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Old 02-16-2019, 11:40 PM   #51
shikataganai
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Re minimum wage:

4% make it or less (I guess tipped).

https://poverty.ucdavis.edu/faq/what...m-wage-workers

Iíve never been poor as an adult. We grew up frugal and effectively poor in NYC, but that was because my dad was in med school then in residency.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:40 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
Iím interested in the plight of the common man.



It just astounds me how such a large portion of America lives hand to mouth. See below: 46% of Americans would not be able to come up with $400 for an unexpected expense.
My first experience with these types of people was a guy my wife worked for. He owed a small biz for 20+ years and prior to hiring my wife had never had a budget.

He drove a 4 year old Tahoe...that he still owed more than $40k on. Anytime prior that he'd wanted a new car, he just bought it and rolled whatever he still owed into the next one. At one point he wanted us to trade vehicles with him and take over the payments on his. He could not, AT ALL, understand why giving him our paid for vehicle and taking his was a horrible deal. He really didn't understand.

He was so terrible with his money that he built up tons of debt, and was going bankrupt.

At one point:
[Him] "What am I supposed to do, write down every check I write?!? That's crazy! Nobody does that!"

[Us] "Actually, that's exactly what *everybody* does."

We ended up buying the biz from him and have run it ourselves for 10+ years now.

Since then I realized many others are like him, and their entire attitude is that they aren't interested in solving their own issues...they are only interested in paying other people to taking care of those issues for them.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:34 AM   #53
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a HUGE part of the problem is nearly 4 decades of wage stagnation.

don't place all the blame on Joe Sixpack for making poor financial decisions. A majority of this **** is to be placed on corporations not investing in their workforce.
This.

TL/DR: stop spending, live modest, SAVE. Avoid **** consiquences.

My wife and I did the Dave Ramsey thing after about 4 years of marriage, do that's 8 years ago. We both had parents who were bad with money and we were living paycheck to paycheck, moved away from NYC to CO because I got laid off twice during the financial meltdown in the city.

We lived way below our means and we're cranking down on debt, paid off both cars, and got equity in our condo. When we moved to Uganda as she got recruited for a jobs, we built up enough equity to make about 70k profit which we I mediately paid all our students loans off with (80k combined when we got married, about 33k at that point) and threw 35k into mutual funds that we didn't plan on touching.

When Uganda went to **** (long story later if anyone cares) we moved back to CO and were able to use that money on a down payment for the house we are in now. Bought two cars in cash (scions) that are cheap to repair and reliable. Rarely use our CC (realistically need it as back up for catastrophe).

She had major back surgery last year that took her out of work, and then got laid off in October. Since we saw it coming, we clamped down and saved, and haven't had to touch our savings yet as she is doing some contract work. She had an interview Weds.

We are taking in foster kids soon that the state is going to pay us monthly for, but our goal has been and will be to take that money to save in an account for them until they are adopted or age out.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:44 AM   #54
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A wise man once said "the worst thing about being poor is living with poor people". They were on the Rx7club forum so 'wise' is more relative than ever here. I never really had it put in such a nice package and given to me like that but it really is. My limited experience is that poor people are somehow very normal folks but there are some that exist just like they do in other walks off life where they're walled off from others and not seen that are not walled off and seen and heard far too much when poor doesn't buy you enough land to be away from others.

The number of free burgers I've had from other poor folks that just happened to be cooking out is much more than I've had from not poor folks. I did like that. Made all of the 'yee haws' totally worth it.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:52 AM   #55
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The number of free burgers I've had from other poor folks that just happened to be cooking out is much more than I've had from not poor folks. I did like that. Made all of the 'yee haws' totally worth it.
When I was a Starbucks manager the best tips ALWAYS came from people in older or beat up cars. Most of them were "salt of the earth" people who Starbucks was their treat, and felt like they wanted to take care of people (my employees) who spent time getting to know them and who also worked on their feet and with their hands.

To this day I HATE Audi driver's because I never saw one employee in my 7 years be treated kindly by them. Always taking on a cell, holding a finger up to them to be quiet and just hand the cc over without looking at them. Plus, now around my house (south Denver) anyone that has one is just pretending they are doing great and drive like idiots on the highway.

