Posts categorized "Economic"
According to a 2009 article by Ron Lieber, 45% of divorces are due to differences over finances. This is no surprise, considering that the majority of families don't even have a budget. According to Gallup, only 1 in 3 Americans prepare a detailed budget. Without a budget, how can you tell which partner is spending more on frivolous purchases? How can you prioritize between the husband's desire for new golf clubs and the wife's designer handbag? Without a budget, how do you know how much to save and how much to spend?
Running a family without a budget is like running a business without looking at profit and loss. Yet coming up with a budgeting system that actually works for you can be challenging. You need a realistic budget that allows you to live and isn't too much of a burden to track. You also need incentives to stick to the budget. In short, you need for life with a budget to be better than life without a budget. I have the solution.
For most of our marriage, my wife and I actually operated the business of running a family without a budget. "Just be reasonable" was the mantra, but it didn't work. Operating without a budget was a failing strategy for us for the following reasons:
- We were spending too much. Many months we were losing money.
- It wasn't clear who was being responsible and who was splurging (according to my wife, it I me who was splurging).
- We were fighting about money. Worse yet, we were worrying about money.
So we came up with an ideal approach to family budgeting that has served us well for the past 6 months. I will show you exactly how to prepare a family budget you can stick to, but first I want to share the benefits we have seen with this particular budget:
- We no longer feel any guilt or anxiety about purchases we have budgeted for (regardless of monthly income)
- When we are profitable, we both have some amount of personal money to spend however we want without the need to explain anything (i.e. more freedom)
- We have been able to travel to Italy, Croatia, and Florida on trips that were paid for upfront
- We dramatically increased our income because we were more motivated
- We saved, even as both of us have splurged like never before (guilt free)
The results have been amazing. Now I will explain how we did it.
Figure out your basic monthly expenses
Go through all of your financial statements from an "average" month. Choose a month when you were not shopping for Christmas and were not taking a vacation. How much did you actually spend? You don't need to analyze every detail or every category of expense, just get that number for reference.
List all of the expenses that you think are vital to your way of life. How much do you realistically think you should spend on groceries even during a month when your income isn't great? How much wine will you realistically drink? Do you go to the gym? How much gas to you use in a month (you can get this from your statement if needed)? What is the basic amount of entertainment you need? What is the minimum you will spend on restaurants? How much do you need to spend on cloths per month? Break all of this out on a spreadsheet.
The key to this step is that both of you have to agree. If one of you doesn't agree on a basic expense, then it doesn't make the budget. These are minimums that you both agree on. Keep in mind that, the more "profit" you can show in a month beyond this basic level, the more you will personally have to spend on yourself. I'll get to that later, but the point is that you have a personal incentive to cut this "minimum monthly budget" down to an actual minimum.
Compare the total amount you plan to spend in your monthly budget to the amount you actually spent in your example month (your step 1 amount). Your budget should be less than your example month, or you'll need to go back and take some things out.
Compare the monthly budget with your total family monthly income after tax. Do you earn enough to cover these expenses and more? If not, your first priority is to earn more money. You need to face reality. For the time being, you should decide whether to decrease the budget so that it is in-line with your actual income, or whether you want to spend in a deficit over the short term as you focus on earning more money in the coming months. Any deficit spending (i.e. monthly loss) has to be tallied. You can't get to a profit for you to split unless you first cover any past losses.
When you have prepared your budget for the month, move the money to where it needs to be for the coming month. Withdraw all of the cash you need for the month, and place enough money in your shared, family debit account to cover what you have budgeted for plus $1,000 in case you go over. Now you can't change any of this throughout the month. You'll have to stick with it.
Keep in mind that part of your budgeting should include a minimum amount of cash that you each need to have in your wallet for the month. This is your personal money. There can also be a "family cash" amount for miscellaneous purchases (restaurants, cleaning services). Put this in a separate wallet and take it with when you go out with your child for ice cream. Plan all of this ahead. Be realistic about how much money you actually need to make life livable.
Now enjoy your month. Stick to the plan and spend budgeted amounts without any guilt.
Track results on the 1st of next month
At the end of each month, you'll have to go through the statements to figure out what you actually spent. Put the actual amounts in a column on the monthly spreadsheet next to the budgeted amounts.
