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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.

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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How Key Person Life Insurance Can Protect Your Small Business

By Michael Lewis

purchasing key person insuranceA small retail business in my community recently shuttered its doors when one of the partners was unexpectedly killed in an automobile accident. Even though the 25-year-old company had survived numerous economic recessions and changes in healthcare regulation, when the owner passed, the bank required the payment of the company’s outstanding bank debt, and the company was forced to dissolve.

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What Is Medicaid – How It Works, Opposing Views & Future

By Michael Lewis

many elderly people rely on medicaidMany health officials believe that Medicaid is the glue that helps to hold our healthcare system together, taking on the highest-risk, sickest, and most expensive populations that cannot qualify for outside private insurance or Medicare. It is America’s ultimate safety net. Unfortunately, it is also extremely costly: Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare – the “big three” entitlement programs – accounted for 44% of the federal budget in 2012, according to The Heritage Foundation, and collectively consumed more than $2 trillion of services, with total revenues of $2.4 trillion.

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5 Political Lies About Social Security – Understanding the Problems

By Michael Lewis

social security benefitsSocial Security was created on August 14, 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act and has been controversial since its beginning. A Cato Institute commentary compared Social Security to Otto von Bismarck’s welfare state in Germany, calling it a “Ponzi scheme, with new contributions used to pay off earlier ‘investors.’” The author of the Cato commentary, Marc Rudov, doubles down his criticism in a second American Thinker article, stating that “Social Security is irreversibly insolvent.” These negative statements assume that future beneficiaries will receive no benefits or will receive payments less than their contributions because their contributions are being used to support current beneficiaries.

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6 Tips to Being a Good Parent Coach of Youth Sports

By Michael Lewis

coachWhen the snow melts, trees regain green canopies, and daylight extends evenings, millions of young boys and girls flood schoolyards, soccer fields, and baseball diamonds to begin a new season of youth sports. Surveys indicate that almost 70% of children between the ages of 6 and 12 participate in organized sports. This annual migration to athletic fields is a good thing because according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, sports help children exercise, make friends, have fun, learn to play as a member of a team, learn to play fair, and improve self-esteem.

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Offshore Pirate Banks & Tax Havens – Tools of the Super-Rich

By Michael Lewis

offshore banksAccording to Forbes Magazine, an estimated $15 to $20 trillion is sitting in the “pirate” banking system today, a complex, interwoven collection of financial institutions domiciled in tax havens around the world. Nearly one-half of the funds are owned by less than 100,000 people, who comprise 0.0001% of the world’s population. These funds, shrouded in secrecy and protected by layers of anonymous owners, are immune from any government oversight and invulnerable to taxation, maintained by and for the super-rich, as well as multinational corporations.

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How to Deal With Seasonal Sadness & Depression During the Holidays

By Michael Lewis

holiday sadnessExperiencing sadness during the holidays is not unusual. Fewer hours of sunlight, the often sharp contrast between the idyllic seasonal family scenes pictured in media and real life circumstances, and the impending conclusion of another year combine to make many people gloomy. The year’s end is a time of reflection, often accompanied by sadness, loneliness, loss of self-worth, and even anger. Sometimes, sadness is justified (the loss of a loved one, a job, or a marriage), but intensified due to the holiday season where others seem so happy and content. These emotions during the winter months have been recognized by the psychiatric community as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

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How to Prepare for a Stress-Free Christmas Holiday Season

By Michael Lewis

christmas morningMaybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

The thoughts of the Grinch as he puzzled over the meaning of Christmas in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” are worth pondering in the coming season of excess, expectations, and exchange. Scholars trace the beginnings of  Christmas to the winter solstice of Scandinavia, celebrated in early Rome as Saturnalia for the God of Agriculture, and by Christians as the birth of Jesus Christ. It was considered to be decadent by early Puritans, and was outlawed in Boston from 1659 to 1681. It was finally declared an American holiday by President Ulysses S. Grant on June 28, 1870, along with New Year’s Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving.

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