My two cents:
Poorer people tend to share more of what they have, people who are "wealthy" tend to try to show what they have off. "Real" wealthy people are content to helps others, not give them everything, and don't feel the need to show off what they have.
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:07 AM   #56
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So sick of people blaming corporations, wage stagnation, etc for this crap. It usually boils down to poor individual decisions and people's false beliefs on what they "need" and what's going to make them feel good. People love to say that it's the corporations (or the government, or whoever) fault that it's too easy to get that crappy car loan, or too much house or make whatever bad financial decision people make. But THEY made it! No one forced them to sign their life away.

We buy too much crap that we can't afford. That's the problem.

I grew up VERY poor, and have worked my ass off to get where I'm at, so I understand what it's like to be poor. It's NOT a good excuse to buy stuff that you can't afford, and will only make you feel good for a short period of time. It's enslaving you, and keeping you poor. Guess what, life is hard and you have to work hard and make good decisions to do well at it. Want to feel good? Do something for someone else.

Outlawing billionaires or trying to tax the hell out of them is one of the dumbest ideas I've heard in a long time. Read what Bill Gates said about the taxation part of it for further insight.

Sure, there are extenuating circumstances, but really the only one I can think of right now is if a medical issue comes up that drains you of everything you have and prevents you from working at all. Making yourself so fat (like my sister did) that you have medical problems and can't work doesn't count.
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:23 AM   #57
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I hated taking up the slack of the "dicks" in BMW's. I drive a VW to have people feel bad for me now. The irony of me being the dick in a BMW was lost on folks driving pickup trucks three times the 'value' of my BMW riding my ass and actively blocking the dick in the BMW from existing on a road with them. Sad state of affairs all around.

I've read/heard that same thing a lot though, with the not always haven been rich/well off folks being nicer in general. My mom working always helped kids get treats when they or their parents didn't know how much it cost where ever mom might be working which stood out since we poor and I wanted those treats. I worked in one the poorer sides of town in a grocery store before Super Wal-Mart killed most of the grocery stores in town. The owner and Managers of the store did pretty much anything they could for their customers to help them out. I always thought it was interesting, both they did as much as they did for customers and the number of folks that wouldn't believe those richy rich folks did as much as they did to help others make ends meet. None of them drove Audi's though. I honestly can't remember what the manager drove but the owner drove a base model F-150 being he did much of the work in his stores for repairs and whatnot. Might not have to pull out heavy equipment from his bed often but you needed to always be ready. The manager was also the one that taught me not to burn bridges after I set ours on fire. He didn't say a word about it when I asked him for a job again and he even gave me a job. Probably one of the best folks I'll ever know. Shame about his son.
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:20 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
Re minimum wage:

4% make it or less (I guess tipped).

https://poverty.ucdavis.edu/faq/what...m-wage-workers

Iíve never been poor as an adult. We grew up frugal and effectively poor in NYC, but that was because my dad was in med school then in residency.
Don't take this personally, it's great you and your dad had that opportunity. Somebody earned it somewhere, so go for it...
You grew up frugal, there's next to no "poor" if you have the means to go to medical school, and I don't just mean tuition, I mean the ability to forego income in order to be a student. Having kids while you have no income is something we look down at "poor" people for, your family was temporarily low-mid-income.

Poor people also don't have family to fall back on.

Poor people live in a way that would freak most of us out. "I can't afford that" means something very different, and literal, to them than it does to others. It's not a choice like it would be to most of us, it is the bottom line truth, insufficient funds. It messes with your head, as the marshmallow test points out, the concept of long term planning is foreign because their situation doesn't allow it.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:20 AM   #59
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a HUGE part of the problem is nearly 4 decades of wage stagnation.

don't place all the blame on Joe Sixpack for making poor financial decisions. A majority of this **** is to be placed on corporations not investing in their workforce.
But unemployment is low. Everyone can have a ****ty 28 hour a week retail job that doesn't give them any benefits or enough money to live on! Poor people are just lazy and don't want to work.

