Category Archives: Economics

Important Daily Show Episode to Watch

The daily show aired a great episode last night about the grand jury’s decision in the Eric Holden case against officer Daniel Pantaleo back in July. Jon Stewart was very surprised at the decision because it goes against the very thing that the Ferguson case of Darren Wilson and Michael Brown dealt with – an assault of a white police officer on a black individual with conflicting witness testimony. In both cases the black individual had broken the law, one by stealing from a convenience store and the other selling illegal loose cigarette’s, both crimes in each case but it was the means used to end the situation that resulted in the same outcomes for both, each individual died.

The situation that caught my attention enough to write about this is the social and economic impact these two decisions will have on public behavior. The Ferguson case showed that more officers need to be equipped with body cameras in order to prevent conflicting witness testimony. In many cases where race is an issue between both parties, conflicting witness accounts are higher, but in the case of the officer using a chokehold to try and subdue the individual, the whole thing was recorded. The president has said he has called for $263 million to be spent on body cameras, and as Jon Stewart, and many others afterwards have said, it seems that when the whole thing is recorded and everyone can see the injustice that is being done, not to mention that it is illegal to use such a move to take down an individual in the state of New York, it wasn’t enough to bring a charge against the officer.

So if the whole thing is recorded and using an illegal move is not enough to bring proper charges, then spending all that money is a waste. The other problem also has to do with how the justice system handles information. Remember, a lawyer is not paid to find justice, they have to pay their bills too, so it is in their best interest to bend the truth as much as possible, even if it means preventing certain evidence from being used, in order for them to win their case. For anyone that has ever viewed a lawyer as someone that fights for justice really does not understand how the legal system works. Remember as Upton Sinclair put it perfectly, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

The other issue now is the social influence this is having on people. It is now almost the norm that if there is a case between two people of difference race and it favors anyone but the black person, then it is ok to riot and protest in the streets. Again, Jon Stewart was great in saying that this does not look like a post racial society. Rioting and Protest has a huge economic impact on America because it keeps businesses from operating (people need to work still to get a paycheck, schools need to be open so children can learn) but people think that but stopping normal life that they are going a good, but the real problem is the impact it has on the community. If a business owner can not operate then they can’t pay their employees and if they can’t pay their employees then they have to let them go. These protest and rioting groups cite hate as a reason for injustice.

What strikes me is that hate is very prevalent and many groups use it often but disguise it in order to get away with it and mask it under Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religious Expression. Remember it used to be the case back before the Civil Rights movement when Religious Conservatives thought it was ok to teach their kids that black people were bad (doesn’t seem like that is over with it) and that interracial marriages were not ok either, by showing support of Anti-miscegenation laws, similar to the ones they passed on gay marriage but are getting repealed now, to prevent black people from marrying white people, it counted for other races too, but they focused more on blacks.

Incase you are not aware of just how far back in time the bible belt states are living here is a good example to show what time period they are in. There was a high school in the bible belt states that had it’s first integrated prom recently for white and black students and guess what? The White people were not happy about that decision at all and felt that what happens outside of school should be kept separate but equal. I remember watching interviews of people in the community, when asked what they thought of the high school integrating prom, saying that they did not like the idea one bit with majority of the interviewees saying this being white.

It seems common today for many religious individuals of households to think that it is important to teach their kids that marriage should only be between a man and a woman and that homosexuality is a choice, regardless of the research that has proven over and over (even Jon Stewart had an episode that showed homosexuality is not a choice because of what Texans did) that it is not a choice and that people are born that way. So much for all those millions of dollars spent on research. So what is the point of all that money spent if people are just going to keep thinking the wrong thing? I point this out because those kids who are taught the wrong thing grow up thinking that it is ok to bully those different from them. Then they go and vote for laws that prevent people who are different from them from living the lives they want. That is still another form of bullying.

So when you watch documentaries like, Bully, it shows that no matter how many anti-bullying campaigns schools put on to prevent bullying, it all starts in the home from what the parents are teaching their kids, especially in the bible belt states. That is the root cause of where hate and bullying comes from because when you think about it, kids just want to make friends with more kids but it’s not until the parent starts putting ideas into their head that they begin to be afraid of certain people or they think they are above certain groups of people.

