Should the Christian be A Christian Liberal: Income Equality

 

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Today we continue and conclude our discussion on the merits of Christianity and socialism, discussing a concept that is also often brought up in the bible. I made this clear in my last post on Christian liberalism and the arguments on taxation, but it bears repeating. I do not believe the Christian faith or the scriptures necessarily dictate the Christian take one specific political stance. I hope to point out for those who often to turn to scripture as the ultimate justification for all things “Christian progressive” that there is more than one side to the issue. For the sake of a fun and friendly discussion, let’s start with commonly discussed parable, especially when it comes to the arguments for and against Christianity and socialism, the Parable of the Talents.

The Parable of the Talents

One parable mentioned in my last post was the Parable of the Talents, a parable there has been much discussion on. As I said before, this parable was a lesson in many ways, a lesson on fiscal responsibility. The master took a handful of his servants together and gave them each a certain amount of money. To one servant he gave 10 talents, to another he gave, to another 2, and to the final he servant he presented only one talent. The bible tells us the wise master distributed his resources to his servants not equally and fairly, but to each according to their ability. We also find that when every servant came back with a return on their investment except for the servant with one talent, he lost what little he had. Not only did the master take the servant’s only talent, but he gave it to the one to whom he had entrusted 10. We can learn a few things here.

First, we see a very harsh reality, but one this parable shows us plainly. If you don’t use what limited resources you have wisely, you will lose them. Second, we see that the funds are distributed not according to fairness or equality. Instead, the money is distributed according to each individual’s ability to use it effectively and to turn a profit. The master could have given the remaining talent to the servant with only 2 or 5 talents, wouldn’t that be more fair? Instead, he gave it to the one with 10. In doing he so, he stuck to his original principle and distributed his resources according to the ability of the individual, not who he felt would need it most.

The Parable of The Workers in The Vineyard

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Found in Matthew Chapter 20, starting in verse 14, this parable is often used by Christian liberals as an argument for income equality. According to the story, an individual landowner went out to high laborers for his field on a busy day. From one time of day to the next, he kept recruiting idle workers, offering them each a denarius for a day’s work. Having offered everyone the same wage, some people worked harder and longer than others, even as little as 2 hours compared to a full day’s work, still earning the same salary. The Christian progressive will often use this as an argument for egalitarian wage systems. Some will say that managers and executives shouldn’t be allowed to make more money despite the fact they do more work, more advanced work, and/or more valuable work in terms of their overall contributions. Everyone works hard. Everyone should take home the same amount of money as each person offers their own contribution to the success of the company. However, in some ways, this parable may actually run counter to the principle.

First, Christian liberals ignore the reason the master gives once he is approached by several disgruntled workers. They want to know why they’re being paid the same amount of money as people who only did a fraction of the work. The master does not respond with a sentimental speech about how everyone needs money to support their families, or how each worker represents a precious life, or even how every Israelite deserves to earn a livable wage. All the way down to verse 15 the master simply responds (and I paraphrase but encourage you to check the passage for yourself)
“It’s my money I can do what I want with it.” and reminds them of the contractual obligations they agreed to before accepting the assignment. This would seem to counter the progressive view that everyone should be paid the same. Instead, it supports the free-market view that everyone has the right to use their own property, even money, however they please. It also dictates, however, that if workers are unsatisfied with these conditions, they are free to work elsewhere.

Here we see two individuals making very different choices with their money. One master uses his money generously by paying all of his workers equally, no matter how much work they actually do. The other uses his money wisely, by only entrusting it those he knows will use it well. Examing these two parables together, we see the bible seems to support a particular free-market concept by making one thing clear. However you use your money, you can use it however you choose. No one has the right by force to dictate otherwise.

The very last verse of this parable relates this parable to the Kingdom of Heaven in which “the first shall be last”. This seems to make clear that this parable had nothing to do with economic structures at all, but spiritual ones. All of us, ultimately, no matter how late in life, we come to Christ or how many marvelous things we do for Him on earth will ultimately receive the same gift. All of us will spend an eternity with Him by His grace, and His grace alone lest any of us should boast.

This seems to support further my belief that Jesus’s message on earth was not a political one but a spiritual one. The more I’ve read the New Testament, the more the bible has seemed to make this clear. So as fun as these discussions are and have been, from all of this, I can only conclude that Jesus would never have involved Himself in them.

Should The Christian be a Christian Liberal? Taxation

Christian Liberals? Taxation.

                                 Is the Christian Liberal the true Christian? Part 1: Taxes

Having many friends from different walks of life and different places in the political spectrum have my share of friends who consider themselves a Christian and adopt a certain political view. I have met Christian conservatives and plenty of those who would consider themselves a Christian progressive or a Christian liberal. As we all often do as Christians, unintentionally or otherwise, the Christian liberal has the tendency to use the bible as a reference for their political views. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though I have mixed views. It is a topic worth exploring. Should a true Christian consider themselves a Christian liberal? Personally, I don’t think there’s a requirement to adopt any American political viewpoint. Every individual should decide.

I tend to have conflicting views when it comes to the discussion of religion and politics whether with Christian liberals or anyone else. They are both sensitive subjects. While I am not a Christian liberal myself, by modern definition at least, I do sympathize with their point of view. I have even enjoyed many posts from the Patheos blog, Freelance Christianity, which offers some very interesting and thought-provoking perspectives from a Christian progressive view.

Still, on one hand I prefer to keep politics separate from religion as much as I like to see the state separate from the church, oddly enough the latter being a view I sometimes share with the Christian liberal. The two don’t tend to meld well and can often lead to the initiation of more violence and force from one side or the other on the debate. On the other hand, I cannot deny that my faith has influenced my political views to some extent or another. It has not happened issue by issue but in terms of my overall philosophy. Many people are surprised when I tell them I am a libertarian because I am a Christian. I have also written before on whether not a Christian is required to submit to state rule in all circumstances. I suppose you could describe me as somewhat of a “Christian liberal” in that my views fall somewhere between that of a moderate minarchist and a classical liberal, however, the word has changed in meaning. Primarily, I align myself with libertarian principles because I believe in nonaggression and respect the freedoms of individuals. With those freedoms, I believe, come individual responsibilities.

Today though, I’ll discuss the question of whether the true Christian should be the socialist Christian, the Christian liberal. To clarify I say “Christian liberal” in terms of our modern understanding, though I admit a “Christian progressive” may be a more appropriate term, but there we delve into semantics and I digress.

The belief of the Christian liberal is that every Christian should adopt the view that embraces the welfare state based on the bible’s commands to be charitable in our giving. The bible is full of examples of Jesus providing food and healing to the poor for free, and indeed he commands everyone, rich and poor to do the same. The New Testament church operated this way in that all of its members were provided for. If somebody needed something the church came together and they provided. In the same way, should we as Christian liberals readily accept that some of us may have to pay more taxes to provide for the poor? How can anyone be a good Christian and allow the poor to go hungry, the young to go without education, and the sick to die without treatment?

The problem with these questions is that the Christian liberal seems to be suggesting that only the government can or should provide these things. But what does the bible have to say about that matter?

Should Christians Pay Taxes?

Christian liberal should we pay taxes?

