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(Boing Boing)   A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year but with no savings will get more student aid than someone with a modest house earning $50,000 a year and $200,000 in savings   (boingboing.net) divider line 110
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10597 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 May 2013 at 11:11 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-05-14 09:44:23 AM  
10 votes:
I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks.
2013-05-14 11:40:41 AM  
7 votes:

Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.


In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation.  The median owner-occupied home value is $186,200.
2013-05-14 11:31:33 AM  
6 votes:
Considering student loan debt CAN'T be shed in bankruptcy, there is no reason borrowers shouldn't be offered the same rate as the banks themselves.

As for the article, I agree with subbie's use of the obvious tag - everyone knows the rich have more privilege and opportunity than the poor.
2013-05-14 09:29:44 AM  
5 votes:
Well yeah, use your savings.  What else are you saving it for?
2013-05-14 09:27:37 AM  
5 votes:
A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

/just saying
2013-05-14 12:12:02 PM  
4 votes:
Student loans are evil.  Getting people who are barely old enough to sign legal contracts to take out massive unsecured loans that they will never be able to discharge via bankruptcy -- if that's not predatory, I don't know what is.

/ never had any student loans, thank God -- parents & scholarships paid for school
2013-05-14 11:52:06 AM  
4 votes:

Gulper Eel: I guess it's possible to sock away $200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there.


I built up close to $100k in personal savings on a 52k salary over 4 - 5 year stretch, all from take-home salary alone. It's doable, depending on where you live, and what your priorities are. (I was saving up for a house.)

Having some knowledge of investing also helps. (Savings accounts probably won't cut it.)
2013-05-14 11:27:43 AM  
4 votes:
Have safe-deposit boxes ceased to exist?

FAFSA only considers documented savings.
2013-05-14 10:58:30 AM  
4 votes:
No they won't. I don't have time for this shiat today, because my actual students have sent me actual FAFSAs to review and I've been out of the country for a week, but take it from me: I've been doing this for a decade.

FEDERAL AID DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.
2013-05-14 09:28:41 AM  
4 votes:
Only the wealthy should receive an education. That's just common sense, yo.
2013-05-14 12:35:03 PM  
3 votes:

Tatsuma: jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog. We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy.

change 'most of the country' to 'most big cities in the country' and $1,000,000 to '$500,000 to $1,000,000' and my post is accurate.

This is also pretty much what I meant to begin with, should have been more accurate.


$200,000 a year for a family is barely middle-class unless you live in the middle of nowhere.


Um, no. I live in NYC and went to HS in one of America's wealthiest suburbs.. $200k is absolutely upper middle class. Hubby and I make a bit over $160k together and I certainly consider myself upper middle class - I can purchase a home while still saving money for my kid's college and my retirement. Now, can I afford a 3bd/2 ba in the Upper East Side? No. But I live very well in "normal" middle class Queens.
2013-05-14 12:31:13 PM  
3 votes:

IamAwake: ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

/just saying

Then they should stop living beyond their means, by selling the house and getting one they can afford.  Then, they can use the excess proceeds to send their kids to college.


I remember in the late 90's my guidance counselor being super surprised when I told him my family wasn't planning on applying for financial aid in sending me to college. Practically everyone was applying - and my parents certainly weren't in the "upper tiers" of wealth in comparison to others in my HS. But looking back, I believe a lot of people had "fake" wealth.

My parents always dreamed of sending me and my brother to wherever we wanted to go (a chance they themselves didn't have), and started saving when we was in the womb. Yes, they were solidly upper middle class but really at the end of the day we lived well within our means - I wore Kmart and my parents drove 15 year old cars. This is why my Dad was able to retire the day I graduated HS and still pay for my college. I'm incredibly thankful.

Most of the "wealthy" parents I knew back then are still not retired and deeply in debt and many of my classmates had to take out hundreds of thousands in loans for college. But they had brand new BMW's and huge houses and their kids all wore designer brands - so I just assumed they were far wealthier than me. They may have in fact been wealthier than my parents, but they spent it as quickly as it came.

I try to think about this fact every time I spend money on something frivolous.
2013-05-14 11:57:20 AM  
3 votes:

Lawnchair: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.

In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation.  The median owner-occupied home value is $186,200.


Tatsuma: No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there.


Come on Tats, just admit you made a gross overstatement about how commonplace a $1 million house is in the USA.  Please, pretty please?  You'd get a lot of brownie points if you nibbled just a bit on some crow.  I think crow is kosher, too.
2013-05-14 11:54:15 AM  
3 votes:

Tatsuma: 10% of the country, or the vast majority


Whenever you look to the night sky and wonder why so many people give you shiat when all you're doing is telling the truth, I want you to know that you type shiat like this all. The goddamn. Time. It really, really hurts your credibility across the board.
2013-05-14 11:49:08 AM  
3 votes:
I am the poster child for this in a way, though over the last few years our income has done very nicely.  My son is a very good student, Eagle Scout, etc., and can't get anything but loans because of our net worth.  We live relatively simply. A nice vaca every summer but nothing over the top, two cars long since paid for and honestly a little old, house debt retired years ago by accelerating payments. Other families we know who have not saved but have a big house and big mortgage and go on extravagant vacations and buy expensive cars have done a lot better in getting scholarships.  Is it unfair? Possibly, but I would not trade situations. I have not worried much about my kids' education because i have saved for it.  As a family, we don't want for much. I have been blessed, and have made my choices and our lifestyle fits us just fine. And if scholarships dry up, I won't have to worry about my kids getting a good education.
2013-05-14 11:22:27 AM  
3 votes:
Just be a minority. The government will make rain for you.
2013-05-14 11:18:42 AM  
3 votes:
In other words, low-income families are routinely being asked to fork over more than half of their annual income for the privilege of sending their child off to campus for a year.