In the case of the grand jury not finding enough evidence to hold officer Daniel Pantaleo guilty, you’d have to be pretty blind not to see what was going on in the video. But the day after, Jon Stewart talked about a surprising twist of events in that someone in the situation was indicted, watch the second link to learn who it was.

Watch Jon Stewart talk about Injustice

Jon Stewart talks about who was indicted and the mistakes still being made

Please make sure you watch this and share it with others. It’s more important about learning how to get along with others than living in closed off ignorant worlds. Lets start teaching kids the right way, not the intolerant way.


News Articles

Jon Stewart Screams in Frustration

Jon Stewart on Eric Garner

“I honestly don’t know what to say,” Jon Stewart gets serious

Read the reactions of people towards the NYPD on twitter about body cameras

Learn more about Racial Segregation in the 21st Century

Read The Social Atom to understand why segregation happens

Watch the movie Fruitvale Station & learn what happened there

Learn how Fruitvale Station and Do the Right Thing played a part

Wages keep falling for Certain Industries

It’s hard to imagine living off of 12.75 an hour or 10.68 an hour when you are a full-time employee with a family and mortgage to support. There are lots of people who do this day-in and day-out trying to keep up with paying the bills. Using the Consumer Pricing Index Inflation Calculator one could easily see what their pay rate should be worth today from a period in the past. The whole challenge with using a pricing calculator like that is is that it doesn’t take into account the industry in which it is pricing. Wages for the technology section have gone way up while certain industries have actually fallen back. Kind of makes you wonder why anyone would stay in a job where they are earning LESS in the long run.

Controlling Wages
The issue with wages has nothing to do with what the economy is doing, it has everything to do with the industry you are working in. If wages were tied to the market effects, wages would act just like the stock market, causing everyone to not know if they were getting a higher pay check next time or a lower one. Employers pay salaries because it controls fluctuations in the market and industry. If you are told you will be paid $45K a year ($865/wk) then you know what to expect every week and can budget your life around that. This also helps employers control their expenses because it allows them to know if they need to let people go or if they can afford to hire more people.

Employers offer raises only in part for those that deserve the extra money because that employee has shown to provide a higher return in the long run. This is why employers do not hand our raises all the time. On average though, if employers were required to match employee income with livable wages then there would be a lot of companies that would have to decide on one option out of three; 1) go out of business, 2) reduce number of employees, or 3) increase or decrease salaries. For companies that do not provide a livable wage many of them would have to cut their staff in order to pay a wage that helps an employee meet their needs; for a company that exceeds a livable wage (i.e. tech industry, engineering, etc), they have the option of reducing employees’ salaries (if companies only had to provide a base salary) but who wants to work for less, well as it turns out a lot of people don’t mind that.

Effects of Inflation
It turns out that a lot of people who expect raises every year of 1% to 2% are not actually getting a raise, since the yearly consumer price inflation rate is 2.1%. So that means your raise is just meant to match the rising rates of the economy and nothing else. For those that only get a 1% raise, this means you are actually earning less money and that your ok with that. This means that in a two year period you are earning half of what you could have been earning had you gone with another employer. The more time you put in with a company the less money you make in the long run.

This is why many people now use sites like salary.com, and the calculator mentioned earlier, to figure out what their market rate is but what they fail to account for is that their skills limit what their market value is. If you are a creative VP for one company that works in food, your wage would only match those in the same industry and field. You could not match someone who is VP of Creative Marketing in a tech firm. You might think this is common sense but you would be surprised to know how many people actually try that scam.

In order to earn more over a period of time one must find a new job with a higher rate. In a recent article on the NYTimes, author Justin Wolfers, stated that the high quit-rate currently happening right now shows signs of a healthy economy. People do this when they know there are more jobs on the market making it safer to quit their job.