First and foremost is the matter of taxes. The Christian libertarian says that taxation is a system of theft that is supported by violence, something that Jesus repeatedly opposed throughout the New Testament. He even went so far as to say “Whoever lives by the sword will die by the sword” suggesting a government sustaining itself through a violent system is doomed to succumb to violent ends. The law seems to hold true as this has happened with every great empire in history. The libertarian will therefore say “Taxation is theft. You are taking my money by violent force without my consent and even worse you are mismanaging it and most of it is spent on unjust wars, which I am being forced to support.”

The Christian liberal may say “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society. We enjoy the safety and civil order government provides, we should pay for it. We should also be willing to pay our fair share to help the poor, as Christ has commanded us.” So who is right?

On one hand I will agree that as Christians we should probably pay taxes. It was excessive taxation (more notably without representation) that started The Revolution of 1776, but as a Christian I tend to believe that violence must be a last resort. Refusal to pay taxes on a scale that may lead to a violent revolt, while arguably justifiable, is not necessarily the best route to ending a problem that could be dealt with peacefully and is not the Christian response. Jesus did in fact say “Render to Caesar what is Caesars” (Mark 12:17) as Christian Liberals often cite the passage but let’s look at the story in context.

A group of people among the religious elite who Jesus was often at odds with when delivering his teachings, knew they couldn’t touch him because the common Hebrew people loved him.  They came up with a clever way to set him up in a public forum. It was a hopeful “gotcha” moment when they asked Jesus if they should be paying not taxes, as Christian liberals interpret plainly, but the Imperial Tax, a tax levied by Rome on conquered non-citizens.

If Jesus said no he would be guilty of insurrection by encouraging his large following to refuse to pay taxes to the Roman government. They’d have to crucify him. If he said yes the common people would be outraged and dismiss him as a mouthpiece of Rome. Instead, Jesus dismisses the value of money altogether. He points out the currency they’re discussing is Roman currency, AND that God’s kingdom is more important than any empire or sovereign nation here on earth. Money is of this world, and as Jesus also pointed out “No man can serve both God and money”

Jesus wasn’t saying “Pay your taxes because it’s your civic duty” he was saying, “Stop being so concerned with matters of money. Give the kings of this world what’s theirs and focus on what’s important, by living for God and giving him what’s His, primarily yourself. By providing a spiritual answer to a political question, Jesus avoided falling into their trap and taught his disciples and followers a valuable lesson every Christian, liberal or otherwise, can appreciate.

The Bible also tell us “God loves a cheerful giver”, in fact in full context 2 Corinthians 9:7 says:
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

This tells us that the giving we do engage in should be out of love. It should not come from force or fear, but because we willingly choose to give out of the goodness of our hearts, which should be in us as Christians. We should give because we love God not because we’re afraid of being locked in a prison cell by our government. Giving should not be forced by violence, but voluntary and out of a heart that loves God and therefore loves to give, as He commanded.

What The Parable of Talents Can Teach Us

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Jesus also shows an example of someone who was both wise in his giving, and stingy when need be in a parable I will discuss more than once, the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25 starting at verse 14. The bible tells us that the master distributed the talents (a form and measure of currency) to each person according to their ability. Essentially, he knew what he could trust them with. This might contradict the Christian liberal view of egalitarianism in terms of equal pay and benefits, even for less productive members, but we’ll get to that one later.

To one servant he entrusted 5 talents, to one he entrusted 2, and to one he entrusted only 1. The servant who received 5 talents returned with 10, a hearty return on the master’s investment, whereas the second servant returned to double his 2 as well, making a total of 4. The man with only 1 talent was neither a bold nor savvy investor or entrepreneur it would seem. He returned with only the one, which he had hoarded in the ground. Had he some competence, the master pointed out, he at least could have deposited it into a bank and returned it with interest, but nothing.

He then took the only small talent he gave to his servant, who failed to produce and deliver results, and gave it to the man who had doubled his 5. In other words, when the master saw that his investment had been mismanaged, he placed it in more capable hands. Keep in mind the poor servant at very least didn’t mess up to the point of losing any money, but he remained unproductive and not worth the master’s time.

Looking at the current state of things this leads me to ask the Christian liberal an interesting question. The man in that story received but 1 talent and would come back to for a return of exactly 1 talent. How much money have we given over the years to the federal government for a return of negative 22 trillion dollars? Secondly, how much should we continue to give for an even worse return as deficits continue to grow? Just as the master practiced good stewardship by placing money in more capable hands, it seems to me that we as Christians, liberal or otherwise, should also be giving to more responsible stewards.

 

4 Hard Facts on Immigration Politicians Will Never Tell You

facts on immigration

4 facts on immigration you won’t hear anywhere else

Here I will discuss a few facts on immigration that cover the whole truth on immigration. These are facts you won’t hear from politicians or as much from the mainstream media, at least in their entirety.

If you’ve kept up with the news at all over the past few years since President Trump ran for and then took the office of President of the United States, you have heard about immigration and the infamous wall that Trump and other hardliners on immigration policy are now pushing to the forefront of the American political debate. During the course of the election and this presidency, we have heard a lot of pundits and politicians throw around what they claim to be the facts on immigration. We haven’t heard much about immigration lately with impeachment proceeding presenting a distraction but there is still very much going on. Politico has reported recently that border arrests have doubled in only one year since 2018, and the showdown on immigration continued with the courts as a judge denied an attempt by the Trump administration to expand fast-track deportations. Meanwhile, the Department of Health is overwhelmed by the new influx of refugees.

I have discussed these issues and more in a book I recently authored and published through Amazon. In my book “You’re Wrong About Immigration: An Open Letter to Donald Trump” I lay out the facts on immigration, and in some chapters, I even get to discuss a few that you won’t hear about from the mouths of politicians or often discussed in the mainstream media. Writer and philosopher George Santayana was once attributed with the words “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” and indeed it seems we make the same mistakes with the American immigration system, and indeed our government’s policies as a whole, over and over again. My book is designed both to discuss other ideas but also to educate the reader on the facts on immigration, as I will do in this post. Here are 4 facts I discuss both here and in my book that relate to immigration policy in the United States in one way or another. These are the facts that most people with a voice in American politics will not discuss, but desperately need to.

1. Immigration Is an Economic Boon that Government Cancels Out

facts on immigration and the economy

Tragically, when it comes to immigration and the economy the facts on this topic are either grossly misunderstood, grossly oversimplified or both. Study after study by many reputable organizations from the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering to the Wharton School of Business (a school the president prides himself in having graduated from), The Hamilton Group run by Princeton University, and the Kaufman Foundation have all shown the benefits that immigration has on the economy.

These are the facts on immigration and the economy:

Immigration drives production and fills labor gaps for jobs that Americans don’t want or can’t keep up with. High-skilled immigrants drive innovation in the workplace and provide their peers with higher wages and improved productivity. Immigrant communities attract foreign investment from international companies into the United States. Immigrants come not only as workers driving production but also as consumers who spike the demand for goods and services. The facts reveal the effects immigration has on the economy are overwhelmingly positive.

