Why does garbage get published?

Corporations may not have a legal obligation to maximise shareholder profits. But the belief that they must do everything (within the law) to make money is certainly widespread. Of the ‘Big Five’ publishers, four are public companies. Regardless of their legal obligations, they must keep their shareholders happy. And shareholders are usually made happy through a) increased share price, b) fat dividends or c) a combination of the above.

Smart investors, of course, are those who are in it for the long-term. Who want any increase in share price to be one which reflects an increase in the value of the underlying company. Who want any increase in dividends to reflect an increase in the company’s profits.

‘Surely, increased share prices are good?’ I hear you say. Or, ‘Who wouldn’t want to receive a nice big dividend?’

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Should you ‘spend a penny’?

One of the things I love about Europe vs Australia is how much cheaper it is to buy relatively healthy drinks. Flavoured water or milk, for example, compared to soft drinks. It might only cost you a handful of cents for a bottle of water. Yet it’s important to remember it might cost you as much – if not more – going out as going in.
Over the last three years, we’ve visited more than fifty countries throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
And one of the cultural differences that never ceases to astound – and alarm – me is that of toilets.

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Were things better in the ‘good old days’?

Language helps us to reflect upon the past. And ever since we’ve been able to do so, it seems, we’ve been comparing it unfavorably to the present.

In 500 BC, the Ancient Greeks lamented the passing of the supposed ‘Golden Age’. Back then, ‘men lived like Gods’. And every generation since the year dot seems to think that the next generation is screwing everything up. But should we be taking a conservative view and looking towards the past? Or taking a progressive view and looking toward the future?

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How can I talk about money to people who don’t want to listen?

Last year, I took a long break from posting, in part because I was working on other projects (finishing off my first novel manuscript, yay!). But it was also in part because I felt sick of talking.

Specifically, I was sick of talking about money to people who don’t want to listen.

If you have someone in your life who doesn’t want to hear it when it comes to money (or if you yourself don’t!) read on!

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How can I turn over a new leaf in the New Year?

It’s that special time of year again. No, not the impending new year. I mean Stationery Procrastination Time!

For me, it started with the purchase of a new journal.

I begin every year with a new little notebook to keep track of goals (financial as well as health, writing, blogging, and so on), and to make notes, in a very loose ‘bullet journal’ style.

But I always um and ah over which to buy, and then, the price involved.

This year I had my eye on a very nice-looking tropical leaf themed journal with plain lined pages. But I wasn’t sure if it was really ‘the one’. And then, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend – wait for it – gasp – $8 on it.

Then, I received a very nice sticker set for Christmas. 300 stickers, specifically for planners, vision boards and so on. (Shockingly, these stickers cost – wait for it – even bigger gasp – $10! That’s a whole $2 more than the journal itself!)

So far, I’ve managed to open the packages… but no action.

Now should be the time of year that I set up my journal. That I think carefully about my goals for the new year (and indeed, the coming three and five years), and get them down on paper. (Rather than throwing something quickly together on the morning of January first!)

But I’ve always been hesitant to start new notebooks. Especially pretty ones. (Memo to self: perhaps try an ugly notebook next year?)

I may be crazy, but I’m sure I can’t be the only one who feels like this.

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How can I save in the holiday season?

It’s the holiday season! The most wonderful time of the year… At least, that’s what I keep telling myself as we watch The Million in this Queensland heat!

But the most wonderful time of the year can involve a lot of waste.

Every year in the UK alone, Cloud Sustainability reports, some 74 million mince pies are thrown away. As are 500 tonnes of Christmas tree lights.

Lining up every Christmas tree bought in a single year in the UK would give you a line the equivalent of a round trip to New York. And, the Guardian reports, enough wrapping paper is thrown away to circle the equator. Not once. Not twice. But nine times. And that is just the UK’s supply.

Yesterday while finishing up some gift shopping, I got to thinking about what the ‘silly season’ means. And, how we can avoid waste, save, and enjoy the holiday season.

Enrichmentality now has a wealth of posts – 130 in total. So I thought, what better time than the end of the year to delve into some of them?

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Are school uniforms beneficial?

One of the great advantages trumpeted about the school uniform is its capacity to make everyone equal. If all children have to wear the same uniform, the theory goes, discrimination based on socio-economic background, as signaled through, for instance, their brand of shoes or jacket, will disappear.

But is this really the case? Can uniforms actually exacerbate discrimination?

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Should I fly first (or business) class?

Recently, we traveled to Canada with my parents as a group of four. We all flew to Japan, taking a transpacific cruise with stops in Hokkaido, Alaska and Canada. There, we finished with 2.5 weeks visiting breathtaking national parks. Including all flights, meals, accommodation, and car hire, our total cost per person for the entire trip was less than a couple of our friends spent on just their plane tickets to Canada.

Why?

They flew business class.

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