Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings, according to a survey released by Bankrate.com Monday.
Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all.
"It's disappointing," said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's senior financial analyst. "Nothing helps you sleep better at night than knowing you have money tucked away for unplanned expenses."
Even more disappointing; The savings rates have barely changed over the past three years, even though a larger percentage of consumers report an increase in job security, a higher net worth and an overall better financial situation.
So why aren't Americans saving more?
Last week, online lender CashNetUSA said 22% of the 1,000 people it recently surveyed had less than $100 in savings to cover an emergency, while 46% had less than $800. After paying debts and taking care of housing, car and child care-related expenses, the respondents said there just isn't enough money left over for saving more.
"There really hasn't been much relief," said Megan Stanton, director of marketing for CashNetUSA "The economy is stagnant, $100 is not enough to help you out in an emergency."
There's less job security, pay freezes, no cost of living increases, inflated housing prices, increased cost of living due to inflation, higher healthcare costs, higher gas prices, etc.
It's very difficult NOT to live paycheck to paycheck.
guys do you think peak oil is real?
is anybody here anyone important?
what do you think?
Meanwhile our Congress is doing its best to protect the excessive pay received by CEOs.
If you can't learn to live with a large amount of cash stashed away, learn to live without cash.
Learn to grow your own food, what to do to survive when society breaks down. Money won't do good then.
Peak oil is real but a long, long way off. Peak EASY, somebody else can fuck up their environment oil is just around the corner, but there is far more oil available to remove from protected US ground and shale and the like than has been pumped out of the ground.
i think that china will implode because it will not have enough resources and start winding down and have problems feeding it's population
i honestly don't believe china will be ok,if it gets middle class,their consumption will destroy the world.
don't forget india.i think they will never have a middle class.too many ppl.
poor suckers.for some reason i think it will still be better to live in europe and usa than in those dumps.
unless you are some billionaire
[quote]Learn to grow your own food, what to do to survive when society breaks down. Money won't do good then.
My parents did this for years while Dad was still working, and even more in the 20+years since his retirement.
What's happened over the last decade is more and more theft from certain neighbors (even though we're constantly gifting them with produce during season) and passersby. My Dad and I will pick tomatoes, okra, peppers, and greens during one afternoon and plan the next days' harvest. Next day, the smaller okra, green tomatoes, and small peppers we'd left to mature a few days more--gone. Overnight.
Of course the grabby assholes can't be bothered to put a seed in the dirt for themselves and their trifling rugrats. Or even ask my Dad if he needs help weeding, hoeing, or harvesting.
My Dad is so disgusted, he's talking about giving it all up to start container gardening. He's already given up on strawberries for the same reason. But it's not what he wants, not what gives him joy.
People are fuckers.
Nothing new. People have been living that way for years; at least people in the middle class.
Why have emergency savings when it would instantly be eaten up by medical bills (that wouldn't even exist in a civilized country)?
No savings at all? Does this include retirement accounts?
If that's so how come there seems to be so many fucking well to do people all around. Restaurants are opening and full, expensive organic stores open and do good business, if some new electronic piece of shit comes out that costs almost 1000 bucks and a couple hundred a month to use the crowds are around the block. Millions go to movies at what, about 15 bucks a person and maybe another 20 for snacks. So just less than ¼ of the people in this country are able to sustain all this wealthy buying.
I think the problem is too many people still have too much money and don't give a shit about those who don't. More people need to truly be poor and maybe then Americans will start to fight back.
Or, r11. A lot of those people you are talking about are included in the masses that have no savings what so ever.
There are a lot of people under employed or not employed at all. But, there are also a lot of high income earners who do not save at all.
Dinners out, Ipods, Ipads, cell phones, service contracts, etc. all cost money. For some people, not saving really is a choice.
And, I agree with you, there is too large of a divide between the haves and the have-nots.
I've given up trying to save much of anything from my pay check. I just throw in ~13% pre-tax into a 401k and resign myself to the fact that almost my entire pay check will go to basic living expenses and what few luxuries I treat myself to.
...and its still going to get worse.
[quote]If that's so how come there seems to be so many fucking well to do people all around. Restaurants are opening and full, expensive organic stores open and do good business, if some new electronic piece of shit comes out that costs almost 1000 bucks and a couple hundred a month to use the crowds are around the block. Millions go to movies at what, about 15 bucks a person and maybe another 20 for snacks. So just less than ¼ of the people in this country are able to sustain all this wealthy buying.[quote]
It's called credit card debt. There are many, many more people living on credit than there are wealthy ones with a shitload of disposal income.
r13, put 1/2 of any future raises into your 401k or emergency savings.
R7, is he growing them in his fenced back yard or his front lawn? Maybe it's critters stealing the food?
