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Old 04-20-2021, 07:23 AM   #61
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kinda like a lot of the responses in this thread...
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:10 AM   #62
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Terry, I think this is correct. My friends father was in the navy, and then worked in the shipping department of some company.
He managed to buy a home in the suburbs, have his wife stay home, and raise four kids with basically a highschool education.
That isn't happening anymore.
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I think I see it everyday. HS education to join the military. Maybe the wife works until the kids start arriving. STack some kids. Military offers to pay for a degree bc now you kind of need one to be promoted even for enlisted. Get your 4 year degree. Get promoted. Get out with medical and a small pension. Go back and work maybe in the same base perhaps in the same office doing same/similar job now drawing GS civilian pay, getting a match in your TSP (401k equiv), still got your retiree medical care, maybe even some veterans benefits in cash and care if your body got torn up. Buy a house in the outskirts near a good school at retirement, This happens all over, everyday. SO yes it is possible. THis is not fairy tale land.

I also worked alongside folks that did maybe just one contract length in the military, then they use their education beenfits, get picked up in a GS job maybe somewhere theyve always wanted to live, maybe somewhere near their hoemtown, whatever. Its very possible. But you cant be a piece of sh*t and sit around and complain how it doesnt come to you. And no you and the wife prob cant drive nice cars prob until the kids move out.

Victims need not apply.
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:20 AM   #63
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The world is so different from forty years ago I'm not sure any comparison isn't comparing oranges to apples. The truth is I couldn't live like I did when I was a kid. Six people in a three bedroom 1500 sf house with one bathroom, one TV and one car. People didn't make much then but they didn't need much. Oh and that much touted factory job, my Dad had one and he complained about it every single day. Yes the kids are a bit spoiled but I'm just thankful for everything I have today.

You certainly could live like that, but in fact you don't want to. Nothing wrong with not wanting to.
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:23 AM   #64
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The world is so different from forty years ago I'm not sure any comparison isn't comparing oranges to apples. The truth is I couldn't live like I did when I was a kid. Six people in a three bedroom 1500 sf house with one bathroom, one TV and one car. ...... a bit spoiled but I'm just thankful for everything I have today.
It's not that different for most people. 6 people in a 3 bedroom house = mom & dad sleep together + 2 kids to each room. Normal. 1500 is average size house. Those 1 BR houses still exist. Who really needs electronics in each room? I have 1 TV. Normal for many of us

FWIW: My house was built in 1979, both kids have houses built in early 60s (3bd 1200 sq ft). DD had 5 in her 3 BR house & has 1 car. Normal
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:08 AM   #65
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I don't know about you but I didn't start from an easy spot. If I could climb out of homelessness, work 1.5 jobs while desperately trying to not lose my home in the 1990s, have 2 kids own their own home in my HCOL area -- why can't others?

From your other posts it seems like you have a pension with a lump sum value of at least $1M, a home that has appreciated over $500K plus your adult kids / grandkids have been helped by the bank of mom. I'm glad things worked out for you and your adult kids, but most jobs these days do not have pensions and houses bought at current prices in the Bay Area are often over $1M. Could your kids buy houses today at market prices and would you be as financially secure as you are now if you didn't have a job with a pension?
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:24 AM   #66
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There's no reason to buy in the Bay area if you can't afford it.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:37 AM   #67
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There's no reason to buy in the Bay area if you can't afford it.

If you look at section I quoted, part of the OPs point was she has 2 kids in houses in a HCOL area, which I assume means the Bay Area since that is where she lives and her kids seem to live nearby. So when they bought houses are relevant to her point, because prices were much lower just 10 years ago, when the area wasn't as HCOL. There were really nice houses out in places like Brentwood for $200K back then.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:44 AM   #68
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The point before was that the American Dream may be easier to achieve these days outside the U.S. But if you want a paper focused only on the U.S. here is one showing the decline in income mobility in the U.S. over time - https://inequality.stanford.edu/news...american-dream

The OP wrote that " People are saying you can't build financial security as easily as past generations. Whether that's the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, get it?" Yes, if by people you mean people like researchers from the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, yes, that is what they are saying.
Well, I do not think the data cited show that. Even though kids on average are earning more than their parents (though perhaps not as much as prior generations) those parents are more likely college educated and have been employed in relatively higher wage fields. So kids are still earning more but they do not have to earn more than parents to be able to achieve financial security.

