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How this theme-park fanatic makes a living by predicting future rides at Disney and Universal

Alicia Stella turned her passion into a career. Her predictions of new rides at Disney and elsewhere go on her website, podcast, and YouTube channel. Alicia Stella.Courtesy of Alicia Stella Alicia Stella is a lifelong theme-park fan and resident of Orlando, Florida. She makes a living snooping the internet for information on the newest attractions at major theme parks. "I find bits of information that individually don't tell a story," Stella said. "But when you put them together, you see the broader picture." Alicia Stella, a lifelong theme park fan and resident of Orlando, Florida, makes a living scouring the internet for top-secret information on the newest attractions and experiences coming to area theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. Stella often lets the cat out of the bag long before Disney or Universal make any official announcement. Stella relies on permits, patents, and site plans — along with the ever-churning theme park rumor mill — to get a sneak peek at what's going on behind the scenes at Disney and Universal parks. Her uncanny ability to take what she learns from her sleuthing sessions to predict what's being developed for these parks that sets her apart from other theme-park aficionados, and it's allowed her to turn her passion into a career.Originally from South Florida, Stella's fascination with theme parks took root during her family's annual visits to Orlando. Each time she visited, there would be slight changes. Disney World's "Mission to Mars" attraction evolved into "ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter" and "If You Had Wings" eventually became "Delta Dreamflight." "It was fascinating to me that the parks were always evolving," Stella told Insider. "It really sparked something in me that there were these slight changes whenever I would go back."Her interest flourished when she moved to Central Florida in high school and was close enough to get annual passes and visit the parks more often. When Stella jumped into the world of blogging, she dabbled in various topics, but she always came back to the one thing she never tires of talking about: theme parks.In 2017, she gave her theme park news stories a permanent home on her current site, Orlando ParkStop, and YouTube channel, Theme Park Stop. She wasn't necessarily planning on her talents becoming a full-time business, but she did notice that the theme park stories on her previous blog generated more Google ad revenue than anything else. Today, Orlando ParkStop still generates income from Google ads, but YouTube ads are now a part of the mix. Stella also cohosts the ParkStop Podcast, sells merchandise, and has a Patreon page where fans can help to support her work. As a thank you, the Patreon community often gets early access to videos and podcasts — as well as the occasional lesson on how to do the exact type of research Stella does to create her videos and articles. "I recently put out a secret video just for Patreon subscribers that shows them how to look up permits," Stella said.Stella shared a few of her secrets with us as well, and it turns out, the information isn't so secret after all. "There are multiple websites that share permits for the state of Florida and, due to the Florida Freedom of Information Act, anyone can access these records," Stella said. These sites include the Orange County Comptroller, Orange County Planning & Development, and the South Florida Water Management District. "Patents are also publicly available. You can search a company's name and see everything they've patented to find out what they are currently working on."Finding these patents and permits is the easy part of Stella's job. The hard part is making sense of the information she finds. "What I tend to find is a lot of tiny dribs and drabs of information that individually don't tell a story," Stella said. "But when you put all the disparate pieces together like you would a puzzle, you start to see the broader picture."And that is where the rumor mill comes in. If a particular rumor comes up multiple times on the theme park forums Stella frequents, she'll start to take note of it."When I can match up rumors with evidence like a patent for some new technology or a permit, that adds some credence to the rumor and that's when the story starts to become clearer," Stella said.Take, for example, the recently closed "Shrek 4-D" attraction at Universal Studios Florida. Rumors about the attraction's closure have been swirling for nearly four years and Stella has been keeping tabs on the project the entire time.There have been plenty of theories on what will replace Shrek 4-D, but Stella's intuition tells her a Minions-based attraction will soon take its place. Based on her research, she's long theorized that the new attraction would find guests on a moving walkway, shooting blasters at targets along the way. The attraction would be themed to the Villain-Con seen in the first "Minions" movie.Not only has Universal teased that the new attraction would in fact have a Minions theme, but a permit recently filed with the Orange County Comptroller confirms the moving walkway concept. Now, we wait (im)patiently for Universal to confirm what Stella already seems to know. "At first, I thought there was no way they would have moving walkways on a ride," she said. "Now I believe it." Another project on Stella's radar is the currently-under-construction Universal's Epic Universe, the first US theme park to be built during the digital age when we can follow such things so closely. Stella noticed in 2018 that Universal had been acquiring hundreds of acres of land in the Orlando area. In addition to trademarking the name "Epic Universe," Universal left a trail of breadcrumbs that led Stella to announce Universal's fourth gate months before Universal made the official announcement.If you want to keep up with progress on Universal's Epic Universe, you can always sit around and wait for Universal to make an announcement. Or you can follow along with Stella's well-researched predictions and be one of the first to know.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

53 first Father"s Day gifts for new dads, from tech that makes fatherhood easier to treats for his down time

Celebrate his first Father's Day as a new dad with these thoughtful gifts, from a gourmet meat box to a time-saving robot vacuum. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Crowd Cow; AmazonNo one really knows how simultaneously exhausting, exciting, and rewarding being a new dad is until you become one. If you know a new father, there are many ways you can be there for him, from lending a supportive ear to giving him a first Father's Day present that celebrates or helps with his new day-to-day life as a dad.These practical and thoughtful gifts will let him know you're thinking of him — and that you forgive him when he's too busy changing diapers to pick up your call. The 53 best first Father's Day gifts for new dads in 2022:Low-maintenance plants to brighten his roomBloomscapeBloomscape Tough Stuff Plant Collection, $69Add beautiful greenery to his space without giving him a ton of extra work. This trio of plants is incredibly forgiving and easy to take care of. The plants don't require regular watering and adapt to many different light environments. Refreshing, ready-to-drink cocktailsStraightawayStraightaway Cocktail Tool Box, $84.95No time to shake up a cocktail and deal with the cleanup? No problem. Straightaway makes delectable craft cocktails like Negronis and Margaritas that are ready to pour and drink right out of the bottle. A weighted blanket to help ease those new dad jittersAmazonBlanQuil Chill Cooling 15-pound Weighted Blanket, $169Our favorite cooling weighted blanket not only applies soothing, anxiety-relieving pressure as Dad sleeps, but also actively wicks away moisture and helps maintain his body temperature through the night. That means deeper nights of sleep and more energy in the morning to tackle all the day's tasks. A simple yet thoughtful cardMintedFresh Dad Greeting Card, $6.98Let him know you're cheering him on in his new journey with a lovely card. You can personalize the interior message on Minted. A fitness app with extrasClassPass appInsider / Hannah ToweyClassPass gift card, available at ClassPass, from $50If the new dad in your life loves working out but has too busy a schedule to justify a gym membership, a ClassPass gift card will let him attend nearby classes at his own pace. As a bonus, ClassPass also covers non-fitness activities like meditation sessions and spa appointments.A meat or seafood boxCrowd Cow/InstagramCrowd Cow Gift Box, available at Crowd Cow, from $36.07Give a new dad something delicious to cook. Crowd Cow's meats and seafood are sourced from independent producers that practice sustainable farming and ethical treatment of animals.An efficient robot vacuum to manage household messesAmazoniRobot Roomba i3+ Robot Vacuum, $499Cleaning the house is doubly exhausting with a baby in tow. The best robot vacuum we've tested is the powerful, low-maintenance solution to his cleaning woes. It picks up all kinds of debris and crumbs from both carpet and hardwood, plus it automatically empties its own dustbin. It only takes 10 minutes to set up and program a cleaning schedule, then he can allow the vacuum on its merry way. A pair of chinosBonobosBonobos Chinos, available Bonobos, from $99Unfortunately, a new dad can't wear lounge pants all the time. But that doesn't mean they've got to sacrifice comfort. Bonobos chinos come in multiple fits and sizes, and the signature curved waistband offers an unobtrusive fit that makes them great for the office, a trip to the store, or a playdate in the park. Non-alcoholic wineJukes CordialitiesJukes 6 Wine, available at Jukes Cordialities, $48.50As tough as being a new dad can be, waking up at 2 a.m. for the bottle-feeding after a couple glasses of wine at dinner can be even harder. Thankfully, Jukes offers delicious wine without the brain fog. Available in white, red, or rose, each Jukes bottle makes delicious non-alcoholic wine when mixed with chilled water. Candles to freshen up the houseElder & Co.Elder & Co. Parks and Trails Sample Set, available at Elder & Co., $36From stinky diapers to special lotions and shampoos, new fatherhood can be an olfactory assault. Thankfully, this eight-candle sampler from Elder & Co. includes scents like Appalachian Trail, Joshua Tree, and Grand Canyon to bring some much-needed calm and control over the not-so-pleasant new baby smells.  A smart speaker for baby's roomAmazonEcho Dot, available at Amazon, $27.99A smart speaker is a nice addition to the home. It can play lullabies at bedtime, or dad can use it to listen to music or get any quick, hands-free information he needs. A rugged phone case that protects against both bumps and germsOtterboxOtterbox Commuter Series Antimicrobial iPhone 13 Case, $39.95It's always a good idea to have a protective case on your phone, but even more so when you're a busy new father. Otterbox's cases are lightweight yet very rugged, protecting his phone from all kinds of drops and bumps. This one has an additional silver-based additive that protects against bacteria.A diaper backpackAmazonBag Nation Backpack Diaper Bag, available at Amazon, $84.95Resembling a commuter bag, this 14-pocket backpack is durable and holds all the essentials, from diapers to bottles and everything in between. There's even a foldout changing pad.A quick snackChompsChomps Trial Pack, available at Chomps, $14.99A relaxed sit-down meal is all but a distant memory for many new dads, so snacking between feedings, bottle cleanings, diaper changes, and errands is key. Chomps makes a variety of meat sticks from beef, turkey, and venison, all of which are sustainably farmed and grass fed. Each stick includes 9 grams of protein, zero sugars, and no nitrates — healthy, quick, and easy.A durable water bottleHydro Flask/Alyssa Powell/InsiderHydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle, available at Hydro Flask, $32.95When life gets as hectic as it does for new fathers, it's easy to forget to drink water. This durable insulated metal bottle keeps water cold and within arm's reach. It's also one of our editors' favorite things and was included in our recent list of the All-Time Best products we tested.A travel trivia gamePaper SourceGentleman's Hardware Road Trip Trivia, available at Paper Source, $19.95Just because kids enter the picture doesn't mean traveling stops. In fact, trips to grandma and grandpa's house will have a new dad on the road more than before, so give them a gift that they can use. This road-trip trivia pack from Gentlemen's Hardware includes 100 cards and convenient travel tin. A portable speakerAmazonJBL Clip 3 Portable Speaker, available at Amazon, $39.95The JBL Clip 3 is the ultimate Bluetooth speaker for new dads. It comes in a variety of colors; has an integrated carabiner to attach to a stroller, car seat, or backpack; and, most importantly, is waterproof. Paired with a smartphone, dad can sit back and relax while blasting "Baby Shark" for the 100th time.A smart coffee warmerBest BuyEmber Mug², available at Target, Best Buy, and Bloomingdale's, from $129.95Every new parent knows the taste of lukewarm coffee — it's inevitable. Dad deserves (needs!) to have delicious, warm coffee. The Ember Mug² will keep their beverage warm for more than an hour, pairs with an app to ensure the right temperature, and recharges on a coaster.A funny book about fatherhoodBarnes & NobleMan vs. Baby: The Chaos and Comedy of Real-Life Parenting, available at Amazon, $13.89Nothing will fully prepare him for the chaos and confusion of being a new dad. However, Matt Coyne's sleep-deprived take on parenting provides hilarious and honest reassurance that he's doing alright, no matter how stressful it seems.Polarized sunglassesREIGift the Sunski Puerto polarized sunglasses, available Sunski, $48Some dads worry that their style will cease when they welcome a child into the world. A new pair of shades is a quick way to shake up the routine. These sunglasses are made of lightweight recycled material and feature polarized lenses that eliminate glare. Bonus, if the glasses break from normal use, Sunski will replace or fix them.Hot honey to spice up every mealAmazonBushwick Kitchen Bees Knees Spicy Honey, available at Amazon, $14.24Dad will be taking breakfast to the next level in no time at all with Bushwick Kitchen's sauces. Choose from sweet and spicy sauces like wildflower honey mixed with habanero peppers or mild, sweet options like Meyer lemon honey. A basketball jersey for babyNBA StoreNBA Baby Jersey, available at NBA Store, from $39.99It's going to be a while before baby gets into it, but it's still a lot of fun for a new dad to watch the game with baby decked out in their favorite jersey.A tea subscriptionAtlas Tea ClubAtlas Tea Club 3-Month Subscription, available at Atlas Club, $55Coffee can be a new parent's greatest weapon against restless nights and early mornings, but sometimes it can be too much. Gift the new dad in your life a monthly tea subscription from Atlas. The subscription includes two new single-origin teas from around the world delivered every month. A portable white noise machineAmazonMarpac Portable White Noise Machine, available at Amazon, $23.99The compact Marpac has impressive sound, a variety of white noise options, and a small nightlight. Dad can use the included clip to connect it to a stroller, car seat, or carrier for walks and car rides.A convenient sling bagMomentMoment Fanny Sling, available at B&H Photo, from $59.99Moment is known for making smartphone-oriented products, but within the past few years, the brand has moved into products for more mobile lifestyles, and if anyone is living that, it's a new dad. This waterproof, easy-to-clean sling can hold a wallet, keys, phone, camera, snack bar, and other necessities.  It's perfect for running errands or a day traipsing around a theme park. Comfortable slide sandalsHunter BootGift the Hunter Original Lightweight Moulded Slides, available at Hunter Boot, $45.00Hunter's EVA slides fit the bill for easy, lightweight, and durable footwear. The perforated uppers and contoured footbed keep dad's feet cool and comfortable, and you can't beat the ease of simply sliding them on for errands or just to wear around the house.A compact flashlightCoastGift the HX-4 LED Flashlight, available at Amazon, from $13.12Fumbling for diapers in the middle of the night or searching for that tiny clip from baby's teething toy that fell between the seats in the car are good reasons for dad to have a great flashlight. This one is small, has a clip and a magnet to attach it nearly anywhere, features a powerful LED in white and red light, and can be rotated 180 degrees to make sure it's exactly where dad needs it.A new set of sheets for parents and babyBrooklinenGift the Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set, from $139Brooklittles Crib Sheet Set, available at Brooklinen, from $32Sleep, when it does happen for both dad and baby, is so much better on a set of soft sheets that make them feel like they're sleeping on a cloud. Brooklinen sheets are great for delicate skin and hot sleepers, and they come in a variety of colors and prints. They're also one of the best products we've ever tested.A wireless charging stationNomadNomad Base Station, available Nomad, $99.95If the secret to success as a new dad is organization, Nomad's wireless charger fits the bill. It can power two devices simultaneously while also allowing for a USB-C and USB-A cord to be plugged in for a total of four devices at once. Mom and dad's phones, AirPods, and the portable white noise machine will all be ready to go at a moment's notice.A high-quality shaving kitHarry'sHarry's Truman Shave Set, available at Harry's, $15This essential shave set includes a razor with a comfortable handle and textured rubber grip, three German-engineered blade cartridges, foaming shave gel for a rich lather, and a travel cover to protect the blades.A travel mug for coffee timeAmazonGift the Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, from $19.99New dads rarely have both hands free, so eliminating the need to twist, pop, flip, or open their coffee mug makes life so much easier. Dad can simply add their coffee, screw on the top, and pull the trigger to open up the world of caffeine goodness.One tool for almost every jobREILeatherman Wingman Multi-Tool, available at REI, $69.95The Leatherman Wingman is loaded with 14 tools, including a knife, screwdrivers, bottle openers, and even a 1-inch ruler, so dad can fix just about anything and pop open a cold one when they're done.Super soft lounge pantsTommy JohnTommy John Second Skin Lounge Pants, available at Dillard's, $68New dads will love a pair of comfortable house pants that won't embarrass them when the in-laws show up unannounced. These soft, light pants from Tommy John are perfect and hold up nicely in the wash.Instant pour-over coffeeKahawa 1893Kahawa 1893 Coffee Lovers Gift Box, available at Kahawa 1893, $49Restless nights and uncertain mornings may have dad missing their morning pour-over coffee ritual. They can still have that rich flavor thanks to third-generation Kenyan coffee farmer Margaret Kemunto Nyamumbo. This single-serve is packaged like a teabag, ready in five minutes, and 100% compostable. Stroller phone mountAmazonSkip Hop Stroll and Connect Universal Phone Holder, available at Buy Buy Baby, $15.99Made with tough plastic and rubber grips, the Stroll and Connect mounts to a stroller or shopping cart. It stays put and won't fall off on bumpy terrain or in crowded aisles.Comfortable slip-on shoesVasqueVasque Satoru Moc, available at Backcountry, $69.96As any parent will tell you, getting your shoes on can be downright tough when you're holding the baby, diaper bag, and much, much more. Footwear brand Vasque has new dads covered. With a sock-like upper and memory foam footbed, dad will probably wear them all day, and the easy on and off makes them infinitely versatile.A play kit of curated toysLoveveryPlay Kit Subscription, available at Lovevery, from $40/monthMake those long hours playing on the floor count with a subscription to Lovevery curated age-appropriate toy kits. Delivered every two months, each kit comes with a guide that explains how the included toys support a child's development. A device to keep track of everythingAmazonTile Essentials 4-Pack, available at Amazon, $69.99This grab bag of Tile options lets new parents rely on technology instead of their overtaxed brains. New dads can attach Tiles to their keys, diaper bag, and wallet to ensure those items never stay lost for too long. And if dad has their keys but not their phone, they can double-tap the Tile to make it ring. A comfortable pillowCoop Home GoodsCoop Home Goods Original Pillow, available at Amazon, $71.99A comfy pillow might be the most important ingredient for a restful night. The Coop pillow has adjustable fill that can be added or removed to their liking, and a 100-night trial means dad isn't stuck with it if they don't like it.A quick hangBackcountryMetolius Project Board, available at Backcountry, $64.95With a variety of holds, from jugs to crimps to pockets, the Metolius Project Board is great for releasing tension with a quick upper body workout. Dad can use it just about anywhere indoors or outside, and the fine texture is easy on the skin.A delicious baby blanketUncommonGoodsTortilla Baby Blanket, available at Uncommon Goods, $50The flour tortilla print on this blanket is perfect for wrapping your baby up like a bundle of burrito joy. The blanket is made of breathable cotton/polyester blend fabric that will keep the baby comfortable and cool. Single-origin coffee beansColectivo CoffeeColectivo Coffee—Sumatra, available at Colectivo, from $15.95If dad is a coffee fanatic, they'll love a bag of single-origin beans. Grown in the volcanic soil in the rugged mountains of the Indonesian island Sumatra, this rich, complex blend has notes of molasses and pineapple. And for those mornings where there's no time to hassle with a French press, don't overlook instant coffees, which have caught up in quality to the whole bean variety.An adjustable baby carrierBradley Hasemeyer/InsiderErgobaby Omni 360 All-in-One Carrier, available at Amazon and Buy Buy Baby, from $149Whether dad is running errands or spending a day in the park, a good baby carrier makes everything so much easier. The Ergobaby Omni 360 is made from super soft cotton and easily adjusts to fit waists and shoulders of all sizes. It works in multiple positions, too — front or back, face-in or face-out. An Instant PotTargetInstant Pot Duo 7-in-1 (6-Ot.), available at Amazon, $88.13With the Instant Pot, cooking dinner for the whole family is a breeze. The multicooker is great for preparing soups, meats, yogurt, and even baby food. Easy cleanup means more time to spend with the little one, too.Comfortable underwearSaxxSaxx Quest Boxer Briefs, available at Quest, $32The right pair of underwear makes everything go so much smoother. The lightweight material is soft and breathable, and the patented BallPark Pouch keeps everything in place.An interactive photo journalArtifact Uprising"The Story of You" Baby Book, available at Artifact Uprising, $99A phone full of pictures and videos is great, but dad will want something to hold onto the most special moments. In this photo book, featuring a fabric cover and foil stamped title, they can write down their memories of each milestone.A lightweight button-up for a put-together lookThe Tie BarTie Bar Short-Sleeve Shirt, available at Tie Bar, from $27.50It's nice for dad to feel put-together sometimes. The 100% cotton button-ups from Tie Bar are perfect for a rare night out or a day at the office.A foam rollerTrigger PointTriggerPoint GRID foam roller, available at Amazon, $34.99Knots and tight muscles go hand in hand with parenting. Dad will appreciate having this foam roller to roll away the aches and pains of being a new parent.A cold brew makerAmazonTakeya Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $27.64Dad will love a cup of cold brew coffee when they need a pick-me-up after sneaking in an afternoon nap. The easy-to-use Takeya Deluxe makes up to 1 quart of concentrate. Comfortable running socksDarn ToughGift the Darn Tough Stride Micro Crew Ultra-Light Running Sock, available at Amazon and Darn Tough, from $18.95For many new dads, exercise is crucial to maintaining mental health, but they can't afford to get sore feet. These running socks are made from merino wool for moisture-wicking, provide arch support to reduce fatigue, and have seamless stitching to prevent blisters and chaffing. Another plus is Darn Tough's no-questions-asked lifetime guarantee.A soft coolerClevermadeCleverMade SnapBasket Soft-Sided Cooler Tote, available at Amazon, $44.99Dad is going to need a good cooler for bringing groceries home from the store or packing baby food for a road trip. This one has a 50-can capacity, but it still folds up small enough to stash under the seat when they don't need it.A custom print of baby's footprintsPine & Poem Baby / EtsyBaby Footprint Art Print, available at Etsy, from $18It's always hard to believe how little they used to be. This is an attractive, thoughtful personalized that fits nicely anywhere in the home.A tool kitAmazonCartman General Household 39-piece toolkit, available at Amazon, $19.99There's just something about being a dad that turns everyone into an overnight handy person. This tool kit includes all the basics they'll need for assembling or repairing all that new gear in the nursery and beyond.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 12th, 2022