What's that? Poor people want more hours and their employer won't give it to them since then they'd have to give them some benefits? Oh. Well that just makes the CEO smart because shareholders are the only people that matter.

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Originally Posted by n2oiroc View Post
I dont disagree, but getting into a field that pays that poorly with that much education is a terrible choice and they should know roughly what a field pays before they start school.
The problem is that people are not willing to acknowledge that a social worker making under $40k with their Bachelor's degree provides far more worth to the world than a hedge fund manager or banker making millions a year.

The idea that everyone should get a STEM degree is unrealistic, unsustainable, and detrimental to the country. If everyone got a STEM degree they'd just lay you off and hire a recent graduate who will work for a fraction of the salary you demand.

If paying low skill workers a living wage bothers you then you are a sociopath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxlvr View Post
So sick of people blaming corporations, wage stagnation, etc for this crap. It usually boils down to poor individual decisions and people's false beliefs on what they "need" and what's going to make them feel good. People love to say that it's the corporations (or the government, or whoever) fault that it's too easy to get that crappy car loan, or too much house or make whatever bad financial decision people make. But THEY made it! No one forced them to sign their life away.

We buy too much crap that we can't afford. That's the problem.

I grew up VERY poor, and have worked my ass off to get where I'm at, so I understand what it's like to be poor. It's NOT a good excuse to buy stuff that you can't afford, and will only make you feel good for a short period of time. It's enslaving you, and keeping you poor. Guess what, life is hard and you have to work hard and make good decisions to do well at it. Want to feel good? Do something for someone else.

Outlawing billionaires or trying to tax the hell out of them is one of the dumbest ideas I've heard in a long time. Read what Bill Gates said about the taxation part of it for further insight.

Sure, there are extenuating circumstances, but really the only one I can think of right now is if a medical issue comes up that drains you of everything you have and prevents you from working at all. Making yourself so fat (like my sister did) that you have medical problems and can't work doesn't count.
All this post proves is that people who make good money can still be incredibly stupid.

Taxing the hell out of the top 0.1% is an evidence based policy that has decades of proof behind it and was not at all detrimental to our economic growth post-WWII.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:45 AM   #60
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But unemployment is low. Everyone can have a ****ty 28 hour a week retail job that doesn't give them any benefits or enough money to live on! Poor people are just lazy and don't want to work.

What's that? Poor people want more hours and their employer won't give it to them since then they'd have to give them some benefits? Oh. Well that just makes the CEO smart because shareholders are the only people that matter.



The problem is that people are not willing to acknowledge that a social worker making under $40k with their Bachelor's degree provides far more worth to the world than a hedge fund manager or banker making millions a year.

The idea that everyone should get a STEM degree is unrealistic, unsustainable, and detrimental to the country. If everyone got a STEM degree they'd just lay you off and hire a recent graduate who will work for a fraction of the salary you demand.

If paying low skill workers a living wage bothers you then you are a sociopath.



All this post proves is that people who make good money can still be incredibly stupid.

Taxing the hell out of the top 0.1% is an evidence based policy that has decades of proof behind it and was not at all detrimental to our economic growth post-WWII.
If you accumulate $100k in student loan debt to make $40k a year, you get zero sympathy from me when you cry you are broke. Thats poor decision making, nothing more. If people would stop getting over educated for these under paying jobs, then there wouldnt be an abundance of over qualified people fighting to get under paid. Let the jobs sit vacant and the market will adjust with higher wages.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:47 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by n2oiroc View Post
If you accumulate $100k in student loan debt to make $40k a year, you get zero sympathy from me when you cry you are broke. Thats poor decision making, nothing more. If people would stop getting over educated for these under paying jobs, then there wouldnt be an abundance of over qualified people fighting to get under paid. Let the jobs sit vacant and the market will adjust with higher wages.
Well, if we'd stop trying to send everyone to college and the institution of higher education wasn't itself a source of revenue...
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:57 AM   #62
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Well, if we'd stop trying to send everyone to college and the institution of higher education wasn't itself a source of revenue...
Agreed, The price of an education has been out of hand for a while and getting worse. I also thhink more people need to get into trade schools and not look down at blue collar work. Our ehs manager at work just quit and before she left i asked why she was leaving. It was mostly so she could work from home and a little more pay. I asked what she made and then she asked what i made and she was dumbfounded that she made $30k+ less a year with 5 years of schooling and me being “just a mechanic”.
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:02 AM   #63
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If you accumulate $100k in student loan debt to make $40k a year, you get zero sympathy from me when you cry you are broke. Thats poor decision making, nothing more. If people would stop getting over educated for these under paying jobs, then there wouldnt be an abundance of over qualified people fighting to get under paid. Let the jobs sit vacant and the market will adjust with higher wages.
There are countless $30k-$40k per year jobs that require a college degree. They are not "over educated". They are obtaining the level of education that is required for these jobs. How can you be over educated anyways? That sounds like something a slack jawed Midwest yokel would say. Everyone can benefit from some social science classes.

