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Old 10-10-2015, 11:16 PM   #41
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You hit the nail on the head purple sky. Unfortunately things have to get drastically worse (beyond going back anytime in the same generation) for some people to finally get it. Some just don't wanna know what they don't wanna hear.


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Old 10-11-2015, 12:12 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Corporations don't 'expect a living wage' - they have to earn it. Plenty of companies go out of business when their product is not in demand at a price that they can profit from. It should be the same with workers - either have a skill set that someone wants to pay for, or adapt. It's pretty simple.

-ERD50
That is one school of thought. I just ordered an old book by John Kenneth Gailbraith, written in 1967, called the New Industrial State, which I think would differ from your views:

"According to Galbraith, the American economy consists of two quite different economic systems: "the entrepreneurial economy" of over eleven million enterprises, largely controlled by owners and working in a competitive system to "maximize profits" which will go to these owners; and a mega-economy (which he calls "the industrial economy") of a few hundred super-corporations, which dominate the whole economy and all aspects of our lives and are making the future in which the whole world must live. "

Galbraith's New Book on Industrial State Has Startling Impact - A book review by Professor Carroll Quigley

Related Chart:

These 10 Corporations Control Almost Everything You Buy:
http://www.businessinsider.com/these...you-buy-2012-4
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Old 10-11-2015, 01:17 AM   #43
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Yes, that was obvious to me.



And did the millennials you are talking about pursue an in-demand degree? If not, what should they expect? I should just buy their 'product', even if I don't need/want it? I bet you don't do that either.




No, it doesn't go both ways. If other countries offer a better tax plan, you can bet they are going to pursue it. Are you going to tell me you don't take the tax deductions and credits that you are allowed? That's what I mean by fixing the tax code - make it competitive. That has nothing to do with 'entitlement', it's just playing by the rules.

Corporations don't 'expect a living wage' - they have to earn it. Plenty of companies go out of business when their product is not in demand at a price that they can profit from. It should be the same with workers - either have a skill set that someone wants to pay for, or adapt. It's pretty simple.

-ERD50
But the American taxpayer invests $$$ trillions in corporate welfare, so how is that earning it? Are American corporations just entitled to receive trillions in American tax dollars and then ultimately just evade taxes because they feel the current U.S. tax laws are not fair? Poor corporations.:face palm:

They sure didn't have a problem taking American tax dollars to produce profit? Not to mention they don't pay back their losses to taxpayers.

So corporate America enjoys the benefits of America but they don't have to pay for them.

Now thats a sweet deal.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:35 AM   #44
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As long as we do not enforce current immigration laws, and correct the ILLEGAL undocumented workers problem (25 million and growing), the lower income worker will never get ahead. Labor, just like widgets, are controlled by supply and demand.

Too many of our young folk go to college, get into debt up to their eyeballs and study to become archaeologists, social workers, musicians, or even teachers (like my daughter). While they are noble professions and play a great role in society, there just aren't enough jobs in those professions to allow salaries to rise. If 25% of the teachers disappeared in a puff of smoke tonight, it would not take very long to fill those positions.

Disclaimer: My daughter did graduate from a private college in 4 yrs. and had part time job through out college and was not in debt when she graduated. Also, I don't want her to go up in a puff of smoke either. And I am for LEGAL immigration.
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Most Americans have less than $1000 in savings?
Old 10-11-2015, 08:06 AM   #45
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Most Americans have less than $1000 in savings?

IMHO Saving money isn't about evil corporations or immigration it is about LBYM and thinking long term. I call it brown bagging your life and the constant battle against SHINY RED PICKUP SYNDROME. Oh I've got it but the Mrs helped me see the light years ago. Now I'm sure you can probably write this list better then I.