A woman on CBS this morning said to scrub your spending to the bare necessities. Okay. Done that. Now what?
[quote]If that's so how come there seems to be so many fucking well to do people all around. Restaurants are opening and full, expensive organic stores open and do good business, if some new electronic piece of shit comes out that costs almost 1000 bucks and a couple hundred a month to use the crowds are around the block. Millions go to movies at what, about 15 bucks a person and maybe another 20 for snacks. So just less than ¼ of the people in this country are able to sustain all this wealthy buying.
Well, you just described why so many people have so little in savings. Every day we make dozens of decisions on how to spend our money. Do we buy a latte or just a simple cup of coffee? Do we go see the latest blockbuster at the movies or just stay home and read a book? Do we eat out or just eat from the fridge? Do we keep cable or just settle for OTA broadcasts?
A lot of people settle for the more expensive option and, as someone mentioned earlier, put it all on credit cards, pretending that somehow the chickens will never come home to roost.
Whose fault it is? THEIRS. They can't blame advertisers. They can't blame the government. They can't blame the banks. At the most they can only blame mommy and daddy for not teaching them better money management skills.
Yet trying getting into a 5 Star restaurant. Or just note the number of new SUVs.. My flat well-paved neigbourhood is choked with Landrovers like never before. There's vast amounts of money being made. And not just by HR whores.
At least the have a paycheck!!
R21 it is not that bad in europe cause it is still not as fascist as usa but getting there and these figures are skewed by greece and spain
other countries are doing fine and you need to remember that europe is not one thing yet thank goodness
what people do is from my country they go to work in germany england norway sweden denmark holland italy and france cause in my country there are no jobs
and you must remember that europe is very safe for bad times with protection for people i will not even talk sweden and denmark they are socialists
oh forgot finland and estonia
so europe people are doing better,but in usa corporate and wallstreet does better than your people
most Americans are a pink slip away from disaster
[quote]R7, is he growing them in his fenced back yard or his front lawn? Maybe it's critters stealing the food?
R17, he's growing them in a plot just across the street from our house. For over 25 years, he and several neighbor dads worked this same plot, each man having about 1/3 of an acre. At 85, my Dad is the only one left to work his plot, the others having died or become too infirm for the intensive labor.
We've always planted more than we need, factoring in loss from critters. We know the signs of critter "theft." No, this is theft of the bipedal kind. In fact, another neighbor just told my Dad he found a friggin *trail* leading from another neighbor's home, and hooking around to the back entrance to my Dad's garden.
So they're waiting until nightfall to go and steal the product of an old man's joy. The idiots even stripped the small green tomatoes, so immature they will never ripen.
Green tomatoes are delicious with a little bit of salt, r24, so it's not surprising that your asshole neighbors stole them.
Most people refuse live a very frugal lifestyle where they don't have some luxury spending R19. You can't blame them really. We only have this one life, people want to enjoy it.
The problem isn't that people occasionally spend $20 at a movie or get a latte instead of a plain coffee, the problem is that people work their asses off for so little money and are expected to take no pleasure in life whatsoever.
If given the choice between the $5 latte or more unrelenting misery, most people will choose the latte, even if they have to charge it.
Lets consider the source of this study--CashNetUSA. If they surveyed their customers, OF COURSE they were all poor!
Americans don't have a hell of a lot of incentive to save, given that their choices are uninsured investments like stocks and mutual funds that can and will tank at any moment, wiping them out, or insured bank accounts that pay so little interest they don't even keep pace with inflation, or miser tactics like keeping money in a safe or hoarding gold. I think a lot of the greed we see among the 1% is driven by terror of having to live like that. They want to stack up so much wealth they could never run through it in their lifetimes. Which of course nobody can do. Billionaires can also be swindled or make bad decisions and lose everything. Which is one of the reasons they have no sympathy with us. On some level they have the same material insecurities, maybe even worse, which is why they feel they need to be so ruthless and destructive in pursuit of insane amounts of power and wealth.
i agree r27, the fact that Americans who work think they should have some living wage and a certain standard of living to be able to enjoy their life isn't crazy.
This is the wealthiest nation on earth, someone who puts in their due and works should be able to take a trip to the movie theater.
I haven't had a raise in 6 years, yet still manage to save at least 10% of my salary each year (often more), max out my 401K, give 10% to charity and live debt free, except for my mortgage, which I just refinanced at 3.23%.
And yet a full 1/3 of all home sales are being paid for with all cash.
Well.. it's your own damn fault. Minimum wage, no free health care, not willing to pay taxes etc. What do you expect? Your whole economy is based on a system where the rich take advantage of the poor. The poor people are needed for the rich to get ahead. We don't even have minimum wage in my country, but everyone has a livable wage, 4 to 5 weeks paid vacation every year, free kindergarten, free school (including higher education), a year paid maternity leave, 4 weeks paid paternity leave etc. But again.. your own damn fault, since you won't pay taxes. Have it your way. Fine by me.
