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LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-21-2006, 09:21 PM   #1
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LBYM stereotypes

Early in the 20th century, one of the ethnic stereotypes was that "Jews are cheap". Although it wasn't meant as a compliment, most of us LBYMers presumably would have taken it as one There was probably some truth to it as poor East Side immigrants saved every penny to send their kids to college.

More recently, the "Millionaire Next Door" phenomenon has been widely publicized, although I still run into a lot of people who equate wealth and conspicuous consumption. On the ethnic front, Chinese immigrants are often seen as dedicated LBYMers.

Are there any other LBYM stereotypes that I am missing? It's a relatively rare lifestyle and I am curious what, if anything, we have in common. Browsing forum archives suggests that many, if not most people here, including myself, apparently "got it" independently, so perhaps there really isn't a pattern. But it doesn't hurt to ask* 8)
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-21-2006, 11:16 PM   #2
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

I think I would put the Vietnamese and Filipinos in the LBYM category too. All that I have known through the last 20-30 years are frugal and careful.
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 12:52 AM   #3
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrooge
Are there any other LBYM stereotypes that I am missing? It's a relatively rare lifestyle and I am curious what, if anything, we have in common. Browsing forum archives suggests that many, if not most people here, including myself, apparently "got it" independently, so perhaps there really isn't a pattern. But it doesn't hurt to ask* 8)
You mean like the cheap Scot, the frugal Irish, the plain Germans?

Then there's the non-ethnic group of fanatics who wash out plastic bags, re-use tin foil, and worship Amy Dacyczyn... I think the ultimate expression of that deprivation was the woman who strained the broken glass out of her peanut butter. As her husband learned to his chagrin, she didn't get it all.

There's LBYM and there's frugality, but when it crosses the line into deprivation then it probably ceases to be a sustainable lifestyle.
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 01:21 AM   #4
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

I would not take being called cheap, a compliment.* *There's cheap and there's frugal.* The former is not desirable, and the latter is wise and desirable.

example;* frugal - buying a cheaper brand at the grocery store when its just as good as the name brand.* * cheap - not leaving a tip at a full service restaurant when the waiter did a good job.*
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 01:25 AM   #5
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

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Originally Posted by Nords
You mean like the cheap Scot, the frugal Irish, the plain Germans?
Pretty much, although I have noticed that the younger generation doesn't seem to be as frugal as the older generation once was up in the Pennsylvania Dutch areas

Quote:
I think the ultimate expression of that deprivation was the woman who strained the broken glass out of her peanut butter.* As her husband learned to his chagrin, she didn't get it all.
Hey, just because she didn't do it right doesn't mean that it can't be done! Here, let me try this...*

Quote:
There's LBYM and there's frugality, but when it crosses the line into deprivation then it probably ceases to be a sustainable lifestyle.
I don't think I am anywhere close to deprivation, but I have occasionally found myself playing little mind games trying to justify squeezing the last penny out of the grocery bill and other things that really weren't worth it. At first I wondered if I was going overboard and should make a concerted effort to restrain myself, but then I decided that it was good exercise as long as it was limited to running optimization algorithms while shopping*

I do draw the line at spending my non-shopping time on chasing pennies, though. There are more important things in life to waste my time on* 8)
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

THis is not an issue of ethic heritage. It is an issue of the imigration cycle and the ability of the American culture to market the consumer mentality.

As others have said all groups when they first came here managed their money well. This is due to the memory of poverty and the opportunities here to save money. Eventually, the future generations become Americanised and get into the spending cycle.

There is the 3 generation money cycle.
1st generation makes money
2nd generation maintains the capital
3rd generations spends the money

This is also one explanation for the cycle of growth and depressions.

If you think about it you can understand the logic.
1st generation has the memory of poverty and works hard
2nd generation has the memory of poverty by living with their parents but this generation has progressed financially when they are in the work place and they provide a better life for their children that they did not have.
3rd generation does not have a memory of poverty and thinks they will always have money, so they spend.

