HGT Radio

The blog that's always on the radar.

America hates moneymen

Posted by on Oct 1, 2017

People in the financial industry are regularly listed as amongst the most hated in the whole country. Line up every profession you can imagine, and the ones that most people point out and hate are going to include financial dealings.

Sure, there will be others. People hate politicians and journalists (at least the ones they don’t agree with). They might hate actors or others who they feel speak out too much. They probably hate lawyers, because who doesn’t? But putting those positions aside, it will all be financial workers.

Whether it’s people working for the IRS, stock brokers, or tax accountants, people hate moneymen and moneywomen. Why?

The most obvious reason comes from recent history. The crash in 2008 and 2009 which led to the Great Recession soured a lot of America on the financial industry. The fact so few seemed to pay for those bad decisions while so many normal people lost homes, businesses, and savings, only further pushed those careers into negative popularity. Since Wall Street appears to be still only interested in enriching itself to the detriment of Main Street, this trend is only likely to continue.

So strong has this trend become, in fact, it has helped spark the worldwide populist movement in politics. Whether to the right or left, the easiest way to get votes right now is to hate finance.

This is only a primary reason, however, for the hatred of the industry. The other reason is more intimate: people feel anyone in the financial industry is almost by definition greedy.

Whether that greed simply makes them only think of themselves or that greed actually leads them to break the rules and cheat ordinary, decent people (and this is the far more likely assumption), greed is the assumed principle behind it all.

The assumption these days is that anyone working with money, whether in a bank, in stocks, or simply as a financial planner, anyone working with money is trying to cheat you in order to get a bigger cut for themselves.

This cynicism is, unfortunately, backed up somewhat by the number of cases of investment fraud and other crimes at the moment.

That’s not to say everyone in those industries is a cheat, or is even greedy, at least no more so than anyone else. The point is, America has turned that industry into a realm all to itself, and those who enter that realm are seen as different. They are no longer the decent, hardworking, down to earth people,  but there for the money and assumed to be corrupted by it.

Such a feeling is a shame and is likely to have long-term negative consequences for the country. If people don’t trust their financial industry, after all, how will they be able to invest in their futures? How will they get loans for college or businesses? How will they get mortgages or start retirement funds?

America needs finance, but it just really doesn’t want to have to like it.

Read More

Personal Injury: Mediation, Arbitration, or Litigation?

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017

If you have been personally injured, you might have considered taking legal action to seek reparations for any physical or financial harms that were caused. If you do take legal action, there are many different legal courses that can be taken to settle your case. Three of these are Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation. Throughout this article, we will explore each of these, how they are similar and different, and hopefully help you decide which one is right for you.

One person usually conducts mediation, called a mediator, whose purpose is to serve as an objective and neutral third-party authority in a settlement discussion. The mediator can help guide discussions or encourage agreement within the settling parties. In the end, the mediator doesn’t make any decisions. Arbitration, conversely, is a process where a group of arbitrators is chosen, who eventually decide the settlement. Although there can be a single arbitrator, typically there are three (each party chooses one, and then the two chosen arbitrators choose a third arbitrator). Both processes can either be binding or non-binding, and it is usually up to the parties to decide. Both of these differ from litigation in that they aren’t dealt with in the court system. Both mediation and arbitration are ways to settle legal disputes outside of the court system. Litigation, however, is what people typically think of a court case. This method is usually undesirable since it is very time consuming, causes a lot of stress and can be very expensive. Litigation is usually a last resort for parties that cannot reach a settlement through either mediation or arbitration. It is important to note that the processes are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can be used in conjunction with one another, which is often the case. Some courts won’t even let cases be litigated until there is some meeting beforehand of either mediation or arbitration.

So, you have been personally injured and intend to sue. What should you do? First and foremost, gather as much evidence related to your injury as you can. Next, you should contact an attorney, like the Benton Law Firm, and discuss your options. You will need to decide if you want to pursue a process of mediation, arbitration or litigation. If you and your attorney decide to pursue mediation, you will need to create a pre-mediation contract in which both parties agree to the condition of mediation. This contract generally includes stipulations like the length of the mediation, whether or not it will be confidential, binding or non-binding, and who will conduct the mediation. If you choose arbitration, you will need to choose an arbitrator who you trust to be competent, fair and just. If the mediation or arbitration processes fail, or if you have decided that you don’t want to pursue these options, the only option left is litigation. If you choose litigation, you and your attorney will need to prepare a case to represent in court in front of a judge.

