Author Topic: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.  (Read 5426 times)

Rooftop

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Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« on: November 06, 2012, 02:07:18 PM »
Letter from HMRC (UK tax dept) telling me Iím going to get a fine for not paying employee contributions on time last month.  Strange Ė Iím pretty punctual with that stuff.
Checked the bank Ė and it had all gone out in plenty of time. Early in fact. Checked the previous month in case they got mixed up Ė same. All paid early.
Look for a phone number on the letter Ė there is none. 
There is a web address though Ö get there and apparently the service has been replaced.
Currently on hold to random HMRC number pulled off the web. No doubt I will be told it is the wrong number when I finally get through.

Rooftop

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Re: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 02:11:50 PM »
Aaaagggghh... wrong number!!

Rooftop

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Re: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 03:13:33 PM »
Bastards (yes... I know I am talking to myself in my own thread now).

However 4 calls later problem is solved.  Turns out that I don't actually owe them money... they owe me £4k.  Great result, but what utter incompetence.

Chunkford

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Re: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 03:33:31 PM »
It doesn't fill you full of confidence :(

Glad you got it sorted and it turn out to be a result in the end though.
"If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions"

rcjordan

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Re: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 03:59:40 PM »
>utter incompetence

People used to tease me about how I always assume that any interaction with the IRS (or some of our state bureaucracies, notably the dreaded Department of Motor Vehicles) will be the worst case scenario and prepare accordingly.  It's funny how quiet those people get after they've had their own encounter.

For example, I just spent $100 having a lawyer draft a simple promissory note while I have several good templates in my bookmarks. Why? Because there is a remote chance that the IRS will review this note one day. With the lawyer's letterhead attached, there's better than a 50/50 chance that the taxman will just give it a glance.

dogboy

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Re: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 04:08:51 PM »
Quote
How I'm Preparing for the Next Disaster
By Jeff Clark
----

You're on your own.

It doesn't matter if it's a natural disaster like a hurricane or an earthquake, or if it's a manmade catastrophe like the collapse of the banking industry. When a major crisis hits, it's every man for himself.

This may seem heartless, especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. But it's realityÖ A couple nights ago, I watched a television reporter interview a woman who cried over the lack of food and fresh water. She complained of no electricity and no gasoline. And she pleaded for help.

As much as my heart went out to this woman, I wanted to scream at her, "but you knew it was coming!"

We all knew it was coming. Weather forecasters were obsessed with Hurricane Sandy for a week before it hit. You couldn't turn on a television without getting an update of Sandy's projected path. Anyone living in the greater New York area had plenty of time to get the heck out of the wayÖ or bunker down and prepare for the worst.

Not all disasters are mapped out so well ahead of time. Tornadoes and earthquakes have a nasty habit of popping up and striking from out of nowhere. But even in those cases, there's always time to prepare.

After all, if you live in California, you know there's a possibility of waking up one morning with half your house in one zip code and the other half in another. Folks living in the Midwest know tornadoes are part of life, and they should be ready for one to hit at any time.

Sure, we have firefighters, police, and plenty of government agencies set up to help out in the event of a disaster. But no one is going to care for the safety of you and your family as well as you will. And you need to be ready to do so. Because when the "big one" hits, all those firefighters, police, and government responders have their own families and their own interests to look out for. They may not be able to get to you for a while.

So if you're relying on the kindness of strangers to help get you through a disaster, think againÖ

And that brings me to the real point I'm trying to makeÖ

There is a financial catastrophe on the horizon. I can't tell you when it's going to hit. But we all know it's coming. The flawed money-printing policies of the world's central banks Ė combined with the lack of government fiscal restraints Ė have produced a debt bubble that cannot be deflated. It is going to explode. When it does, it'll make the 2008 financial crisis look like a minor hiccup by comparison.

We can study the history of debt blowups in Latin America to get an idea of what's coming. And we can watch the daily happenings in places like Greece, Italy, and Spain.

Credit markets shut down. You can't borrow money and you can't buy anything with a credit card. Banks close their doors. The government either confiscates your money or limits your ability to access it.

Police and government employees walk off the job. The government isn't able to pay its employees anymore, so there's no reason for them to show up to work. Government services are reduced or eliminated completely.

