It’s a bit of murder when someone robs your hard-earned money, at least in my opinion. What would you do if that happens to you?
‘For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000.
‘The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report…’
Living in a Real-Life Hobbit House
‘A freelance photojournalist, his work had placed him in six different states from 1980 to 1990; with a mobile lifestyle and an uninspiring salary, he struggled to support his two small children. For a while, he and his family settled in Kentucky, but a high-interest mortgage rate and “an endless stream of bills” put pressure on him financially. Around the same time, his marriage began to fall apart.
‘Dan helped his family transition back to Oregon, where he and his wife were from originally. Then he took to the state’s remote Northeast on his own, wandered to the edge of town, and built himself a “Hobbit Hole.” For the last decade, he’s been living underground in the 80-square-foot space built into the earth…’
America’s Ravenous $1.5B Problem: 5M Wild Pigs
In a rat-infested small town in Manila, officials got the idea of paying for rats captured dead or alive. It accomplished much. Why don’t the Fed copy the example? I don’t think it would take $20M to make that effective.
‘For centuries wild pigs caused headaches for landowners in the American South, but the foragers’ small populations remained stable. In the past 30 years, though, their ranks have swollen until suddenly disease-carrying, crop-devouring swine have spread to 39 states. Now, wild pigs are five million strong and the targets of a $20-million federal initiative to get their numbers under control.
‘Settlers first brought the ancestors of today’s pigs to the South in the 1600s and let them roam free as a ready supply of fresh pork. Not surprisingly, some of the pigs wandered off and thrived in the wild, thanks to their indiscriminate appetites…’