Archive for August, 2005

Married with Children and Broke

August 24, 2005

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Scott Burns argues that the main reason many young working families are broke is that they have children. The data in his column is revealing (and scary): if the cost of living of a young married couple is 100, having one child increases the index to 127, two children to 147 and keeps increasing as the children get older and peaks at 231 when the older child is 16-17 (Oddly the index decreases after the eldest child turns 17, presumably the kids are off to college by then and don’t rely on Bank of Mom and Dad for their tuition).

As new parents, we tend to agree with Mr. Burns. The bundles of joy cost quite a bit of money. But, we wouldn’t want to have it any other way, even for all the money in the world.

Chindia

August 21, 2005

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BusinessWeek magazine is running a cover story on the meteoritic rise of China and a lesser extent India on the world economic stage and what it means for the global economy. China is already the manufacturing factory of the world, as a trip to the local Wal-Mart would indicate. Less obvious is India’s emergence as the world’s back-office and more recently a high-end R&D laboratory for the big multi-national companies.

Investors wanting a piece of the action might want to wait though. Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton is quoted in this column, “There was a time when you could buy stocks fairly cheaply, especially in India, but also in China, Not any more.”

Maternity and Healthcare

August 18, 2005

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I’ve been critical of our healthcare system in an earlier post. However, some parts of our healthcare system are working really well. When my wife recently had a baby, we received high-quality care from doctors and nurses during labour, delivery and post-partum. And we didn’t pay a penny from our pocket for the privilege. It was a wonderful example of how an equitable, need-based, publicly funded healthcare system should work.