You made a solid point. George Orwell (wonder why 1984 is flying off the shelves?) argued that people on welfare should get free cigarettes and alcohol. Their lives were miserable anyway. They deserved a bit of pleasure.
Now the idea is to take people who have nothing, do nothing about the overall problem, lack of decent, secure jobs, which has always been the situation really, but now kick them in the teeth while they are down. Plus get the people just above them to think the collapse of the economy is their fault, it has nothing to do with the one percent.
Let me make a bet. Your country has many corporations in it. They make money, the people who work for them get a much better deal than we do and they STILL make decent profits.
I bet there is a strong union movement to keep the corporations in check. I bet there is at least one political party that has as its stated, primary, goal speaking for working people. That helps keep the government in line.
How many did I get right?
Talking about who has the money. Consider only disposable wealth. Count only the wealth that does not include housing, cars, saving for education, paying for health care and a small, say two month, cushion. How many of us have anything beyond that? Who of us would not be really hurting if we missed two or three paychecks?
That leaves a small pool of people who have disposable wealth if you don't count a house and a car. Maybe one percent?
Out of the one percent how many have so many assets that their money makes money? They do not work at all, just invest. Not very many.
Out of that small subgroup of the one percent, how many of them make so much money, while never working, and who have so many connections with other such people, that they can use their power to determine not only corporate policy, fiscal policy, but domestic and foreign policy -- so much money that when one of them calls a senator, he doesn't get a flunky, the senator calls him back.
What is that one percent of the one percent? Those are the real dangerous bastards that run this country.
If the chap at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue had the economy as his #1 concern when he was elected, we'd be in better shape today.
[quote]If the chap at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue had the economy as his #1 concern when he was elected, [bold]and if Congress weren't such a pile of obstructionist catshit[/bold], we'd be in better shape today.
Fixed your typo for you.
Frugality is no longer a part of American life. Everybody wants everything "now". I am in a low income bracket, but live quite comfortably and have money put aside for a rainy day. I do not live beyond my means, but have everything I need. So many people I know are bitching about not having money, yet they feel they are entitled to whatever they want whenever they want it. When the bills come in, it's a different story. I certainly do not deny myself, but my spending habits are based in reality. All my bills are paid, and I am happy with basic things in life. It's real easy.
Bump-because of the impending government you-know-what.
It is getting worse, more companies are outsourcing and insourcing than ever before.
R37, are you young? I ask because you seem to have the comman sense of an older person but the enthusiasm of a young person.
The USA could have a genuine economic boom today if it just stopped giving 48% of every tax dollar to the Pentagon.
The military is bankrupting the USA.
All the more reason to Google your Congress and Senate representatives, contact them and tell them to protect all the safety nets, including SNAP (food stamps).
You never now when you or someone you care about will need these programs.
Show them that not everyone hates the poor.
r33 Most Americans pay taxes?? What are you talking about.
Those 76 percent are the lucky ones. I have been unemployed over two years now. I'm late 30s, have lots of experience and a masters. There are a ton of guys like me right now searching for work though. I've been searching nationwide, but if you don't already live in a city they rarely take your application seriously. I'd even go abroad. It's just so god damn hard. I'm at the end of my rope. Some folks that lost their homes have set up a little tent city in the woods off of one of the highway exits. I may end up there soon.
ridiculous how this is
Compare this to 1973 and see how badly the average American has fared due to conservative economic ideology. It has failed.
Why do the tea party types want to make us an impoverished nation so badly? Do they think that it will make it like the 1950s again or something, which seems to be the era that they would love to take us back to? I can't wrap my head around it.
r47 I think they just don't believe spending money on anything/anyone that isn't rich. It is bizarre, but they even vote against non-controversial/non-political things like funding roads, hurricane assistance and infrastructure. They are the bane of this country.
The ultra rich are vampires sucking the last drops of wealth out of the United States before moving on to somewhere else to repeat the process. They have perfected manipulating the poor to act against their own financial interests. They laugh at people bickering over social and cultural issues while they pickpocket both sides of the fight.
Hey R21, what country are you in? How fascist is it there? I'm from the People's Rebublic of Massachusetts. At least, that's what the Southern states call us, when they complain about our liberal-ish laws.
Hey R33, what country are you from, that it's such a utopia?
Honestly, you euro boys want to brag about your societies, then keep forgetting to tell us where you're from, it's driving me bonkers.
r33 sounds like Norway.
I pay taxes. A lot of them. I get very little in return for them.