1. Buy a new shiny red pickup or buy a three year old ugly green Toyota (I called her Betsy - god she was reliable)
2. Buy a budget stretching big house or a modest affordable cape cod (the upstairs was unfinished when we bought her)
3. Call the plumber, painter or lawn guy (god I love my used John Deere and the Mrs is an awesome painter) I love tools
4. Basic cable or the sports package I must admit no HBO but I am a geek for mountain men and the assorted Alaska shows..
5. Shop with coupons and look for sales (I never have the same cup of coffee week to week)
6. State College or private university. SUNY for me, State College for the daughter.
7. Ten thousand thermoses filled with cream of mushroom and a sandwich or eating out.
8. Some new toys with the bonus, tax return, inheritance, OT ....or some dividend stocks or ETFs.
9. Friday night pizza in or dinner and drinks out. (Did I ever tell you about the first time I spent more hen $20 on Chinese food.. The Mrs made a scene)
10 save first and spend the rest or spend and maybe save something
11 new heels or new shoes.. I actually met someone who didn't realize you can shine your shoes... "My husband will be happy because now I don't have to buy new ones..." Sweet Moses!
12. Not take advantage of a 401k match... Never leave money on the table...ever.
13. KEEP A BALANCE ON YOUR CREDIT CARDS .. oh brother don't get me started. The average person who carries a balance carries $15k - yikes that's what $ 3k in interest a year. Kill the debt and just save the interest for 30 years put it into ETFs and bam you'll have a big pile.

Obviously our list won't work for everyone - particularly if you have a very low salary. However I can't tell you how many people I've met that are clueless when it comes to spending/saving money. But for many people follow the above list and retirement will be as easy as not going to work.

Ps I still like cream of mushroom...


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Old 10-11-2015, 08:48 AM   #46
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IMHO Saving money isn't about evil corporations or immigration it is about LBYM and thinking long term. I call it brown bagging your life and the constant battle against SHINY RED PICKUP SYNDROME. Oh I've got it but the Mrs helped me see the light years ago. Now I'm sure you can probably write this list better than I.

1. Buy a new shiny red pickup or buy a three year old ugly green Toyota (I called her Betsy - god she was reliable)
2. Buy a budget stretching big house or a modest affordable cape cod (the upstairs was unfinished when we bought her).
<snip>
You married well! I learned about LBYM from my own parents, who saved enough to put 5 of us through college. When they had a house with a formal living room and dining room built, it was at least 4 years before Mom bought furniture because she wanted the good stuff and her payment method was "90 days, same as cash". When we had the extended family over for holiday dinners, they put up a large card table and folding chairs in the dining room. They still have that furniture 40 years later and it looks just fine.

Now I watch HGTV and I see people walking through houses complaining that the white kitchen appliances will HAVE to be replaced with stainless steel, and they really want a place with hardwood floors throughout and no carpeting. I just laugh. We have a house on a beautiful lake site and I hate the kitchen wallpaper. As soon as it gets cool and there's less to do outdoors, I'm taking it down. No rush.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:29 AM   #47
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Now I watch HGTV and I see people walking through houses complaining that the white kitchen appliances will HAVE to be replaced with stainless steel, and they really want a place with hardwood floors throughout and no carpeting.

I laugh at the snooty people as well. They go into a perfectly nice kitchen and "I wanted granite" or "this is a total gut job I hate those light, dark or whatever cabinets..."

Bought that cape cod and we needed bedroom furniture; I found a lovely set from a nice lady moving to Florida in the buy lines (think paper craigslist). 25 years later it is still upstairs... The old stove had a pilot light...The wife never complained probably why we celebrated 25 years together this past week...


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Old 10-11-2015, 09:53 AM   #48
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IMHO Saving money isn't about evil corporations or immigration it is about LBYM and thinking long term. ...
Yes, the earlier exchange with purplesky was getting deep into an area that will get the thread shut down, so I'll bow out now from that.

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I laugh at the snooty people as well. They go into a perfectly nice kitchen and "I wanted granite" or "this is a total gut job I hate those light, dark or whatever cabinets..." ...
What's wrong with people wanting a certain look, as long as they can afford it?

I'd bet that our granite counters actually cost less than having formica put in. We have lots of angles and edges and separate pieces to deal with in our layout. A peninsula with rounded edges, a rounded cabinet profile to match on one piece. There would have been a lot of labor to do that in formica and have it look nice. With granite, the computer cuts and shapes anything you need. Very little labor, and none if it was highly skilled either. Rip out, align and glue down the pieces, some middling skills to fill the two joints and silicone the backsplash.

