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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. Mike's articles on personal investments, business management, and the economy are available on several online publications. He's a father and grandfather, who also writes non-fiction and biographical pieces about growing up in the plains of West Texas - including The Storm.

The Failure of America’s Political System – Understanding Hyper-Partisanship

By Michael Lewis

partisanshipIf you are frustrated, disgusted, and fed up with the failure of Congress and the President to address the primary issues facing the country, you’re not alone. According to a Pew Research Poll, more than 80% of citizens don’t trust the government to do what is right most of the time. The fiasco over raising the federal debt to maintain America’s unrivaled credit standing was just the latest example of a Federal Government so polarized that basic legislation and critical appointments are almost impossible.

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Men vs. Women: Differences in Shopping Habits & Buying Decisions

By Michael Lewis

man and woman shoppingJohn Gray’s 1992 book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” confirmed what men and women have always known: The two sexes differ in their perspectives, motives, rationales, and actions. Even though the reason for the differences (nature or nurture) continues to be debated, study after study reflects similar results, and sophisticated companies have adapted their customer outreach programs to account for these differences. Everything from advertising style, message, and media, to product design, store layout, sales training, and customer service policies are designed to appeal specifically to both sexes.

The goal of every retailer is to:

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How to Get the Job You Want – 3 Keys to Success

By Michael Lewis

choosing a dream jobAccording to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, one in five workers was dissatisfied with their current job in 2012. A Jobviate survey also taken in 2012 found that three out of every four workers are actively seeking new positions, suggesting that even those who may be satisfied in their current employment will move to a “better” job, given the opportunity. If you are currently looking for the next position in your career, you have a lot of competition.

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How Much Life Insurance Do I Need? – Typical Coverage Amounts

By Michael Lewis

life insurance policyWhen I was a young husband and father, I visited an old family friend who had been in the insurance business for ages. Being concerned about the future, I asked, “How much life insurance do I need?” The old pro looked at me and replied, “How long are you planning on being dead?”

I subsequently discovered that there are popular rules of thumb used to calculate the amount of life insurance you need (8 to 10 times your annual income is typical). I also learned that each person’s situation is different, and needs to change over time. As a consequence, you should assess your situation and your life insurance need each time a major event in your life occurs, such as a marriage, birth, home purchase, new business, death, or retirement.

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How to Prevent Identity Theft and Protect Your Personal Information

By Michael Lewis

identity theftIn 2013, Americans were shocked to learn that the National Security Agency conducted mass surveillance of its citizens by intercepting and monitoring Internet and phone traffic within and outside of the country’s borders. When challenged, government officials justified the collection on the basis of national security and ongoing threats of foreign terrorism within the U.S., believing these threats to be aided by both American citizens and foreign nationals within the country.

The disclosure ignited a debate between those advocating the need for the government to access such information and those who deem such acts a violation of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment and an implied right to privacy. Whether the program is going be modified in the future remains uncertain.

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Income Inequality in America – Definition, Causes & Statistics

By Michael Lewis

income disparityWarren Buffett, number two on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America, said, “There’s class warfare, all right – but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” Certainly, the disparity between the wealthy minority and the rest of Americans has widened considerably over the past 40 years. In 1973, the top 1% of earners collected 7.7% of all U.S. income; by 2013, their share had grown by two and a half times to 19.3%. Even more astounding, the top 10% of earners collected almost half of the nation’s total income (48.2%), the greatest disparity between the rich and the rest of the American population since the Roaring Twenties.