To this many have responded in casual political discussion “That’s because of cheap labor” and then continue to assert their original point that immigrants hurt wages and jobs and thus American workers. They then continue to explain that this hurts the migrant workers as well since it leads to exploitation. This is only partly true and oversimplifies the facts on immigration as it relates to the economy and the labor market. I would argue that the aspect of cheap labor due to exploitation is an offset that cancels out many of the economic benefits of immigration. Sure, it helps the GDP and drives production but it can artificially drive down the wage and limit employment opportunities. It also limits an immigrant’s ability to provide an economic benefit as a consumer, which would otherwise drive not just the economy’s capability to produce but also the demand for that production.

An exploration of the facts on immigration policy in the United States will reveal that more often than not government policies are the real problem. Companies are allowed to exploit illegal immigrants because they hold the threat of deportation over them at all times. They are allowed to subject them to lower wages and poor work conditions because as illegals they are unable or unwilling to file grievances with the Department of Labor. Plus, they won’t quit their jobs since no one else will be willing to hire them and/or the employer threatens have them deported if they try or under today’s policies even imprisoned as an illegal alien.

Most immigrants from the south in the past have been men seeking work, but the only economic immigrants we allow are either in high-skilled and high-demand fields that can’t be filled by Americans, or low-skilled workers through our disastrous guest-worker programs. Such programs from the Bracero Program to our H1 and H2 Visa Systems have also allowed exploitation by allowing their employers to hold them hostage, denying them the ability to quit their jobs and work somewhere else, and creating endless bureaucracies unable to enforce program standards.

Not only that but our asylum and refugee programs more often than not deny immigrants the right to work. They are still entitled to public benefits, allowing them instead to take advantage of our ever-expanding welfare system thus remaining in poverty and providing as little economic benefit to the country as possible. These startling facts on immigration policy in the U.S seem to reveal why it’s so hard to really get the whole picture on immigration and the economy.

Migrant workers indeed present some challenges to low-skilled domestic workers, however, research has shown those conditions to be minor and temporary and that domestic workers displaced by refugees almost always go on to get better jobs. Those who suggest immigrants are to blame for the poor state of our economy are pointing their finger in the wrong direction and ignoring the facts on immigration. The simple fact is that everything that’s wrong with the economy can be blamed not on the immigrant but the federal government.

2. Immigrants do Not Have a Crime and Violence Problem-America Does

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Research by the CATO Institute, the Hamilton Group, The American Immigration Council, and several others seems to be saying the same thing. Criminology seems to agree too. Immigration does not increase crime, violent or otherwise. Some have asserted quite the opposite that immigration reduces crime, boosts the economy, and provides a revitalizing effect on communities that receive them. Not only that but illegal immigrants to the United States are a little over 50% less likely than American citizens to commit crimes. Almost as interesting, legal immigrants are over 80% less likely to do so, suggesting our vetting system, contrary to the claims of some, is working quite well.

Terrorist groups and gangs have indeed been formed but much of that can be blamed on American policies. America’s violent War on Drugs, and indeed it is America’s, has created gangs and cartels all over the world, many of whom have all but taken over entire governments. We have trained war criminals and terrorists all over the Americas, we overthrow democratically elected civil governments, and we continue to escalate multiple violent situations across the Middle East. For example, we continue to fund and provide logistical support for Saudi Arabia and their war on Yemen, and supply them weapons as they continue to provide funding to major world terrorist groups and seeming to forget they supplied us with the 9/11 hijackers.

Many assume that immigration has supplied us with terrorists, gang members, and indeed “murderers and rapists” but looking at the facts on immigration and American government policies we begin to see the real problem. Immigrants haven’t made our country more violent. The government has.

3. Immigration Isn’t Making Human Trafficking Worse The Government Is

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The Polaris Project, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the victims of human trafficking, and the American Psychological Association are just a couple of sources that have agreed that America’s draconian policies on immigration have only made the situation with human trafficking worse. The same is true with our policies on sex work, which hurt the victims more than the traffickers themselves.

Victims are afraid to come forward when they fear they may be arrested, imprisoned, or even deported and potentially banished from the United States for years or even forever. This is the reality for many human trafficking victims and indeed many sex workers as their existence is criminalized by our unsympathetic system. Many politicians have seemed to adopt the belief that being tough on immigration and illegal border crossings will deter the activity, but if anything it makes it easier for predators.

President Trump once claimed in a State of the Union address that his wall and policies, making it harder to enter the country, will put human smugglers and coyotes “out of business” but nothing could be further from the truth. This claim simply ignores the facts on immigration, and the reality of how badly these people truly want to come here. More likely these coyotes will thrive as more refuge and asylum seekers turn to them for an easier entry.

Furthermore, government policies that often claim to be well-intended hurt the children as well. The government claimed during the time of our infamous “family separations” that it was being done for the good of the children since we couldn’t determine if the children were victims of human trafficking themselves. However, in a letter signed by Mike Pompeo and released by the Department of State, the same government agreed this was making the situation worse.

By tearing children from their loving and responsible parents and placing the children in the custody of DHS who could not provide the supervision and emotional care these children needed, they were making children more vulnerable to kidnappings. Many children, enduring poor living conditions in the facilities in which they were placed often become runaways, even further subjecting them to becoming victims.

Big government and tough government is not the answer to human trafficking, and neither is punishing the victims. These policies and these calls for a tougher stance on the issue, simply ignore the facts on immigration and human trafficking.

4. “Tough on Immigration” Policies Hurt American Citizens

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Whether we are talking about the Mexican Repatriation or Operation Wetback American citizens have historically, more often than not, have been swept up in major deportation operations. In my post, 3 Reasons Why a Massive ICE raid Is a Bad Idea, I discussed this very issue.  The Mexican Repatriation, for example, would oversee the forcing out of over 1,000,000 individuals of Hispanic descent. According to one historian, it’s likely that 60% of them were U.S citizens. Not only that but border and immigration enforcement has been used as an excuse to restrict the rights of American citizens. For example, the Supreme Court has ruled that Border Patrol officials may board and search vehicles without a warrant despite the provisions of the 4th amendment that forbid this, as long as you’re within 100 miles of the border they can do as they please.

It may seem unlikely that immigration matters will be used an excuse to abuse you or your child as an American citizen but not so much when a young girl is illegally detained and terrorized by border officials for more than a day despite her status as an American citizen. This false sense of security further fades away when a young man is held for months due to a glitch in paperwork. Another American was even held mistakenly for over 3 years. The New York Post reported in 2018, that since 2012 ICE has wrongfully arrested and detained close to 1,500 Americans. Americans can expect an increase in these kinds of immigration issues as immigration becomes the excuse to restrict all manner of our constitutional rights.

This was certainly Sheriff Joe’s excuse when he was court-ordered to stop racially profiling Latino Americans in illegal searches, raids, and unlawful detentions. While his main target may have been illegal immigrants, many of his victims were legal residents and even American citizens.

From federal to local it seems that none of us are safe from our officials as citizens inevitably get caught up in massive raid & deportation operations across the country.

The simple fact on immigration is that while it may have once been something of a minor wedge in politics, it’s always been an important issue. As I’ve explained before immigration policy is about more than just rules and regulations that make the process work, it also comes down to our rights and the government’s authorities.

When we give the government the right to take away the rights of an individual for any reason it hurts us all. It provides the justification they need to restrict the rights of anyone they want to for any reason they deem necessary. As I’ve discussed before in my post on birthright citizenship this issue is about more than immigration, it is also about individual liberties as they apply human beings both foreign and domestic.