Quit to Earn More
If a co-worker leaves chances are you might have a shot at getting a raise. The idea is that you would be taking on more work and employers would be quick to recognize your efforts. The false understanding with that is an employer’s only concern is to save money and boost profits. The only way an employee stands a chance at a raise is if that co-worker who quit was in the same tier level as you and the work load increased on your part because of the quitting. In either case you would still need to bring up the issue with your manager to let them know you want the raise. In all cases, it might be that they already have someone to fill the slot or that quarter coming up prevents them from offering any raises. Remember, they will try every excuse not to give you one.

This is why many people are taking to the idea that if you want to earn more you have to find a new job, while currently employed, that pays more. The challenge with this is that you might not be able to use your manager for a letter of reference unless you inform them, after asking for a raise, that you will be looking for a job and that it would be nice if they can offer one in return.

You also want to make sure that the industry you currently work in is one that is a safe industry to quit in and that you will find a healthy number of jobs available. In order to do this you can search the Bureau of Labor Statistics under Economic Releases on Job Openings and Labor Turnover. Here you will find Tables 4 and 10 that show what the quit rate is for certain industries. Once you have done your homework then you can be sure that you will have an easy time finding a new job that pays more.

It is also important to understand that if you plan to transition over to a new industry you need to have skills that are current and marketable. Just because you have a college degree or masters doesn’t mean you are as valuable as you think are you so you need to keep that in mind. Barbara Ehrenreich proved that in her book, Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. The surprising thing is that plenty of people have college degrees, it’s what you know and the skills you have that really set you apart in industries where college degrees are as common as candy. If you plan to work in D.C. know that majority of the people there all have higher education degrees so thinking that one college degree will set you apart shows how much you don’t understand what it means to have a college education, there is a lot more to it.

The Middle Class Troubles
The inspiration for this article came about after reading the latest article from the NYTimes about how manufacturing job wages are sliding back. People who work in manufacturing jobs are earning less than what their counterparts earned ten, twenty, and even thirty years ago. When you look at people who are already half way through life it is important to understand that what you earn is very much tied to the value you provide. Knowing that you only earn 13.76 an hour imparts on your psyche the value you provide to your company and the economy and it hurts when you find out that a new employee coming in, makes twice or three times as much because of a fancy degree they have. It used to be that people worked their way up the ladder of a company, now it really is all based on what you know and how skilled you are in using that, that lands you a place within a company.

The only way someone in manufacturing can earn any more is if they took on another job on the weekend, but as for many, the chance of earning weekend work means time and a half, so they don’t want to risk taking up that time. Their idea is that they want to make themselves fully available to their employer in hopes that they will notice and offer them a promotion or raise or both. The other side to this is that for many who have been doing the same kind of work for twenty or thirty years, the idea of having to quit their steady job is too scary to think about and it’s even scarier when you live paycheck to paycheck like so many Americans’ do every week.

Get A Free Education
For many of the articles I’ve read it’s easy to talk about all this hardship that people are going through but what bothers me is that they provide no real solution at the end, except, quit your job and find a better rate. As we have learned from what Steve Jobs did in the tech industry, you might not be lucky with that option when companies you are competing with know not to hire you if all you are trying to do is earn a higher wage without actually putting in the hard work. Steve Jobs colluded with other companies to ensure that tech employees didn’t try that in the Silicon Valley and to prevent wage wars from happening.

The solution I provide is to get a free education online and improve your skills while you can. The following options down below are all free. I will provide a fair warning that the rate of success for online education is very low because it requires true self-discipline when it comes to doing the homework and the readings. There are no classes you have to physically be in, no one to tell you when to turn in homework and no one around to remind you to study. With that said, use apps to remind you when you need to read and study. Sign up for all of them and as long as you do at least one hour each day for each one signed up, you will make progress faster than you imagined.


Khan Academy

Coursera

OpenCourseware

Udemy

YouTube Education

For more information about how to get a free education online read my previous article and this one.