Read More

Simple Driving Mistakes that are Actually Reckless

Posted by on May 27, 2017

We already know that reckless driving behaviors can result into traffic accidents. We have drunk driving, driving while under the influence of illicit drugs or medications, speeding, and weaving through traffic. But do you know that even the most innocent driving mistakes can be considered reckless and may cause accidents?

Driving While Distracted

Driving while distracted commonly occurs because of the driver’s confidence of his or her own driving skills and he or she truly believes that nothing bad is going to happen anyway. But sadly, many accidents today are caused by distractions, including food, drinks, grooming materials like combs and mirrors, and mobile devices.

Not Looking at Mirrors

Vision is an important aspect of driving. It allows you to detect possible collision hazards and other dangers. Unfortunately, not all hazards are right in front of you, so you have to utilize your sidemirrors and rearview mirrors to look out for these hazards. This can be particularly important during turns.

Not Using Signals

Signals are good ways to let other drivers know where you are about to go. This is important because you are giving them an idea of your future position, so they can react accordingly – they can slow, give way, or avoid you. If you don’t use your signals, especially in turning maneuvers, you are not giving them that idea.

Running Through a Red Light or Stop Sign

It doesn’t matter whether the intersection has a traffic light or stop sign. You should always follow it to avoid right-of-way issues and accidents that may arise from them. Many T-bone collisions occur because a vehicle from an adjacent road runs through a red light or stop sign and crashes into an innocent car.

Swerving to Avoid Obstructions

You are diligently traveling on the road when a pedestrian suddenly crosses the street. You try to avoid the pedestrian by abruptly swerving into the other lane. But instead of avoiding an accident, you actually cause one, as you hit another vehicle in that lane. During obstructions, it is better to slow down than to abruptly change lanes.

What You Can Do

According to the website of this Fort Worth car crash lawyer, those who have been injured because of car accidents may get compensation. This is especially true on instances where the injured are mere victims of an accident caused by a reckless party. In other words, you are not just dealing with injuries, but also lawsuits, if you do reckless things on the road.
The best to do is to avoid blatantly reckless driving behaviors and the simple driving mistakes above, to ensure that you are free of medical bills and legal fees.

Read More

Look Younger, Boost Your Self-Esteem, Boost Your Sex Life and, according to Some, Make Your Clothes Fit Better through Breast Augmentation

Posted by on Apr 1, 2017

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there were about 5.7 million reconstructive surgeries performed in 2013. Breast reconstruction, the last in the top six reconstructive procedures performed during the year, was undergone by 96,000 women, a 4% increase compared to 2012.

Breast reconstruction surgery usually follows a mastectomy or the removal of a female breast (usually due to cancer). This procedure attempts to repair a breast, that is, restore its shape, appearance and size. Although a breast may indeed be reconstructed, two of its expected consequences are: the sensation and feel of the reconstructed breast will not be the same as the one it replaced; and, the reconstructed breast will bear the incision lines.

Another surgical procedure many women undergo to look younger, boost their self-esteem, boost their sex life and, according to some, to make their clothes fit better, is breast augmentation, clinically called augmentation mammoplasty.

Breast augmentation is aimed at improving/restoring symmetry or increasing fullness of the breasts, enlarging naturally small breasts, or restoring breast volume which is greatly affected by pregnancy, weight reduction, breast cancer surgery or mastectomy.

Augmenting the breasts may be done through the use of implants that are placed under the breast tissue or chest muscles. Implants, which last about 10 years, has an outer layer that is made of firm silicone, while its inside may be filled with silicone gel, saline solution or salt water, or a composite of alternative substances.

Despite some of the risks associated with breast augmentation procedures (the fact is, any surgical procedure poses some kind of risk), this type of cosmetic surgery is safe. However, before finally deciding whether one should undergo breast augmentation and which implant to choose, it is necessary to discuss things first with your trained and certified cosmetic surgeon.

In its website, the Bergman Folkers Cosmetic Surgery mentions how highly individualized a breast augmentation procedure is; however, though it can be performed for corrective purposes, it cannot correct pendulous or sagging breasts. To restore the youthful firmness and shape of breasts, breast mastopexy or a breast lift will first be required; only after this breast lift may breast augmentation be performed.