This important issue is not discussed enough, but more importantly, it’s not discussed correctly. First, too many people ignore the facts on immigration in favor of their partisan views. Second, too few American have found the ability to discuss this issue civilly or effectively because we have not been educated about it or the issues that surround immigration in America. Republicans and Democrats have politicized immigration and given us plenty of bickering. They have provided no real solution because they refuse to acknowledge the real problem: the government is too big, too violent, and too intrusive. These are the facts on immigration, and on everything that’s wrong with American policy as a whole.

My book, written as a letter to the president, discusses these facts on immigration and more. It seeks to shed light on these issues as well as to begin an honest, and enlightening conversation. I encourage you to check it out for yourself on Amazon where you can even steal free a peek inside.

Every Millennial Must See This Online Investing App

online investment app

 

So far on this blog, I have discussed a few career-related topics including how to write an effective resume and answers to common and often challenging questions on job interviews.

Getting a job and working hard isn’t the only pathway to building wealth, and most wise fortune seekers know that it’s often the path not taken we should heed the most. Sadly, too many people, especially in today’s busy and stressful world, don’t take the time plan for their financial futures as they should. This includes building wealth through investments. This is one of a few, of the best-kept secrets of the rich. Sadly it stays a secret because too many of us don’t even bother digging to discover the wonders of online investment apps ourselves.

It’s understandable why more people don’t invest in stocks. It’s often daunting and downright confusing, but luckily there’s an app for that. If you’re a beginner or you’ve never even thought about investing, Stash might be the online investing App for you.

I, like most millennials by stereotype, spend a lot of my time looking at a screen. This applies whether I’m working on a laptop as a freelancer, playing mindless games in front of the latest system, or endless scrolling through the information overload that is social media. Like most millennials, I am also always on the go and living a very busy lifestyle, but I don’t have a lot of money. These factors often stand in the way of making financial investments in our futures, but unfortunately, life often moves too fast. If you want to build a secure online future I would suggest you start with this online investing app. I had very limited investing experience when I signed up with Stash Invest. Before that, I had dabbled in E*Trade but only very rarely for several reasons.

Two major barriers seem to stand in the way of millennials investing in the stock market. First, we never have the money to sink into shares and stockbroker fees. Secondly, we know nothing about the market and we’re too busy to do the research. Yet every great teacher and adviser on finance seems to say the same thing. If you want to build wealth for the future you have to take the leap and invest. We have barriers but we shouldn’t let them keep us from building a better future. That is where this amazing online investing app comes in handy, especially for the busy and poor millennial.

Granted Stash is one of a few online investing apps that are out right now, but from a user-friendly interface to a range of professional services this one has so far stuck out to me as one of the best, depending of course on your needs and preferences. This online investing app is ideal for beginners and especially for people who want to start small. I am not going to say that Stash Invest is for everyone but it is an ideal online investing app for the young, the poor, and of course struggling millennials like myself. There are, as with anything life many pros and cons. Let’s Discuss them

Pro: Low-Cost Investments with Fractional Shares

low-cost online investment app
One of the toughest things about investing when you are young and struggling is finding the money to sink into a share. Berkshire Hathaway is a popular investment choice, for instance, owned by the king of stocks himself Warren Buffet. One share of the company as I type these words may cost as much $220. I own less than a ¼ of a share with about $50 on Mr. Buffet (I just haven’t gotten around to that one lately.) With fractional shares, you don’t have to save up a nest egg for a one-time investment but can build your investments over time. I started with $5 (the stash minimum) and through time and tribulation, I’ve built a portfolio of almost $1,000 worth of investments.

In using investment apps online like Etrade I remember despising having to pay brokerage fees every time I made a purchase. Etrade has only recently done away with the practice, but we have online investment apps like Stash to thank for that. Too often I was charged broker fees, often investing in smaller companies and paying more for the fee than the investment itself, and far more than the return I would expect in the end. Imagine how pleased I was to hear that Stash had helped to pioneer the “Fee-free” execution.

Con: Limited Choices
Don’t get me wrong, Stash has many impressive choices as far as online investment apps go, and the company has said as recently as this year that they may be adding more. However, the Stash system doesn’t always allow you a lot of choice, at least on the face. Rather than individual companies like Amazon, Walmart, or Proctor and Gamble (all companies you may choose invest in through this quaint little online stock broker) you don’t always get them individually as a choice. More often than not you are presented with handpicked, well-researched portfolios. For example, I have invested in legal cannabis companies like the Canopy Corporation and Aura Cannabis, all in my “corporate cannabis” portfolio.

Though you can choose these portfolios that offer diverse and set to successful companies, this online investing app doesn’t make it easy to invest in individual companies you choose yourself. This is an attracting aspect for many of us Millenials who don’t have time to research our online investments, but it may be a setback for investors in the know who prefer to choose for themselves.

Pro: Other Great Services

great online investing app for millennials
Stash is a great online investing app and ideal for beginners who want to test the waters in the market, but it also provides access to other great services as well. For Up to $9 a month Stash invest offers a full package that includes a debit card and online virtual checking account, a retirement savings account, two custodial accounts for children, and of course all the investment services Stash has to offer. Not only that but for small additional fees you may find access to other low-cost and convenient services. I pay $11 for renter’s insurance, and they offer life insurance plans as well.

Buyers should beware: with the debit account, as some sources have indicated Stash’s debit service is provided by a private online bank and the funds are not federally insured. That means the government does not insure the money as they would at your local bank. In other words, if God forbid, you experience a system crash or data breach that causes you to lose your money, you may or may not get it back.

Con: The Fees Aren’t Worth It…At First
As an online investment app Stash is not half bad for what it charges and what it offers, but the fees will seem steep when you’re first starting. $9 a month is a lot if you’re starting with only a $5 investment, and until your investments grow pretty substantially it’s still going to be a large percentage of your portfolio compared to the average online investing app.

If you stick to it, however, over time you’ll find that the fees are worth it for what you’re doing, especially if you wouldn’t have taken on the daunting task of buying stocks in the first place. This online investing app is easy to use and makes it easy to succeed, and one could argue you’re getting what you pay for.

Pro: Perfect For Beginners

easy to use online investing app
As I stressed this online investing app is ideal for someone who’s just starting. By investing in specialized and customized portfolios you can know that you’re not shooting in the dark. As a registered financial advisor, Stash is required by law to act in your best interest. They are not what is known as a “Robo-investor” and do not invest the money for you, but they make it super-easy to do it right. While this may feel like you’re having your handheld and aren’t learning anything there are plenty of opportunities there as well. Stash regularly posts articles offering new investment information based on your goals and where you’re at.

They even offer an option for professional coaching to help you learn everything you need to know. As an online investing app they go all out to help you succeed and even take you to the next level as you navigate the marketplace.

As an online investing app I would give Stash 4 out of 5 stars. It’s not perfect and some things are lacking, and in some cases, you do pay for the convenience. Even so, it’s ideal for beginner and poor millennials alike and if you’ve never used an online investing app or online brokerage before, I would suggest that Stash is the perfect place to start.