49 best gifts for new dads and expectant fathers this holiday season

New fathers will appreciate a thoughtful gift this holiday. Here are 49 of the best gifts for new dads, from a diaper backpack to comfy sneakers. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Lovevery Becoming a parent is a complicated process and yet it can literally happen over night. From sleep schedules being thrown off to shifting priorities, new dads can feel out of sorts very quickly. But you can help a new dad. Thoughtful gifts that help them on a daily basis are some of the best ways to support them. Dad's new normal may be rocking his world, but these thoughtful gifts will help ease the change. From an on-the-go snack to comfortable sheets, we rounded up the best gifts for new dads this holiday. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. From a tea subscription to nonalcoholic wine, these are the gifts dads would ask for if they weren't too busy with diapers and figuring out how the stroller folds up to get into the car. Here are 49 of the best gifts for new dads: Non-alcoholic wine Jukes Cordialities Jukes 6 Wine, available at Jukes Cordialities, $48.50As tough as being a new dad can be, waking up at 2 a.m. for the bottle-feeding after a couple glasses of wine at dinner can be even harder. Thankfully, Jukes offers delicious wine without the brain fog. Available in white, red, or rose, each Jukes bottle makes delicious non-alcoholic wine when mixed with chilled water.  A quick snack Chomps Chomps Mild Variety Pack, available at Chomps, $22.50A relaxed sit-down meal is all but a distant memory for many new dads, so snacking between feedings, bottle cleanings, diaper changes, and errands is key. Chomps makes a variety of meat sticks from beef, turkey, and venison, all of which are sustainably farmed and grass fed. Each stick includes 9 grams of protein, zero sugars, and no nitrates — healthy, quick, and easy. Candles to freshen up the house Elder & Co. Elder & Co. Parks and Trails Sample Set, available at Elder & Co., $36From stinky diapers to special lotions and shampoos, new fatherhood can be an olfactory assault. Thankfully, this eight-candle sampler from Elder & Co. includes scents like Appalachian Trail, Joshua Tree, and Grand Canyon to bring some much needed calm and control over the not-so-pleasant new baby smells.   A travel trivia game Paper Source Gentleman's Hardware Road Trip Trivia, available at Paper Source, $14.95Just because kids enter the picture doesn't mean traveling stops. In fact, trips to grandma and grandpa's house will have a new dad on the road more than before, so give them a gift that they can use. This road-trip trivia pack from Gentlemen's Hardware includes 100 cards and a convenient travel tin.  A diaper backpack Amazon Bag Nation Backpack Diaper Bag, available at Amazon, $59.95Resembling a commuter bag, this 14-pocket backpack is durable and holds all the essentials, from diapers to bottles and everything in between. There's even a foldout changing pad. A tea subscription Atlas Tea Club Atlas Tea Club 3-Month Subscription, available at Atlas Club, $60Coffee can be a new parent's greatest weapon against restless nights and early mornings, but sometimes it can be too much. Gift the new dad in your life a monthly tea subscription from Atlas. The subscription includes two new single-origin teas from around the world delivered every month.  A portable speaker Amazon JBL Clip 3 Portable Speaker, available at Amazon, $49.95The JBL Clip 3 is the ultimate bluetooth speaker for new dads. It comes in a variety of colors; has an integrated carabiner to attach to a stroller, car seat, or backpack; and, most importantly, is waterproof. Paired with a smartphone, dad can sit back and relax while blasting "Baby Shark" for the hundredth time. A portable white noise machine Amazon Marpac Portable White Noise Machine, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, $26.99The compact Marpac has impressive sound, a variety of white noise options, and a small nightlight. Dad can use the included clip to connect it to a stroller, car seat, or carrier for walks and car rides. A convenient sling bag Moment Moment Fanny Sling, available at Moment and B&H Photo, from $59.99Moment is known for making smartphone-oriented products, but within the past few years, the brand has moved into mobile lifestyle, and if anyone is living that, it's a new dad. This waterproof, easy-to-clean sling can hold a wallet, keys, phone, camera, snack bar, and other necessities.  It's perfect for running errands or a day traipsing around a theme park. *This product is currently backordered A smart coffee warmer Best Buy Ember Mug², available at Target, Best Buy, Overstock, and Bloomingdale's, from $99.95Every new parent knows the taste of lukewarm coffee — it's inevitable. Dad deserves (needs!) to have delicious, warm coffee. The Ember Mug² will keep their beverage warm for more than an hour, pairs with an app to ensure the right temperature, and recharges on a coaster. . Hot sauce Amazon Bushwick Kitchen Bees Knees Spicy Honey, available at Amazon, $14.99Dad will be taking breakfast to the next level in no time at all with Bushwick Kitchen's sauces. Choose from sweet and spicy sauces like wildflower honey mixed with habanero peppers or mild, sweet options like Meyer lemon honey.  A waterproof tote bag Adventureon Gift the Veer Tote, available at Adventureon, $99This tote is a great gift for new dads — not only does it have padded handles and an interior water-resistant zip compartment, but the entire bag is made of coated waterproof fabric. That means dads can get it as dirty as they want and simply rinse it off to make it good as new. A funny book about fatherhood Barnes & Noble Man vs. Baby: The Chaos and Comedy of Real-Life Parenting, available at Amazon, $16.29Nothing will fully prepare him for the chaos and confusion of being a new dad. However, Matt Coyne's sleep-deprived take on parenting provides hilarious and honest reassurance that he's doing alright, no matter how stressful it seems. Polarized sunglasses REI Gift the Sunski Puerto polarized sunglasses, available Sunski, $48Some dads worry that their style will cease when they welcome a child into the world. A new pair of shades is a quick way to shake up the routine. These sunglasses are made of lightweight recycled material and feature polarized lenses that eliminate glare. Bonus, if the glasses break from normal use, Sunski will replace or fix them. Comfortable slide sandals Hunter Boot Gift the Hunter Original Lightweight Moulded Slides, available at Hunter Boot and Nordstrom,  $45.00Hunter's EVA slides fit the bill for easy, lightweight, and durable footwear. The perforated uppers and contoured footbed keep dad's feet cool and comfortable, and you can't beat the ease of simply sliding them on for errands or just to wear around the house. A compact flashlight Coast Gift the HX-4 LED Flashlight, available at Amazon and Coast, from $15Fumbling for diapers in the middle of the night or searching for that tiny clip from baby's teething toy that fell between the seats in the car — these are good reasons for dad to have a great flashlight. This one is small, has a clip and a magnet to attach it nearly anywhere, features a powerful LED in white and red light, and can be rotated 180 degrees to make sure it's exactly where dad needs it. A new set of sheets for parents and baby Brooklinen Gift the Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set, from $109Brooklittles Crib Sheet Set, available at Brooklinen, from $32Sleep, when it does happen for both dad and baby, is so much better on a set of soft sheets that make them feel like they're sleeping on a cloud. Brooklinen sheets are great for delicate skin and hot sleepers, and they come in a variety of colors and prints. A basketball jersey for baby NBA Store NBA Baby Jersey, available at NBA Store, from $39.99It's going to be a while before baby gets into it, but it's still a lot of fun for a new dad to watch the game with baby decked out in their favorite jersey. A travel mug for coffee time Amazon Gift the Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug, available at Stanley and Bed Bath & Beyond, from $20New dads rarely have both hands free, so eliminating the need to twist, pop, flip, or open their coffee mug makes life so much easier. Dad can simply add their coffee, screw on the top, and pull the trigger to open up the world of caffeine goodness. A fitness app with extras Centr Centr Fitness App Subscription, available at Centr, from $10/month or $120/yearBuilt by Thor and his legion of trainers, Centr is a one-stop-shop for workouts ranging from yoga to full gym routines. The app includes short, effective workouts that are perfect for that new dad schedule and the guided mediation will slow dad's anxiety. A shaving kit Harry's Harry's Truman Shave Set, available at Harry's, $15This essential shave set includes a razor with a comfortable handle and textured rubber grip, three German-engineered blade cartridges, foaming shave gel for a rich lather, and a travel cover to protect the blades. Stroller phone mount Amazon Skip Hop Stroll and Connect Universal Phone Holder, available at Buy Buy Baby, $14.99Made with tough plastic and rubber grips, the Stroll and Connect mounts to a stroller or shopping cart. It stays put and won't fall off on bumpy terrain or in crowded aisles. A wireless charging station Nomad Nomad Base Station, available Nomad, $99.95If the secret to success as a new dad is organization, Nomad's wireless charger fits the bill. It can power two devices simultaneously while also allowing for a USB-C and USB-A cord to be plugged in for a total of four devices at once. Mom and dad's phones, AirPods, and the portable white noise machine will all be ready to go at a moment's notice. One tool for almost every job REI Leatherman Wingman Multi-Tool, available at REI, $59.95The Leatherman Wingman is loaded with 14 tools, including a knife, screwdrivers, bottle openers, and even a 1-inch ruler, so dad can fix just about anything and pop open a cold one when they're done. A device to keep track of everything Amazon Tile Essentials 4-Pack, available at Amazon, $69.99This grab bag of Tile options lets new parents rely on technology instead of their overtaxed brains. New dads can attach Tiles to their keys, diaper bag, and wallet to ensure those items never stay lost for too long. And if dad has their keys but not their phone, they can double tap the Tile to make it ring.  Comfortable underwear Saxx Saxx Quest Boxer Briefs, available at Quest, $32The right pair of underwear makes everything go so much smoother. The lightweight material is soft and breathable, and the patented BallPark Pouch keeps everything in place. A play kit of curated toys Lovevery Play Kit Subscription, available at Lovevery, from $36/monthMake those long hours playing on the floor count with a subscription to Lovevery curated age-appropriate toy kits. Delivered every two months, each kit comes with a guide that explains how the included toys support a child's development.  Comfortable running socks Darn Tough Gift the Darn Tough Stride Micro Crew Ultra-Light Running Sock, available at Amazon and Darn Tough, from $18.95For many new dads, exercise is crucial to maintaining mental health, but they can't afford to get sore feet. These running socks are made from merino wool for moisture wicking, provide arch support to reduce fatigue, and have seamless stitching to to prevent blisters and chaffing. Another plus is Darn Tough's no-questions-asked lifetime guarantee. A comfortable pillow Coop Home Goods Coop Home Goods Original Pillow, available at Amazon, $61.99A comfy pillow might be the most important ingredient for a restful night. The Coop pillow has adjustable fill that can be added or removed to their liking, and a 100-night trial means dad isn't stuck with it if they don't like it. Instant pour-over coffee Kahawa 1893 Kahawa 1893 Coffee Lovers Gift Box, available at Kahawa 1893, $49Restless nights and uncertain mornings may have dad missing their morning pour-over coffee ritual. They can still have that rich flavor thanks to third-generation Kenyan coffee farmer Margaret Kemunto Nyamumbo. This single serve is packaged like a tea bag, ready in five minutes, and 100% compostable. Bonus: You can send a tip directly to the women who picked the coffee. A quick hang Backcountry Metolius Project Board, available at Backcountry, $64.95With a variety of holds, from jugs to crimps to pockets, the Metolius Project Board is great for releasing tension with a quick upper body workout. Dad can use it just about anywhere indoors or outside, and the fine texture is easy on the skin. An adjustable baby carrier Bradley Hasemeyer/Insider Ergobaby Omni 360 All-in-One Carrier, available at Buy Buy Baby, Amazon, and Ergobaby, from $161Whether dad is running errands or spending a day in the park, a good baby carrier makes everything so much easier. The Ergobaby Omni 360 is made from super soft cotton and easily adjusts to fit waists and shoulders of all sizes. It works in multiple positions, too — front or back, face-in or face-out.  An Instant Pot Target Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 (6-Ot.), available at Amazon, $89With the Instant Pot, cooking dinner for the whole family is a breeze. The multicooker is great for preparing soups, meats, yogurt, and even baby food. Easy cleanup means more time to spend with the little one, too. A meat or seafood box Crowd Cow/Instagram Crowd Cow Gift Box, available at Crowd Cow, from $44Give a new dad something delicious to cook. Crowd Cow's meats and seafood are sourced from independent producers that practice sustainable farming and ethical treatment of animals. Super soft lounge pants Tommy John Tommy John Second Skin Lounge Pants, available at Tommy John, $68New dads will love a pair of comfortable house pants that won't embarrass them when the in-laws show up unannounced. These soft, light micromodal pants from Tommy John are perfect, and they hold up nicely in the wash. An interactive photo journal Artifact Uprising "The Story of You" Baby Book, available at Artifact Uprising, $99A phone full of pictures and videos is great, but dad will want something to hold onto the most special moments. In this photo book, featuring a fabric cover and foil stamped title, they can write down their memories of each milestone. Comfortable shoes that slip on Vasque Vasque Satoru Moc, available at Backcountry, $99.95As any parent will tell you, getting your shoes on can be downright tough when you're holding the baby, diaper bag, and much, much more. Footwear brand Vasque has new dads covered. With a sock-like upper and memory foam footbed, dad will probably wear them all day, and the easy on and off makes them infinitely versatile. A lightweight button-up for a put-together look The Tie Bar Tie Bar Short-Sleeve Shirt, available at Tie Bar, from $27.50It's nice for dad to feel put-together sometimes. The 100% cotton button-ups from Tie Bar are perfect for a rare night out or day at the office. A cold brew maker Amazon Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $24.99Dad will love a cup of cold brew coffee when they need a pick-me-up after sneaking in an afternoon nap. The easy-to-use Takeya Deluxe makes up to 1 quart of concentrate.  A durable water bottle Hydro Flask Hydro Flask Wide Mount Water Bottle, available at Hydro Flask, $32.95When life gets as hectic as it does for new fathers, it's easy to forget to drink water. This durable insulated metal bottle keeps water cold and within arm's reach. A delicious baby blanket UncommonGoods Tortilla Baby Blanket, available at Uncommon Goods, $48The flour tortilla print on this blanket is perfect for wrapping your baby up like a bundle of burrito joy. The blanket is made of breathable cotton/polyester blend fabric that will keep baby comfortable and cool.  A foam roller Trigger Point TriggerPoint GRID foam roller, available at Amazon, $34.95Knots and tight muscles go hand in hand with parenting. Dad will appreciate having this foam roller to roll away the aches and pains of being a new parent. A tool kit Amazon Cartman General Household 39-piece toolkit, available at Amazon, $19.99There's just something about being a dad that turns everyone into an overnight handy person. This tool kit includes all the basics they'll need for assembling or repairing all that new gear in the nursery and beyond. A soft cooler Clevermade CleverMade SnapBasket Soft-Sided Cooler Tote, available at Amazon, $33.95Dad is going to need a good cooler for bringing groceries home from the store or packing up milk and baby food for a road trip to see the grandparents. This one has a 50-can capacity, but it still folds up small enough to stash under the seat when they don't need it. A custom print of baby's footprints Pine & Poem Baby / Etsy Baby Footprint Art Print, available at Etsy, from $18It's always hard to believe how little they used to be. This is an attractive, thoughtful personalized that fits nicely anywhere in the home. A pair of chinos Bonobos Bonobos Chinos, available Bonobos, from $99Unfortunately, a new dad can't wear lounge pants all the time. But that doesn't mean they've got to sacrifice comfort. Bonobos chinos come in multiple fits and sizes, and the signature curved waistband offers an unobtrusive fit that makes them great for the office, a trip to the store, or a playdate in the park.  Single-origin coffee beans Colectivo Coffee Colectivo Coffee—Sumatra, available at Colectivo, from $15.95If dad is a coffee fanatic, they'll love a bag of single-origin beans. Grown in the volcanic soil in the rugged mountains of the Indonesian island Sumatra, this rich, complex blend has notes of molasses and pineapple. And for those mornings where there's no time to hassle with a French press, don't overlook instant coffees, which have caught up in quality to the whole bean variety. A smart speaker for baby's room Amazon Echo Dot, available at Amazon, $34.99A smart speaker is a nice addition to baby's room. It can play lullabies or classical music at bedtime, or dad can use it to listen to the game while they're playing with toys.  An REI membership REI REI Co-op Membership, available at REI, $20Getting active and outdoors is great for kids, and something a new dad can do right from the start. With an REI membership, they'll get annual dividends, exclusive offers, and more to get the gear they and their family will want.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 19th, 2021

19 of the best new books by AAPI authors in 2022, according to Goodreads

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. These are some of the best new and upcoming books by AAPI authors, according to Goodreads. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. These are some of the best new and upcoming books by AAPI authors, according to Goodreads.Amazon May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. A great way to celebrate and honor AAPI heritage is by supporting AAPI authors. We used Goodreads to rank the best new and upcoming books by AAPI authors. May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, an opportunity to recognize, honor, and celebrate the history and culture of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans. There are many great ways to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, such as supporting artists, musicians, and authors, and we've collected some of the best new books by AAPI authors in 2022.These titles have been ranked by how often they've been added to readers' "Want to Read" shelves on Goodreads — the world's largest platform for book reviews — and must have either been published in 2022 or will be published this year. If a book hasn't been published yet, we've included its publication date and you can still preorder them now. 19 of the best new and upcoming books by AAPI authors in 2022 so far, according to Goodreads:"To Paradise" by Hanya YanagiharaAmazon"To Paradise" on Amazon and Bookshop, from $20.01From the author of the brilliant and devastating "A Little Life" comes "To Paradise," a bold and expansive blend of historical and science fiction that spans from 1893 to 2093. Though each of the three main settings, characters, and situations may appear vastly different, each story is united by the theme of what makes us human from love and loss to regret and the decisions that make us who we are. “The School for Good Mothers” by Jessamine ChanAmazon"The School for Good Mothers" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $18.19From her career to her cheating husband, Frida Liu already feels like she's struggling in nearly every aspect of life — when one lapse in judgment makes everything so much worse. Now, Frida is in the hands of a government reform program for mothers where she must prove she's a good and devoted enough mother (or risk losing custody of her daughter) in this new science-fiction dystopia. “How High We Go in the Dark” by Sequoia NagamatsuAmazon"How High We Go in the Dark" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $17.99In 2030, researchers uncover the remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus and accidentally unleash an Arctic Plague that reshaped humanity and the Earth for generations. With tenderness and expansive imagination, this science fiction novel highlights stories that face tragedy with resiliency from an employee at a theme park for terminal children to a widowed painter and her teenage granddaughter. “The Swimmers” by Julie OtsukaAmazon"The Swimmers" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $19.99From casual backstrokers to fast-lane kickers, the swimmers are generally unknown to each other, though they gather at their local pool every day for recreational swimming. When a crack appears at the bottom of the pool, the swimmer's routine is upended in this equally fun and emotional story of community, family, and what we know about those around us. “The Cartographers” by Peng ShepherdAmazon"The Cartographers" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $9.80When Nell's father is found dead in his office, she ignores their rocky past to investigate what could have happened. She soon discovers the rarity and value of the seemingly worthless map found in his desk and sets out on an adventure to uncover why someone has been destroying copies of this map and eliminating anyone who gets in their way. “Disorientation” by Elaine Hsieh ChouAmazon"Disorientation" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $20.54Ingrid Yang cannot wait to be done with her dissertation on the poet Xiao-Wen Chou and complete her PhD, but when she finds a strange note in the Chou archives, it unravels an explosive discovery and ignites chaos in Ingrid's life and her college campus. The rabbit hole into which Ingrid falls leads her through a roller coaster of adventures, an upheaval of her identity, and a series of startling revelations. “Time Is a Mother” by Ocean VuongAmazon"Time Is a Mother" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $21.36Known for "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous", Ocean Vuong returns with a poetry collection spurred by his mother's death as he challenges his grief with a determination to survive it. With a clear and incredibly resounding voice, Vuong's poetry is emotionally devastating, clever, and deeply memorable. "Honor" by Thrity UmrigarAmazon"Honor" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $17.13Though her family left India long ago, Smita, an Indian American journalist, is sent there on assignment to cover the case of a Hindu woman who was attacked by members of her own village for marrying a Muslim man. As Smita tries to help the woman, she's also drawn to an Indian man in this new dual love story that's also about familial love, hope, and sacrifice. “Peach Blossom Spring” by Melissa FuBookshop"Peach Blossom Spring" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $16.99"Peach Blossom Spring" follows three generations of a Chinese family beginning in 1938 when Meilin and her son Renshu are forced to flee their home and seek refuge as the Japanese army encroaches. A generation later, Renshu lives in America as Henry Dao and refuses to speak about his childhood, no matter how desperate his daughter is to understand him and her family's history in this moving new novel about family, heritage, and the importance of telling our stories. “Kaikeyi” by Vaishnavi PatelAmazon"Kaikeyi" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $21.99Kaikeyi is desperate for independence from her family when she turns to the library's scrolls and unearths her power, transforming from an overlooked princess into a warrior and favored, feminist queen. Yet as Kaikeyi carves out her legacy, her family's destiny clashes with her own order could mean devastating destruction. “Portrait of a Thief” by Grace D. LiAmazon"Portrait of a Thief" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $19.99Will Chen is a senior at Harvard when he's approached by a mysterious benefactor with an impossible, dangerous, and illegal offer to lead a heist that will steal back five pieces of museum art once looted as spoils of war from China. Armed with a unique crew of other Chinese Americans, each of whom has their own complicated relationship with their identity, Will sets out to make history in this novel that is equal parts thriller and an examination of colonialism. “Four Treasures of the Sky” by Jenny Tinghui ZhangAmazon"Four Treasures of the Sky" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $18.69Daiyu was named after the tragic heroine from "Dream of the Red Chamber" but never wanted to be like her, until she is kidnapped and smuggled from her home in China to America, forced to reimagine her life, future, and identity over and over again. Set against the backdrop of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Daiyu faces great personal and social trials as she works to survive and honor her own name and story. “Counterfeit” by Kirstin ChenAmazon"Counterfeit" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $21.99Ava Wong seems to have built a perfect life with her surgeon husband, young son, and successful law career, but beneath the surface, everything is crumbling until Winnie Fang, Ava's old college roommate comes back into her life. More confident and wealthy than ever before, Winnie approaches Ava in need of help with her wildly successful business-selling counterfeit luxury handbags. Though Ava agrees, Winnie disappears when a challenge arises and leaves Ava to deal with the aftermath in this exciting and dazzling upcoming novel.Publication Date: June 7, 2022“Siren Queen” by Nghi VoAmazon"Siren Queen" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $24.29"Siren Queen" is a historical fantasy set in 1930s Hollywood where the beautiful and talented Luli Wei is desperate to make it big but refuses to play the stereotypical parts the studio has for her. Meanwhile, the studio controls her life and runs on a system of blood, ancient magic, and sacrifices that force starlets to earn their fame at a steep and horrifying price. “Nuclear Family” by Joseph HanBookshop"Nuclear Family" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $23.92Set in the months leading up to the false missile alert of 2018, a Korean American family living in Hawai'i has a bright future as their restaurant business improves, their daughter finishes college, and their son, Jacob, moves to Seoul to teach English. When Jacob is detained by the South Korean government for attempting to run across the Demilitarized Zone into North Korea (and going viral for it), the family is forced to confront what has separated them in this upcoming novel of family history and healing. Publication Date: June 7, 2022“Kismet: A Thriller” by Amina AkhtarAmazon"Kismet: A Thriller" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $22.95When Ronnie leaves Queens for Arizona and her wellness guru, Marley Dewhurst, she's ready for a life of juice cleanses and yoga. But when bodies of Sedona glam gurus begin to turn up, "Kismet" transforms into a wild and suspenseful ride of murder, smoothies, and even neighborhood ravens, who narrate a few chapters from their spectating point of view. Publication Date: August 1, 2022“Gods of Want: Stories” by K-Ming ChangAmazon"Gods of Want: Stories" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $24.84This upcoming collection of short stories is divided into three sections — Mothers, Myths, and Moths — in which K-Ming Chang highlights the relationships, bodies, and memories of Asian American women. In "Gods of Want" Chang weaves queerness, migration, and corporeality into stories of power and memory. Publication Date: July 12, 2022"Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution" by R.F. KuangAmazon"Babel" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $25.19"Babel" is an upcoming dark academia fantasy novel set in 1828 when Robin Swift is brought to London and trained in languages until the day he will attend the Royal Institute of Translation at Oxford University, also known as Babel. For Robin, serving Babel means betraying his motherland and, caught between the school and this powerful society, must decide how far he will go to bring Babel down. Publication Date: August 23, 2022“The Many Daughters of Afong Moy” by Jamie FordAmazon"The Many Daughters of Afong Moy" on Amazon and Bookshop from, $25.76Dorothy Moy is used to channeling her mental health challenges into her art but when her five-year-old daughter begins to exhibit similar behaviors and seems to remember things from their ancestors' lives, Dorothy reaches out for help in the form of an experimental treatment specially designed for inherited trauma. "The Many Daughters of Afong Moy" is a historical fiction novel interwoven with magical realism as Dorothy connects with past generations and seeks to break the generational trauma that has already plagued her and her daughter. Publication Date: August 2, 2022Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