Read More

In-house Copywriters for Well-researched, High-quality Online Writing Jobs

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017

In 2007, copywriting was included by one American firm in the list of the fastest-growing careers in the United States. Copywriters, especially those who are professionally skilled, continue to be in high demand and, despite the influx of applicants, this huge and still expanding industry has plenty of rooms to offer.

Copywriting is written content communicated through print materials and online media; it is used mainly for writing advertising or marketing materials that are intended to persuade and raise awareness. It is most commonly seen in billboards, postcards, sales letters, brochures, white papers, scripts for radio and television ads, press releases, jingle lyrics, taglines, catalogs, websites, emails, kinetic words and other media pages for marketing communications.

For online business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking forward to promoting their business or website through persuasive copywriting advertisement, there are a couple of options for the job: a freelance writer or a copywriting service firm.

Freelance work has enabled thousands of talented and computer savvy individuals to put their skills to good, income-earning use. It may not have the usual things enjoyed by employees, like fixed monthly income, health benefits, performance incentives and retirement benefits, but it sure can make anyone earn good income, depending on how long and fast he/she would work every day. Aside from this, copywriters can also write at their most convenient time and have themselves as their very own bosses.

The continuous increase of demand for copywriting jobs, however, was seen by many firms as an opportunity for business growth and, by creating a pool of talented and skilled writers, not only were these firms able to enter the copywriting jobs arena, but were also able to win over many of the clients in search of quality work for any type of writing needs.

It cannot be denied that copywriting service firms have a wider pool of talents. But more than just a pool of talents, firms can be expected to produce only carefully researched, optimized and high-quality copywriting jobs since these have a reputation to protect; clients can also demand reliability and accountability in all the copywriting services provided by these firms. Aside from these, copywriting services provided by in-house writers who work collectively can guarantee, at least two things: high-quality work and commitment. As already said, the firm has a reputation to protect, thus it makes sure that its clients get only the best results.

Many different kinds of clients who have sought the services of copywriting service firms have seen directly the quality of work provided by in-house writers; thus, a majority of them end up seeking their services.

Read More

Bankruptcy: Helping People Regain Control of Their Financial Future

Posted by on Mar 30, 2017

In the website of Erin B. Shank, P.C., it is said, “Dealing with financial problems can be draining – physically, mentally, and emotionally. There’s not enough money to make ends meet… and worse, you’re getting phone calls from creditors day and night, wanting to know when you’re going to pay them the money you don’t have! The longer it goes on, the worse you’re bound to feel. Sooner or later, something has to change.”

The context mentioned above of is one scenario thousands of Americans find themselves in. For like a chronic disease that develops and worsens over time, so too do debts, becoming too overwhelming that these become impossible to settle.

After six months of failure to make payments, particularly to banks and credit card companies, a person’s loan or account would be considered as bad debt and would be referred to an agency which, in turn, could (and many do) resort to harassing tactics to make him/her pay.

Crushing debts have caused many individuals so much worry and stress; these have even affected family and professional relationships, many of which ending up destroyed. Debts, however, are not unsolvable problems, for the law offers legal alternatives to enable individuals to address their debts and regain control of their financial situation. One such legal alternative is bankruptcy, which is a legal declaration of one’s inability to settle personal or business loans. Besides enabling a person to regain control of his/her financial life, bankruptcy also offers the immediate effect of stopping all attempts by collecting agencies to collect debt payments as soon as bankruptcy is filed in court (this immediate effect of bankruptcy is called the “automatic stay”). Creditors will also lose any right to have a debtor’s salary garnished or his/her bank account levied.

There are different Bankruptcy Chapters available. A person, with the help of a seasoned bankruptcy lawyer, may be able to understand what bankruptcy really is, its effects and which specific chapter to apply for. The different chapters of bankruptcy include:

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy – a liquidation bankruptcy wherein a court-appointed trustee sells some of the “non-exempt” assets and properties surrendered by the debtor (there are exempt properties, like the home, which the debtor can keep and protect). The proceeds from the sale are distributed to the creditors and the remaining amount (if there is any) will be returned to the owner. The debts to be paid in this chapter are the non-dischargeable debts (usually government-related debts). Debts from which the court can decide to free the debtor can include credit card bills, medical bills, past utility bills, personal loans, and so forth.
  • Chapter 11 or business bankruptcy – allows the business firm to either restructure its finances (repayment plan) for more affordable payments, or liquidate some of its properties to be able to pay creditors. Unlike in chapter 7, wherein a business will have to cease operations, chapter 11 allows a firm to stay in business.
  • Chapter 12 – is designed for family farmers and family fishermen which should have a regular annual income to be considered eligible under this law. which own and operate the fishing or farming business; which own at least 50% of the farming/fishing business; and, which earns a regular annual income.
  • Chapter 13 – which is reorganization or restructuring bankruptcy, requires debtors to design a debt payment scheme spanning to three years (can be five years if the court so allows). Under this chapter, all of the debtor’s properties are saved or never sold.