They wouldn't be asked that if they looked at affordable state or community colleges instead of over-priced private schools.
2013-05-14 11:17:42 AM  
3 votes:
I make $50,000 and have no savings, so I guess my kids are set.
2013-05-14 11:16:09 AM  
3 votes:
Earn $50K a year and have $200K in savings?  No one in this planet is that good with money. My girlfriend heard someone call into the Dave Ramsey show who earned $8,000 a month, married with one kid, who had over $42,000 in credit card debt alone. Plus the wife, who earned her own income, had credit card debt of her own.   Most people are idiots when it comes to budgeting.
2013-05-14 09:27:00 AM  
3 votes:
I guess it's possible to sock away $200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there.
2013-05-14 12:28:53 PM  
2 votes:
4 years of SUCK as 11B in the 82nd Airborne = $50,000.

5 years and a masters degree later...debt free.

FARK YEAH! 'MERICA!
2013-05-14 12:25:51 PM  
2 votes:

Bumblefark: Well, the most obscene thing is that that we as a society has decided that it isn't in our best interest to ensure post-secondary education to the nation's best and brightest. We decided that we should make higher education a consumer item.


The best and brightest are pretty much guaranteed school.
Now they may have to choose between paying various amounts for a top tier school (If the school thinks they can get money out of them) or going to a state school on a full ride. But IMHO if you get offered a full ride to the best public schools in your state, you don't have much room to biatch about the costs if you choose to go to school in some other place.

It's the rest of us that have to make the choice.

That said: A  $600 scholarship? Really? Fark you USC...
2013-05-14 12:20:55 PM  
2 votes:

dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp


I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich.  We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog.  We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy.
2013-05-14 12:19:44 PM  
2 votes:
Do not start a college fund in little Johnny's name. Any assets in his name directly impact the amount of financial aid he might otherwise qualify for. Keep assets off his balance sheet. Hide all your money in your own IRA/401k and have lots of debt on your house. Drain savings and put it in cash when you fill out those applications. This is how you earn max financial aid. Apart from cake, the lie is saving for college... all you end up doing by saving is paying the highest price for the same education.
2013-05-14 12:14:48 PM  
2 votes:

jshine: Student loans are evil.  Getting people who are barely old enough to sign legal contracts to take out massive unsecured loans that they will never be able to discharge via bankruptcy -- if that's not predatory, I don't know what is.

/ never had any student loans, thank God -- parents & scholarships paid for school


Well, the most obscene thing is that that we as a society has decided that it isn't in our best interest to ensure post-secondary education to the nation's best and brightest. We decided that we should make higher education a consumer item.

That's pretty farked up, right there.
2013-05-14 12:00:47 PM  
2 votes:
Granted, this was nearly 20 years ago, but I'm going to add my name to the list of "My parents made too much money for me to get financial aid."  They were also so far in debt they couldn't even help pay for part of college, let alone all of it.  I could have gotten into a nice college, maybe even a really nice college.  I just couldn't afford to go (and not quite 'smart' enough for free rides courtesy of the colleges).
2013-05-14 12:00:19 PM  
2 votes:

Antimatter: I'm still bitter about having my aid be tied to my parents income, despite them not actually paying for my tuition.  I actually lost all aid my sr year because they sold a failed business and made money on the books, despite all that money going to medical bills.


This!  When I went to school in early 2000 they said I would get almost no aide because my parents would be paying for most of my school which is not the case.  You are a dependant student for way too long, almost had my parents orphan me so I could be labeled independant.

The headline can't be based on Federal Aide unless the student is over 25 years old.
2013-05-14 11:51:09 AM  
2 votes:

Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.


Define "most"??? I think you meant "in certain markets, a "normal" house runs about a million dollars."

In *most* of the country, a million bucks gets you an estate, ranch, acreage, palace, mansion, or some combination of the above. In a few places (big cities, certain enclaves) it gets you a 3/2 w/ 2car garage and a back yard.
2013-05-14 11:40:21 AM  
2 votes:
50k/200k is not preposterous at all for a family that has college age kids. Basic retirement planning says you should have 14x annual pay in savings by the time you retire. The first key is to get a job from the 50K box, the second key is personal responsibility.*

*Let me say this about that. Personal Responsibilty is a great code for YOU to live by. Personal Responsibilty is not a cure that can be applied to social ills.
2013-05-14 11:36:02 AM  
2 votes:

TheEndIsNigh: I'm 38, and while $50K is not my salary range, I do have about 4 times my salary in savings


If your HHI is $100k and you live on $50k, you're a skinflint but nobody bats an eye.

If your HHI is $40k and you live on $20k (and kids are involved), you're running on the edge of a visit from social workers.  Sure, there are kids in families with $20k incomes, but they are also qualifying for free lunches, food stamps, school-fee waivers, etc, that you don't qualify for as a hyper-frugal moderate-income person.

tldr: Fixed costs are fixed

TheEndIsNigh: (including non-retirement investment accounts, as I assume that's what FAFSA looks at)


FAFSA indeed only looks at non-retirement accounts.  This is one of the real reasons to tie up as much as you can in IRAs/401k/HSAs.    The tax benefits are really minor if you're in the boring end of the tax brackets.  You pay taxes now or later... and dividends/capital-gains are already at 0% for most average earners... all pretty much meh.  But, a bankruptcy court will typically not touch your retirement accounts and it's not real money for FAFSA consideration.  Those are major advantages.
2013-05-14 11:32:07 AM  
2 votes:
$200k in savings is a lot of money, not sure what the issue is that the government might expect you to spend it before they start giving you money for college.  That's the way things have always worked.  When I went to school, my parents, who don't earn a lot, had some modest savings thanks to my grandmother, who had passed away a year earlier.  You know what they did?  Built a 2-car garage for their house with it.  Increased the property value and I got more loan money for college.  Win-win.
2013-05-14 11:26:00 AM  
2 votes:

what_now: No they won't. I don't have time for this shiat today, because my actual students have sent me actual FAFSAs to review and I've been out of the country for a week, but take it from me: I've been doing this for a decade.

FEDERAL AID DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.


The article was about Private Colleges endowment grants not federal aid.
2013-05-14 11:25:52 AM  
2 votes:

brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks.


Stupid idea is stupid. The problem with the system as it currently stands is too much free money and too little competition. You want to fix the college tuition problem then go on a Federal University spending spree, Federally mandate that tuition start at 5,000 dollars a year and only rise at the rate of inflation.
2013-05-14 11:22:31 AM  
2 votes:

DubyaHater: Earn $50K a year and have $200K in savings?  No one in this planet is that good with money. My girlfriend heard someone call into the Dave Ramsey show who earned $8,000 a month, married with one kid, who had over $42,000 in credit card debt alone. Plus the wife, who earned her own income, had credit card debt of her own.   Most people are idiots when it comes to budgeting.