R51, R52, you're right. I'm from Norway. Although our whole welfare system is currently under attack because dumb ass Norwegians elected a right wing government. So we're really no better than you guys these days.
I'd gladly pay more in taxes if we had Universal Healthcare, excellent mass transit, and impeccably maintained infrastructure.
In the meantime, ACA is a good start. The user does pay instead of being taxed.
Wages are very low. And most Americans have a hard time saying no to their kids.
Anyway, it's the very reason why Social Security is so very important. Most of us are going to have to live on it.
Once you have kids, you'll never gave "enough" money again. Not as much of an issue to yous people, but to the public in general, yes, kids suck your wallet empty until they are 30.
[quote]kids suck your wallet empty until they are 30.
Only if you let them.
Maybe Americans should stop buying new and shiny things like the new iphone.
R47, it's because the very rich want the able bodied people to be desperate enough to be their slaves and those that can't work to die.
They and their leaders (actually their inventers) like the Koch Brothers are already trying to do away completely with the minimum wage.
Cutting food stamps is a big part of it. Nothing makes people more desperate than to be very hungry and see their kids very hungry and see their health fading from close to starvation or actual star vation for some, like those too old or disabled to fight to even get some scraps of food. Without Meals on Wheels and now with cuts to food stamps, possibly much bigger cuts coming many of the elderly and disabled including veterans are already on the way to starvation, not just hunger.
As those that can work begin to starve they will do any kind of job for any wage or even just for some food.
This is the plan. Don't believe anyone who says it's not or it's just being paranoid. You will see as it unfolds. Those who say this isn't the intent want to keep people from fighting back before it's too late. It may already be too late unless more people try to fight for unions and higher pay and fight against the war on the poor.
The right is counting on most people not caring at all about the poor and the minimum wage workers. People in this country have to get back their outrage at the suffering of everyone, not just wait until they begin to suffer.
[quote]Maybe Americans should stop buying new and shiny things like the new iphone.
And ripping out perfectly good kitchens!
r60, did you get a free bowl of soup with that tinfoil hat?
I wish I could get into a Euro country, or Australia or New Zealand. Even Canada, though I hate the cold.
...all the more reason ACA is so vital...
Are you kidding, R62? What R60 describes seems to be exactly what's happening, right before our eyes.
if you can't pay for something in cash, you can't afford it.
People today don't save up for things they want. Far easier to use a credit card. Hopefully you pay it off before the items break.
......and in other news, a new millionaire is created in China every 17 seconds.
The answer to most political and current events issues talked about here is almost always the same: most people in the US are ignorant. If they were better educated and cared to really learn what is going on around this country things would be so much better.
Americans are drowning in education. The unemployed masses, read like the graduation list of every state college.
Americans have become passive. I blame the explosion of reality TV show. Why be your own person, when you can watch others do it?
[quote]Americans have become passive. I blame the explosion of reality TV show. Why be your own person, when you can watch others do it?
I love this, R70. So true.
[quote]Frugality is no longer a part of American life. Everybody wants everything "now". I am in a low income bracket, but live quite comfortably and have money put aside for a rainy day. I do not live beyond my means, but have everything I need. So many people I know are bitching about not having money, yet they feel they are entitled to whatever they want whenever they want it. When the bills come in, it's a different story. I certainly do not deny myself, but my spending habits are based in reality. All my bills are paid, and I am happy with basic things in life. It's real easy.
I like what R37 is saying. No, it doesn't work for everyone (for instance, if you're unemployed), but the underlying message is the same: track your expenses and make decisions to cut costs where you can.
I work with people who bitch about money all the time, yet they lease their new cars, they all have upgraded iPhones or Androids, they walk into the office with their Starbucks every morning. There are multiple ways for most people to cut expenses if they look hard enough.
I know of people on public assistance who own iPads. I don't even own an iPad.
Fuck, I feel guilty if I spend $18 on a Blu-Ray off of Amazon these days.
I just want enough money to pay my bills and eat.
I have ZERO credit card debt, paid those bad boys off years ago, and live off what I make.
I have no savings and live paycheck to paycheck.
I'm in default on my student loans so my wages are garnished, which is actually cheaper than my loan payment would be.
At least may car will be paid off in early January.
So how exactly can they afford the new insurance premiums?
I am 31 years old, and survive in New York City as a freelancer. Between the various things I do I manage to bring in somewhere around $2,200 a month. After rent, a metro card, and utilities I have something around $200 a week to spend on everything including groceries, maybe one night out a week and a few happy hours and maybe movies.
The shocking thing is that I'm totally fine with it for now. The next 3-5 years are going to be big money makers for me. I have some projects coming out that are going to do very, very well and put me into a higher income bracket.
