The High Cost of Not Caring

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My thoughts have been occupied this week by a public drama and a personal tragedy. It may seem odd to connect the death of my mother-in-law in Glasgow, Scotland on New Year’s Day with the shooting approximately six thousand miles away in Tucson, Arizona, where a mentally disturbed Jared Loughner killed six and wounded fourteen, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. But … Read More

Dear President Obama,

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Dear President Obama, I want to express my gravest concerns regarding the proposed tax legislation currently pending before Congress. This legislation, which you negotiated with the Republican leadership without input from Democratic leaders in Congress, is a sell-out. In exchange for extending unemployment benefits, you’re in danger of strangling Social Security, taking a giant step towards making the Bush-era tax … Read More

Of Pork, Congressional Redistricting, and the 2010 Census

Peggy MunroLet's Talk About Money11 Comments

As 2010 draws to a close, the official results of the 2010 U.S. Census will soon be published, and we’ll know for certain how the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be allocated between the states. Congressional redistricting isn’t a sexy issue, or even particularly interesting, but the decennial census results determine the political makeup of the … Read More

Corporate Socialism and the Television Industry

Peggy MunroLet's Talk About Money23 Comments

Paying for television has always bothered me. As a child, everyone enjoyed free, clear transmission, albeit with the cutting-edge technology of rabbit-ears or rooftop antennas. There were few channels, but once the television was plugged in, the sole additional cost was pennies for electricity. Forty years later, my family’s satellite dish stands proud in the front yard, and we receive … Read More

Of Glass Houses and Stones, or Musings on the Midterm Elections and the Role of Government

Peggy MunroLet's Talk About Money13 Comments

We are mere weeks away from the midterm elections, and the current debate clearly revolves around that all-American topic: the role of government in our lives. Whether the discussion is framed around health care, taxes, defense, the environment, the economy, or the Department of Education, the question, as I am increasingly seeing it, is not so much how much these … Read More

Customer Service, or Good Will Hunting

Peggy MunroLet's Talk About Money361 Comments

Ask any moderately successful businessperson the secret of their success and the answer will inevitably include the quality of their customer service. Whether in a restaurant or store, with a doctor, lawyer or accountant, or even at the local gas station, a patron will only consider returning if prior experiences are pleasant. The good will that is created is a … Read More

Life After School Portraits

Peggy MunroLet's Talk About Money39 Comments

School pictures are as much a part of early fall as colorful foliage, new shoes, and essays on what I did on my summer vacation. They’ve been such a constant, I’ve never questioned their necessity. As a child, I dressed up, combed my hair, put on my prettiest smile, and two months later received a package crammed with disappointment. No … Read More

The 2010 Dead Billionaires’ Club

Peggy MunroLet's Talk About Money459 Comments

What do Mary Janet Cargill, Dan L. Duncan, Walter Shorenstein and George Steinbrenner have in common? If you guessed that they’re all dead, that they were extraordinarily wealthy at the time of their deaths, and that their estates will pass to their heirs untaxed by any sort of transfer tax, you’d win the jackpot. They are members of the “2010 … Read More