I'm 38, and while $50K is not my salary range, I do have about 4 times my salary in savings (including non-retirement investment accounts, as I assume that's what FAFSA looks at).  Granted, I've been lucky in a lot of ways, and I wouldn't be there if I'd had kids when I was in my 20s.

/ Or drank like a Farker.
2013-05-14 11:18:30 AM  
2 votes:
And a person with a Hispanic last name will get twice as much financial aid as one with a "white" sounding name, even though the Hispanic family makes nearly three times as much as the non-Hispanic one...

/why yes, I do have personal experience with this, why do you ask
2013-05-14 11:18:27 AM  
2 votes:
I'm still bitter about having my aid be tied to my parents income, despite them not actually paying for my tuition.  I actually lost all aid my sr year because they sold a failed business and made money on the books, despite all that money going to medical bills.
2013-05-14 10:05:07 AM  
2 votes:
Second family is wealthier.
2013-05-14 09:57:56 AM  
2 votes:

ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

/just saying


Of course if they inherited the house, they're in a pretty nice spot.
2013-05-14 09:49:32 AM  
2 votes:
Answer: What is "The Government supports programs that encourage the production of viable taxpayers". The student saving money?  She/he  isn't stuck in a perpetual circle of debt and certainly isn't generating as much sales tax required to keep the government Ponzi schemes going.
2013-05-14 09:33:15 AM  
2 votes:
www.newyorker.com

"Take a shot, go for it. Take a risk. Get the education. Borrow money if you have to from your parents"
2013-05-15 06:39:23 AM  
1 votes:

Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.


I feel you have over estimated "most"of the country.
2013-05-14 11:55:48 PM  
1 votes:

jayphat: Slaves2Darkness: brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks.

Stupid idea is stupid. The problem with the system as it currently stands is too much free money and too little competition. You want to fix the college tuition problem then go on a Federal University spending spree, Federally mandate that tuition start at 5,000 dollars a year and only rise at the rate of inflation.

This. When I was in high school in the very late 90's, all I ever heard was "if you can only pay so much, the government pays the rest!" Then schools got wise to the "if you can't pay the rest" part and started jacking rates up. In ten years, the tuition at Ohio State has increased 150% because, why not? Free money all around, fleece the masses if the government is gonna pay for it.


To be fair, OSU also went from the backup school to the backup school to a SAT/ACT score busting institution in the last 15 years.  Hell, if you don't have a HS Accum 3.8 GPA and a 1400, you might as well not even apply, because you're not getting in.
2013-05-14 11:34:47 PM  
1 votes:

Loren: meyerkev: And an awful lot of luck is luck.

I was supposed to pay off the last of my student loans this month. But instead my landlord called up my month to month lease (state-required maintenance), and I had to drop $3100 on a new apartment (security deposit plus first months rent), plus a few MORE grand to try and get minimal furnishing in. I get to sleep on the floor for a week and I still won't have furniture in the living room until at least July.

Luckily, I'm running around on about double my day-to-day, month-to-month needs (midwestern sense of what things 'should' cost plus software engineer salary), so I HAD $4-5K to blow. If I was Dad ($28K, $24K after taxes, $14K after child support)... well, I've seen Dad try to save up an entire year to buy a couch. He couldn't do this period.

/Anyone want to split a 2 BR, 1 BA just off Downtown Mountain View? I figure I'm better off with Farkers than Craigslist.

Huh?  Yeah, you have to put down a security deposit but you'll get back the deposit from the old place, that's a wash.  As for new furniture, what about a new place forces you to buy new furniture?  We certainly never have.


I have never gotten 100% of my security deposit back, they always find a way to keep some of it. And maybe he was living in a furnished apartment before that, it happens.
2013-05-14 11:34:34 PM  
1 votes:

Loren: meyerkev: And an awful lot of luck is luck.

I was supposed to pay off the last of my student loans this month. But instead my landlord called up my month to month lease (state-required maintenance), and I had to drop $3100 on a new apartment (security deposit plus first months rent), plus a few MORE grand to try and get minimal furnishing in. I get to sleep on the floor for a week and I still won't have furniture in the living room until at least July.

Luckily, I'm running around on about double my day-to-day, month-to-month needs (midwestern sense of what things 'should' cost plus software engineer salary), so I HAD $4-5K to blow. If I was Dad ($28K, $24K after taxes, $14K after child support)... well, I've seen Dad try to save up an entire year to buy a couch. He couldn't do this period.

/Anyone want to split a 2 BR, 1 BA just off Downtown Mountain View? I figure I'm better off with Farkers than Craigslist.

Huh?  Yeah, you have to put down a security deposit but you'll get back the deposit from the old place, that's a wash.  As for new furniture, what about a new place forces you to buy new furniture?  We certainly never have.


Old place was furnished.  New place isn't.  This is my first apartment that I've ever owned in my name instead of renting a room.

/And the security deposit is larger.  And more importantly, there is a period where I haven't gotten the first one back, but need to pay the second one.
2013-05-14 08:36:15 PM  
1 votes:

Loren: Hrist: It's not a function of being good with money, it's a function of being lucky. You can live on under $20k a year. It won't be glamorous, but hey. So assume you can save $20k a year ($10k breathing room). It'll take you ten years to save $200k. Assuming nothing happens. Assuming no splurges. Assuming no 'oops I'm pregnant it's yours and I'm having the kid.' Assuming no 'you parked in the wrong parking space, so here's a $500 ticket and you need to pay the impound lot $3,000 to get your car back.'

An awful lot of "luck" is being careful.


And an awful lot of luck is luck.

I was supposed to pay off the last of my student loans this month.  But instead my landlord called up my month to month lease (state-required maintenance), and I had to drop $3100 on a new apartment (security deposit plus first months rent), plus a few MORE grand to try and get minimal furnishing in.  I get to sleep on the floor for a week and I still won't have furniture in the living room until at least July.