Letting jobs that are crucial to a civilized society remain open isn't an option. We can't just let parents beat and rape their children while the market corrects the wages for social workers. But you continue to argue that these people are not deserving of money or respect since they spent 4+ years of their life and a ton of money trying to make the world a better place.

You're an engineer, aren't you?
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:15 AM   #64
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There are countless $30k-$40k per year jobs that require a college degree. They are not "over educated". They are obtaining the level of education that is required for these jobs. How can you be over educated anyways? That sounds like something a slack jawed Midwest yokel would say. Everyone can benefit from some social science classes.

Letting jobs that are crucial to a civilized society remain open isn't an option. We can't just let parents beat and rape their children while the market corrects the wages for social workers. But you continue to argue that these people are not deserving of money or respect since they spent 4+ years of their life and a ton of money trying to make the world a better place.

You're an engineer, aren't you?
I never said they werent deserving of money, i said the opposite. Expecting someone to get a $100k education to make $30k-$40k is a load of crap. Nobody should make that little money with that much education. They pay that little because people are willing to work for it instead of choosing a different field. Let the jobs sit unfilled and the wages will increase out of need for qualified people.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:23 AM   #65
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I never said they werent deserving of money, i said the opposite. Expecting someone to get a $100k education to make $30k-$40k is a load of crap. Nobody should make that little money with that much education. They pay that little because people are willing to work for it instead of choosing a different field. Let the jobs sit unfilled and the wages will increase out of need for qualified people.
It's not sustainable for everyone to choose a different field. It will just drive the value of labor in that field down. Instead it might make more sense to ensure that the people at the bottom of the income levels have enough money to live off. There's no need to cut other people's salaries or give low level workers $100k. But if you work 40 hours a week you shouldn't need a second job to afford to pay your bills and rent. That's apparently a radical point of view currently.

The two largest employers in the country are the federal government and Walmart. Out of the nearly 5 million people that work for them very few are able to survive a month without a paycheck. I don't see any way that can be blamed on the workers. And for the millions of people already in that workforce they can't exactly go back in time and get a different degree and job.

I also don't see why a truck driver or construction worker can't benefit from a more traditional college education alongside technical school. The idea that it's a waste of time to get an education if you can't flip it into immediate financial success is pretty ****ty.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:33 AM   #66
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It's not sustainable for everyone to choose a different field. It will just drive the value of labor in that field down. Instead it might make more sense to ensure that the people at the bottom of the income levels have enough money to live off. There's no need to cut other people's salaries or give low level workers $100k. But if you work 40 hours a week you shouldn't need a second job to afford to pay your bills and rent. That's apparently a radical point of view currently.

The two largest employers in the country are the federal government and Walmart. Out of the nearly 5 million people that work for them very few are able to survive a month without a paycheck. I don't see any way that can be blamed on the workers. And for the millions of people already in that workforce they can't exactly go back in time and get a different degree and job.

