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Make Money Online with InboxDollars

shopping cart with money on top of a laptop

On May 31, 2022, I signed up to make money online with InboxDollars. On August 1, I had made $100 by doing surveys, playing (mostly) solitaire, receiving PaidEmails, using the InboxDollars search engine, and uploading some very small Magic Receipts. I took advantage of one offer to see how it worked. With my two referrals also earning money, it only took me a little over 63 days. That’s about $1.60 a day. It won’t pay the bills, but if I’m making that in my spare time, it’s not too shabby.

Referrals to Make Money Online with InboxDollars

When you sign up with my referral link, I get a 30% bonus based on your activity. If you make a dollar, I get 30 cents, and more importantly, you get your whole dollar. The money doesn’t come from your account. Obviously, I want you to make as much as possible, but even a couple cents a day goes in the pot and contributes to the $10 minimum withdrawal currently on my account. Once you’re signed up, you get your own referral link that you can send to family and friends. You’ll get a 30% bonus based on their activity. (I’ll get nothing but a percentage of what you earn through activity, at least as far as I understand it.) Referrals are obviously the easiest way to make money because once they’re signed up and working, you don’t have to do anything.

Using Offers

I’m always skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true. However, because I had a good experience so far, I thought I would try one out. One of my PaidEmails had an offer for Golden Hearts. The website has a small number of casino slots and other games to play. The offer was to donate $10 and you’d get $15 from InboxDollars. That’s Golden Heart’s shtick. The money goes to a charity of your choosing. Did I have $10 to lose? Education isn’t free, so I thought I could make it up on other activities if something went wrong, like I clicked on the wrong link. I got my $15 from InboxDollars about a week later, maybe a little longer. Even better, the coins I got from Golden Hearts had me at $10.82, which means I made my money back twice!

Golden Hearts offers its members the opportunity to spin, once every 24 hours, for more bonus coins. As long as you remember to visit the site once a day after the hour you first spun the wheel, you’ll be able to continue to play whatever casino game catches your fancy on the site and win more money. (If for some reason, you don’t want to sign up through InboxDolllars, use this referral link. But seriously, you should sign up through InboxDollars.)

Other Parts of InboxDollars

I’ve already covered a lot of the others to make money online with InboxDollars in a previous article. If you’re looking to supplement your income and have a little fun doing it, InboxDollars provides a way. In their July 2022 break down of site statistics, InboxDollars reports that the most made from surveys by one person was around $366. One member made over $2,000 through offers, and someone made $670 from referrals!

All the information I have written is true as far as my experience. This article contains referral links as explained above.

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What the Financial Experts and Almost Everybody Gets Wrong about the Lottery

hard cash on a briefcase

With Mega Millions reaching over $1 billion and people of every income level buying tickets in quantity, financial experts everywhere are decrying the lack of financial education of the common man. They talk about the near-zero chance of winning the lottery, and how that money could be better invested in the stock market. Some even go so far as suggesting that taking the lump sum over the annuity is the better option.

The Stupid Person Tax

Back in the day, someone close to me described the lottery as a tax on stupid people. There were (and are) a lot of poor people playing the lottery with the hope of striking it rich. According to a Washington Post demographic study, “Those with middle-class and lower-middle-class incomes are more likely to play the lottery than those with higher incomes. Those with low incomes are just as likely to play as the wealthy – although they presumably have less to spend.” In 2005, a Texas Lottery report found the same proportions of players amongst income levels.

The presumption of my friend, who wrongfully believed that poor people were poor because they were stupid, was ill-conceived in its origins. However, less educated people are more likely to play the lottery than those who have graduated from college. More significantly, those who are employed are more likely to play than those who are unemployed.

Rather than a tax on stupid people, because there have to be few people that actually believe they’re going to win the lottery, especially when report after report tells them that how low that possibility is, it appears that the lottery is the American Dream tax. Admittedly, there may be some who, like Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber, are thinking, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”

The American Dream

As much as every American would like to believe the American still exists, that the average person can still get ahead, and that working hard will allow you to retire in comfort, it’s just not the case anymore. The gig economy, freelancing, and hobby-cum-business will not be able to support a majority of workers throughout their lives and into retirement. While the jobs within these areas have grown, they just don’t provide enough income for people to afford retirement, health care, or sick days. No matter how hard a person works at doing these things, in and of themselves, they will not lead to financial security. It’s a terrible business model for the working person when their income relies on the strength of someone ordering something and them receiving a tip large enough to cover expenses.