Transcript: Steve Fradkin

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast… Read More The post Transcript: Steve Fradkin appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast I have a special guest. His name is Steve Fradkin, and he runs one of the larger pools of assets that you probably had no idea about. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. They run over $350 billion in client assets. They serve some of the wealthiest families in America. One in five wealthy families actually has assets with Northern Trust. They have something like 20 percent of the Forbes 400, just a very interesting perspective on how to manage through periods of uncertainty, changing tax laws, rising inflation. Also, it’s really interesting perspectives. It’s less about predicting the future, Steve tells us, then thinking in terms of planning and probabilities. And I think that was really interesting advice. He — he is about as knowledgeable as anybody is going to get in the – both wealth management business and ultra-high net worth management business. I found the conversation really intriguing, and I think you will also. So, with no further ado, my interview of Steve Fradkin of Northern Trust. VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My special guest this week is Steve Fradkin. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. Running about $355 billion in assets, they serve about one in five of the wealthiest families in America. Previously, Steve ran the Corporate and Institutional Services. He was Head of International Business for Northern Trust, as well as the firm’s Chief Financial Officer. Steve Fradkin, welcome to Bloomberg. FIRRMA Thank you, Barry. Great to be here. RITHOLTZ: So, you spent your entire career at Northern Trust having joined in — in 1985. How do you make the leap from really CFO to President which, to me, I think of President I think of someone who’s running like a CEO, running a — a division? What were the challenges of that transition? FRADKIN: Well, it’s a great question and, you know, careers are mysterious experiences. The — the bigger mystery really, Barry, was the move to CFO. So I joined Northern Trust as a youngster, didn’t know what I wanted to do, worked my way through a variety of entry-level jobs, ultimately culminating at that point in running our growing international business, and loving it, traveling the world to clients in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, you know, really fun and interesting stuff, and was asked, at that point, to serve as CFO, which was the unnatural job. Was not a controller, was not a treasurer, and so serving as CFO of a large public company was — shall we say traumatic when they asked. But did that for six years, including through the global financial crisis. And it was, at that point, I went back to doing what I normally do, which is running businesses. I ran our Corporate and Institutional Services business, and then after that Wealth Management. So — so it wasn’t so much going from CFO to wealth management as it was ending up as CFO, if you will, by accident from my point of view. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. So — so you guys had a pretty good year in 2020. How did that carry over to this year? Is it just more of the same? What were the big success stories relative to all those challenges we soar last year? Well, you know, it’s — it’s really an interesting phenomenon, and it shows you the – in some ways, the unpredictability of what can happen. You know, if you think about COVID-19 and its impact in 2020, and if I said to you, you know, look here’s what’s going to happen, we’re — we’re going to go as a society not just Northern Trust from, you know, we all come in and we work and so forth and so on. And one day, on about the same day worldwide, everyone’s going to start working from home facetiously. What — what do you think is going to happen to the markets? I think most people have said, well, first of all, it could never happen that way. It’s not going to be true that people in Sydney, and London, and New York, and Sao Paulo are all going to be, you know, as much as one can working from home. That’s just impossible. And second of all is that where to happen on a sustained basis. Well, gee, you know, the economy is going to crater because no baseball games, no concerts, no – you know, less use of restaurants, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t think people would have said, you know, the markets would do as well as they’ve done. So look, it’s been an incredible journey. Northern Trust has navigated exceptionally well through it last year and continues to perform well today. And there are a variety of factors in that. But each and every day has been a navigation because we’re still not out of the pandemic and we’re still operating in a hybrid mode. And, you know, balancing safety of our partners, our — our employees, and the needs of our clients is a — a daily — a juggling act that we’re still working through and I suspect will be working through for a while longer here. RITHOLTZ: We’re going to talk a little more about how you guys manage doing the pandemic in a bit, but I want to stay with the success of Northern Trust. You’re one of the biggest ultra-high net worth investment managers. But relative to your size, you guys kind of fly under the radar. Why is that? FRADKIN: Well, you know, it’s — it’s an interesting question, Barry. The – so in terms of size, we’re in the top 20 banks in the country as measured by our balance sheet. But really the — the better marker of our size is the assets that we manage and the assets that we administer for clients. And we’re a very quiet company. We don’t do lots of big acquisitions. We do the same thing today that we’ve been doing since 1889, serving the same clientele, and so we’re a very focused institution. A little over half our profits come from the provision of services to wealthy families in America and around the world. And the other half come from essentially providing the same services, but to large global institutional investors, serving wealth funds, pension funds and the like. And so, we’re a quiet company that has been extraordinarily successful and consistently so for many, many years. So, we’re proud of what we’ve got, but we — we — we — we fly under the radar scream — screen intentionally to just keep a low profile and stay focused on our clients. RITHOLTZ: And — and that would make sense given the nature of your clients who are less Instagram stars and more quiet wealth. Is that a — is that a fair way to describe it? FRADKIN: Yeah. Today, we serve little over 30 percent of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans and, obviously, many other affluent families. And interestingly, Barry, you know, sometimes people think of Northern Trust in its wealth management business as focusing on — or serving multigenerational well-healed, you know, families. And that’s true, we certainly serve many of those. But there are many entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, in New York, in Miami, in Dallas, in — all over the country and all over the world. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in being here is that wealth is created in a lot of mysterious ways. And so, your — your reference to Instagram and so forth, I would say our clients are definitely low profile, but where they create their wealth emanates from every segment of the economy. It’s really a — a fascinating part of the privilege of being in this — this kind of role. RITHOLTZ: Let’s stay with that because I was just involved in a conversation recently about the amount of wealth that has been created over the past couple of decades. Wherever you look, especially in the United States, it seems that people are coming up with new ideas, new technologies, new just even business processes that if you go back to the 90’s, I don’t think people could have imagined the sort of things that are generating the massive amounts of wealth that we’ve seen. And — and I’m not even talking about NFTs or things like that, I mean, businesses with clients that are just doing tens of millions of dollars of — of revenue a year. FRADKIN: Well, I think the — the fascinating thing that I think we see is that wealth can be created in a lot of different ways. And I — and I think you’re right that as the world has sped up, the wealth creation has sped up, too. You know, to caricature it, it used to be you would start a business in your garage in Louisiana and, overtime, you would, you know, build a vacuum cleaner, whatever it happened to be. And you would start selling it from a store and, you know, it would — you know, you — you’d have a second store. And — and the next thing you know, you have a — a — a big business that you never envisioned having, and you could sell that company and — and create tremendous amount of wealth. Today, that phenomenon still absolutely happens, but it also happens with the power of the Internet that the pace at which companies in some industries can grow and accelerate has — has really multiplied. So, wealth creation, in some instances, is still a slow laborious step-by-step process. But in others, I don’t want to say it’s overnight, but it happens a lot faster with digitalization in the — the pace at which the world moves today. So, we — we see both phenomena, and that’s part of the fun and excitement of the American economy. And this certainly happens elsewhere in the world as well. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. So, let’s talk about how you guys had to operate during the lockdown. You mentioned this earlier. What were you doing when, you know, it became clear the country was shutting down in March of 2020? FRADKIN: It’s a great question, Barry. Well, we started like many other institutions with the safety of our clients and the safety of our employees. And it all happened relatively quickly in terms of shutting down offices to the bare minimum, getting people home, and making sure that they could function effectively from home. And if you go back to — and — and, by the way, we have 20,000 employees worldwide, so we were doing the same thing in Manila, in the Philippines as we were doing in London, as we were doing in Dublin, as we were doing in Houston, as we were doing in Las Vegas. And so I want you to think about the operational, and logistical, and infrastructural needs of pretty much all at the same time trying to get people out of the office, enable them to function effectively from home, still be able to serve our clients, and all the family and other issues that people were wrestling with. So, I would say the beginning of the pandemic was stressful. You know, we were working 24/7 trying to make sure that technology worked and people could still get cash and all those things. It has gotten to a much better, you know, I’ll call it normalcy in a strange sort of way. But the early days of the pandemic were — were challenging. We navigated through well, but it’s certainly not something that anyone had anticipated. RITHOLTZ: Really quite interesting. So, I’m assuming you guys have your offices, more or less, reopened. What are you going to do going forward? Is it going to be a hybrid model or is everyone back in the office or people working from home? FRADKIN: Our offices are open and — and really to different extents in different geographies, you know, which makes sense. The — the infection rates, hospitalization rates, all the metrics that we track are very different in different cities and countries around the globe. You know, in terms of where it goes in the future, I think the future of work and how people work is forever changed. You know, we always had a pretty flexible workforce and the ability to work from home and, you know, people’s — people’s lives and — personal lives and business lives had crossed over long ago that, as an employer, we had to be flexible. I think that’s going to be even more so coming out of the pandemic. People have gotten used to it. The technology has gotten better. Client expectations are different. And so, I think we will be in a — you know, what we — what we think of today as a hybrid model will be a normal model tomorrow. And that doesn’t mean everyone will work from home, but it certainly means a lot more flexibility for employees to inevitably juggle the — the conflicting needs of family and work life. And we’re well prepared for that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: So as investors, COVID was pretty much an exogenous shock. It — it came out the left field. How did the whole COVID crash and recovery compare to past crises, whether it’s 9/11 or dot-com implosion or the great financial crisis? How do you — how do you wrap your head around this one compared to ones from — from recent past? FRADKIN: You know, it’s — it’s a great question. And I think, Barry, my perspective would be that we often call events like the COVID-19 pandemic tail events or once in a lifetime events. And in some ways, they are and, in some ways, they aren’t. If — if I think about it through the prism of my career experience, we had the crash of October 1987. We’ve seen the collapses of things like Enron and WorldCom. We’ve seen September 11th. We’ve seen Bear Stearns go down. We had the global financial crisis of 2008 and, of course, the pandemic. And each time we call it a tail event, but at some point, we have to admit that there are a lot of tails. So, I want to take you back just to compare and contrast COVID-19 with 2008. I’ll give you this example. I want you to imagine it’s the end of 2007, and you’re presenting the 2008 plan for Northern Trust to our board. And you go to the board and you say, “Look, we expect our revenues to do this and our expenses to do that, and so forth and so on.” And one of the board members raises his or her hand and he says — he or she says, “Barry, that’s — that’s terrific. Sounds like a great plan for 2008.” But I — I — I just want to get your perspective. What happens if Bear Stearns collapses, Freddie, Fannie, Washington Mutual, Wachovia, Merrill Lynch, you know, et cetera, et cetera, Lehman? You know, the whole thing collapses in 2008. How will we perform? I think you’d — you know, I — I think if you had been CFO at that time, you would have said, “Well, you know, that’s just — that’s never going to happen,” but it did. And Northern Trust navigated through that exceptionally well. Not unscarred, but exceptionally well. If you take — if you fast forward from that paradigm to COVID-19, it’s very similar. You know, if — if we had been talking to our board the year before and put forward our plan, I think our board would have said, “Well, okay, you know, that sounds like a great plan. What happens if there’s a global pandemic in every office from which we operate is going to be shut down or substantially shut down? Everyone’s got to work from home on the same day globally.” And, by the way, it’s going to be for a year and a half or more. I’m quite confident you or we would have said, well, that — you know, that’s just not — you know, I don’t know what we’ll do. That’s not going to happen, but it did. And so, I think the — the lesson from these crises is that while they’re different every time, they happen a lot. And so, we have to think about our approach to business, our approach to research, our approach to preparing for the unanticipatable. And as I say, each — each of your examples, September 11th, and COVID, and 2008 are different, but they were all — they all featured substantial disruption, substantial unanticipatable disruption. And at Northern Trust and every other company around the world, you have to be prepared to be agile and adapt quickly. And — and that’s what we’ve been able to do pretty consistently over our 130 plus years of experience. RITHOLTZ: So, given that history and the fact that a big chunk of your clients are ultra-high net worth, how do you think about managing assets compared to what — I don’t know, let’s use the phrase “mass affluent,” that typical approach. Is this more about preserving wealth and it is striking at rich. These folks are, after all, already fairly wealthy. How does this specific demographic change and challenge the way you manage assets for them? FRADKIN: Well, I think, look, wherever one sits on the spectrum of wealth, they generally want to optimize their returns over time. And people have different risk preferences as you would expect. So to caricature it, if you come from nothing and you’ve done exceptionally well financially, you may — not always, but you may have a predisposition to have a stronger defensive component to your portfolio because you don’t want to end up back where you were. You know what it’s like not to have money, you have it, and you want to be defensive. On the other hand, there are people who whether they came from nothing or not, they’ve had tremendous success. They’ve seen the power of capitalism, and they want to not only do as well as they can, but keep going. So, we see things through the eyes of our clients across the continuum. What I would say is people in the ultra net — ultra-high net worth space, at least from my point of view, it’s not so much about they’re more defensive or more offensive. They have more flexibility for choice. They can be defensive because they’ve, you know, so to speak, got more than enough or they can lean in and be more aggressive because they have a bigger cushion than the rest of us. And our clientele is all ends of that spectrum. There’s no — the — the — the notion that some people have, well, once someone’s made a certain amount of money they’re — they’re just trying to preserve it. There are certainly clients that — that exhibit that behavior, but there are an equal number who want to optimize it and aren’t in a completely defensive mindset. So, it depends on the personality type. RITHOLTZ: Very interesting. One of the clichés of the industry is three generations from, you know, short tales to short tales, referring that generational wealth very often gets — I don’t want to say wasted, but frittered away irresponsibly or recklessly. Some people take too much risk. How do you manage around that? Do you — do you ever have families coming to you and say, “Hey, we want to leave money to the next generation, but we want to make sure they get it and that it’s not just, you know, Ferraris and — and weekends in Vegas.” FRADKIN: Yes, all the time. Again, every family is different. Every client is different but, you know, one thing to — one thing that I think is a little bit unfair in — in — not by you, but in the characterization that you refer to is this notion, well, you know, by the third generation it is, you know, frittered away. I think you — you have to remember a couple things. First, when — when we say it’s frittered away, the comparison point is often to someone who did the extraordinary. So if I started from nothing and created $1 billion — $1 billion of wealth, it’s a little unfair to say my kids or my grandkids, you know, they’re not as smart as I am because, you know, they didn’t do it, too. You know, People who have created extraordinary wealth have done so, by definition, it’s — it’s extraordinary, and it’s not reasonable. Even if you have bright, talented, you know, high-functioning kids, it’s not reasonable to assume that each generation is just going to — you know, mom made $1 billion. Mom’s kid made $2 billion and — and mom’s grandkid made — made $4 billion. You know, it’s — mathematically, that’s not a reasonable probability. That’s sad. There is definitely an art to optimizing wealth through the generations. And, of course, it starts in the home and how you raise kids and values and, you know, what you demand of them or not. But a lot of our clients do a great job of trying to steward their wealth, trying to educate their kids, trying to make use of family governance to — to help everyone understand how things work for the family. And so, each client is different, but as with most things, the more you put into it, the more you’re likely to get out of it. And for those who believe it’s an important responsibility to steward that wealth, pass it to future generations, educate those generations, make them or trying to help them be important members of society, they tend to get better outcomes than the rest of us. It’s a — it’s a very — it’s, you know, raising kids and money are two challenging vectors, but we see some great examples of people stewarding wealth through multiple generations not just the — the founder, so to speak. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. Let’s talk a little bit about what you call Goals Driven Wealth Management. Start out with what — what exactly is that. FRADKIN: Sure. Goals Driven Wealth Management at Northern Trust is the framework that — that we’ve devised to build personalized wealth plans for clients and it focuses on helping them achieve their individual goals with confidence. It provides a big picture of their wealth and transparent steps on how to manage and optimize wealth over time. So, Barry, one way to think about it is — and I’m being a little bit facetious, but just to make the point, it used to be in this industry that the starting point for how money might be managed was a function of your outlook on the market. You think equities are going to go up, et cetera, so you allocate more to equities. Goals Driven Wealth Management comes at investing through a different lens. The starting point is not so much our call on the markets though that will be important at some point. Our starting point in Goals Driven is what are you and your family trying to accomplish. Once we understand what you’re trying to accomplish and the assets you need to accomplish it, we can, in effect, back in to how to deploy those assets — in stocks, bonds, other asset classes — to give you the best probability of achieving your life goals over time. So, it’s really just a different starting point for how to think about creating an asset allocation that is most effective for you and your family. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk about that framework. And again, the question comes back, how different is it for the ultra-high net worth than for the merely wealthy or — or is there a lot of overlapping between the two different types of planning? FRADKIN: The process is really the same no matter where you are on the wealth spectrum. You and your family have goals, and whether you have $1 million, $100 million, $1 billion, $10 billion or whatever the number is, you have something you want to achieve over time. You plan to live to age 90 or 100. This is what you need to live in the style to which you want to be accustomed, and we do a variety of work to figure out, first of all, are you asset-sufficient, meaning under reasonable scenarios, do I have enough if I steward it effectively to live my life the way I want to live it over time? And that happens whether you have, you know — again, whatever the number is, $500,000 or $10 million. The difference, Barry, comes in with the flexibility and options that you have as you create more wealth. So, the starting point is the same: understand your goals, understand your needs, and let’s figure out an asset allocation to give you the best chance to get there. What becomes different for people in the ultra-high net worth space relative to the rest of us is that they can take advantage of more planning techniques. They can take advantage of more techniques to optimize philanthropy. They can take advantage of gifting to future generations and so forth, and so the process is the same. But as you accumulate more money, in general, you have more flexibility on some other things you can do. The ultra-high net worth also have more investment optionality. They have the ability to invest in asset classes like private equity hedge fund and so forth where they may have to trade off some liquidity for a period of time. Those of us who are lower on the spectrum may not be able to endure that in a down market. Those who have more wealth can — can oftentimes weather that storm more. So, the process is the same, but you get more flexibility as your wealth grows. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: We’re going to talk more of about alternative investments in a little bit. I want to stick with a couple of interesting things I read in some Northern Trust research. One of the things that I kind of knew, but I didn’t realize it was this intense was the number of clients you see relocating to new states. It’s been a record volume. Some of that is pandemic related, some of it predates the pandemic. How does that challenge the planning process? How different is it from state-to-state when it comes to things like tax planning? You mentioned trust. You mentioned philanthropic issues. What happens when somebody picks up from one state and relocates to another state? FRADKIN: Yeah, it’s an interesting question. Look, clients relocating has always been with us. If you look at Northern Trust history, we are headquartered in Chicago in the middle of the United States. It’s cold here in the winter, lovely city, but it does get rather cold at wintertime. And often times, as people age and, you know, their kids finish school and so forth, they opt for better environments in the wintertime, so they may want to be in Florida or Arizona or Texas or California. So, one phenomenon we’ve always seen is migration from state-to-state. That phenomenon is also impacted by state tax rates, by state tax considerations. And so, both, because of the pandemic and for tax reasons and lifestyle reasons, were continuing to see movement across state lines. And so, you know, I think the — the message to urban planners is taxes do matter to people. It’s not necessarily the only factor, but even affluent people will think through where do they want to be, where do they want to live, what environment to they want to be in, and what’s the tax impact for their clients. And that phenomenon is — is alive and well. It’s always been there, but it — it does seem to be important as different states consider different policies, if you will. People — residents make their choices, and so it’s — it’s — it’s a phenomenon that’s very much at the front of mind for many of our clients. RITHOLTZ: Interesting. You mentioned taxes. There was a new administration came to town this year, and the expectations are there will be some sort of change in tax policy, potentially including increases in capital gains and increases in estate taxes and, in some cases, fairly substantial increases. How do you plan around that? And since nothing is known for certain in advance what an administration is — is going to do, how do you make decisions in — in the face of that uncertainty? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think our starting point on behalf of our clients is to prepare rather than predict. So, let me give you an example that — that you referred to. The newly proposed tax law change would change the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption amount from $11.7 million down to $5 million. And what this means for people that built up substantial wealth is that if the proposal goes forward as — as offered, you have until the end of this year if you want to make a gift to your heirs of — if you can afford to and if you want to, make a gift of $11.7 million. And again, I can’t tell you whether this will happen. But if we just think about the financial impact here, if you have enough capacity to do that and you choose to do it, you can take $11.7 million out of your estate today, get it to your kids, grandkids, whoever it happens to be tax-free as opposed to, on January 1st, if the law goes forward only as — as offered, you can only do $5 million. And what that means is the difference between — sorry to get, you know, numbers all over — but the difference between 11.7 and five, which is $6.7 million will be taxed, you know, when you die at a — at a high rate. And so we have literally thousands of clients all across the country and each one we’re working with individually to evaluate what’s their financial circumstance, what do they want to do, do they want to make the gift. And by the way, this — this — this tax law change may or may not happen, so people have to make a choice without knowing for sure whether it’s going to happen. I think the bottom line though is people are looking at this carefully. They’re studying it and they’re trying to prepare and make judgments about what might happen and what’s best for their individual circumstance. But tax law changes matter and — and we are in the business of helping our clients figure out what’s the best choice for them with the information that we have. RITHOLTZ: Quite, quite interesting. So, we talked a little bit about alternatives earlier. Let’s address that a bit. There seems to be a growing appetite for all manner of — of alternative investments given that stocks and bonds are all a little bit pricey. Let’s start with private equity. What — what sort of demand is there from your clients for private equity. And — and how do you guys respond to the question of potentially better returns in exchange for far less liquidity? FRADKIN: Sure. Look, investment has become much more granular over the decades and again, just to be facetious, you know, large-cap stocks versus high quality bonds, you know, 40 years ago. Today, clients think in terms of small-cap, mid-cap, large-cap, value, international, emerging markets, private equity, and thousands of flavors of private equity; hedge fund the same thing. So, in the quest for optimizing returns, clients and their professional money managers, Northern Trust included, have searched for different asset classes to combine together to give people the best chance to — to achieve their objectives. Private equity clearly has been in the aggregate — there are winners and losers in private equity, but has been a asset class that has done well for many. There are tradeoffs with private equity, particularly in terms of liquidity. But I would say amongst our clientele, the appetite for private equity and private equity, as a more normalized asset class, continues to grow. It’s not the right asset class for every client, but for clients who have the capacity, the risk tolerance and so forth, it — it definitely can play an important role in a client’s portfolio. And increasingly, we’re seeing more use of private equity today than we did say 10 years ago. RITHOLTZ: What about venture capital or hedge funds, two totally different entities from both each other in private equity, what’s the demand like for those products? FRADKIN: Demand exists for venture capital and for hedge funds as well. Again, the devil is in the detail, not all hedge funds are created equally. The — the — the fees that they charge, the performance that they’ve delivered can differ substantially, but there is again this same notion of I want to diversify my portfolio. I want a — a range of options and so-called alternative investments. Whether you call it private equity, venture capital, hedge funds seem to continue to be growing in appeal to our clientele. RITHOLTZ: What about crypto and things like blockchain and Ethereum? There seems to be a lot of real interest in the space. Are — are you finding your client bases crypto-curious? FRADKIN: I would say the demand for crypto is more muted amongst our clientele than some of what you read in the public press. And that doesn’t mean we have examples of clients who have invested in crypto and done exceptionally well in a right time. But I would say, in general, if I had to caricature it, I would say that crypto is still an evolving asset class that is misunderstood by many. And I think most are treating it carefully. And the ones that are making crypto investments are viewing it more as a — more as a roll of the dice than a rational analytical view of what crypto is trading at today and what it’s going to trade it tomorrow. They view it as a bit of a roll the dice. They may jump in a little bit, but they understand that what goes up can also go down. So, I would say amongst our clientele overall, crypto is still not widely in use. RITHOLTZ: So, we mentioned briefly the market is certainly pricier than it was five or 10 years ago. How do you manage around stocks and bonds neither of which are inexpensive? FRADKIN: Yeah, look, I think for many of our clients, the market does go up, the market got does go down. And one of the great features of our — the goals-driven methodology that we use for clients is that we build a portfolio such that after a lot of analytical work to evaluate their goals and so forth that enables them to endure and not have to sell in a down market. We — we create something that’s called a portfolio reserve. I would liken it to the moat around your castle. Some people like a wide deep moat, some people need a narrower and less deep mode, but think of that as a high-quality fixed income. If the stock market goes down, your — your bonds are still fine. You can still pay your mortgage. Life is good. You can wait until the market goes up or — or returns to normal. So, the one thing we know on behalf of our clients is markets go up and down, and so you have to plan and prepare for that. And so, it’s very difficult to know. You know, again using the COVID-19 example, I think they’re a lot of people who might have argued the markets are going to crash, you know, everyone’s working from home and we can’t get the essentials, and people don’t want to go to the grocery store, and yet the market went up dramatically. So, we try and take a long-stewarded view and help our clients plan and prepare themselves so that when the market does go down, they can get through and — and not have to take adverse steps and sell in dire circumstance. And that’s been very helpful for our clients. RITHOLTZ: So, in terms of forward return expectations, does that — and historically low-bond yields, high equity prices tend to suggest low returns going forward, does that work its way into the planning process or is that really more of an academic theory? FRADKIN: No, it absolutely works its way into the planning process because our starting point is what needs does a client have over the near-term for financial resources. We — we got to make sure they can buy their groceries, and pay their mortgage, and we have to deploy assets against those goals. But once, in working with a client, we figured out the right mix of assets to — to enable them to — to afford those goals over a reasonable period of time, we then have to deploy the rest of the portfolio toward so-called risk assets, equities, private equity, hedge funds, venture — whatever the asset class. And in so doing, we have to bring our judgment about risk and return expectations for each of those asset classes. So, our view of asset classes and what they’re likely to bring over the relatively short-term is still an important part of the process. RITHOLTZ: So, what do you tell investors who say, “You know, I’m really not happy with my muni bond portfolio. It’s barely thrown off two or 2.5 percent.” Investors are always seen to be looking for more yield. How do you respond to that group of clients? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think it — my — our response is really you have to remember what you’re trying to do with that muni bond portfolio. No one is saying it’s a great high returning asset class, but that’s not its role. Its role is to be — I’m making this up, Barry, but generally, the role of that muni bond portfolio is to provide you with certainty, security, confidence, and not have to worry about the other part of your portfolio, let’s just call that equities gyrating up and down. So, of course, people want their muni bonds or their high-quality fixed income to return as much as it can, and it’s our job to try and help people achieve that. But I think you always have to come back to what role is this trying to play. And for most clients, it’s trying to play a role of stability, and reliability, and consistency, and that’s the paramount feature. And in providing that consistency and — and stability and predictability, they give up a little bit of return on that asset class, but they’re trying to get that elsewhere with their equities, private equity, and so forth. So, you had — you had discussed previously, hey, you know, it’s up to us to make the most of a low rate environment. What does that mean? Get — how does one make the most of a low rate environment? FRADKIN: Well, I think, you know, low — low rates create — low interest rates create challenges and opportunities. Maybe two simple ways to think about it are, one, on the challenge side, if you’re living on a fixed income as assets reprice to — and you’re reliant on bonds — your bonds to provide income, the lower rates make the yield on those bonds lower, and so that’s bad from, you know, how much cash flow I have to — to fill my needs. The flipside to that is that when rates are very low, if you want to, if it’s appropriate, if it’s thoughtfully done, you can use credit rather than liquidating stocks to — you know, if you want to buy a new toy, so to speak, a boat, whatever it happens to be, one way to do that is to sell stocks in your portfolio and buy the — you know, whatever it is you want to buy. Another way is to let those stocks keep working on your behalf and, because rates are so low, take advantage of credit. Take a loan, buy that boat and — or whatever it happens to be and pay it back over time. So low interest rates, you know, how can have different conflicting phenomenon, opportunities on the credit side and headwinds on the bond investment site. RITHOLTZ: So — so how do you incorporate all this inflation chatter to — to your planning? We’ve started to see rates tick up the 10-year as — as recording this just about 1.5 percent. And I know there’s an irony in saying that rates are all the way up to 1.5 percent, which historically is incredibly low. How do you figure inflation into your modeling and — and thinking about the future? FRADKIN: Yeah, well, we use multi-scenario modeling. The — the reality is no one knows and so you have to, you know, the — the prognosticators will — will have a view. Some — some believe inflation is here and is going to continue. Others argue it’s so-called transitory. And the truth is we don’t know. We’ll — we’ll find that out tomorrow, so to speak. And so as we work through planning with our clients, we generally are running multiple scenarios, low inflation, medium inflation, high inflation. And we’re trying — as we — as we help clients make decisions, we’re trying to make the best judgment we can at a given point in time. But that’s why you — you really have to — be you have to plan for multiple scenarios and bring agility to your process because we don’t know whether the stock market is going up or down. We don’t know whether inflation will be higher or lower. We have a view. We can have probabilities. But as we’ve seen, whether it was with 2008 or COVID, we — everyone can be wrong. And so, you have to plan and adapt and leave yourself a buffer for when you are wrong, and hopefully it’s not — not catastrophic. RITHOLTZ: So, I know I only have you for a little bit of time. Let me jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of my guests, starting with tell us what you’re streaming these days, what’s keeping you entertained at home, either on Netflix or Amazon Prime or — or wherever. FRADKIN: Well, I’ve — I’ve been working hard so I — I can’t say I’ve — I’ve made great use of Netflix. But what I have just started and this will show you, Barry, how far behind I am is I’ve just started Ted Lasso. So I’m behind the rest of the world, but that’s what I’m on right now. RITHOLTZ: All right. Well, well, you’ll — I could tell you this much, you will enjoy it and — and enjoy catching up with us. What about mentors? Who helped to shape your career? FRADKIN: You know, I’ve had a lot of mentors at Northern Trust over the years, people who were senior to me and people who weren’t, but I learned from everyone. I think when I think about mentors, for me, it’s less about people with whom I work and maybe it’s my interest in history. But I try and learn from people who have overcome insurmountable odds, the Mahatma Gandhis, the Martin Luther Kings, the Winston Churchills, the Vaclav Havels, the Abraham Lincoln. And there’s so much wisdom that I see in people like that because they really faced incredible circumstances and worked through them generally to good outcomes. And so there — those great thinkers are probably the people I’ve learned the most from as I wouldn’t call them mentors to me, but I’ve certainly read about all of them and — and learned a lot from each of them. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about books. What are you reading right now and what — what are some of your favorites? FRADKIN: You know, I think in keeping with that theme of mentors over periods of time that interest me, I’ve really enjoyed “The Splendid and the Vile” by Eric Larson, which is about Churchill and the blitz of World War II. And — and again, it — it helps you — it helps me to see just how dire the circumstances were and what he and others had to navigate through. The other book that I’ve dusted off recently, I read some time ago, but I think in view of the pandemic, it seemed interesting to me was “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston, which has nothing to do with the pandemic, but there are parallels to what we’re dealing with, and it was sort of a gripping — a gripping book if you have time for a good read. RITHOLTZ: Sounds interesting. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who is interested in a career in either investment management or finance? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think, Barry, I’d offer a — a — a couple of themes on this. And I — I don’t know that I narrowed these themes to an interest in investments or finance, although I think they do overlap. But I’d start by saying, it probably be easiest place to get my view there would be to go to YouTube and I — I gave a commencement address at the University of Illinois Chicago and tried to formulate those themes for — for young people. But a — but a few that come to mind at least through my lens are comfort is the enemy of accomplishment. If you want to be the best you can be, you can never be satisfied with where you are. You’ve got to push, push, push and make yourself better each and every day in everything you touch. I think a couple of the other themes that would come to me would be in — in the same vein, we see this in Northern Trust all the time. Excellence is not a part-time job. For people who want to be excellent, who want to do the best job for our clients and our shareholders, you can’t be excellent only when it’s convenient, only when you want to do it or only when you feel like it. You’ve — you’ve got to — excellence is an all-in phenomenon. And then probably the — the — the last thing that comes to my mind is persevere beyond your accomplishments. It’s not what you did yesterday, it’s — you can be proud of what you’ve accomplished. But again, you want to be better going forward. And so be proud of who you are, be proud of your grades, and your — your school, and your degrees, and all that sort of stuff, but those are what you did, you know, two years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago whatever it happens to be, keep pushing forward to be the best you can be. So, persevere beyond your accomplishments. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of investing today you wish you knew 35 years ago when you were first starting with Northern Trust? FRADKIN: That is a long list, Barry, but I think what I would say is you don’t have to be right on everything and sometimes being right is more about luck and timing than it is about specific analytical acumen. Uninspiring choices in a bull market can turn out just fine, and well-reasoned ideas in a down market can turn out to be not so good. So, get the direction right more often than not and you’ll be just fine. RITHOLTZ: Really good advice. Thank you, Steve, for being so generous with your time. We’ve been speaking with Steve Fradkin. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure and check out any of the other 388 prior discussions we’ve had over the past seven years. You can find those wherever you normally find your favorite podcast, iTunes, Spotify, wherever. We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. You can sign up for my daily suggested reading list at ritholtz.com. Check out my regular column at bloomberg.com/opinion. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack that helps put these conversations together each week. Paris Wald is my Producer. Michael Batnick is my Head of Research. Atika Valbrun is our Project Manager. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~   The post Transcript: Steve Fradkin appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureNov 29th, 2021

