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Greed vs Charity; Good boss vs bad boss and productivity; Party within your means; You Inc.; Diary of a self employed guitarist; Partying within your means

Greed vs Charity; Good boss vs bad boss and productivity; Party within your means; You Inc.; Diary of a self employed guitarist; Partying within your means

By Amanda Morrall

1) The downside of giving

I doubt I'll ever be convinced that giving is, carte blanche, a bad thing to do but it's nonetheless interesting to hear the rationale put forward against charity by some folks. Check out this lively interview with Yaron Brook, executive director of the Any Rand Institute, (compliments of Monevator) talking to broadcaster John Stossel about why greed is not necessarily a bad thing. In typical journalist fashion, they've tried to simplistically pit greed against charity however the broader point that Brook endeavours to make is that society has begun to demonise business achievements and the productive good arising from those efforts over charitable giving. It's an interesting debate as well as an entertaining interview.  

2) Good boss vs bad boss

I think I can count on one hand the  number of good bosses I've had over the years. It's a bit of indictment against the media industry I suppose. Sure if nothing else bad bosses give us something to whine and gossip about however from a productivity stand-point bad bosses are a liability for business. Just how bad are they? Freakeconomics author Stephen Dubner, in this podcast, gets out the measuring stick.

3) You Inc.

A far too common problem in personal finance I've discovered is that people tend to treat their money in isolation from their goals and also without careful consideration of all the small but powerful choices they can make to either help or hinder wealth creation. Money Crush makes a similar point in their latest post here enjoining readers to treat their finances like a well run business.

4) Diary of a self-employed guitarist

As a freshly self-employed journalist/yoga instructor, I have to profess to a bit of anxiety and nervousness about the future. I supposed that's just normal. Actually since making the leap, work opportunities are presenting themselves and I'm overall pleased in the direction I'm moving. It's not for everyone obviously but the risk so far has proven rewarding. Here's another view (via Guardian Money) from a self-employed guitarist who has proven the stereotype of the starving artist wrong.

5) Excessive partying

One of the things I was happy to leave behind in North America was excess, which was starting to spill into every sphere possible. An obvious example is children's birthday parties. Even with the toddlers, I could see the party pressures starting to mount. I've seen evidence of the same here in New Zealand with children being lavished with over the top birthday party craziness. Here's more from Get Rich Slowly are partying within your means.

And for a laugh, be grateful this is not your boss.


To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall or at

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Any Rand? I like it.
There's the g rand, the b rand, the SA rand, the er rand, then I rand into a brick wall.

Yer forgot the Talley Rand

They the ones who run the Telly Barn?

You might want to re-consider who your (true) friends are ;)
Shamely enough, I've also made the decision to stop our monthly donations recently (which had been part of the budget for a good 12 years). It's unlikely to be nominated for best "new year's resolution" and I don't have your bad stories to justify it but I came to similar conclusions to yours. Let's call it being 37yo and finally wiser & not so naive.
I also find that unless someone is genuinely in the poo, giving money doesn't actually seem to help much, educate or solve the underlying problem. Reading story after story in the local community papers of people being unable to afford even the most basic stuff and the constant appeals/fundraising for one ailment or another became quite depressing after a while, especially when it seems many situations could have been turned around with a bit of goodwill/effort.
So now that this has kinda hit home, and bearing in mind that most people actually only care about themselves & their family anyway (which is fair enough), I've decided that we too should put the "charity starts at home" saying to practice. Ie, focus on raising our 5 young children and ensuring they get a good start in life. Sounds really bad and selfish I suppose but after all, we don't get a cent in subsidies and pay our fair share of taxes (no smart accountant for us to try & dodge our obligations) so might as well do our best for the very few people on the planet who (hopefully) do care. Going by your experience, friends aren't it (let alone strangers). On this depressing post, good night ...