Luckily, I'm running around on about double my day-to-day, month-to-month needs (midwestern sense of what things 'should' cost plus software engineer salary), so I HAD $4-5K to blow.  If I was Dad ($28K, $24K after taxes, $14K after child support)... well, I've seen Dad try to save up an entire year to buy a couch.  He couldn't do this period.

/Anyone want to split a 2 BR, 1 BA just off Downtown Mountain View?  I figure I'm better off with Farkers than Craigslist.
2013-05-14 08:24:53 PM  
1 votes:

Hrist: It's not a function of being good with money, it's a function of being lucky. You can live on under $20k a year. It won't be glamorous, but hey. So assume you can save $20k a year ($10k breathing room). It'll take you ten years to save $200k. Assuming nothing happens. Assuming no splurges. Assuming no 'oops I'm pregnant it's yours and I'm having the kid.' Assuming no 'you parked in the wrong parking space, so here's a $500 ticket and you need to pay the impound lot $3,000 to get your car back.'


An awful lot of "luck" is being careful.
2013-05-14 04:24:11 PM  
1 votes:

DubyaHater: Earn $50K a year and have $200K in savings?  No one in this planet is that good with money. My girlfriend heard someone call into the Dave Ramsey show who earned $8,000 a month, married with one kid, who had over $42,000 in credit card debt alone. Plus the wife, who earned her own income, had credit card debt of her own.   Most people are idiots when it comes to budgeting.


It's not a function of being good with money, it's a function of being lucky.  You can live on under $20k a year.  It won't be glamorous, but hey.  So assume you can save $20k a year ($10k breathing room).  It'll take you ten years to save $200k.  Assuming nothing happens.  Assuming no splurges.  Assuming no 'oops I'm pregnant it's yours and I'm having the kid.'  Assuming no 'you parked in the wrong parking space, so here's a $500 ticket and you need to pay the impound lot $3,000 to get your car back.'
2013-05-14 04:12:04 PM  
1 votes:
Here is a link to the artist's blog. Turns out he had no idea what the copy was going to say. They just gave him an outline for different representative groups of people.

"As usual with these assignments, I'm given a bare outline of what is needed (ie: single mom with two kids, retired couple, etc) and little, if any of the actual copy that will accompany them... and when I eventually saw the article, my jaw dropped at the salaries assigned to each of these people. They obviously didn't base them on illustrator's salaries. "

http://illustratoriumweek.blogspot.com/2013/01/bring-it-on-2013.html
2013-05-14 03:09:51 PM  
1 votes:
410 is at least predictable.  US-281 and I-35 are like Wolf 359.

I'm a Floridian by birth, so I'm not fazed by the heat!

And it's all worthwhile for Freetail Brewing.  A great pizzeria AND a great brewpub?  Amazing!!!
2013-05-14 02:30:50 PM  
1 votes:
Because you can borrow money for college, but you can't borrow money for retirement.
2013-05-14 02:16:26 PM  
1 votes:

Izunbacol: In San Antonio, you meet husband and wife high school teachers with 2200 sq. foot houses complaining about running out of space. Heck, I had a conversation with a waitress at a brew-pub whose husband is a waiter - they were buying their first house. There's no great barrier to home ownership here, as long as you have good credit and stable income.


Quite true. Wife and I bought our first home down here just about 6 months ago. Picked up a well-kept, 2700 sq ft in the northwest (read: good schools, nice neighborhoods) for about 125k.

Giggled like a schoolgirl signing the papers for it.
2013-05-14 02:11:19 PM  
1 votes:

Quantum Apostrophe: Gulper Eel: I guess it's possible to sock away $200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there.

I've saved more than that on about 60-70K here in Montreal. Cheap apartment well below my means (and lease from 1999, with state controlled increases), t-shirts, no car, no kids. Also, all the money I save I put into retirement savings which are tax deductible. Then I get a nice return at tax time, which I put back into retirement savings.

And I still spend without thinking because I figured it all out years ago. Oh, look, a 2000$ quadcopter? No problem. Food's not on special? Buy it anyways.

Oh, and a house is not an investment.


A house is as much an investment as food is. Do it right, and you'll be better off in the long run.
2013-05-14 02:10:43 PM  
1 votes:

jshine: JungleBoogie: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.

dustygrimp: derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich.  We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog.  We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy.

These house costs and incomes are not uncommon in high cost of living areas like New York or DC.

HOWEVER, for comparison sake, check out the national average and median incomes from the Social Security Administration.


How is are the statistics calculated though?  For example: consider a family of four (2 working parents, 2 minor children) with grandparents who are retired -- that's 6 people and only 2 real incomes (or  maybe a bit more if you consider the pensions or social security of the grandparents).

Even if both of the working incomes were (say) $80k/year, the *average* would be (80*2)/6 = $27k/year.

There are a lot of people who simply don't work who might skew the statistics -- not because they're lazy necessarily, but because they're minors or elderly or disabled (or lazy).


The statistics are explained by HOUSEHOLD, just to avoid that complication you made apparent.
2013-05-14 01:47:29 PM  
1 votes:

Bullseyed: Slaves2Darkness: brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks.

Stupid idea is stupid. The problem with the system as it currently stands is too much free money and too little competition. You want to fix the college tuition problem then go on a Federal University spending spree, Federally mandate that tuition start at 5,000 dollars a year and only rise at the rate of inflation.

Please cite the line in the Constitution that states they can set prices for goods and services.


You misunderstand. They are not setting prices for goods and services, they are setting a price for a Federal university. Other universities can charge whatever they want, but the Federal universities would have their cost set by congress, because they are government run. Much like what the US government all ready does with the US Postal Service and the rates that they are allowed to charge for mail.
2013-05-14 01:37:15 PM  
1 votes:

jshine: Yes, but it also means a person who is just barely old enough to sign his name can basically turn him/herself into an indentured servant. Reasonable people can disagree, but I think your scheme (the current prevailing situation) is less ethical than the one I proposed. If banks want to loan money to an 18 year-old with no credit, that's their business, but they should not be insulated from the risk of loaning money to an 18 year old with no credit. If the parents are willing to co-sign (and have decent credit), again, that's great.