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Raising the US National Debt Ceiling – Crisis Definition & History

By Michael Lewis

fiscal cliffThe circus is coming back to town, seemingly an annual occurrence following the 2010 Congressional elections. Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives with the most House seats since 1938 (242 Republicans, 193 Democrats), while Democrats retained control of the Senate with 53 seats. And even though Democratic President Barack Obama won reelection in 2012, Congress remains divided between the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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How to Use Social Media Marketing Strategy to Increase Sales

By Michael Lewis

engaging on social mediaThe business marketplace now is more fecund than at any point in history. Yet it is harshly discriminating, rewarding only those who are able to master its complexity and rise above the cacophony of simultaneous competitive messages. Traditional marketing avenues – print, radio, and television – have lost their dominance in the last decade as┬áthe use of the Internet and new social media has exploded. The time spent by Americans on the Internet has risen more than 25% year-over-year (320,689 million minutes, 2011; 401,699 million minutes, 2012) according to the Nielsen 2012 Social Media Report – and if you want to sell anything in today’s market, you must be visible online.

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What Are E-Cigarettes – Risks, Regulations & How They Work

By Michael Lewis

e-cigaretteElectronic cigarettes – colloquially known as “e-cigarettes,” and initially introduced into the United States in 2007 – target smokers who are increasingly forbidden to indulge their habit in public places. Sales reached $500 million in 2012 and are expected to double to $1 billion in 2013, and double again in 2014.

Despite the growth year-to-year, total sales for e-cigarettes are just a fraction of the total tobacco product sales in the U.S., projected to reach more than $106 billion in 2015 with a total global market of almost $890 billion.

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Should I Take Online College Classes? – Pros & Cons, Various Programs

By Michael Lewis

online learningAccording to College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 school year was $8,655 for state residents attending public colleges, $21,706 for out-of-state residents attending public universities, and $29,056 for students attending private colleges. These expenses don’t include the cost of housing, meals, books, school supplies, clothing and personal needs, or transportation expenses, which can equal or exceed the cost of tuition.

Accordingly, many students and parents are considering the use of online long distance learning (LDL) courses as a method to reduce the expense of college education. The question is, can LDL courses realistically replace the benefits of an on-campus degree?

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7 Ways to Reduce the Cost of a College Education

By Michael Lewis

reducing college expensesAccording to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately two-thirds of high school graduates enroll in college the fall following graduation. While most experts agree that a college education affects annual earnings by at least $20,000 (an estimated $1 million over the course of a working career), a 2011 Pew Research poll reported that more than 75% of Americans think a college education has become too expensive to afford.

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How to Praise and Encourage Kids Appropriately for Success

By Michael Lewis

parentsAs Dr. Madeline Levine, author of “Teach Your Children Well,” stated in a 2012 New York Times article, “The central task of growing up is to develop a sense of self that is autonomous, confident, and generally in accord with reality.” Unfortunately, many parents in their attempts to give their children self-esteem and psychological security overly praise their children and celebrate the completion of tasks that are ordinary and easy, effectively rewarding them for mediocre efforts. As a consequence, children develop a false sense of self-confidence and achievement, a facade of self-esteem that crumbles when they are challenged as teenagers and college students with potentially devastating consequences.

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How to Retire Early – 6 Important Life Decisions

By Michael Lewis

early retirementWhat does retirement mean to you? Is it a point in time where you can stop working and do what you want to do? Is it a sum of savings and investments where a salary or wages are no longer necessary to maintain your desired lifestyle? Is it the age when you become eligible for Social Security payments, Medicare, and AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) membership?

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How Parents Can Help Their Children Deal With Disappointment

By Michael Lewis

disappointed childDisappointment is the result of unmet expectations, and is often accompanied by frustration, anger, sadness, and/or withdrawal. According to Dr. Ilona Roth, noted author on autism spectrum disorders and senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University UK, children begin to show elements of imagination at as early as one year of age, and, by two or three year of age, are conjuring thoughts about what might happen (or even what could really never happen). As a consequence, they develop expectations early about disappointment and begin to develop coping mechanisms upon which they will rely for the rest of their lives.

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What Is Privatization of Public Services – Definition, Pros & Cons

By Michael Lewis

bridgeSince the beginning of civilization, there has been tension over the role of government and the provision of services paid for with public funds (tax dollars). Before the advent of democracies, ambitious, enterprising men sought the favor of royalty in order to gain political power and riches at the expense of the population.

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