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Old 04-03-2008, 05:06 PM   #61
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Carefully read the profiles. It seems that many of these people are guilty of nothing more than being laid off, getting sick, having a child get sick, losing health insurance, etc. etc.
Ha
Sorry... I had to draw the red flag on this one. I concur 100% with you insofar as unexpected negative things can, and will happen to you over the course of your life. These things are no fault of your own, and you certainly are not guilty of causing them to happen to yourself. However..... you most certainly ARE guilty of something. And that something is the "oh.... but that will never happen to ME" mentality. I fully understand that I can in fact get sick, be laid off, loose my health insurance, if I had a child they might get sick, etc. But since I do understand all of these eventualities, I have taken steps to safeguard against them. While I will agree with you that there ARE people out there that have done all of the right things, and got wiped out due to an unforseen circumstance, I would be willing to wager this percentage is very small. Much more common is the story of people who choose not to buy health insurance until AFTER they are sick, spend every nickle they make not expecting to be laid off, spend money on luxury items BEFORE they pay their credit card bills etc. By and large people create their own luck, and are not random victims of it. From what I have seen so far, is unlucky people that were harmed more due to lack of planning, than some random event that came their way. Some may agree... some may not... but this is how I see it...
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:38 PM   #62
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But since I do understand all of these eventualities, I have taken steps to safeguard against them. ...
Sort of like the old saying:

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
- Thomas Jefferson


In this case, one should try to "prepare for the worst (but hope for the best)"...

- Ron
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:36 PM   #63
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Sort of like the old saying:

In this case, one should try to "prepare for the worst (but hope for the best)"...

- Ron
Hmmm - I believed the 'slosh model' which indicated the Levee could break at mid to high Cat III.

heh heh heh - and then it did. Also in thirty years in New Orleans never let a chance to party slip by as the clock is aways ticking. Max auto deduct tax deferred and make do with the rest. My investment strategy was so boring I often forgot I had one.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:34 PM   #64
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Hey, Fed: Stop robbing my savings, readers say - MarketWatch
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:40 PM   #65
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Sorry... I had to draw the red flag on this one. I concur 100% with you insofar as unexpected negative things can, and will happen to you over the course of your life. These things are no fault of your own, and you certainly are not guilty of causing them to happen to yourself. However..... you most certainly ARE guilty of something. And that something is the "oh.... but that will never happen to ME" mentality. I fully understand that I can in fact get sick, be laid off, loose my health insurance, if I had a child they might get sick, etc. But since I do understand all of these eventualities, I have taken steps to safeguard against them. While I will agree with you that there ARE people out there that have done all of the right things, and got wiped out due to an unforseen circumstance, I would be willing to wager this percentage is very small. Much more common is the story of people who choose not to buy health insurance until AFTER they are sick, spend every nickle they make not expecting to be laid off, spend money on luxury items BEFORE they pay their credit card bills etc. By and large people create their own luck, and are not random victims of it. From what I have seen so far, is unlucky people that were harmed more due to lack of planning, than some random event that came their way. Some may agree... some may not... but this is how I see it...
Touche

I had a mentor (former boss) who hired me when I was 23, when he was president and starting the subsidiary of the megacorp that I still work for, 23 years later. I was the third person hired in the subsidiary. When he retired and I returned to take his place after 17 years, overseas transfers, a variety of jobs/positions/responsibilitie, etc., I thanked him for hiring me 17 years prior. I told him how lucky I felt to be given the opportunities that I had all along the way, and especially at that time.

He replied to me that I had made my own luck, the entire way through, and that he felt I would continue to do so. I was of course a hard worker and I still am, but I had never looked at it that way before...creating my own luck. Six years have passed since then and I recall this often as I look at people...those who work for me, friends, acquaintances, and even brothers and sisters.

I find that what this wise man told me is very true. I have a sister and BIL who have very much created their own luck and while not well to do, they are comfortable. I have a brother and another sister who have essentially created their own desperation and demise. The latter two always comment that it isn't fair that I have what I have. I will never be close to these two, because they feel that it is fair that I work hard and take measured advantage of opportunities but not fair to enjoy the fruits of my labor, while they feel the world owes them something. My sister even declared bankruptcy last year and boasted to my folks that she didn't have to pay any more for her 50" flat screen TV, a variety of other toys, or her travel trailer. That made me so furious I about burst an artery. BTW, I earn many times what she does, but don't have anywhere near the toys...thats part of what makes it so infuriating.

