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May I Get a Participation Trophy Please?
Old 03-24-2020, 09:58 AM   #1
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May I Get a Participation Trophy Please?

This is a rant. Thank you for indulging:

I've thought about the current crisis, and the immediate and near unanimous belief that because this virus is nobody's fault, that bail outs for everyone (which add to an incredible national debt, eventually debase our currency, and pretty much ensure some combination of slow growth, higher taxes and fewer services for future generations) are a given. Then I thought about some challenges in my own life which included:

1. Born into a middle / lower middle class family. Nothing special. Dad moved us around the country a lot chasing jobs. One of his favorite sayings if I'd complain about something was, "Life ain't fair. Accept it."

2. As an adult, I made major geographic moves on at least 5 occasions for jobs / tax reasons / housing affordability. It's not pleasant moving around so much, but it can be made to feel like a fun adventure.

3. I've been laid off three times. Never once applied for unemployment. I figured, "I'll figure something out." And having the need for a paycheck often led to some of the most creative ideas.

4. Started multiple businesses and had some serious failures on the first few. For one of them, I was unlucky enough to launch it (and my whole marketing budget) on Sept. 11, 2001. That business did not even survive until Thanksgiving. I lost a good chunk of change and felt pretty depressed for a while. But took my lumps and moved forward.

5. I happen to live in the state which was hardest hit during the housing downturn. I recall Zillow'ing my house and seeing it was worth about 60% of what I'd paid. (And I did NOT buy at the top of the market.) Though underwater, I continued to make every mortgage payment even though my income had dried up. In my mind, that was THE reason for having savings....so that you don't have to change your lifestyle or expect others to subsidize it when inevitable set backs occur.

Despite those things (which I expect are pretty normal ebbs and flows that everyone experiences to one degree or another) I've never missed a payment on anything. I've saved a considerable amount of money and consider my health choices and wealth choices to be decisions to be made proactively, not reactively. But I hold a number of private mortgages (I'm the lender.) Within a few weeks of a viral pandemic, numerous borrowers are coming asking for forbearance. It's just assumed that if the value of their properties goes up, they get the upside. But if they run into trouble, rather than having savings and using it, it's the note holder's responsibility to suck it up. (And yes, I'll be human. I'm not foreclosing on anyone and I will grant forbearance for a few months. But this gift will come with a stern warning of "this is your one get-out-of-jail card...don't come back looking for more.")

But I'm wondering, for those of us who not only expect that the unexpected will occur, but actually plan for it by having "emergency savings", can we please at least get a participation trophy in this time of universal bailouts, and worse, universal bailout expectations??
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:32 AM   #2
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ding ding... winner!

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Old 03-24-2020, 10:45 AM   #3
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....3. I've been laid off three times. Never once applied for unemployment. ....
While your intentions were noble, the end result only served to benefit the employer that laid you off! If you had received unemployment benefits then what they pay for unemployment insurance would increase.

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UC benefits are primarily financed through the quarterly assessment of taxes on employer payrolls. The tax system is experience rated and operates like an insurance program. ... Thus, the more charges against the account, the higher the tax rate, the fewer claims against the account, the lower the tax rate.
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:04 AM   #4
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While your intentions were noble, the end result only served to benefit the employer that laid you off! If you had received unemployment benefits then what they pay for unemployment insurance would increase.
That's all great but I for one admire the sentiment of not taking it.

And I do hereby award the OP one TROPHY!

And after all he went through he is not bellyaching!
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:08 AM   #5
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DW and I have taken a few lumps ourselves along the way. More than some folks, certainly less than others.

If we're handing out trophies for weathering some down times, mine would need to have engraved on it, "Beneficiary of Some Undeserved Breaks".
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:15 AM   #6
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That's all great but I for one admire the sentiment of not taking it.



And I do hereby award the OP one TROPHY!



And after all he went through he is not bellyaching!


Thanks. Certainly not trying to be a martyr. I know most people in this forum have had just as many bits of hard luck, as well as many bits of good luck. With forgoing UI benefits, generally it was because I quickly grasped the situation (for instance when the dotcom implosion happened, and then later I started the business on 9/11, I said to myself “time to accept a move and a pay cut” and took a job for about 60% less than my last salary. It wasn’t noble consideration about UI benefits or anything like that. It was just acknowledging that my previous well-paid cushy position wasn’t coming back, so it was time to accept a much lesser position for a while. I think it’s the failure to grasp the gravity of the situation which which is bugging me about some people’s reactions to current events.
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:49 AM   #7
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I get a participation award for keeping the same job for 25 years now (with 10 years on the previous job)....all providing stability for me, and my family in uncertain times.

Through all this, I had cancer twice, CHF twice, 2 bad (not my fault) car accidents being off for 6 months, ongoing chemo treatments every 2 months, and a new pace maker.