Even if you have a steady job paying a “living” wage of $15 an hour ($600 a week, $2,400 a month, $28,800 a year before taxes) unless that job includes retirement and other benefits, most people are stuck spinning their wheels. There’s no way to get ahead at that wage level, and those wages are what the U.S. economy is built on while being supported by freelance and gig workers. The structure is precarious and untenable. It is also unlikely to change. (Check out “the Hard Truth of the Gig Economy and Freelancing” on Medium.)

The Myth of Compound Interest

Some are still preaching tuppence prudently, thriftily, frugally invested in the bank will have compounded interest that will make a difference in your later years. Hogwash. A 401K, with interest rates of three one hundredths of one percent (.0003) doesn’t work for those who have low amounts invested. With $9,500 in my retirement account, I am making about 8 pennies (.08) a month; by the end of the year, I have 96 cents – not quite a dollar. The money in a retirement account is trapped unless the person has the financial savvy and time to find out how to reinvest it elsewhere without the financial penalties of early withdraw.

Even in a bank manage Money Market savings account, where interest rates are five times higher than those of the retirement account (.0015), the compound interest on any kind of account is easily wiped out by one bank fee, a candy bar, or a single lottery ticket. Still, most people wouldn’t count $1 as a positive gain, even when inflation is lower than its current percentages.

Play the Stock Market

Most professional financial people will tell you that its better to put the money in the stock market, where returns have been between seven (7) and 15 percent. Averaged out over whatever the number of years the analyst wants to look back on. “There are three types of lies in this world: lies, damn lies and statistics.” (The quote is variously attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, Mark Twain (who may have taken it from Disraeli), and Arthur James Balfour.) The problem with this statistic is that it doesn’t represent individual performance. It might be true of the group for the time period taken into account, but it has no bearing on an individual stock or an individual year.

In 2008, I lost $1000 of invested, real money and $4000 in gains because I chose the wrong stock. At the end, I had to pay extra to the robot account manager because the stocks I had were forced to be sold at a negative number after brokerage fees. That year, not only did I not make seven to 15 percent, I also lost all of what I had invested in the stock market with no way to recuperate it. For the brokerage firm, it was still a win because they got my fees for selling worthless stock. That same year, my mom lost half of her retirement account, which meant she had to retire later than she had planned because the stock market did not recover fast enough to refund her retirement account.

The stock market takes skill, knowledge, and resources to invest in. Those who are spending $2 a week on tickets have spent $104 over the course of a year. They would have to find a place to store that money and then find a firm or program (like Robin Hood or Acorns, which didn’t exist until recently) to use for investing. Then they would have to decide what to invest in, and with all the choices and possibilities for fraud, it’s too much overload for most people.

The Lump Sum Fallacy

While the accepted statistic is a fallacy, there are several tragic stories about lottery winners who had to declare bankruptcy within a decade after they won the lottery. Presumably, they took the lump sum payout. It’s a lot of money to ignore, especially for smaller prizes. But even at a billion dollars, there are some people who would still take the lump sum, reducing their prize to less than $700 million dollars.

If you happen to be the winner of the big prize, take the annuity. This is a sum of money that pays out every year for 30 years, and each check is worth more (percentage-wise) than the last. For someone younger than 70, that’s 30 years of guaranteed income. If you mess up one year, you still have next year to bail you out.

Someone Has to Win

Some people will say, “Someone has to win, it might as well be me.” The thing is, no one has to win. In fact, the reason why the jackpot is so large is because no one has won it, yet. They didn’t win for several weeks in a row. No one has to win this time or the next. One guy spent $100,000 on the Tuesday drawing (July 26, 2022); he didn’t win. If you’re playing because you think someone has to win, you need to rethink your strategy.

The Dream

What the lottery does do, for those who have realized that their hard work is forever going to keep them where they and for those who see no way of struggling out of their own financial issues, is gives them a ray of hope to cling to. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to have the financial means to live life on their terms, rather than having to constantly be at the beck and call of customers, bosses, and bills. They can hold onto this glimmer and for a few days dream about what the windfall would mean to them, what they could do with the money, how they could change their circumstances.