News Articles

Falling Wages at Factories Squeeze the Middle Class

Want a Raise? Quit your Job

Uneven Wage Gains Restrain Economy

Employees who stay in companies longer than 2 years get paid less than 50%

A higher quit rate among Employees

Co-worker Quit? Maybe you will get a raise

Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator

Here’s what the 2008 Recession did to our Economy

The word recession stirs up a lot of emotions and thoughts in people when they hear that word. For majority of people it tends to be a negative sounding word, for other people it is a positive sounding word. If you look at a recession in turns of productivity you start to see that a system that failed had parts in it that didn’t work. In order to return to status quo those parts need to be removed or repaired in order for the system, as a whole, to work properly again. It can be difficult for someone to understand how the recession affected them when they live in a way that makes them recession proof which is not an easy thing to do but it gives them a false understanding what of what recession is doing to the economy, businesses, and people.

The New York Times created 255 charts that break down the impact of what the recession did to the economy and explains what industries were affected, both positive and negative. These charts are important to study because it teaches you what industries are most fragile to recessions and what industries withstand harsh conditions. For the millions of people who lost their homes because of Mortgage companies playing with people’s livelihoods it is very evident how a recession hurts people, but what about those that view a recession as a positive?

Recessions can almost be viewed as a way of starting over so that means most markets drop to their low point, acting as a reset button, allowing everyone to start over again. This can be hard if money is hard to come by but for those that have plenty of money, the recession is a positive because it allows them to buy into more industries with a safe bet that over the next couple of years they will earn back more than they put in. During the low point of the recession I used an online trading stock market game to find out how my return, if I had money to invest, would look in the future. I looked at industries that are key to follow in a recession and bought stock with their companies. The value today is well over double what I had put in making me, in practice, a very rich person. Was there any secret to what I did? No, it was all the same stuff they teach you in your first years of economics. Kind of makes you wonder why not all economic professors are rich then, right?

The Proof is in the Pudding
These charts will show what most people experienced during the recession in industries that people are familiar with. If you worked in the housing industry when the recession happened and you follow the charts created then you will see the patterns and trends that led to the recession and the ones that followed out of it. The same goes for any other part. You will notice some industries that came out better because of the recession, and instead of getting mad about why they benefited, you should pay more attention to what was it about their industry that protected them from the harsh realities of a recession. You will learn more by studying these charts than complaining, so when the next recession happens, and it will, you will be prepared for it.

For anyone looking to study economics and the true impact that a recession can have on an economy this is a good place to start with these interactive charts.

News Article

How the Recession Reshaped the Economy

This news article explains how people quitting their job explains the health of an economy

The Hidden Market Dynamics of the Internet

Ever wondered why Airbnb took off but you didn’t notice until everyone started talking about it at the same time? Or how Tumblr was the one blogging platform that everyone was spending all their time on, more so than Facebook? There is no secret to how these services become huge trends and market giants. They used a system that only works because of how businesses economics works online.

Old Economics of Business
Lets say you wanted to buy a pair of shoes so in order to do this you would have to get in your car and drive to the store and look at their current items in stock. If you find an item you like then you can give them money and in return they will give you the shoes you want. The same works for services, if you ask a plumber to come fix your clogged sink then you will pay them after they are solved your problem.

The market works in a way that money is exchanged for a service or product based on your need or demand. This helps keep some businesses going but using this model does little, in terms of growth, if you don’t offer discounts or special promotions which cost money to do. Large companies before the internet had to find ways to build their customer base, sometime using a referral program that offer money back if new customers were signed up. This took a very long time to work and never amounted to more than a few within everyday. Advertising was done through the yellowpages, on billboards, radio and TV. In order to become a monopoly at some point tough business practices were needed.

New Economy of Business
Google started off like any other search engine online, offering searches that provided relevant results that matched to what the user wanted. Never once has Google asked me to pay before searching in all the years that I have used them. The same for any other search engine online. The last time I used an app that I downloaded, I had the option of using just their free version so I could still use their services. This whole internet thing has upended up business works now.

I could literally use tons of free programs and ads without ever paying for anything, including the internet (if I only relied on free public wi-fi systems), and get all my work done at no cost to using the software (google docs, office lite, Zoho docs) and even find a potential dating partner (another industry that is taking over online). So how did Google become the 900 lb guerrilla in the room? How did Facebook become the dominant social media platform? And why did Airbnb take off when I could just search through Craigslist for a room to rent?