Figure out how much you actually spent and how much money you have actually earned (after taxes). If you run your own business, you will have to budget quarterly tax payments in your expenses.
Your actual amounts should become the projected numbers for next month's budget.
Step 3: Divvy up the thirds
Now you are left with a total profit (or loss) for the month.
If you end up with a profit, you should split it 3-ways: 1/3 of the profit goes directly to you as spending money, 1/3 goes to your partner, and 1/3 goes to savings. The higher your profit each month, the more money you will have to spend on yourself. Your partner has nothing to say about the way you spend this money. Withdraw it as cash, put it in your Paypal account, do whatever you want to with it and answer to nobody. You have earned it.
While the initial process of coming up with a budget can be difficult, once it is done you should be able to move forward in your relationship without ever having to fight about money. You will each learn to stick to a budget. You will not purchase anything extra for yourself until you have earned your portion at the end of the month. If your partner ever comes to you with a request to buy something, the answer is, "Use your own money if you have any left." Otherwise, if it isn't on the budget, it isn't allowed.
With this approach to budgeting, both of you will be free to spend money guilt free...after it is earned! If you decide, instead, to use the profit on a family vacation, you both have to agree. If both of you agree on a purchase, it comes from the family money. If both of you do not agree on a purchase, then it has to come from your personal money.
It is extremely important to be honest and trustworthy. If one partner cheats the budget, it is an extremely serious offense. In that case, everything falls apart and you are in serious trouble. You have to commit to honesty and transparency.
Also, note that before you split any profit as personal money, you have to cover any past losses. You are only counting profit and loss from the first month you are following this program. Each month thereafter, you will track "total to savings to-date" since starting this program. That is your key metric. If there is any loss in any month, it has to be made up with future profit before anybody splits anything.
I hope you find, as we have, that this approach to family budgeting leads to less arguing, more successful results, and more personal autonomy.
Today I am among 100,000 people at the cosmetic industry trade show called Cosmoprof Worldwide in Bologna, Italy. We walk endless miles with aching feet, stopping only to shout politely at each other to negotiate over the roaring sound of spectacle. We’ve come to this place to profit from the business of making a woman beautiful. But what is it that makes a woman beautiful?
I’m sitting on a dirty floor in my expensive suite. On my lap is a notebook and in my hands is a pencil. I close my eyes to feel my nerves pulsate in an uncomfortable way. Music thumps behind me as hundreds pass me by. Strangers from around the world sit near me, eat pizza, and talk in languages I do not understand. We lean our backs against an advertisement. Already 3 people have taken photos of us, though I’m not exactly sure whether they are curious about us or the sign behind us. My emotions are numb but my mind seems clear for a moment. So quite inappropriately, I write.
Why have we come here? What are we trying to decipher on this signage and in these slogans? What do we hope to discover in these algae creams, perfumes, gels, fake nails, and mud treatments? What are we suffering to sell? What are our customers suffering to buy and laboring to use? We want to be beautiful! We want a better life! We believe we will find it in a product when, in truth, it can only be found in each other. When we think back on our lives, we must have learned that true beauty and genuine happiness can only come from each other.
A woman might spend her fortune and squander her time seeking beauty; yet none of it matters if she is not alive inside, if she is incapable of smiling, or if she is unwilling to listen or care. Beyond this, a woman is most beautiful when she is in love. A woman’s natural beauty effortlessly shines when she is open to love, seeking love, experiencing love, and giving her love to another. When I look at a woman, I perceive something beyond the surface. I know that her beauty cannot be purchased and does not come from her beauty rituals. The truest beauty can only come to her through the love of another person.
100,000 people share this crowded place; yet we have never felt lonelier. We have never been further away from filling that void inside of us. No product will ever provide us with what we are truly seeking. Whatever it is that we are missing; it can only actually be given by another person. If we are going to find true happiness, we need a people economy. The product economy isn’t going to work. Time to go to my next meeting.
Outside of the venture capital community, today’s best and most radical ideas are getting shrugged off. Intellectual breakthroughs and creative pursuits, no matter how brilliant, are drowning in a sea of information overload and big data. Yet there is this one exception; the startup. This is why, as a creative intellectual and an artist, I am foremost a startup founder.
Not long-ago, rock bands were still being funded by labels because new music still excited us. Now new technology excites us and it is the startup that gets funded. The best startup has the power to change the world. If this potential to change the world is precisely what brings the big financial returns, then let’s think even bigger!