I didn't have the option of making risky financial moves, or trying to do new business start-ups, but i'm currently laid off from Ohio being shut down....in 40 years of working, I have NEVER been unemployed, or taken handouts, and always managed to land on my feet regardless of running roughshod through my nine lives.

I also have a motto, "Never play the victim" !
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Old 03-24-2020, 12:36 PM   #8
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While your intentions were noble, the end result only served to benefit the employer that laid you off! If you had received unemployment benefits then what they pay for unemployment insurance would increase.
Sorry but I couldn't disagree more. In the distant past both DW and I qualified for unemployment and even welfare at one point. The satisfaction of working through the tough times without a handout proved much more valuable than a few unearned bucks.
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Old 03-24-2020, 12:48 PM   #9
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RenoJay - While I really appreciate your story of an independent and hardworking American, your signature line is this:

"Saved 8 figures by my mid-40's as a professional bubble-spotter."

Does that not qualify you to be in the 1% club? If so.....no trophy for you because you won big. Good for you.

ckelly78z - I admire your tenacity. You get the trophy IMHO.
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Old 03-24-2020, 12:50 PM   #10
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DD works in the entertainment business. She is fine because her DH is an engineer. She also had a position where she was fully employed throughout the year. Most of the other people she works with just hold on through the winter and are then very busy with things starting to pick up in March and ramping up into the summer months. These people get paid somewhere between $10 and $15 an hour. It is probably close to the same for restaurant employees. The small kid's camp up here may not be open this summer at all. If that is the case, the four families dependent on the camp will be in pretty dire straights. Those families have about 10 kids between them, not to mention a dozen horses that will still need fed. My point is for some people not being hungry might turn into a real issue.
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Old 03-24-2020, 12:55 PM   #11
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My trophy says 'Lucky Privileged White Dude".

Whatever that means.
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Old 03-24-2020, 12:58 PM   #12
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Are we really doing this?

Newly unemployed - now, cannot "go out and get another job". Maybe grocery stocking or amazon warehouse work, but nothing else. And both of those come with increased risk of being exposed right now to multiple other people every single day.

I know we love to pat ourselves on the back around here quite a bit, and some of it is well deserved...but now? Really, now?
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:03 PM   #13
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Are we really doing this?

Newly unemployed - now, cannot "go out and get another job". Maybe grocery stocking or amazon warehouse work, but nothing else. And both of those come with increased risk of being exposed right now to multiple other people every single day.

I know we love to pat ourselves on the back around here quite a bit, and some of it is well deserved...but now? Really, now?
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:06 PM   #14
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Are we really doing this?

Newly unemployed - now, cannot "go out and get another job". Maybe grocery stocking or amazon warehouse work, but nothing else. And both of those come with increased risk of being exposed right now to multiple other people every single day.

I know we love to pat ourselves on the back around here quite a bit, and some of it is well deserved...but now? Really, now?
+2

Thanks for coming right out and saying this.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:24 PM   #15
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But I'm wondering, for those of us who not only expect that the unexpected will occur, but actually plan for it by having "emergency savings", can we please at least get a participation trophy in this time of universal bailouts, and worse, universal bailout expectations??
Trophy? You had it easy.
.
.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:27 PM   #16
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Trophy? You had it easy.
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I’m the one on the left.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:28 PM   #17
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I'm the other one.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:52 PM   #18
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Old 03-24-2020, 03:34 PM   #19
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RenoJay - While I really appreciate your story of an independent and hardworking American, your signature line is this:

"Saved 8 figures by my mid-40's as a professional bubble-spotter."

Does that not qualify you to be in the 1% club? If so.....no trophy for you because you won big. Good for you.

ckelly78z - I admire your tenacity. You get the trophy IMHO.
Thanks. Yes, my signature is accurate. A little more of the story....most everything described happened well before I had real money. I was normal kind of earner for most of the history. The big bucks started in my late 30's, crashed (completely) with the Great Recession, and then went up a lot with the recently departed bull market. So you're right...nowadays I'm in good shape regardless, but the stuff that got me to this place financially mostly happened from tenacity and perseverance long before the financial cushion arrived.
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:02 PM   #20
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But I'm wondering, for those of us who not only expect that the unexpected will occur, but actually plan for it by having "emergency savings", can we please at least get a participation trophy in this time of universal bailouts, and worse, universal bailout expectations??
There's certainly an element of personal (and corporate) responsibility and good planning when it comes to surviving times like these. I know I've been very responsible but I also never take it for granted that I was raised in a family that valued education, I was born with a marketable skillset, I was blessed with good health (partly good genes and the grace of God and partly my own work to maintain it).. I've been through my share of crap but all of that helped me get through it. Not everyone is so blessed.

I agree, though, that the people who always had cars newer and nicer than mine, who took their kids to Disney on a regular basis, whose retirement plan was "file for SS at 62 and that will be enough"... yeah, I don't feel good about bailing them out. Same for the people who run large corporations into the ground, buy back stock and dump masses of employees out on the tarmac at the first sign of adversity.
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