Meet the sisters who run America"s oldest theme park in the quirky tourist town of Santa Claus, Indiana

Holiday World opened as Santa Claus Land way back in 1946. Now, sisters and fourth-generation owners Leah and Lauren Koch are making it even better. Lauren Koch (left) and Leah Koch (right). Courtesy of Holiday World Holiday World, a theme park in Indiana, opened under the original name of Santa Claus Land in 1946. At the time, there were no other U.S. amusement parks with a central theme, making it the nation's oldest theme park. Now, sisters and fourth-generation owners Leah and Lauren Koch are heading up the family business. This is their story. If you drive down I-64 through Central Indiana long enough, you'll come upon an exit for "Santa Claus, IN." From the interstate, you probably wouldn't think much of it. But a few miles off the exit, you'll find a giant Santa statue by the side of the road next to a sign that reads: "Welcome to Santa Claus, Indiana. America's Christmas Hometown." Beyond the welcome sign, you can just barely make out a few roller coasters in the distance. Those coasters are part of what makes the town so special. Santa Claus, Indiana is home to Holiday World, the nation's first theme park. When it was opened by Louis Koch in 1946, it was themed only to Christmas and operated under the name Santa Claus Land, but has since grown to 125 acres of coasters, kiddie rides, a water park, and lands themed to other major holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Independence Day. The Cheetah Chase at Holiday World. Courtesy of Holiday World The park has stayed in the Koch family since opening day, it's won numerous awards for its roller coasters (and water coasters), and it's well known for being family friendly. It famously offers complimentary soda, sunscreen, and parking every day to every guest.Insider spoke with fourth-generation owners and sisters Leah and Lauren Koch to learn what it was like growing up in a "theme park family" and taking over such a unique family business.As kids, the Koch sisters didn't realize it was out of the ordinary to grow up with a theme park as their playgroundLeah Koch currently serves as the park's director of communications and Lauren as director of entertainment. But as kids, their father, Will Koch, was president of Holiday World. "Holiday World was like an extension of our back yard," Lauren Koch told Insider. Leah chimed in with a similar response. "I didn't realize until I was five years old that other people don't have parents who work in a theme park," she said. Holidog and friends at Holiday World. Courtesy of Holiday World Of course, the flip side to that is a whole theme park full of team members who will report back to your father if you step out of line. "They were like an extension of our dad's eyes," Lauren Koch laughed. "We couldn't even put one toe out of line, because he would know what we did before we could even make it back to his office." While the girls spent their younger years enjoying the park, they both donned the Holiday World uniform as soon as they were old enough. Lauren Koch started in cash control at age 14 before auditioning to work as a performer in the entertainment division at age 16, splitting her time between both departments.. "Even when I went to college, if I came home for a few weeks, I got put to work," Lauren Koch said.Leah Koch started as a cashier in food and beverage, and has since spent time in cash control, entertainment, and attractions. "I was a ghost for several years during Halloween," she said. "When I decided to major in journalism, I wanted to give PR a try, so I did an internship in our PR department as well."The Koch sisters didn't set out to take over the family businessLauren Koch always had fun during her time working at Holiday World as a teen, but didn't want to make it her career. The untimely death of her father in 2010 changed everything."I wanted to go to college far away and have a life of my own," she said. "What changed it all for me was my father passing away." It wasn't her original plan, but she said she's very happy with how things turned out.Leah Koch felt more of a pull toward Holiday World than her sister, but still expected to go off to college, get her masters degree, make a career somewhere, and eventually make her way back to the park. "I thought it would be far off," she said. "Not right after college, and certainly not so suddenly. My dad and I operated on similar brain waves, and I think I had some of his same gut instinct. I always felt my path would lead me back here." The Thunderbird at Holiday World. Courtesy of Holiday World The sisters never felt obligated to take the reins, but they looked at Holiday World as their home."We knew it was our dad's hope to pass the park on to us," Lauren Koch said. "He was never going to force us. Even though the timing wasn't what anyone wanted, we felt we needed to try our best to see if we could make it work. Once I started getting involved in the day-to-day and long-term planning, it just grabbed me.""We wanted to see our father's vision through," her sister added.Though it's been 11 years since they lost their father, Leah and Lauren are still working to realize his dreams for the parkThe park currently has a few sections geared toward kids, but Will Koch had often discussed building a kids' section with an all-new theme. "Dad had wanted to build a new section somewhere in the park, and Mom mentioned it to me one day," Leah Koch said. "I immediately called him and told him we should do a birthday theme, so that's one of the things we would love to do eventually." Like the park's other holiday-themed lands, in a "Birthday" land, kids could celebrate their birthday every time they visit.Outside of the park's walls, Leah and Lauren Koch want to further Santa Claus, Indiana as a vacation destination with more lodging and dining. Because of their tucked away location, the future of Holiday World and the future of the town are intrinsically intertwined.Holiday World makes you feel like family when you visit because it's a family businessIn their current roles, the sisters are often working behind the scenes, but they've also been known to make pizzas or run rides. "Whatever we need to do to get through the day," Leah Koch said.They carry this attitude of egalitarianism through to their interactions with other team members. The Howler at Holiday World. Courtesy of Holiday World "We have our own departments we manage, and we also sit on the board of directors," Leah Koch said. "So we do have an attitude toward structure, but at the end of the day, structure doesn't matter. "Ideas matter, and we're gonna listen to ideas from anyone on the team.If someone on the front line has a good idea, we're gonna do it."When asked if she could explain why Holiday World has such a family-friendly atmosphere, Leah Koch said: "We each live five to 10 minutes from the front gate, so it's basically our home away from home." It's because of this family-oriented mindset that they treat visitors like family, too. "We've always put value on the guest experience, first and foremost," she added. You only have to hop off that easy-to-miss Santa Claus exit off I-64 to visit Holiday World and find out for yourself.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 27th, 2021

The best wildlife photos of the year show a curious grizzly, dueling reindeer, and fish swimming through a cloud of sperm

Climate change is transforming the landscapes around predators, fish, and birds, but they all still spawn, fight for mates, and care for their young. Laurent Ballesta/Wildlife Photographer of the Year The London Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest awards images that showcase the diversity and fragility of life. This year, the contest drew a record of more than 50,000 entries from photographers in 95 countries. The winning photos show reindeer fighting over mates, seals giving birth, and a mountain gorilla enjoying the rain. The camouflage grouper is declining due to overfishing, but each July, beneath a full moon, the fish begin to multiply.For five years, biologist Laurent Ballesta has returned to a lagoon in Fakarava, French Polynesia every July to photograph the groupers spawning. He and his team dove night and day to capture photos of the fish darting through clouds of eggs and sperm, which mix and fertilize in the warm tropical waters.The above photo, which Ballesta calls "Creation," is the result of that effort, and it won the prestigious Grand Title award in the 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. The competition, developed and produced by the Natural History Museum in London, aims to showcase the diversity and fragility of the planet's wildlife. The museum announced its winners on Tuesday.This year, the contest drew more entries than ever before - more than 50,000 photos from photographers in 95 countries. But "Creation" stood out."The image works on so many levels. It is surprising, energetic, and intriguing and has an otherworldly beauty," Roz Kidman Cox, who chaired the judges panel, said in a statement. "It also captures a magical moment - a truly explosive creation of life - leaving the tail-end of the exodus of eggs hanging for a moment like a symbolic question mark."Other winning photos across 19 categories reveal the devastation of climate change and environmental destruction. They show dead coral, melting sea ice, and dwindling animal populations. But many are also snapshots of persistence: creatures procreating, fighting for mates, and caring for their young.A photo of an inconspicuous spider won the contest's Grand Title for youth photographers Vidyun R Hebbar/Wildlife Photographer of the Year Vidyun Hebbar, age 10, was exploring a theme park near his home in Bengaluru, India, when he spotted a tent spider in a gap in a wall. The tiny creature was perched upside down in a dome-shaped web it had woven across the wall.He held up his camera and clicked as a tuk tuk passed by. The motorized rickshaw made a colorful background for the spider and its intricate silk web."The jury loved this photo from the beginning of the judging process. It is a great reminder to look more closely at the small animals we live with every day, and to take your camera with you everywhere," Dr. Natalie Cooper, a researcher at the Natural History Museum who sat on the judges panel, said in a statement.A hungry grizzly bear made eye contact with the camera before trashing it Zack Clothier/Wildlife Photographer of the Yea US photographer Zack Clothier thought these wild elk remains might attract a grizzly bear. So he set up his camera nearby and retreated. When he came back, he found his setup trashed.This image, with the grizzly eyeballing the camera, was the last one snapped."Your eye goes to the rib cage, moves to the antlers and then gets a jolt from the great grizzly head looming into view," Cox said. "It is a story picture - the harsh winter environment, the bear emerging from its hibernation den to make use of what food it can find. But what gives it the edge is the bear's expression. You cannot help smiling."An aerial image of seals giving birth on melting ice shows blood, new life, and impending doom Jennifer Hayes/Wildlife Photographer of the Year US photographer Jennifer Hayes spent hours on a helicopter searching for these harp seals' birthing grounds. As they came into view, her camera captured the scattered seals and the smears of blood their births had left on the ice."It was a pulse of life that took your breath away," Hayes said in a statement.But the ice beneath the seals is fragmenting. As Arctic air and oceans get warmer, northern sea ice is becoming more scarce. That's likely to cause major disruptions and population crashes for animals that rely on the ice."What an impactful picture - a record of both birth and imminent disaster," Cox said. "Adult harp seals give scale to this frozen sea stained with the blood of new life that is cracking apart too early, indicating the likely carnage to come as the ice melts and the pups, in their fluffy white coats, drown - a drama representative of the climate emergency."For those reasons, Hayes's photo won the contest's Oceans category.A venomous spider guarded its brood beneath a photographer's bed Gil Wizen/Wildlife Photographer of the Year Gil Wizen noticed tiny spiders swarming in his bedroom one day. When the photographer peeked under his bed, he found the culprit: a Brazilian wandering spider the size of his hand. One of the world's most venomous spiders had laid and hatched its eggs right below his place of rest.Wizen captured the scene before relocating the spider outside.One photographer returned to an old subject, only to find it dead David Doubilet/Wildlife Photographer of the Year David Doubilet has been taking his camera diving among corals for 30 years. In those decades, the reefs around him have changed. Many are dying as the oceans absorb the carbon dioxide humans are pumping into the atmosphere. That makes oceans more acidic, and the warming climate raises the water temperature at the same time.The coral colonies in this photo didn't survive. When the tiny animals that make up the coral - called polyps - died, that left the coral bleached.Doubilet returned to this coral skeleton with a photograph of its living form from nine years earlier.A white-tailed kite tried to teach its offspring how to woo a mate Jack Zhi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year The younger California bird was trying to take a live mouse from the claws of its father while hovering in mid-air, according to photographer Jack Zhi. This is how the juvenile must eat until it can hunt for itself. The exchange is also practice for future courtship, when a male bird offers prey to a female.This gold-speckled youngster had only been flying for two days. It clumsily tried to reach its claws up to take the mouse, but didn't quite get the prize. It learned quickly, though, and circled around to grab its prey from behind the older bird.Other creatures were fighting for the right to woo Angel Fitor/Wildlife Photographer of the Year The colorful pair of male cichlid fish in this image are facing off, jaw to jaw, over a female hiding in a snail shell, ready to lay eggs. Photographer Angel Fitor spent three weeks diving to the bottom of Lake Tanganyika, an enormous freshwater lake at the center of Africa, looking for such cichlid fish fights. This one lasted just seconds.Dueling reindeer also battled over females Stefano Unterthiner/Wildlife Photographer of the Year During the rutting season in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, male reindeer clash antlers over harems of females. These two fought until the dominant male, on the left, chased his rival away.Photographer Stefano Unterthiner said in a statement that he felt immersed in "the smell, the noise, the fatigue, and the pain."The Svalbard subspecies of reindeer is unique to that area. But on the island, climate change has led to increased rainfall, which can freeze on the ground and block reindeer from eating the plants that are usually accessible through soft snow.On an island within an island, a red fox scavenged for dead salmon Jonny Armstrong/Wildlife Photographer of the Year This animal is one of two foxes living on a small island in Karluk Lake, which is nested in Alaska's Kodiak Island. Photographer Jonny Armstrong followed the fox for several days as she pounced at birds, ate berries, and even nipped at the heels of a young brown bear.Then a storm began to roll in, bringing a somber backdrop. As the vixen scanned the shallows for sockeye salmon that had died after spawning, Armstrong laid on his stomach at the water's edge to capture her focused gaze.The winner in the portraits category shows a mountain gorilla at peace in the rain Majed Ali/Wildlife Photographer of the Year The gorilla, named Kibande, is almost 40 years old. He's a member of a dwindling subspecies of eastern gorilla. Just two populations of these mountain gorillas remain in the wild - one in the Virunga volcanoes of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and one in Uganda's Bwindi forest. They're threatened by poaching, habitat destruction, and disease.Photographer Majed Ali trekked four hours uphill in his attempt to photograph Kibande."The more we climbed, the hotter and more humid it got," Majed said in a statement.As rain began to fall and cool the air, Kibande closed his eyes and let the droplets fall over his face.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 12th, 2021

Conservatives tossed out Roe v. Wade. Now some are pressuring the GOP to soften its resistance to financially supporting families or risk a "severe" backlash

The GOP opposed Biden's economic agenda, and a Trump effort to get paid leave through Congress fell flat. Some conservatives want to reverse course. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Conservatives overturned Roe v. Wade, causing some to pressure the party to back financially supporting families. The GOP opposed Biden's agenda, and a Trump effort to get paid leave through Congress fell flat. Conservative policy experts argue Republicans must soften their usual opposition to family support programs. The Supreme Court took a blowtorch to the constitutional right to abortion on Friday, delivering a monumental victory to conservative activists who labored to overturn Roe v. Wade for a half-century. Abortion is poised to be severely restricted or banned in about half of all states with few exceptions.Last week's ruling also cast a harsh glare on the GOP. For a party that has long cast its priorities as pro-life, Republicans put in minimal effort in recent years to ensure children enjoy a basic standard of living once they're born. The GOP lined up in fierce opposition to President Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan, which contained ambitious initiatives to establish affordable childcare, set up universal pre-K, and overhaul the child tax credit so it was paid out monthly. In early 2020, President Donald Trump endorsed a modest bipartisan paid leave plan that fell flat with Republican lawmakers.It's prompting some conservatives to urge their party to soften its usual resistance to financially supporting parents and children. Abby McCloskey, a conservative policy expert who worked on past GOP and independent presidential campaigns, called it a "soul-searching moment" for the GOP. "There's parts of the party that have wanted to break forward and do more types of reforms in the paid leave, child tax credit and childcare space," McCloskey told Insider. "I think that they should get behind those policies quickly, especially because many in the Republican Party were championing the overturning of Roe and here we are," she said.Another warned of voters punishing Republicans at the ballot box in November. "I think there will be some backlash regardless," Patrick Brown, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think-tank, said in an interview. "But I think it'll be much more severe if they are seen as out of touch and not responding to particularly low income women."Brown argues that Republicans should support making permanent a temporary pandemic-era expansion of Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program so it covers mothers for a year after giving birth, among other steps. And McCloskey argues Congress should make it easier for states to spend money on childcare.Some Senate Republicans are also starting to identify areas that the party can act on. "We need to provide parents the resources they need to raise a healthy family," Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said in a statement to Insider. "That includes responsible parental leave, access to mental health care when needed, and school choice."What's on the table among RepublicansRepublican Sens. Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio unveiled paid leave legislation with GOP Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Ann Wagner in 2019.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States is among the stingiest nations in the developed world when it comes to federal spending on children. Compared to other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US spends far less as a percentage of its gross domestic product on family benefits."When you look at American spending on children, it is much more comparable to middle-income countries like Turkey and Mexico than it is to wealthy European countries," Indivar Dutta-Gupta, executive director at the non-profit Center for Law and Social Policy, told Insider. "So we have been an outlier in many ways."The high court's decision highlighted a frail social safety net in states on the verge of outlawing or restricting abortion, chiefly led by Republicans. States like Mississippi tend to lack paid leave and refused to expand Medicaid, leaving many low-income women without access to health insurance and post-partum coverage, according to the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. A few states are reversing course.There are some Republican proposals designed to reinforce the ability of parents to spend time caring for babies or newly adopted children. But they often carry sizable strings attached, reflecting the conservative approach of binding federal benefits to employment. That's combined with the GOP's tendency to redirect federal funds from existing programs instead of spending new money."Republicans have historically been more skeptical of these benefits," Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, told Insider. "If the polling starts to go south after Roe, you could see Republicans rallying around some sort of child benefit package before the election."In 2020, President Donald Trump endorsed a bipartisan paid-leave plan that went nowhere with the GOP.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesMost GOP lawmakers are doubling down on pummeling the Biden administration for inflation and rising prices at the gas pump and grocery store ahead of the November midterms. They're strongly favored to recapture at least one chamber of Congress. However, some polls in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling suggest there's an uptick in support for Democrats on the Congressional generic ballot .Republicans haven't coalesced around a set of family support plans. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah recently unveiled a rebooted proposal to provide most parents with up to $350 in monthly checks per kid, totaling $4,200 annually for younger children. But a larger share of the cash benefit would flow to working parents and shrink payments to those without jobs."One of the most direct ways that the GOP can support families would be to provide parents with direct cash support," Samuel Hammond, director of social policy at the libertarian Niskanen Center, told Insider. "So for this sort of whole life agenda, it makes an awful lot of sense to ensure vulnerable parents in particular have the resources they need to both choose to keep their child and then after are able to properly care for it."That hasn't gained steam so far among Republicans. A separate measure spearheaded by Sen. Steve Daines of Montana would allow pregnant mothers to claim the child tax credit, issuing up to $2,000 before giving birth provided they have taxable income. It has much deeper GOP support with 12 Republicans joining Daines as co-sponsors — or a roughly a quarter of the Senate Republican conference.Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida introduced a "pro-life" framework shortly after the Supreme Court threw out Roe v. Wade. "For years, I have emphasized that Congress can and must do more for unborn children and their mothers," Rubio said in a statement. "We need to adopt pro-life policies that support families, rather than destroy them."The blueprint contains a variety of plans that Rubio has pushed for several years. One measure within it allows new parents to treat Social Security like a piggy bank and borrow against themselves. It would provide parents with at least three months of paid leave, financed with cuts to their future retirement benefits.Democrats balk at these trade-offs, preferring to push generous social benefits funded with tax increases on the richest Americans. Some are stepping up attacks on Republicans for opposing them without offering what they view as serious alternatives."Universal healthcare and childcare. Gun safety. Combating climate change. The GOP opposes it all," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a Friday tweet. "If they refuse to support life after birth, how can they claim to believe in it before?"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider19 hr. 44 min. ago

24 memorable movies about dads to stream on Father"s Day, from "Field of Dreams" to "Big Fish"

