Monday, September 19, 2011

Inspirational Quote I Last Read

"Be mindful of your thought, for they become your words.
Be choiceful of your words, for they become your actions.
Be purposeful in your actions, for they become your reputation.
Be protective of your reputation, for it becomes your legacy."

I don't know the source of this quote, if any one of you know, please email us and we will send you a thank-you gift.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Book Review: Young Professional's Guide to Success

This book is full of valuable advice from the CEOs and accomplished leaders who had learnt their lessons and who had made it to the top in their career. What took these successful men and women decades to learn, young people can now learn them all in this book. With the increasing competitiveness in the global economy, young professionals nowadays need the hard skills that enable them to solve the complex technical problems at work, and also the soft skills that help them navigate the ever more globally diverse and challenging workplace. I think the young professionals who read this book are already one notch ahead of their peers who don't. What this book presents are knowledge and wisdom from the real world that are very critical to one's career and yet aren't taught in college. This is a must read for college students and also young professionals who want to excel in their career.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Inspirational Quote I Last Read

" Your strengths alone may not get you where you want to go, but unaddressed weaknesses will almost certainly keep you from getting there" - John F. Lundgren - Chairman & CEO, The Stanley Works.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Free Books October Giveaways

Want a free book? Check out the links below! Or, you've got books to give away this month? In the link box below, please enter the book title in the "Your Name" blank, and the post url (if you have a blog or website) where you posted your book giveaway:

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Prefer Economic Freedom to Freedom to Vote

I was in Hong Kong on 12/31/2011 celebrating New Year's Eve, and it was much more breath taking in live than watching this on video. This annual countdown makes the drop of the ball in New York kind of lame.

I am recently reading the book "Crash Proof" which really answers a lot of my questions. I'm here in America for college and staying with my cousins, while working part-time for them on this blog and their other websites. I haven't been in the U.S. for too long but I do realize that things here aren't what I imagined them to be before I came. The first thing I noticed is the big chunk of money that was taken out of my first paycheck by the U.S. and California governments. The second thing I noticed was that everything I bought, I paid about 9.75% sales tax. Then when I got my i-phone bill and utilities bills, I saw a lot of taxes added to each one of them also. Even without counting the taxes on everything I buy or consume, everything is just more expensive than Hong Kong. In here, I've learnt that I have less take home cash (after the governments took away their shares), but I have to pay sales tax with the little cash I have, and then everything is more expensive in the U.S. than Hong Kong even before the taxes. My hair cut and coloring today costs me $132. I get the same hair cut and treatment in Hong Kong for more than 50% less money. Also, I found out that holidays and New Year in the USA are pretty boring. This is why I went back to Hong Kong last Christmas to visit my folks and did the New Year count down there instead. After college, I will definitely return to Hong Kong, for Hong Kong is consistently ranked #1 in the world in terms of economic freedom, which means less government control on my income and property and more money in my purse that can support a higher quality of life. In America, every citizen has the privilege to vote for their president and governors, whereas we can't vote directly for our Chief Executive of Hong Kong. But what good does the freedom to vote do to the citizens when the majority of people consistently vote for government officials who keep digging into my wallets? On the other hand, the Chief Executive in Hong Kong was voted by elite citizens of the city, (yes, only the very accomplished citizens can vote for the chief there) who are usually more educated and more sensible. Singapore works in similar way. To me, I will go for freedom to keep my money instead of the freedom to cast a vote in a voting booth. I highly recommend this book "Crash Proof", because it's very educational and informative about what goes wrong with the economy in America. For every $10K one withdraws from the bank in the USA, there are reports to be filed and the bank has to do extra paper work.... We don't have to do that in Hong Kong, anyone can withdraw as much money as they have in their bank accounts and the government won't ask a question. Now, this is the freedom I want. Property taxes are also way much lower there. With so little taxes, one might think that, "well, there must be a lot of "have-nots" in Hong Kong who have no government help...." Well, unemployment rate is 3.4% there and homeless people are very very rare. Crime rate is very low and there is no ghetto in Hong Kong. The strange thing is, without the government obsessing about uplifting the poor through taxing others, the dynamics of a free economy ends up creating more wealth, saving and employment opportunities for everybody who are productive, which in turn reduces poverty and the "poor class" altogether.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Book Review: A Wedding in December

This is a story about an intimate wedding in a quaint bed and breakfast inn where the reunion of seven former schoolmates got a little too intimate. What happened in this story may very well be the reason why many people avoid attending their school reunion altogether. This is a wedding story that bridged the distance that friends mistakenly maintained from each other due to misunderstanding. The author masterfully explored the very relatable human weaknesses and desires through her characters. This story brilliantly crafted the confrontation of unresolved issues and the reexamination of one's paths in life. Through intimate and shocking revelations in the serene Berkshire Mountains, the seven friends ultimately found closures of their past that would drastically change their future. This book is a good read for book club gatherings because the story provides lots of discussions that make us think.