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Old 04-24-2016, 08:07 PM   #101
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Another recurring trend on this thread is the stagnation of wages leading to a decline in lifestyle. I do agree with this sentiment. It is frustrating to see the middle class losing it's ability to provide as well for their family's as our standard of living goes down. I have two kids and I do understand the desire to provide well for them. Fortunately my definition of well is different from living in the Hampton.

I do fear of the world my children and grandchildren will face as we enter a world with fewer resources being spread between more and more people.
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:50 PM   #102
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It is frustrating to see the middle class losing it's ability to provide as well for their family's as our standard of living goes down. I have two kids and I do understand the desire to provide well for them. Fortunately my definition of well is different from living in the Hampton.
That's the thing. I don't argue that real wages are flat or declining and that wealth is increasingly unevenly distributed. None of that is healthy for society. But "standard of living" is not static either. Can we really compare SOL of the analog world of the 60s and 70s to today? Blue collar people have access to things like smart phones, advanced health care, video games, computerized automobiles and you-name-it, which were fantasies to the wealthiest people of the 70s.
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:57 PM   #103
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That's the thing. I don't argue that real wages are flat or declining and that wealth is increasingly unevenly distributed. None of that is healthy for society. But "standard of living" is not static either. Can we really compare SOL of the analog world of the 60s and 70s to today? Blue collar people have access to things like smart phones, advanced health care, video games, computerized automobiles and you-name-it, which were fantasies to the wealthiest people of the 70s.
Indeed! If people were willing to forego those luxuries and live like its the 70s, many wouldn't be in financial trouble.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:12 PM   #104
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Indeed! If people were willing to forego those luxuries and live like its the 70s, many wouldn't be in financial trouble.
And any further tolerance of capitalism would cease to exist.

Read what Smith said about leather shoes and linen shirts

Not that some of these gadgets are not mere indulgences but unless we can, indeed, live better than we used and not somehow be made to suffer for it, how can we make any claim to progress? The answer is, we can't. Who gives a hoot how well or not rich people lived 40 years ago?
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:24 PM   #105
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And any further tolerance of capitalism would cease to exist.

Read what Smith said about leather shoes and linen shirts

Not that some of these gadgets are not mere indulgences but unless we can, indeed, live better than we used and not somehow be made to suffer for it, how can we make any claim to progress? The answer is, we can't. Who gives a hoot how well or not rich people lived 40 years ago?

Suggesting people not purchase what they can't afford is going against Mr. Smith about as much as suggesting Tulips won't always go up in price.

I enjoy my modern conveniences, but I don't get them until I can afford them.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:44 AM   #106
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Another recurring trend on this thread is the stagnation of wages leading to a decline in lifestyle. I do agree with this sentiment. It is frustrating to see the middle class losing it's ability to provide as well for their family's as our standard of living goes down. I have two kids and I do understand the desire to provide well for them. Fortunately my definition of well is different from living in the Hampton.

I do fear of the world my children and grandchildren will face as we enter a world with fewer resources being spread between more and more people.
I have always felt that wages are a result of the supply and demand curve. If you have a skill that is demand, you will be compensated for it. If your skills are plentiful or not so good then your wages are not so good.

The Great Recession put a lot of people out of work, so the supply of workers is high, and their skill set similar to others, and wages are depressed. Also, as mentioned earlier, low reported inflation keeps raises minimal.

Until the excesses are squeezed out, it will be more of the same. Artificially increasing wages without the appropriate productivity, will exasperate the problem. Automation or outsourcing will put more out of work.
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:15 AM   #107
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I have always felt that wages are a result of the supply and demand curve. If you have a skill that is demand, you will be compensated for it. If your skills are plentiful or not so good then your wages are not so good.

The Great Recession put a lot of people out of work, so the supply of workers is high, and their skill set similar to others, and wages are depressed. Also, as mentioned earlier, low reported inflation keeps raises minimal.

Until the excesses are squeezed out, it will be more of the same. Artificially increasing wages without the appropriate productivity, will exasperate the problem. Automation or outsourcing will put more out of work.
I agree that wages are tied to the supply and demand curve. But with increased education among the population, increased productivity, increased automation, and contacting out to third world countries, it is becoming harder and harder to be one of the more outstanding people who can earn well above average wages. I do earn above average wages, and so does DW. I would say, though, that my children will have to be even more outstanding to earn those same wages in the future.