From sci-fi flicks to dramas and horror movies, these films all shine a spotlight on the ups and downs of fatherhood. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Amazon; Disney Plus; The Criterion Channel Father's Day lands on June 19, and it's a great occasion to watch a movie with your dad. Below, we gathered 24 memorable films highlighting the ups and downs of fatherhood. You can stream our picks on services like Amazon, Netflix, Disney Plus, and more. A wide variety of films pay homage to the ups and downs of fatherhood, and Father's Day is a great time to put one on. If you're looking for a memorable movie to sit back and watch with your dad this year, we've got you covered.We've highlighted 24 of the best films about dads, from classics like "Father of the Bride" to new animated hits like "Onward." All of our picks feature fathers or grandfathers in key roles, and they each tell stories that examine the relationship between dads and their kids. Additionally, we've narrowed this list to only include films deemed "fresh" by the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes — that means a 60% rating or higher. We've also included a variety of genres for you to choose from, in case your dad prefers horror, drama, comedy, or all of the above.'A Quiet Place'Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount PicturesWatch "A Quiet Place" on Paramount Plus. For the horror-loving dad, "A Quiet Place" depicts a bleak, post-apocalyptic world where one family fights to survive in complete silence. John Krasinski directed and stars in the film as Lee Abbott, a father of three children who works hard to protect his family. The movie holds a "96% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 'Beginners'Focus FeaturesRent or buy "Beginners" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu. Inspired by director Mike Mills' father, "Beginners" tells the story of Oliver (Ewan McGregor), a man searching for inspiration in his own love life through memories of his late dad. Christopher Plummer plays Hal, Oliver's father who came out as gay after the passing of his wife. Rated "85% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes, "Beginners" is a multi-generational romance with a fresh take on fatherhood.'Bicycle Thieves'The Criterion ChannelWatch "Bicycle Thieves" on HBO Max or The Criterion Channel. "Bicycle Thieves" is an Italian neorealist film following a father and his son in post-World War II Rome searching for their stolen bike. Without the bike, the father won't be able to work his job to provide for his family. The classic movie is directed by Vittorio De Sica and is frequently included on many all-time best film lists. It's rated "99% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Big Fish'AmazonWatch "Big Fish" on Netflix. A fantastical drama directed by Tim Burton, "Big Fish" focuses on one man's attempts to reconnect with his dying father by recalling his larger-than-life stories. Billy Crudup plays Will Bloom, and Albert Finney plays his father, Edward. Ewan McGregor plays a young Edward in the movie's many fantasy flashback sequences. "Big Fish" received a "75% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 'Boyz N the Hood'AmazonRent or buy "Boyz N the Hood" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu.When Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is sent to live with his father, Furious Styles (Laurence Fishburne) in South Central Los Angeles, he is reunited with his childhood friends and immersed in organized crime. "Boyz N the Hood" follows Tre's rocky adolescence influenced by local gangs while his father tries to sway him from a life of violence. The film is written and directed by John Singleton; it holds a "96% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Father of the Bride'AmazonRent or buy "Father of the Bride" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu. A remake of a 1950s comedy, "Father of the Bride" stars Steve Martin as George Banks, a successful businessman who's thrown for a loop when his 22-year old daughter (Kimberly Williams) announces her engagement to a man she's known for three months. It's a timeless film that's relatable for all dads who have a hard time letting go. It currently has a "70% Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A brand-new adaptation of the story also recently premiered on HBO Max, with Andy Garcia stepping into the main role.'Field of Dreams'UniversalWatch "Field of Dreams" on Amazon Prime Video.Directed by Phil Alden Robinson, "Field of Dreams'' is a sports drama based on the 1982 book, "Shoeless Joe." Kevin Costner stars as Ray Kinsella, an Iowa farmer haunted by his broken relationship with his late father. When he receives an inspirational vision from an unknown voice, he builds a baseball diamond on his farm. Before long, the ghosts of famous baseball players visit his field ready to play. The sentimental film holds an "87% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Finding Nemo'Disney PlusWatch "Finding Nemo" on Disney Plus.A Pixar classic from 2003, "Finding Nemo" follows one clownfish's harrowing journey to find his son, who's been kidnapped. It's a film great for all ages and it illustrates the woes of an overprotective father and just how far he'll go for his child. The cast includes Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, and Willem Dafoe. "Finding Nemo" is rated "99% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'MarvelWatch "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" on Disney Plus.This sequel to the Marvel hit "Guardians of the Galaxy" follows the team on their next adventure, this time to meet Star-Lord's previously-unknown father. The film is action-packed, funny, and set to a nostalgic soundtrack, perfect for watching with dad this Father's Day. It also explores the idea of a found family, and the importance of those you care about regardless of blood relation. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" holds an "85% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Hearts Beat Loud'Gunpowder & SkyRent or buy "Hearts Beat Loud" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu. Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons star as Frank and Sam Fisher, a father-daughter duo who  become an unlikely songwriting team in Sam's last summer before heading off to college. "Hearts Beat Loud" is a feel-good movie highlighting the love between a father and daughter, and just how hard it is to let go. The movie holds a "92% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'Paramount PicturesWatch "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" on Paramount Plus. The third installment in the "Indiana Jones" franchise follows Indy on an adventure to save his kidnapped father (Sean Connery) and find the fabled Holy Grail. It's one of the more light-hearted and comedic entries in the series, full of the typical Indiana Jones action that many dads love. The classic film is rated "88% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Interstellar'Interstellar Movie/FacebookWatch "Interstellar" on Paramount Plus. "Interstellar" stars Matthew McConaughey as a father and former NASA pilot living in a dystopian future where humans must look to space for survival. He is forced to choose between spending his life aiding all of mankind or remaining earthbound and living out his days with his young children. This sci-fi epic is perfect for dads who love space and all of its unknowns. It holds a "72% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Late Spring'Janus FilmsWatch "Late Spring" on HBO Max or The Criterion Channel."Late Spring" is a 1949 Japanese drama based on the novel "Father and Daughter." It follows Noriko (Setsuko Hara), a single young woman contentedly living with her widowed father. However, things change when she is pressured to get married, leading to a bittersweet and touching story about family. "Late Spring" is directed by legendary filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu and is rated "100% Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'National Lampoon's Vacation'AmazonWatch "National Lampoon's Vacation" on HBO Max. A 1983 comedy classic, "National Lampoon's Vacation" stars Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, a father and husband who decides to take his family on a cross-country road trip to a southern California amusement park. The Griswolds set out in high spirits, not knowing of the hijinks that will ensue. The wildly-popular film kicked off a whole franchise, with five sequels to follow; "Vacation" holds a "93% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Onward'PixarWatch "Onward" on Disney Plus. "Onward" follows brothers Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) as they embark on a journey to spend a day with their late dad, accompanied only by his magically-animated lower body. It's an animated journey filled with bumps and heartwarming moments that will make for a lighthearted watch this Father's Day. It currently holds an "88% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Selena'Warner Bros/IMDBWatch "Selena" on HBO Max. A biographical drama following the life and career of Selena Quintanilla Perez, "Selena" also makes a good Father's Day flick because of what an active, if overbearing, role her father takes in her life. Jennifer Lopez stars as Selena and Edward James Olmos as her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr. "Selena" is rated "67% Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Birdcage'AmazonWatch "The Birdcage" on HBO Max. Armand and Albert, the openly-gay owners of a drag club called The Birdcage, are thrown for a loop when Armand's son Val asks them to meet his girlfriend's extremely conservative parents. The story continues as the two conceal their lifestyles, for Val's sake. It's a hilarious debacle starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, and Dianne West. "The Birdcage" is rated "82% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back'Disney PlusWatch "The Empire Strikes Back" on Disney Plus. After the events of the four earlier entries in the "Star Wars" saga, "The Empire Strikes Back" follows Luke, Han, and Leia as they continue to battle the Empire. It's the source of the iconic scene in which Luke learns the harsh truth about his father while dueling with Darth Vader. Directed by Irvin Kershner, this film holds a "94% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Godfather'AmazonWatch "The Godfather" on Paramount Plus. An award-winning, critically acclaimed masterpiece, "The Godfather" has a reputation that precedes it. Marlon Brando plays Don Corleone, the patriarch of his family. Based on the Mario Puzo novel of the same name, "The Godfather" focuses on the Corleone family life and the dark crimes they engage in behind the scenes. The film also stars Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, and Diane Keaton; it holds a "97% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Paper Tigers'Well Go USA EntertainmentWatch "The Paper Tigers" on Netflix.A comedy packed with stunts and martial arts, "The Paper Tigers" follows three has-been kung-fu prodigies who reunite decades later to avenge their master. Leading the trio is Danny "Eight Hands," who has long forgotten the kung fu life and is now a divorced father. The film is written by Bao Tran and stars Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, and Mykel Shannon Jenkins. It is rated "98% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Pursuit of Happyness'PeacockWatch "The Pursuit of Happyness" on Peacock. "The Pursuit of Happyness" is based on the real life of Chris Gardner, a man struggling to keep he and his son from falling into poverty while striving for a better life. Real-life father and son Will and Jaden Smith play the Gardners in this film directed by Gabriele Muccino. It's a heartwarming drama with powerful performances from its actors; "The Pursuit of Happyness" holds a "67% Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Royal Tenenbaums'Gene Hackman in "The Royal Tenenbaums."Buena Vista PicturesRent or Buy "The Royal Tenenbaums" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu. Directed by Wes Anderson and co-written by Owen Wilson, "The Royal Tenenbaums" stars Gene Hackman as Royal Tenenbaum, the father of three formerly-brilliant children who now live mediocre lives. He gathers them back together, decades older, in an attempt to reconnect before he dies. The cast also includes Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, and Danny Glover. The film is rated "81% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Shining'Warner Bros.Watch "The Shining" on HBO Max. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, "The Shining" details the decline of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), an aspiring writer who takes his wife and son with him on a job as an off-season hotel caretaker. The hotel has a dark past though, and his son becomes plagued with psychic visions. Perfect for the horror-loving father in your life, "The Shining" is a psychological horror classic to watch this Father's Day. It holds an "84% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'To Kill a Mockingbird'UniversalRent or buy "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu.Based on the award-winning novel by Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird" paints a picture of prejudice and racial discrimination in 1930s Alabama. Gregory Peck plays Atticus Finch, a defense lawyer with two children who steps up to represent a Black man accused of rape. The story is told through the eyes of his young daughter, Scout (mary Badham), as she watches him fight for what's right. "To Kill a Mockingbird" holds a "93% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 17th, 2022

Fatal Macro Warnings: We"re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

Fatal Macro Warnings: We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat Authored by Matthew Piepenburg via GoldSwitzerland.com, As one who loves metaphor, I can’t help but notice the recent and varying range of metaphorical macro warnings. JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, for example, is now predicting a “market hurricane” ahead, which Peter Schiff has recently upgraded to a “Category 5.” Meanwhile, the always blunt Michael Burry has compared the trajectory of our market economy and macro warnings to “watching a plane crash.” In short, the bull vs. bear debate is behind us; even the TBTF banks are now openly alarmed. The Shark Fins Approach In fact, current macro warnings are more suggestive of a market shark rather than bear, and borrowing a line from Speilberg’s Jaws, we are all “gonna need a bigger boat” as these dorsal-finned macro warnings begin circling in plain sight. Specifically, we are seeing three separate macro warnings rising simultaneously, each of which are eerily familiar to the pre-2008 conditions which preceded the last global implosion. In short: Cue the John Williams music. Shark-Fin 1: Counterparty Risk As we’ve argued ever since the September 2019 implosion of the reverse repo market, this was a very big deal. Of course, the corporate media and politicized Fed tried to downplay the repo crisis as Powell was losing control of the rates markets and banks were losing trust for each other (and each other’s collateral.) The financial “leadership” were hoping an intentionally confusing and complex reverse repo market would be too difficult for the average citizen-investor to grasp. Thus, the 2019 Fed nervously whistled past that ticking timebomb as it dumped trillions of mouse-click money into the repo morass. But to make better sense of these repo markets, let’s keep things clean and simple. The Repo Fins Explained The reverse repo market is a place where loans keep markets and banks greased in short-term (typically over-night) liquidity, as liquidity (i.e., borrowed money) is the grease that makes our debt-soaked, over-levered and counter-party heavy markets go round. Given this important “grease,” when the counterparties in the reverse repo markets lose trust in each other, the wheels of the markets start to squeak, shake, rattle and roll…off. In September of 2019, TBTF Bank 1 essentially stopped trusting TBTF Bank 2’s balance sheet, and thus wouldn’t lend each other money at normal rates. The distrusting banks chose instead to charge each other painful rates, skyrocketing from the sub 2% range to the 10% range in one trading day. That’s a counter-party crisis colliding with a liquidity crisis. Or, more simply: A trust crisis. Net result? The Fed’s money printers came in as a repo lender of last resort, tossing trillions of “loaned” grease into this otherwise dysfunctional repo marriage among the big banks. Counterparty Dysfunction Explained Once again, and unbeknownst to just about everybody, those days of dysfunctional liquidity marriages (i.e., distrust) have returned. As of April 2021, the Fed has been making daily loans into the reverse repo market to the skyrocketing tune of $2T a day. Please re-read that last line. The eye-opening chart below looks a lot like a shark fin… What ghastly data like the above chart boils down to is the Fed is providing the Money Market with mind-numbingly massive doses of daily liquidity to keep it alive. They do this by swapping out Treasuries for Money Market funds in what is the churning equivalent to treading water with fiat dollars. Some experts claim that this insane level of Fed “support” is due to the TBTF banks off-loading deposits from their balance sheets onto the Fed’s balance sheet in order to meet the Basel 3 requirements. A more likely scenario, however, boils down to counter-party distrust and hence counter-party risk among Wall Street’s broken moving parts. That is, fund managers who run Money Market accounts no longer want to park their money with the TBTF banks for the simple reason that they see trouble ahead and frankly don’t trust them. No wonder Jamie Dimon is so scared of hurricanes… Stated otherwise: Distrust in the system is rising like a shark fin and the money markets are now swimming toward a “bigger boat”—namely the Fed. Such distrust among counterparties is a major macro warning. In fact, it was precisely this kind of counterparty distrust/risk (and bad collateral) which brought down Bear Sterns and Lehman in 08. Just saying… Shark Fin 2: The Shift from Hysteria to Fear Markets, no matter how artificially stimulated or can-kicked, move in cycles which are driven by the availability (or unavailability) of liquidity. When cash is cheap (i.e., when rates are low), markets hysterically rip; and when cash is expensive (i.e., when rates rise), markets fearfully tank. Ever since November of 2021 when Powell “forward guided” a June 2022 “tightening” of liquidity, markets have been slowly (and fearfully) tanking, as “tightening” is just a fancy way of telegraphing a rate hike. And as stated above, rate hikes matter…They turn hysteria into fear. Between 2006 and 2008, for example, we saw a crappy-credit housing market climb in euphoria and then tank in fear. Today, as rates slowly rise into a Powel 2022 “taper,” today’s too-much-credit housing market will make a similar slow (and then rapid) shift from euphoria to “uh-oh.” Equally (and eerily) reminiscent of the pre-2008 pivot from euphoria to fear is the teetering “tech will save you” meme, which like Cathie Wood’s ARKK fund, is tanking in real-time despite her rising spin-talk on primetime. In short, we are seeing signs all over the hype-driven NASDAQ and S&P of a classic bear-trap, of which BTC was just one among many. What’s far scarier today, however, is that the 2008 crisis (bubble) was limited to real estate; today, we are in an everything bubble, from meme stocks, inflated bonds and over-priced housing to bloated art, over-paid celebrity chefs and pricy used cars. And remember: ALL bubbles pop, despite what your broker, central banker or 20-something financial journalist might tell you. Shark Fin 3: MBS Toxic Waste For those who remember 2008, then you also remember all those crappy mortgages packaged into Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) which Wall Street then syndicated to your broker like candy and which the rating agencies equated to magical beans. You also know those MBS were toxic waste. And as Chernobyl reminds, toxic waste doesn’t just go away—it lingers and festers in deep, dark pits. Sadly, the MBS waste of the 2008 era is still lingering and festering in the deep and dark pits of the Fed’s toxic and bloated balance sheet. But now Powell wants to unload that MBS waste. Great idea, but who wants to buy toxic waste? How a Real Estate Bubble Dies If, Powell sticks to his June unloading of unwanted MBS, this will add more supply of an asset class for which there is no demand. And as high school economics reminds, such a over-supply & drying dynamic means tanking prices for those MBS radiation assets. But again, who will buy radiation assets? Sadly, the big banks will, which means they’ll now have more older and crappier MBS added to their balance sheets of the newer, less crappy loans, which they float through Freddie and Fannie to turn into more MBS. But given the increasing supply and tanking demand for these MBS, their prices will go nowhere but south, which means their yields and hence interest rates (i.e., tomorrow’s mortgages) will have nowhere to go but north. After all, banks survive by lending at a risk premium. As the Fed slowly takes the Fed Funds Rate from zero to 75 bps or more, the mortgage rates must rise at a much greater pace and slope, already climbing from 3% to 5% to date. And that, folks, is how a housing bubble ends. Where to Hide? Investors facing these macro warnings and shark fins need a bigger boat. Needless to say, our view lies partially in gold, which detractors will attribute to sell-side bias rather than informed conviction, private common sense, or a basic understanding of math or history. As we’ve warned for years, all fraudulent banking, currency and market systems eventually collapse under their own weight. This slow collapse is already in play, as the NASDAQ, S&P, TLT and even Muni bonds have all seen near 20% losses thus far into 2022. Meanwhile, us boring gold investors are having to defend the only primary asset category that has kept its nose above the water level this year; we are constantly asked why gold is not ripping when in fact it has already done a noble job of not tanking. Gold’s Bull Cycle Is Just Beginning From its 2009 low to its high late last year, the Fed-created U.S. stock market became the biggest bubble in modern history. But we believe the gold market’s rise has not even begun. In 1980, when gold topped an 8X move in just 3 years, stocks were flat. If anything, the only “bubble” then was gold itself. But until recently, the only bubbles in sight were risk assets (from junk bonds to junk tech), which means gold’s time to shine is ahead of us, not behind us. When considered in the larger backdrop of a commodities cycle, such confidence is an evolution rather than bias. The recent uptrend in the Bloomberg Commodities Index, for example, is admirable, but does not even compare to the highs it reached in 2011 and prior. In short, commodities in general, and precious metals in particular, are at the beginning of a bull cycle, whereas over-valued risk assets are approaching the traumatic end of theirs. As for interim price action in gold, we are not promising a straight line. When risk asset markets tank, gold can temporarily follow, as seen in October of 2008 or March of 2020. But just after joining those tanking markets, gold then divorced the tantrum trend and skyrocketed north. We see an inevitable gold surge in the tumultuous years ahead, and as investors rather than speculators, time is clearly on our side. Still Trust the Fed? Of course, there are still those who will trust the Fed and the “magical money theories” (MMT) of the so-called experts. As the great Janet Yellen sits down with Powell and Biden this week, I wonder if anyone in that Oval Office will remind Yellen that she had described inflation as “transitory” throughout 2021, though now it has reached 40-year highs? I wonder if anyone will remind her that for the entire first half of her term as Fed Cahir, she kept rates stapled to zero, and then took 2 more years just to reach 1.15%, thereby adding low-rate fuel to the current inflationary fire that always follows cheap debt paid for with mouse-klick money? And I wonder if anyone will remind her that when she sat as President of the San Francisco Fed, her low-rate policies lead directly to the greatest housing bubble (I was there) in that state’s (and our nation’s) history, despite her continued promises that there was no risk of a housing bubble nor any damage to the broader economy? Has Janet forgotten 2008? Trust Hard Facts But if the politico’s wish to pretend and shirk, we at least can be blunt and direct. In the last 200+ years, 98% of all countries with a debt to GDP ratio of > 130% have defaulted via inflation, currency devaluation, restructuring or pure default. (Reinhart & Rogoff) Sadly, the problem for the U.S., based on the global centric nature of USD structures, means the entire world has a sovereign debt problem. As I have written and spoken many times, it’s my belief that debt-soaked sovereigns will publicly decry inflation while privately seeking more of it as a Main-Street-crushing “strategy” to inflate away their sovereign debt. Big brother crushing Main Street? No shocker there… Such “constructive” default via crippling inflation is a way of defaulting without having to publicly (i.e., politically) confess default, and God knows politicians like Yellen et al never admit to any faults. Follow the Fed Furthermore, given that natural supply and demand-driven price discovery (along with basic capitalism) died years ago in what is now a central-bank driven market, the only signal (headwind or tailwind) left for tracking future market direction is based upon central bank policy in general and Powell’s Fed in particular. I mean let’s be honest: It’s a rigged Fed market, not a stock market. So, what will Powell do? Will he 1) tighten QE into a topping market (and thus create an historical market blow-off and global meltdown) or 2) pivot, reverse course and start creating more fiat money faster than a bat out of Hell? No one, of course, can know for certain. Volatility Ahead The Fed is in such a ridiculous corner that neither option is a sane option, and thus the base-case is to expect more market volatility ahead as investors stand on the razor’s edge of either a tanking market or a dying (inflated, devalued and debased) currency. Meanwhile, Powell, Biden and Yellen can meet to “plan a strategy,” which in my mind is akin to Mickey Mouse sitting down with Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb to diffuse a timebomb. All three know that the economic data ahead is getting worse not better (all blamed conveniently on Putin and COVID, rather than the cancerous debt that pre-existed both crises and the insanely toxic policy reactions which they pursued). Given political preferences for re-election self-interest over the public good or personal accountability, it’s hard to imagine any of these political parties actually confessing a recession with a mid-term election on the horizon. The U.S. administration is already pre-telegraphing weaker economic data for the coming months, preparing the masses for more pain while pointing fingers at Putin or bat-made (man-made?) virus rather than assuming one iota of personal accountability. In this backdrop, it is possible that the three stooges above may allow markets to tank by sticking to Powell’s QT schedule and hence “fight” money-supply-driven inflation with a tanking market-price-driven “deflation.” Even if this desperate option is taken, my guess, and it’s only a guess based on human (political) nature and centuries of historical patterns, is that the Fed will then pivot and crank out the money printing once markets spiral into QT. In short, I see lots of inflationary, deflationary and then again inflationary forces ahead—all screaming volatility ahead. In short, amidst these clear macro warnings, I think we’re all gonna need a bigger boat—and mine will have a golden rudder. Tyler Durden Sun, 06/12/2022 - 10:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 12th, 2022

I stayed in a "cabana" at Margaritaville"s new RV park in Florida for $195 a night and I now understand the hype the brand has built

The pools, on-site activities, and outdoor lounges make Camp Margaritaville Auburndale a family-friendly destination for guests with and without a RV. Brittany Chang/Insider I spent a night at Margaritaville's latest RV resort in Auburndale, Florida. I don't own an RV but I still had an amusing and relaxing time exploring the family-friendly property. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville wants to open 30 to 50 RV parks through the next five years. During a humid mid-May afternoon, I jumped in a rental car and drove an hour from the Orlando airport to Margaritaville's newest RV resort in Auburndale, Florida tucked away between some homes and a lake.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd when I arrived, I wasn't greeted with margaritas and a drunken crowd like the brand's name might suggest.Brittany Chang/InsiderInstead, I found a family-friendly oasis of pools, palm trees, and peace.Brittany Chang/InsiderBefore my trip, I didn't know what to expect: I'd never been to an RV park.Brittany Chang/InsiderActually, let's backtrack. I don't even own an RV.Brittany Chang/InsiderIf you're scratching your head and wondering why I decided to visit an RV park without an RV, I understand. But let me explain.Brittany Chang/InsiderYou might be familiar with Jimmy Buffett's iconic "Margaritaville" song and the expanding chain of restaurants and resorts that have spawned from the simple "wasting away again in Margaritaville" lyrics.The Margaritaville Cafe and Store in Key West, FloridaChuck Wagner/ShutterstockIt seems like Margaritaville businesses are now popping up everywhere, but one of the hospitality empire's quickest growing segments isn't its recognizable bars or all-inclusive resorts.A newlywed couple and friends drinking at a Margaritaville bar.Alison Wright/Getty ImagesInstead, it's Margaritaville's growing chain of RV resorts that bring the promise of tropical relaxation and booze to life on the road.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe hospitality empire currently has three RV resorts: one in Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.A Camp Margaritaville.MargaritavilleBut it's not stopping there.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe Florida resort I visited is one of the 30 to 50 RV parks Margaritaville plans to launch through the next five years, Wiseman told Insider in 2021.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: InsiderThe brand's previous RV parks have seen "off the chart" receptions and reviews, Jim Wiseman, the president of development at Camp Margaritaville, told Insider in 2021.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: InsiderIf current locations are any indication of how future markets will perform, Camp Margaritaville's growing chain could become a staple for both RV owners and general travelers looking for an outdoor resort.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: InsiderAnd I wanted to see what the big deal was for myself.Brittany Chang/InsiderAs I said, I had no idea what to expect.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut after spending a day and night alone at Camp Margaritaville RV Resort and Cabana Cabins in Auburndale, I completely understand the hype now.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe central Florida getaway isn't just a place to park your RV while you visit nearby attractions like Walt Disney World Resort.AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC ImagesCamp Margaritaville Auburndale is its own theme park-like destination.Brittany Chang/InsiderWhen I arrived, I was surprised to find an amusement center of family-friendly activities juxtaposing the pockets of relaxing outdoor lounge spaces.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe blue skies, slow golf carts, and strolling families who waved hello as I passed made the RV park feel like a small utopian community.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd although I traveled alone, I had an absolute blast wandering around, enjoying the sun, and lounging by the pool.Brittany Chang/InsiderAs an RV-less visitor, I had to stay in a cabana cabin.Brittany Chang/InsiderThese cabins function as a six-person tiny home starting at almost $195 a night, which is around the same price as the premium RV site.Brittany Chang/InsiderA basic RV site ranges from around $70 to $200 and includes a grill, hookups, and a picnic table …Brittany Chang/Insider… while the more expensive premium iterations have the same amenities plus a "tiki hut," an outdoor television, and outdoor lounge seating.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut who needs an RV at an RV park when you have a tiny home all to yourself.Brittany Chang/InsiderI was only on-site for less than 24 hours, but my cabana cabin had everything I could've wanted for an extended stay.Brittany Chang/InsiderThere was a bedroom, bathroom, separate bed, kitchen …Brittany Chang/Insider… living room, and outdoor deck …Brittany Chang/Insider… which proved to be more space than I needed.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe WiFi was good, my deck chairs were comfortable, and my kitchen's coffee maker worked great. What more could I ask for.Brittany Chang/InsiderMy cabana cabin was the perfect retreat from the resort's shared amenities.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut to access these, I needed to use the golf cart waiting for me at the front of my cabin.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe property is walkable but sizable enough to fit 183 RV sites and 60 cabins, most of which looked unoccupied during my mid-week visit.Brittany Chang/InsiderWhile using a golf cart wasn't a necessity, it certainly cut back on my commute time between the pool and my cabin.Brittany Chang/InsiderOutside of the RV sites and cabins, there are several pockets of leisure activities, including a basketball court, pool with a boardwalk over the lake …Brittany Chang/Insider… and the main entertainment area, the hub of fun activities located right by the entrance.Brittany Chang/InsiderI found most of the on-site guests in this latter area playing mini-golf …Brittany Chang/Insider… sipping on booze at the outdoor bar …Brittany Chang/Insider… venturing down the water slide …Brittany Chang/Insider… playing in the children's playground and shallow water play area …Brittany Chang/Insider… and just lounging under the sun. It was idyllic as it sounds, and felt like the perfect center for the RV resort.Brittany Chang/InsiderThere was also an arcade, gym, corn hole, and dog park, but all of these were unoccupied.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe guests who weren't in the main leisure area were lazing at the second pool, which has full views of the lake …Brittany Chang/Insider… lounge seating on the lakeside boardwalk …Brittany Chang/Insider… a somewhat confusing and empty sandy lounge …Brittany Chang/Insider… and a bar, of course.Brittany Chang/InsiderI spent whatever was left of my late afternoon lounging here on a pool chair under the sun.Brittany Chang/InsiderBy this late afternoon hour, all of the other guests had fled this pool.Brittany Chang/InsiderIt was just me, the waning heat, and my comfortable seatBrittany Chang/InsiderIt was my first time relaxing after a long morning and afternoon of travel.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd as I laid alone in the setting sun, I found a slice of respite from the busier main area.Brittany Chang/InsiderEven the loud music blasting above my head couldn't deter these moments to myself.Brittany Chang/InsiderI never pictured a Margaritaville RV park as a relaxing and peaceful destination, but that's exactly what I found as a solo traveler.Brittany Chang/InsiderMy quick stay at the tropical and slow RV resort was the perfect reprieve from my bustling life in New York City.Brittany Chang/InsiderIt had everything I could've wanted during a warm summer afternoon in central Florida: a pool, quiet pockets of relaxation, and a large outdoor space that was fun to explore, although it definitely would've been more fun with friends or family.Brittany Chang/InsiderAdmittedly, Camp Margaritaville Auburndale would probably be a better vacation destination for a family in Florida, whether they owned a RV or not, versus a solo traveler.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe waterslide, outdoor space, and childrens' play areas are perfect for young visitors.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd the easy access to bars and lounge chairs will surely keep any weary parents happy.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut the one feature that stood out to me the most was the feature that wasn't even there: the lack of pronounced Margaritaville branding.Brittany Chang/InsiderMargaritaville doesn't build its RV parks from the ground up.Brittany Chang/InsiderInstead, it refurbishes and refreshes existing RV parks to fit the Margaritaville brand and "lifestyle."Brittany Chang/InsiderMany of the amenities at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale were already present at Cabana Club, the RV park's name before Margaritaville took over the property, according to YouTube video tours of the site.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: YouTubeWhen Margaritaville stepped in, the most glaring aesthetic change was in the updated logos and branding, which are now as bright and kitschy as you might expect.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut besides this, the resort doesn't scream "Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville."Brittany Chang/InsiderThere's no life size cutout of Jimmy Buffett, lyrics painted on the walls, or employees walking around handing out margaritas.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut unlike Margaritaville's new cruise ship, which I previously said had a lack of cohesive branding …MargaritavilleSource: Insider… this RV resort's tropical and laid back spirit, palm trees, thatched huts, and hammocks subtly fit the paradisaical lifestyle of the brand. It didn't need any flashing signs to feel like Margaritaville.Brittany Chang/InsiderI may have been alone and RV-less at a RV park perfect for families, but I still enjoyed moseying around and claiming my stake in an empty lounge chair.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd if I ever found myself in the area again, I wouldn't mind paying another visit to central Florida’s new hidden gem.Brittany Chang/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 12th, 2022