Understanding the Internet Economy
Jean Tirole, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, talks about the two sided market issue in his paper entitled, Two-SIded Markets: A Progress Report, and in which one side is the consumer and the other side is the developer or even advertiser in some cases. It is very difficult to regulate a company that offers their product for free but turns into a monopoly down the road. These free products are what help grow users because they are the value they bring into the company; the more users a company has the more numbers they can show to advertisers who will pay them money to show their products to those users.

User growth is what drives many companies to be valued higher than they normally would be if using the old business model of valuation. Tumblr has millions of blogs and is valued very high but has little profit to show for it but they keep getting money. Tumblr continues to grow, despite its struggle to make a lot of money, because anyone can get on and create as many blogs as they like for free. Normally if people had a high demand for something the price of it goes up, so if lots of people wanted to create a blog, it would make sense to raise the price of entry to doing that. But in the internet economy that doesn’t work. It would push other people to a site that offers free blogging services. If all the blogging platforms would to suddenly put up huge paywalls for blogs then what it stopping someone from creating another blogging platform that combines all the blogs special features out there and offer it for free? Nothing, infact they would soon become the dominant blogging platform online and you wouldn’t need to advertise because all your users would do it for you because it is free while everyone else is asking for money.

Jean Tirole talks about the hidden dangers in these new market tendencies because it is so easy for a small idea online to turn into a giant monopoly in a shorter period of time. How can you regulate and manage something a company does when their main product is free? This is one of the challenges that Mr. Tirole has sought out to answer. The dynamics are different and so is the consumer interaction so how does a market balance itself out when old businesses still use the old model? In some industries it might always be the case that you will have to pay in order to use their service or product but how soon might that all change when new ideas are being created in the form of apps. I can now swap my leftovers with someone in my neighborhood using an app that lets me do that. If I was driving along and needed a restroom but no gas stations were nearby I can use an app that lets me find people offering their restroom for a price. AIrbnb struggled to get started but found their niche, they run up against lots of regulation even today so what is stopping someone from creating an a service that lowers the cost and price for services that have always relied on the old business model?


To learn more about Jean Tirole and his price winning work check out the links below

Noble Prize Winner

How Jean Tirole’s Works Help explain the Internet Economy

Paper: Market Power and Regulation

Jean Tirole wins noble prize

The iPhone Case that Encourages Inequality

It must be nice to be Super Rich because then you can treat the world like your own small neighborhood – eating in Paris for breakfast, hopping over to Dubai for some shopping, and then catching a nice theater show in London. If you think what I just said is make-believe and no one actually lives their life like that then you really don’t understand how the super-rich treat this world of ours. They treat it like a playground with no rules to follow because they have enough money to get themselves out of any trouble they run into.

The other nice perk about being super rich is that you can buy really stupid things, like this new iPhone case that is 24K gold with a pink diamond in the middle (don’t worry you can change the color of the diamond, thank goodness right, who would be caught dead wearing the wrong color?). If you are thinking, “who in the world would buy such a thing?” Those who are stupid rich, that’s who. Whats the price tag of this pointless thing? $48.5 million dollars, yes you read that right. Just think about that price for a minute, now think about all the spoiled rich kids in the world who have already pre-ordered theirs. Don’t forget you will need to make a 50% deposit beforehand but that’s no problem, right? Included with that price tag you will get FedEx’s highest service level with their White Glove Service. Makes you sick to your stomach, huh? And you wonder why there is so much inequality in this world when you have companies like this producing high-end stuff that will only be tossed aside when the next latest thing comes out, just adding more to the electronic waste most rich people create.

Now who would be stupid rich without accessorizing right? Well, Falcon has you covered. You can buy some lovely ear buds (they come in silver, gold, and rose colored) for a drop-in-the-bucket of only $300K. If your unsure of which color, buy two! They make lovely birthday presents and rather than deal with 1st-world problems of forgetting where you last left them, buy a couple and place one in your car, in your personal gym, and somewhere in one of your kitchens (but to be safe, one in each of your kitchens, just not in the dirty kitchen, that’s where the staff works).

Yes, the world of being stupid rich is very different. You can buy things that have no real purpose other than to show the world that you don’t know how to spend your money wisely. It signals to people, “Hey, I’m Rich and your not!”