If you happen to fall into this category, don’t go out and act like you’ve won, but feel free to indulge in the fantasies of winning. May those uplifting thoughts release you from your burdens, even if only for a little while, and allow you to practice using your imagination. Play only what you can afford to lose, and make sure this indulgence has more meaning than just a piece of paper that will likely be only paper come Friday night.

If you don’t fall in this category, stop telling people what they can do better with their money. Most people are working hard to change their destiny, let them have this moment of lightness and dreams, especially since so many others have been crushed.

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Why ‘Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil’ Is Bad

maleficent costume

A spoiler tainted review of the Disney Film

(This article was originally published on Medium. It was my most read article on that website.) If you haven’t seen “Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil” and you want to, do not read any further. There’s no reason to spoil the film for yourself, and you might love it more than I did. Otherwise, the discussion starts after the trailer.

‘Maleficent 2’ Forgets Its Origins — Twice

In 1959, Maleficent made her screen debut in Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.” She was the elegant, ideal version of evil. Her motives were petty — she wasn’t invited to the party. Her punishment was excessive — Aurora’s death by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. The spell was changed so that Aurora would only awake after Prince Phillip kissed her; Maleficent would hold Prince Phillip hostage for 100 years before he’d be able to rescue the princess. She was, in her own words, “The Mistress of All Evil,” which is the phrase used in the title of the second film. The Maleficent of the second film, is clearly not the mistress of evil, not even a little bit. Disney wanted to do a different take on the character, fine, but why then harken back to Maleficent’s role in every other film and video appearance since then.

In 2014, Disney struck gold with “Maleficent,” which scored over $750 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. The movie rode the coattails of the “Frozen” phenomenon by exploring the relationship and love that women can have for each other. “Frozen” addressed the love between sisters. “Maleficent” addressed the love of a mother-figure for a daughter without becoming the evil stepmother. The success of this movie was based on the idea that women can create a loving relationship and bond that supports one another. “Maleficent 2” takes that idea and stomps on it with all of the force and bravado of a long-drawn out and unnecessarily dumb battle sequence. In essence, the movie becomes Michelle Pfeiffer, the Mistress of Evil, versus Angelina Jolie, the dark fairy phoenix.

It’s Grey and Dark

All 3D movies still have an issue with dark scenes, and “Maleficent 2” suffers from it. Even the scenes at the beginning that are supposed to be colorful and show the beauty of the fairy world and the scenes in the middle that show the beauty of the dark fairies are muted. The scenes that take place in the rain, water, and dark are much harder to see and enjoy.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

It seems that Disney didn’t learn anything from “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” the ill-fated sequel to “Alice In Wonderland.” “Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil” has some of the same issues. It’s not a sequel anyone asked for. There are pacing problems and scenes that are completely unnecessary to the plot and film. However, the worst part about this film, featuring Angelina Jolie in a role she was born to play, is that it wasn’t true to itself, it’s not true to the spirit of family, and it isn’t true to the audience that made the first one so popular. You can rent this same film under the title “Snow White and the Huntsman;” the only difference is that film is Kristen Stewart versus Charlize Theron. Or just return to “Maleficent” for a much better film experience.

Want more Disney discussion? Try my book “Penguinate! The Disney Company.” It combines Disney articles with suggestions based on researched principles to help you become more creative. You may also enjoy “Disneyland Is Creativity” and “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”

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Disney’s ‘Tall Tale’ Exposes True Conservative Values

What mother daughter relationships in Disney films have been shown in this theater?

Disney’s “Tall Tale” centers around the relationship between a man and his son as the family farm comes under the threat of development by a robber baron from the train industry. Featuring Patrick Swayze, Roger Aaron Brown, and Oliver Platt in the roles of American legends Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Paul Bunyan, “Tall Tale” stands the test of time as more than just a piece of entertainment; it is also a commentary on the decaying of American life without it ever realizing it.

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DisneyPlus Movies You May Have Missed: The Love Bug, Magic Camp, and Timmy Failure

What mother daughter relationships in Disney films have been shown in this theater?

How the Love Bug Predicted the Future

Released in 1968, “The Love Bug” tells the story of a racing Volkswagen with a mind of its own. It was so popular that the movie inspired four sequels and a short-lived television series. While the movie itself starts out funny and has several madcap chases, which seem to be a staple of Disney movies in this era. Toward the end, “The Love Bug” reaches into the realm of nightmares to strike a horror chord.

