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The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

On any given week, Josh and Chuck read a lot of interesting articles. Check out this post with links to the best articles they've read this week. See more »

There's this excellent recent analogy just sitting there staring us in the face as a perfectly good answer to the question of whether cutting or increasing spending is viable solution to our debt crisis that's creating such acrimony among Congress and waffling from the president. Just a couple years after it first crashed, pretty much all economists point to a single factor that more than any other sealed the global financial fate into that of doomed: illiquidity. See more »

Anyone who's opened a bag of delicious Goldfish™-brand cracker lately knows the sting of undiluted disappointment. Something is rotten in Denmark as far as retail food goes. Little by little the contents within are shrinking, while the bag -- and the price -- stays the same. The upshot is that we are getting far less food for what we pay for compared to even just a few years ago. In some cases, like that of Goldfish™-brand crackers or a bag of chips, most of the contents is mere air, which, everybody knows doesn't cost the manufacturer one red cent. See more »

Americans suck at saving money. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that last October consumers saved a whopping 4.4 percent of our disposable income. I'm not being facetious; that really is a whopping number. Back in June 2005, we saved exactly 0.0 percent of our disposable income. See more »

Hey there, folks. Josh and I have talked about haggling before in our podcast, about how pretty much anything price is negotiable if you have the guts to ask. Most people think that prices in regular stores are set in stone, that if you aren't at an open-air market or a car lot that you don't have a shot at getting a deal. Not true. Time Magazine ran an article recently that delved into the new trend of trying to haggle the prices down at some of your favorite stores. America's Research Group performed a study last October that found that 56 percent of American consumers had recently tried to negotiate a price reduction at a non-automobile retail outlet. Of those 56 percent, 50 percent were successful in gaining a price reduction. See more »

I came an interesting little tidbit yesterday on A cafe owner in Kettering, Ohio has a new pricing policy -- pay what you feel like the meal is worth. It sounds crazy, but his business is actually thriving with the new policy and he's in a position where he may even have to hire more employees to help meet demand. His Bulgarian wife gave him the idea based on similar practices in some European cafes. If you think that folks might take advantage and pay a penny for a $10 meal, you'll be pleased to learn that it's not going down that way. Turns out customers have a hard time looking the owner in the eye and telling him his food isn't worth much. So far he figured he's breaking even with some people paying a little more and some a little less than he'd normally charge. See more »

Time Magazine is running a great article at the moment called "10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now." Items two through nine are pretty interesting, but what caught my eye was what stood tall in the number one position -- your job may be your biggest asset right now. The author of the piece, Barbara Kiviat, makes an excellent point about how things are now compared to just a couple of years ago. In 2007, it's doubtful that anyone would have listed their job as their number one asset. Your career was just a means to get other assets, even if it meant borrowing beyond your means to get them. See more »

Yesterday on "60 Minutes" Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke went out on a limb and predicted that the economy here in America will edge out of the current recession by the end of 2009 and begin to rebuild itself over the course of 2010. This was a pretty monumental statement because reserve chairmen rarely give interviews at all. So much rides on every word they say, it's usually not a good idea to have a back-and-forth with a savvy interviewer. Bernanke was wisely measured in his words and didn't make any guarantees, but feels the plan is in place to right the ship and with the support of lawmakers and the American people, things will begin to shift toward a more "normal" state by the end of '09. He also offered a rare peak inside the headquarters of the Federal Reserve, an institution that's still largely a mystery to most people. See more »

The new pennies in circulation got us thinking -- how much does it cost to make a penny and is it worth it? The debate has been around for a while now and we want to know if you like your pennies or not. See more »