A realistic and objective assessment of a debtor’s financial condition is required regardless of the chapter of bankruptcy a debtor wishes to file. Making sure, therefore, that the lawyer, who you will hire will be able to defend your rights and interests well.

Read More

Drink Water the Way Water should be – Clean, Tasteless and Odorless

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017

Drinking water supplied to U.S. homes comes either from ground water or surface water. Ground water is located below the ground where it collects in spaces and pores in rocks and underground aquifers; surface water, on the other hand, is water collected in streams, reservoirs, lakes and rivers. This type of water is treated either by the government or privately-held facilities. With regard to ground water, however, there is never any guarantee that this goes through a treatment process.

Though surface water undergoes treatment, one has to be aware that most of America’s water still relies on using pre-World War I-era water treatment technology. Due to this, one can legitimately ask if this old technology is capable of removing 21st century substances that contaminate tap water. These substances can include lead, pathogens, arsenic, radon, industrial chemicals, pesticides, and haloacetic and trihalomethanes acids.

The way your  water tastes, smells, feels, and affects you and your household depends on a number of factors, including the quality of your well water, any possible contamination, the age of your water distribution system, your home’s plumbing, and possible violations to the federal drinking water standards.” In some states, like in South Texas, for instance, where the summer weather can cause the rapid growth of algae on the surface of water reservoirs, your tap water having taste and odor is not a remote possibility. Though the government assures the public that water is safe to drink despite the taste and odor it may have, residents cannot, and should not, leave anything to chance.

It is but true that the government should do all it can to make sure that everyone gets clean and safe drinking water whether at public water fountains or inside people’s home; citizens, however, can act on their own in making sure that the quality of their water is what they want it to be: colorless, tasteless and clean. This assurance may be possible by getting a home water conditioning system. This equipment will save you from any worries about your drinking water, which comes directly from your own faucet; you will also save money as you will no longer need to buy bottled water for your drinking needs.

Read More

Advantages of not Fixing a Leak by Yourself

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017

More than just bothersome, plumbing leaks are annoying and, worse, destructive. If a leak starts to affect the the foundation of your home, this can cost you hundreds of dollars in repair or replacement cost of your flooring, carpet, furniture, and probably even medication because if it causes growth of mold or mildew, then this can definitely affect the health of your entire family. Plumbing leaks that occur under the concrete foundation of your house is referred to as slab leak by professional plumbers and insurance companies; a leak occurring above the floor, on the other hand, is called pinhole leak. It can be difficult to detect a leak in your plumbing system. You may not even be able to realize that there is a leak in your plumbing until it is manifested by a sudden spike in your water bill; if the leak is in a hot water pipe, then besides the sudden rise in your water bill is also a sudden increase in your electric bill. Other than higher water bills, symptoms of a leak also include:

  • The sound of running water even when all faucets are turned off;
  • A hot spot on the floor which could indicate a hot water line leak;
  • Cracks in walls or floors if it is a slab leak; and,
  • Mildew or excessive moisture under carpets.

While it can be tempting to fix a leak by yourself, allowing professional plumbers do the work is a much wiser decision. If the problem is a slab leak, especially, then this will require careful process and technical expertise. Besides being trained for the job, professional plumbers have the necessary tools and devices, such as an electronic amplification equipment and an electromagnetic pipeline locator that will allow them to locate the very source of the leak and make the necessary repair fast and with the least disruption to your property. Aside from saving you time and money, hiring professional plumbers to do the job should not be a worry for, aside from the warranty they give, your insurance providers will also most certainly cover the cost of the leak detection service, line access and isolation, and dry out and restoration of your property to the condition before the leak occurred. The only thing you may only have to pay for is the cost of the plumbing repair.

