Carnivals, Week of July 13th

Our article, "Investing in the 79th Element", is hosted over at Man vs. Debt for the Carnival of Personal Finance! Go check it out, the theme is New Zealand!

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Investing in the 79th Element

Gold, the 79th element in the periodic table, is perhaps the most controversial of any investments. Every investor seems to have an opinion on the metal. Some people, particularly enamored with the constitution, read into it the necessity for the government to only issue gold (and silver) coins.

Regardless of your viewpoint on the legality of fiat currency, perhaps you have decided to invest some of your hard earned funds into the stuff. There are many ways to approach investing in gold; I will lay out a few approaches to gold investing in this article.

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On Cigarette Laws and Pigovian Taxes, Part II

This is part two of a two part series discussing cigarette laws and pigovian taxes. Pigovian taxes are excise taxes placed on a market to correct a market income, presumably because a negative externality such as health risk or pollution that is inherent in the good traded.

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Carnivals, Week of July 6

Visit Darwin's Finance for the 212th Edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance! Our article, "Are California IOUs Constitutional?" is a featured article for this week. Keeping with the emotions of the 4th of July, the theme is countries which have declared independence.

Check out this week's Money Hacks carnival, posted at the Personal Finance Playbook!. Our article, "The Failure of Dollar Cost Averaging" is hosted this week.

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On Cigarette Laws and Pigovian Taxes, Part I

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control is a newly-enacted federal law that gives the FDA regulatory power over the tobacco industry, among other provisions that attempt to dissuade misleading advertisement on young and old smokers alike. The law was signed into effect on June 22, 2009.

There were two major advertising provisions contained in the law. The first was that over 50% of the front and back of every cigarette pack must be warnings with a giant ‘WARNING’ in capital letters . The second, and maybe more important, is the banning of the use of words ‘light’, ‘mild’ or ‘low’.

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Hedge Your Gas Prices

I've written plenty about gasoline lately, but only about gas taxes. Let's shift gears a bit... Do you think gas prices will increase? If gas prices increase, is there a way for you to hedge against that increase so it doesn't affect you? Of course!

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Carnivals, Week of June 29

The article "If You Don't Have One... Get One" has been featured in the 211th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance! Check out the carnival, and the hosting site, Green Panda Treehouse. The theme is a good one too...

"Of Risk and Men", an article about the state (and the state of the budget) of California, was featured in the 71st edition of the Money Hacks Carnival. Check out the carnival, and the host, The Canadian Finance Blog.

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Jevon's Paradox: Why Increased Efficiency Can Make Things Worse

If I told you that increased fuel efficiency leads to more fuel consumption, what would you think?

Jevon's paradox states that increases in the efficiency of the use of a resource lead to the increased usage of that resource. Throughout history, examples of this effect in action can be found. This brings me back to the topic of the gas tax. If you are of the belief that we need to reduce our consumption of gasoline, increased efficiency (and attempted legislation to increase efficiency) alone will only lead to more gasoline usage. If less gasoline usage is the goal, only a tax on gasoline will make it happen.

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Health Care Reform: Our Archived Arguments Against the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Editor: we originally wrote this as a four part blog post in June 2009, only a few months after we started the site. The ACA passed and is the law of the land, but we're leaving our contrary post up (and merged to one post) for posterity. Enjoy a snapshot in time! Part 1: Lies, […]

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How to Pay Off Debt With Inflation

There are three ways for a government to pay for debt: issue new debt, collect taxes, and cause inflation. Inflation is a 'hidden tax' on a populace- it decreases the value of future money, and allows governments to pay off their current debt with devalued money. The United States dollar, as the world's reserve currency, gives the United States a unique temptation (opportunity?) to pay off their debts in a currency it can print. What exactly is inflation, though? And if you believe inflation is on the way, how do you set yourself up to counteract it?

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