2002 B2C Retail Sales Estimate Boosted to $51.5 Billion

WizRate—the Internet super store with more than 1500 retailers—just upped its e-commerce B2C (business- to-consumer) retail sales projection for 2002, from the previous $45.2 billion to $51.5 billion. That’s an increase in its former forecast of nearly 14 percent—$6.3 billion!

B2C E-commerce Sales(U.S.)
(projected)
2000 28.91
2001 35.87
2002 51.48

In the last two years, B2C online retail sales have risen more than $22.5 billion: 2000 to 2001, up 24 percent; 2001 to 2002, up 43.5 percent. Seems the “dot.com bomb” was a real explosion after all.

Source: E-Marketer:
www.eMarketer.com


Stay Home-Based Business

What’s the number one thing today everybody says they want more of? (No, not money; it’s what money will buy.) Time. What if there were a way to have an extra 45 minutes every work day to do whatever you wanted?

Do you know how much time the average American commuter spends going to and from work? According to the US Census Bureau, in the year 2000 it was 24 minutes (each way). That’s up from 1990 (the last time figures were available), when the average was 22.4 minutes. California and Georgia, two states famous for traffic hassles, both average 26.7 minutes each way.

A little fun with the calculator reveals that the average American commuter spends 48 minutes commuting every work day, four hours per week, over 17 hours per month and more than 206 hours per year: that’s eight and one-half days.

By the way, according to census data, three percent of the US work force is home-based—roughly the same as it was in 1990.

Source: US Census Bureau:
www.census.gov


Bringing Home $4.5 Billion of Our Bacon

Have you read the 2002 Congressional Pig Book? It’s the annual compendium of “unauthorized pork-barrel projects” from this year’s federal appropriations, published by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW).

“Pork”—government funds, appointments or benefits dispensed or enacted by politicians to gain favor with their constituents—hidden in the 13 federal appropriations bills passed last fall stands at a record $20.1 billion, an increase of nine percent over last year’s $18.5-billion total. Since CAGW issued its first Pig Book in 1991, it has documented more than $140 billion in pork. The 602 projects profiled in the Pig Book summary will cost taxpayers more than $4.5 billion this year.

Some interesting examples of “bacon” taxpayers are paying for from this year’s Pig Book:

  • $25 million for the International Fund for Ireland;
  • $5.67 million for wood utilization research;
  • $2 million for the Vulcan Monument in Birmingham, Ala. (Vulcan, as in, Mr. Spock?)
  • $1 million for the Southern New Mexico Fair and Rodeo in Dona Ana County, for a multi-purpose events center;
  • $450,000 for Pacific tropical ornamental fish research;
  • and our current favorite:

  • $273,000 to combat “Goth” culture in Blue Springs, Mo.
  • CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

    Source: On the Web At:
    www.cagw.org


    Are The Golden Years Tarnishing?

    For many seniors, that’s just what’s happening. Household debt for persons 65 and older is skyrocketing—up 164 percent on average in the last eight years, to $20,302 in 2000, according to SRI Consulting Business Intelligence. That compares with a 92 percent increase for those younger than 65, reported USA Today.

    Older Americans are the fastest-growing group in personal bankruptcy filings. According to the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, a study done at Harvard University, approximately 82,000 Americans 65 or older filed for bankruptcy in 2001, up 244 percent from 1991. Although nearly half of the elderly people who file bankruptcy do so for “medical reasons,” a major home repair or loans to children or grandchildren are also frequent causes. Many seniors own a home and have good credit, so they have a higher capacity for debt than younger people; credit card debt—46 percent of seniors now owe something on their cards (up from 18.6 percent in 1991)—is what causes most of their financial problems.

    Many older Americans are indeed affluent, but 44 percent of retirees say Social Security was their primary source of income this year. That’s up from 38 percent in 2000, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

    Clearly, older Americans represent a growing market for the extra-income opportunity of a home-based networking business.

    Source: USA Today:
    www.usatoday.com


    Time for a Change?

    Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill calls the current tax code, “An abomination that strangles our prosperity and creates a drag on our ability to create jobs in this country.”

    According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, a congressional panel, the current tax code contains 1.4 million words. The regulations interpreting that code add another 8 million words.

    In a paper prepared for The Tax Foundation, Senior Economist Scott Moody reports that individuals, corporations and non-profits spend 5.8 billion hours complying with the tax code at a cost of $194 billion. This is an amount greater than the annual personal income of the residents of Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming combined. He further states that this is like having “the entire populations of those states spending every dollar they earn each year on tax compliance.”

    Remember, this is not tax paid—only the cost of preparation!

    The IRS reports that it takes the average taxpayer 13 hours to fill out his or her 1040, which is why 56 percent of taxpayers use the services of professional accountants and tax preparers.

    A 1999 Associated Press poll found that more than half of those polled said that a flat tax rate, with the same rate for everyone, regardless of earnings, was more fair than the system we have now.

    Source: Associated Press