So what can this iPhone case and ear buds buy you if you were smart about money. Let’s find out.

What can $50 Million Buy You
Money is money but it’s value is different all over the world, In some places the value is higher and in others the value is lower but what doesn’t change is people calling you a millionaire. That probably never gets old hearing that unless your Warren Buffet or Bill Gates who haven’t been called that in over 20 years by now.

– Buy a Beautiful Mansion
– Buy a Bugatti Veyron for $2.3 million
– Create a Film Production Company
– Provide After-School Educational Support for Low-Income Students with meals included
– Build Affordable Homes for Families Mortgage Free
– Build Playgrounds that cater to all kinds of kids and adults
– Build a Move Theater for children and adults to learn about film without any charge for admission (there are ways to pay for its continued operations so don’t think I forgot about that)
– Pay for a child’s much needed operation
– Help fund over a 500 different campaigns on GofundMe
– Pay for a child to get Ocular Implants, their reactions are worth it
– Pay for another family to have a much needed family reunion
– Pay off someone’s mortgage or student debt
– Create a evening program that provides free meals with free education learning opportunities to anyone
– Help someone start their own business
– Pay off student lunch debt in schools
– Buy support material (new computers, education resources, labs, supplies, improve teacher salaries) for schools
– Build your own school and provide free education to anyone
– Give People Full Time Jobs (just $2 million at $45k a year would employ 44 people, imagine how many could support their families with $50 million, 1111 people could improve their lives with full time jobs)

These are just a few ideas that come to my mind. The lasting effects of what $50 million could have on this world are immense so when you consider someone walking around with such an iPhone case, you really have to side on the fact of conceit and being Stupid Rich. You will be amazed at what $5 dollars can mean to someone hungry, so imagine the number of people you could change with just $100, and you begin to see the impact as the number gets larger.

CounterPoint
I have to include this because for those who are stupid rich then there is the other side that I have heard time and time again. “But I always donate $100 million every year to charities, why can’t I splurge on myself now and then? I’ve earned that right.” Yes you have, and that is why inequality exists. You have that freedom to do what ever you like with your money and you have definitely earned that right if you have worked hard your whole life to earn every single penny honestly. But for those that have no idea what it means to work hard to earn something that is a totally different story. They are the ones who are totally disconnected from reality because money has shielded them from what it means to earn a living.

To learn more about who these super rich are and what their lifestyles are like, read the book, Plutocrats, it’s a book that will wake you up to how the rich live in this world and how they treat everyday goods. If this book doesn’t open your eyes to inequality then nothing will. Oh and you might want to take a tums or pepto bismol because once you start reading it will make your stomach turn on how some of these families live and spend money.

Side Note
[If anyone would like to donate the value of one of these iPhone cases to me, I would be happy to put into action all those I recommended. If anyone would like to buy me one of those iPhone cases (green please) I would be happy to accept and then trade in the value of that phone case and put into action all those I recommended.]

To get the feel of what it might be like to be stupid-rich, you can visit the website and browse their many high-end luxury items and wonder, “humm…should I buy the blue diamond or the orange diamond?….ugh…so many choices.” Now you understand the term 1st World Problems. If your really smart, you would get a iPhone case that can actually do something, like this one or that one.

Falcon Luxury iPhone Cases

Diamond Encrusted iPhone Case

Preorder iPhone 6 case with Pink Encrusted Diamond

Now you Understand why Apple got an upsurge of pre-orders for the new iPhone 6

Close to majority of people never unplug from technology

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to know that technology is something that is embedded into our culture. It is everywhere and always pushed towards it, especially if ever you have a question now for any company representative, the first thing they will ask you is, “have you checked our website for the answer?” Most websites now offer a FAQ section to the most commonly asked questions any customer might have. This in turn does two things, instead of just answering the question right then and there; the customer has to look around on the website to find the FAQ (if they designed the website correctly there will be a link at the bottom of the page) and then click on it but in the mean time the company hopes by sending you to their website you might learn more about them and might discover something else you want from them thereby increasing the chance of more business. As nice as that is to think that way most customers just want the answer to their question so they can go back to doing what they were before.