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‘Pixel Perfect’ Weirdness Makes It Worthwhile on Disney+

Mickey Mouse on a Piano; music and animation compromise

“Pixel Perfect” is a 2004 Disney Channel movie on Disney+. The description makes it look like a take on the “Weird Science” story. A boy makes a hologram girl to be the lead singer of his favorite high school band. It pretty much follows the G-rated idea for the first part of the movie. Somehow, the hologram has feelings of jealousy, love, and vanity, which the adults mostly ignore. This stirs up conflict between the real girl lead singer and the boy. However, because this is a Disney Channel film, it never gets beyond vague notions of love.

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Mickey’s The Gift of the Magi Lampoons Consumerism and Capitalist Christmas

Mickey Mouse on a Piano; music and animation compromise

The original “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry is about a poor couple that sacrifice to give each other gifts for Christmas. Jim sells his heirloom watch to by Delia combs for her long, beautiful hair. For better or worse, Delia sells her hair to by a chain for Jim’s watch. In the end, O. Henry implies that they are richer because of their sacrifices for one another. The story is often read as a feel-good Christmas story. However, as “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas” shows, there are other interpretations of this short story and the meaning behind it.

‘Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas’ Summary

In the Disney version, Mickey gives Minnie a chain for her heirloom watch, and Minnie gives Mickey a case for his harmonica. The watch and the harmonica have been sold to pay for the gifts. They laugh and say the best gift is they have each other. How sad it is that they had to give up the only two items of value to learn this lesson.

Corporate Greed

Minnie works at Mortimer’s wrapping gifts with her friend Daisy. Minnie is working quickly because she needs her Christmas bonus to get Mickey a gift. Daisy is impressed, and Minnie gets a call to Mortimer’s office. The head mouse offers his praise for Minnie’s work ethic but never gets her name right. He then gives her the bonus for her work – a fruitcake. This echo of real-world, corporate bonus policy changes of the 1980s and ‘90s cuts to the quick of anyone who lived through counting on their bonus only to have the company pull the rug out from under them in search of greater profits and lower expenditures. Not only was it clearly not the bonus Minnie was expecting, but it was just as clear that her work wasn’t valued by her employer. The bonus achieved the exact opposite effect it should’ve had. Minnie walks out dejected rather than enthused about her work, which is keeping her in poverty.

While Minnie is employed by the local department store, Mickey has job with the typecast villain Pete. Pete runs a Christmas tree lot where people can get their 10-footers on a payment plan. His trees aren’t as fresh as he makes them out to be. He uses hot glue and paint on old, dead trees to make them new and green again. When a poor family comes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, Pete tries to sell them a 10-footer – a tree bigger than their house – even though it’s clear they can’t afford it. The dad wouldn’t want to disappoint the kids at this time of year, right? As the father is about to sign for the payment plan, Mickey brings over a smaller tree. The family leaves happy, but Mickey loses his job and Pete confiscates his wages to make up for the lost sale. While Mickey’s being fired on Christmas Eve isn’t a surprise, after all, he works at a Christmas tree lot, it still has its real-world echoes in the layoffs started by Neutron Jack Welch of GE. The celebrated CEO fired thousands of employees from GE, the most profitable company in the world at the time, in a surprise move during the holidays. Other companies followed suit throughout the 1990s.

Love Is a Gift

“Do it for the kids” features in Mickey’s next adventure. While the Firehouse Five band is putting out a fire at Pete’s Christmas tree lot, the charity they were supposed to play for is floundering. No one is donating toys for the kids who won’t have a Christmas this year because they’re parents are too poor to afford gifts. Mickey is asked to remember the kids, and he puts aside his needs as a small child pushes his teddy bear on stage to listen to Mickey play the harmonica. Mickey starts the concert, is joined by the band fresh from the fire, and the toys stack up to overflowing. Mickey’s given a thank you and has to rush to the store to get his own gift for Minnie.

The entire story is based on giving the person something precious is an indication of how much you love them and how much joy they will get out of the present and the holiday. If you don’t spend the money, your loved ones will be disappointed. Minnie is disappointed in her holiday bonus. Pete tells the poor family the kids will be disappointed if they don’t have a tree. Mickey is told that the kids will be disappointed without gifts from their parents. Both Mickey and Minnie want to express their love through the “perfect” Christmas gift.

