Economy

Keep an eye on the kids, even on the road… Long hours a middle-class burden… Two shoes, one price… Indulgent boomers looking out for Gen-Y

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Big brother for teen drivers

US-based insurer Safeco has recently launched an insurance policy for teenage drivers that offers peace of mind for parents – thanks to GPS tracking. Teensurance comes with a GPS tracking device (the “Safety Beacon”), that gives parents the ability to monitor their teenage children’s behaviour on the road, Springwise reports.

In truly Big Brother style, Safety Beacon enables parents to set how far their children are allowed to drive, their maximum speed and the time of day they can travel. If one of the boundaries is crossed, parents immediately receive a notification by phone.

If there’s trouble, the cops will be interested in the data as well. According to Springwise, Safeco claims it can’t see data that’s being collected and won’t be able to use it if a teenage driver is involved in an accident.

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Middle class men working too hard

Time or money – you can have one or the other; hardly anyone has both. New research indicates that most middle-class professional men would prefer to work less than 50 hours per week, reports The Brisbane Times.

The “Long Work Hours: Volunteers & Conscripts” study, conducted by University of Melbourne researchers and based on data from the Household, Income & Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, contradicts the widely-held belief that managers and professionals with a university education are happy to work long hours because they enjoy their jobs.

Among long-hours workers, the ones who are happy to put in the 50-plus hours a week are in trades or less high-status jobs. They want the work because they want the money. Middle-class workers have the money so they want the time.

The self-employed were fairly equally divided between long-hours volunteers, who were probably highly ambitious, and conscripts, who unhappily put in the time through fear of losing customers.

Women were unlikely to work long hours, either as volunteers or conscripts, nor on average were public servants, according to the study.

The study’s findings will be presented at a research conference today.

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Two pairs of shoes for the price of one

US company TOMS shoes has come up with a business/charity model that is so crazy it just might work – for every pair of shoes you buy, they will give a pair to a kid in a developing country who can’t afford some.

The shoes only come in one design, but in a variety of colours for men and women. And, at $US38 for a basic pair, or $US68 for a hand-painted designer pair, they wont’ break the bank – especially since one Aussie dollar is just about worth one greenback at the moment.

You can buy them online, but according to the TOMS website there will be retailers selling them in Australia in the near future.

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Blame it on the baby boomers

If Gen-Ys are worried that their baby boomer parents are having too much fun skiing (spending the kids’ inheritance), they shouldn’t.

A study of the track record of baby boomers published in Australian Property Investor magazine found that when it comes to indulging their children by acts such as paying their HECS and covering all their mobile telephone bills suggests that Gen-Y children should not be too alarmed, as their parents are just “softies” at heart.

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SmartCompany Quote of the Day

“You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.”
Germaine Greer

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