Posts by Tim Sprinkle

  • JPMorgan scion slams Flint, Michigan in blog post ... Flint fights back

    The Exchange10 mths ago

    Times are tough in Flint, Mich.

    Unemployment in the struggling Rust Belt city north of Detroit currently stands at 16%, well above the national average of 7%, and about 40% of the local population lives below the poverty line. The metro area’s violent crime rate is a staggering 3,000 incidents per 100,000 residents, making Flint a regular on those lists of America’s “most miserable cities” and “most dangerous cities,” among others.

    But, despite its various problems, the residents of Flint still have their pride, which was on full display Monday after an article slamming their hometown as “America’s most apocalyptic, violent city” was posted to PolicyMic, a site devoted to news by and for millennials. The story was written by Laura Dimon, whose father is JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

    Read More

  • What Have I Done? Baby Boomers Reveal Their Deepest Financial Regrets

    Tim Sprinkle at The Exchange10 mths ago

    Yahoo editors have selected this article as a favorite of 2013. It first ran on Yahoo Finance on June 24 and was one of the most popular stories of the year. The article contains some poignant stories about real estate and other financial moves baby boomers wish they had made — and not made — when they were younger.

    Over 50, underfunded, and ill-prepared for retirement. Unfortunately, that’s an all-too-common scenario for the Baby Boomer generation – those born between 1946 and 1964 -- many of whom are still smarting from the economic downturn and are now looking back at their earlier financial choices with regret.

    Should they have bought that house at the height of the housing bubble? Should they have taken out that student loan? Should they have pursued a higher-paying career field?

    But doubts like these are just part of the new reality for today’s Boomers, says Stan Hinden, author of “How to Retire Happy” and a widely published columnist on retirement issues.

    Read More

  • Fast Food Mascots Weren’t Always Cute and Cuddly. Here’s Proof

    The Exchange10 mths ago

    Goodbye, Grimace.

    So long, Colonel Sanders.

    Hit the lights on your way out, Mayor McCheese.

    The age of the fast-food restaurant mascot is ending, as more and more chains move away from costumed characters to instead focus their marketing efforts on fresh ingredients and healthy menu options.

    McDonald’s dropped the McDonaldland gang – including Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar and Grimace, among others – in 2003, and Burger King hasn’t used its King mascot in advertisements since 2011. Even the Taco Bell Chihuahua has been retired, last appearing in an ad for the Mexican food chain in 2000. KFC's Colonel Sanders was nowhere to be found when the chain unveiled its upmarket KFC eleven concept this summer.

    But the truth is, these fast food mascots and many others are all but unrecognizable today when compared to their original versions. For example, Ronald McDonald first appeared in 1963 with a food tray for a hat and a paper cup for a nose (and was played by future Today Show weatherman Willard Scott).

    Read More

  • Walmart Employees Organize Food Drive ... for Other Walmart Employees

    The Exchange11 mths ago

    Is this proof that Walmart (WMT) doesn’t pay its employees a living wage? The photo above was taken by a Walmart employee at the company’s Canton, Ohio store and sent to the Organization United for Respect for Walmart, or OUR Walmart, an group that supports employee actions at the retail chain’s store. It appears to show a food drive at a Walmart store being organized on behalf of the company’s own employees, suggesting that workers at the world’s largest retailer are unable to support themselves on their wages alone. "Why would a company do that?" Vanessa Ferreira with OUR Walmart asked the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Monday, after receiving the photo from the Walmart employee. "The company needs to stand up and give them their 40 hours and a living wage, so they don't have to worry about whether they can afford Thanksgiving." The employee who took the photo, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing their job, told the Plain Dealer that they had never seen a similar food drive for employees in a decade-plus working for the company, calling the sight of the bins last week “kind of depressing.” However, another associate from the same Canton Walmart location, Erica Reed, told the Plain Dealer that the store has been holding such food collections for a few years, and that she personally benefited in the past when she was dealing with the loss of $500 in monthly child support payments. Coworkers in need Given Walmart’s long-standing reputation for low pay and its rumored unfriendly attitude toward labor, it’s easy to assume that the employee food drive is a reflection of those corporate values. Not so, says Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg. “That store has set up a bin for associates to help out other associates,” he told Yahoo Finance. “These are people that have had some unforeseen hardship in the last year. Maybe their spouse lost a job, or they experienced the death of a loved one, or a natural disaster impacted their home; things you just can’t plan for. It’s a chance for associates to look out for and help each other.” The bins are kept in the employee break room, Lundberg says, adding that he is not aware of similar collections at other locations as these drives are done on a store-by-store basis. But the company does have a program in place to help associates dealing with particular hardships, he says. The Associates in Critical Need Trust allows Walmart employees to support those in need via payroll deduction, with hardship grants of up to $1,500 available to associates that need a little extra help. The program has distributed $80 million worth of these grants since 2001, according to the company. A trend in retail? Still, the revelation of this employee food drive brings back a wage debate that was reignited in October of this year when it was reported that McDonald’s (MCD) was advising its own employees to apply for food stamps

    Read More