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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.

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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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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