Web 2.0 happened 10 years ago and it’s time for another significant shift. I can point to an example of what’s coming next because I’m building it. The next phase of our online evolution goes beyond social media. Now begins the era of the alternate economy. It is entirely possible to create a virtual economy, featuring a virtual currency and even an element of direct-democracy, on a global scale and with minimal funding.
Consider the failures of today’s economic system. Most of us remain stuck in an outdated employment model. A job is one way to earn a living, but jobs come at a great cost to your personal freedom, time, and energy. There’s nothing inevitable about earning a living through a series of monogamous commitments to one company at a time. Jobs limit your potential for personal growth and only tap into a fraction of your capabilities. We can do better!
The social networking potential of the online world offers you that chance to create something better. Why not create a system that allows you to form mutually-beneficial relationships with new people? With a systematic way to meet and work with others based on mutual wants and needs, you can grow, gain experience, and ultimately earn more income just as you live in freedom. This concept can be the core of an alternate economy and we can call it the People Economy. While today’s Corporate Economy is structured around the relationships people have with companies, the People Economy emphasizes dynamic economic relationships between people with compatible wants and needs.
In this new People Economy I am proposing, users will be connected to all the right people. We can also plug-in a virtual currency to facilitate economic transactions in this virtual economy. Would a currency that is directly tied to the needs, wants, talents and skills of every participant in the economy not have the potential to strengthen against real-world currencies? A currency backing a better economy is simply a better currency!
Alternate Economies are about creating integrated, holistic systems to improve the way we live and work. As we listen to so many people complaining about or protesting governments and corporations; do we not recognize a market demand? Do we not see this deep dissatisfaction as a market opportunity to offer them what they want? What these frustrated people of the world (our customer base) are really asking for is nothing other than a better life! Our competition (corporate and government institutions) are too self-serving to accommodate their needs. We, on the other hand, can!
Today’s entrepreneurs have yet to understand that we are the ones responsible for creating a better world. No other group is willing or able. Each day we continue to tinker with million dollar ideas, we miss the trillion dollar idea that will improve the lives of billions.
Investors, too, have failed to comprehend the scale of this opportunity. The startup community has become rigid, overly-confident, and too dependent upon conventional wisdom. This has led to a failure to see the forest for the trees. Let’s go somewhere new. Let us create a new forest!
The entrepreneur and the investor may soon come to understand that we (and we alone) have the power to transform the world. No amount of success or influence is greater than in founding and enabling an entire economy. To build an alternate economy is to seize the opportunity of a generation.
Reprinted at bpinetwork.org
The great revolution will come when people simply decide to do exactly what they want to do.
We are told that we are free. Yet, from the youngest age, we are forced into educational institutions that are designed only to produce obedient behaviors and conformist thinking. It isn't that we aren't hungry to learn by nature, but true learning isn't something that flows from being locked-up in some institution from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day of our precious, young lives. This educational system takes away our passions and our individuality in order to prepare us for an adult life that is even worse. But alternate educational models are emerging. I will be exploring everything as my daughter starts school in a few years.
When we finally survive our school years, we stare into the abyss of a job market that should terrify anyone. If young people do find a job, it certainly pays too little. What today's jobs ask of us is nothing short of everything. We waste all of our days doing everything but what we would choose to do if we were free. We work because we are scared. In return, we are paid just enough (maybe) to find a place to live, buy food, and transportation. Oh, and then we can try to enjoy some leisure activities with whatever energy we are left with after a work week that leaves us depleted physically, spiritually, and emotionally. All the while, we worry about debt, health care, our children's education, and so much more. It would be silly for me to argue any further about how shitty the job market is. In Europe, in particular, massive numbers of young people are choosing not to work normal jobs because they are refusing to accept it.
For those of us who do accept it, this is how we live. Days drag on like years while the years somehow fly by. We desperately find ways to cope with an entire reality that is, by any measure, unacceptable. We are screaming inside as our hopes and dreams are lost. When we walk the path we were told to aspire to, we are stripped of all that is good and beautiful as the true potential within each of us fades away and ultimately dies. This is the path we are directed toward. This is what the corporate-controlled world wants for us because it is good business for them. I want you to know that all of it is entirely unnecessary. There is a different way.