25 Amazing Summer Jobs For Teens And College Students

There are hundreds of job titles to choose from across dozens of industries — regardless of your age or stage of life. And, as we’ve previously discussed, this is even true for teens and college students. In an effort to make finding your first job easier for you, we’ve put together another list of 25 […] There are hundreds of job titles to choose from across dozens of industries — regardless of your age or stage of life. And, as we’ve previously discussed, this is even true for teens and college students. In an effort to make finding your first job easier for you, we’ve put together another list of 25 summer jobs you should consider. Moreover, a part-time job will allow you to earn‌ ‌some‌ ‌extra‌ ‌money‌ ‌and‌ ‌still‌ ‌have‌ ‌time‌ ‌for‌ ‌family,‌ ‌friends, vacations,‌ ‌or just chillaxing. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Outdoor nursery worker. In a nursery, you’d typically take care of plants, set up displays, help customers load supplies, and clean. You might also need to be able to lift heavy objects. ‌Nursery workers earn an average wage between $10 to $15 ‌an hour. Sports scorekeeper. Keeping score in youth sports leagues is another sports job teens or college students can do. ‌Scorekeepers normally earn minimum wage. To ensure accuracy, you must be attentive at all times. ‌The scorekeeper must also interact with coaches on occasion. ‌However, if you are a sports fan, this is an excellent entry-level job. Pool cleaner. According to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP), there are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools in the United States. With that said, there’s definitely a need for pool cleaners. Not only is this perfect if you want to work outdoors, but it’s also not all that difficult. ‌In addition to cleaning the pool, pool cleaners‌ ‌change filters ‌and maintain‌ ‌PH‌ ‌levels. On average, a pool cleaner can make over $14 per hour. Swimming instructor. Do you enjoy swimming? ‌Then you might make the perfect swimming instructor. ‌Perhaps you could work in a local pool or recreation center. And, better yet? The average pay for a swimming instructor is $18.42 an hour. Apple picker. Take a look into picking apples if you live near an orchard. ‌Some apple-picking orchards pay their workers hourly. On average, apple pickers make $19 per hour. ‌In most cases, they are paid by the bushel or piece. ‌That is why becoming a fast picker pays well. ‌Consequently, apple picking is ‌a labor-intensive‌ ‌job. Parks & conservation area work. Whether you enjoy nature or plan to work in conservation or wildlife management in your future, working for conservation areas is one of the best summer jobs out there. Maintenance is a very necessary part of maintaining parks. And students are the best candidates for jobs such as: Keeping trails in good condition. Organizing‌ ‌park‌ ‌activities‌. Attending to parking lots and gates. Serving food or providing guest services on‌ ‌park‌ ‌grounds. Construction work. In the United States, you can work on construction sites once you reach 16. However, like being a farmhand, it has to be in a limited capacity. Therefore, working in construction is an even better summer job for college students on break. And, because of the manual labor involved, it’s the perfect job for anyone looking to stay-in-shape without paying for a gym membership. The average construction worker earns about $16 an hour. Grocery stocker/bagger. Working as a grocery stocker or bagger can also be a great summer job for teens. ‌Grocery stores have open positions in abundance, so students can easily find work in this field. And, if you’re high school, maybe you can continue working at the store part-time when school starts back up. A grocery stocker earns an average of $12.21 per‌ ‌hour. ‌In addition to stocking food items, setting up displays, removing expired food, and helping customers load groceries into their cars are common tasks. You may also be asked to collect carts or assist in other departments. Catering staff. Catering servers distribute food and beverages to guests at an event. ‌Before‌ ‌the‌ ‌event, you‌ ‌set up the tables and food arrangement, and you tell your guests which station or foods to serve. Because this can be inconsistent, this could be a way to supplement other incomes, particualairly if you’re already a waiter or waitress. Or, you could use the flexibility to still make money while also enjoying your summer. Catering servers make an average hourly wage of‌ ‌$12.21. Barista. Coffee shops offer teens a chance to earn money while interacting with the local community. Since baristas serve nonalcoholic drinks like coffee, tea, and soda, there is no minimum age requirement. But, you may also be serving pastries and sandwiches. Cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop counter attendants made a median wage‌ ‌of $13.75 per hour. Kid’s party entertainment. If‌ ‌you’re into theater and entertaining kids, ‌consider working at children’s parties. ‌After‌ ‌all,‌ ‌parents‌ ‌love‌ ‌throwing ‌memorable parties for their kids. A business that hosts kids parties or an entertainment company might hire you. ‌Be prepared to stay in character throughout‌ ‌the‌ ‌party. However, the average‌ ‌hourly wage for a party host is $12.16 in the ‌United‌ ‌States. Animal shelter associate. Are you interested in‌ ‌working‌ ‌with‌ ‌animals? ‌Consider working for a local shelter. ‌As part of your duties, you will feed, walk, and clean the animals’ quarters. An animal shelter worker’s hourly wage ranges from $18 to $20 And. while this can be a meaningful job, it can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Why? ‌You’re caring for animals who‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌abandoned‌ ‌or‌ ‌abused. Car detailer. This summer, you may be able to earn money by‌ ‌detailing‌ ‌cars. ‌Most detailing jobs are located‌ ‌at‌ ‌car‌ ‌dealerships or car washes. ‌Your duties will be to clean your vehicle‌ ‌inside‌ ‌and‌ ‌out. The work doesn’t vary much, which can get boring. But, you may be able to make over $14 an hour. And, this could actually be a side hustle that your can start from home. Valet. It is typical for older teens who have driving experience to be car valets. Many restaurants, shopping areas, and hotels offer car valet services to their guests. A valet parking attendant typically earns between $9 and $12 per hour. Additionally, you can earn tip money ‌as‌ ‌well. Work at or run a stand at a farmers market/flea market. Right down the street from me is a local farmer’s marker. And, as you might have guessed, most of the employees are teens or college students. But, if there isn’t a farm stand near you, consider working at a farmer’s market. Some of these are only open a couple of days a week. But, that could be good if you want a more flexible schedule. And, if there’s a flea market nearby you could also work someone else’s stand. Or, if you have your own items to sell, you could be for your own stand. If not, you could try your hand at garage flipping. Library page. As a teenager, being a library page is a good choice if you’re looking for a quiet job. Pages sort and store library items including books, movies, and magazines. A library page earns an average wage of $12.79 an‌ ‌hour in‌ ‌the‌ ‌United‌ ‌States. The downside? ‌Pages usually only work 12-15 hours per‌ ‌week. Court runner. Court runners and legal runners for law firms are good jobs if you’re interested in a legal. ‌Essentially, it’s errand work, which allows lawyers to focus on more pressing matters. ‌The bulk of the work involves picking up and delivering legal documents that can’t‌ ‌be‌ ‌faxed‌ ‌or‌ ‌emailed. But, you also be asked to go on lunch or coffee runs. A court runner makes an average hourly wage of‌ ‌$13.38. Window cleaner. Private homes, offices, and all kinds of buildings hire window cleaners. Why? Not only does this maintain the appearance, it also extends the life of the windows. ‌Along with windows, they also typically clean‌ ‌glass‌ ‌partitions,‌ ‌mirrors,‌ ‌and‌ ‌other‌ ‌glass‌ ‌surfaces. As‌ ‌long‌ ‌as‌ ‌you don’t mind heights or‌ ‌being‌ ‌outdoors, this is another job with exploring. Mainly because, on average, you can pull in $18.01 per hour. Housesitter. Even though people are planning to take fewer trips, 73% of Americans have summer travel plans. Because of this, there should be plenty of house sitting gigs available. When a homeowner is away, house sitters make sure the home remains occupied. Or, to make it appear that the homeowner is at home, they turn on the lights periodically. ‌They may‌ ‌also‌ ‌look after pets and do light maintenance. Rates for house sitting typically range between $25 and $30 per day. House painter. Over the summer and on weekends, you can make a lot of money working for a painting company. Just be aware, that this more ideal for those who don’t mind the manual labor involved. ‌According to PayScale, painters can earn an average hourly rate of $17.83. Hotel housekeeper. Cleaning and laundry are some of the things a hotel housekeeper or maid does for a living. Hotel housekeepers earn $13.58 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. ‌You can also work as a housekeeper in a hospital, nursing home, or continuing care retirement community. Average hourly rates at these businesses range from $13.60 to $16.82. Receptionist. U.S. News’ Best Jobs ranking lists receptionists among the best business jobs in the country. And, teenagers and college students can also attain these high-paying jobs. Answering the phone, greeting visitors and completing administrative duties may be part of the duties of employees hired by businesses and health care facilities. Receptionists make an average wage of $17 per hour, with an hourly rate ranging between $16 and $20. Work at a VR lounge, arcade, or laser tag park. I’m showing my age here. But, when I was younger, my friends and I loved going to the arcade and laser tag. And, I’ll even through in mini golf as well. Today, VR lounges are becoming increasingly. So, what not get paid doing something that you enjoy? Of course, this doesn’t mean playing games all day. Put if you enjoy the environment you may do things like collect money, operating and troubleshooting machines, or performing regular maintenance. Plus, these types of jobs are readily available in cities, suburban neighborhoods, and resort towns. So, if your family is spending the summer at the beach, why not make some bank while on vacation too? Salaries vary. But, the average arcade attendant makes about $13 per hour. IT jobs. You can have a fulfilling tech career before you’ve even landed your first job. Case in point, snagging an awesome entry-level jobs in IT during the summer. Some of the numerous options you have include” Webmaster Junior technology associate Junior data entry associate Entry-level IT tech support Online community manager Freelance. As a summer job, freelancing is great because you have plenty of free time. In addition to a literal break from school, you’ll have time to ‌‌‌refine ‌your craft‌. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to apply the things you learn in class. And, maybe this can lead to becoming a passive income source for years to come. Among the most popular freelancing ideas are: Freelance‌ ‌writer. Graphic or web design. Social media management. Virtual assistant. SEO Translation Photography Best of all? As a freelancer, you actually get to be your own boss. Frequently Asked Questions What summer jobs are available for teens and college? The kinds of jobs available and their pay rates will vary depending on where you live, the employer, and your age. ‌Occasionally, child labor laws come into play, so make sure you are familiar with the applicable laws. Accordingly, teens and college students can choose from a range of positions depending on their schedules, interests,‌ ‌and‌ ‌skill‌ ‌sets. For example, serving food in a restaurant or concession stand. Other examples would be a cashier, lifeguard, daycare assistant, or kennel attendant. How much money can I make? That depends. The‌ ‌federal minimum wage currently stands at $7.25 per hour in the United States. ‌Many states, however, have set higher wages. Washington, for instance, leads the country by offering a $14.49 minimum wage. Maine, Arizona, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, California, and Massachusetts have minimum wage rates over $12. Remember, child labor laws may limit the amount of hours you can work. How can I land a summer job? Most‌ ‌teens‌ ‌don’t know how to apply‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌job. ‌Nevertheless, it is an important skill that most people will need at some point in their lives. If you’ve never applied for a job before, just know that every business has its own hiring process. While each process is different, here are some general tips to know. Application process. For‌ ‌some‌ ‌businesses,‌ ‌you just need to walk in and ask for the application. ‌Many‌ ‌organizations, though, post their job listings online. ‌You can print‌ ‌one‌ ‌out‌ ‌and‌ ‌fill‌ ‌it‌ ‌out‌ ‌or submit it online. ‌No matter if you apply online or in person, it is wise to discuss the job in person with‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌manager. The interview. Take time to educate yourself about the company and the job position you have applied for. ‌This‌ ‌‌‌lets ‌the‌ ‌employer‌ ‌you are informed and interested. Don’t forget to dress appropriately and demonstrate strong communication skills, like eye contact. And, at the end of the interview don’t be afraid to ask questions. After the interview. If you haven’t heard anything, follow up. ‌You could just give them a quick phone or email or just pop in to say hello. Don’t give up if you don’t get hired. ‌Every interview is an opportunity to learn. What should I do with the money? There’s nothing wrong with using your hard-earned money to have fun or buy something you need, like a new phone. However, you don’t want to spend all of your money on junk. You should also save some of your money for college expenses, purchasing a car, or in case of an emergency. But, where should you put your savings. Some suggestions would be the Alliant Kids Savings Account, BECU Early Saver youth savings account, Chime Savings Account, CIT Savings Build, or Bethpage Federal Credit Union Young Adult Savings. When choosing an account look for one that has a high annual percentage yield (APY). Also, you want an account that has no minimum balance to open or maintain the account. Article by Deanna Ritchie, Due About the Author Deanna Ritchie is a financial editor at Due. She has a degree in English Literature. She has written 1000+ articles on getting out of debt and mastering your finances. She has edited over 40,000 articles in her life. She has a passion for helping writers inspire others through their words. Deanna has also been an editor at Entrepreneur Magazine and ReadWrite. Updated on Jun 10, 2022, 3:43 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 10th, 2022

UK PM Boris Johnson Survives "No Confidence" Vote

UK PM Boris Johnson Survives 'No Confidence' Vote Update (1600ET): UK prime Minister Boris Johnson has survived a vote of no confidence with a of 'secret' vote of 211 (confident) to 148 (not confident) leaving him remaining in office but significantly weakened. Sir Graham Brady says: "I can announce that the parliamentary party does have confidence in the prime minister." 211-148: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson survives confidence vote that could have ousted him from power. pic.twitter.com/iAcYKtD4FP — The Recount (@therecount) June 6, 2022 This reportedly a worse result than former PM Theresa May suffered. Current rules prevent another vote from taking place within 12 months, although Tory party sources indicated that rule could be changed if there was sufficient demand.  One Conservative MP said: "It's the beginning of the end. It's actually far better for everyone if he goes voluntarily." Another predicted that Johnson would "be gone in six months… It is Theresa May 2.0 [and] she lasted seven months." A third said his win would leave the party "bitter" and divided. He said another vote of no confidence would be triggered as early as September, after the privileges committee report into whether Johnson misled Parliament, is published.  As The Telegraph's Camilla Tominey reports, as it stands, the only thing really keeping the Prime Minister in place right now is the lack of a viable alternative. The vultures, however, are circling. It is going to take a unique amount of doggedness to bring this disobedient party to heel. Some people seem happy... Meanwhile in the UK.....pic.twitter.com/Z7kW942uDX— FJ (@Natsecjeff) June 6, 2022 *  *  * Authored by Bill Blain via MorningPorridge.com, “I think he honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation which binds everyone else.” Big theme for the week in UK politics will be the last act in The Tragedy of Boris Johnson. His likely denouement coincides with rising economic stress, increasing corporate defaults and doubts on sterling. Time to Panic? Not at all! Bring it on..  We’ve suffered worse! Before getting stuck into Markets through the rest of the month, it’s worth a quick comment on the UK and politics. Change is coming… likely this week if the papers are to be believed. It’s not that I worry about UK Inc – we’ve been doing just fine for over a 1000 years with just a few hic-cups. Its just things are about to get, well, fraught and uncertain – and markets dislike uncertainty. Why do I not worry? History. Perhaps the very least well-known Shakespeare play is King John – yet it contains a singular line that sums up this Barmy Little United Kingdom best: “Come the three corners of the world in arms, and we shall shock them”. We may be a tiny, windswept Isle off the unfashionable west of Yoorp.. but we know ourselves. Change may be coming.  We thrive in adversity.. perhaps because we are so used to it. We’ve just spent a bonkers long weekend celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty and the absolute rightness of being British. It was all about being incredibly nice about monarchy – saying thanks to our Monarch. She is Queen Elizabeth the Second of England, and Queen Elizabeth of Scotland. A drone display over Buckingham Palace of a Corgi licking a bone got a massive cheer! At least we now know where The Queen keeps her Marmalade Sandwiches – that’s what handbags are for. Yet, perhaps it is now time to leave aside these childish things and face the uncertain future. However funny the Paddington having tea with Her Majesty skit was, in the real-world Priti Patel would be shipping him off to Rwanda next week. Britain’s great success has always been our multiculturism – blending successive waves of immigration into our cosmopolitan and inventive society. The degree of love for Her Majesty is reciprocated in the growing contempt for our Premier. Boris the Buffoon was booed whenever he had the temerity to appear. National Treasure Sir Stephen Fry caught the mood of the nation suggesting Her Majesty “tolerates” him. The monarchy will thrive as long as long as the alternative is “President Thatcher ” or “Chairman Blair”. (Like many disillusioned voters, I was quite looking forward to the high-point of our national celebration being the Queen appearing on the balcony to announce Boris has been sent on a one way trip to the Tower.) Patience…. After the party, sadly, its back to reality this morning as the global economy stumbles, the pound tumbles, stocks wobble, bond yields rise, recession looms, rail strikes and civil service failure abound, and a likely non-confidence vote in our Premier as the requisite number of Tory MPs realise they will otherwise be looking for new jobs. Last week my youngest got made redundant. Her firm was barely keeping its head above water through Covid. Inflation and the rising cost of living has mortally wounded it. She will not be the only one to lose out. Companies think the looming recession and cost of living crisis will do what Covid could not – decimate the corporate landscape. In a survey of over 500 CEOs, BDO cite rising energy costs, inflation, and supply chains as the main threats to UK commerce. Consumers with zero discretionary spending should be front and centre. Things are only going to get worse as earnings decline. Yet, the increasingly unstable UK financial base of the economy is not dominating the narrative. Instead, we’re focused on and distracted by politics – which, even if we get change, will ultimately solve little. It’s time to move on. While I am tolerated in Yacht Clubs as a token lefty, members tend to be Conservative in nature. Not any more; the main subject in the bars during our Jubilee Regatta was government failure and disgust with Boris in particular. When sensible business leaders and frothing-at-the-mouth Brexiteers are all demanding Boris goes… it’s finally going to happen. When Tory councillors tell you they despair at the what they hear on the doorsteps.. it’s time to listen. Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, said on Monday morning, “The threshold of 15 percent of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded.” Boris’ inevitable departure (this week or soon), will leave a massive political vacuum at the heart of the UK. [ZH: As The MailOnline details, the PM has sent a letter to MPs pleading for them to “draw a line” under the infighting, after backbench chief Graham Brady confirmed this morning that at least 54 MPs have asked for a full ballot. The vote will be held between 6pm and 8pm, with Mr Johnson addressing the parliamentary party before that and the results declared shortly afterwards. The development raises the possibility that Mr Johnson’s tenure could come to a crashing end less than three years after he won a stunning 80-strong Commons majority. However, if half of the 359 eligible MPs back him in the secret vote in theory he is safe for a year – with some insurgents fearing they have moved too early ahead of key by-elections later this month. ... Meanwhile, Mr Hunt – who lost the last leadership contest to Mr Johnson – tweeted saying that he will vote against the PM. “Anyone who believes our country is stronger, fairer and more prosperous when led by Conservatives should reflect that the consequence of not changing will be to hand the country to others who do not share those values. Today’s decision is change or lose. I will be voting for change,” he wrote] Excellent. His departure will remove the distraction… Buying boots on? Maybe… The Tories will be leaderless. Is there one among their number with the credibility with the public to replace him? The Labour party looks rudderless with its own leadership issues. There is talk of a new centre party or alliance. If I was a gambling man I’d be betting on a Liberal Democrat resurgence – at which point I either go off sailing round the world in despair or accept that anything is better than current broken UK politics…. Cometh the hour, cometh the woman… (or maybe man..)? The crisis of politics about to engulf the UK is about priorities: How to cope with, and how to pay for the coming global recession? How to reopen the doors to Europe? How to secure energy and food, and how to plan an energy transition policy? How to balance budgets, reform the NHS, improve Education, raise productivity and defend the nation? How to right size government while providing social support, benefits and ensuring equality and social justice? Standard political stuff – but wholly unanswered since 2019. (I blame myself. I voted for him – and now regret it.)  In a world where the answers are not obvious, then addressing these issues will be fraught. What’s the alternative? More weeks and months of Boris clinging on? Long-Term in Boris’ book is surviving through to the middle of this week, achieved by distracting the nation from the business of recovery? Time for change. As has been previously said in Westminster…. ‘You have sat there too long for all the good you have done, in the name of God, go!” A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “Tonight is a chance to end months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line and move on, delivering on the people’s priorities. “The PM welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs and will remind them that when they’re united and focused on the issues that matter to voters there is no more formidable political force.” Meanwhile.. outside the amusement park… Lots of market positivity out there as China reopens from lockdowns, folk hope that inflation is easing, and that central banks will hold off on further hikes…. Yeah.. sure..  Buckle up! Tyler Durden Mon, 06/06/2022 - 16:06.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 6th, 2022

UK Faces "Massive Political Vacuum" As Boris Johnson "No Confidence" Vote Looms

UK Faces "Massive Political Vacuum" As Boris Johnson 'No Confidence' Vote Looms Authored by Bill Blain via MorningPorridge.com, “I think he honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation which binds everyone else.” Big theme for the week in UK politics will be the last act in The Tragedy of Boris Johnson. His likely denouement coincides with rising economic stress, increasing corporate defaults and doubts on sterling. Time to Panic? Not at all! Bring it on..  We’ve suffered worse! Before getting stuck into Markets through the rest of the month, it’s worth a quick comment on the UK and politics. Change is coming… likely this week if the papers are to be believed. It’s not that I worry about UK Inc – we’ve been doing just fine for over a 1000 years with just a few hic-cups. Its just things are about to get, well, fraught and uncertain – and markets dislike uncertainty. Why do I not worry? History. Perhaps the very least well-known Shakespeare play is King John – yet it contains a singular line that sums up this Barmy Little United Kingdom best: “Come the three corners of the world in arms, and we shall shock them”. We may be a tiny, windswept Isle off the unfashionable west of Yoorp.. but we know ourselves. Change may be coming.  We thrive in adversity.. perhaps because we are so used to it. We’ve just spent a bonkers long weekend celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty and the absolute rightness of being British. It was all about being incredibly nice about monarchy – saying thanks to our Monarch. She is Queen Elizabeth the Second of England, and Queen Elizabeth of Scotland. A drone display over Buckingham Palace of a Corgi licking a bone got a massive cheer! At least we now know where The Queen keeps her Marmalade Sandwiches – that’s what handbags are for. Yet, perhaps it is now time to leave aside these childish things and face the uncertain future. However funny the Paddington having tea with Her Majesty skit was, in the real-world Priti Patel would be shipping him off to Rwanda next week. Britain’s great success has always been our multiculturism – blending successive waves of immigration into our cosmopolitan and inventive society. The degree of love for Her Majesty is reciprocated in the growing contempt for our Premier. Boris the Buffoon was booed whenever he had the temerity to appear. National Treasure Sir Stephen Fry caught the mood of the nation suggesting Her Majesty “tolerates” him. The monarchy will thrive as long as long as the alternative is “President Thatcher ” or “Chairman Blair”. (Like many disillusioned voters, I was quite looking forward to the high-point of our national celebration being the Queen appearing on the balcony to announce Boris has been sent on a one way trip to the Tower.) Patience…. After the party, sadly, its back to reality this morning as the global economy stumbles, the pound tumbles, stocks wobble, bond yields rise, recession looms, rail strikes and civil service failure abound, and a likely non-confidence vote in our Premier as the requisite number of Tory MPs realise they will otherwise be looking for new jobs. Last week my youngest got made redundant. Her firm was barely keeping its head above water through Covid. Inflation and the rising cost of living has mortally wounded it. She will not be the only one to lose out. Companies think the looming recession and cost of living crisis will do what Covid could not – decimate the corporate landscape. In a survey of over 500 CEOs, BDO cite rising energy costs, inflation, and supply chains as the main threats to UK commerce. Consumers with zero discretionary spending should be front and centre. Things are only going to get worse as earnings decline. Yet, the increasingly unstable UK financial base of the economy is not dominating the narrative. Instead, we’re focused on and distracted by politics – which, even if we get change, will ultimately solve little. It’s time to move on. While I am tolerated in Yacht Clubs as a token lefty, members tend to be Conservative in nature. Not any more; the main subject in the bars during our Jubilee Regatta was government failure and disgust with Boris in particular. When sensible business leaders and frothing-at-the-mouth Brexiteers are all demanding Boris goes… it’s finally going to happen. When Tory councillors tell you they despair at the what they hear on the doorsteps.. it’s time to listen. Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, said on Monday morning, “The threshold of 15 percent of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded.” Boris’ inevitable departure (this week or soon), will leave a massive political vacuum at the heart of the UK. [ZH: As The MailOnline details, the PM has sent a letter to MPs pleading for them to “draw a line” under the infighting, after backbench chief Graham Brady confirmed this morning that at least 54 MPs have asked for a full ballot. The vote will be held between 6pm and 8pm, with Mr Johnson addressing the parliamentary party before that and the results declared shortly afterwards. The development raises the possibility that Mr Johnson’s tenure could come to a crashing end less than three years after he won a stunning 80-strong Commons majority. However, if half of the 359 eligible MPs back him in the secret vote in theory he is safe for a year – with some insurgents fearing they have moved too early ahead of key by-elections later this month. ... Meanwhile, Mr Hunt – who lost the last leadership contest to Mr Johnson – tweeted saying that he will vote against the PM. “Anyone who believes our country is stronger, fairer and more prosperous when led by Conservatives should reflect that the consequence of not changing will be to hand the country to others who do not share those values. Today’s decision is change or lose. I will be voting for change,” he wrote] Excellent. His departure will remove the distraction… Buying boots on? Maybe… The Tories will be leaderless. Is there one among their number with the credibility with the public to replace him? The Labour party looks rudderless with its own leadership issues. There is talk of a new centre party or alliance. If I was a gambling man I’d be betting on a Liberal Democrat resurgence – at which point I either go off sailing round the world in despair or accept that anything is better than current broken UK politics…. Cometh the hour, cometh the woman… (or maybe man..)? The crisis of politics about to engulf the UK is about priorities: How to cope with, and how to pay for the coming global recession? How to reopen the doors to Europe? How to secure energy and food, and how to plan an energy transition policy? How to balance budgets, reform the NHS, improve Education, raise productivity and defend the nation? How to right size government while providing social support, benefits and ensuring equality and social justice? Standard political stuff – but wholly unanswered since 2019. (I blame myself. I voted for him – and now regret it.)  In a world where the answers are not obvious, then addressing these issues will be fraught. What’s the alternative? More weeks and months of Boris clinging on? Long-Term in Boris’ book is surviving through to the middle of this week, achieved by distracting the nation from the business of recovery? Time for change. As has been previously said in Westminster…. ‘You have sat there too long for all the good you have done, in the name of God, go!” A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “Tonight is a chance to end months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line and move on, delivering on the people’s priorities. “The PM welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs and will remind them that when they’re united and focused on the issues that matter to voters there is no more formidable political force.” Meanwhile.. outside the amusement park… Lots of market positivity out there as China reopens from lockdowns, folk hope that inflation is easing, and that central banks will hold off on further hikes…. Yeah.. sure..  Buckle up! Tyler Durden Mon, 06/06/2022 - 08:07.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 6th, 2022