I really want to see if I have the discipline to live within the exact means I'm doing right now and save, save, save when the money starts coming in. I want to be free of all credit card debt, at least a good chunk of my student loans, and have $$ saved for a down payment on property by 35.
The money thing is hard for me because not only did I grow up poor, I also had ZERO in the form of financial education from my parents. Every single lesson I've ever learned about money was a hard learned one based on life experience.
I live from paycheck to paycheck. From October to January, it'll be even worse because I'm forced to work part-time. After that I'll be making less than 15k a year, again.
If I could put away 1000 euro that'll be the day.
I have 300 in bills stuck away in a drawer. I suspect I'll eat these up before Christmas.
It's not because they don't make enough. You got a woman making 40k and her husband making 50k- and they spend every dime on goodies, trying to live the bling life a couple hundred thou above their income level: boats, jewelry, trips, cars, designer clothes. They're basically broke on $100,000 a year.
The people who call Suzi Orman slay me: "Should I mortgage my house to pay off my student loans?"
I would love to make 1500 euro a month and above, and save at least 1000 euro a year. But that seems very unlikely.
At least I'm not in debt anymore.
This is my life:
I work 90 hours a week at two low-paying, deadend shit jobs: call center ($10/hr.) and security officer ($9/hr.). I rent a small house in a bad neighborhood for $500/mo. I drive an old Volvo that I paid cash for. Though it needs about a thousand in upgrades, it still rolls.
On the rare occasion I have time for 'entertainment' its usually a DVD rented from the library.
I have no health insurance or savings. Almost all money after rent and food is for paying down 7 credit cards (about $6,000 total) I maxed-out when I was working only one job.
Haven't had a relationship in 4 years. I have 3 cats. I'm always tired.
So I guess I too live check-to-check. But at least I have a check.
P.S. I've used CashnetUSA several times. For a $400 deposit into your checking acct., they charge about $85.00. Expensive, but it saved my ass on numerous occasions. And they offer extensions of the loan for a fee- which I had to take advantage of.
R76, freelance doing what, may i ask?
My rent just went up, I am not saving any $$$ at all.
I can't afford health insurance, even with the new obamacare. sucks!
[quote]They're basically broke on $100,000 a year.
R79 just described nearly everyone I know, including me. We're pathetic.
R81, where do you live?
Facebook is horrible, R83. I live on approximately 15k a year and I'm fine. I'd be happy with more, but on this I can afford clothes now and then (when I need new clothes or for something special), books and DVDs when I want (I spend approx 50-100 a month on books and DVDs), and I travel 3 times a year.
I would be happy making more but that would be a different lifestyle.
Recently I saw a book priced at 80 and don't know what to do yet because that's too high a price for me for a single book.
[quote]I spend approx 50-100 a month on books and DVDs
There are alternatives you know...
It's funny, because depending on where you live, even within your state, county or region, you will see it or not see it. We seem more isolated from the every day experiences of other people and rarely encounter examples of the working poor or people who are struggling. It's easy to ignore if you are so inclined. That's a big problem when you're trying to get other people to understand the economic issues and how we are all affected.
And the rest don't even have a paycheck.
[quote] R85 Recently I saw a book priced at 80 and don't know what to do yet because that's too high a price for me for a single book.
What is the book?
In other words, 76% of Americans have a job. Why is this bad?
Darfur Orphan, get in line, bitch! No one gonna give you you're dollar a day via Alyssa Milano on the TV if we ain't gettin' paid over here! So back in line! I'll cut you, bitch!
Evidently, it costs 74 online, but it's 80 in a bookshop. It is huge. I'm not so sure I want it. Don't like the way Ingrid Bergman is being used for commercial purposes.
And, yes, I am the Ingrid Bergman troll (you can find me on other threads).
I'm 59 and live paycheck to paycheck with only about $25,000 in my 401K but I do have a pretty good pension. I still plan on retiring at 62 (if I'm still here) simply because it seems like everyone around me is dropping dead younger and younger. I'll live within my means - whatever it is. Because no matter how much longer you work past 62, it's not going to get any better.
The scariest and saddest commercial I see on TV is the one with the old woman in the express line at the grocery store with just the cheap white bread and the cheap store brand bologna because it's all she can afford.
R96, she's got white bread AND bologna? Just how rich is she?
Sigh. Darfur Orphan, can't Kenya or Nigeria help you for a while? We got our own shit going on over here right now.
R98, have you tried going to the mall in Kenya right now?
On the other hand, they do seem to like their caftans over there.
I get paid friday. I have -136.85.
This thread is actually making me sad. I am sorry all of you are struggling so much.
The Americans seem to be a race of entitled pigs, it appears to me. They buy and buy, get fatter and fatter, and they think Hell is just around the corner only if you live in Europe.
