an environment, no one could afford the costs of home insurance.

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Should Social Security Be Privatized? – Pros & Cons

By Michael Lewis

social securityIn 1998, conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation reported that an average American household of two earners with a combined income of $52,000 would pay a total of $320,000 in Social Security taxes over their lifetimes (including their employers’ share), and receive about $450,000 after retiring at age 67. The Foundation suggested that the same funds invested equally in U.S. Treasury bills and equities would grow to $975,000, more than double the return under the existing Social Security program. In 2001, President George W. Bush introduced a “partial privatization” proposal, which initiated an ongoing public debate about the feasibility and wisdom of replacing a portion of the existing U.S. Treasury bonds portfolio with equity investments.

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