It was formica after a remodel I did - but my FIL did the formica with us - it was a BIG job, and he had all the tools and experience. Then I did the edge trimming later, which wasn't cheap and very labor intensive (getting wood edging around all the curves we had). Hiring someone to do all that would have been big $$$.

edit/add: Wait a minute - you were the guy talking about funding a $40,000 wedding, yet granite ( a lifetime investment versus a one day party) is 'snooty'? To each their own, but I don't think that would register with most people.

-ERD50
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:10 AM   #49
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I am looking past the dining room furniture we have owned for 40+ years, bought second hand back then for $70, with seats recaned by yours truly, twice, into my two-year-old dream kitchen that brings me such happiness with those snooty countertops that are in heavy use every single day we are home. I must be schizophrenic....

But on topic--today we have $783 in our savings account. It will go below that as it will join our checking account balance to pay a credit card with $6k in travel costs, but it will go back up the next week when pension and SS are deposited. It's eclipsed by our money market fund balance at Vanguard; the survey in the OP asked only Internet posters if they have more than $1k in a bank savings account, so today we would be in the No column.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:12 AM   #50
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What's wrong with people wanting a certain look, as long as they can afford it?
Absolutely nothing.. But they have a budget for the new house - I wonder how many have an extra $20k or more for kitchen gut job?

Quote:
edit/add: Wait a minute - you were the guy talking about funding a $40,000 wedding, yet granite ( a lifetime investment versus a one day party) is 'snooty'? To each their own, but I don't think that would register with most people.

-ERD50

Yup I did say $40k (just a number at this point daughter isn't engaged) but I also said I'd rather put they put the money into a house. I deplore big wasteful weddings...

I have also see them come into a home and make a big deal about wall colors.. Every time we've bought a fresh coat of paint was the first order of the day. Paint, brushes and rollers all pretty cheap.



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Old 10-11-2015, 10:55 AM   #51
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Yes, that was obvious to me.



And did the millennials you are talking about pursue an in-demand degree? If not, what should they expect? I should just buy their 'product', even if I don't need/want it? I bet you don't do that either.

-ERD50
I pursued an about-to-be-in-demand degree (my parents thought that studying computers was a waste of time!) The advantage that I had over millenials was that it was virtually free thanks to the taxpayers of California so I didn't graduate with any debt despite self-financing my education -- no grants, aid, loans or scholarships or parental support, just regular in-state tuition. Since I graduated, minimum wage has tripled and tuition at the UC has increased 11-12 fold. Our nephews just graduated this year from a relatively inexpensive, east coast private school with "in-demand degrees" and tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:38 AM   #52
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Just an observation: We are always shocked when we drive outside of the Baltimore-Washington-Northern VA area. Less than 2 hours from where we live, most folks seem (based on what can be seen from a car) to be living in near-poverty. It is as if certain metropolitan areas suck up all the nation's money and vitality, and the rest of the Americans are scrabbling to hang on.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:45 AM   #53
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I thought I didn't want to replace our perfectly good formica countertops with granite, because the speckled gray "builder grade" granite I saw in most homes is not as good-looking as high-grade formica. Then, someone brought in photos of their new countertops, and I started thinking about possibilities.

I am a rocks-and-minerals gal, and fell in love with the fanciest granite in the warehouse.

Seven years later, I still get a thrill from the patterns and colors in those countertops. I just love looking at them. There are whole areas that I've given nicknames to. There are patterns of feldspar that resemble letters and ideograms, an area of pink granite that my sister says looks like a Michigan road map, a cluster of hexagonal black crystals, and all the different veins and spots of glittering mica.

It was worth the money just for the entertainment value!

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Y
I'd bet that our granite counters actually cost less than having formica put in. 0
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:49 AM   #54
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Like the old fairy story about the never-empty purse: The owner didn't appear rich, because his purse only had one silver piece in it, but as soon as the owner spent that coin, another appeared in its place.

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I
But on topic--today we have $783 in our savings account. It will go below that as it will join our checking account balance to pay a credit card with $6k in travel costs, but it will go back up the next week when pension and SS are deposited. .
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:24 PM   #55
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I have no desire for granite. That said, we spent almost as much for stainless counter tops. Sure it's taste specific - but we like to cook, and it's a very practical choice. Ironic that it's now showing up in design magazines as the next big thing - but when we did it, it was considered weird and lesser.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:49 PM   #56
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...

I am a rocks-and-minerals gal, and fell in love with the fanciest granite in the warehouse. ...
With the screen name Amethyst, I never would have guessed!