Read More

Mediation: Maybe the Best Alternative Divorce Procedures

Posted by on Jan 23, 2017

As alternative to the traditional way of settling divorce, which is through the courts, are a number of other divorce procedures that offer lots of advantages. One of this is the do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce, the procedure appropriate for childless couples whose marriage has lasted for about a year or two and who do not need to settle spousal support issues (to make sure that the final divorce agreement contains the correct stipulations, however, it is advised that a lawyer look into the divorcing couple’s contract agreement).

Another alternative is collaborative divorce, wherein the spouses, with their respective lawyers, discuss their needs and interests that they want to be placed in the settlement agreement. Each lawyer will need to meet with the other spouse (with his or her own lawyer present), as well as with a team of experts, such as a property evaluator and a child specialist, to make sure that the demands of each spouse are reasonable and possible.

Then there is mediation or mediated divorce, which is probably the most recommended alternative for resolving divorce and all divorce-related issues.

Divorce mediation, like collaborative divorce, is non-adversarial in nature. Unlike the latter, however, it is more private and cheaper way of settling divorce; it also allows spouses to resolve all divorce-related issues faster and on their own. In divorce mediation the spouses work with a mediator, who is a neutral third party member. The mediator’s role is to help the spouses arrive at an agreement peacefully and amicably. While some decisions are nor easily reached due to personal emotions and conflicts that may suddenly arise, the mediator helps to make sure that such emotions and conflicts are filtered out and reduced to allow the spouses to communicate freely and openly.

Mediated divorce may take about three months to finish. A spouse may consult with a mediated divorce attorney to make sure that what he or she will negotiate for (during the mediation process) are reasonable and that the final contract of agreement on all issues are worth agreeing to.

A DIY divorce can cost spouses up to $1,500, depending on the complexity of the divorce case, the fees for the paperwork and of specific court where the case will be filed. Based on certain estimates, the cost of collaborative divorce can reach up to $7,500 (or more), a litigated divorce between $20,000 and $43,000 (or so much more), and a mediated divorce, up to $4,500 (or a little bit higher).

Mediation offers many benefits for those that choose to utilize it, some of its most key benefits include:

  • Lower court fees and attorney costs
  • Faster resolution
  • Being able to negotiate for what you want
  • Maintaining a better relationship with your ex-spouse
  • A division of assets that both parties can accept
  • Saving any children the pain of a strenuous divorce

Divorce mediation may not work for all couples, especially for those who willfully refuse to recognize the rights and interest of the other party; however, those who have successfully ended their union through this divorce procedure, have remained good friends and great parents for their children even after parting ways.

Read More

Wrongful Death Lawsuit by a Decedent’s Beneficiaries

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017

Thousands of tragic events have left millions of individuals dead and a lot more severely injured. These have also changed the lives of victims and of victims’ families. Tragic events can happen anytime and anywhere, wreaking huge amounts in property damages, besides claiming many lives. Most often than not, these tragic events are consequences of human error or man’s negligent and careless behavior. The sinking of the Titanic, for example, wherein more than 1,500 passengers died; the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989, which resulted to 10.8 million gallons of oil spilled into the waters of Prince William Sound; the Piper Alpha Oil Rig fire in 1988 that claimed the lives of 167 workers and caused property damage that amounted to $3.4 billion. There are many more less huge accidents, like fires, methane hydrate eruptions, tsunamis, and scaffoldings, tower crane, roofs, stadiums or houses suddenly collapsing, but which, just the same, took lives or caused individuals to suffer an injury. The worst effect of these events is more than the value of all damaged properties combined, for these are lives lost through wrongful death. Wrongful death is a legal claim that can be filed by the beneficiaries or survivors of a person who is said to have met an untimely and unjust death. In this legal claim, the defendant is the liable party. This claim for damages includes loss of earnings that the deceased could have still been able to earn, medical expenses prior to the victim’s death, and loss of consortium (removal of the benefits of a relationship, including sexual, because of the injuries or death caused by a negligent party). Only a surviving dependents’ personal representative (can be a lawyer or any of the family members) can file a wrongful death lawsuit (in behalf of the surviving dependents/family). The damages may differ from one state to another, besides the time limit, or statute of limitation, set by states within which this lawsuit may be filed (statute of limitation also differs among states; some have set only a year, while others give dependents two or more years). A seasoned wrongful death attorney may be able to help the surviving dependents receive compensation (from the liable party) for all end-of-life expenses as well as financial losses.

Read More