Need I say more? There are people who are willing to take responsibility for creating their own luck, good fortune, AND ability to weather hard times, and then there are those who are not willing (or are just plain stupid - my sis included).
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:05 PM   #66
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I tried to read with an open mind....but wanted to smack some of the people!
I agree with a lot of you.....I don't understand why someone would pay 800 dollars in gas....get a smaller car! I would not buy a new house when my old one wasn't sold yet! I really don't understand the ones who cashed out their 401K as an emergency fund!
I don't know how they sleep at night......I cannot handle high levels of debt.....gives me heartburn!
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:09 PM   #67
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I have a brother and another sister who have essentially created their own desperation and demise. The latter two always comment that it isn't fair that I have what I have. I will never be close to these two, because they feel that it is fair that I work hard and take measured advantage of opportunities but not fair to enjoy the fruits of my labor, while they feel the world owes them something. My sister even declared bankruptcy last year and boasted to my folks that she didn't have to pay any more for her 50" flat screen TV, a variety of other toys, or her travel trailer. That made me so furious I about burst an artery. BTW, I earn many times what she does, but don't have anywhere near the toys...thats part of what makes it so infuriating.

Need I say more? There are people who are willing to take responsibility for creating their own luck, good fortune, AND ability to weather hard times, and then there are those who are not willing (or are just plain stupid - my sis included).
Rambler, our sisters must be related. I've got one that is always in hot water over money. She and bil have done the bankruptcy thing twice in the last thirty years. For some reason they never have money to pay the bills but they sure have a lust for toys, trips and cars.

She always seems to make some snide remark about the fact that my DW hasn't worked since 1985 and sat around all day doing nothing while I worked. Just a little jealousy there if you ask me.

Their FIRE date (she is 56, bil is 62) is somewhere near the end of this century.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:25 PM   #68
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I am heartened that we have again achieved the proper condemnatory tone.

Ha
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:09 AM   #69
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I am heartened that we have again achieved the proper condemnatory tone.

Ha

Well what tone should we be adopting? Should we be opening up our checkbooks and making contributions so they can buy a new car, pay of the mortgage, or pay down their student loans. "Be thankful because there by the grace of god go I." I am honestly confused :confused:

Ok maybe we are too quick to condem, and clearly we don't have anywhere near all the facts. I guess the article is supposed to be yet another example about how the country's economy is going to hell in a handbasked. I don't accept the premise ordinary people are suffering solely from the evil lenders, oil company, Congress, Bush, Chinese...I agree with others, 80% of these stories could be written anytime within the last 50 years. Life is unfair, some of us ,certainly include myself, got more than are fair share of good breaks, leaving the bad breaks to the rest. Still people do make their own luck.
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:44 AM   #70
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[quote=citrine;637967]I don't understand why someone would pay 800 dollars in gas....get a smaller car!/quote]

Didn't go through all the stories, so I don't know the detail on this one, however I'll give my comment (anyway ).

Spending a lot on gas sometimes is "required". Maybe the vehicle used is the "problem", but what if it's a "condition of employment" (e.g. working in construction) where you have to drive a great distance to a current construction site, and also provide your own "tools of the trade". I would think (for instance, an arc welder) could not get their "tools" in back of a Honda ....

Another reason for cost of gas, and was referred to by another person. You may have a distance to commute, not served by public transport, that you must drive to keep your job. Where I live, there are a lot of "transplants" from the northern NJ / NYC area due to the lower housing prices. You could sell your "shack" in those areas and get a McMansion here, simply by driving 50-75 miles (one-way). When gas was less than $3/gal and especially if you drove a small vehicle (that was good on gas) it made sense. Even more so, when you car-pooled and shared the cost of commuting. With job cutbacks some of those "NYC jobs" have gone away, and a few folks I know have to drive themselves (and also pay increased tolls to drive in the city).

Sometimes good intentions don't necessarily match reality. Of course, for those that really are acting "stupid" (such as renting a car for $200/wk, rather than by lease for $200/mo) you can't open their eyes to what they are doing.

- Ron
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:06 AM   #71
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I am heartened that we have again achieved the proper condemnatory tone.