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I thought I didn't want to replace our perfectly good formica countertops with granite, because the speckled gray "builder grade" granite I saw in most homes is not as good-looking as high-grade formica. Then, someone brought in photos of their new countertops, and I started thinking about possibilities.

I am a rocks-and-minerals gal, and fell in love with the fanciest granite in the warehouse.

Seven years later, I still get a thrill from the patterns and colors in those countertops. I just love looking at them. There are whole areas that I've given nicknames to. There are patterns of feldspar that resemble letters and ideograms, an area of pink granite that my sister says looks like a Michigan road map, a cluster of hexagonal black crystals, and all the different veins and spots of glittering mica.

It was worth the money just for the entertainment value!
Yes, personal taste and all, and depends on the situation, but I'm not a fan of the 'speckled' granite. We got a type (Thunder Blue) deep blue/black with lighter areas and veining, and all sorts of random things, coppery looking specks and swirls etc. I was surprised one day to slide the timer across the surface, and have it 'stick' in one place. There are areas of high iron content, and the magnet on the timer 'grabbed' those spots.

It's similar to the grain pattern in wood. Very randomized and interesting. We selected our slabs, the only one we rejected was one that had two spots that looked like owl's eyes. DW didn't want that staring back at her! It might of actually looked nice, but a little to 'stand out', and we didn't want to risk it. I don;t think we've named any of the patterns we have though, hmmm, might take a stab at that now! Very happy with what we have. One of the best remodel things we've done. And at $5,000 with tear out and install, for a large complex kitchen, with lots of finished edging, I really can't imagine trying to cut back on it.

-ERD50
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:50 PM   #57
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..

Seven years later, I still get a thrill from the patterns and colors in those countertops. I just love looking at them. There are whole areas that I've given nicknames to. There are patterns of feldspar that resemble letters and ideograms, an area of pink granite that my sister says looks like a Michigan road map, a cluster of hexagonal black crystals, and all the different veins and spots of glittering mica....
I love this too--so much depth, so much appeal to me in the flowing areas to carry my eye. Probably the same thing that makes other people dislike granite in general
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:53 PM   #58
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Yup I did say $40k (just a number at this point daughter isn't engaged) but I also said I'd rather put they put the money into a house. I deplore big wasteful weddings...
DW and I were married cheaply in a park with a justice of the peace, with a few dozen close friends and family, with a small reception at my in-laws' house -- no expensive venues, no caterers, no wedding planners. I recall paying about $1,500 for the ring (in 1992) and that cost more than all the other aspects of the wedding combined. My FIL gave us a $1,000 wedding gift, partly (he said) in gratitude for getting married on the cheap!
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:43 PM   #59
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One other odd nugget is my parents for example. My father saved $20k when he was young and bought a large machine and started a business. He made poverty wages his entire life as all money was re-invested in the business. What extra money we had he bought stuff, but stuff he felt was stuff he needed, a lawn mower for the acre we lived on, a new welder so he could do repairs, etc. He's sees it as "value" as his stuff still works and in the end he can sell it for something (except now he realizes 20-40 yr old stuff doesn't really sell for anything). That is how so many people I know are.. especially if your rural and used to living on a farm. You assume either you'll sell the farm and take those proceeds or keep working.

My fathers business had no pension, no 401k, no nothing so he had not a penny to his name when he turned 65 other than his home and a business he couldn't sell. Ironically he kept working because my mother was only 55 and he couldn't get health care for her else .. so only now have I gotten him to take his money out as dividends rather than re-invest. (He's 80 .. if he cant' sell the business no reason to not bleed it dry). So this is his way of "selling the farm". They were always too scared to invest. Often were taken advantage of by some dirty person or another (usually someone they knew from church) who somehow would take their money and put it in some life insurance thingy or another and somehow "lost all or more of it"... so that's it .. too scared to invest. Rather own things they need and hope you can sell enough off at the end to live on...its reality for almost all rural people I know.
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:55 PM   #60
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Their question was “How much money do you have saved in your savings account?”

I'd answer: $0

It's been a long time since I've had a "savings account"
Yeah. Savings vs savings acct is key. I don't have a kilobuck in a savings acct but am comfortably FIRED for over nine years now.
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