For all of my American travelers who read this newsletter, you’ll want to get this one task taken care of ASAP.
As you know, driver’s licenses are being updated to be REAL ID compliant. This was part of a ruling passed by Congress in 2005 when they wanted to create a new driver’s license that is more secure and adheres to a national standard. You’ll need this new license as legitimate proof of your US citizenship and identity.
But there’s another reason why you should get your license updated immediately…
As of October 1st, 2021, your driver’s license WILL NOT be accepted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as an acceptable documentation of your identity. You will not be able to fly out of the US, within the US, or even be able to return to the US from a foreign country.
Unless you have another acceptable form of ID, you won’t even be able to pass the security checkpoint at the airport. You’re getting a one-year extension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the original deadline was at the start of this month.
Getting your REAL ID will require an in-person visit to a Department of Motor Vehicles office. Documents you’ll have to bring will include proof of your SSN, legitimate proof of identity (passport or birth certificate), proof of citizenship, and proof of date of birth. Oh, and don’t forget you’ll be taking a new photo.
I’m bringing up this news because it turns out that over 60% of Americans do not have a REAL ID. So if you’ve been putting this small task off, I suggest getting it out of the way now while the lines are small. Because as the deadline starts to come around, it will take forever to get this done.
Have YOU gotten your REAL ID yet? If so, do you have any tips for speeding up the renewal process? Share your advice with our community by replying to the newsletter!
A Shocking Admission About COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions
I read this small excerpt from an investigative New York Times article and this section blew my mind:
“When the coronavirus emerged in China in January, the World Health Organization didn’t flinch in its advice: Do not restrict travel.
But what is now clear is that the policy was about politics and economics more than public health.
Public health records, scores of scientific studies and interviews with more than two dozen experts show the policy of unobstructed travel was never based on hard science.
It was a political decision, recast as health advice, which emerged after a plague outbreak in India in the 1990s.”
In other words, we could have closed off the borders much earlier and been much further ahead in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. But due to an over-reliance on old mathematical models, we were led to believe that shutting down borders wouldn’t do anything to stop the virus from spreading.
Almost like high-level officials KNEW a pandemic was coming and didn’t want to spook anybody before the sh*t hit the fan (and by then, the entire world was panicking). Nobody wanted to risk financial ruin unless they absolutely had to, which is ironic considering the current state of the international travel industry…
Southwest Airlines BEGS Employees to Take Lower Salaries
In the light of Congress being unable to provide airlines with the multi-billion dollar stimulus funding they need to prevent record layoffs and furloughs, these same airlines are taking drastic measures to further cut costs.
Southwest Airlines is taking a unique and arguably destructive approach by asking its unionized employees to voluntarily take lower benefits and paychecks. Facing a 70% revenue loss, all of their tactics for lowering spending and costs have failed them so far.
CEO Gary Kelly had this to say:
“Absent substantial improvements in our business, our quarterly losses could be in the billions until vaccines are available, distributed, and effectively kill the pandemic and at best, that is looking like late next year.”
This is his method of attempting to avoid any layoffs and furloughs, as they have spent the past few DECADES avoiding layoffs during international crises affecting the aviation industry. He’s already slashed senior executive pay by 20% and agreed to take nothing in base salary until the end of 2021.
What do YOU think about Kelly’s approach to saving the jobs of Southwest Airlines employees? Is it generous of him, or would he be better off with furloughs and layoffs right now? Tell me what you think he should do by replying to this newsletter!
Paris’s Two-Week Shutdown of Bars and Cafés
France is currently in the middle of a second COVID-19 wave, putting the city of Paris under “maximum alert” to signify that widespread coronavirus infections are very likely to happen.
In order to fight back against the continuation of the pandemic, all cafés and bars are going to be closed for 14 days. This new restriction is being implemented alongside are putting a hard cap on the number of shoppers allowed in stores, closing swimming pools, and outright banning student parties.
Just to give you an idea of how bad things are in Paris: They are recording 3,500 new COVID-19 infections every day, and several dozen areas have already been listed as hotspots for the virus. Nearly 1,400 patients are in intensive care unit beds for severe COVID-19 infections (36% of all the available beds in Paris) and 32,230 people in France have died from COVID-19.
But just to be clear, this is NOT another nationwide lockdown. The French government is doing everything in their power to avoid doing what they did back in March. This partial lockdown will hopefully solve the outbreak without putting the country in yet another economic recession…
No Halloween Weekend Bookings for Airbnb Locations in Canada and the US
If you had any plans to host an epic Halloween party or weekend getaway for the weekend of Halloween in an Airbnb, you should cancel them.
For October 30th and 31st, travelers will NOT be allowed to book an Airbnb home listing for parties or one-night stay-ins. At least in Canada and the US, as no confirmation has been for Airbnb locations in other parts of the world. Fortunately, all hosts and guests will find their canceled reservations to come with the necessary refunds and reimbursements.
But this goes even further: If you are a guest without a prior history of positive reviews, you will not be able to make a last-minute booking. You can stay in an Airbnb, but just not any location which is designated as a “party house” or an entire home.
Anybody who is caught violating Airbnb’s new rules will be subject to legal action and will be forcefully removed from the Airbnb property in question.
And before you throw a fit, Airbnb has been systematically refusing guests from renting entire homes located in the US since July. Especially to guests under the age of 25, as we all know the REAL reason why they choose to book such large locations.
People Are Stocking Up on Gold… Should You Also Buy Silver?
Silver had a near $29 high during the month of August. But thanks to an unforeseen correction in gold, silver is now trading at around $21 per ounce.
The correction was largely a result of the September FOMC meeting, where more stimulus was not promised by the Federal Reserve and interest rates were projected to say the same until 2023.
And even though the USD has gotten stronger due to concerns about a second COVID-19 coming to Europe (along with the current presidential election), the dollar isn’t as strong as you would think. For more stimulus to come around, the Federal Reserve will have to artificially print more money in order to match increased spending from Congress.
Remember that despite silver’s higher volatility due to being more heavily impacted by industrial demand, silver largely follows the market movements from gold (i.e. silver goes up when gold goes up, and vice versa).
Long story short: If you’re stocking up on gold, make sure to stock up on silver as well. Not only is silver incredibly undervalued right now, but the current economic conditions in the United States point towards an extremely bullish few months for both metals.