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Old 03-01-2012, 05:44 AM   #21
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In these tough economic times we all have to make sacrifices:



The line Mae West is famous for is at 4:35.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:53 AM   #22
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Sending their kids to public school might be the best thing they could do for them.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:26 AM   #23
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what do normal people do with their dogs? We never had a dog walker and for years both worked. Last one out let the dog out, first one home let the dog out.

wouldn't it be great if they posted their expenses here and let everyone have a go at it? I'm betting they are paying way more for groceries, eating out, manicures etc. than two posters put together here.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:39 AM   #24
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I am amazed that any of these people would even talk to a reporter and expect anything but derision. After the financial crash and OWS, they certainly don't expect sympathy. So why talk to a reporter about how bad it is to be in the top 1% when you used to be in the top .5%? What could possibly be gained by being interviewed and quoted in an article like this?
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:48 AM   #25
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I am amazed that any of these people would even talk to a reporter and expect anything but derision. After the financial crash and OWS, they certainly don't expect sympathy. So why talk to a reporter about how bad it is to be in the top 1% when you used to be in the top .5%? What could possibly be gained by being interviewed and quoted in an article like this?
Interesting thought. It would not surprise me if the people being interviewed thought it was for a different purpose. Good reporters have this ability to get people to talk.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:55 AM   #26
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I think a lot of people just don't realize how well off they are. They don't begin to understand how many people are much worse off than they are. So, yeah, the backlash from opening their mouth to complain probably comes as a bit of a surprise - maybe even a wake-up call.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:03 AM   #27
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Reminds me of a time I went to a church dinner concerning the pledge drive for the year. It was also a poor economic times. They brought in a speaker who was a lawyer. He tried to identify with us 'working stiffs' by telling us that many partners in his firm had seen their income go down from about $220,000 a year to only $180,000. Yet, somehow, they still managed to contribute. I think the pastor looked a bit unsettled. We never heard from this guy again.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:42 AM   #28
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yes, chuckanut, i remember a similar story---at the hospital where i work, there was a certain doctor known for complaining about never having any money for treats and so he always came into the nursing station asking "do you guys have anything good to eat?"....and when our contract came up for renewal shortly afterward, he was the loudest mouth out there denouncing the government for "giving in" to the union and "paying us more money than we could ever spend". what a jerk! needless to say, his free supply of treats was instantly cut off. he made close to 4 times what the nurses did and didn't have enough brains to know when to keep his opinions to himself.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:08 AM   #29
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what do normal people do with their dogs? We never had a dog walker and for years both worked. Last one out let the dog out, first one home let the dog out.
My last (multi-millionaire) boss and his wife had a dog. They couldn't be bothered to pick up after the dog, so they hired someone to come by once a week to scoop for them. He told me this himself, not a rumor.

When they moved into a new house, the wife hired an interior decorator to help her place their artwork around the house. They leaned the pictures against the wall where they intended to place them all, and then thought about it, rearranged several times before finally hanging them. The kicker, the process took two weeks, with several visits by the $$$ decorator. He was proud of this display of decadence.

Insane to each his own...
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:46 AM   #30
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This story goes well with the book about living in a bubble. These poor bankers probably don't even know what NASCAR is.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:55 PM   #31
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I think people are delusional if they want me to feel sorry for them because of the cost of private school education for 3 kids. My first reaction is if you couldn't afford to have 3 why didn't you stop at 2? Or why not just become involved in the local public school and help make a change instead of whining about the quality of free education.
They can't afford to raise 3 kids because they are busy paying taxes to support all those other people who can't afford to have even 1 kid but chose to have 3 or more.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:21 PM   #32
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The article says they are making close to $200k after tax, health insurance and 401(k). That is a lot of money. Taxes are not holding them back.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:56 PM   #33
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The article says they are making close to $200k after tax, health insurance and 401(k). That is a lot of money. Taxes are not holding them back.
If he was earning $350,000 gross and has $200k after tax and withholdings, then I'd say that is a big tax burden. His tax and other withholdings are larger than my dual income family's entire gross income. If he had an extra $50,000 (due to lower taxes) he would increase his net income by 25% and his disposable income by much more (percentage wise).

I have no idea how much it costs to live a nice manhattan lifestyle, but it doesn't sound like the guy bringing home $200,000 net is living really large. He may have his indulgences, but renting a summer vacation home and living in 1200 sf isn't exactly an indulgence for most middle class americans. You have to vacation somewhere, and their duplex is the size of my condo I lived in during law school.

These guys can always trim their expenses, like all of us can. I'm sure the minimum wage earners sitting next to me on the bus on the commute to work would laugh at most middle income households profligate spending (things like proper dental care, safety features in cars, college savings accounts, eco-conscious consumption etc).
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:07 PM   #34
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I think that people are missing something fundamental.

These folks build fixed expenses around a very high level of income. When that income drops, it is very difficult to reduce expenses quickly without a fair amount of pain.

