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11 No-Fly Zones in the United States

November 26, 2014 Comments off

11 No-Fly Zones in the United States
Source: AllGov.com

For every sensible decision the government makes, there are others that cause plenty of head scratching.

Look at the number—and selections—of no-fly zones in place around the United States. Eleven of them discussed at the website Mental Floss represent a mix of locations, some of which make complete sense.

Planes flying over Washington, D.C., are limited to certain commercial and other pre-approved flights up to an altitude of 18,000 feet. These restrictions came after the 9/11 attacks in the run-up to the Iraq war and are aimed at protecting federal government installations.

The same logic can be applied to the Pantex nuclear facility outside Amarillo, Texas. The Cold War-era facility handles all kinds of nuclear warheads, so it requires special protection from above. Likewise, the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Georgia that serves as the home port of the U.S. Atlantic fleet of Trident nuclear subs has a no-fly zone above it.

Other government installations covered by overflight restrictions are the Kennedy Space Center and the famed Area 51 in Nevada, which has long been a classified government facility for, well, no one truly knows what.

The sky over Camp David is also off-limits to aircraft. Again, makes sense considering it is a popular getaway and meeting place for the president and special guests, including foreign leaders. Another presidential-related area that has been declared off limits to air traffic below 1,000 feet is the Bush family compound near Kennebunkport, Maine.

But then there’s restricted airspace over Disneyland and Disney World. The restrictions below 3,000 feet were slipped into a 2003 spending bill. Disney has fought off previous attempts to remove them because it doesn’t want banner planes flying over its parks.

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2014 CreditCards.com Penalty Rate Survey: The price of being late

November 24, 2014 Comments off

2014 CreditCards.com Penalty Rate Survey: The price of being late
SOurce: CreditCards.com

Those who fall 60 days behind in credit card payments face an average penalty interest rate of 28.45 percent, according to CreditCards.com’s survey of major 100 U.S. credit cards.

That’s down slightly from a 28.60 percent average penalty APR in 2012 — but still expensive.

For example, consider a cardholder who carries a $4,000 balance on a card charging 11.82 percent — the average APR for those carrying a balance, according to the Federal Reserve. At the 28.45 percent average penalty rate, the cardholder would have to pay an extra $665.20 in interest a yea

The World’s 100 Most InDemand Employers: 2014

November 4, 2014 Comments off

The World’s 100 Most InDemand Employers: 2014
Source: LinkedIn

The most sought-after employers in the World based on billions of interactions from LinkedIn’s 300M+ members

Tons of Toilets: Which City Sits Atop the Throne?

October 22, 2014 Comments off

Tons of Toilets: Which City Sits Atop the Throne?
Source: Redfin

Using census and housing data, we calculated which cities had the most residential toilets per person and we had a clear winner: Boulder, Colorado. Boulder is the only city with more residential toilets than actual people. For every 100 Boulderites, there are an estimated 102 residential toilets. That’s 305,200 total toilets, which use 5,341,000 gallons of water per day (for more on water use, see our chart and infographic below). In other words, if you’re home shopping in Boulder and can’t find a three-bedroom home with three bathrooms, you’re doing something wrong.

NerdWallet Health Study: Medical Debt Crisis Worsening Despite Policy Advances

October 16, 2014 Comments off

NerdWallet Health Study: Medical Debt Crisis Worsening Despite Policy Advances
Source: NerdWallet

Despite recent advances in health care policy, American households continue to struggle with medical debt, and it’s only getting worse. Americans are putting more of their take-home pay toward medical costs than ever before.

  • NerdWallet Health has found that Americans pay three times more in third-party collections of medical debt each year than they pay for bank and credit card debt combined. In 2014, roughly one in five American adults will be contacted by a debt collection agency about medical bills, but they may be overpaying – NerdWallet found rampant hospital billing errors resulting in overcharges of up to 26%.
  • NerdWallet found 63% of American adults indicate they have received medical bills that cost more than they expected. At the same time, 73% of consumers agree they could make better health decisions if they knew the cost of medical care before receiving it.
  • Between 2010 and 2013, American households lost $2,300 in median income, but their health care expenses increased by $1,814.[1] Out-of-pocket spending is expected to accelerate to a 5.5% annual growth rate by 2023 – double the growth of real GDP.

In a follow-up to last year’s study that found medical debt is the largest cause of personal bankruptcy, NerdWallet Health investigated the mounting financial obstacles facing the American patient.

Credit Card Tuition Payment Survey 2014: Fees, restrictions wipe out dreams of rewards

October 10, 2014 Comments off

Credit Card Tuition Payment Survey 2014: Fees, restrictions wipe out dreams of rewards
Source: CreditCards.com

Students and parents looking to pay a large college tuition bill with a credit card to earn rewards should expect to add a 2.62 percent convenience fee for the privilege of doing so, according to a CreditCards.com survey.

That fee, which would add $262 to a $10,000 tuition payment, is big enough to make paying tuition by credit card unattractive to rewards cardholders, since the fee more than wipes out most rewards.

The survey looked at tuition payment options offered by 300 U.S. private, public and community schools — the largest 100 of each class of school, based on attendance.

Overall, 260 schools (87 percent) accept credit cards for tuition payments under at least some circumstances. However, tuition payment policies and fees vary greatly among the types of schools and between individual institutions.

The Best Government Websites for 2014

October 10, 2014 Comments off

The Best Government Websites for 2014
Source: Government Technology

The state of Hawaii, the city of Washington, D.C., and Oakland County, Mich., are home to the best government websites in the nation. These sites topped the 2014 Best of the Web awards, a joint project of Government Technology and e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government, which highlights the public sector’s evolving capabilities on the Web. Winners were announced Oct. 7.

In three categories – state, city and county – nearly 300 government websites were judged on their innovative qualities, usefulness, and efficiency and economy. A panel comprising last year’s winners, former government officials and executives from the Center for Digital Government selected websites that tried new things, while remaining functional. See below what made the winners win and who placed in the top 10 for each category.

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