2011-05-19 / Features

How Current Events Affect Your Pocketbook

All politics are local. Or so the saying goes. But is it really true? Do events halfway across the world affect your family, health and money?

These days, the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

“All too often, the interests of a few dictate world affairs and people’s daily lives,” says Gordon Zuckerman, a former businessman and Harvard Business School graduate who now writes historical thrillers based on his knowledge of global current events.

For example, 90 percent of the world’s oil production is controlled by only seven sovereign nations today. This monopolization of control means that unrest in these countries likely will drive up the price of gas and other petroleum related products – something that can be hard on your wallet during a family vacation. The centralization of control is so vast, dating back to post-World War II reconstruction in Europe, that Zuckerman was able to use it as a basis for his newlyreleased historical novel, “Crude Deception.”

Sometimes, current events can be both burdensome and uplifting to the local economy. For example, many Americans think universal healthcare will hurt their pocketbook by increasing taxes. At the same time, good healthcare and prevention has been shown to increase productivity at work, since people are less likely to call in sick or take medical leaves.

So, if you’re in business for yourself or choose to work a second job, this can have huge benefits to your wallet. It also fosters independence and imagination, say experts, as people who are in good health can then create companies and jobs of their own.

Domestic current events in the U.S. also can influence your money and livelihood. For example, the behavior of a few “big” banks led to the global economic meltdown of 2008. “Just as a few oil companies have controlled the energy market, so have the actions of a few bankers impacted the lives of ordinary Americans,” stresses Zuckerman, whose new book draws from real world crises to illustrate what can happen when a powerful cartel manipulates valuable resources for its own ends.

And while Americans remain resourceful, layoffs and the difficulty of securing mortgages or small business loans from one of these banks continues to impact local families.

Current events also affect your investments. News of corruptive practices, such as environmentally unsafe manufacturing, can lead a company’s stock to plummet. If you own that stock as part of your retirement plan, you will be affected by the news. Many experts now urge people to invest in corporations whose values are transparent and fair. A company that takes a stance against environmental pollution is less likely to commit such actions.

See how current events influenced Zuckerman’s life and work at gordonzuckerman.com.

Then begin reading about current events at home. Local problems are just as likely to affect your pocketbook as global catastrophes, but you may have more power to do something about them.

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