Economists take on our long workweek, how it got this way, and what to do about it.
By now, our workweek should be just a few days. At least, that's what economists predicted in 1958. Put another way, if we kept up the current 40- to 50-hour workweek, they predicted we'd have an average retirement age of 38.
As you know, that didn't happen. And you might wonder how it so happened that we're working just as much now as we did in the 1940s.
Is it really necessary to keep Photoshop, Word, Outlook, Safari and Internet Explorer all open at the same time?
Lurking within your office or home is a group of workaholics that are costing you money. Who are these offenders? They're your computer system.
The average computer wastes roughly half the power it draws from its energy source. This power never reaches the processor or other components, yet it creates heat that places extra demand on your cooling system. These energy vampires translate into higher bills and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions.
Here are 10 easy fixes to protect your wallet without reducing your computer's capabilities:
As long as supplies last, every phone in the T-Mobile store will be free Saturday with a family contract.
Will the offer of a free phone -- any phone in the store! -- be enough to get you into a T-Mobile retail outlet on Saturday, June 19, for a little pre-Father's Day shopping? Or is this one of those deals in which you get what you pay for?
T-Mobile USA, which ranks fourth among domestic carriers, calls the sale unprecedented -- "the mother of all Father's Day offers." Sure, many phones are already free for those who commit to a contract. But Saturday's deal includes all 30 devices in the T-Mobile repertoire.
Regulators cap late fees at $25, ban 'inactivity fees' and other piling-on tactics.
The Federal Reserve has issued several new consumer-friendly rules for credit cards, which will take effect Aug. 22. If you've been blasted with high late-payment fees, newly minted inactivity fees or interest rate hikes, take note.
The fine-tuning is in addition to other credit card rules that have already altered the often-strained relationship between credit card companies and their customers. "The rules respond to public and congressional outrage over practices by credit card companies," The Associated Press said.
Here's what you can look forward to as a result of the Fed's latest move:
One study finds college students less empathetic, but other studies disagree. Maybe their elders are just curmudgeons.
"Many people see the current group of college students -- sometimes called 'Generation Me' -- as one of the most self-centered, narcissistic, competitive, confident and individualistic in recent history," said Sara Konrath, one of the researchers at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Researchers there analyzed data on empathy among almost 14,000 college students over 30 years, and found the greatest drop after 2000.
We'd advise everyone to run for the nearest retirement (oops, active adult) community but we should probably point out that other studies have found the millennial generation to be MORE civic-minded. Since one day they'll be paying our Social Security and leading our country, we need them to care.
The Gulf Coast comprises hundreds of miles of shoreline, and many areas remain largely unaffected.
It could be time for travelers who were planning to vacation along the Gulf Coast this summer to reassess.
BP has been struggling to contain oil flowing from one of its deepwater wellheads damaged in an April 20 drilling rig explosion. Nearly two months and numerous containment efforts later, the equivalent of 30,000-plus barrels of oil is still escaping daily, according to government estimates. Despite efforts to deflect it, some of that oil has reached beaches in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Slick shores and tar balls don't make for an idyllic vacation, but travelers shouldn't be too quick to cancel, says Anne Banas, executive editor for advice site SmarterTravel.com. The Gulf Coast comprises hundreds of miles of shoreline, and many areas remain largely unaffected.
All kinds of information about you can be purchased online. Here's how to opt out, if possible, and protect your privacy.
Now that the Facebook privacy firestorm has, for the most part, eased up, people seem to be a little more concerned about Internet privacy. The scary thing is that of all the things that should worry you, Facebook probably has the least amount of information about you.
When it comes to personal information, who your friends are, what your hobbies are, and how many hours you spend on Farmville are the icing on the cake. The cake itself is made up of your actual personal details (name, address, age, Social Security number, e-mail addresses), your purchasing behavior (where you shop, when, and what you buy), your borrowing behavior (loans, credit cards), and other juicy bits.
You can buy a lot of that data from data brokers and marketers.
A New York company recently announced a plan to collect 1% of the sale price of a home each and every time it's sold for the next century.
Many consumers are rightfully upset at the explosion of charges they now face when doing anything from not using their credit card to getting water on an airplane.
Well, as the saying goes, "You ain't seen nothing yet."
A company called Freehold Capital Partners has introduced a plan that will put all other fees to shame: a 1% "transfer fee" split between Freehold and the developer of your house every time it's sold over the next 99 years. So if you sell your house for $300,000, you'll owe $3,000. And if 20 years later it's sold for $600,000, that seller will owe $6,000. And if 30 years later the house has fallen down but the lot is sold for $1 million, the developers and Freehold get another $10,000.
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