I also don't see why a truck driver or construction worker can't benefit from a more traditional college education alongside technical school. The idea that it's a waste of time to get an education if you can't flip it into immediate financial success is pretty ****ty.
Its not as simple as ďraise wagesĒ. When the cost of employees gets too high, they find a way to replace them with technology. Grocery stores, walmart, homedepot, etc are the perfect example. 10-20 years ago there would always be a good amount of registers open. Now, you are lucky to have 2-3 open and all those people were replaced by the self checkout. Its a tough problem to solve because most companies care more about lining their own pockets above anything else.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:33 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by 042 View Post
But unemployment is low. Everyone can have a ****ty 28 hour a week retail job that doesn't give them any benefits or enough money to live on! Poor people are just lazy and don't want to work.

What's that? Poor people want more hours and their employer won't give it to them since then they'd have to give them some benefits? Oh. Well that just makes the CEO smart because shareholders are the only people that matter.



The problem is that people are not willing to acknowledge that a social worker making under $40k with their Bachelor's degree provides far more worth to the world than a hedge fund manager or banker making millions a year.

The idea that everyone should get a STEM degree is unrealistic, unsustainable, and detrimental to the country. If everyone got a STEM degree they'd just lay you off and hire a recent graduate who will work for a fraction of the salary you demand.

If paying low skill workers a living wage bothers you then you are a sociopath.



All this post proves is that people who make good money can still be incredibly stupid.

Taxing the hell out of the top 0.1% is an evidence based policy that has decades of proof behind it and was not at all detrimental to our economic growth post-WWII.
I worked with a great social worker in a STEM job. I'm not trying to make a sardonic or otherwise comment within a comment. She loved her job as a social worker and loved her mother but didn't like having to live with her mom to afford to do her job already in a low cost of living area so she went *back* to a STEM job after the school, time, cost to be a social worker. It was one of the more honestly sad conversations I've had at work.

I work with a lot of people that would love to do other jobs but keep the jobs they have because they pay. It's sad seeing all of the deadness in our eyes but a little nice to have the options to die slowly inside while dreaming of our dreams. I was worried a little about Mrs Lag and her dreams but she found a way to do what she dreams of and work to afford life in general.

I had dreams. I had to think hard last year to remember that I had dreams and then what they were. I'm still not at all trying to do anything outside of convey thoughts as literally as I had them. I mentioned having to really try to remember what I wanted to do with my life to Mrs Lag and she didn't ask what that was. She also didn't remember, added together it sort of made a choice without having to really make it so that was something.

It's sort of nice to read many kids really don't want STEM jobs. Despite trying to get everyone in there and making it easy there aren't enough takers to not worry about supply and demand if you're needing to employ STEM folks. If you are a STEM folk it's comforting to only have to worry about someone suggesting something should be done in python for the time being.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:25 AM   #68
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Don't take this personally, it's great you and your dad had that opportunity. Somebody earned it somewhere, so go for it...
You grew up frugal, there's next to no "poor" if you have the means to go to medical school, and I don't just mean tuition, I mean the ability to forego income in order to be a student. Having kids while you have no income is something we look down at "poor" people for, your family was temporarily low-mid-income.

Poor people also don't have family to fall back on.

Poor people live in a way that would freak most of us out. "I can't afford that" means something very different, and literal, to them than it does to others. It's not a choice like it would be to most of us, it is the bottom line truth, insufficient funds. It messes with your head, as the marshmallow test points out, the concept of long term planning is foreign because their situation doesn't allow it.
I've read some of the research, like how perceived scarcity causes temporary IQ drops due to stress. I also fully acknowledge that living frugally as we did is different as we always had a backstop in family--what I intentionally left out from that NYC story is that we'd periodically pop over across town to my grandfather's company-provided apartment on Park Ave.

On the other hand, though, there's the objective truth that behaviors that seriously hinder one's prospects down the road are much more prevalent in the poor community. See "Coming Apart" by Charles Murray. Things that are modulated by one's circumstances--but which are ultimately individual (****ty) decisions since we do have free will after all, right?--include:

- teen pregnancy
- kids out of wedlock in general
- smoking
- dropping out of school
- diet-related health issues

One can make excuses for a lot of these things if one's in an apologist mood, like for food deserts, but a lot of it ultimately is choice even if all the other kids are doing it, too, a la the learned helplessness of "Hillbilly Elegy".