It is satisfying to see the American's fat in the fire this time. I wonder if they will learn any lessons at all?
My disability company wrote me a letter stating that they've been miscalculating my benefits checks for 11 years. They are cutting a check to me for $11,700 and some change. I don't even need it.
R104, if you don't even need it, then perhaps you can donate to charity. or use it to be post office secret santa during the holidays.
[quote]My disability company wrote me a letter stating that they've been miscalculating my benefits checks for 11 years. They are cutting a check to me for $11,700 and some change. I don't even need it.
I am happy for you. I hope you sock most of it away. With the rest of it, I hope you help someone else out and then buy yourself a gift.
It's nice to read some good news on this thread.
R104 is a liar. Disability isn't even poverty level.
R107, you really are an asshole without much knowledge of private disability benefits.
My private disability insurance policy was paid for with "after pocket" taxes. That is to say I paid my private premiums for a big disability policy with dollars that were left in my pocket AFTER normal taxes were taken out of my check.
This leaves my monthly disabilty check 100% TAX FREE!--because I already paid income taxes on the money that went to pay the disability premiums. So--$2,300/month tax free disability money, along with another smaller similar policy of $800/ month and my Social Security of $1,932/month (only half of which is taxable at 15%). My social is very high because I was a very well paid engineer.
Rolling in dough. Have no where else to put it except the stockmarket and that is up about 25% ALREADY this year in 10 months.
Let's hear it for gay Republicans that planned for the future and potential disasters---it can be done. And for the starving crackheads in America--please starve away your lives. You will only make the country stronger.
This means 78% of American will not have the $$ leftover to pay the new insurance premiums of Obamacare.
[quote]Because no matter how much longer you work past 62, it's not going to get any better.
Not true. One of my brothers was left destitute at 60 due to business failure. He found a job on a token wage, got back on his feet, started a company, built it up, and eight years later sold it to retire in comfort. Another friend lost everything at 55. He's now soaring. It just takes determination. It's not easy, but it sure beats poverty.
wow, r108. congrats on being such an ass.
r110 is the biggest load of horseshit I've ever read. "It just takes determination" to go from poor to rich. In America. Over the age of 55. Bitch, PLEASE. Who the fuck do you think you're fooling?
Economists have been saying for years that the American Dream of class mobility via hard work is a lie used to keep the poor from rioting and to keep them thinking their poverty is their own fault.
While still possible in rare circumstances, you have a better chance of winning the lottery.
R112, you're just wrong. First he never said rich, he did imply the examples he cited made a nice profit. That's entirely feasible. He didn't say Steve Jobs territory. Relax.
In India the class system + reincarnation basically means that if you are born poor, it's your own fault because you were a rotten being in your past life. All you can do in this life is be as "good" as you can hoping for a better life in the next one. And if you're born rich, good for you.
Certainly should keep anyone from rioting.
Except last I remember, sometimes the working poor do riot in India.
Well, Americans are also kept from rioting with comfy couches and 200+ channel cable systems.
After being unemployed for a long time I just landed a big job which pays $7.80 and hour and is for 18 hours a week.
Strangely, I feel happy to have it.
Yep yep yep. Read somewhere that comfort is the worst thing that can happen to a culture.
A tad unrelated, but not really; Surely you know this movie (Crin-blanc). The kid in the picture is supposed to be a gypsy, but he's played by a guy who is of aristocratic descent. It always impressed what he was willing to go through to get the horse. And most of it is without a stunt double.
Me too. We used to have more Latinos on staff. I don't know where they've gone, but it's all broken English to me.
I'll never understand why middle class republicans want a system based on 1 percent of people having wealth and the rest of us living in poverty.
When the President is white again, will they become sane again? I'm being serious when I ask that.
A body at rest tends to stay at rest.
Also, our gadgets will be the death of us. Everyone needs to get off the smartphones, tablets and laptops. I'm young, btw.
Silly R120. Everyone knows it's more important not to allow to marry each other than it is to be able to put food on the table.
That's "not to allow men to marry each other" in R122 (I wish we had an "edit" function).
[quote]I'll never understand why middle class republicans want a system based on 1 percent of people having wealth and the rest of us living in poverty.
I don't think they do. I'm middle class, and not republican, but financially conservative. I want a system where you earn more opportunities by working harder and taking on greater responsibilities. I'm all for financially assisting those who aren't able to support themselves, whether for physical or emotional reasons. But if I studied hard and did better than the kid sitting next to me who goofed around all the time, I don't want to have to support him.
I think that's what most people want, but I could be wrong. I think we have the bones of a system that supports that, but need to adjust some limits. At least if you look back 40, 50 years ago, the structure in place seemed to be working better.