New Job Seekers: You Must See These 4 Best Job Search Sites

best job search sites

 

Most of us, especially if you’re new among job seekers can agree that this is a very long and difficult process, and certainly a frustrating one. Average job seekers, according to Indeed.com, will take as long as 90 days and 25 resume submissions before they land a job. With more and more job seekers entering the market place and the internet making things more competitive than ever you may even find your search taking more consistency than that. Don’t give up! There are plenty of tools to help.

So far I have given you some advice to help you write a great resume. I’ve also offered my professional resume services, which you’ll find to be both high quality and low-cost, but that’s beside the point. We’ve also talked about how to master the interview, or at least answer some very important and difficult questions on job interviews you will commonly encounter.

With this job interview and resume writing advice in mind, we also want to discuss some of the best job search sites online, especially available to relatively new job seekers. Each one has some valuable advantages and tools we will discuss, and some have crossover features as well. For example 3 of these 4 best job search sites I have used I allowed you upload a resume ready for instant applications to numerous online job listings.

These features and many more make it not only more easy convenient to find our way as job seekers but also help new job seekers with tools and advice to help you get hired. There are many websites and online tools tailored for recruiters and job seekers alike, so keep in mind that these platforms I discuss are but a few, however, I have found them to be the 4 best job search sites online. This is especially so if you’re just starting. We discuss some of their advantages below. Since these job search sites are completely free to use I also recommend utilizing each one and setting up a free account. The more resumes you send out the better your chances are for being called up for an interview and sticking out among sometimes, several hundred candidates.

So check out these 4 best job search sites specially designed for job seekers new and old alike:

Monster

Monster.com is probably one the most classic job search sites you will come across. The template is user-friendly and very simple to use, but don’t let the simplicity fool you. Monster’s services, while simplistic in design can go leaps and bounds in providing you with a smoother experience as a job seeker. Job seekers may upload their resume online or create them right on the website using a simple form they fill out online, making this an ideal service for job seekers who are just starting.

Best of all Monster will even offer a FREE professional evaluation of your online profile providing their professional resume services staff to provide you with some helpful advice and insights. That means even if you never use your Monster account to apply for a job you will still receive some value from signing up that may help you land a job somewhere else in the future.

Typically job seekers will be emailed by Monster staff and informed that their resume evaluation will be available in 2 or 3 business days.
Indeed!

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Indeed! is another one of the best job search sites online and is probably also the most well known to many professionals including job seekers and hiring managers alike. Indeed!, as one the best job search sites out there makes it very convenient to upload or create your resume online, just like Monster, and just like Monster they also provide you access to hundreds or even thousands of jobs that may be available in your area. You will also receive the opportunity to opt-in for job alerts via email, and may even receive regular updates on the status of an active application by text so you’ll always be in the know.

Another interesting feature of Indeed.com is that they also offer their job seekers skill assessments, which may be taken only once online. Users may choose to make their results public or not, but scores may be required by some employers and used to determine if an employer can do a job in place of what you may be able to produce on paper. Skills assessment may be handy for job seekers with a limited amount of experience and/or education as they may provide a way to showcase their expertise through assessment scores. This also allows recruiters to get a better idea of whether or not their candidates can actually do the job well in the field, or only on paper.

This makes Indeed! One of the best job search sites for recruiters and job seekers alike especially if they may be pursuing these job-seeking services for more “outside the box” projects and hires.
Craig’s List

It may surprise you to see a website with a reputation like Craigslist.org listed as one of my top 4 best job search sites on the web, however, one must look past the website’s reputation and what it has to offer uniquely as a platform. I have found that Craig’s List while it has developed a reputation as being an online haven for selling used junk, scams, and casual sexual encounters, the job seeker has a lot to gain from using Craig’s List. This can be especially true if you are a certain kind of job seeker.

Craig’s List is always ideal for anything local and anything smaller scale. Craig’s list will allow you to find jobs you may not find on other job search sites that may include jobs by small and local organizations, or jobs for temporary local projects. With a whole separate section for “Gig” jobs in various categories, it also provides a valuable tool for freelancers and independent contractors who may be finding themselves in a dry time when it comes to finding customers and clients. Craig’s List also may be ideal for job seekers who are seeking part-time or temporary work as opposed to other job search sites that may primarily be focused on finding full-time professionals. Finally, it is also ideal for entry-level applicants.

Typically, our best job search sites will offer a format where you can set up an account and apply right on the platform. Other listings will redirect you to a company website to fill out an application there or to upload your resume on a separate form. With Craig’s list, the only way to apply for jobs listed is to either be redirected in such a way, or to email a resume and cover letter to the contact on the listing.

This may make the job application process slower and more primitive than other platforms, but it can still be a helpful tool depending on your needs. For more professional positions you may also find it less competitive.

Linkedin

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Linkedin is probably my personal favorite of all 4 of these best job search sites, perhaps because the millennial in me loves the idea of a job search site that also acts as a professional and business-oriented social media platform not that different from MySpace or Facebook.

As a professional social media platform, Linkedin allows you not only to job search but also to network with professionals online. Linkedin allows you to connect, collaborate with, and share valuable information and content with bosses and colleagues alike. It’s also an ideal platform if you’re looking to promote a business-to-business product or service you may offer. By creating a Linkedin profile that follows a format not that different from Facebook, it allows you to showcase yourself as a professional and/or entrepreneur through a fully customizable public profile that is almost guaranteed to be seen by professionals you’re looking and may be looking for you.

There are sections on your profile that go above and beyond what you may see on a standard resume. You may list skills that could include endorsements from other professionals you’ve worked with on Linkedin along with accomplishments, training, and educational credentials. You can also showcase your work experience, volunteer work, online portfolios, and much, much more. It is essentially everything professional social media should be.

Not only that but Linkedin STILL offers the same features as the other two of our best job search sites Indeed! and Monster. You may upload your professional resume on Linkedin along with cover letters to instantly apply for jobs while browsing hundreds and even thousands of jobs in your area that match your background. Just like the other best job search sites it you can make smooth sailing of your experience as a new job seeker or give it an upgrade as an old one.

Linkedin is completely free to use but they also offer monthly paid services for professional job seekers and business owners alike to help them take their endeavors to the next level. With custom-tailored plans for both sides of the job spectrum, they provide a little bit of something for everyone.

For these reasons and more, while there are many advantages to all of the websites I’ve mentioned so far, I must rate Linkedin as number 1 of my best job search sites online.

The good news is you don’t have to choose just one. As a job seeker, you really have to put yourself out there. So I encourage you to fully take advantage of all the best job search sites out there and everything they have to offer. It’s definitely worth it, especially since most of them are free!

Job Seekers Always Bomb These 3 Questions on Job Interviews

 

questions on job interviews

We’ve already had some discussion on how to write a strong resume with a few killer resume tips. With that advice in mind I’m sure you’ve been able to craft the perfect resume and are ready to upload it onto sites like Indeed.com, and submit to employers. Now that you’ve gotten that done we move on to the next step

For now, we are going to continue our talks on job-seeking advice by discussing one of the most frightening aspects of the job-seeking process, especially for new seekers: the interview. Job interviews are a challenging and intimidating process for all job seekers new and old alike.

