1. Money
Dana Anspach

Stop Circulating this Stuff!

By January 5, 2013

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Often on a Saturday morning I browse through Facebook posts. It is rather an interesting thing to do over morning coffee, and makes for a nice break from my typical finance-related reading - but not today.

It started off innocently enough, until I came upon a post about the amazing bacteria absorbing properties of onions. Seriously? I immediately headed to the About.com Urban Legends site to check it out.

Not to be let down, I found this Onions and Flu article that seemed to quote the Facebook post I had just read verbatim. It quickly dispelled the amazing flu-fighting properties of onions as a myth. (Of course I had to post this myth-busting link to the person's Facebook comment.)

Next, however I came across a post about the endless cycle of government spending. That's fine and I see a lot of that now-a-days. But the post went on to talk about the government nationalizing retirement plans. Gheez. Serioulsy? Again? I have had plenty of readers ask me about this over the past few years, and frankly, I've had it with this question.

Urban Legends didn't have the myth-buster on this one, but thank goodness Ric Edelman did. You can read his report in Relax. The Government is Not Going to Seize Your 401(k). The whole thing is a bunch of baloney that got sensationalized.

Why re-circulate unsourced anonymous info via email or Facebook without fact checking? Please, give me one reason why? I mean no wonder people like Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford are able to get away with their scandals for so long. I think I'm going to start selling rainbows with pots of gold at the end. I mean why not? Apparently there's plenty of people out there gullible enough to buy one.

Comments
January 10, 2013 at 8:54 am
(1) Greenspace says:

Goes to show you how many stupid Americans there are.

January 10, 2013 at 8:58 am
(2) eliza says:

I don’t mind them being uniformed (ok, stupid) there’s a lot of information out there nowadays but do we have to be lazy also. I scream at my Facebook friends for this. A 20 minute search will usually get one on the right tract to at least finding the information.

So not only are we stupid, we’re too ding dong lazy to even see if any of these rumors have a kernel of truth.

I agree with the author, Is it any wonder we get ripped off by snake oil salesmen?

January 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm
(3) Opusthedog says:

I agree most people are too stupid, or too lazy to fact check before passing on bogus information. But there is a third element, that I think is growing stronger, and that is, distrust in general, focused distrust in our government. It has become all too easy to believe the government is going to take over our retirements, or has become socialistic, or is going to do some other nefarious act to harm us a citizens. I believe that state and national legislatures have earned this distrust, but the fact is, their behavior is now coming back to haunt them.

January 23, 2013 at 10:24 am
(4) Betty says:

I am hearing from several other finance advisors that there are rumplings in Washington discussing government managing 401K’s and pension plans. Please keep your eyes and ears open and a willingness to accept that much of what Washington is forcing on us is not for our best interest. If it was, everyone, including Federal employees, union members and special interest groups would be required to be a part of the Health Care Reform Bill instead of being excluded.

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