Of possible interest to richde and other data nerds is this dive I did into income inequality data, etc. back in 2011 on Ridemonkey: https://ridemonkey.bikemag.com/threa...erally.240420/ My hazy thoughts in the same basic idea as the OP of this thread 8 years before:

Quote:
What I don't know, however--and why I didn't condense all this, make it a blog post, and summarize it as best as I am able to--is what all this means. Both Rich and Poor America are giant countries even when considered as separate entities, but each's inhabitants have much different futures in store for them. In one land education begets education while in another poverty begets poverty.

Is this a problem that can be fixed? Does it reflect cultural mores/values (ie, lack of emphasis on educational attainment in Poor America)? Does it reflect a failing of our society or is it simply a byproduct of our makeup and history?

I simply don't know. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:38 AM   #69
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I'd also like to thank n2oiroc and 042 for their discussion regarding educational costs and the jobs resultant. I see both of your points: Walmart is a ****ty employer, especially with their end runs around benefits, and people also make ****ty decisions when they overpay to obtain the arbitrary qualifications for these ****ty jobs. (Trade school or community college would be better for many people who now find themselves stuck in that position.)

As the continued existence of payday lenders shows, though, people just aren't good at looking at numbers and translating that into how that'll effect their life down the road. Thus student loan debt. Can it be attacked on the other end? Something like Elizabeth Warren's proposed restructuring of corporations so that they're explicitly not all about maximizing shareholder return?
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:42 AM   #70
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The two largest employers in the country are the federal government and Walmart. Out of the nearly 5 million people that work for them very few are able to survive a month without a paycheck. I don't see any way that can be blamed on the workers. And for the millions of people already in that workforce they can't exactly go back in time and get a different degree and job.
Walmart I do not contest. If we're talking about Federal employees proper and not the marginalized contractors, though, I don't see how this helps your argument. These employees should have benefits and should have all the aids any employer should reasonably give their employees to scrape up into the middle class and stay there. I think it is reasonable to blame workers if in such a circumstance they can't save up $400.

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I also don't see why a truck driver or construction worker can't benefit from a more traditional college education alongside technical school. The idea that it's a waste of time to get an education if you can't flip it into immediate financial success is pretty ****ty.
It may be a great thing for the person, but if someone elects to do this I don't want to see them in a USA Today article complaining about their crushing student loan debt...
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:53 AM   #71
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But the burgers still need to be flipped, and someone is going to end up doing it. That someone is who we're talking about.

In what sort of economic model can everyone be moderately successful and still allow for the existence of the wealthy?
Social Democracies do an okay job of it. (No that's not Socialism, yes the nations who practice it still fully engage in the capitalist model, they simply apply a more comprehensive rule set)

I have yet in my time on earth been able to hear valid argument for why anyone who works a full time job of any kind should not make enough money to cover their basic needs on that income.

A friend of mine owns a small chain of coffee shops specializing in high quality product and execution, and they're successful in the local market. I was sitting at the bar yesterday watching his baristas work, and frankly, I couldn't really think of a sound reason why they should be making $10/hr less than I do, they certainly work harder.

Larger point being: If all the people that clean our offices, hospitals, public spaces and restrooms decided to stop working, society would grind to a halt within 72 hours. If no-one showed up to their Wal-Mart or Target job we'd have a food crisis within a week. A lot of the jobs that are generally seen as "stepping stone" jobs or menial are critically important, and there's no valid reason anyone shouldn't be paid a living wage for it.

Poverty in a country as big as the US is a chosen problem, not a natural state. I live in a relatively well off area of the DFW Metroplex and even here, 40% of school age children are food insecure, it's insane.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:03 AM   #72
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Social Democracies do an okay job of it. (No that's not Socialism, yes the nations who practice it still fully engage in the capitalist model, they simply apply a more comprehensive rule set)

I have yet in my time on earth been able to hear valid argument for why anyone who works a full time job of any kind should not make enough money to cover their basic needs on that income.