As wages rise in general with US moving from agrarian to mechanized labor to knowledge workers, the bar gets higher. It is not as easy for my generations kids to out-earn us. My parents were blue collar and clerical. Their parents were farmers and miners.

But kids have tremendous opportunities with a primary difference maker being drive and passion for doing so, and developing the ability to see themselves as the main difference maker in their personal story.

As we have gotten more wealthy our kids have gotten more self satisfied, and we have become less of a nation of "strivers" and, honestly more entitled and less motivated. I think a large piece of that is because of wealth.

Which brings us back to the OP. I agree that our kids can lack the drive of prior generations for a variety of reasons and expect things to come too easily. And we need to continue to combat that.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:54 AM   #69
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Well, I do not think the data cited show that. Even though kids on average are earning more than their parents (though less than prior generations) those parents are more likely college educated and have been employed in relatively higher wage fields. So kids are still earning more but they do not have to earn more than parents to be able to achieve financial security.
Yet those social mobility scores in many other developed countries remain higher than the U.S. But if you want to rely on your own opinions and beliefs instead of using actual metrics and the analysis of researchers from top universities who do these kinds of studies for a living, that is certainly your choice.
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:08 PM   #70
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Terry, I think this is correct. My friends father was in the navy, and then worked in the shipping department of some company.
He managed to buy a home in the suburbs, have his wife stay home, and raise four kids with basically a highschool education.
That isn't happening anymore.
JP
Uh, sure it is. There are thousands of folks that join the military and then go on to great careers...all with "only" a HS diploma.
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:08 PM   #71
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Yet those social mobility scores in many other developed countries remain higher than the U.S. But if you want to rely on your own opinions and beliefs instead of using actual metrics and the analysis of researchers from top universities who do these kinds of studies for a living, that is certainly your choice.
My conclusions came directly from the data presented.

Now you wish to change topics back to US compared to other nations. Ok, we can do that.

The first article you linked compared the US unfavorable to Denmark, a very small, non-diverse country which accepts few immigrants and with the population of Colorado. But Colorado is more productive and generates higher GDP. A more apt comparison would be to Europe overall. Do you notice how these tiny non-diverse European countries also compare favorably to the larger economies in Europe?

It is apples and oranges.

Having said that, in my opinion the US needs to address educational disparities and the growing problem of illigitimacy both of which limit opportunities.
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:10 PM   #72
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Yet those social mobility scores in many other developed countries remain higher than the U.S. But if you want to rely on your own opinions and beliefs instead of using actual metrics and the analysis of researchers from top universities who do these kinds of studies for a living, that is certainly your choice.

DLDS I clicked through and read your
link,but I'd be hard pressed not to realize the people doing the research and writing are a bit biased toward some outcomes..the title of the think tank that wrote it is the first clue.
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:22 PM   #73
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DLDS I clicked through and read your
link,but I'd be hard pressed not to realize the people doing the research and writing are a bit biased toward some outcomes..the title of the think tank that wrote it is the first clue.
I've posted many research links between this and a related thread on a similar topic. I've never seen anyone posting a link supporting the ongoing sentiments here that poverty and lack of success are mainly due to laziness and other moral failings. Many of the replies have been along the lines of all the researchers are biased, the places their results are published are all biased and I disagree with their analysis so I don't think they are right, even though I don't have any actual research to support my own opinions.

Well, okay then. Not much more I can add to what I've already posted.
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:38 PM   #74
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I've posted many research links between this and a related thread on a similar topic. I've never seen anyone posting a link supporting the ongoing sentiments here that poverty and lack of success are mainly due to laziness and other moral failings. Many of the replies have been along the lines of all the researchers are biased, the places their results are published are all biased and I disagree with their analysis so I don't think they are right, even though I don't have any actual research to support my own opinions.

