Category Archives: Money and risk

When innumeracy kills

      2 Comments on When innumeracy kills
Covid risk of harm

In mid-November a fundamentalist Tulsa megachurch held a packed, largely-maskless Christian concert for 2500 people. I’ll deal with the theological ironies in a later post, but despite their likely support for “Right to Life,” I can confidently say that, statistically, the attendees surely murdered people with the coronavirus that night, perhaps people even not in attendance. Ignorance of basic mathematics… Read more »

Seven bets on your 2021 Medicare supplement

      6 Comments on Seven bets on your 2021 Medicare supplement
Medigap thumbnail

We are in that season, especially in Florida where I live, when my mail is flooded daily with Medicare switching come-ons, and every other television commercial seems to be pitching me as well. One of my most-viewed posts from last year was my advice to treat this decision as a series of bets on “your money or your life.” This… Read more »

Donald Trump’s tax problems revisited

      3 Comments on Donald Trump’s tax problems revisited
Trump Hotel Sign

Note: This is a cross-post with the Iowa blog Bleeding Heartland. Ever since I began this blog in January of 2018, Donald Trump’s “not-normal” finances have been in my head and have appeared in this blog numerous times. Now that the media frenzy over his Covid diagnosis has abated somewhat, perhaps we can get back to Trump’s financial frauds. In… Read more »

Choose your own stock market adventure

      No Comments on Choose your own stock market adventure

If you are fortunate to be living off sizable and broadly diversified investments in the world’s financial markets, then your financial position by mid-August likely came back pretty close to where it was in January of 2020, before the “Coronavirus Crash.” This is especially true when dividends and interest payments received since then are included. And if you are not?… Read more »

A tax plan for Biden #3 – taxing corporations

World map

The first two parts of this series of posts looked at quick hits and then larger principles that I believe Joe Biden should focus on in rescuing the mess that is the U.S. Tax Code. We need to restore both tax fairness and revenue effectiveness, both of which are in rough shape today. Business and corporation taxes, the subject of… Read more »

Is it time for you to go back to cash?

      No Comments on Is it time for you to go back to cash?
Woody Guthrie

Especially when the economy is going to hell, money is just a quantification of the choices available to you at this moment. And your array of personal choices may not look very good at this particular time. My CPA hat has been in retirement, but I think it is time to put it back on and talk about some financial… Read more »

Choose your favorite autocrat

      2 Comments on Choose your favorite autocrat
Political Compass

I spent the longest part of my career teaching and publishing books relating to the world’s financial systems. In recent years, however, I have come to accept that a lot of the “great economic debates” are more often closer to the millions of words written over “angels on the head of a pin” differences in theologies among the world’s religions…. Read more »

Your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan bets

Pill bottle

Note: I have updated some of the numbers here for 2021. In recent posts, I have discussed viewing the selection of Medicare Part B Medigap and Part C Advantage plans as a set of probabilistic “bets” that you are making with your money against your health. This post extends that idea to Medicare Part D prescription coverage plans that were… Read more »

The human costs of innumeracy

      1 Comment on The human costs of innumeracy
Samoa

“I don’t do math!” How often have you heard this expression, sometimes more as a brag than an excuse for some consequential mistake? As of December 19, 2019, seventy-seven people, many of them small children, had died in the small South Pacific island nation of Samoa. The cause of the epidemic was a confluence of several factors, but a significant… Read more »

Seven bets on your Medicare supplement

      5 Comments on Seven bets on your Medicare supplement
Medigap

This post has been updated for 2021 numbers here. An old cynical joke says that when you buy life insurance, you are betting that you are going to die, while the life insurance company is betting that you are going to live. Having just survived the annual mail onslaught from prospective Medicare supplement providers, I found it helpful to view… Read more »