Anyone who has ever watched wildlife videos has probably seen the magnificent creatures that inhabit the wilds of Alaska, the northern parts of Canada, or even the most remote parts of Africa. Sadly, you have also probably noticed that these beautiful creatures are plagued by swarms of mosquitoes, gnats and flies. These animals mind their own business (grazing, mating, rearing young, running, hiding, and whatever else wild animals do), but the swarms never leave them alone. Their flesh quivers and shakes quite often as a method of making the parasites get off of them – if only for a second or two.
The plight of human life is not much different, and never really has been throughout history. In fact, the founders of the United States, in their Declaration of Independence had a list of grievances against Britain and the King, one of which was this:
"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."
Is it possible that the founders had parasites in mind when they wrote this statement? Possibly, but that doesn't really matter. What does matter is that the "swarms" mentioned in that document pale in comparison to the parasitical government officers we contend with today. There are probably a thousand times more "officers" today than in the eighteenth century. At every turn we're confronted with some bossy sociopath who has not yet learned the fine art of minding their own business. And if there isn't a person, there will be something electronic that monitors us in their absence (stop lights, computer bugs, drones, etc.)
Considering all of these new swarms, is it any wonder that people would like to throw them off in the same ways as the animal kingdom? We need to create, collect and share different ways to "swat the parasites" and keep them from drawing even more of our blood. Here are three simple ways to reduce the impact of these pesky creatures in your life. I hope this will be just a beginning, a priming of the pump if you will.
1) Missing Money
For some reason some people can be hard to find, and that leaves businesses across the country with un-cashed checks that are returned to them in the mail. These checks can be for wages, dividends, and assorted other things, but all of it is considered unclaimed property, and the laws of every state require businesses to turn the funds over to the government eventually.
It's possible for you, or a business to quickly determine if there are funds being held by a state government that belongs to you. Simply visit a website or two.
MissingMoney.com covers about forty states, and by simply entering your name or business, you can find out if one of those governments is holding your money. There will be a last known address given, and a little notification if it's more than or less than $100. If you find your name, and a familiar address, all you have to do is claim the money. I have personally found tens of thousands of dollars for others, including family.
When you have completed your search in your state of residence, then you should do the following:
- Enter your name in any previous states where you have lived.
- Enter any previous names you may have had.
- Enter any business names you may have owned.
- Enter family member's names.
- Enter friend's names and then let them know if you find anything.
- Enter deceased family member's names. You may be the beneficiary or next of kin who can claim these funds.
If the state you are in isn't part of this site, you should do an internet search using something like, "Unclaimed Funds CA" to find a similar site servicing your area. Most states run these programs through their Department of Commerce. So, watch for a site like that.
Never pay any third party for this service. You're already taxed to fund this process, and the states should not charge for returning your hard-earned money to you.
This has much better odds than any form of gambling, and it's much less problematic. It will give you an advantage in poor economic times by making you just a little bit more financially free, and it will strike at the general fund of each of the state governments, thus allowing you to draw some blood from them for a change. Yes, someone in government is employed to process these returns, but each claim is a net loss for the government, and a net gain for you. Your actions will reduce their general fund balance and force them to pay an employee, which further reduces that balance.
Finally, spread the word. If you find funds that belong to you, or people you know, make a comment after this article to encourage others to participate. Put these instructions on your Facebook page, web pages and e-mails. Your readers will thank you.
Those of you in Canada can also take part in this process. Some of the websites you might consider searching are:
2) Get Out Of Debt