Most of us understand the very basics of job interview etiquette. Always dress well for the interview no matter what. Come on time, not too late but also not too early. Practice good body language, speak clearly and in proper English, and of course maintain good eye contact. These are just a few of many things that come as second nature too us, especially if we’ve been on an interview more than once before. While it may be common for some to struggle with questions before the interview on what to wear, how to act, how to present oneself etc. this is not the most common concern job interviewers have, especially when they arrive at the interview. More likely it is the questions on job interviews that will stump most interviewees, sometimes even the most seasoned.

Here you will find 3 questions accompanied by useful job interview tips that will help provide you with answers. It’s always helpful to look online for common questions on job interviews and to practice beforehand so you are not blind-sided when you get to the interview. This preparation will allow you to avoid embarrassment, drawn-out moments of awkward silence, and may even make you more likely to obtain the job you are seeking. So without further ado here some job interview tips that will help you address the 3 most common questions on job interviews that all seekers seem to bomb.

Why Do You Want This Job?
A more common variant of this question may be “Why do you want to work for this company?” or a variation along the lines of “Why do you want this position?”

This is one of those questions on job interviews that seems to be especially blindsiding for new job seekers, but some of us old-timers have experienced this as well. Why do I want this job of all the jobs I could have? I’m not sure, I need the money, I like the benefits you’re offering? The position you’re offering pays well and happens to fall in my line of work?

What the interviewer is doing here, however, is not simply asking you silly a question. Of course, you want the job so you can make money, but they want to know that you will bring more to the table than that, and perhaps more commonly, they want to know that you’ve done your homework. To better prepare for this answer, you must do a great deal of research on the position AND the company itself, and try to plan your answer honestly and accordingly. Think “Why DO I want to work for this company and what would I probably love about this job?” A good answer if I were interviewing for a blogger on I don’t know, say, “ABC Online Writer’s Company” might be something along the lines of

“I love to write and I have a passion for writing and using my creativity and talents to create great content. This company allows me to do that and it allows me to discuss topics that I am passionate about. I also love how this company supports freelance writers who are just starting out, and I noticed your company has initiatives going right now among your community of writers to raise money for the homeless. I love that your company gives back to the community and supports the little guy. These are causes I’m passionate about and I would love to be a part of a company I can be proud to work for and honored to contribute to”

You will have to tailor your answer based on the company and position but you get the point.
Tell me About Yourself

job interview tips you can use
This is one question on job interviews that stumps most job seekers perhaps for no other reason than that most people misinterpret the question as well as being caught off guard by it. Professionals have often called this question “The hardest job interview question you’ll ever be asked”

Contrary to what your instincts may tell you based on the question as stated the job interviewer is not simply making idle conversation, nor are they trying to get you to open up about some deep spiritual awakening or identity issue. They are trying to get you to summarize yourself as a professional in a way that shows them what you bring to the table and how you can use your communication skills to portray that.

To answer this question correctly on job interviews you simply need to start by avoiding personal anecdotes and begin practicing at home by crafting a short professional autobiography. What are your skills, and what experience or training do you bring to the table? How do your passions and talents potentially contribute to the position your applying for? These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to answer before you can master this interview question.

My answer for a writing position might be something like,

“I love to write and for years have lived out that passion as a both a freelance writer and ghostwriter as well as a published author. I have authored, finished, and published a book and a few short stories during the course of my writing career. I’ve completed professional courses online in copywriting and blog content strategy, with some basic understanding of Search Engine Optimization. I have also written a few books as a ghost author and have worked as a freelancer writing blogs and advocacy letters on Fiverr and elsewhere for over 5 years. I also maintain a blog online and have volunteered my writing services for causes I believe in. I live and breathe writing and content creation, and hope to bring my skills and passions to this organization as a full time writing professional.”
Do You Have Any Questions?

This is yet another one of those questions on job interviews that everyone gets wrong for one very simple reason: they say “No” or in some cases may ask the wrong questions. After a long, exhaustive, and nerve-racking job interview process it is tempting to simply close the session with no more questions and walk away holding your breath. It also may be tempting to believe the interviewer actually wants this and in the name of respecting their valuable time simply waving away the chance to ask questions. This is actually wrong.

First when you do answer this question never ask about pay and benefits. Obviously, this is something you want to know, but it is generally saved for after the interview once the job offer is made at which point you may begin questions and negotiations.

When you encounter this question, usually one of the last questions on job interviews, the interviewer is not simply asking as a courtesy. More likely they are trying to see just how interested you are in the position as well as if you’ll bother doing any homework on it once it’s been offered. If you ask no questions they may be left to believe you’re only mildly interested in the position bringing very little passion to the table. They may also assume you’ll be giving a bare minimum effort since you’ll only be working for the next to paycheck.

Good questions on job interviews that you should consider asking may include questions that show your interest in the company or position. You may, for example, ask, “Are there opportunities for advancement?” as it shows your interest in working with them long-term.

You may also ask “What are some of the more detailed day-to-day responsibilities of the job?” or “What does success look like in this position?” as it shows you are not only interested in obtaining the position but doing well once you’ve been hired.

There are many questions on job interviews that stump even the best of us, but these are the most common 3. The key to succeeding in an interview is preparation. Research, practice, organize and prepare and you should do just fine. Hopefully keeping in mind my resume advice along with these interview tips, you should be on your way to a new career in no time flat!

If you’d like more help with your resume I offer help for that online on my Fiverr page along with free answers to any questions you might have about your interview.

If you’re a new job seeker or you’ve been out of the game for a while don’t go it alone and leave your career to chance. Let me see if I can help!

Secret Hints of Evolution In The Bible?

evolution in the bible

 

Recently I was writing for a Freelance project on my Fiverr page that required me to research the creation account according to the Bible, found in the book of Genesis. It had been a few years since I read the story, but there were a few small things that stuck out to me. It made me think of a movie I watched a few years ago entitled The Genesis Code, which included a rather elaborate discussion about the nature of time as it pertains to God, suggesting some biblical support for the Old Earth Theory that tends to support the Theory of Evolution over the idea of Creationism. Early on there seemed to be an interesting analysis of some of the science of some references we see to evolution in the bible. Throughout the movie, some persuasive cases are made on how the Bible may correlate with, not contradict some of the theories of modern science, including those that would seem on their face at least to contradict the creation account.

Even in just one chapter of Genesis, I began to ask questions of my own. I am not saying I fully embrace some form of biblical Intelligent Design, or that are loads of references to evolution in the bible. I am simply saying I entertain the possibility. I am willing to believe that at least some of the Bible, especially the Old Testament given the nature of its more poetic language, may not be 100% literal, especially in giving us the creation account. I am simply saying that I find myself asking is it possible that we may find at least vague references to concepts that correlate with the accounts according to the book of Genesis Vs. the Theory of Evolution?

Here are just a few small vestiges I have found.

Water As The First Element

According to the book of Genesis what existed before God created the universe? Nothing right? Wrong! Looking at the text we see according to Genesis Chapter 1:1-2:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the heavens the earth, and the earth was without form and void, and darkness covered the face of the deep and the spirit of God moved upon the face of waters.”