See inside a tiny cabin at Margaritaville"s newest RV resort in Florida starting at $195 per night

The Camp Margaritaville RV resort location in Auburndale, Florida has 60 "cabana cabin" tiny homes for guests who didn't arrive in an RV. Take a look. Brittany Chang/Insider Margaritaville wants to open 30 to 50 more RV parks over the next five years. The newest location in Auburndale, Florida has 60 "cabana cabins" for guests without an RV. See inside one of the tiny homes with a Margaritaville flair that start at almost $195 per night. RV parks are no longer reserved for travelers with tiny homes on wheels.Brittany Chang/InsiderIf you don't own a RV but you've dreamt of vacationing at a RV resort, now's your chance.Brittany Chang/InsiderCamp Margaritaville's newest RV resort location in Auburndale, Florida — about one hour from Orlando — has a collection of 60 on-site cabana cabins to house vacationers who don't have a RV …Brittany Chang/Insider… and they're the perfect family friendly combination of a tiny home, extended stay hotel, and Airbnb.Brittany Chang/InsiderJimmy Buffett's Margaritaville currently operates three "casual luxury" Camp Margaritaville locations in Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: InsiderBut this could soon change: The hospitality empire wants to open 30 to 50 more RV parks throughout the US over the next five years.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe Margaritaville-branded chain obviously targets the growing RV market ...Brittany Chang/Insider... but this doesn't mean you have to be a RV traveler to experience the Parrothead RV lifestyle.Brittany Chang/InsiderAll three locations have accommodations designed for visitors who don't own a tiny home on wheels.Brittany Chang/InsiderWhile the Georgia location has mountain-like cabins and the Tennessee resort has a similarly cozy lodge …A Camp Margaritaville.Margaritaville… Camp Margaritaville in Auburndale, Florida has tropical tiny homes fit for its warm lakeside location.Brittany Chang/InsiderIf you've dreamed of sipping on a tropical cocktail while lounging by a lake …Brittany Chang/Insider… or an activity-packed family vacation with your young children …Brittany Chang/Insider… Camp Margaritaville RV Resort and Cabana Cabins has the amenities you may be looking for.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe cabins start at almost $195 a night. This price includes access to the park's amenities including its two pools, dog park, and children's water play area.Brittany Chang/InsiderIt's an activity-packed resort but the "cabana cabins" feel like a personal and quiet reprieve from the rest of the property.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe units make up the perimeter of the RV camp, which began welcoming guests in January.Brittany Chang/InsiderSmall palm trees, shrubs, and pebbled parking spots separate the seemingly never-ending row of 60 neutral-colored cabins.Brittany Chang/InsiderEvery unit comes with a parking spot and picnic table.Brittany Chang/InsiderThink of the cabana cabins as a downsized but cozy Airbnb that can sleep up to six people.Brittany Chang/InsiderLet's head inside where you're immediately greeted by the kitchen and living room.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe living room has large windows, a wall-mounted television, a sleeper couch, and a narrow table with several seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe door between the television and couch leads into the back deck …Brittany Chang/Insider… complete with two lounge chairs and views of the surrounding trees and your nearby neighbors.Brittany Chang/InsiderIt's the perfect place to catch up on some reading or to enjoy your morning cup of Margaritaville coffee.Brittany Chang/InsiderLike all tiny homes, the cabana cabins are open concept: The living room opens right into the kitchen.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut unlike most small cabins, it's surprisingly spacious.Brittany Chang/InsiderIt has all the amenities of a typical home kitchen and is larger than the ones I've seen in New York apartments.Brittany Chang/InsiderThere's a microwave, oven, stovetop, sink, dishwasher …Brittany Chang/Insider… blender, toaster, refrigerator, coffee maker, and all the utensils and cookware necessary to cook and serve a full meal.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd we can't forget about the margarita reference in the kitchen's decor.Brittany Chang/InsiderIt wouldn't be a vacation cabin without kitschy Marshalls-esque decorations.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe cabin has no dining table apart from the kitchen island seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderSo if you're looking to make some home-cooked meals, you'll have to enjoy an al fresco dinner on the picnic table outside.Brittany Chang/InsiderBack inside, the refrigerator is situated across from the kitchen towards the start of the hallway.Brittany Chang/InsiderA small daybed runs the remaining length of this hallway …Brittany Chang/Insider… and is located opposite the bathroom.Brittany Chang/InsiderLike the kitchen, the space looks like any typical bathroom.Brittany Chang/InsiderIt has all the basics including a toilet, sink, and shower with a glass door.Brittany Chang/InsiderBack out and down the hall is the only bedroom in the cabana cabin.Brittany Chang/InsiderInside, you'll find the closet, a king bed …Brittany Chang/Insider… a ceiling fan, a television, and large windows with sweeping views of the road and adjacent RVs.Brittany Chang/InsiderThere's only one bedroom, but you still have the hallway bed and pullout couch.Brittany Chang/InsiderIf you have a full party of six people, you'll probably end up in one of the cabins with a bunk bed.Brittany Chang/InsiderRegardless of the layout and size, these Margaritaville tiny homes have everything your typical full-sized home has.Brittany Chang/InsiderThere are more than enough amenities for a weekend or weeklong vacation.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut if you're retired, on an extended vacation, or working remote, you'll be allowed to stay on the property for up to six months.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe resort's amenities — like its pool with a water slide, mini-golf course, and playground — make it a fun family-friendly reprieve from bustling cities.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut if you'd rather spend your time outside of Auburndale, Camp Margaritaville's proximity to Orlando, Florida makes it a decent option for theme park enthusiasts who want their accommodations to feel like a destination.Brittany Chang/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 2nd, 2022

The Universal Hip Hop museum (UHHM) Celebrated its First Groundbreaking Anniversary by Topping off the Construction of its Soon-To-Be Permanent Home at Bronx Point

The Universal Hip Hop Museum celebrated the first anniversary of its groundbreaking ceremony with a Topping Off event on Wednesday, May 25th at Mill Pond Park located at Exterior St & East 150th St. in the Bronx. The Universal Hip Hop Museum (UHHM) has been designated by the New York City Council as the... The post The Universal Hip Hop museum (UHHM) Celebrated its First Groundbreaking Anniversary by Topping off the Construction of its Soon-To-Be Permanent Home at Bronx Point appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. From left to right: Sal Abatello, founder Fever Records; Michael Holman, Graffiti Rock; Grace Master D of Whodini; Laurie Cumbo, DCLA Commissioner; HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrion Jr.; Diana Ayala, Deputy Speaker of NYC Council; UHHM Founder & Executive Director Rocky Bucano; (behind Rocky) DJ Wiz; Vanessa L. Gibson, Bronx Borough President; Ruben Diaz Jr., former Bronx Borough President & UHHM Board Member; DJ Ralph McDaniels, and Tom Silverman of Tommy Boy Records. The Universal Hip Hop Museum celebrated the first anniversary of its groundbreaking ceremony with a Topping Off event on Wednesday, May 25th at Mill Pond Park located at Exterior St & East 150th St. in the Bronx. The Universal Hip Hop Museum (UHHM) has been designated by the New York City Council as the cultural anchor of Bronx Point; the sprawling new 56,000-square-foot waterfront development project located in the South Bronx is celebrating its completion. “Witnessing the ’topping-off’ of the Bronx Point development, which features the future home of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, is a dream come true. The continuous support by city and state officials is proof that Hip Hop culture is a Bronx-born, cultural resource embraced by millions worldwide. It’s the passion for Hip Hop culture that we share with the world, that makes this joint effort exciting for the Bronx, New York City, and the world,” said Founder and Executive Director Rocky Bucano. Bucano was joined by Josue Sanchez, Senior Director, L+M Development Partners; Annie Tirschwell, Partner, Type A Projects; Ruben Diaz Jr., former Bronx Borough President and UHHM Board Member; Vanessa L. Gibson, Bronx Borough President; LaToya Joyner, Assembly Member 77th Dist.; Hip Hop legend Doug E. Fresh; Tom Silverman, Founding Director of the UHHM;  Diana Ayala, Deputy Speaker of NYC Council; Adolfo Carrion Jr., Housing Preservation Development Commissioner; Andrew Kimball – New York City Economic Development Corp. President; Laurie Cumbo, DCLA Commissioner, and Rep. Jamaal Anthony Bowman (D-NY 16th District).  Gibson said, “This ceremony is the culmination of a deep commitment, collaboration, and labor of love for hip-hop. The Bronx is the original birthplace of hip-hop and we are proud to cultivate a place to honor and pay tribute to our pioneers and trailblazers in the hip-hop community. From the DJ to the MC, to the rapper, to the dancers, Hip-Hop is a global phenomenon that has created artists and rappers worldwide. The Museum will serve as a place of culture, education, and entertainment for the past, present and future of Hip-Hop.” “The Universal Hip Hop Museum focuses on the cultural phenomenon that started right here in the Bronx at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue and celebrates a powerful musical genre that expanded the boundaries of contemporary style and touched the psyche of millions of listeners,” said Assemblywoman Joyner (D-Bronx, 77th AD). “Today’s topping-off ceremony is a reminder of how important the state’s $11 investment in the Museum is to the entire Bronx as we celebrate the rich diversity of our community and I want to thank Speaker Carl Heastie for his support.” “We are excited to see the progress happening at Bronx Point and can’t wait to celebrate its completion next year,” said Kimball. “Bronx Point will activate a long-vacant waterfront to create high-quality public open space, over 500 permanently affordable homes, and a range of cultural facilities that pay homage to the boogie down Bronx.”  As the anchor of Bronx Point, the museum is a significant part of the permanently affordable housing, mixed-use project. In 2020, the project garnered an award for Excellence in Public Design by the New York City Public Design Commission. As the borough enters an era of unprecedented revitalization and economic development, the Universal Hip Hop Museum will serve as a “living document” that will chronicle the rise of the culture and ensure its preservation. “This development will benefit the Bronx community for generations to come, with 542 permanently affordable homes, extensive cultural and community programming, and the new Universal Hip Hop Museum,” said Eric Enderlin, HDC President. “Congratulations to all our partners on reaching this important milestone in the construction of Bronx Point.” “I am excited about this historical moment as we celebrate the ‘‘topping-off’ of the Universal Hip Hop Museum (UHHM). This anchor development at Bronx Point will be a cultural destination dedicated to the celebration and preservation of hip-hop music, dance, art, and culture.  The museum will be a place for the global evolution of hip-hop to be told. In addition to persevering the legacy of hip-hop culture, there are plans to create educational and mentorship programing, which is truly extraordinary,” said Ayala. “Hip Hop was born right here in the Bronx, and I can’t wait for the Universal Hip Hop Museum to open and provide a place to commemorate and celebrate this global art form,” said Cumbo. The unifying force of Hip Hop culture is reflected in its global rise from the streets of the South Bronx to the world. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023, Hip Hop culture’s influence is ubiquitous in art, music, fashion, film, marketing, and entertainment today. Transcending language, age, race, geographic, and socio-economic barriers, “The 5 Elements,” of Hip Hop are universally accepted today as canon by millions worldwide. As the future home of Hip Hop culture, the Universal Hip Hop Museum is poised to become a global tourism destination in the birthplace of the culture, the South Bronx, New York City. “Bronx Point is one step closer to completion and we could not be more excited,” said Sanchez. “This topping-off ceremony represents new heights for this extraordinary mixed-use project that will improve a formerly vacant site in the South Bronx with new permanently affordable housing, educational community facility spaces, dynamic retail, and a revitalized waterfront park and esplanade. This event is also a milestone for the Universal Hip Hop Museum, the cultural anchor at Bronx Point. I want to thank my colleagues at L+M Development Partners, Type A Projects, and especially, our public and private partners for their ongoing commitment to Bronx Point and UHHM, and the future they represent for The Bronx community and most importantly, its people.” The post The Universal Hip Hop museum (UHHM) Celebrated its First Groundbreaking Anniversary by Topping off the Construction of its Soon-To-Be Permanent Home at Bronx Point appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyMay 31st, 2022

Hedges: No Way Out But War

Hedges: No Way Out But War Authored by Chris Hedges via ScheerPost.com, (emphasis ours) Permanent war has cannibalized the country. It has created a social, political, and economic morass. Each new military debacle is another nail in the coffin of Pax Americana... Original Illustration by Mr. Fish — “No Guts No Glory” The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable Covid relief program. No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses. No minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. No respite from gas prices that are projected to hit $6 a gallon. The permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the US debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the US GDP of $ 24 trillion. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military, $ 813 billion for fiscal year 2023, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined. We are paying a heavy social, political, and economic cost for our militarism. Washington watches passively as the U.S. rots, morally, politically, economically, and physically, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, and other countries extract themselves from the tyranny of the U.S. dollar and the international Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging network banks and other financial institutions use to send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions. Once the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, once there is an alternative to SWIFT, it will precipitate an internal economic collapse. It will force the immediate contraction of the U.S. empire shuttering most of its nearly 800 overseas military installations. It will signal the death of Pax Americana. Democrat or Republican. It does not matter. War is the raison d’état of the state. Extravagant military expenditures are justified in the name of “national security.” The nearly $40 billion allocated for Ukraine, most of it going into the hands of weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon Technologies, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing, is only the beginning. Military strategists, who say the war will be long and protracted, are talking about infusions of $4 or $5 billion in military aid a month to Ukraine. We face existential threats. But these do not count. The proposed budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in fiscal year 2023 is $10.675 billion. The proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion. Ukraine alone gets more than double that amount. Pandemics and the climate emergency are afterthoughts. War is all that matters. This is a recipe for collective suicide. There were three restraints to the avarice and bloodlust of the permanent war economy that no longer exist. The first was the old liberal wing of the Democratic Party, led by politicians such as Senator George McGovern, Senator Eugene McCarthy, and Senator J. William Fulbright, who wrote The Pentagon Propaganda Machine. The self-identified progressives, a pitiful minority, in Congress today, from Barbara Lee, who was the single vote in the House and the Senate opposing a broad, open-ended authorization allowing the president to wage war in Afghanistan or anywhere else, to Ilhan Omar now dutifully line up to fund the latest proxy war. The second restraint was an independent media and academia, including journalists such as I.F Stone and Neil Sheehan along with scholars such as Seymour Melman, author of The Permanent War Economy and Pentagon Capitalism: The Political Economy of War.  Third, and perhaps most important, was an organized anti-war movement, led by religious leaders such as Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr. and Phil and Dan Berrigan as well as groups such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). They understood that unchecked militarism was a fatal disease. None of these opposition forces, which did not reverse the permanent war economy but curbed its excesses, now exist. The two ruling parties have been bought by corporations, especially military contractors. The press is anemic and obsequious to the war industry. Propagandists for permanent war, largely from right-wing think tanks lavishly funded by the war industry, along with former military and intelligence officials, are exclusively quoted or interviewed as military experts. NBC’s “Meet the Press” aired a segment May 13 where officials from Center for a New American Security (CNAS) simulated what a war with China over Taiwan might look like. The co-founder of CNAS, Michèle Flournoy, who appeared in the “Meet the Press” war games segment and was considered by Biden to run the Pentagon, wrote in 2020 in Foreign Affairs that the U.S. needs to develop “the capability to credibly threaten to sink all of China’s military vessels, submarines and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours.”  The handful of anti-militarists and critics of empire from the left, such as Noam Chomsky, and the right, such as Ron Paul, have been declared persona non grata by a compliant media. The liberal class has retreated into boutique activism where issues of class, capitalism and militarism are jettisoned for “cancel culture,” multiculturalism and identity politics. Liberals are cheerleading the war in Ukraine. At least the inception of the war with Iraq saw them join significant street protests. Ukraine is embraced as the latest crusade for freedom and democracy against the new Hitler. There is little hope, I fear, of rolling back or restraining the disasters being orchestrated on a national and global level.  The neoconservatives and liberal interventionists chant in unison for war. Biden has appointed these war mongers, whose attitude to nuclear war is terrifyingly cavalier, to run the Pentagon, the National Security Council, and the State Department. Since all we do is war, all proposed solutions are military. This military adventurism accelerates the decline, as the defeat in Vietnam and the squandering of $8 trillion in the futile wars in the Middle East illustrate. War and sanctions, it is believed, will cripple Russia, rich in gas and natural resources. War, or the threat of war, will curb the growing economic and military clout of China. These are demented and dangerous fantasies, perpetrated by a ruling class that has severed itself from reality. No longer able to salvage their own society and economy, they seek to destroy those of their global competitors, especially Russia and China. Once the militarists cripple Russia, the plan goes, they will focus military aggression on the Indo-Pacific, dominating what Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, referring to the Pacific, called “the American Sea.”  You cannot talk about war without talking about markets. The U.S., whose growth rate has fallen to below 2 percent, while China’s growth rate is 8.1 percent, has turned to military aggression to bolster its sagging economy. If the U.S. can sever Russian gas supplies to Europe, it will force Europeans to buy from the United States. U.S. firms, at the same time, would be happy to replace the Chinese Communist Party, even if they must do it through the threat of war, to open unfettered access to Chinese markets. War, if it did break out with China, would devastate the Chinese, American, and global economies, destroying free trade between countries as in World War I. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Washington is desperately trying to build military and economic alliances to ward off a rising China, whose economy is expected by 2028 to overtake that of the United States, according to the UK’s Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). The White House has said Biden’s current visit to Asia is about sending a “powerful message” to Beijing and others about what the world could look like if democracies “stand together to shape the rules of the road.” The Biden administration has invited South Korea and Japan to attend the NATO summit in Madrid. But fewer and fewer nations, even among European allies, are willing to be dominated by the United States. Washington’s veneer of democracy and supposed respect for human rights and civil liberties is so badly tarnished as to be irrecoverable. Its economic decline, with China’s manufacturing 70 percent higher than that of the U.S., is irreversible. War is a desperate Hail Mary, one employed by dying empires throughout history with catastrophic consequences. “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable,” Thucydides noted in the History of the Peloponnesian War.  A key component to the sustenance of the permanent war state was the creation of the All-Volunteer Force. Without conscripts, the burden of fighting wars falls to the poor, the working class, and military families. This All-Volunteer Force allows the children of the middle class, who led the Vietnam anti-war movement, to avoid service. It protects the military from internal revolts, carried out by troops during the Vietnam War, which jeopardized the cohesion of the armed forces. The All-Volunteer Force, by limiting the pool of available troops, also makes the global ambitions of the militarists impossible. Desperate to maintain or increase troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military instituted the stop-loss policy that arbitrarily extended active-duty contracts. Its slang term was the backdoor draft. The effort to bolster the number of troops by hiring private military contractors, as well, had a negligible effect. Increased troop levels would not have won the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but the tiny percentage of those willing to serve in the military (only 7 percent of the U.S. population are veterans) is an unacknowledged Achilles heel for the militarists. “As a consequence, the problem of too much war and too few soldiers eludes serious scrutiny,” writes historian and retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich in After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed. “Expectations of technology bridging that gap provide an excuse to avoid asking the most fundamental questions: Does the United States possess the military wherewithal to oblige adversaries to endorse its claim of being history’s indispensable nation? And if the answer is no, as the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq suggest, wouldn’t it make sense for Washington to temper its ambitions accordingly?” This question, as Bacevich points out, is “anathema.” The military strategists work from the supposition that the coming wars won’t look anything like past wars. They invest in imaginary theories of future wars that ignore the lessons of the past, ensuring more fiascos.  The political class is as self-deluded as the generals. It refuses to accept the emergence of a multi-polar world and the palpable decline of American power. It speaks in the outdated language of American exceptionalism and triumphalism, believing it has the right to impose its will as the leader of the “free world.” In his 1992 Defense Planning Guidance memorandum, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz argued that the U.S. must ensure no rival superpower again arises. The U.S. should project its military strength to dominate a unipolar world in perpetuity. On February 19, 1998, on NBC’s “Today Show”, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright gave the Democratic version of this doctrine of unipolarity. “If we have to use force it is because we are Americans; we are the indispensable nation,” she said. “We stand tall, and we see further than other countries into the future.” This demented vision of unrivaled U.S. global supremacy, not to mention unrivaled goodness and virtue, blinds the establishment Republicans and Democrats. The military strikes they casually used to assert the doctrine of unipolarity, especially in the Middle East, swiftly spawned jihadist terror and prolonged warfare. None of them saw it coming until the hijacked jets slammed into the World Trade Center twin towers. That they cling to this absurd hallucination is the triumph of hope over experience. There is a deep loathing among the public for these elitist Ivy League architects of American imperialism. Imperialism was tolerated when it was able to project power abroad and produce rising living standards at home. It was tolerated when it restrained itself to covert interventions in countries such as Iran, Guatemala, and Indonesia. It went off the rails in Vietnam. The military defeats that followed accompanied a steady decline in living standards, wage stagnation, a crumbling infrastructure and eventually a series of economic policies and trade deals, orchestrated by the same ruling class, which deindustrialized and impoverished the country. The establishment oligarchs, now united in the Democratic Party, distrust Donald Trump. He commits the heresy of questioning the sanctity of the American empire. Trump derided the invasion of Iraq as a “big, fat mistake.” He promised “to keep us out of endless war.” Trump was repeatedly questioned about his relationship with Vladimir Putin. Putin was “a killer,” one interviewer told him. “There are a lot of killers,” Trump retorted. “You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump dared to speak a truth that was to be forever unspoken, the militarists had sold out the American people. Noam Chomsky took some heat for pointing out, correctly, that Trump is the “one statesman” who has laid out a “sensible” proposition to resolve the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The proposed solution included “facilitating negotiations instead of undermining them and moving toward establishing some kind of accommodation in Europe…in which there are no military alliances but just mutual accommodation.” Trump is too unfocused and mercurial to offer serious policy solutions. He did set a timetable to withdraw from Afghanistan, but he also ratcheted up the economic war against Venezuela and reinstituted crushing sanctions against Cuba and Iran, which the Obama administration had ended. He increased the military budget. He apparently flirted with carrying out a missile strike on Mexico to “destroy the drug labs.” But he acknowledges a distaste for imperial mismanagement that resonates with the public, one that has every right to loath the smug mandarins that plunge us into one war after another. Trump lies like he breathes. But so do they. The 57 Republicans who refused to support the $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, along with many of the 19 bills that included an earlier $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine, come out of the kooky conspiratorial world of Trump. They, like Trump, repeat this heresy. They too are attacked and censored. But the longer Biden and the ruling class continue to pour resources into war at our expense, the more these proto fascists, already set to wipe out Democratic gains in the House and the Senate this fall, will be ascendant. Marjorie Taylor Greene, during the debate on the aid package to Ukraine, which most members were not given time to closely examine, said: “$40 billion dollars but there’s no baby formula for American mothers and babies.” “An unknown amount of money to the CIA and Ukraine supplemental bill but there’s no formula for American babies,” she added. “Stop funding regime change and money laundering scams. A US politician covers up their crimes in countries like Ukraine.” Democrat Jamie Raskin immediately attacked Greene for parroting the propaganda of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Greene, like Trump, spoke a truth that resonates with a beleaguered public. The opposition to permanent war should have come from the tiny progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which unfortunately sold out to the craven Democratic Party leadership to save their political careers. Greene is demented, but Raskin and the Democrats peddle their own brand of lunacy. We are going to pay a very steep price for this burlesque. *  *  * The walls are closing in, with startling rapidity, on independent journalism, with the elites, including the Democratic Party elites, clamoring for more and more censorship. Please, if you can, sign up at chrishedges.substack.com so I can continue to post my now weekly Monday column on ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show, The Chris Hedges Report. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/25/2022 - 19:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 25th, 2022

