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Seattle, home to two of the nation’s three richest men and a staggering array of high-tech millionaires, is Ground Zero for inequity. One economist, trying to put Bill Gates’ wealth into everyday terms, calculated that in 1986, when Microsoft went public, Gates was earning enough that it was not worth his time to spend the four seconds necessary to retrieve a dropped $5 bill. By 1998, it wasn’t worth it for Gates to pick up $10,000.

Let me put all this another way. For a quarter-century, you’ve worked like a donkey to boost productivity — and almost all the benefits have gone to your boss and his investors.

Why have we let this happen? Princeton University political scientist Larry Bartels asked just this question and concluded that, basically, we’re dumb: 20 percent of those he polled were unaware of this …

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Well, work itself has. For several thousand years, work was really work, and everybody who was anybody sneered at it. A huge population of slaves, serfs and peasants used their muscles in grimy toil to support a tiny aristocracy of warriors, lords, and priests who devoted their lives to art, religion, small mercies to the poor, and killing each other.

This system was not particularly efficient. The game for a slave, who has no opportunity for pay or advancement, might be to do as little as possible. The same could be said of the minimum-wage “working poor” of today.

It was technology that began providing opportunities for a new middle class of entrepreneurs, and the Protestant Reformation that changed Western attitudes toward work. The leading philosopher was a French clergyman named John Calvin, one of those dead white guys you’ve …

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THE ANCIENT GREEKS knew all about work. Their word for it was ponos, which meant not just toil but suffering. And pain. Work was for slaves. The role of free men, according to the thinkers, was to avoid work as much as possible so they’d have time for war, philosophy, and art.

Them were the days.

Nowadays, everybody works, even Bill Gates, richest man in the world. We’re supposed to (Protestant Work Ethic), most of us have to (Money) and in theory, we want to (Personal Fulfillment, or Meaning).

But wait. Financial author Phil Laut has defined work as “doing what you don’t want to do.”

Certainly, I know the difference between hard work (industrial painting and scrubbing pots and pans, which I did during high school and college) and head work (writing stories like this one). My manic-depressive …

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Springtime is the time when the seeds that were planted into the tilled ground begin to produce a harvest and flowers begin to bloom.  It is also the time when, after some consideration, the decision was made that after your teen earned his GED, he goes to college. So think about college admissions and financial aid award letters.

Families who are not familiar with the terms used in financial aid documents, may begin to feel overwhelmed and confused about what their child is receiving.  Well, this article is for you.

First, we will start with some basic information.  Financial Aid basically is aid that comes in the form of loans and/or grants to cover the cost of college. Parents will complete an application providing information regarding their assets and availability of money.

The government and the school student’s apply to …

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Maybe today’s a good day to take our well-being self-assessment. That’s a good thing to do right….check our vital signs every once in a while?

By the way, why do doctors take time to check our blood pressure, temperature, and reflexes when we go for a visit? It’s because they’re indicators of our physical well-being.  Turns out, the same principle applies to our spiritual health, only the vital signs differ.

So let’s take a moment to reflect on how we’re doing spiritually through this self-assessment exercise.  Rank yourself from 1-5 for each of these categories, one being lowest, and then we’ll reflect on the results.

Ready to get started?….ok, go ahead and turn your head and cough:)

THE 12 VITAL SIGNS OF WELL-BEING

1.  TEMPERAMENT

How patient are you?  Do you have a short fuse, or become irritated easily?  …

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The autumn flower of sun flare.
The autumn flower of sun flare.

Like a sultry movie star from days of yore, I put the bad leg up on Nate’s knee and sexily tore off the ankle brace.  He looked up at me like I was insane.  So I said, “What, don’t you want somma THIS!”  He said, “The ankle brace strip tease really doesn’t do it for me.”  Apparently the bend-and-snap move I learned in Legally Blonde doesn’t actually work.  And since I’m lazy, I quit trying to seduce my husband shortly after that.

You know how some women can turn a man on like flipping a light switch?  I’m not one of them.  I guess that’s why I spend so much time sitting in the dark.  Pass me those irate birds – I have some pigs to kill.

THERE’S A PLAN FOR THAT

It’s a …

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Racking up Super Back-to-School Savings from Kindergarten to College

If you’re in need of any Christmas presents at all, regardless of age or gender, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Here in Sugar Land, Texas, my mom and I are known as “the discount ladies” (particularly at our local HEB store). I’m almost positive that our saving frenzies are some kind of addiction.

In fact, just a few days ago, we were organizing our stockpile (that we keep in a 3-bedroom apartment, by the way) and found 39 boxes of unopened cereal, 15 boxes of Ziploc bags, 34 bags of fresh ground coffee, and 9 bottles of unused syrup.

Believe it or not, there is a method to the madness. The concept behind all this is, the cheaper the items are, the more we can buy. The more we buy, …

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Is It Truly Necessary To Vote? Does My Vote Even Make a Difference?

I believe that the importance of voting depends on who you ask.  The bottom line is that it is a constitutional right for every American citizen, although it was not granted to everyone until the pioneers of the civil rights era fought, bled and died for everybody to have this right.  Unfortunately, this right is still being challenged today in 2016. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Just as there is a maturation process with eating, there should also be a similar progression in how we think, act and conduct ourselves.  In the eating process we start out on milk, move to cereal in our milk, onto baby food and ultimately graduating to solid foods.  So, I must ask when are we going …

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imagesAwareness of Your Motives is the 1st Step to True Authenticity  This article hopefully will become a judge-yourself-moment,  in a non-threatening way. Ask yourself:  Are you real? Do you connect easily with others on topics of conversation and stick to your views? Do you have authentic viewpoints, or do you use others viewpoints as facts? Are you happy with yourself? Do you love yourself? If you don’t like something do you vocalize it? Do you judge and insult others constantly? Are you condescending? Are you nice nasty? Do you smile in people’s faces, yet talk about them behind their backs negatively? In the presence of a friend are you truthful? Do you exaggerate a lot?

I often run into people who are so conscious to impress, that confusion is inevitable for them. I find many that are confused with …

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School’s out! You’re now faced with two to three months that you have to fill with something productive to do so that you don’t waste away in the house all day. There are a variety of options depending on what grade you are in and what your interest are:

1) Get Employed! One way to have a productive summer is to get a part-time summer job. Many people don’t want to work during the summer because they think that it may be boring. Work doesn’t have to be boring though. If you like kids, for example, there are summer camps that you can work at.

You can also try and find jobs with people who are working in careers that you are interested in, that way not only do you make money but you get to see if you …

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