In other words, three things pre-dated the universe itself as we know it:

  1. God
  2. Darkness (“the void” or “space”)
  3. water

We see no reference to God creating water it was just kind of always there. The first time God does deal with water in creation is after creating light when he separates the “firmament” or atmosphere from the waters. After that in verse 9, he calls for the waters to “come together in one place” perhaps symbolic of the elements, including the dominating hydrogen element, which would form the earth’s dominant substance, water. All of them coming together as in the Big Bang Theory of evolution, right here in the bible. At that point he would then separate the water from the dry land, giving us the oceans, seas, rivers, and so on…

Now granted, most scientists have not reached any real conclusion or consensus on which element of the universe was the first to exist. However, some theories suggest either hydrogen or helium were likely the first elements and we do know that they remain the most abundant. Could it be that an ancient writer who didn’t know about the elements of the universe and could not describe these unfamiliar substances may have mistaken or mistranslated hydrogen for “water”?

Let there be Light” and The Expanding Universe

On the very first day of creation, God created only one thing “light” along with it he created the cycles of earth’s rotation we call day and night by “separating the darkness and the light”

What’s interesting here is that God created light, not all of the heavenly bodies of light including the moon and stars. Even with day and night we only see a bland rotation between darkness and light, “day and night” It wasn’t until later after day three came that God created the “bodies of light” we see in the sky. This would support the theory that the universe started with one star and through gravity created the other stars later on.

In seeming to focus on the creation of one planet and its light source (the first star?) it would also seem to support the theory of the expanding universe, which would suggest that the universe started very small and grew larger over time. So here we see, at least when it comes to celestial bodies, some agreement with parts of evolution in the bible.

Bio-Organisms’ Evolution in The Bible

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The references a we see of the evolution process in Genesis might not be obvious but if we look closely enough we seem to see that the order of things matches up. We see that at least in order there does seem to be some correlation between evolution and the creation account. For example, we need look no further than where the scientific and biblical origins of life began. First, of course, he started with plant life, but the first moving creatures he created were to be found in a familiar element that we discussed further up.

Genesis 1:20 states

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”

In other words, if we read on through Genesis and the “creationist” account we see that moving life began in water. We then see that after that life gradually left the water to eventually sprout wings. It wasn’t until the next day that God would create the land-dwelling beasts. So we see that evolution in the bible at least follows a vaguely similar order to evolution in science.

This would seem to correlate with some theories surrounding the stages of evolution in which life began first as amoebic water-dwelling creatures that evolved into fish and eventually sprouted legs to walk on land as amphibians, something of an in-between stage that granted we don’t see in the Genesis account. Eventually, though, amphibians sprout wings as flying reptilian creatures, then following the order of the creationist account we we see the birds. After the birds, we begin to see the evolutionary emergence of mammals. After that, last, and always last we see man. So when you study Genesis and evolution side by side and you weigh the order of things at least, evolution in the bible doesn’t seem so far fetched.

None of this is to say that the bible and the creationist theory are a direct match to the Theory of Evolution. But it is still fun to see how evolution in the bible at least vaguely plays out, and it is interesting to know the similarities between the differing accounts of science and faith.

President Trump, Your War on Vaping Will Not Work

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Dear President Trump,

I want to thank you for your time and consideration as I hope you will find the time to read my letter and consider my concerns.

I am a voting citizen and a former E-Cig user. I unlike many users used these products to kick my cigarette habit and would eventually quit using nicotine E-Cigarettes as well. Even so I support the freedom of all individuals to live their lives how they choose. While I’m sure your intentions are good I submit to you that this ban on flavored vape products will only make this problem worse.

Recently, the media has reported on a new “crisis” that they say is a result of  vaping products that present an alternative to traditional cigarettes and other methods of smoking and tobacco ingestion. As of September 23rd of this year they have reported 9 deaths that have resulted from a lung disease that is allegedly caused by the many flavored E-Vaping products that are on the market. However, what most Americans are not being told is the real source of this sinister ailment.

This has led to a gross misinterpretation of what’s actually going on and I fear this is evidenced, with all due respect Mr. President, in your calls to ban all flavored vape juices from the market. First you have to think, these products have been on the market and 100% legal for years but have only now began to cause only 9 deaths? Weigh that against the 480,000 deaths that take place every single year from cigarettes and you begin to see this ban for what it is. It has “special interest” and “big tobacco” written all over it. Most Americans will also be hard-pressed to believe the timing of Phillip Morris’s heat-not-burn tobacco product line receiving FDA approval has nothing to do with the ban.

It’s unfortunate that we have leadership in Washington D.C that once again has allowed special interests to win, but even more disappointing is the lack of consideration that has taken place regarding the effects this ban will actually have. What the media has not told people is that this ailment has not once been caused by a legal vaping product that has been available at American stores and online retailers for years, but by black market DIY THC vaping products that would not exist if marijuana were legal and readily available in all states.

Legal retail THC vape juices are lab tested, and good companies will release their test results publicly and disclose their processes and ingredients. A good manufacturer won’t use potentially deadly substances like Vitamin E in their production and thus won’t poison their consumers. This new “vaping crisis” if you can even call it that is not evidence that we need to put an end to vaping. It is evidence that we need to put an end to the war on marijuana and lift the ban nationwide so that consumers can have access to safe and quality products.

Banning vaping for users who already have access to safe and legal products will only make this problem worse, and will harm the economy. As early as 2014 there were over 5,000-10,000 vaping shops nationwide and estimates by the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association placed those numbers as high as 35,000. How many jobs are you willing to kill in the name of reactionary politics?

What’s more when flavored vape juices are no longer available at legal stores where do you think their patrons will go? Do you assume they will suddenly start going to the gym and switch to a healthier diet program? More likely they will they switch to cigarettes, which are far less safe and have claimed far more lives. Even more likely than that however, many users will turn to the black market to obtain the products that you have banned, and more deaths will occur as more users turn to unsafe and untested products. No doubt the government will use this as a “See I told you so” moment to claim they were right about the problem that they actually created.

How many people must die and how many people will be locked away in cages with real criminals and violent offenders who see early release because there’s no room in our prisons, before we see that prohibition has historically only turned small problems into major crises? How long will we continue to make the same mistakes, and how long will the American people suffer in the service of special interests?

Many people believed you were a president who would be different. Many thought you would stand up against special interests, and see the folly in these bans, and in fruitless endeavors like the war on drugs. Yet here we are receiving more of the same. I am asking you, Mr. President, to be true to what you ran on. Do not kowtow to special interests. Put an end to bad policy. I am asking you as a voter and as a concerned citizen, please reconsider you ban on flavored vape products. It will only harm the economy, and it will make the issue at hand worse, as prohibition always does.

I thank you again for your time and consideration. I hope you will consider what I have said, and if possible I look forward to your response. I wish you the best and thanks again,

Sincerely,

-David B. Beaver

Create a Dazzling Resume in 3 Easy Steps

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Most people find the process of creating the perfect resume both terrifying and confusing. Where does one even start when creating or updating a resume? I am here to help, and let me assure you the advice I offer here is free.

I have done the research, I’ve participated in workshops, and when it comes to resumes I know what employers are looking for and how to make a resume shine. I recently began offering a professional service online for clients who need the eyes and hands of a professional. I critique resumes and offer tips and advice. I even update, and create resumes from scratch for job seekers who want a resume that employers will not only look at but be dazzled by.