[quote]When the President is white again, will they become sane again? I'm being serious when I ask that.
I'm not sure why you ask that. All of this pre-dates Obama.
They weren't "sane" towards Clinton.
here's the problem, R124. There are people out here, millions of them, working hard and trying to take advantage of every opportunity. And they're getting screwed. They are being betrayed by a system that changes the rules to advantage other, while average working people suffer.
R124, I went to a school for rich kids. My parents weren't rich. I was a top student and even won a national award when I was in my final year in high school. Most of the other kids were just goofing around and cheating every chance they got. I remember doing other people's homework for change.
I've struggled most of my professional life. Today I'm settling into the public service because it's the most reasonable option. I'll never make good money, I'll get by. I'm not poor, but I have zero assets and no money stashed away.
Meanwhile, the wonder that is Facebook keeps me updated on all that those kids who goofed around are up to now. They've either set up a private practice of some sort, are working in the arts, have inherited all or part of the family business, or are into heavy drugs. Nobody became a civil servant like I had to.
Basically, the civil service is the army for people who were (reasonably) good students. You're supposed to go up the ranks if you are truly "good student" material, but I'm not keeping my hopes up.
There is a lot of ugliness in the current Republican party that is based on distaste for a black man in the White House. So much of their rhetoric goes back to that. He's not American. He's not Christian. (All evidence to the contrary.) It all comes back to what they're afraid to say: 'We don't like him. He makes us uncomfortable. We don't feel like he's one of us.'
And for years Republicans have painted a picture of the 'Entitlements Boogeyman' as being the actress from Precious walking down an urban blighted Detroit street eating her government paid for bucket of fried chicken. The biggest group trying to get federal disability right now is actually white men in their 40s (like me) who have been out of work for three or more years. I did everything you said. Worked hard. Had good grades, had a good career. Now the rug has been pulled out from under me. Hell, I have a masters degree and apparently I'm unemployable. I'm too experienced and educated, apparently. I want a middle class wage and to be able to take care of my family. People higher up on the ladder than I am say that costs too much.
What you have to understand is that there's only so much to go around. The ladder analogy is flawed. A more appropriate one might be a sinking ship. The first class passengers got let into the lifeboats first. They realized that it was going to get crowded if they had to let in the middle class passengers, so before the lifeboats were even full they forced the crew (politicians) to jettison them from the sinking ship. People like me did the hard work (paid our fare) and had a seat on those lifeboats, but it has been robbed from us. It's not coming back either.
The Tea Party type folks are often ones who did not do the hard work, and weren't getting on the lifeboat regardless. They're laughing at all this, saying what suckers we were for doing all that hard work you talk about when at the end of the day we're no better off for it than they are without their fancy degrees and middle class jobs. Sucks to be us.
Meanwhile America, the ship, sinks and the wealthy ride off on their lifeboats to plunder another country. Hell, they're like Somali pirates. Or barnacles on the hull of the ship. Fuck them.
I don't think the system is the problem. I think it's (some of) the rules we're using within the system. Adjust some of the rules, and the system will work.
Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
If the uber wealthy want a libertarian society (which they really don't) then, to accurately judge everyone on the value they add to society, we need to do away with inheritable wealth. Everyone from birth starts out on the same playing field with no one having an advantage until they start earning them at school or in the workforce. I wonder how Mittens and his family would like that? I just saw on TV the other day how one of his sons made it so that their grand stairway becomes a slide for the kids at the push of a button. How nice that must be for them.
r127 did you write that off the top of your head, or repost from somewhere?
either way, good points.
R130 - not consciously from any other source; it was written off the top of my head. But I digest lots of news and commentary, so I might have picked up something from somewhere without realizing it.
Excellent post R127. Wow.
What is your Masters in, R127? Sounds incredible that you should be unemployable. What a waste.
My 'first career' was in TV news, actually. That industry shrunk like you wouldn't believe. Not to date myself, but when I started the cameras actually had humans standing there operating them. It's all automated now. News copy also didn't all come from a few wire sources and then get merely regurgitated on every other outlet. Since then I've worked in marketing. My grad degree is a MBA.
I think it is amazing how the Repubs accuse Dems of everything they do themselves. Under Repub administrations, government spending increases, and deficits get bigger (whereas under Clinton and Obama they decreased). This is clear in the figures, yet it is accepted when the Repubs state the opposite.
The Repubs wanted to take away the mechanisms for payment in ACA (i.e. the mandade) while keeping the "giveaway" elements without any method for paying them. In the last election they wanted giveaways for business as well---but the whole time accusing the Dems of giving things away without considering how to pay them.
And most recently, the party vetoed the compromises Obama and Boehner worked out---and Boehner blocked the vote that would have reopened the government--all the while claiming that it was the other side that would not bend.