Ha
Careful, Ha, I hear the sound of pitch being heated up.
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:09 AM   #72
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Well what tone should we be adopting? Should we be opening up our checkbooks and making contributions so they can buy a new car, pay of the mortgage, or pay down their student loans. "Be thankful because there by the grace of god go I." I am honestly confused :confused:
I don't understand your reasoning. To me at least, one can avoid condemning an action or situation meanwhile not pitching in to do anything about it. One's feelings can be generous, even if actions may be complicated or have negative side effects or cost too much or are in other ways not appealing.

I am conservative politically. Yet I tend to have compassionate opinions and feelings about others' struggles, even if in some cases they come from their own failings. It is too painfully obvious to me that many of my struggles come from my personal failings. Do I want others to condemn me?

Remember faith, hope, and charity?

I think the emotional process of looking down on others can be gratifying. Better to pass on this source of pleasure.

Ha
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:15 AM   #73
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I think the emotional process of looking down on others is gratifying to some here. It is its own reward so to speak.

Ha
Heh, lots of card carrying members of the schadenfreude club here, for sure.
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:18 AM   #74
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I think the emotional process of looking down on others is gratifying to some here. It is its own reward so to speak.
At the risk of getting a little too "touchy-feely," I might offer a different explanation.

Is it possible that people so readily condemn those who have suffered bad luck out of a possible insecurity about their own good fortune?

That is, I think many of the people on this forum might encounter (or indeed, sometimes feel it themselves) a little guilt about being wealthy. In order to alleviate this guilt, they have to convince themselves that they deserve what they have. Consequently, they have to believe that those who are poor deserve that, too.

Basically, believing that "people deserve what they get" allows them to not feel guilty about being wealthy themselves, but it has a nasty side-effect of blocking any personal empathy they might have otherwise felt towards people suffering a low-income existence (lest they be perceived as hypocritical).

Just a theory. Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:40 AM   #75
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My theory is it's easy to talk about other people 's back luck and how you can be prepared for anything until something truly devastating happens to you . There is no way on earth you can be prepared for all of lifes twists and turns .
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:43 AM   #76
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Part of the problem is that there are always people like this. In ALL economies. People who made dumb choices and now lie in the bed they made. People who had bad luck and were downsized and/or restructured out of a job through no real fault of their own. People who are injured and were not adequately insured. It happens in the best of times just as it happens in the worst of times.

But they are actively sought out for sensationalized news stories when the economy starts to falter, making people think this is proof that We're Doomed [tm], which leads to the self-fulfilling prophecy of recession.

Yes, there may be a few *more* people in this situation now, but how many *more* will there continue to be as long as stories like this continue to scare the hell out of people and businesses?

Can you tell I have a little bit of contempt for the financial media?
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:51 AM   #77
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I think the problem is that most people are optimists. They figure the future will always get better and everything will work itself out, so they live for the moment.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:05 AM   #78
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My theory is it's easy to talk about other people 's back luck and how you can be prepared for anything until something truly devastating happens to you . There is no way on earth you can be prepared for all of lifes twists and turns .
Well said!! You can prepare for many things, but not for everything. Both well prepared and poorly prepared were devastated (financially and otherwise) by the floodwall failures and consequent flooding following Katrina.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:32 AM   #79
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Well said!! You can prepare for many things, but not for everything. Both well prepared and poorly prepared were devastated (financially and otherwise) by the floodwall failures and consequent flooding following Katrina.
Then again most people have a choice of where they decided to live.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:36 AM   #80
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Then again most people have a choice of where they decided to live.
Let's get real - - Maybe everyone in Arkansas shouldn't have lived there, because of the tornados. Maybe nobody should live on the Big Island because of the tsunami that devastated Hilo in 1958 or so. Maybe nobody should live in San Francisco due to the huge earthquake a few years back (not to mention the one in 1906). Do you think that that San Francisco earthquake did not affect anyone who thought they had planned for an earthquake? I don't.

Maybe it is different in your social circles, but most people that I know live where they can find work or ended up due to having found work there. It constantly amazes me that people feel so much fury and animosity towards New Orleans. I suppose it is a racial thing. How can you blame UncleMick for living in New Orleans, for example? Do you hate him for that? Do you think it was due to poor planning? Do you blame CuppaJoe for poor planning since he lives in San Francisco? Do you honestly think you are doing so much better than either of them in your planning?
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