Electricity, water, and sanitation services are restricted or shut off completely. Gasoline is rationed. Food becomes scarce. And medical supplies and services are limited.

So like I saidÖ when the big one comes, you'll be on your own. You need to prepare for it.

Now, I'm not predicting Armageddon. And I'm not saying it's going to happen tomorrow. But we all know there's some sort of financial catastrophe heading our way. It's like a giant orange blob on a weather map heading toward us.

Of course, you don't have to build a bomb shelter in your backyard and stock it with a lifetime supply of Spam. But you should put a "disaster kit" together and stock up on enough fresh water and canned foods to get you through several days of hardship. And keep a fair amount of cash on hand as well. That's what I'm doing to protect myself and my family.

You can take steps like that now to get readyÖ Or you can be like the lady on the news a couple nights ago and wait for the government to come help you out.

Best regards and good trading,

Jeff Clark
http://www.dailywealth.com/

Brad

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Re: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 05:54:13 PM »
Glad it got resolved and I you favor.

I hate dealing with anyone in government.  But over the last few decades, I have also come to hate dealing with utility companies (electric, gas, telephone, cable etc.)  First of all, most of these are no longer local, so Half the time I'm talking to someone either 5 states away or even several continents away, that are underpaid, clueless and don't care if they get things right.

IrishWonder

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Re: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 07:50:07 AM »
DB - good one, makes me want to write a checklist

hungrygoose

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Re: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 10:29:52 AM »
Ah the great "it's not my job" brigade.  Always getting passed around departments until someone who isn't a lazy fucktard answers the phone.

But hey £4k, that will be a nice holiday :D

Rooftop

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Re: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 11:44:25 AM »
Company money sadly. By the time I get my hands on it I'd be lucky to have enough for a day out!  Besides I'll probably now get hit with one of those mystery taxes which means I need to send them £4.5k back again.

ergophobe

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Re: Itís no wonder our economy is screwed.
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 05:47:20 PM »
Quote
I hate dealing with anyone in government.

Hey, I resent that ;-)

No seriously, in my intermittent time as a National Park Ranger over the past couple of years, I've been surprised at the sense of esprit de corps in the ranger ranks and at how dedicated people are considering the crappy pay, complete lack of benefits for seasonal employees (the vast majority of employees are seasonal) and the daily grind of dealing with the public.

A couple of personal stories. I had a French visitor tell me that it was like the people in the park were "on their knees asking 'what can we do to help you'" which, I think, says something about the dedication of people here but probably more about what it's like dealing with the govt in France.

I get frustrated with people who just don't want to listen - I'm not saying you can't drive to Half Dome because I dislike you, I'm saying it because there is no road, you have to walk.... There's no road, you have to walk to the top.... There isn't a road to the top.... No there are no helicopter rides, you have to walk... No, you can't do it as a mule ride, you have to walk."

That said, I'm also surprised at how grateful people are for the small kindnesses. My shift is over the visitor center is closed and I'm walking to my car. Someone comes up and says "I just really need a map and the visitor center is closed. Is there anywhere else I can get one?" I reopen the VC and give him a map. He's blown away.

A guy stops me on the street on my lunch and asks where he can find information about campsites. "Do you have a cell phone that works here?" (sorry T-Mobile, Sprint and others, you don't). "No" So I pull out my phone and call the campground reservations office, find him a site, get them to hold it for 30mins until he can get there and tell him how to get there.  He's blown away.

And unless I really, really can't, when it comes to kids who want "ranger time" I'll drop everything, crouch down to their level, look them in the eyes and try to tune out everything else because for a kid that can be a huge event in their trip.

I could go on and I will say that I'm not atypical of the people I work with. Stuff like that happens all the time with me and my colleagues.

The flip side is that as a result of budget cuts, hours at the visitor center had to be cut this summer. So it closed at 6pm which is still a busy time in the summer. You lock the doors and after answering the same question over and over and over and over you just want to go pick up your wife. But as soon as you lock the doors, you're mobbed by a crowd of people with a million questions and you can easily be there for an hour after your shift ends if you were to answer all those questions. At a certain point, you just have to say "Look, you don't want to pay for these services, so you aren't going to get them. That's how this works."