How did this happen? And why are they not called on this?
Thanks for answering, R127. You could probably have a second (or apparently, third) career teaching English or History or something like that if you can stand putting yourself through the grind. Marketing, if that's what you know best now.
You could also have a career writing. I don't know. Seems a shame to let all you've built go to waste.
The problem is that there are a ton of guys out there like me. It's like an article I read about how it should be criminal the number of grads law schools are pumping out these days. There is no market demand right now.
Also, aside from excess supply in the market right now for people with my type background, statistics are showing that for some reason non-technical office jobs are going largely to women over men at the moment. Could be income disparity working in their favor, could be that they seem more friendly and personable in interviews, could be any number of things - that's just what the job figures are showing at the moment.
R136 here. I work as staff at a university that is not a top university, but is not complete shite either (although, sometimes, you wonder...) It is a modest university in an area with lots of young people.
Fact is it's not always easy to hire (good) teachers. I've spoken to the teachers who do the hiring and they tell me that they never get #1 on their list, not even #2 or 3. It's usually #5, if that. Because the talented candidates go elsewhere.
Seems to me everybody is attracted to the same places where "talent" and "opportunities" are perceived to be, when there are jobs in places that are less glamourous, possibly more difficult and less rewarding, but there are jobs.
It's also true that 90% of my colleagues are female, and I am female. But I am also willing to take a low-paying job, like most of my colleagues. A large portion of them are single mothers raising teens.
It would probably be a major step down for you as you seem to have done very well for yourself in your past careers, but perhaps it might be better than being unemployed.
I'm pretty sure about teaching being a good option, but it might mean relocating to an area that's less attractive.
When I see books that do well and are written by people who don't really know much more than the general public and still write about topics they aren't very knowledgeable about, I say go for it. It could start as a hobby and who knows, it might work.
It really doesn’t matter for most of us, R135. No matter who is in charge since Republicans lite became the new Democrats, a la Bill Clinton and now Obama the same thing happens. Everything goes to those at the very top, taken from the poor, workers and the disappearing middle class. During the Clinton years we were in the black, how, by taking from the poorest of the poor. By sending working and middle class jobs overseas, oh yes, good ol’ Bill Clinton started that big time. He was also the one who deregulated the banks by killing Glass Steagall. The demon Reagan himself could not have done a better job of leaving those already poor in extreme poverty than Bubba.
Now comes bogus Democrat # 2, Obama. How is it that with him, another Democrat, sure the deficit is going down, yet only the very rich are doing well and the middle class, workers and the very poor are doing worse than ever?
The real Democrats died with the likes of FDR and LBJ. Workers, the middle class and poor (who Obama won’t even mention as if lightening will strike him dead if even says the “P” word) are doing worse than ever and WHAT A COINCIDENCE the very rich are doing better than they ever have in the history of this country.
Remember it was Senate Democrats, 28 of them including another faux Democrat Al Franken, who in June cut food stamps, making the hungry even hungrier despite the deficit being cut in half. The lie they told this time is that food prices have not gone up since 2009. They don’t even pretend to tell lies that make sense anymore.
Both sides have pitted the working class, the middle class against the poor to keep any of them from fighting back. Have them blame each other and they will not take to the streets to fight the real enemy.
If only as many people would get out there and fight as will line up to buy some new shit that Apple has just put out just maybe both sides will fear those they are screwing the most.
[quote]At least if you look back 40, 50 years ago, the structure in place seemed to be working better.
That was largely due to the GI Bill. We're now reverting back to how life was before then: the rich owned/controlled everything. Most of the top schools educated only the rich, most corporations were headed by them, most politicians came from that class (even populists like FDR and the Kennedys).
The postwar boom and its promise of social mobility was an anomaly in US history.
Wars always shake things up. Then it's back to normal.
"This means 78% of American will not have the $$ leftover to pay the new insurance premiums of Obamacare."
Wasn't that the plan? To collect those penalty fee$ from the poor every year?
A lot of people just waste their money on stupid shit and don't put anything away for retirement.
Some friends don't even bother to make a monthly budget.
No, R142, the poor were never going to be penalized. The poor were to be part of the Medicaid expansion and they are where the governors aren't evil Republicans and even in many states with slightly less evil Republicans. Those just slightly poor will get help to pay. It's only those who can very well afford insurance but just don't want to pay for it because they think nothing will ever happen to them who will face a penalty, as well they should. If they get sick or in an accident they will cost tax payers a huge amount.
yet everybody but me seems to get HBO and Showtime....confusing
r145, well you can get an HBO and Showtime package for a mere $10 per month, depending upon the provider.
Now that I shoplift I am able to put away a little cash each month.