A friend of mine owns a small chain of coffee shops specializing in high quality product and execution, and they're successful in the local market. I was sitting at the bar yesterday watching his baristas work, and frankly, I couldn't really think of a sound reason why they should be making $10/hr less than I do, they certainly work harder.

Larger point being: If all the people that clean our offices, hospitals, public spaces and restrooms decided to stop working, society would grind to a halt within 72 hours. If no-one showed up to their Wal-Mart or Target job we'd have a food crisis within a week. A lot of the jobs that are generally seen as "stepping stone" jobs or menial are critically important, and there's no valid reason anyone shouldn't be paid a living wage for it.

Poverty in a country as big as the US is a chosen problem, not a natural state. I live in a relatively well off area of the DFW Metroplex and even here, 40% of school age children are food insecure, it's insane.
I couldn't agree with this more.

The "slippery slope" in this (not to me, but others probably) is you get into morals and ethics. Morals, being religious, would argue that Walmart has owners who profess their "Christian Values" yet don't follow everything in the Bible to a tee. If they did, would their workers have to struggle male ends meet? (I will not go off here on all the biblical rules of what you should do to take care of the poor, I can but this would take us down a religious thread).

Ethics, being a set of rules that society has agreed upon (on paper or as a social norm) could argue that we are fine where we are. We tell people to make as much money as possible for THEMSELVES rather than make good money so others can also make good money. We celebrate the "genious" of someone like Elon musk, yet while he hits a high profit margin for his investors, they lay off 10% of employees while their profitability grows. Ethically, this is ok to American society as we celebrate "success" by any means nessecary. We are, at least as I see, in a culture that celebrates the individual getting what they want and saying people who don't are lazy, stupid, unmotivated, etc.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:19 AM   #73
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I have yet in my time on earth been able to hear valid argument for why anyone who works a full time job of any kind should not make enough money to cover their basic needs on that income.
Devil's advocate/point of this thread: But what if their inability to make ends meet are due to their own choices?

I made $40k a year in 2008-2009 and saved half of it, as I've posted before. Prior to the ACA health insurance would have been a huge caveat to this line of argument, but now with the exchanges and subsidies for those close to the poverty line...



To add to this: I'm fully in support of the $15/hr minimum wage movement, for the record. I'm also a Bernie supporter. But I'm also a cynic, and I will wager that we'll still see a ****load of hand to mouth lifestyles even at $15/hr. The $400-in-a-pinch data I posted above supports this: 19% of this making $100k are hand to mouth!
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:50 AM   #74
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The good and bad about information is you can find anything supporting a view regardless of how daft your views are. A general statement not aimed at anyone a failure on my part of being self aware.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank...student-loans/

Every so often in the noise you might find what some would call facts that run counter to a story. You're unlikely to find the 50 year old single lady or man with too many cats that doesn't agree she or he has too many cats come around to feeling like her or his near six figure cost for a photography degree at a prestige school was worthwhile after having to get a more generally useful degree and paying for that too and still not having had a paying job as a photographer. But you might find a good lot of folks on the other side of some curve in cost/benefit that are happy with their cost paid for education and rewards reaped from it having received whatever degrees they have.

this quote did lead to the above thought

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It may be a great thing for the person, but if someone elects to do this I don't want to see them in a USA Today article complaining about their crushing student loan debt...
Most of the gripes I read or hear are from people that complain about crushing school debt that haven't yet got to or through the college maths and seem to not be able to figure out the cost/benefit and/or return on investment (ROI) of their degree, yet. I can't blame them with many of them not having had to deal with money in a real way and many suddenly in home mortgage levels of debt without having had any help with finical concerns up until this point. The numbers alone don't say anything unless you have a reader base you need to generate and maintain.

It's funny, sad, scary to have friends who seriously ask questions their kids are asking them. "Why hasn't school taught me about money". Yeah, why hasn't school taught kids about money!? Because you're on the hook for teaching your own kids a few things. Especially things that are personal values based. The same person would be angry about school ramming religion or how to not be a terrible person into the curriculum but it should teach kids of a wide range of backgrounds how to handle money and to make sure to put that 10% away for the lord, am I right? If school has taught your kid basic math they have taught them what they need to know about money.