Feeling of Christmas

Mickey arrives at the shop just as the shopkeeper flips the sign to close. When the owner exits the shop, Mickey asks him if the shopkeeper could open, so Mickey could trade his harmonica for the gold necklace in the window. The shopkeeper dismisses the harmonica as not worth very much and walks away with a “Merry Christmas” on his lips. A dejected Mickey sits on the curb and plays a sad “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The melody softens the shopkeeper’s heart to allow Mickey to trade the harmonica for the necklace. In this transaction, Mickey trades away his means of making wealth, the harmonica, for a gift for Minnie. With the shopkeeper’s admission that the harmonica isn’t worth very much, it’s possible the gold chain is worth more. However, its only real value lies in appreciation, whereas Mickey could’ve used the harmonica to busk and possibly cut a record deal as was shown earlier during the wildly successful gift-collecting effort. One could also fault the shopkeeper’s Christmas generosity in opening the shop to take the only real wealth-producing instrument Mickey has and trading it for something that may or may not accumulate wealth over time but will certainly not provide for Mickey or Pluto in the near future.

Minnie’s trade is even dearer. She gives up her heirloom watch, something that likely has value as an antique that still works, for a box. Even if it’s an ornate case designed to keep Mickey’s harmonica safer, it will not accrue value on its own the way the necklace and watch could have. Still, it’s a sign of love, and Christmas is about what you spend not how you feel.

What Is Christmas about?

When a corporation like Disney can so easily lampoon the crass commercialism of a holiday that’s supposed to be about family and love without people recognizing that’s what the corporation is doing, it becomes clear the country has lost its way. Instead of money spent, Christmas should be about how people spend their time and with whom. Even in the age of COVID, people can get together virtually to sing carols and enjoy each other’s company. The true expression of love isn’t what we spend, but what we give. “The Gift of the Magi” in “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas” would have us believe otherwise – except for the one closing statement when Minnie and Mickey realize what has happened and confess their love for one another.

If you want to read more about Disney and creativity, check out “Disneyland Is Creativity” and “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.” Read more about the Disney Company in “Penguinate! The Disney Company.” Check out other Disney stories at www.penguinate.weebly.com. This is part of our Disneycember coverage. Doug Walker, the Nostalgia Critic, and Channel Awesome appear to have coined the term “Disneycember.” Come back every day during December and read an article.

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The Sounds of Disneyland as a Writing Aid

Mickey Mouse on a Piano; music and animation compromise

As I wrote over the summer and through October, I would find Disney Park music on YouTube to listen to. Some of the videos contained ambient sounds hidden in the background to subvert the copyright bot. Others were straight from the park. Still others were clear and beautiful. Then YouTube decided to monetize smaller creators’ videos without sharing revenue. This is the same content they said wasn’t worth monetizing in 2018 because it was too small.

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Feed the Birds: Its Significance for Us and Walt Disney

ancient architecture black and white building

(Editor’s note: This article uses affiliate links. If you click on a link and it takes you to an Amazon page, you may purchase the book or song there. It won’t cost you any more than going directly to Amazon, and it will help our blog prosper. Thank you.) According to Robert Sherman, as recounted in “The Musical World of Walt Disney,” Walt Disney’s favorite song was the ballad “Feed the Birds.” Walt would invite the Sherman Brothers to his office for a scotch and a chat, then he would ask Richard Sherman to play the song that he would later call “the most beautiful song written for me.”

Mary Poppins sings “Feed the Birds” to the children as she puts them to bed, the evening before they are supposed to go with their father to the bank.

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Disney’s Silly Symphonies and the Art of Compromise

Mickey Mouse on a Piano; music and animation compromise

Just as “Steamboat Willie” was gaining steam at the box office and launching Mickey Mouse to superstardom, Carl Stalling was scoring the first two Mickey Mouse cartoons: “Plane Crazy” and “Gallopin’ Gaucho.” After some correspondence with Walt Disney, Stalling ended up as the studios first musical director. Because it was complicated to synchronize sound with animations, Walt and Stalling had to work closely with one another to get the two disciplines to work together before they could begin production on the drawings. Walt and Stalling would often argue over what should take precedence in the animated film. Stalling wanted the music to be the first thing to considered; Disney wanted the action and gags to take precedence.

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