The point here is to force colleges to reduce tuition. By giving students "free money", you allow colleges to become bloated and inefficient by giving them a huge trough they can gorge themselves at. Take away the free money and tuition would fall to compensate -- or the colleges would starve to death from lack of funding. ...maybe then a student could actually work his/herself through school without having to rely on loans in the first place -- or at worst take out much smaller ones.


True ... I see your point.  I know that tuition inflation has been a scourge on us in recent times, but public schools are still very moderately priced.  My college (from 2006-2010) cost roughly $10k/year for tuition and fees and another $10/year for room and board for the required two years.

I was able to get a full tuition scholarship for scoring a 31 ACT/1400 SAT as well, so my financial burden was really just living expenses.  I realize not everyone tests well, but any student in Ohio wanting to go to a public school is eligible for tuition scholarships starting at only a 25 ACT ...

i39.tinypic.com
2013-05-14 01:36:05 PM  
1 votes:

bmwericus: It's true that we have a wide disparity in home prices.  And the inflation in some markets is huge - we bought our first house in '91, it's worth oh, 3 x what we paid and more than a million bucks most likely - as noted, how our kids will afford that kind of morgage is beyond me.  No mansion, BTW, Two bed, two bath, one car garage, small lot....

Yet you go to what some laughingly call flyover country and a family house of 3/4 bedrooms can be under 150K, sometimes well under.

Where I live now, starter homes are in the "Low 100's" but top of the line is around $25 million or so.

There must be some reasonable balance between income and debt that would make it fair to both sides - if fairness is what we seek.  I paid full ride for college, no loans or grants, have no idea how to game the system.


I just bought a 4 bed/3 bath home on a huge corner lot for $103K. I put $23K down, so my mortgage is laughably low, and taxes are under $3K per year. I'm currently earning a salary of around $80K. 

The only bad part about all of this is that I live in the panhandle of Nebraska.
2013-05-14 01:35:44 PM  
1 votes:
Sociologists, who work in percentiles and quintiles, define middle class as everybody in the middle three quintiles (60% of the population, most of them working class or lower middle class).

Political scientists define middle class in terms of minor political activity, such as voting and small political donations, as well as mass political activity such as following the news in newspapers and other media. The upper class are active running things or else so rich they have dropped out of the political game and have people to protect their interests for them.

Americans define middle class in several overlapping and conflicting ways, in terms of income or wealth, in terms of social and political engagement (without great power or influence) and in terms of self-identification.

The real middle classes are not as clear cut as castes but they do include many self-identified upper income and upper middle class people.

It is very difficult to say where the middle class ends, but I would accept that many of the wealthy few are middle class and that there are in fact, several upper classes.

At the top you have the Aristocracy, people whose status is inherited and does not depend on the class symbols and status symbols they can buy. In the US, this class officially does not exist because there are no titles, there is no monarchy or court, and there are few families that have hung on to the status and power for more than a few generations. Nonetheless, they exist in the form of the people whose entire social and family networks are well-to-do and sometimes very rich, but also are the best educated, the most cultured, the most influential and the best-connected in a lot of old-fashioned ways.

Beneath the Aristocracy, who are mostly Old Money, there is a class which we may call Big Money. They are the super-rich of inheritance, wealth-accumulation and creative accounting. The Big Money includes a lot of the movers and shakers. The Aristocrats have the Mover and Shakers over for coffee and politely suggest what they move and shake. Billionaires are almost all Big Money but few of them are Old Money as well, despite the tendancy of class and wealth to be inherited.

About a third of the Big Money is inherited.

There are Mellons, Hiltons, DuPonts, Rockefellers (still), and even straggling pockets of older families with well over $100 million in capital each or between them. Many of these people, who number in the thousands, are living middle class lives (or are down and out, perhaps, due to alcohol, drugs, or what not) but still have the cachet of being who they are. They aren't aristocracy in the Euro-British sense, but they are haute bourgeoise to some extent.

They are joined by middle class people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates III, not to mention the Romneys who are on the cusp of Aristocracy or Old Money but are still lacking in the status. Hence Mrs. Romney's hobby of dressage. If you aren't into philanthropy, horses are one of the shorter roads to the hearts and acceptance of the Old Money and Aristocracy.


In these classes of people, you can have several classes--a class of origin, a class of arrival, a class of aspiration. If you have read Marcel Proust, you have seen a chronicle of such people over the course of a generation. The middle class and upper bourgeois arrivistes in the novel (which is 4,000 pages long and published in eight or more volumes) turn into the aristocrats they so envy and covet before the novel is done. The unobtainable quarry are replaced by the pursuers. Maybe this is why the old rich love fox-hunting. It is the history of their families for the last thousand years AND MORE.

Below the really quite sincerely rich (which includes a layer of creative types such as actors, sports stars, nouveau riches, etc.), there is the upper middle classes who are defined in terms of education, addresses, goods and services and profession. In other words, the mass affluent consuming classes. These people are all about branding but they vary from the quite rich (tens, even hundreds of millions of new capital or old), to the quite poor (upstart Yuppies living outrageously beyound their means).

Since being lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc., is quite hereditary, they are part of the upper or upper middle classes but not full upper or full mass. They have the look of wealth, power, influence, culture, etc., but may not have the means to fully participate in the class to which they aspire.

In the right sort of city (Boston, New York, Washington, even San Francisco) these people spend freely but are constantly in danger of falling into the masses from which they, their parents, or their grandparents rose.

They are the worried rich. They should worry. It's almost impossible for a doctor's son to become a manual labourer, but it's fairly easy for the labourer's son to become a better doctor than the established physicians, even the established fashionable physicians. These people have to fight for their money. And fight they do. They tend to be over-achievers by force of habit if not by necessity.

They all consider themselves middle class because they are painfully aware of a least the bottom layers of the massive spire of social accomplishment and privilege above them. They may vote Republican or they may be liberal Democrats but they are not the Masters of the Universe. They work for the people who are.

Everybody else is lower middle class and therefore far game for the sociologists to study. You're not really upper class until you are out of reach of damned sociologists (except those born into the upper class).

