Category Archives: Management

PhilHealth and the OFWs health insurance doubles … Day 5 in the Philippines

This is a strange time to be traveling in the Philippines. Apparently two days ago a protest began. Hurray for my great timing?? It lasts from July 20th to July 25th.

The protest involves Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are facing a steep increase in the amount they pay for health insurance. The facebook page OFW Voices is trying to get over 1 million likes.

Being in a different country when a protest begins is a new experience. Because this is currently a social media protest I do not feel my wife and I are in any danger. But it is still awkward.

Because I am an outsider, I am not even sure of the amount of the increase… although I do understand it is ridiculously high. One source I found said 150-percent, and another source listed the increase as 167-percent. Either way that is a huge increase for a health insurance premium. For those who are not familiar, Overseas Filipino Workers already pay remittances to the Filipino government for any salary they earn in another country.

In America people are already upset about paying for Obamacare. I cannot imagine what people would do if it went up 150-percent!

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Oregon College Education is Broken (and Broke)

Many students do not think about the loans they will be paying back, at least not until after they graduate. But tuition rates in Oregon are projected to go up again.

For Southern Oregon University the tuition increase is to offset a $2.5-million budget shortfall. For Portland State, the combination of tuition and fees is going down slightly… partly by allowing students who do not have health insurance to opt-out of health insurance if they do not want it. At the University of Oregon, the most expensive public university, tuition and fees are expected to exceed $9300.

According to the Gazette Times, “OSU’s anticipated tuition increase is still less than what it saw last year, when it rose 8.1 percent. The tuition increases are partially due to the decreasing share of state allocations. The Oregon University System received 16 percent less in state funds for the 2011-13 biennium compared to the last biennium, or $691 million compared to $824 million.”

How are professors supposed to assign a textbook to read for class when the student tuition and fees are already so high? Textbooks add to the problem because the cost of textbooks has risen at a pace of 4-times the rate of inflation.

When is enough ENOUGH? California has been devastated by the college tuition crisis, and it feels like Oregon is following the same model. People of Oregon… demand better from your state’s leaders. Demand better for your children.

NFL DRAFT Curse: “Money”

I love the NFL. I will not be shy about it. The NFL is my first, second, and THIRD favorite sport to watch. That being said, I will be studying for classes while watching the NFL Draft this weekend (grad school keeps me busy). When watching the draft I like hearing stories about the rookies although it will be hard to top the story which inspired “The Blind Side.” I also like trying to figure out each team’s strategy when they are drafting.

One of the things I keep in mind is that these are still young men. Yes, they are giants. Some of them could probably crush my skull with their hands. But they are still REALLY, REALLY young. And if they are taken in the top three rounds of the draft, they are going to make a lot of money. If they are drafted in the first round they are going to make a ton of money… millions.

NFL DRAFT CURSE: “MONEY”

But a storyline that the NFL (like other pro sports) is trying to avoid is the pro-athlete who ends up bankrupt. Believe it or not, an athlete can make millions of dollars and still end up bankrupt. How? Various reasons.

But one of the key issues for athletes, as is the same for winning the lottery, is that many people did not grow up with a lot of money. If a person doesn’t grow up with money then he/she doesn’t know how to manage it. Normally this person may get help from dad or friends (who did not grow up with money either).  So no one in his/her immediate contacts has experience with managing a lot of money.

Going from being poor to being a multimillionaire IN JUST ONE DAY is like going from being unable to swim to trying to win 8 Gold Medals in Olympic swimming. It doesn’t work.

My wife and I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to help us get our money management skills under control. My wife is amazing, but she is also my second wife. My first marriage ended in divorce. One of the key reasons my first marriage failed was because of finances. Financial issues end many marriages.

We have switched to Dave Ramsey’s cash system. It is hard, especially considering that we are living on the income of a graduate student because my wife is still unemployed. We do not use credit cards. In fact, we paid off the last credit card this month. The cash envelope system has worked well during our first year of marriage. We have had some tense discussions about money. But in general, because we use the cash system and because we have a monthly budget… the discussions are usually short, and we aren’t mad at each other. We are frustrated because we don’t have more money… but the discussions have never been about one of us spending money without telling the other (which could result in both of us spending money from the checking account and then the checking account becomes overdrawn).

My wife and I talk about our money. We pray about our money. We do our best to be accountable for it. It has worked well for us.

If people who inherit millions, or win it in the lottery, or who make it into the NFL Draft this weekend… if they took more accountability in managing their money accounts, there would be less issues with pro athletes going bankrupt after making $50-million.

I don’t remember the exact quote, but Dave Ramsey said something like: Money is called currency for a reason, because it moves. Most people don’t understand the “moving” part of money… and when they stop taking accountability for their money… they don’t know where the money moved to, and thus end up bankrupt.

Student Loan Debts reach 1-Trillion Dollars

Last year, I asked students in my class a question which made a lot of them uncomfortable: “Why are you in college?” Some of them said to get a better job, some said to find a career, some said because they didn’t have anything else to do after high school, and some said because their parents told them to go to college.

But does college education bring a better job? It’s a little unfair to ask an 18-year-old to understand the intricacies of the job market and how a college degree will help them(approximately half of all recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed). But for many of these kids they did not understand the student debt aspect of it either. And now, many of them are paying for it.

Colleges across the United States are struggling to pay bills which results in  increasing tuition rates. The rate increases impact student debt, and for students to be entering college with such a low understanding of that debt is bothersome. Should an 18-year-old understand everything they are signing when it comes to money? Yes. Of course yes they SHOULD. But they don’t. Should students who want a college education finish college with student loan debt of $100,000 or more? No. Of course no. But they do.

What is the best answer? I don’t know. I don’t think college education is a “ponzi scheme,” but I do believe the costs that students pay for tuition is way too high… which leads to student loan debts of $100,000 or more. Personally as a graduate student I have over $60K in student loan debt, and it is a struggle to keep it lower while getting my PhD. When I hear about how much undergraduates pay for their tuition in California and Oregon it makes me cringe, especially when I hear they are paying with loans. Here are some other stories about debt struggles: Stories on Student Debt.

Today, the national student loan debt reached 1-Trillion Dollars. As a future college professor this saddens me. What do you think about  college student Debt?

Earth Day 2012 – Oregon

2 Peter 3:10-13

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

EARTH DAY 2012 – OREGON

I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believe Jesus will return someday. When that day comes a lot of things will change… including the earth. However, I will not passively sit by while the planet is ruined by recklessness. If you believe climate change is crap, then at least consider pollution as a problem on this Earth Day 2012.

Politicians are notorious for trading jobs for votes… even when those jobs bring polluting factories.

Maybe something realistic you can do to help the environment is change how you get to work. A hybrid is not financially feasible for many people. But other changes in lifestyle can be made. Many people drive to work when they could bike or walk.

I encourage you to educate yourself about the challenges the planet is currently facing and things you can do to make a positive impact.

Eyeless Shrimp: Two Years After the BP Oil Spill

Earth Day 2012

Oregon Earth Day Events

Oregon Earth Day