World’s biggest carnivores are turning their backs on beef


Argentine officials try to prop up beef binge with price caps

Dwindling purchasing power, changing food trends are to blame.

Argentines, who have long been among the world’s most voracious meat eaters, can no longer afford to binge on their own beef.

Red-meat consumption in the country has fallen to the lowest in a century. Blame rampant local inflation, the insatiable hunger for beef in other parts of the world that’s adding to price gains at home and — to a lesser extent — a reluctant movement toward healthier and cheaper proteins. It’s a kick in the teeth for a country that traditionally has vied with neighboring Uruguay for the title of world’s biggest carnivore on a per capita basis.

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Job growth is faster in states that raised minimum wage

minimum wage

The 13 states that raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1 have added jobs at a faster pace than those that did not.

The Department of Labor released new data that suggests that raising the minimum wage in some states might have spurred job growth, contrary to what critics said would happen.



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Price of brand-name drugs rises sharply

Brand-name drug prices rise sharply while generic drug prices plummet.

Brand-name prescription drug prices are rising faster than the rate of inflation, while the price of generic drugs has plummeted, creating the largest gap so far between the two,according to a report published Wednesday by the pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts.



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Your guide to offshore banks that may be right for you

The number of offshore banks where savers can keep their money and receive good rates is dwindling.

People trying to save are having a tough time at the moment.  It is very difficult to get a real return on savings because of low interest rates and relatively high inflation.  And there’s still the question of safety: the banking crisis which left millions of savers worrying about the security of their banks was only a few years ago.


Inflation hiding in smaller package sizes


Skippy shrank their 18-ounce container size down to 16.3 ounces.

If you are willing to look close enough, we’re actually being confronted by a serious bout of deflation when it comes to the size of the containers sitting on our supermarket shelves.  Good things may come in small packages but that doesn’t mean they are good deals.  Here’s how your favorite grocery-store items are shrinking before your eyes.

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As health premiums rise even the insured are spending less on care


More money is spent on health insurance but less money is spent on care.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show more money is being spent on health insurance but less on care.  Americans are spending more money on insurance premiums, and they’re spending less out of pocket on health services. The trend doesn’t reflect patients getting more health coverage for their insurance money, experts say. It reflects patients, even those with insurance, avoiding spending cash on health care they think can be put off.


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Debt problems plague older Americans

postponing retirement

Many Americans have to postpone retirement.

Many Americans are reaching their 60s with so much debt they can’t afford to retire.  Before retiring most people would pay off their debts. But as wages have barely kept up with rising prices over the past 35 years Americans have pushed debt higher, living beyond their means. Now, people are postponing retirement, cutting living standards or both.


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Bitcoin – World’s Fastest Growing Currency Triples in Price


Bitcoin online currency

Bitcoin, the world’s fastest-gaining currency has tripled in price again. Last week, SmartMoney reported that the Bitcoin had exploded from an exchange rate near zero to more than $10 in about a year, making it one of the top-returning assets of any kind. On Wednesday the currency topped $30.


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Health Insurers Make Huge Profits While Many Americans Postpone Care


Health insurers propose double-digit increases in their rates, citing a need for protection against any sudden uptick in demand once people have more money to spend on their health.

Major health insurers in the U.S. are heading into a third year of record profits.  Their earnings have been enriched in recent months by a lingering recessionary mind-set among Americans.  Many who are postponing or forgoing medical care.

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