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November 2010

November 22, 2021

What celebrities get paid to Tweet about products

When a celebrity Tweets, the world listens.

Izea_medium After all, what would life be like without insights like this, from Ashton Kutcher: “Dear Brett Favre, Retire. Sincerely, Ashton”?

Yet for all its (deserved) ridicule and ineffectualness, a celebrity Tweet – thanks to millions of followers – holds a lot of weight. And now, it holds earning power.

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Tax boomers to death, suggests controversial columnist


Much ink has been made shed about the recent cover story in The Atlantic that challenges baby boomers to save the economy.

“The Boomers’ Last Chance,” shouts the cover headline, followed inside by a story entitled, “The Least We Can Do.”

And what’s that, you ask?

Well, according to columnist Michael Kinsley, it’s time for all those greedy boomers to help pare down the national debt rather than help their parents recycle the family money through bequests and inheritances.

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November 19, 2021

The world's most bizarre business promotions

By now, many of our readers have heard about that bizarre business promo out of Florida this week, where a car dealer offered customers a free AK-47 with purchase of a vehicle.

No, really. Nations Trucks, in Sanflord, Fla., is still running the deal now – you buy a car, you get a voucher worth $400 towards an assault rifle, to be redeemed at a later date.

Ridiculous? Of course. Isolated? No, no, no. Michael Moore fans will remember that scene in Bowling For Columbine where the director opens up a bank account and scores a free gun, too, but wacky bargains like these are, remarkably, quite common.

So, on the Friday before a weekend, here are a few more weird business promotions of years past:

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November 18, 2021

For $3 per, site sends handwritten thank you notes on your behalf

In 2010, everyone is lazy with regard to at least one thing. And, wouldn’t you know it, the business world isn’t far behind.

1054866_legal_pad Of all the “pay for convenience” services out there, I happened to stumble across this beauty which may just take the cake.

ThankThankNotes.com, only four weeks old now, is a web-based company that sends out hand-written thank you notes on your behalf.

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Gillette settles razor lawsuit and offers refunds

In the arms race some know as the razor business, The Gillette Company has lost a tiny skirmish.

A proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit against Gillette could mean at least $13 or a free Gillette Fusion Razor for anyone who acquired a Gillette M3Power Razor between May 1, 2021 and October 31, 2005.

The class action lawsuit challenges the accuracy of Gillette’s advertisements for its M3Power Razor, specifically its claims that the razor “raises or stimulates hair up and away from the skin.”

Gillette deleted those claims, which the class action says were false and misleading, from its ads several years ago, but the damage was done.  

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November 17, 2021

Helping new and old employees find common ground

Ah, what to do with the younger generation coming into the workforce today?

Little to no respect for authority; not motivated by money; work to live rather than live to work; free agent careerists; disloyal ― the list goes on and on.

The worst mercenaries going, it seems.

Nonsense, says Jennifer Deal, author of Retiring the Generation Gap: How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground. They just want a little respect. 

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Holiday spending up this year, though not where it used to be: report

Every year, especially those since the recession started, the banks and market analysts go through the same song and dance trying to gauge holiday spending.

It may be a futile exercise – what consumer, really, can predict precisely what they’ll spend for the holidays almost a month-and-a-half early? – but it is important to many. In 2010, most retailers need big holiday seasons to put them in the black. Being able to prepare, or brace for, upcoming shopping receipts is more vital than we’d think.

So, how will we spend this year? That depends on who you ask, though the consensus seems to be: we’ll dish out more than last year, but still not what we used to.

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November 16, 2021

Does Canada's welfare system need an overhaul?

Last month, when EverydayMoney wondered if, to ensure no Canadians could take advantage of the program, it would hurt to drug test recipients of unemployment benefits, you guys spoke up.

The consensus: yes, the benefits system is flawed (and may provide an incentive for Canucks to get cozy not working) but if there’s to be anything in need of reform, it’s Canada’s welfare structure.

Where employment insurance is concerned, out-of-workers have paid into the program, MSN readers said. Welfare, at least in the national perception, is just free cash to those who don’t want to work.

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Small businesses fight for refund of EI premiums

You’ve probably seen or heard the ads warning that many small businesses are unnecessarily paying EI premiums on family members who work in the business since they won’t ever be able to collect benefits.

The rule is that if a family employee is paid about the same and works roughly the same hours as other workers with similar jobs, then EI premiums should be deducted and the person is eligible to claim EI benefits. Sometimes though, ineligible relatives end up paying for something they’ll never enjoy.

This is why they should fight back, say services like Grant's International, GoFoRefund and ei-refund, which will intercede on your behalf with the government, fill out the necessary forms, and help you collect your refund.

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November 15, 2021

Bulletproof cars: an $80M Mexican industry

Whether you’ve vacationed to the region and wandered off your resort’s grounds, heard about a particularly gruesome case or, heck, just seen Man On Fire, chances are you know Central and Latin America is rotten for crime.

1148594_bullet_3 And, usually, in a part of the globe where anyone with money is a direct target for kidnappings and burglaries, rarely is there a positive economic spin.

Maybe, though, if we have to find a silver lining in a situation where blood sometimes quite literally runs in the streets, this is it.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...