Then there's the "if they're going to be my servants they don't need to be smart" line of thought. Not seeing a value in however anyone considers folks in positions where they may have these thoughts about these people based on something they feel is relevant. I'm not sure if I want the guy fixing my car, when it happens, to not be smart. Most and likely all manufactures have been on the same page for years and have programs in place to widen their pools of potential employees pulling from colleges if not working with colleges for specific programs funneling students into employment. The benefits here can been seen as everyone getting some benefit and many times the college time is paid for by a company in part or full in any number of different ways depending on a number of or a single agreement with the companies on the front and/or back-end of such situations.

I don't have any real data outside of my own feelings about how people see the military as a path to some sort of future. It sure seeeeeeeeeemmmmmmss kids are ever more resistant to military service as an option based on their understanding of facts or nothing at all. Tagging onto the servants don't need to be smart line of thought is many of the prestige military jobs are serviced by folks without degrees being required of them. Seeeeeeeeemmmmms odd to think folks keeping the machine oiled are less valuable than folks yanking on a stick but thought is there baked into the machine. Still a lot of surprise when folks, of all walks, find the degree stats in the enlisted force. I'm happy kids and we all have had the option to serve but I wouldn't mind seeing what happens if we have mandatory service. It might be great for many different reasons with one of many being mass migration out of the US by folks unwilling to serve. But that has a host of its own problems.

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Old 02-17-2019, 10:53 AM   #75
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Devil's advocate/point of this thread: But what if their inability to make ends meet are due to their own choices?

I made $40k a year in 2008-2009 and saved half of it, as I've posted before. Prior to the ACA health insurance would have been a huge caveat to this line of argument, but now with the exchanges and subsidies for those close to the poverty line...

To add to this: I'm fully in support of the $15/hr minimum wage movement, for the record. I'm also a Bernie supporter. But I'm also a cynic, and I will wager that we'll still see a ****load of hand to mouth lifestyles even at $15/hr. The $400-in-a-pinch data I posted above supports this: 19% of this making $100k are hand to mouth!
But you know as well as I do that $100k/annual household income doesn't go all that far in certain areas of this nation, do people make dumb decisions, sure, but when culture does nothing but celebrate individualism and realizing your own true self, you have a near insurmountable pressure to conform to that mentality, certainly if you've grown up in it.

Some are much better with money than others, you're well above average good with your finances, certainly more invested in it (no pun intended) than I am, and I would argue, I'm probably better with money than most.

But in the simplest terms, I don't subscribe to an intelligence tax. While there are plenty of people, who overspend and should know better and/or, would still eventually get back on their feet after a financial unknown (See: The keeping up with the Joneses middle class high earners), I would argue there are far more people who are just trying to get by.

So if someone wholly at the fault of their own place themselves in a position of financial destitution exclusively due to overspending (and for the record, I don't think that's a lot of people), I would agree that they don't necessarily fall under the category of those who suffer under systemic societal challenges.

But if someone is struggling to get by, working hard, not living extravagantly and simply surviving, and for whatever reason, maybe can't get a better job or move up in the world, then there's an issue.

Put simply: I don't think there should be a class of "Working poor" in an industrialized nation, regardless of the reason they're stuck there.

In essence I think you have to separate two different issues, one where there middle/upper middle class are trying to live a lifestyle that's no longer sustainable (in large part due to wage stagnation, lack of collective bargaining and increased costs of living), where if they lived more modestly, they'd financially be much better off, and likely happier.

The other where a substantial number of US households are financially insecure despite working full time and not making ends meet. While the two may be caused by different things, I think you largely solve both by focusing on the working poor.

If as a society America makes earnest attempts at resolving poverty, it'll require a fundamental shift in overall perception away from the glorification of individualistic wealth to instead celebrate the collective and wellness of society as a whole.

Do that and I think you'll begin to whither away the overspending as well, because priorities change.
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