On Cheating on Taxes, and Getting Away With It

@garysixpack It actually does matter, but the "even though" does not make sense. The 20% reduction suggests that, in 2002, the IRS spent $42.31 per American. Say there were 100 Americans in 2002. This would mean they spent $4231 overall. If the number of taxpayers had stayed the same, it would mean the IRS spent $3355 this year. But we know the number of taxpayers increased by 11%, which means the IRS spent $3724 this year (in our hypothetical 100-person America). It's still a net decrease in spending overall and per person, but the larger number of taxpayers makes the "per person" number smaller without the budget changing. The IRS presumably does not budget per person (i.e., the budget is not actually "priced per American," only recorded that way in the report).

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 10:59 am 2

On The Medical Billing Snafu

They very well might accept the $464! Recently, I went to the ER after I had a bad fall. I didn't wind up seeing a doctor--one came into the waiting room and said that if I could stand, I was fine. I got a an "Explanation of Benefits" billing $1000, of which I owed a $75 co-pay. I paid this. That same week, I got a bill for $250 from the hospital. I ignored it because I mistakenly assumed it was part of the $1000 my insurance had already paid. When I received notification it had been sent to collections, I called the billing company. It turns out there are two different billing companies for visiting the ER- the doctor's and the lobby's. The former claimed not to have received my insurance info from the latter! They submitted the claim to my insurance, and in the end, my insurance paid $60. Even though I was sent to collections for $215 the same week! Long story short, don't do what I did: take care of the bill ASAP, and make sure you pay less than it is for.

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 10:50 am 0

On I Literally Only Spend My Money on Coffee and Food

The only category that outspends food & coffee for me is booze. I could have a retirement fund if I went sober.

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm 0

On Is It Weird For a Brother and a Sister to Share a Room?

I shared a room with my brother until I was 8 and he was 12- and it was the midwest, so no fault of city planning. I threw a fit when we got our own rooms- I was afraid of sleeping in an empty room!

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 1:50 pm 0

On Rental Car Bureaucracy Conned Me Out Of An Absurd Amount Of Money

I am of two minds about this. On one hand, I truly hate the car rental's "credit cards only" policy. Everyone here justifies it through the typical logic, but I can rent a car with a credit card with a $500 limit and cannot with a debit card with thousands of dollars in checking. That is stupid. Yes, credit cards come with insurance for rentals, but the car companies also constantly try to up-sell you insurance policies that would void the card-based insurance, so this cannot be the justification. Car rental companies clearly make a killing, and do not "need" to require credit cards to prevent a kind of fraud that can be prevented by other means. On the other hand, I have also known that you had to have a credit card to rent a car since I was in early college. This is why I have them. I a little baffled by the fact that people have no idea these policies exist.

Posted on October 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm 0

On Update on the Rolling Jubilee :/

@deepomega I was not actually arguing for this as something workable! Just that the logic seems conceivable as something other than fraud. I imagine the non-fraud advantage to that policy, for example, would be to avoid having regular meetings of a volunteer staff, and to assume every board member could be trusted to make reasonable decisions. I am not saying this is a good idea, just that it seems like a plausible one that could exist. Especially if an organization found itself worried about having a high ratio of administrative to non-administrative costs.

Posted on September 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm 1

On Update on the Rolling Jubilee :/

While much of this seems troubling, I wanted to note that it does not surprise me that an activist-started organization would choose to given everyone the ability to make spending decisions, rather than assuming all organizations need one person at the top with the most responsibility. While the latter may be the norm, it should not necessarily be taken for granted.

Posted on September 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm 0

On Avoid Decorative Paper, Selfies When Applying for Jobs

I had no idea about the exact dates! I changed mine to year only to make it less cluttered, but I guess I should fix that.

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 9:23 pm 0

On What Does It Cost to Live in the Overlooked Parts of a City?

I think it really depends on the kind of life you lead as much as the pay. For example, you can live really well in Brooklyn on like 30-40K if you have roommates, no dependents, no large monthly debt payments, and no real desire to accumulate savings. But if you are working 40 hours a week with an hour commute each way, you might quickly forget why you bothered to move to New York. Some friends are working 60+ hours a week in "non-profit type" careers, and the ones who are homebodies start to hate the city, whereas those who truly want to go to some event 6 nights a week cannot imagine leaving. Artists have a different time of it, because the reasons for being here are sometimes clearer: this is where the people they want to talk to about writing/painting/dance/theater etc are doing it, ergo it makes sense that they're hustling. But if the hustle means you quit writing, again, the existential crisis sets in.

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm 0

On How 2 Pick 1 School

@Lily Rowan I have been thinking about this recently myself. I researched the schools I went through K-12, and while some of them were fine (48/100 by Indiana state average), my elementary school in particular was dismal (18/100). As a young white girl with high test scores and a mother who was a teacher, I know I was simply given all the opportunities that existed in these schools, plus countless hours of parental support.

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm 0