Seniors Sacrifice Health And Comfort As Inflation Lowers Standard Of Living

Seniors Sacrifice Health And Comfort As Inflation Lowers Standard Of Living Authored by Beth Brelje via The Epoch Times, In response to inflation, the prizes at Bingo have changed in recent weeks at the Millersville Senior Center in Millersville, Pennsylvania. Ria Foltz, 86; Christine Kuss, 71; and Tom Schultz, 85, get ready to play Bingo at the Millersville Senior Center in Millersville, Penn., on May 9, 2022. (Beth Brelje/ The Epoch Times) Instead of fun little trinkets, winning bingo players now choose between cleaning supplies, laundry items or snacks, depending on the theme of the week, Senior Center Director Starr Brubaker told The Epoch Times. Dryer sheets and spray bottles of detergent are practical items that help defray the growing cost of living. Seniors there say they are happy to win such prizes because they are feeling inflation in all areas of their lives, and they are worried that they won’t have enough money to get by in the future. One senior at the center said her husband is at retirement age, but he is not retiring yet because they fear it will be difficult to keep up with inflation. Seniors gather at the Millersville Senior Center in Lancaster County on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for fellowship, exercise, and recreation, such as crafting and friendly games of pinochle. They also share provided meals administered by the county. There are similar programs across the nation. Some who qualify get additional food to take home. After a game of Bingo on Monday, some received a monthly fresh food supplement: a bag with baby carrots, a green pepper, an orange, two apples, bananas, and two potatoes. The food helps their monthly income last longer. Some are making tough decisions about what they can and cannot afford, including food choices and medicines. “It would be harder for some of us, if not for the senior center,” Christine Kuss, 71, told The Epoch Times, indicating that some would not have enough to eat. “Rent is getting higher. I gave up on my $400 a month medication.” Kuss should take a blood thinner, but the cost of her medications has put her in the Medicare donut hole, a coverage gap that is triggered when prescription costs hit a certain amount for the year. Without coverage, affording all of her medicine is simply out of reach. Lillian Pacheco, 67, retired in March and says she is already in the Medicare donut hole this year. She spends much of her time searching for better health coverage. Pacheco told The Epoch Times that she has diabetes, and every three months, her medications adds up to $360. Linda Butt, 74, says she tries to save money by looking for deals like grocery stores that offer gas incentives. She uses coupons as much as possible. Recently she found a good price on kitty litter and bought two bags. But one of her medications recently went up to $500 a month. She used to pay around $900 a month combined, for all medications, and it is now closer to $1,500 a month. “I’m seriously thinking of giving up medication and letting diabetes take over,” Butt said. “I realize everything is going up, but they are sure not thinking about us seniors.” While younger people may have the ability to take on a second job or find a better paying job to make ends meet, senior citizens live on a fixed monthly income that will remain essentially the same. A senior aged 82 may have retired in 2000 and the monthly income that covered costs back then does not go as far anymore. When asked where they feel inflation pressures the most, many Millersville Senior Center patrons— drivers and non-drivers alike— mentioned the cost of gas. “My daughter takes me around,” Fred Busswood, 89, told The Epoch Times, and when she does, he notices what she is paying for a gallon of gas. Busswood does not recall seeing gas prices this high before. Kuss used to drive to the senior center. “Those of us who are close walk now, to help with the gas prices,” Kuss said. Another senior said she has given up recreation and traveling. Her once weekly trips to a park in her town now happen just once a month because she can’t afford the cost of gas to get there. ‘The Country Is Not Being Managed Right’ The seniors don’t expect relief. “Once it goes up, it won’t go down,” Jack Gardner, 76, told The Epoch Times. “The country is not being managed right. We’ve got gas reserves we’re not using.” He believes some who are raising prices may be using inflation talk as an excuse to keep their prices higher than necessary. “Food, water, electric—everything has gone up,” Tom Schultz, 85, told The Epoch Times. “Whatever [increase] you got in Social Security, you may as well forget it.” A Cost of Living Adjustment increased the Social Security benefit that seniors receive by 5.9 percent in January—the largest increase in 30 years. But seniors say that increase was eaten up by inflation and an increase in the cost of Medicare Part B health insurance. In 2021, the average Social Security benefit was $1,565, according to the Social Security Administration. A 5.9 percent increase added $92 a month to that average amount. But at the same time, the Medicare Part B monthly payment was increased from $148.50 a month in 2021 to $170.10 a month in 2022, an increase of $21.60. That means an average net Social Security income increase of $70.40 a month—not enough to keep up with increasing costs. Jerry Cunningham, 79, says his quarterly water bill has doubled, from $31 to $64 a quarter, and the electric company has sent mail warning of a rate hike. Some seniors say they have changed their eating habits or given up pleasure snacks. One reported a local discount store, where she used to get snacks on the cheap, has increased the cost of coffee from $7.99 to $12.99. And the cost of nuts has climbed out of reach too. Another says she is wearing extra sweaters and has her heat turned way down because she does not want to fill her fuel oil tank again this year. As he listened to his senior center mates share their stories, Busswood said he started to realize how much people were hurting and felt it was good to understand each other in this way. Several seniors mentioned a local hamburger joint that is now charging $10 for a plain burger plus $1 for each topping, such as lettuce, tomato, or cheese. It didn’t sound like they would be going there anytime soon. Schultz doesn’t hold out a lot of hope for an economic fix, but he has some ideas. “Tell Washington to give me a call,” he said. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/11/2022 - 20:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 11th, 2022

5 Benefits of Having a Homeowners Association

Are you considering buying into a homeowner’s association? There can be some significant benefits to purchasing a home in an HOA. Each homeowner’s experience with an HOA will vary depending on the amenities and rules that are in place in their community. It is important to understand what is offered before signing up for membership,… The post 5 Benefits of Having a Homeowners Association appeared first on RISMedia. Are you considering buying into a homeowner’s association? There can be some significant benefits to purchasing a home in an HOA. Each homeowner’s experience with an HOA will vary depending on the amenities and rules that are in place in their community. It is important to understand what is offered before signing up for membership, as there may be different benefits to each individual. If you have never lived in with homeowners association it is vital to do your research. Many potential buyers will ask a real estate agent what does an HOA do. Homeowner’s associations can provide several advantages to their residents, including: Property value protection Local laws and ordinances enforced Maintenance and repair of common areas Safety and security in the area Amenities and services provided Let’s have a look at each of the pros of living within an HOA. Property value protection Residents are held accountable to deed restrictions, which means that homes and common areas are taken care of and well-maintained. This makes living in an HOA desirable to a lot of home buyers. Properties are also very uniform to one another. If you want to make any alterations to the exterior of your home, you will have to get approval from either an independent Architectural Control Committee or those who have been elected to an HOA board. The ACC or board reviews each submission to ensure that it adheres to community design standards. Owners will have to follow the rules established by all the owners within the association. Most of the time, you won’t be approved for things that will change the architectural appeal and stand out from the rest of the homes. Local laws and ordinances enforced Each homeowner in the community is held to the same set of standards for upkeep of their home’s exterior as well as adherence to noise policies, parking restrictions, short-term rental guidelines, etc. Living in an HOA is different than when you are not in a neighborhood where you’re king of your castle. It is essential to remember this before making a purchase. Maintenance and repair of common areas Many HOAs maintain their common areas very well, including manicured lawns, freshly painted walls, and floors that are well maintained. If there are swimming pools, tennis courts, and a fitness center, a well-maintained HOA will be on top of keeping these extra perks in tip-top shape. If a neighborhood looks good, the community feels good. You can feel confident when selling at some point in the future your investment will be protected. The condo association will also be responsible for establishing costs such as special assessments when needed. Safety and security in the area In some homeowners associations, there will be a gate where identification is checked in order to get into the neighborhood. It is good knowing that unwanted guests are not allowed. Checking who is coming through the gate makes living in the neighborhood a far safer experience. Even in neighborhoods that don’t have extra security measures, there is often a comradery among neighbors to look out for each other’s properties. Anybody who looks suspicious will be reported. Amenities and services provided Depending on the community you choose to buy a home in, there is likely an amenity or two to fit your needs and lifestyle. Some neighborhoods will feature perks such as a community center, swimming pools, fitness center, barbecue pits, walking trails, and park-like common areas for homeowners to take advantage of. Choosing a community that has many of the features your looking for can increase your living pleasure immensely. You can speak to your real estate agent about looking in communities that have the features on your wish list. Final thoughts on HOA living Having a homeowner’s association can be a great way to protect your property value, ensure local laws are enforced, maintain and repair common areas, and provide safety and security for your area. However, a homeowners association isn’t going to be for everyone. It is vital to understand all the rules and regulations to ensure you’re comfortable living with them. Getting a handle on the financial stability of the community is also a must. Talking to the neighbors before purchasing could be beneficial. All of the above benefits of living in an HOA could be for naught if there are financial issues present. The best run HOAs have community pride and it shows! Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 35 years. Bill is the owner and founder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure. For the past decade, he has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England. The post 5 Benefits of Having a Homeowners Association appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaMay 9th, 2022

Ukrainian cities not under Russian attack feel "unreal," like watching peaceful scenes on a "large TV," one displaced family says

Sergey and Inna don't know how much of their hometown is still standing, but, on the other side of Ukraine, they sit in the park and watch kids play. Inna and Sergey Osyka with their sons during a family trip to Austria in 2019.Courtesy of Bogdan Osyka More than 10 million people have been displaced during the war, and most of them remain in Ukraine. One family told Insider it's surreal to be in a Ukrainian city not under attack while their hometown is bombarded. "I am horrified by the very thought of what I will see upon arrival home," Sergey Osyka said. More than 5 million Ukrainians have fled their country since Russia invaded on February 24.Most have landed in bordering countries like Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia, triggering a crisis in Eastern Europe as the number of refugees quickly surpassed the United Nations' worst-case estimate.But even more Ukrainians fleeing the fighting have remained in the country. Nearly 6.5 million people had been displaced within Ukraine as of March, the UN's refugee agency said, many of whom came from the east.One of those families told Insider they were forced to leave their hometown of Kharkiv in the first week of the war, after days of shelling by Russian forces crumbled much of the city.Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, has seen some of the worst bombardment."The decision to leave was very hard," Sergey Osyka said in an interview with Insider that was translated by his son Bogdan.Sergey and his wife, Inna, were in Kharkiv when the bombardment started, while their sons were living in Oslo, Norway. Despite living in a state of alert for years due to fighting in the Donbas region, Sergey was shocked by the way the shelling started essentially overnight.They remained in their home in Kharkiv for the first six days of the war, sheltering in their basement, where they didn't have internet or cell reception."I was worried when I couldn't get in touch with them," Bogdan said of his parents. "You never know if they're in the basement or the house is getting bombarded."Inna Osyka in the basement of their home in Kharkiv, Ukraine, sheltering from Russian bombardment.Courtesy of Sergey OsykaRussian forces were still bombarding the city when Sergey and Inna made the decision to leave on March 2. They waited for a brief break in the attacks and set off from Kharkiv in their car around 6 a.m., heading west but unsure where they would go.Sergey called every person the couple knew in western Ukraine to try and arrange a place for them to stay. Bogdan was in constant touch with his parents, following news and updates on the war to help them coordinate the safest route."We knew it was roulette because Russia shoots civilians," Sergey said. "But it was a roulette also to stay in Kharkiv."Peaceful scenes in Ukrainian cities that haven't been attacked feel 'unreal'Sergey and Inna safely made it to Chernivtsi, a city in southwestern Ukraine near the Romanian border, where they are temporarily renting an apartment about 620 miles away from their home in Kharkiv.They wake up every morning and listen to the news, unsure of what new developments they will learn or if Russian shelling will spread to where they are located. Sergey said the stress of it all is turning his hair gray: "My son told me that my already grey head was as if it was sprinkled with ashes."The couple tries to go about their days as normally as possible. They are still able to work a bit remotely, which provides a welcome distraction. They also try to go on walks and make dinner, to do things that were normal before the war, but knowing what's happening just a drive away makes for a surreal experience."Sitting on a bench in the park, I watch happy children playing, elderly couples walking with dogs, and it seems to me that I am behind the screen of a large TV, and look at the passing peaceful life as something unreal," Sergey wrote to Insider.Inna and Sergey Osyka in Kharkiv, Ukraine, a few weeks before the war began.Courtesy of Bogdan OsykaEven though they're in a city not under attack, Sergey and Inna said just knowing what's happening in other parts of Ukraine makes it impossible to relax and that the feelings of anxiety do not go away even during sleep.Their lives are filled with uncertainty over what each day will bring and over the extent of the damage in Kharkiv, where they're eager to return once the war has ended."My city is systematically destroyed, residential infrastructure, houses, shops, schools, hospitals are systematically bombed and I am horrified by the very thought of what I will see upon arrival home," Sergey said.As Russian forces focus their efforts on eastern Ukraine, deadly attacks continue to hit Kharkiv, and the future of the city and its residents remains uncertain.But Sergey said all he dreams about now is the end of the war and peace for Ukraine, about a world where he can go to work, come home, have dinner with his wife, and spend time with his sons."He is eager when the war stops to come back and build the city from scratch," Bogdan said of his father. "To start a normal life in the place where he was born."Sergey and Inna are certain they'll return to Kharkiv and to their house, where they raised their sons and which has withstood two world wars – as long as it's still standing.Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytApr 24th, 2022

31 unique Mother"s Day gifts for the mom who"s hard to shop for

From tarot card decks to refillable lipstick, we rounded up unique Mother's Day gifts for your mom that go beyond the usual floral bouquet. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.From Japanese snack boxes to a heartwarming t-shirt, we rounded up unique Mother's Day gifts for your mom that go beyond the usual floral bouquet.Bokksu and BloomingdalesAny chance we have to give someone a gift is a chance for us to show them our love and make their life easier. For moms, there are common gifts (like flowers) where function or appreciation can wane over time. If you're thinking of getting a more unique present for your mom for Mother's Day, it can be good to think outside the box.Never underestimate the power of a unique and more personalized gift. It's the physical manifestation of saying, I see you. Here are 31 unique gifts for moms that give you a chance to be deeply thoughtful.31 unique gifts for moms to get for Mother's Day in 2022:A subscription box of Japanese snacks and teasBokksuClassic gift box, from $39.95, available at BokksuBest for: The foodie momFor the mom who loves traveling and trying new foods, this subscription box of authentic Japanese snacks, teas, and candies is perfect (and one of our faves). Products are sourced from family makers, and each box includes 20-24 snacks plus a magazine that serves as a guide to each product's story. You'll probably be tempted to order one yourself after seeing how much she loves hers.A retro-style instant cameraPolaroidPolaroid Go Instant Camera Starter Set, from $105.05, available at AmazonBest for: The mom who cherishes physical photosIf your mom loves to capture the moment but misses the old days of film cameras, Polaroid's Go Instant Camera is a perfect mix of nostalgia and function. This tiny camera is easily portable and instantly prints photos on film small enough to fit in your pocket.A t-shirt with a heartwarming messageBloomingdalesPhenomenal mother t-shirt, from $35, available at Bloomingdale's Best for: The truly phenomenal momIt's not the most unique gift on the surface, but this shirt gives bragging rights and is a play on poetry by the legendary Maya Angelou. Available in gray, pink, and white, you can give your mom the ultimate compliment in the color that matches her style. If you really want to stay on theme, you can pair this tee with a Maya Angelou book.A sleek, wireless charging padStay CourantWireless charger pad, from $120, available at CourantBest for: The mom who always forgets to charge her phoneIt can be hard to remember to constantly plug your phone in for a charge, especially when the battery is weak. A wireless charger pad is the type of seamless tool that makes life a lot easier. No need to fiddle with a cord anymore — just sit your phone down like you were already doing. The best part about this charger pad is its stylish aesthetic and ability to charge multiple devices.A vibrant bouquet of dried flowersEast OliviaSpring dried flower bouquets, from $55, available at East OliviaBest for: The mom who likes longer-lasting Mother's Day flowersA bouquet of flowers is nice, but they die quickly. This vibrant bouquet of dried flowers lasts far longer (and doesn't require any care).If fresh flowers are more mom's thing, you can browse some of the best Mother's Day flower delivery services here.An affordable and effective skin creamMaeloveOne Cream, $29.95, available at MaeloveBest for: The mom in search of a good face creamThis gift is great because it can be appreciated by a mom who's a skincare buff or prefers a no-frills nighttime routine. This affordable moisturizing cream blends squalane, coconut extracts, and glycerin, and is one of the many Maelove products we've tested and loved.A subscription that brings Mom an exciting new book each monthBook of the MonthBook subscription, from $49.99, available at Book of the MonthBest for: The mom who reads more than anyone you knowHelp your mom spend more time reading and less time searching an endless selection of titles.If they're constantly carrying a book, they'll enjoy this monthly book subscription of curated picks — subscribers pick a new book every month out of a selection of five new fiction and nonfiction works. You can learn more about Book of the Month here.A tension-relieving massage pillowAmazonBack and neck massage pillow, from $64.95, available at AmazonBest for: The mom who needs to relieve some tensionThere's nothing like a good massage that leaves you feeling relaxed and at ease in your body. Gift this massage device for the back that allows your mom to appreciate deep back massages at home. Made with three deep-kneading massage nodes, this pillow relaxes muscles, eases tension, and mimics a natural hand massage.An elaborate pop-up cardLovepopMother's Day Hummingbird Bundle, $34, available at LovepopBest for: The mom who's happy with a simple "thank you"Mother's Day is all about thanking Mom for the infinite love she gives. Give the gift of gratitude with a beautiful pop-up card and paper bouquet bundle (you can also just buy the card separately.) Other Lovepop card options include Baby Yoda, cats, bird houses, butterflies, and sea turtles. A customized coffee subscriptionDriftawayCoffee subscription, from $75, available at DriftawayBest for: The mom who always makes coffee at homeFor the mom who loves coffee (especially making it at home), gift a new batch of high-quality coffee every month. Unlike your typical grocery store or cafe brand, Driftaway lets the subscriber customize the coffee to their tastes. A customized beaded braceletBaublebarCustom Multi Disc Piza Bracelet, $40, available at BaubleBar (20% off with code  CUSTOM20 at checkout)Best for: The sentimental momOur words carry meaning, which is why a bracelet with a good message can be a powerful gift. These custom bracelets from BaubleBar can include up to 12 characters. (Note: Orders placed after April will arrive after May 6).If this bracelet isn't exactly your mom's style, you can browse more Mother's Day jewelry gifts here.A national park-themed family portraitUncommon GoodsNational Park Custom Collage Print, from $55, available on Uncommon GoodsBest for: The mom who wants a more unusual family portraitPhotos capture a moment, but something about a painting immortalizes it. With this unique custom portrait, you can include your whole family (pets included) as well as a favorite park to overlook.Uncommon Goods also offers other custom family art, from wall art of your mom's favorite quotes from when you were young to a more cartoon-y family print.A candle that includes a hidden crystalMoonlight JewelsIntention candle, from $35, available at Moonlight Jewels Co. Best for: The mom who loves candles and crystalsHandmade in small batches in Canada, these unique candles are the gift that keeps on giving. Not only are they themed with wonderful intentions like love and opportunity, but each candle has a specific stone in the wax. Once the candle reaches its end, your mom will be left with a keepsake crystal. A more modern tarot deckAmazonThe Modern Witch Tarot Deck, $21.99, available at AmazonBest for: The mom who always gets a tarot readingIf your mom loves tarot readings, you can't go wrong with gifting this beautiful tarot card deck that professional tarot readers love for its beautiful and inclusive illustrations. It also comes with a guidebook to help Mom learn all the card meanings. A luxury laptop standGrovemadeGrovemade wood laptop stand, from $170, available at GrovemadeBest for: The mom fully working remoteEven with pandemic restrictions and mask mandates easing, there's still a lot of working-from-home going on. If your mom hasn't upgraded their workspace, this lux laptop stand will be much appreciated. It elevates the laptop screen to prevent slouching and improve ergonomics. A truly unique water bottle and matching cupBloomingdalesNude Glass Mr. & Mrs. Small Bedside Water Set, from $133, available at Bloomingdale'sBest for: The mom who always stays hydratedQuirky decor is a nice way to add personality to a space. These creative glasses are designed to serve as bedside water glasses, made with a jug and small glass that acts as a bottle stopper. This unique set of glasses is eye-catching and, ultimately, helps keep mom hydrated. Refillable Chanel lipstickChanelRouge Allure L'extrait Lipstick, from $55, available at ChanelBest for: The mom whose favorite lipstick is a tiny little nub nowFor the mom who loves glam, get them lipstick that's just as bold as they are. Chanel's new Rouge Allure L'extrait lipstick is intensely pigmented and hydrating, bringing all-day comfort and long-lasting color. Plus, since this lipstick is refillable, it's a gift that can last a long time.A coffee table book full of travel photosAmazon"Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travelist: The 500 Best Experiences on the Planet," $96.49, available at AmazonBest for: The mom who needs help planning her future tripFor the mom who loves to travel and dream about the world, share the gift of a stunning photo book that doubles as a coffee table book. This one features 500 places around the world, complete with beautiful photos and sightseeing tips.An award-winning, Black-owned whiskeyUncle NearestUncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey, from $55Best for: The mom who always orders an Old FashionedThis award-winning and Black-owned whiskey pays homage to the first Black master distiller in the US. This premium whiskey, bottled at 100 proof, is perfect for smooth drinking on the rocks or mixing into a bourbon cocktail with friends.A waterproof Bluetooth speakerAmazonUltimate Ears Boom 3 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, from $126.99, available at AmazonBest for: The mom who loves some poolside tunesThe days of mp3 players and radios keep moving further into our past, but a way to play your music loud and with a sharp sound is still essential. Gift this easily portable speaker (and our top pick for waterproof speakers). It has up to 15 hours of playtime, a booming bass, and works with Bluetooth devices.A durable new bagSaks Fifth AvenueStaud Colorblock Tote, from $295Best for: The mom whose purse is falling apartIt's easy to get attached to things that have been with us for ages and been with us through so much… like handbags. But if your mom's purse is falling apart, she'll appreciate a new bag that'll also have sentimental value since it came from you. What's important is getting a bag of a similar size, plenty of space, and lots of organizational compartments. If your mom is more of a fanny pack person, you can't go wrong with Dagne Dover's Ace fanny pack. Or, if she loves designer shoulder bags, Gucci's Jackie 1961 is a classic that First Ladies and Hollywood stars alike have carried.A doormat you can design with colorful tilesWest ElmLetterfolk Customizable Vinyl Tile Mat, from $75, available at West ElmTile Set Bundle, from $30, available at LetterfolkBest for: The mom with creative flairThis social media-famous doormat is fully customizable with different tile bundles, so Mom can switch out designs on a whim. A raunchy and fun game for game nightAmazonIncohearant game, from $19.82, available at AmazonBest for: The mom who loves game night more than anythingIn this funny game, you have to guess what someone is saying from cleverly crafted gibberish phrases. The cards are designed for adults, from pop culture to raunchy references, making game night way more dynamic.You can check out more of our favorite board games here.A kit to replicate Guy Fieri's "Trash Can Nachos"GoldbellyGuy's BBQ Trash Can Nachos, from $61.95, available at GoldbellyBest for: The mom who loves Guy Fieri (and nachos)If your mom's obsessed with Guy Fieri (or just his food), gift this decadent nacho kit, complete with all the fixings and optional margaritas (it's also available with BBQ brisket and pulled pork).If you don't know what food your mom will love the most, you can also just gift a Goldbelly gift card to get her favorite meals delivered from all over the country. You can read more about Goldbelly here.A beautiful museum printThe Met StoreFramed print of Sonia Delaunay's "Plate 7," $75, available at The Met StoreBest for: The artsy momFor the mom who loves art (or has walls that could use some love), gift a print from The Met Store, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art's online shop. You can also shop art-inspired home decor and a huge library of prints by famous artists. Custom-tailored vitaminsCare/ofCare/of gift card for subscription, from $50Best for: The health-conscious momWith a thousand plus options, it's hard to know which vitamins are for you. Care/of handles this with a quick but thorough quiz that creates a personalized nutrition plan including vitamins, protein, and collagen. Giving the gift of health is always appreciated, and this one is even better with its custom-tailoring.A simple jewelry and key dishUncommon GoodsJewel-Tone Birth Month Dish, $24, available at Uncommon GoodsBest for: The mom who's always losing her keysFor the mom who is always misplacing her wallet and keys, this dish (customized to her birth month) is a beautiful piece of decor that also serves as a handy tray to place all the things you need to grab quickly.A curated wine box subscriptionWine AwesomenessWine subscription, from $49, available at Wine AwesomenessBest for: The mom who appreciates the finest winesThere's something miraculous about tasting a wine that transports you to a different time and place. Whether your mom is a seasoned sommelier or casual sipper, a carefully curated box like this is the ultimate treat.A DIY flower kitUncommon GoodsBirth Month Flower Grow Kit, $35, available at Uncommon GoodsBest for: The mom who'd rather grow her own flowersFloral bouquets are a classic Mother's Day gift, but the downside is they don't usually last too long. If your mom loves gardening, this kit lets you pick their birth flower (or just Mom's favorite flower out of the options) and provides the seeds, soil, and tools to grow them at home.An evil eye wine stopperJoanna BuchananEvil Eye wine stopper, $78, available at Joanna BuchananBest for: The mom who needs a little luckFor the mom who loves wine, a unique wine stopper will be endlessly appreciated. This will keep her wines fresh with a stylish twist. The evil eye symbolizes protection, and this sparkly wine stopper is a glamorous way to keep wine safe and fresh.The best grippy socksBombasWomen's Gripper Socks, $14.50, available at Bombas (20% off with code COMFORT20)Best for: The mom who loves practical giftsIf your mom is completely resistant to flashy gifts, gift something affordable and practical: grippy socks that keep her from slipping around the house or in yoga class. Bombas are some of our favorite socks for their comfort and functionality.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 21st, 2022