Friday, April 24, 2009

Town Hall for Hope Stats

Last night, Dave Ramsey hosted the Town Hall for Hope. It was a great event in which he provided context around what happened to the economy, historical perspective, quotes, scripture, and straight talk. The media can tend to hype things and get everyone down and out thinking the world is coming to an end.

Here are some statistics that Dave shared during the Town Hall for Hope. When people starting talking about how terrible things are, they are good to keep in mind. These are re-posted from".

* From 1833 to 2001, the compound annual growth rate was 1.54%.
* From 2001 to now, we’ve seen a compound annual growth rate of 15.57%.
* But even with the surge, the lifetime annual growth of gold is only 2.14%.


* 50% of United States foreclosures in 2008 came from 35 counties in 12 states.
* 20% of the United States’ population lives in these 35 counties.
* Eight counties in Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada were the source of 25% of foreclosures.
* Existing home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.7 million units in February, 2009, and only 860,000 homes were repossessed all of 2008.

The Stock Market:

* Investors have made money 100% of the 15-year periods in the stock market’s history.
* Since 1974, the value of the S&P 500 has grown 1,250%, from 63 to 850.

The Great Depression and Recent Recessions:

* 1938–40: Unemployment grew to over 17%, the Stock Market dropped 89%, and bread lines were real; executives didn’t fly Gulfstreams to Washington, D.C. looking for bailouts.
* 1974: The Stock Market dropped 50%, gas lines snaked around the block, and inflation became stagflation, i.e. inflation in a stagnant economy.
* 1982: Inflation was over 10%, unemployment was over 10%, and the interest rate reached 17% on home mortgages.
* 2009: Unemployment is at 8.5%, there is no inflation, and the home mortgage rate is 4 3/8%. The Stock Market dropped 57%, but it has recently risen from a low of 6400 to over 8000.

Recovery from the Great Depression:

* Those who did nothing recovered in 4 years, 4 months.
* Those who sold out at the bottom realized a 78% loss.

Stock Market Performance Following Recessions:

* 1945–2007: The average bear market lasted 12.7 months with an average decline of 30.3%.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Did you know that 7 is the only number between 1 and 10 that has two syllables?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Alternative Minimum Tax

Being close to tax day, I thought a little discussion on a tax topic would be in order. The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) could be more aptly named as Another Malicious Tax. This nefarious piece of nastiness can jump up and bite unsuspecting taxpayers.

Basically, it was designed to make sure high income families were paying their fair share of taxes. Some people ended up paying relatively low tax amounts due to deductions and tax credits they used. So, the government didn't like that and instigated the AMT in 1969. The problem is that inflation measures were not incorporated so over time more and more people have been impacted by it including the middle class. It was never intended to affect the middle class but rather was an additional tax on high income families. Congress has incrementally increased the level at which a taxpayer is affected by it but has not yet put an inflation provision attached to it.

One example I'm familiar with is a family who had to pay the AMT when they were making an average annual wage and had 8 children. Each of the deductions they received for the children was much needed and getting hit by the AMT was not good for the financial picture.

Hopefully, Congress will either repeal the AMT altogether or attach an inflation provision so that it doesn't negatively impact the middle class as it was never intended to do.

We won't get into the discussion of whether it is fair to place an additional tax burden on high income families but at a minimum, provisions should be put in place to address inflation.

If you'd like to let your congress person know your thoughts on "Another Malicious Tax," go to or and email them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One Reason Southwest Airlines is Awesome

I regularly fly Southwest Airlines when it is an option. They usually have either the lowest fare or a very competitive one. In my experience they have better on time departure and arrival than other airlines. Some people prefer assigned seating but that really doesn't bother me. Their whole organization makes things fun and this can definitely be seen with their flight attendants. Check out this creative safety announcement. If only they had flights from Kansas City to Atlanta, I'd be sure to put them at the top of the list.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


You may have heard of the latest new communication tool on the web called Twitter. It's a micro blogging website similar to using Facebook updates. You can follow well known people or friends and it provides a feed of their updates. You only have 160 characters to make an update so have to be concise. It also allows you to update via text messages.

I finally decided to sign up and see what the low down is. Some people send updates constantly, some once a day or week, some infrequently. A few well known people that I'm following are Mark Richt, Lance Armstrong, and Mark Batterson. It's interesting to hear what's going on with them. You pick up on news a bit more frequently and get it straight from the horse's mouth.

If you'd like to follow me on twitter, you can select the link at the right, go to, or simply read the most current updates in the widget on the sidebar to the right.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Jimmy Carter

Today, I had the opportunity to see Jimmy Carter speak at the Baptist Border Crossing conference. While I don't always agree with all of his politics, it was pretty cool to see a past president in person. One very positive thing that he did was to help ease the policy toward Bibles so that people were allowed to distribute them in China. Estimates are that around 10,000 people in China become a Christian on a daily basis.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


And there was much rejoicing and celebration among the citizens of Liberty, Missouri. It has been confirmed that a Chick-fil-a is being built in Liberty, Missouri off of Highway 152. This is something I've actually emailed them about on multiple occasions so when I saw they'd picked out a site to start construction, happiness occurred.

It's difficult to tell from this picture but there is actually a sign indicating Chick-fil-a on a trailer where the construction site is located.

While we're discussing Chick-fil-a goodness. I thought I'd post this very funny song by Tim Hawkins about Chick-fil-a.
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