We are all the same in our harts. When people attempt to seperate us through minor differences question the assumptions.
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 08:13 AM   #7
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

There was a whole generation of people who lived through the depression who spent the rest of their lives living below their means. And some of us are older and remember life without credit cards, when you thought you needed a new stove you started saving for it. Of course, your whole life was so much more simple then, most families had one car, a stay at home mom who hung out the laundry etc. I can remember the first fast food restaurant opening in our town, we never went out to eat when I was a child, four kids on one salary you just didn't do it. Funny thing is the other three siblings are all big spenders and credit users. They thought I was nuts when my goal was to pay off the house. They said no one does that anymore, all that home equity pays for a lot of vacations, clothes, restaurant meals. Yuck.

Living without credit and saving up and buying only what you can afford is pretty much a lost lifestyle. Besides new immigrants there doesn't seem to be a connecting thread of those who get it as opposed to those who continue to rack up the debt oblivious to income or the future. Kind of like our government.
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 09:22 AM   #8
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
You mean like the cheap Scot....
I take offense (and umbrage while I'm at it) towards your derogatory reference to a Scotsman as being cheap.
The term is actually frugal when referring to the lifestyle of the King of LBYM lifestyle - as in frugal scotsman...
A typical Scot will get good quality goods at the lowest price and would feel off his feed if he had let anything go to waste - example: haggis was invented because the frugal Scots couldn't stand to see anything potentially edible going to waste...

I do hope in all future communications you are able to remember this.
Thank you in advance
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 10:11 AM   #9
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

There is another stereotypical group of LBYM'sers - probably most commonly found here in the great northwest - the leftover from the sixties hippy-dippy make your own yogurt, spin your own wool, hold your car together with duct tape gang. They seem to subsist on barrista wages and potlucks.

But maybe they're not living BELOW their MEANS they just have really really low MEANS, but they live within them.
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 11:24 AM   #10
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
cheap Scot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daneboy
I take offense (and umbrage while I'm at it) towards your derogatory reference to a Scotsman as being cheap.
The term is actually frugal when referring to the lifestyle of the King of LBYM lifestyle - as in frugal scotsman...
A typical Scot will get good quality goods at the lowest price and would feel off his feed if he had let anything go to waste - example: haggis was invented because the frugal Scots couldn't stand to see anything potentially edible going to waste...
Now that you bring my attention to it, I'm offended too-- "cheap Scot" is blatantly redundant and I should have realized that as soon as I typed it!

I think that haggis is a fine example of the not-so-fine line between frugality & deprivation. I believe my credibility in this assertion derives from spending three years commuting to Holy Loch, Scotland, where I sampled haggis from various shipmates' plates. I certainly wasn't going to waste my hard-earned money on that alleged food product.

I have Scots ancestors too, and for some reason the names keep popping up. "Douglas" is Gaelic for "from dark water" (or, as my mother repeatedly reminded me, the modern interpretation could be "cesspool") and my middle name is Bruce.

BTW we picked up over 60 pennies during a two-week vacation around the DC Metro and the Smithsonians...
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 11:51 AM   #11
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
THis is not an issue of ethic heritage.* It is an issue of the imigration cycle and the ability of the American culture to market the consumer mentality.

As others have said all groups when they first came here managed their money well.*
The notion that immigrant groups often have a high savings rate can be easily supported. For example, "World Development Report 1984" published by World Bank Group states (p. 101) that Turkish emigrants worldwide saved 35% (and remitted 11%) in 1971 and Pakistani emigrants saved an incredible 70% (and remitted 50%) in 1979.

However, the idea that all immigrant groups start out with roughly the same savings rate -- which then falls from generation to generation until they reach the national average -- is not one that I can find much evidence in support for.

Anecdotally, I am unaware of an Italian or Polish analog of the "Jews are cheap" stereotype from the early 20th century, at a time when all three groups were immigrating in record numbers. Statistically, I can't seem to find a decent breakdown by ethnic group. For example, this 2003 Motley Fool article claims that:

Quote:
Asians' savings rate is 75% higher than the rest of the U.S.
but what's the breakdown between native born and foreign born generations? And how does it compare to other recent immigrant groups from Latin America, Africa, India, the Middle East, etc?