Paul Fussell, the author of several amusing books, one of which is on the American Class system (published under the title Class and also Class Marks), divides American into

top out-of sight
upper class
upper middle class

middle class
lower middle class

upper working class
middle working class
lower working class
bottom out-of-sight

Not bad, and quite defensible.

However, since people are constantly moving within these classes (and occasionally between them), there is an illusion of democracy and egalitarianism created which allows many Americans to deny the existence of class.

A lot of PR, marketing, and BS work goes into confusing the matter.

For example, during the Cold War much was made of the number of American households that had televisions, without distinguishing between televisions in the servant quarters and televisions on the kitchen table; and those who had refrigerators, without distinguishing between a 1932 Kelvinator holding warm beer on the verandah and walk-in freezers that would make the top secret research facilities of the Pentagon plotz.

It infuriates me that the dividing line used by sociologists and journalists and others who ought to know better always runs right through the middle of what is usually the middle middle or at best the upper middle class.

There's really not much difference between many of the people who are $80,000 on either side of the higher line, and none at all between people who are $50,000 plus or minus of some of the lower lines.

In fact, many working class individuals and families are well above the "upper" cutoffs that I see.

IT'S COMPLETE BULLSHIAT!

But maybe that's just me being picky because I have spent a couple generations reading about class in scholarly and comic papers.

I don't want to say I would have made a good sociologist, but I will say that anthropology is a bit of a hobby of mine and I often feel like I am doing research on some sort of alien species of ape. Jane Gooddall, eat your heart out. I get to research stupid apes and have an indoor toilet with shower-bath! Serves all of you girls right for sleeping with your mentor.
2013-05-14 01:29:36 PM  
1 votes:

seadoo2006: jshine: BMFPitt: So clearly the solution is to loan both kids $100k+ for their sociology degrees at 0.75%, then forgive that debt after a few years at their McJob.

// Poe's Law is making it real hard to even be sarcastic about that kind of shiat anymore.

The best way to fix the student loan problem, IMHO, is to make student loans equivalent to any other unsecured loan (something that can be discharged in bankruptcy).  Also, get the government out of the student aid (loan or grant) business, except for cases like the military where its a form of compensation for employment.

By putting all the burden (and default risk!) on the private sector, loan rates would rise dramatically -- the (nearly) free money would dry up -- and colleges would be forced to adjust tuition to compensate or face a sudden and dramatic drop in enrollment.  It would probably force them to get creative: drop lots of luxuries like free gyms for students (etc.), trim programs that are unpopular, extract more money from sports, seek more funding through research grants, etc. -- and probably shrink somewhat.  ...but if it ended up making tuition more accessible without life-long crippling debt, that would all be worthwhile.

The problem is, with this scenario, kids that come from financially derptastic families will be less able to get financial help.  The thought is why should some 18 year old, with no credit of their own, pay for their parents financial mistakes.  I have no problem with loans that are not discharged through bankruptcy as it puts the financial burden on the STUDENT receiving the loans and not on the family.  This is why banks will lend to people (18 year olds with ZERO credit) because they are insured against the financial stupidity of young people.



Yes, but it also means a person who is just barely old enough to sign his name can basically turn him/herself into an indentured servant.  Reasonable people can disagree, but I think your scheme (the current prevailing situation) is less ethical than the one I proposed.  If banks want to loan money to an 18 year-old with no credit, that's their business, but they should not be insulated from the risk of loaning money to an 18 year old with no credit.  If the parents are willing to co-sign (and have decent credit), again, that's great.

The point here is to force colleges to reduce tuition.  By giving students "free money", you allow colleges to become bloated and inefficient by giving them a huge trough they can gorge themselves at.  Take away the free money and tuition would fall to compensate -- or the colleges would starve to death from lack of funding.  ...maybe then a student could actually work his/herself through school without having to rely on loans in the first place -- or at worst take out much smaller ones.
2013-05-14 01:29:16 PM  
1 votes:

FARK rebel soldier: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by _a rea  suggests that Israel has the land size of Massachusetts.


And that's really an overstatement.  Roughly half the land in Israel (and this is subtracting Gaza/WB) is an almost entirely uninhabitable and uninhabited desert.  The part that holds 99% of that 8 million in population is only about 2000 km^2.

I can think of two eastern Kansas counties (leaving alone near-desert western Kansas) with an area of roughly 2000 km^2.  Every bit of that land better suited to agriculture, human survival, etc than anywhere in Israel (what an objectively miserable 'promised land'). Population of the two counties combined? Under 11,000.

For a little more Census-based Tats-bubble-popping, consider this chart.  86% of the nation's population lives in one of those 381 areas.  Half the nation lives in one of the top 38.  But, fully half the nation lives in either the table from Milwaukee down (including the 14% that aren't on the chart at all).
2013-05-14 01:20:09 PM  
1 votes:
None of this is going to make any difference unless the feds start playing harball with the universities.

Hard cap of $20k/year for tuition, with those over required to reduce by 5%/year every year until they get under.  No increases after that of more than the rate of inflation.  Anyone who doesn't comply - your school doesn't qualify for any federally-sponsored student loans until you do.

Harvard will just have more rich kids and a few poor kids on University scholarship, just like it was back in the day.  Every other university will have to focus on providing education, not stupid overpriced crap that nobody needs.
2013-05-14 01:18:48 PM  
1 votes:

BMFPitt: So clearly the solution is to loan both kids $100k+ for their sociology degrees at 0.75%, then forgive that debt after a few years at their McJob.

// Poe's Law is making it real hard to even be sarcastic about that kind of shiat anymore.


The best way to fix the student loan problem, IMHO, is to make student loans equivalent to any other unsecured loan (something that can be discharged in bankruptcy).  Also, get the government out of the student aid (loan or grant) business, except for cases like the military where its a form of compensation for employment.

By putting all the burden (and default risk!) on the private sector, loan rates would rise dramatically -- the (nearly) free money would dry up -- and colleges would be forced to adjust tuition to compensate or face a sudden and dramatic drop in enrollment.  It would probably force them to get creative: drop lots of luxuries like free gyms for students (etc.), trim programs that are unpopular, extract more money from sports, seek more funding through research grants, etc. -- and probably shrink somewhat.  ...but if it ended up making tuition more accessible without life-long crippling debt, that would all be worthwhile.
2013-05-14 01:10:59 PM  
1 votes:

brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks.