Private school for the kids may not be a "necessity", but pulling your kids out of one in the middle of the year to send them to public school is hard. Selling a vacation home in a collapsed real estate market is difficult.

Ultimately, most people, rich and poor, are living like these wealthy people. They look at the money coming in and build their lives around it without planning for what happens if that income drops.

Most people do this, and it is extremely unpleasant to deal with an income drop in this situation, even if the income drops to something that people still consider high.

Elizabeth Warren touches on this some in her lectures. It's not frivilous spending that is a problem in this situation. It's easy to stop that. It's the big monthly payments that you've locked yourself into that cause pain. Those aren't easy to change without severe upheaval.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:18 PM   #35
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If he was earning $350,000 gross and has $200k after tax and withholdings, then I'd say that is a big tax burden. His tax and other withholdings are larger than my dual income family's entire gross income. If he had an extra $50,000 (due to lower taxes) he would increase his net income by 25% and his disposable income by much more (percentage wise).

I have no idea how much it costs to live a nice manhattan lifestyle, but it doesn't sound like the guy bringing home $200,000 net is living really large. He may have his indulgences, but renting a summer vacation home and living in 1200 sf isn't exactly an indulgence for most middle class americans. You have to vacation somewhere, and their duplex is the size of my condo I lived in during law school.

These guys can always trim their expenses, like all of us can. I'm sure the minimum wage earners sitting next to me on the bus on the commute to work would laugh at most middle income households profligate spending (things like proper dental care, safety features in cars, college savings accounts, eco-conscious consumption etc).
The $350k to $200k is not taxes. It is taxes, retirement savings and health care insurance. Big difference. The complaint that there is not enough left to pay $32k in private elementary school tuition says he is living beyond his means.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:21 PM   #36
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most people, rich and poor, are living like these wealthy people. They look at the money coming in and build their lives around it without planning for what happens if that income drops.
Bingo. I think you nailed it with that statement.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:33 PM   #37
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I think that people are missing something fundamental.

These folks build fixed expenses around a very high level of income. When that income drops, it is very difficult to reduce expenses quickly without a fair amount of pain.

Private school for the kids may not be a "necessity", but pulling your kids out of one in the middle of the year to send them to public school is hard. Selling a vacation home in a collapsed real estate market is difficult.

Ultimately, most people, rich and poor, are living like these wealthy people. They look at the money coming in and build their lives around it without planning for what happens if that income drops.

Most people do this, and it is extremely unpleasant to deal with an income drop in this situation, even if the income drops to something that people still consider high.

Elizabeth Warren touches on this some in her lectures. It's not frivilous spending that is a problem in this situation. It's easy to stop that. It's the big monthly payments that you've locked yourself into that cause pain. Those aren't easy to change without severe upheaval.
Seems to be true, but I don't think most people here "are missing something fundamental." Anyone who's read The Millionaire Next Door and grasped the message, knows better than to build themselves into a fixed expense corner.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:39 PM   #38
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Ultimately, most people, rich and poor, are living like these wealthy people. They look at the money coming in and build their lives around it without planning for what happens if that income drops.

Most people do this, and it is extremely unpleasant to deal with an income drop in this situation, even if the income drops to something that people still consider high.
I do not think you can draw the conclusion that most people live like this from the article. Certainly people here grasp that concept very clearly. If you have data that shows this to be the case for most people in the US please show it.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:41 PM   #39
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I have no idea how much it costs to live a nice manhattan lifestyle, but it doesn't sound like the guy bringing home $200,000 net is living really large. He may have his indulgences, but renting a summer vacation home and living in 1200 sf isn't exactly an indulgence for most middle class americans. You have to vacation somewhere, and their duplex is the size of my condo I lived in during law school.
I was lucky enough to live in Manhattan for almost 2 years, paid for by my company... I could not afford to live there with my salary...

The last place I lived was about 800 or so sq. ft., but was worth about $1 million... and you also had to pay maintenance fees of many hundreds of dollars per month (plus, at the end of the year you would get an envelope with the suggested amount to pay all the people who worked in the building adding many thousands more cost)... now, I was in a building that had celebs, so it was not a cheap place...

When I had family come to visit, I would tell them to go to the grocery store on the next block, take a look at the prices.... come back up and complain about how high they are..... but then go back down and buy what you want/need since you are not going to get something much cheaper... (or course, one of my sisters got on the subway and went to Harlem and found a place with cheaper food)...

If you want cheaper housing, you have to move to Jersey or to Long Island.... but even those were more than most places.... and an hour or more commute was not unheard of....

I do not know why some of these people want this kind of lifestyle, but I did enjoy my time there....
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:41 PM   #40
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Yes, this board has more ants than grasshoppers.

The Schadenfreude that the ants here seem to show when the grasshoppers start starving is not their most becoming characteristic though.


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Seems to be true, but I don't think most people here "are missing something fundamental." Anyone who's read The Millionaire Next Door and grasped the message, knows better than to build themselves into a fixed expense corner.
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