Although I enjoy offering these services professionally, I respect that there are some who prefer the “go it alone” approach, and am more than happy to share a few of my secrets for completely FREE. So here’s how you can create an amazing, interview-landing resume in 3 easy steps:

1. Organize Your Info

Most resumes follow a pretty standard format, which is known as the chronological resume. There are different formats, but this one is the industry standard and generally works for whatever kind of job you’re trying to get. Skills resumes and other formats may be used depending on what you’re trying to accomplish but that is much more rare.

The Chronological Resume calls for you to organize your information in the following order:

-Personal Info: This section will include your name (Bold and center at the top of the page) Address, phone number, and email.

-Objective: This will be what you are trying to accomplish with the resume and in your career in the immediate future. This might be something as simple as “To obtain full-time employment in the web development field”

-Professional qualifications: A summary of some of the reasons you’d be a good fit for the job. This may include a brief description of your education, accomplishments, and professional experience that directly relates to the position you are applying for. “6 years of experience in customer services” or “extensive education and training in accounting and finance” might be examples.

-Work experience: Past jobs you’ve held, especially those that relate directly to the position and accomplishments and/or goals that were achieved at those jobs

-Education and training: Degrees, certifications, diplomas, workshops and specialized trainings you attended, anything especially that relates to the job should be listed here. Some general education can also be listed as it does look good on a resume

-references: in most cases references may be kept separate from the resume itself and this section may simply read: “references available upon request”.

Keep it Short, Simple, and Relevant

Most employers, including hiring managers, have very busy schedules, and many of them will receive as many as hundreds of resumes to read and consider. The average employer will only spend six seconds skimming through a resume to see if it’s worth considering, and some companies are even auto-scanning resumes before they even give them read. It’s important to keep your information short and relevant to the message you’re trying to convey: “I’m the best person for this job because…”

Your resume should never be more than a page long unless you’re applying for a higher position. Whenever possible summarize your info with easy-to-read bullet points rather than chunking your ideas into bloated sentences and paragraphs. Don’t add any information that is not relevant to the job unless you need more filler, but even then relate it to the position. Remember this is a resume, which in essence is a snapshot of your career and qualifications. It is not a job application, which demands all your past jobs no matter what.

Even if a job is not related to the field of the job you’re applying for you may still be able to relate it to the position if you don’t have sufficient relevant work experience available. For instance a warehouse supervisor may list this job if he were applying to be a meat manager at a local grocery store because it could present him with an opportunity to use his accomplishments there to show how he performs as an employee, and that he has leadership experience. Even so it’s best to prioritize the most relevant information as it pertains to the job you want to obtain. Also don’t include hobbies or other personal information, unless of course, you guessed it, it pertains to the job. Being a skilled model airplane assembler probably won’t matter if you’re applying for a job as an accountant, but may be worth mentioning if you want to work for an old-time hobby shop.

3. List Real-Life Accomplishments

One of the biggest mistakes job applicants make when listing work experience is listing job responsibilities. Sure this seems logical, after all, they show we have experience performing job functions that may be similar to job we’ve applied for. However, most employers aren’t interested in knowing you can sort of do the job, they want to know how well you’ll perform if they hire you. Will you be an asset who goes above and beyond, will you do the bare minimum, or will you be a liability who brings the team down? Try to think of accomplishments you can be proud of at these previous jobs and whenever possible back them up with concrete figures. Don’t just say “I worked faster than my co-workers” Say “Consistently performed at a rate of 120% of the shift average” Don’t say “Was responsible for training sales staff” say “Came out with a new training initiative and suggested improvements to our training dynamics that helped to improve associates sales performance by 18%)

Employers don’t just want to know what you did they want to know how you did it, and what you have to bring to the table based on what you did at your previous jobs.

When it Doubt Get a Professional

Follow these three steps and keep these things in mind when you’re writing your resume, and you should be on your way to your next interview in no time! If you’re still not confident with your own abilities or would just rather place your resume in the hands of a professional, I’m only a click away. I’ll critique your resume, update it for you, or even write from scratch if you’re creating a fresh product.

You can also email me with any questions at dbbeaver@gmail.com or hit up my Facebook page.

You don’t have to go through this process alone, I got your back! Check out my service and get your Job-Landing resume today!

As an added bonus, just mention this blog post when you contact me on my Fiverr page, and I’ll even answer any questions you have about mastering the interview for completely free!

 

No Christianity Does not Require Subservience to Government

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Whether we’re talking about nonviolent drug offenders or illegal immigrants it seems to be becoming more popular among some to use the law as justification to mistreat nonviolent individuals who commit victimless crimes. Christians, especially on the evangelical right, even go so far as to invoke the scriptures to back up their authoritarian stances. But does God require all Christians to obey and agree with the government no matter what? Do we find justification in harshly punishing nonviolent individuals for breaking the law even if it didn’t hurt anyone?

The source of this debate comes from a passage in the scripture found in one of the Epistles, the letters of the apostle Paul. The very first verse of Romans 13 states:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

The problem with the idea that every government in the world is established by God and therefore should obeyed is that government is both inconsistent and contradicts itself. First, the government competes with itself in its various jurisdictions in establishing the universal standard for what’s wrong and right. The laws in China are completely different from what they are in the United States or even Japan. The laws in Iran or Saudi Arabia are very different than those in Canada or France. Does God have multiple personality disorder or are there multiple gods establishing multiple governments? For that matter why is God waging wars and murdering other governments’ people? Why is he trying to hurt his own governments’ economies by having them wage trade wars and enacting sanctions and travel bans against each other?

The bible tells us in Matthew 12:25
“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.'”

But of God’s kingdom Daniel 2:44 tells us

“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.”

Daniel is not only saying God’s kingdom will never fall he is saying His kingdom is actually going to overthrow every government. Therefore God’s government cannot be synonymous with the governments on earth. Furthermore, governments have changed over time, but God and His laws have not. Crossing the border without papers was not a criminal act until 1929. Using hard drugs was not a crime until 1914. Why did God change His mind on these things? The bible tell us “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever” Clearly, the federal government is not.

Not only that but religious authorities in Jesus’s time, who seemed to act as something of a provisional government were constantly trying to undermine him. They went out of their way to stop his teachings from spreading on earth even to the point of infiltrating his inner circle to conspire to have him executed. It’s very clear that God was not working through the Hebrew authorities.

As for the passage in Romans 13 most Christians ignore the actual reasons Paul says to submit to the authorities. In Romans 13:3 he places a criteria on what defines a legitimate ruler.

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.”

In other words if a ruler is righteous and established by God that ruler will not punish an innocent person for doing nothing wrong. Therefore an unjust and unrighteous ruler or law is NOT established by God and we are not required to obey. I would also advise Christians when quoting these scriptures to consider the source.

The apostle Paul was the member of an illegal religious sect. He was a major leader in a growing cult that was banned by both Jewish and Roman law. He even tried to turn the Roman emperor against the empire by persuading him to convert. He was an enemy of the state. Many of his Epistles written to the churches established by him are written from prison and indeed he spent the majority of his life in and out of jail. He would eventually be executed by Emperor Nero himself, who as “God’s established ruler” sought to deflect criticisms directed against him after a major fire consumed most of the Roman capital, sought to use the Christian faith and its saints as a scapegoat. In any case if Paul really meant that all Christians should obey all government all the time he was wretched hypocrite for he clearly didn’t practice what he preached.

Jesus and his disciples taught many things, but unconditional obedience and authoritarianism are not among them.