finance, economics & politics

Of all the forces in our culture, the economy and politics have been the strongest and arguably the most nerve-racking for all of us. The past few years have been marked by an intense sense of uncertainty and anxiety with respect to the state of the financial markets and the outcome of the 2012 elections.

Now that the 2012 elections have come and gone (see “Vote mob”), there’s still a lingering feeling of trepidation. Even though President Obama has been re-elected, the fiscal cliff was delayed, and the economy is showing some slight signs of recovery, people are still guarded in their spending and political outlook for the country. The issues that will still affect how we behave will ultimately boil down to how much disposable income we have in our pockets (“Zombie debtor”), what civil liberties we can and can’t have (“Prop 8”), and how each and every one of us is contributing his or her own fair share (“The real 1%”).

Buffet Rule (n.)

A proposal that would increase the income tax to 30% for individuals earning $1-$10 million a year and 35% for individuals earning more than $10 million a year.

For more information on the Buffet Rule, check out this article in The New York Times and this one from Reuters.


Eurogeddon (n.)

A severe economic, political or military turn of events foreseen to occur in Europe.

For more information on Eurogeddon, check out this article in The Atlantic.


Fiscal cliff (n.)

Term used to describe the economic implications that could take place from U.S. federal tax increases and budget cuts at the end of 2012 and early 2013.

For more information on the fiscal cliff, check out this commentary on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”


Lehman-cello (n.)

A banking contagion that occurred in Italy, similar to that of the Lehman Brothers financial firm that contributed to the Italian debt crisis.

For more information on Lehman-cello, check out this article in Forbes.

Prop 8 (n.)

The California ballot proposition and constitutional amendment that states “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,” whose constitutionality was struck down by the California courts.

For more information on Prop 8, check out this report.


The Real 1% (n.)

The actual statistics for “the 1%”: average annual income $717,000 and average net value of $8.4 million.

For more information on the real 1%, check out this article in Forbes.

Right-to-work law (n.)

Law that forbids unions and employers to enter into agreements requiring employees to join a union and pay dues and fees to it in order to get or keep a job.

For more information on right-to-work laws, check out this article in The Washington Post.

Vote mob (n.)

A group formed on social networks encouraging young people to vote.

For more information on vote mobs, check out this website.


Zombie debtor (n.)

A consumer who is able to pay only the debt interest on their loan each month.