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Old 04-25-2016, 09:04 AM   #108
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Yet, they can't. So maybe there isn't what many here would consider a "good" reason, but there is a reason, even if many of us here cannot relate to it.
Try relating to this: DW used to work with guys making $750K to $1MM a year. By every Wednesday or Thursday they were bumming $50 from her until payday.

They had $2MM houses on the beach but didn't have $100 in the ATM they could grab. (and yes, the ATM was within sight, so it wasn't as if they didn't want to just save time)
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:08 AM   #109
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I appreciate the fact that the author takes most of the blame for his plight. What isn't explained is how his life was lived before he (with the help of a financial pro) paid off his credit cards. Obviously, living above his means, and putting it on plastic.

Sorry, but I have more sympathy for those who are wiped out by terrible disease or accidents and take money out of their 401-ks to pay those bills. Not those who use their retirement to pay for a daughter's wedding.

Financial plans that use 401-k retirement monies and credit cards to pay college and weddings are are not financial plans. They are retirement suicide plans.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:22 AM   #110
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One thing is sure...There is always something to spend money on. Deciding what not to spend on is more difficult. I will give my daughter some credit. She just told me tonight she has saved $1000 in past couple months on a $8.50 an hour job, living completely on her own by herself. That is pretty good money management I think....Of course she wouldn't have to be so frugal if she hadn't walked away from college 12 hours short of graduation with the 4 years paid for by her mother and myself. But that is a separate story!


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I have a similar story. My son has been saving ever since he graduated from college. He could have saved 10 times more if he pursued a career using his degree. Instead, he decided to live happy and poor by being an artist, something we reluctantly accepted. Sometimes, poverty is a choice ...
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:28 AM   #111
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Blue collar people have access to things like smart phones, advanced health care, video games, computerized automobiles and you-name-it, which were fantasies to the wealthiest people of the 70s.
No collar people, if they fit the right categories, have all these things too.

Ha
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:19 AM   #112
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Try relating to this: DW used to work with guys making $750K to $1MM a year. By every Wednesday or Thursday they were bumming $50 from her until payday.

They had $2MM houses on the beach but didn't have $100 in the ATM they could grab. (and yes, the ATM was within sight, so it wasn't as if they didn't want to just save time)
The Millionaire Next Door book called people like that big hat, no cattle types.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:37 AM   #113
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Try relating to this: DW used to work with guys making $750K to $1MM a year. By every Wednesday or Thursday they were bumming $50 from her until payday.

They had $2MM houses on the beach but didn't have $100 in the ATM they could grab. (and yes, the ATM was within sight, so it wasn't as if they didn't want to just save time)
While I'm used to the knowledge that many people, at all income levels, live paycheck to paycheck, this particular example blew me away. It's mind-blowing how someone who makes that much money would need to borrow a mere $50 to get through to the next payday.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:43 AM   #114
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If I were in that position I would be embarrassed beyond belief.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:46 AM   #115
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If I were in that position I would be embarrassed beyond belief.
+1

Probably not as embarrassed as the CFO at my old workplace when the repo man showed up at the corp. office parking lot for his car...
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:08 PM   #116
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+1

Probably not as embarrassed as the CFO at my old workplace when the repo man showed up at the corp. office parking lot for his car...
Wow. The CFO no less... I guess that's why I think programs that stress financial education in schools would have minor impact on this problem - if at all.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:18 PM   #117
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I agree. Me thinks that some people are driven to "look the role" or rather than "keep up" with the Jones's, they have to demolish the Jones's.

I never fell into that trap. I never bought anything to impress other people, I bought it because I liked it and I wanted it.

That saved me a lotta dough for sure. I mean just buying stuff for me (us) rather than the whole neighborhood eh?

This "need to impress" is real, I have seen it with people I know and I'm glad I don't have it -
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:19 PM   #118
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+1

Probably not as embarrassed as the CFO at my old workplace when the repo man showed up at the corp. office parking lot for his car...
That's why in our company everyone got company cars!

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Old 04-25-2016, 01:25 PM   #119
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While I'm used to the knowledge that many people, at all income levels, live paycheck to paycheck, this particular example blew me away. It's mind-blowing how someone who makes that much money would need to borrow a mere $50 to get through to the next payday.
The stories and anecdotal examples are really getting into one-upmanship in this thread! I love it!
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:33 PM   #120
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The stories and anecdotal examples are really getting into one-upmanship in this thread! I love it!
It's called CBYM (Cite beyond your means). Those of us who LBYM need some sort of outlet of upmanship, y'know!
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