For most of my life, I walked this conventional path as well as anyone. At age 30, I left it forever. I won the battle with my inner-voices of fear. I started doing what I wanted to do. I want everyone to know that you, yourself, can start a revolution by doing nothing other than by doing what you want to do. This revolution doesn't happen overnight, but it can happen if you shift your thinking and change the path you're on.
I know that you have interests and you have some sort of skills and talents. So you have value. When you find a way to get paid for what you are good at, you will earn a better living than by doing only what you are told to do. Ultimately, you will end up making more income than you do today by working only a few hours a day. Anyone can do this. I highly recommend reading the 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. I began living this way years before the book came out, but his entire approach and philosophy puts all of this into focus. It will change your life.
As you begin to free-up more time and grow your income, you start to rediscover the person you are. The goal isn't leisure. The purpose is not to sit on some beach forever (only until you are bored). As you discover your freedom, you do more of what excites you. What do you so badly want to to do or to become? It will haunt you until you do it...so just get it over with. Turn your dreams and fantasies into realities. If you like the reality, hold onto it. Otherwise move on. But if you don't experience something you badly want, you will never grow beyond that dream. Experience is the process of becoming more than you are today.
Why do we keep waiting for a revolution when it is right there within our reach? We have the power. We have laptops, we have smart phones, and we have infinite imagination. While your personal revolution can start tomorrow (as it did for me at age 30), the real break-through will happen when we collectively realize our power to live as we want to. We don't need to drive to work at some corporation to earn a living. I have spent the past 10 years inventing a system that will revolutionize the way we live and work. I am starting the process of raising funding and bringing-in the right partners to build what will become an alternate economy on-line. Opposite of today's corporate economy, this will be a people economy -- where we are everything we need.
This system will connect people based what we want. It is a more efficient form of capitalism whereby we quickly and easily meet all the right people to exchange with and work with just as we also meet all the right people to help us fulfill our hopes, dreams, and fantasies. I know it will work and I know it is the ultimate purpose of my life to launch this revolution.
Who am I to attempt this? I am a musician, writer, entrepreneur, an expert in sales, and so much more. All of these aspects of my being will continue as I also move in the direction of making this idea a reality. I want everyone to live as I have over these past years, but even better. This system will revolutionize the world because, finally, we can be everything we need. We don't need to fight anyone to win this revolution, we just need to do what we want to do. Anything worth doing also involves connecting with others. So we need a better system to connect us with the right people.
So this is my big, revolutionary idea that I will move forward with as fast as possible. But, in truth, there's no reason to wait for the revolution. Work hard doing what you are good at (or want to become good at) and find people who will pay you for it. Do it on your terms. Work the hours you want to. Or find a job and work from home (3 hours a day not 9). Or travel the world and find odd jobs along the way. There are options.
All of us are free, so why do we continue listening to the echos of teachers, parents, friends, bosses, or the pundits on TV. Why watch films that steal our imagination by presenting a false picture of normalcy? Reality is, indeed, what we make of it. We are free to do what we want with our time, our relationships, our thoughts, our words, our art, and our experiences. Hard work is necessary and good, but we have to direct that hard work toward something we want. This is the great revolution. It will change everything as today's institutions begin crumbling.
I am surrounded by youth. In my 4-year-old daughter, I see the potential of life before it gets muted by self-serving institutional agendas. What if this unique happiness, passion, and desire to learn...what if it could be nurtured and developed properly? What could she become after the revolution?
Also, as I spend time with the guys in my band and many other 20-somethings, I clearly see their value and potential. Yet I see many young people working in jobs that require none of their best skills or talents. Worse yet, many young people are choosing a life of dependency or poverty. It doesn't have to be this way.
We can believe in ourselves, take our freedom, and with everything we are...just do what we want. Imagine.
Click on the gray box below to listen to this episode of the Abscondo podcast:
Whenever we talk of concepts like social classes, we do so only in terms of wealth or income. The upper class is rich, the middle class lives comfortably but struggles, and the poor live in hopeless squalor. But is there any meaning or purpose to such analysis?
The problem with this type of analysis is that we don't look at ourselves. We aren't honest about where we fit and how our own thoughts and behaviors put us where we are. Instead, we conceive of society's failures and accomplishments as something external to ourselves. This kind of analysis leaves out the part that might actually be useful. In fact, any intellectual exercise which ignores the possibility of self-analysis and self-understanding is a waste of time and energy. That's because the only thing we have any control over in this world is ourselves -- what we do, how we think, and how we react to what happens to us.