Well, okay then. Not much more I can add to what I've already posted.



The difference here is I'm not seeing people here say the laziness and moral failings are the main reason people are in poverty. The truth is it's way more complicated and multi-faceted then that.



The fact the gap is widening should tell us we need to do something different.
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Old 04-20-2021, 01:11 PM   #75
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The fact the gap is widening should tell us we need to do something different.
I disagree. By most measures, when the people on the top earn more, everyone benefits including those at the bottom.
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Old 04-20-2021, 01:20 PM   #76
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I'm not sure where to put this, so Mods move it if it's in the wrong area

As the pandemic stretches on, I have noticed a lot of people with unrealistic expectations. A few examples are the fact that people expect a vaccine to be 100% effective, no side effects, no illness, and no pain. People are expecting colleges to be completely free, everybody accepted, no cost factor, and a ticket to a million dollar house on graduation. People are saying you can't build financial security as easily as past generations. Whether that's the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, get it?

I don't know about you but I didn't start from an easy spot. If I could climb out of homelessness, work 1.5 jobs while desperately trying to not lose my home in the 1990s, have 2 kids own their own home in my HCOL area -- why can't others? My generation complained that 'we' had it harder than our parents and I'm sure our parents generation complained the same

Yes, they may have to forego shopping at Niemann's, buying a Tesla, megahome, gardener ..... but it's all about priorities.


Could not agree with you more. I have seen people almost get run over in the street, because they did what the “sign said” rather than actually look to see if a car was coming.

Most people are extremely risk adverse to just about everything. As everyone here in the forums knows... if you are too risk adverse, you really can “save yourself into poverty”.

Everything in life has risk and chasing the “0” is a fools errand. During this pandemic it has been interring to see people’s reactions to things. If I told someone they had a 98% chance of making it to work tomorrow, most people would think... “sounds good!”

If I asked the same people, if you send your child to school today they have a 2% chance of not making it home, almost all of them would think “hmmm maybe I will wait a while here” Effectively said the exact same thing in two different ways. Stop feeding the wrong wolf and things will improve!
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Old 04-20-2021, 01:39 PM   #77
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I've posted many research links between this and a related thread on a similar topic. I've never seen anyone posting a link supporting the ongoing sentiments here that poverty and lack of success are mainly due to laziness and other moral failings. Many of the replies have been along the lines of all the researchers are biased, the places their results are published are all biased and I disagree with their analysis so I don't think they are right, even though I don't have any actual research to support my own opinions.

Well, okay then. Not much more I can add to what I've already posted.
You don’t need separate research to see that the conclusions made from the initial research study are not really supported by said study. I’m not going to blindly accept their conclusions because they have a pretty graph, an advanced degree, or a big name university in their bio. They make a claim then they need to prove it to me. I don’t need to prove them wrong with a study proving an opposite position.

I don’t see much being attributed to moral failings. Your results can be driven by your choices without any moral issues coming into play. As an example I remember a discussion with a direct report in my Megacorp days. She wanted bigger pay / advancement/ etc. so I mentioned some possible management positions which she could have easily handled. But she didn’t want to take that on. It wasn’t a moral failing by any stretch of the imagination. She saw what managers went through and didn’t want any part of it. It was her choice and perfectly acceptable but did close off certain avenues of advancement. But don’t worry, she moved on to project management and did quite well! Funny thing is that was the final straw for me when they wanted to move Me into project management. Lol.
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Old 04-20-2021, 01:59 PM   #78
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I could have written this post about unrealistic expectations about one of my relatives. She complains because she has to "file" for unemployment every week - never mind she's making more from unemployment than working. She says she shouldn't have to work. She complained for 2 weeks about the color of the NEW car her dad bought her. She always is looking for someone to come over to her house to do things for her. But, don't come over before she gets up at 3:00pm. She's "entitled" to everything, but not willing to put out any effort to actually earn it.