To a point. This should only apply for expenses that would qualify for 529 accounts. One issue is there's not much of a limit to how much people can borrow, so they live like kings as students, and then they can't afford to pay back the loans and can't get them discharged in bankruptcy. So allow Warren loans for qualifying expenses, and then people can borrow from private lenders -- but those lenders wouldn't get the special bankruptcy rules. (So they'd likely require a co-signer, thus limiting willingness to take those loans.)

The per-person amount could be capped, with that amount going up annually by inflation. That would reduce resulting tuition inflation.
2013-05-14 01:10:14 PM  
1 votes:

Nutsac_Jim: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

Not derpp.   In my area, if you are a single dude making 100k, you are just getting by.  If you have a family and all the extra expenses invilved, which probably means the wife works and you have to pay someone to watch your kids,..  200 is ok.  Certainly not rich and swimming in a bathtub of coins like Uncle Scrooge.

If you live in Houston, you are doing well.  But then, you have to live in Houston.


Again.. bull

As a single guy, I was "getting by" in NY on $25k for several years.
If you are making $100k in Sanfran or NYC, you are comfortable, or you are an idiot.
2013-05-14 01:05:01 PM  
1 votes:

SuperNinjaToad: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.

Of course of all the mofos here on Fark, a resident Jew has to utter those words! Damn the stereotype!!!


Hey, there's no reason to think Tatsuma is wealthy just because he's Jewish.  After all, they can only carry so much gold in that pouch they wear around their necks.
2013-05-14 01:05:01 PM  
1 votes:

jshine: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich.  We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog.  We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy.


You make more than 95% of the households in the US.

bestuff.com
2013-05-14 01:00:07 PM  
1 votes:

Slaves2Darkness: brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks.

Stupid idea is stupid. The problem with the system as it currently stands is too much free money and too little competition. You want to fix the college tuition problem then go on a Federal University spending spree, Federally mandate that tuition start at 5,000 dollars a year and only rise at the rate of inflation.


Please cite the line in the Constitution that states they can set prices for goods and services.
2013-05-14 12:52:02 PM  
1 votes:

seadoo2006: This ... $200k a year means that your HOUSEHOLD is in the top 2% of ALL HOUSEHOLDS (two incomes) in the entire country ...

Seriously, if you don't think $200k/year is upper-middle class, you are seriously farked in the head.


Lots of people manage their money badly, and therefore like the idea that $200k isn't a high income (thus providing an excuse for their bad budgeting).
2013-05-14 12:48:33 PM  
1 votes:

Nutsac_Jim: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

Not derpp.   In my area, if you are a single dude making 100k, you are just getting by.  If you have a family and all the extra expenses invilved, which probably means the wife works and you have to pay someone to watch your kids,..  200 is ok.  Certainly not rich and swimming in a bathtub of coins like Uncle Scrooge.

If you live in Houston, you are doing well.  But then, you have to live in Houston.


You live in a very, very small enclave of the country.  I gross right around $80k/year ($60k salary + ~$20k end of year bonus).  I live in a one-bedroom apartment that costs me roughly $1000/month all-in after utilities (cable, heat, electric).  I own two cars ... one is a paid off 1997 Civic, the other is a 2004 Audi S4 that I pay ~$350/month for.  Add in insurance for the two cars at another $130ish/month.

I paid off my student loan, I have no credit card debt, and I max out my HSA contribution ($270/month) and put away $800/month into my 401k.

Food for my SO and I roughly runs $300/month, put away a few hundred in the liquid savings account and that basically sums up my monthly liabilities.

$3150 is what I've calculated my monthly liabilities at for the two of us.  I bring home ~$3800 a month after taxes (excluding the end of year bonus which goes right to savings/investments), which gives me $800/month to do whatever I want ... Every month.
2013-05-14 12:48:16 PM  
1 votes:

Lollipop165: $200k is absolutely upper middle class


Uhhhm.... no

On an unrelated note,  life is not fair.     The world needs ditch diggers too....
2013-05-14 12:44:37 PM  
1 votes:

jshine: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich.  We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog.  We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy.


That's a very different viewpoint. The wife and I are at $145k/yr in Atlanta (Decatur) and we're pretty well-off by my standards.  $70k in home equity, $300k in savings, we have two cars, and we pretty much buy and eat-out whatever and whenever we want.   I paid for grad school with cash.  I'm only 37.

I grew up in a family that made ~$45k a year and my wife was a refugee.  I think it's all about your perspective of what rich is.

While it's very easy to upgrade your lifestyle so that what was once a luxury becomes standard, you need to remember that the overwhelming majority of your fellow Americans are living on far less income than you.
2013-05-14 12:42:54 PM  
1 votes:

Detinwolf: jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and

You're in the 95% percentile, dude.



Including the entire US, possibly.  In the San Francisco Bay Area, certainly not.  A 2br. townhouse in the complex I live in sells for around $600-700k.  They're not super-luxurious either -- mine was built in the early 50s IIRC (but remodeled just before I moved in).

I'm not claiming poverty or anything, but $200k just does not go very far around here, and I don't have the option of moving to a rural area and maintaining my salary (there are not a lot of jobs for PhD engineers in the middle of a corn field).
2013-05-14 12:36:46 PM  
1 votes:

ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

/just saying


A family with a household income of $200k can easily afford a $1M house.  If they have no other debts they could comfortably push that to 1.3-1.4 million as long as they have a reasonable down payment.
2013-05-14 12:36:27 PM  
1 votes:
Are you telling me that aid is means-tested and thus anybody with even modest means is ineligible but if you are loaded down with debt you technically qualify because your assets are less than zero?

Sorry, I was just chatting with Charles Dickens, the famous comic author, and not paying attention.

In order to qualify for welfare you have to liquidate all your financial assets (savings, notably) before they pay a penny. But many welfare recipients have nice suburban houses, given to them by the state.

Welfare for a single person does not pay the rent on the grungiest batchelor (bedsitter if you're in the UK) but I see welfare moms on TV living in apartments that are clean, neat, well-furnished, equipped with all the latest conveniences, and about ten times better than my own squalid dump.

