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PayPal, the payment system utilized by the majority of Ebay merchants, has given themselves an interest-free bailout... Funded by their subscribers.

A new requirement of rolling reserves allows PayPal to hold an arbitrarily determined percentage of sales funds for 60 days, without payment of interest.

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If you've ever ventured into a conservative chat forum, you are aware they are often a hotbed of misinformation and conservative rhetoric.

What may not be apparent is not all that lurk within are conservative extremists. Granted, the most radical voices often dominate the conversations but personal experience has shown there are also members seeking answers just like the rest of us.

It is for the hearts and minds of these members we should engage the extremists on their own turf... By questioning their assertions and providing proof to back it up.

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About a week ago, I began to document the organizations behind the national Tax Day Tea Party. In a week’s time, that list has swelled considerably. Tax Day Tea Party (.com) has evolved into a premier vehicle for promoting conservative fiscal policy and the free market philosophy. ###

"The Tea Party movement is a genuine bottom-up grassroots protest. It’s fueled by angst and rage arising from a feeling of helplessness at the realization that the people have lost control of their government." ~ Blog entry by "teablogger" (anon) from the Tax Day Tea Party website.

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The Party of "No" plans to ride a wave of negativity right back into Congress. Democrats, in a grand display of derriere covering, are paving the way.

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The loss of expertise, skill and productivity represented by unemployed Americans is something we, as a country, can ill afford to lose. It seems ironic a country founded on self-reliance, hard work and ingenuity would provide the unemployed so little opportunity to contribute other than sitting on their duffs.

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Buried in the pages of various laws enacted as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are the provisions for a program that, if used effectively, could prove be a boon to economic development and potential entrepreneurs.

The provisions provide States the opportunity to establish Self-Employment Assistance Programs (SEA or SEAP) as part of their unemployment compensation programs.

The program is voluntary and, to date, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington (State) have Self-Employment Assistance Programs.

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Entrepreneurs are generally considered to be the engine of new job creation economic development. From this driven lot springs the new businesses and jobs coveted by local localities across the US.

In an effort to spark the creation of new business, the entrepreneurial spirit is nurtured in our schools, colleges and business community. In my opinion, this efforts seem to be solely focused on seeding the entrepreneurial pool and waiting for something to grow. An alternative and complementary approach may be the mixing of entrepreneurial talent  "cocktails" to create new business.

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It's a jungle out there...

While America's hometowns suffer from the loss of local manufacturing and related employment,  local and state economic development teams duke it with their equal rivals to entice new business to the home turf. A smorgasbord of incentives plus statistics aplenty are laid out to temp the pursued. The few victors are rewarded with the possibility of future economic growth and stability. The unsuccessful go home empty handed.

The teams are many but the game plan is usually predictable: (1) Identify local strengths i.e. work force attributes, transportation networks, available commercial real estate, educational institutions and quality of life assets. (2) Develop a long term strategic plan to enhance your strong attributes. (3) Market your assets to the business world to attract new investment. (4) Work to retain existing larger local businesses.

In a nutshell, cast your bait upon the water and hope the big fish are running in your direction.

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Oil companies pump millions of barrels of oil from US Federal lands... While American Taxpayers recieve pennies in return. Why?

Listening to oil industry TV commercials and some campaign speeches, it’s easy to get the impression drilling for oil and gas on US public lands is a "no brainer".

Facts are bandied about American support for drilling new oil wells and the quantities of oil and gas that lay under America.

With all the hoorah, what you don’t hear is claims that new oil and gas wells will reduce the price of gas at the pump or your home heating bills.

Since the oil industry is not known for magnanimous gestures, we’re left with the question "What’s in it for them?". Here’s a little insight:

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Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 11:54 AM PDT

The Definition of a Small Business

by Steve Colby

(This is my first diary.)

The promise "To help or protect small business." is standard fare during political campaigns. Have you ever wondered what defines a "small business"? If your thoughts run to images of small Mom & Pop operations, you may be surprised.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the arbiter of what makes a business "small" and the definition varies by industry and trade. As noted in the SBA Table of Small Business Size Standards, business size is determined by either yearly sales or the number of employees. From the table: "A size standard is the largest that a concern can be and still qualify as a small business for Federal Government programs. For the most part, size standards are the average annual receipts or the average employment of a firm."

The average standards by occurrence in the table are 500 employees or $7 million a year in sales. A very general rule-of-thumb is most manufacturers and wholesalers are judged by number of employees while other businesses are judged by yearly receipts.

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