This paper cites Light and Gold, Ethnic Economies (San Diego, Academic Press, 2000, pp. 85-86) to the effect that:

Quote:
irrespective of economic conditions and income levels, some [ethnic] groups save more and lend more than others. The causes of inter-group disparity in savings rate include values and attitudes that bear upon saving and lending, the size and integrity of the groupís kinship system, and the availability of rotating credit associations.
but I don't have access to the book to look up the stats that the authors base their conclusions on.
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 12:11 PM   #12
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

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THis is not an issue of ethic heritage. It is an issue of the imigration cycle and the ability of the American culture to market the consumer mentality
that is the key point...also mentioned in the "millionaire next door".....

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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 01:04 PM   #13
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

jews weren't called cheap for no reason, ya know. if we didn't hide our money, you would steal it from us. nor are we well educated for no reason. intelligence packs lightly when your neighbors push you out of your home.

i don't know how accurate this guy's research was http://tinyurl.com/eol8z but it makes an interesting read:

Quote:
Medieval England was primarily an agricultural society; hence investment in capital did not come readily to them. Yet, because they could not own land in England the only profession in which Jews could participate was money-lending. The kings of England would use the Jews as a way of indirectly taxing their servants. The king could tax the Jews, which in turn would cause the Jews to demand payment on their loans from their debtors. If the Jews and their debtors could amass the necessary funds, then the king had his revenue. If the Jews could not secure the tax, then the king could imprison them and seize their property. This property was in many cases the deeds to land, which debtors had used as collateral. Therefore, the king, through the taxation of the Jews, was able to enhance his absolute power.
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 01:13 PM   #14
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

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jews weren't called cheap for no reason, ya know. if we didn't hide our money, you would steal it from us.
That's funny. Ya don't look it
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 01:20 PM   #15
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

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THis is not an issue of ethic heritage. It is an issue of the imigration cycle and the ability of the American culture to market the consumer mentality
-------------------
that is the key point...also mentioned in the "millionaire next door".....
Wasn't another fairly prominant pernt of The Millionaire Next Door the fact that most of the millionaires showcased therein were small business operators?

Engage in one of the more salient yet corrosive behaviors that define society. The one so many people lament and castigate. Consumerism. Debt based economy. All these people strung out on debt. Then Profit from it. And get hailed as some sort of wiseman.What would the economy look like if everybody were as prudent as they ought to be? Or even most of them? Or many of them?


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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 02:03 PM   #16
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
BTW we picked up over 60 pennies during a two-week vacation around the DC Metro and the Smithsonians...
Be sure to segregate the pre-1982 from the '83 and later pennies. The old ones are worth about 2 cents, in zinc and copper alone.

The 1982s are*tough. Some are good, some cheap.
I recommend weighing them on a sensitive scale. Hi copper ones are abut 1/3 heavier.*

BTW, I never had any of these bizarre habits until I started hanging around here. But I have cut almost $10,000 per year off my spending, so there is some good in it I guess.


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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 02:53 PM   #17
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Be sure to segregate the pre-1982 from the '83 and later pennies. The old ones are worth about 2 cents, in zinc and copper alone.

The 1982s are*tough. Some are good, some cheap.
I recommend weighing them on a sensitive scale. Hi copper ones are abut 1/3 heavier.*

BTW, I never had any of these bizarre habits until I started hanging around here. But I have cut almost $10,000 per year off my spending, so there is some good in it I guess.
For those of you who may not know, Ha has recently published a book entitled "The Confessions of a Penny Pinching Penny Pincher".* Ask for your free copy today at your local Barns & Nubile.
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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 04:52 PM   #18
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

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Originally Posted by razztazz
Wasn't another fairly prominant pernt of The Millionaire Next Door the fact that most of the millionaires showcased therein were small business operators?
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...hp?topic=646.0

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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 05:12 PM   #19
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

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Originally Posted by Nords
I think the ultimate expression of that deprivation was the woman who strained the broken glass out of her peanut butter.
I saw my grandfather strain the broken glass out of his beer with his pocket hanky. He wasn't cheap, he was an alcoholic!

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Re: LBYM stereotypes
Old 07-22-2006, 05:23 PM   #20
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Re: LBYM stereotypes

Uh oh, we're dangerously close to the joke about the englishman, irishman and scotsman with flies in their beer...
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