It is assumed by virtually everyone that venture capitalists are, in aggregate, a force for good in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. I suspect that VCs may be a net negative force because their relentless drive to invest in blockbuster companies to get massive returns results in a lot of human, social and capital waste. How might I obtain some reliable data to help make a reasonably accurate assessment? I'm okay with being wrong; I just have no evidence that all the VC cheerleaders are right. How do I get evidence? [more inside]
I was homeless for part of the year last year. I'm filing late (with deferral, sorry I didn't bring this up on Askmefi when it would be more pertinent) because I just now got all the proper info together. Is there anything I should know about filing US taxes for a year in which I was occasionally homeless and/or unemployed?
Around the time of the Occupy protests, I read an article that described a concept like "Subsumed State" or "Shadow State" or something. I thought it was by Mike Konczal, but I can't find it his archives and I'm pretty sure he was referring to someone else's ideas about this. [more inside]
I want to become literate in two of the major fields that are the most foreign to me, business and finance or economics. Can you help with book or website recommendations? [more inside]
Any economics geeks out there who can point me to how the government calculates intellectual property now in GDP figures? Is there information on how they calculate the value of a movie versus a TV show versus a book? I've seen some articles that say news shows and newspapers don't count towards the intellectual component of GDP, but is there a thorough explanation anywhere?
I forgot to pick seats for my flight back and don't have too many options left many of which are these aisle seats. I'm short and normally wouldn't care too much but it is a 10 hour flight. Outgoing I have a window in the section with just 2 seat across but all of those are already full for my return. I've read online reviews but was wondering if anyone could describe how much space the inflight entertainment box takes up on the aisle seats? Seatguru mentions this but I haven't found anything saying about how much space you're losing and where the box is. I've looked for photos but haven't found anything except this and I can't tell if this is actually what seating is like. I'm trying to decide if it's bad enough that I should take a middle seat.
Um, hi guys. I know there are some other writers on MeFi (help me PhoBWanKenobi...) and I've seen a few previous questions here about writing fiction and non-fiction, but I think my Ask is specific enough to have merit: [more inside]
Settle an argument about making stock for cooking. One half says that you should save every odd and end from vegetables and keep them in a big ziploc bag in the freezer for when you make stock so it can get the most varied amount of flavor possible and "recycle" kitchen waste. Other half says that since we're not making vegetable stock and only ever make stock with left over bones you should just keep to the basic recipie ( carrots, onion, celery, etc) and not introduce all these unknown cauliflower ends and parsnip bits and it's a false economy anyway. Who is right? Is anyone right? Are they both right?
What are the legal and economic factors making it possible for companies in North America to engage in mass layoffs and to then invite former employees to apply for jobs at this same company, perhaps on less favourable terms for the former employees? (Bombardier's announcment of laying off 1700 employees is a Canadian example.) My naïve notion is that free trade has something to do with it – is this analysis correct, and if so, would pulling back from globalization help protect employees when labour laws appear to fail? Interested in opinions as well as papers, blogs, essays and books that a lay person could understand.
Earlier this week I started working at a flour mill driving tractor trailers, after 2 months of training at a truck driving school to obtain a CDL, and I am having doubts about this decision. [more inside]
I have $40,000+ in debt, a bachelors degree in criminal justice, an EMT-B license, a basic computer tech certificate, 4 years of customer service experience as a banquet server, a bad driving history, and one misdemeanor - how can I find a better job than being a banquet server? What can I do to be competitive? Should I attend police academy or not? What are my options - what can I do to improve my life? [more inside]
What should Australian property owners and potential buyers be wary of in regards to USA's credit rating going down? [more inside]
I´m currently designing (on paper, while I look for a person with the tech skills to build it) a web platform for an alternate, moneyless economy. I have a working name for it, but some people have read into it something different from what I intended, so I´m looking for a new name. More details after the jump. [more inside]
Do you have a Honda Fit or another compact car that you can recommend for a family of four? [more inside]
Considering dropping out of 1st year humanities PhD program. Terrified of starving on the streets. Help? [more inside]
Should I stay in the job I've always wanted (at the expense of a dream) or go on the trip that I've always wanted (at the expense of stability)? [more inside]
Have there been studies done on the cultural elements that spur innovative commercial development in particular people, companies/organizations or regions? [more inside]
I'm trying to prove the historic strength and resiliency of California. From the Gold Rush on. Being the birthplace of aerospace manufacturing, the cradle of film and digital. Basically something that puts into perspective all the slowdowns and eventual recoveries that California has always bounced back from. Ideally from a kosher academic perspective. I'd rather not have this from the tome of an avowed Marxist as an example. Who should I read and what did they write?
