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A group of economists is suggesting a radical, if obvious, way to reduce poverty in developing countries: Just give poor people money.
Could dog poop help communities meet their energy needs? Should the government give signing bonuses to unemployed people who accept job offers? Would a commuter loyalty program similar to the airlines get more workers to use …
In Part I of this consumer factoid extravaganza, we learned all sorts of weird info about spending habits, housing costs, and family expenditures. For the sequel, we’re dealing with moms, Mexicans, McDonald’s, men’s dwindling DIY skills, the earning power of maiden names, how using a cell phone can be a sign of poverty, grandparents …
Over the years, the primary way banks make money has shifted from collecting interest on loans to collecting fees from customers using their debit and credit cards and other bank products. As regulations make it more difficult to collect some fees—namely, debit card overdrafts—banks are growing more interested in prepaid debit cards.
More Poverty! More Uninsured! More Stagnation! Plagues! Locusts! OK, I think I got carried away there for a moment. But yikes.
One reason people live poverty-stricken lives in developing countries like Nicaragua is that jobs pay meager wages. Also, there aren’t that many places to save your money. Also, workers spend a big chunk of what little money they do make on vices, including alcohol, prostitutes, and Coca Cola.
A loyal reader of the Curious Capitalist has asked me to post a story I wrote for Time.com. Since I’m here to serve:
Conventional wisdom says if you want to be richer, a useful thing to do is get married. Life is cheaper when there’s only one mortgage to pay and someone else can do certain tasks — cooking, say, or car repair — more