Wearable Technology
Now that we can wear technology it will be almost impossible to disconnect, especially when we have apps that provide us with very important information now. Especially tattoos that can inject us with our prescribed medication on a regular schedule all on it’s own, a technology that will help the many who suffer from poor memory cognition. Even though google glass is only a product on its own there is no doubt that soon people will be requesting their prescription lens on their google glass device and this makes sense because people who need a hands free device to access information while still being able to see will help many people still do what they need done.

When you think about the fact that we can use the internet with just a few hand gestures, it’s not to far in the future when you start to see people typing in the air with their glasses to send a message. You can add that to the new smart shoes that can direct a person where to go and for any blind person this is a huge help for them. The shoes vibrate based on where to turn or when to stop or any other notification and it connects to your phone with bluetooth technology and app. The best part about these shoes is that they will cost only $100 bucks, which is a lot cheaper than the price tag of $1500 for google glass. Visit their website to preorder if you would like a pair.

The other thing that has grown in popularity are smart watches. Samsung watch, Pebble Watch, Apple iWatch, and lots more out there. These smart watches already have apps with them that connect to your smart phone and some even let you talk directly into them to send a message and more. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when a study that was conducted by CivicScience found that close to majority of people surveyed were unable to disconnect from their devices.

The Results
If you look at how often people interact with technology you can see that it is almost impossible to disconnect. Take for example the average person in America; they wake up and turn on the TV and watch the news or their favorite TV show (if they were in a high income bracket they would have a smart tv that would tell them things like traffic conditions, stock market prices, important news updates, and more), then they go to work where they sit down at their desk and check their email (for some they like to check their email and news on their home computer before they leave), check a couple of things online and then start work. In between all this they are checking their smartphone for any alerts, txt msgs, missed phone calls, app notifications, and more.

If you look back at life twenty years ago majority of those actions didn’t exist. The only thing you did was hope for the paper to be on your doorstep by the time you woke up, turn the TV on and listen to the news while the coffee was being made. Now tablets have also come into our lives so we can sit down and, instead of checking the front porch for the paper, we have instant access to “free” news all over the internet. We do this while listening to the news on the TV in the background. We check other email accounts, google alerts, and tons more. Then we wonder how the time got away from us. We even have clothes that light up now, blankets that can sense our mood, and even shirts that monitor our body functions so this shouldn’t come as a surprise that we are becoming more connected to technology than ever and it will be hard to break away, especially if how you make money depends on keeping up with the latest information.

Breaking Away
It will be harder to break away from technology and that is why I still enjoy reading physical books. I am not a fan of ebooks because it keeps me off the computer and away from anything tech related. I can just sit and enjoy the story. If you are having trouble don’t worry, it’s understandable but if you find that you can not get off then you might want to make a rule that one room has a strict no technology in that room. Only places to sit, a nice coffee table, a soft rug on the floor, maybe a fireplace, and books all around. For family with kids that is where they can do their homework with no distractions (no they don’t need their iPads to read and study their assignments and homework so they can leave the tablets in their room).

I break away at least for a few times everyday and always make it a habit to get out and do something physical otherwise you will get sucked in to all the apps and games and “things you gotta know now” mentality and you will realize it will never end. So take a break, go for ice cream or a walk and enjoy the physical stuff.

In all the results they found that 43% never unplug from technology, only 17% unplug once a year, 4% once a month, 6% once a week, 10% a few times a week, and 20% daily. It is important to understand here that the numbers for each category varied so the percentage rates vary and each person was allowed to use their own definition of unplugging to answer the survey questions.

All in all, it is getting harder and harder to unplug, especially if you work in the entertainment industry, technology industry, journalism, and service industry. Now that we even have electronic fabric that can alert you when you have a txt or voice message, it is becoming impossible to get out of the way from anything tech. Even our TVs are becoming smart by connecting to the internet and now that we have appliances that can connect to our phones we are always plugged in making it harder to unplug.

News Articles

Unplugged: 60% of US Almost Never Are

Data Point: Lot of people who say they never unplug