Help me understand the reasoning behind continuing the Hostess strike when it has resulted in the company going out of business. [more inside]
What percentage of my monthly ISP bill pays for the internet infrastructure? What percent of the internet is paid for by home users and business users as consumers, versus business users who are serving content, like Facebook or NetFlix Streaming? I would love a pie chart, but whatever you got is appreciated...
Depression vs. recession [more inside]
Can you help me understand, once and for all, what I need to do to get the best mileage out of my manual-transmission car? [more inside]
After being out of the job market for two years and becoming a stay-at-home mom, should I take an entry-level job, even if it's a big step down financially? [more inside]
What has Obama done to help the economy? [more inside]
How do things work and what is life like in really small towns? [more inside]
I'm a young person with no debt and a pile of money to invest. The catch: I'm not real confident about the long-term health of the US economy. [more inside]
Our house is 300 square feet smaller than we thought it was. Is there anything we can do? [more inside]
I would like to buy things that have a money value based on their actual utility. For example, I think gold is something that is overvalued since the shiny, soft metal doesn't have so many practical uses to justify its value. The second criteria is that the value of the thing would not go down much over a span of about 30 years, even if the economy went in the tank. Thirdly, I've a preference for commodity-like items that can be sold without much work. [more inside]
Where can I find the income distribution for India? My google-fu is weak on this one. [more inside]
So I completely understand that prices of stocks, like anything in a market, arise from supply and demand. But at the end of the day, why does demand for a stock increase when a company's earnings increase? How does holding the stock of a company whose earnings have increased since purchase benefit a stockholder? It can't purely be that I care about earnings because I know everyone else cares about earnings because they know everyone else cares about earnings... can it? What is the ultimate source of this caring about earnings? If dividends were more common, I could understand all this as a jockeying for a good deal on a dividend. But as it is, it sounds no different than betting on a never-ending horse race with earnings arbitrarily picked as the indicator of which horse is in the lead.
Is time spent watching TV correlated with income? [more inside]
Could you interpret this map for me? Also is there an updated version of it?
Could I get an explanation (as free of political bias and buy-gold-and-ammo hysterics as possible) of how the unraveling of the Euro would go down, how such an unraveling would affect the rich and poor nations of the EU, and what economic impact it would have on the US economy?
How the heck can I get a cool job in New York with (almost) a graduate degree and (almost) no professional experience? [more inside]
Help me be a smarter protester within the Occupy movement. Who REALLY is to blame? Can you help me make a list? [more inside]
Forex filter: Why is the Euro still worth more than the US dollar? [more inside]
I've been living in Europe for over 5 years, recently in Berlin for two. I'm considering moving back to NYC where I grew up and have family, and I want to know what the high-tech scene is like there, and how easy/difficult my life would be, professionally. [more inside]
[financial analysis filter] How can I identify the amount of money that a publicly-traded company could spend without being irresponsible to its investors or its ability to continue operating? [more inside]
I'm looking for a car that fits me. I'm 6'5", 300# and in the US, and would like something with reasonable economy, but still decent performance. I would prefer 4WD capability. Suggestions? [more inside]
Looking for a certain Newsweek chart and other articles about the same topic (cost of living in the US). [more inside]
Is North Dakota as advertised? [more inside]
This Debt thread over the MeFi has me wondering: Am I completely off the mark to believe that easy access to cheap credit fuels inflation? [more inside]
I'm a Canadian going to be traveling in Europe starting in a few weeks, up until maybe Nov. I originally intended to just withdraw funds from my CAD account when needed where I would get whatever the CAD to EUR exchange was at the given time. With the economy as it is should I consider opening a EUR account and transferring a bunch of funds right now?
What is the most prudent way to reallocate one's 401(k) in light of the US downgrade and recent market crash, assuming one has a moderate number of years until retirement and wishes to get a return on investment greater than the typical return of money market funds?
What things should people do that are in their best interest, but don't do either because of ignorance or lack of discipline. For example, if you have the discipline to pay every month, there is no reason not to use a rewards based credit card for all your purchases. Arguably, maxing your 401k is another example of this. So is exercise and sunscreen. What other smart behaviors and actions should we do, but don't because we don't know any better or don't have the will to do so. I will also take counter examples, e.g. stupid decisions / undisciplined behaviors / etc.
Has there ever been a case of real-life hyperdeflation, where prices race downwards? [more inside]
I previously was working at a job for a long time. That job ended (due to company shutdown) last week I was offered a similar job today. Would it be crazy to turn it down? [more inside]
What happens if the U.S. defaults? [more inside]
When will the economy get better? [more inside]