I should mention she's 63.
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:00 PM   #79
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DS is doing well at age 35 but I can see a boatload of differences between the world when I started out of college and when he did. Many involve things that people are clamoring to get "free" (yeah, we know, it really means "no cost to me and send the bill to someone else" or affordable.

1. The cost of housing has skyrocketed well beyond the rate of inflation, putting it out of reach for many. Try finding new construction that's similar to 1950s (3 BR, 1.5 baths, one story) that isn't a town house. It's all McMansions.

2. Same with cars. No equivalent to a VW Beetle. They're all "loaded" with some stuff we want and a lot we don't but we have no choice. At least they last longer now.

3. More people had medical coverage from work and it was far better- no $6,000 deductibles or narrow networks. Sometimes the employer paid for it all.

4. College education has gotten crazy-expensive. My parents put 5 of us through decent state universities, living away from home, with no loans. Yes, they were frugal and made it a priority but what would that cost now?

5. College degrees are required for a ton of jobs were they're not really necessary if you have a good work ethic and are willing to learn. Many don't pay enough to live decently and still pay off student loans. Defined benefit pensions are nearly gone in the private sector. Employers have no problem with mass layoffs (another euphemism- implies you might get called back when hey just want you to go away).

6. Consumers have made it clear that they want the cheapest possible for everything. That means outsourced manufacturing and stripping away customer service to the bare minimum of people, typically low-paid or offshored.

Yes, there are the ones who want it all now and spend every dime they make and there are more temptations for that than ever. And I suppose there are more people with a poor work ethic- a friend works for a Medicare call center hot line and he gets bonuses every once in awhile just for showing up and not having unexplained absences. We laugh at that.

I still think it's harder to make your way in the world financially than it used to be.
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:06 PM   #80
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As someone who's had to work from the age of 12 (paper route, then computers shortly thereafter starting around age 15) to achieve what I EARNED through hard work and sacrifice, few things frost me as much as hearing people talk about "luck" playing such a big part in someone being successful - or not.

"Luck" does not determine destiny. Hard work and sacrifice do. I grew up in inner city Detroit, in a 50/50 or so neighborhood. True story - there was an event I wanted to go to once and it cost a whole dollar. Mom told me she was very sorry, but we (literally) did not have a dollar for me to go to the event - and that was absolutely true. So, how "lucky" were we? I'd contend..not very. Yet, I somehow managed to go to college (9 years to get my 4 year degree since I worked every day to pay every single dollar of my own way), graduate with honors and retire early at 55. Hmmmm...

Hard work was, and remains, how one gets ahead in life. The popular refrain to allege "luck" is a cop-out, IMHO, from those who think there are some magic bonus points that one receives by being born in a certain neighborhood, being a certain race, etc. Nope. Everyone can succeed (barring something significant like a physical or emotional disability) if they CHOOSE to succeed and make the sacrifices needed to do so..unfortunately, that is so out of vogue nowadays and so many just expect to be "given" things instead of having to work hard for them..

Good for you 24601. Although I grew up in better circumstances, I also worked full time since 15 during breaks and part time during school. Had a J-O-B scholarship and between working and some college co-op working on the 5 year plan, I graduated with engineering degree. The rest of my life was applying that degree with hard work to end up with success. No moral superiority, facts of the situation. I have worked for everything that I have, except for modest inheritance from parent's estate.

There are others who want to put blame on something else, rather than look inward. I don't accept excuses as showstoppers. You need to figure out a way around that something else to make progress. I will agree sometimes that something else is not able to be overcome and it is a limiting factor, like bad medical illness.

I consistently get solicitations from my university wanting donations. I don't give any, as they never did anything for helping me. Would have had a full ride scholarship had I been minority female with all the same grades and scores, but nothing as reverse discrimination white male. Sure some may call that petty and selfish reaction. Tough sh!t, you didn't go through what I did and sacrifices made to reach my point in life. They don't know what I do contribute to charity, and not their business. For same reasons, I am conservative in my views and prefer to be in charge of my finances and life, not the gov't.
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