My search for truth has me observing and trying to make sense out of society. I have lived in, participated in, and functioned in many different cultures in many different countries. I have noticed that we seem to be living in a 3-tier class system.
The first is the Ruling Class. The Ruling Class is proportionately small in terms of numbers, but they control the vast majority of wealth and resources. The Ruling Class exists above and outside of the rules that govern the rest of us. In fact, they create the rules that govern the rest of us (yet they do not apply these rules to themselves). They write the laws, they print the money that the rest of us work so hard for, they almost fully control what the rest of us foolishly call "democracy", and they control the resources.
Most of the Ruling Class are born into the Ruling Class, while some of them enter through the secret societies of Harvard, Yale, or other elite universities. If you happen to be a member of the Ruling Class, you know you are a member of the Ruling Class. If you are past University age and still don't know for sure, then you never will become a member. If you are a member, you have been taught that your loyalty is only to other members of the Ruling Class. You take care of each other and your primary purpose is to maintain your position. Your power is limitless. You feel entitled to extract wealth from the other classes and from nature itself. In fact, you feel morally justified in anything you do because, after all, you are the elite. You deserve it because you are part of the club. You may be, in fact, stealing from the Productive Class and ruining the lives of the Dependent Class, but you reason that you are above them and superior to them, so it doesn't really matter. Everything you are and everything you do is justified because this is your natural place in society. You are the elite. Occasionally you do something charitable or just, and just as the Ruling Class has done through the ages...you expect your peasants to be grateful.
Your fear is that things get out of control. You have to keep order, you have to keep people satisfied to at least a minimum level so they don't rise up against you. You have to keep them believing in the system you oversee, or at least make sure they are too afraid to do anything about it, or else it could all fall apart and you will have failed.
Next, there is the Productive Class. The Productive Class is larger than the Ruling Class, but still a proportionately small group of people who invent, build, create, and maintain much of what we all enjoy. This is an educated, skilled, strategic group of people who create much of the value that the other two classes benefit from. If you are a member of the Productive Class, you understand that you get paid based on the amount of value you create for society. Your pay is proportionate to the extent that you create something useful for lots of people, something enjoyable, something practical, or something desirable. You also earn a living by serving the Ruling Class...by helping them extract wealth and by helping them keep society in order.
You serve the interests of the Ruling Class even though you do not fully share in the benefits. Your income and wealth is only a small portion of that which you create (in other words, you are exploited). But you are alright with being exploited because, you reason, that's just how the world works. You don't want to rock the boat because you are trying to enjoy your ride on the boat. You don't feel entitled to more; rather, you feel proud of what you have accomplished through hard work and merit. You don't dwell on what should be, you are grateful for what is. If there is more to be had, you'll get it through your own abilities.
If you are a member of this class, your life will be rewarding and you will find a great deal of satisfaction. These are the highly-successful entrepreneurs, the celebrities who boast a life-long career of meaningful and high-quality work. These are the people who bosses love because they always earn their paycheck. You are self-sufficient, capable, and will always be able to satisfy your material needs because you are always going to be useful to others. You will also find a great deal of satisfaction in your mastery of specific skills and in your accomplishments. You will, however, be frustrated with other people around you who seem not to do anything productive, who always seem to want something from you, and who may even seem lazy.
Finally, there is the Dependent Class. This class is largest in number but poorest in terms of resources and wealth. If you are a member of the Dependent Class, you feel that you should be rich, you should be famous, and you should be given everything you want. Your sense of self-worth is strong but has little connection to reality. Much of the Dependent Class is employed, but mostly in jobs which they find frustating and unacceptable. They get paid a small amount for the relatively little value created through work that they don't much care about. The Dependent Class feels that their employer owes them more money and benefits, that the government also owes them, and they adore the Ruling Class because the Ruling Class seems to have everything they should have.
The Dependent Class wants to be rich and famous without any patience or effort. They want it all, now! They want to be discovered and in extremely rare cases they are, but their celebrity or success is short-lived. Not only is their 15 minutes of fame fleeting, it is meaningless and has little long-lasting value to others. They want to be actors, models, rock stars, and reality TV stars for no particular purpose. If it doesn't happen, it is by no fault of their own. Possessing few relevant skills or acceptional traits, putting forth only the minimum amount of work, few members of the Dependent Class realizes his or her dreams.
