Tag Archives: Economics

Cheap vs Frugal, pt 2

Cheap vs Frugal, pt 2

Examples of the difference

This post expands on the battle between being cheap and frugal – as many of my friends, colleagues have attested that I am cheap. They are categorically wrong. To be cheap means to consciously decide products/services of inferior quality. To be frugal means to be careful in the usage of one’s resources. As to not rehash the first post (click here), I have thought of clear distinguishing examples that will help those that are wrongfully accused of being cheap, when they are actually frugal:

Bringing Outside food/beverages into the Movie Theatres

-Now this is just being smart, $5 for a bag of popcorn?!? $3 for a bag of candy?!? Bringing in your own treats from the dollar store does not only save you money, but is being a smart consumer.

Buying No Name Brands vs Brand Names

– In some cases the difference is minimal, and if you can’t distinguish the difference, then it makes no sense to spend an extra few cents to a dollar just to have a ‘name brand’; specifically I am referring to grocery items. However, if you do have a general disdain and find the products of no name products to lack a certain taste/quality than a brand name – then sure, go ahead and go for the name brand. But choosing an equally comparative brand is not cheap, it is being frugal.

Event Parking

– I live in Toronto, where they like to charge enormous amounts of money for parking in the downtown core – many big cities have a similar and worse situation. So what is walking a few blocks to your event if it is going to save you money in the long run? That $15 flat rate parking is only a cost for easy convenience; while the $5 parking lot down the street or the free parking (a few more blocks away) will make you do something that you should already be doing – exercise! Get your ‘walk on’ and save a few bucks, be frugal, don’t waste your money.

Be Frugal NOT Cheap! Like moi!

.:: LiBM ::.

King Corn


King Corn
Corn and America’s Obsession

KING CORN tells the story of two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. As the film unfolds, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, moveto the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help offriendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-ubiquitous grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to followtheir pile of corn into the food system, what they questions about how we eat—and how we farm. 

Here is an excerpt of the producers of King Corn on CNN:
Popular foods and non-foods that contain corn:
Foods Containing Corn
Baking Mixes
Baking Powders
Batters for frying
Beverages (sweetened)
Bleached White Flour
Breads & Pastries
Corn Flakes
Cream Pies
Fruit (canned)
Fruit Drinks
Gelatin Desserts
Graham Crackers
Hominy Grits
Ice Cream
Infant Formula
Meats (bologna, sausage)
Peanut Butter
Powdered Sugar
Salas Dressings
Soups Soybean Milks
Vinegar, Distilled
Ingredients that may indicate presence of corn:
Hydrolyzed Protein
Modified Food Starch
Non Food Products Containing Corn:
Cough Syrups
Gelatin Capsules
Starched Clothing

Knowledge is power people – recognize what foods you are eating and what is in it.  
Check out more about King Corn at: http://www.kingcorn.net
.:: d.b::.

Flipping, keeping the balance

image by ddotb.grandejunction.com

Flipping, keep the balance
Virtues: hustle, equilibrium, power, control

Flip – “To sell a product or service at a higher price than what was purchased for – for the purpose of making a profit”

The concept is simple: take something at a marginalized price, mark it up, profit. That is what your neighborhood drug dealer is doing while he pushes that ‘weight’. Its what Sean John does when you buy that nice sweater for $80, is made for like under $5, and the country that the sweater is made in flips off the blood, sweat, and tears of their people in the name of globalization. But, the government still flips, they get their money, but unfortunately with each flip, there is one, or one group of people that will always suffer, always get ‘flipped under’.

When I hear pleas wrapped in optimism about equality & fairness, I laugh. Because, flipping is all about balance, but more about controlling balance. Economics are structured in a fashion where the rich exploit & profit off of the poor, unfortunate, but fortunate at the same time … ya digg? Unfortunate for the humane aspect, fortunate for the technological advances that society has made by exploiting cheap labor and parts. Corporations & the government are the big flippers in this world as they have made Africa poor, for the benefit of the West. As with anything almost in this universe is made up of matter, and matter is made up of molecules that constantly try to procure homeostasis: a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism, population, or group.

And that is what flipping does – it keeps stability, it allows those to stay in power to stay in power, and keep those that are marginalized, marginalized. So what would, uh, disrupt this equilibrium? Well, tell me if you have an answer, because any disruption is surely going to be met with opposition, of course from the flippers. I ask myself, would a disruption actually be a good thing? I mean, can a world exist where economies of scale (world economies) are equal? Can, or will Africa ever be on par with Europe/America?

Share your thoughts, peace.

Tip What?

Table of contents for Tip What?

  1. Tip What?
  2. Tip What, Pt 2
  3. Tip What? pt.4: When to tip

The cultural norm of tipping

This is just a funny story that I thought I would share:

The other day I was with my sister and my nephew in a popular Chinese buffet restaurant; the food was mediocre (what else can one expect at a buffet?), but the selection was vast in quantity. A perky waitress brought us to our seats and asked us if we had any additional orders (i.e. beverages, alcohol, etc.). We place a couple of orders and then proceeded to attack the buffet table to feed our appetite.

Now, to the extent of what the waitress performed, which was pretty much just cleaning the table of dishes that were dirty, a debate ensued whether what the appropriate tip should be for the waitress. I was baffled, because the question in my head was if there should be a tip at all.

Now, I’m not one that is really in favour of tipping; I don’t feel that it is rational to ‘tip’ someone for the job function’s that they are supposed to perform. Especially, in a buffet environment where the waitress does half of the duties than a waitress at a regular restaurant. Tipping has seemed to evolve into a cultural norm, but it is a cultural norm that I wish not to subscribe too. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have tipped in the past, but I’m strongly against the notion of deriving a mathematical percentage formula to determine how much one should tip (i.e. 10% of the order). That is foolishness. Tipping should only be done if you feel that the waitress went beyond her specific job duties: lets say, by providing excellent repertoire or customer service. Don’t just tip someone for performing their basic job duties.

Tipping has become expected and is embedded into our cultural, so much so, that has almost become a cultural norm – waitresses expect to be tipped no matter how much/well they perform their duties. Another factor is that because tipping is a cultural norm; any deviation from such actions will make one ostracised – stigmatized as ‘cheap’, ‘mean’ or ‘petty’.

In summation, I still contributed to a tip (much to my dismay) because I felt a desire to conform, rather than be true to thyself ….

Think about that.