When Democracy Doesn’t Count

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What if I said that voting accomplishes nothing?

No, not on some electoral college basis – I mean nothing, literally. Your vote might as well be trashed. It simply has no precedent for forming laws. With all that crazy talk, you might be wondering why I’m bringing this up.

Because Massachusetts House leaders plan on ignoring votes.

You see, back in November we had an election. And while obviously Hillary Clinton swept the state, the real race was Question 4 – Legalize Recreational Sale of Marijuana. Once the results were tallied, the measure won 53.6% – 46.4%.

I won’t plunge into the details of the bill because they’re unimportant. The bottom line is we voted for a 12% marijuana tax with local control over the location of pot shops. Simple.

Of coarse – not simple enough for the lawmakers who’ll work round-the-clock dismantling it.

We had a vote – but they have the say.

The first draft of the new law attached to this bill included raising the pot tax from an already high 12% to 28% (YES! 28%!) tax. In addition, the dumb voters (us, apparently) can’t be trusted to veto pot shops in our own neighborhoods. Which is why – that power will now belong to local officials, instead.

This is why people don’t vote.

US election turnout rates are abysmal compared to other countries. This is why people seldom become invested in political races or outcomes – they simply don’t have a say.

At a pivotal point in American history, we should be making democracy more inclusive to young people and everyone foreign to our democratic system. We should be opening up our gates to new people with new ideas who’re excited!

People like MA House Leaders don’t respect democracy. They should be totally ashamed of themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Basic Income The Future?

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Monthly checks of $1,000 might be what we need.

Imagine opening your mailbox and grabbing a $1,000 check, courtesy of your government. No, you’re not on welfare. No, you’re not on Social Security. You’re just an average citizen living their life.

Sign at the top and drop $1,000 into the bank. Crazy, right?

Some futurists believe it’s the future.

A mixed bag of globalization and automation mean factory and labor jobs are becoming obsolete. Which means we need a way to combat unemployment while bettering the lives of people in the 21st century.

Basic income could be that backbone to the economy we’ve been looking for.

In addition to a job, those working paycheck-to-paycheck have the luxury of escaping poverty, while remaining in the realm of capitalism. People can work to save and invest in their future – as opposed to simply survive.

What about the free market?

From a capitalist’s perspective, I know you’re thinking this won’t work. You think people will abuse the system and light their cash on fire with non-necessities.

Here’s the good news – when people have free money they buy more goods and services. Which means more money for the businessman or business owner. Which means a stronger economy.

Maybe you spend that extra $1,000 on a startup. Maybe you invest in the stock market. Maybe you buy a gift for your son’s birthday. Ultimately, you’d choose what to do with it because it would feed directly back into the economy.

Of coarse, there’s still many holes to be filled.

For example: Where will this extra income come from? Will taxes be raised? How will this affect unemployment? etc.

While there’s questions to ask, basic income would provide security to poor people, give employees negotiating power for job prospects, and decrease incentive for money fraud.

Basic income is a serious prospect and people should pay attention to it – because it may well be the future.

 

Feisty Flags (Part 2)

In an earlier post I explained my business ventures with Feisty Flags. Before you continue reading, READ THIS first. This is your only warning.

Shipping:

Shipping flags from China to the US can be difficult. There’s communication issues, currency problems, and a slew of errors. Add a $50 shipping fee and headaches are almost certain. I’m not complaining though – getting the same product from Canada would be $30 a flag.

If I order 10 flags, with a manufacturing price of $4 a flag and $50 shipping, this comes out as roughly $9 a flag. Meaning that to make my money back – I’d have to sell flags for $10 a piece. Not bad.

Of coarse, that’s worst case scenario. Keep in mind that I’m in competition with others selling the same/similar flags. And to be perfectly honest; Amazon prices seem like a fucking scam. They take 15% of my sale in addition to $39.99 a month. This means that I have to hustle to make my dough. Luckily, my flags are better.

Anyways, I’m still getting my foot in the door and so I’ll keep you in the loop.

This is just for fun, after all.

 

The Evolution of Feisty Flags

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The great thing about business is that you’re constantly failing towards success. That sums this past week up well. In the past days, I’ve spent $150 of my personal money on Google Adwords promoting flags and sold a grand total of 0. Some might consider that a failure, but I do not.

Because I put $150 towards Adwords, I have a better understanding of how the website works, along with better SEO and keywords. I couldn’t have done that without taking a little risk with my own cash.

I also learned a very valuable lesson; niches are key. Since learning about my $150 loss, I’ve changed my website to highlight historical flags. History buffs are more likely to spend more on their hobby of old flags, which is something I benefit from.

In addition to the brand change, I’ve kickstarted a second round of ads with Google Adwords, spending only $20 a day compared to my previous $50 a day. The hope being to advertise while continuing to experiment with branding.

VERY few people starting businesses will publish their failures. They’re afraid to be ridiculed for failing. That’s why I’m probably crazy for doing so. But the truth is, as long as you extract the helpfulness of each failure – you’re all set.

I’m young. I’m an 18-year-old college bound student. I can afford to take big risks because I can afford to lose. But as long as I’m winning big long term – that’s all that matters.

http://www.feistyflags.com/

 

How To Start an Online Store

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I recently launched feistyflags.com and it’s been a blast. I’ve learned so much with real money at stake. I’m walking on a tightrope and as a result – it’s been fun and risky. Unfortunately, there’s many who want to kickstart their own website, but simply don’t know how to start.

While you might think setting up an online store is difficult, (I certainly did) you’d be surprised at how easy it can be.

I’m about to give you 3 steps to building your own online store and start making big money fast. Much of what I’m about to say is inspired from books like The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich and others come from personal experience. I hope you’ll enjoy:

1.) Pick a Website

For business I’d recommend Wix, Webs, or Weebly.

Wix.com: Wix is fantastic if you’re new to business. They have amazing customer service and make it fairly easy to set up. It’s fully customizable with 0 tech skills required.

Web.comWeb.com has no setup fee. That’s a big deal. If you’re unsure your business will be successful, Web is highly recommended. It’s great for sticking your toe in the water and seeing how well you can swim in the world of online markets.

Weebly.com: I’ll admit it – I’m biased towards Weebly. I’ve used them forever now and love them. They’re good people that help with bad problems. Their platform is spectacular.

2.) Find Your Niche:

“If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction.” – Sam Walton

If you’re planning on making a store for pets or animals stop now. It’s been done before and you’ll never make any money. You want to be as specific with your customers as possible. This might go against what you’re taught and that’s okay.

The sad truth is, as kids we never wanted to be pinned down or labelled. We were distinctively independent in our perception of the world. Those days are over.

Be specific. Find people. Market towards them.

3.) Advertising:

Before buying $500 worth of T-shirts to hold in your garage, make sure you can sell them! Nothing’s worse than hoarding items that can’t sell. To test the waters, start a Google Adwords campaign. This part will involve money.

Spend about $25 a day using keywords involving your product. Just as an example, if you’re selling meme shirts, type: meme, shirt, unique, cheap. They should be common enough to generate sales but not common enough to get trampled by larger website that have already dominated your SEO.

I’ll include a link on how to start an Adwords campaign here: https://support.google.com/adwords/.

Conclusion:

I hope you found this advice helpful. I’m convinced online businesses are the future. The world has never seen people this dedicated with the kind of technology at our disposal. I look forward to seeing what you sell.

Feistyflags.com

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