These are the young women who want to marry rich, the drifters, the unproductive artists, the bored employees, the partying rich kids, the university students who don't study, the unemployed, the guy at the bar every night, or the guy who moves on the latest get-rich-quick scheme as easily as changing shoes. In Europe, these are the guys scheming to get EU funds (rather than just starting a business that creates value). The Dependent Class complains that life isn't fair, just as they frustrate the Productive Class with their impracticality and ineffectiveness. But the Dependent Class is, in fact, useful to the other classes because they make eager consumers, they are the die-hard fans, and the true believers. The Dependent Class is the consumer of culture and, aside from that, they do all the low-value jobs that nobody else wants to do. In exchange, they are fed religion, sports, and reality TV in order to make their present-day reality seem bearable.
The whole system works because the lower two classes hate each other. The Dependent Class sneers at the Productive Class because they are suckers, sell-outs, and they just don't get it. The Productive Class hates the Dependent Class and tells them to "get a job". Meanwhile, the Ruling Class could care less...as long as both classes continue to obey and worship them. Everything is fine as long as they are able to keep everything in order and continue to rule, to exploit, and to control the rest of us. The Ruling Class is fine if the lower two classes are pointing fingers at each other, because at least they aren't pointing fingers at them.
This heirarchy exists in every country of the world (though the relative size of each class varies slightly country-by-country). The interesting question is: where do you mostly fit? Are you part of the Productive Class or the Dependent Class? Which class do you consciously want to be a part of? How might you change your thoughts and behaviors to make that a reality?
I'm not suggesting that a person's class accurately describes a person's worth. Any discussion of class is only a discussion of economics. Every person on this planet is a unique individual, possessing his or her unique value and identity entirely outside of social status or economics. The degree that we actualize our authentic selves is the degree to which we transcend class and circumstance. So this analysis of our 3-teir class system is only an analysis of exactly that...it has only to do with our economic standing and how our thoughts, beliefs, and actions affect it. Your actual worth, as a human being, has little to do with your class. Sometimes truth can be harsh, other times it can be depressing. In this case it is both. But is it still not worth considering?
I think I'll start a bank. I'll call it the Abscondo Bank. I'll make you some promises and then I'll gladly accept your deposits (take your money) with a smile. Then I'll buy a few private jets, maybe a few hotels, of course I'll throw some extravagant parties, and eventually I'll buy a few mansions. You'll respect me, envy me, and you'll also tell yourself that I'm smart and I must deserve it. Oh, then I'll also gamble your money away on some really risky investments. Finally, I'll buy a few politicians because, you know, you have to plan for the future.
One day when the money starts to run out, when my spending gets too far out-of-control, and when my bad investments catch-up with me, then I'll just go to those politicians I bought. They'll help me out. After all, nobody wants you to realize how you've been screwed. If you realize what I'm up to, this whole system will collapse. Then how will I exploit you? So, when I start to run into problems, of course the politicians will hand over some of that other money of yours...you know, the money you unquestioningly pay to the government through taxes. I'll use that money to prop-up my ponzi scheme just a bit longer. We'll call it a bail-out. They'll tell you the bail-out is necessary to maintain your way of life...but in truth this is only about maintaining my way of life.
Sounds like a pretty good idea, right? Does anybody want to give me their money right away? Or do I need to first rent a nice office space, buy some nice suits, and put out some slick advertisements? I'm starting to like this idea!
Congressman Dennis Kucinich speaks the truth about the Federal Reserve and the banking system.
With yesterday's global Central Bank announcement to print even more dollars from thin air, it is clear that Federal Reserve corruption is one of the core problems for not just Americans, but global citizens around the world. Those new dollars, once again, will go straight to bankers and dilute the value of the money that any of us have managed to save.
Of course he has absolutely no hope of altering / ending the monopolistic charter of the Federal Reserve. More likely, he'll be killed in a plane crash for trying.
On this Thanksgiving Day podcast, Mark discusses the OccupyWallStreet movement, OccupyXmas, Adbusters Magazine, and discusses a theory about why the mainstream media is covering the movement. Click on the gray box above to listen to the podcast.