To claim unemployment insurance you must first liquidate any cash, bank account savings, or pay you have due to you, such as vacation pay, severance pay, etc. But somehow this does not prevent the rural poor from having snow mobiles, ATVs, giant plasma TVs, etc., luxuries that the working poor (often the same as the honest welfare poor, mind you) daren't dream of.

It has been like this for centuries. The Elizabethan Poor Laws were as draconian and callous as the Victorian Work House. Modern welfarism is not a jot better, but vastly more complex and expensive.

I suspect that even charitable conservatives wouldn't hate the welfare state if they weren't constantly riled up by the inequities and absurdities of the thing.

My father's income was too high for me to be eligible for student loans, but a guy I knew didn't let that stop him. He boasted that he was setting aside all this unneeded money and I wouldn't be surprised if he is now a millionaire Tory dumping on the welfare classes despite having his university education paid out of their hefty (proportionally) taxes.

It's a Catch 22 situation. If the Government was lax with the monies it dribbles into the pockets of the poor, the vast amount it pours into the pockets of the upper middle classes (tax credits, tax shelters, various subsidies to investment, etc.) would not save it from the wrath of the middle classes and the 1%.

Many benefits such as unemployment insurance are means-tested but nonetheless the biggest payouts go to those with the greatest means.

For example, you get a percentage of the wage that you paid unemployment insurance dues on, so the better you are paid, the longer you work, the more money you get when unemployed, even though you may need it less than everybody else receiving payments.

A lot of these "welfare" benefits are skewed to the top of the range of income. Which coincidentally is where the voters and political donors are.

Teenagers, wives and other dependents can live in the lap of luxury but claim pogey (welfare, unemployment insurance) for half the year. Meanwhile, many of the people on welfare more or less permanently (say, half the year) have to work at three jobs to be able to afford to live without work.

When Bush the Dumber congratulated that poor American at having three jobs, that is the point when a Samurai should have leaped out of the crowd and neatly snicker-snacked his head off without him knowing it until he bent over to pick up a dime.

And that is why I hate all of the classes and prefer to think of myself as Paul Fussell's Brand X.

Not only is Saint Paul right in saying that all have sinned, but Paul Fussell is right in pointing out that the class system is a giant pyramid scheme and that intelligent, creative and sensitive people should have no part of it, if such were possible.

Personally I prefer a steady, adequate pay-cheque so I work as a drudge in Sector 7-G of the Government.

It used to be a safe and pleasant job away from the hubbub, not unlike being a monk. But all the good jobs disappear when I look at them. I am currently considering a career as a blood-thirsty dictator in hopes that it is me and not the Way of the World or le Monde come il va.
2013-05-14 12:36:03 PM  
1 votes:

jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and


You're in the 95% percentile, dude.
2013-05-14 12:29:39 PM  
1 votes:

Sticky Hands: Bumblefark: Well, the most obscene thing is that that we as a society has decided that it isn't in our best interest to ensure post-secondary education to the nation's best and brightest. We decided that we should make higher education a consumer item.

The best and brightest are pretty much guaranteed school.
Now they may have to choose between paying various amounts for a top tier school (If the school thinks they can get money out of them) or going to a state school on a full ride. But IMHO if you get offered a full ride to the best public schools in your state, you don't have much room to biatch about the costs if you choose to go to school in some other place.

It's the rest of us that have to make the choice.

That said: A  $600 scholarship? Really? Fark you USC...



I forget my numerical SAT scores, but the sum put me in the 99th percentile -- #2 of 416 in my graduating class -- and was offered exactly $0 in aide by my state school (Univ. of Minnesota).  I didn't end up going there for undergrad, but still...
2013-05-14 12:27:57 PM  
1 votes:

Gabrielmot: Tatsuma: Lawnchair: In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is $186,200.

No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there.

Do a search of www.har.com for Houston (just for giggles).

Because the tax structure is so different here (no state taxes, just property and sales taxes), prices are no where near what they are in New York, Chicago, or LA. Same goes for any city in Texas including Dallas and Austin.

In the grocery a few days back, I just met a new retired couple who moved here from New York. They kept going on about how nice people were here, and how cheap housing, food, etc. was. You'll have to remember, that even though Texas votes Republican, most of the large cities are primarily Democrat, so they fit in nicely.

I'm originally from Louisiana, and I think people in Houston are jerks, and the cost of living and housing is expensive, even though I live in the "best" part of Houston (so YMMV).

A million dollar home in Houston and a moderate income gets you a lot more than you'd get in New York, Chicago, or LA (don't get me wrong, as a consultant, I loved Chicago when I was there for a year). But comparing on house value alone isn't a fair comparison.


Out of curiosity, what part are you calling the "best" part of Houston?
2013-05-14 12:24:15 PM  
1 votes:

itsaidwhat: I paid for a public college education by working - it took six years - I graduated with no debt. All these cry babies complaining about student loans can suck it. I'm not alone. I know a lot of people that ate beans and lived one grade above homeless to achieve the same. The govt is just perpetuating poverty in the poor by indebting them thru college.


what year was that?  I did that too, in the 90s.   Then I watched tuition go up by 50% over the course of the 4 years it took for my wife to get through a program during the..err...00s.
2013-05-14 12:22:23 PM  
1 votes:
This is news?

Seriously, I could've told you this 11 years ago when my older sister went to college.  My parents paid off their house, their cars, and had no credit card debt.  But because of their modest savings and no debt, we did not qualify for any financial aid.  The financial aid adviser actually told my parents to open a 2nd mortgage and leave the cash in the bank because then they would qualify.

Remember people, FAFSA weights DEBTS higher than ASSETS when determining aid.
2013-05-14 12:19:06 PM  
1 votes:

Raharu: Thunderpipes: Never understood why people think student aid should only be for the poor. People that make money then have to pay for their kids, as well as poor people's kids. And God forbid you go back to school as an adult when you have a good job.


Because most people are not terrible human beings like you.
If you can afford it without aid, then you clearly don't need the aid.
I see it as being greedy, like going to a food bank, when you have more then enough money for food.


No, not at all. I went back to school in my late 30s. I made too much money for aid. So a combination of out of pocket, and student loans. Crippled my disposable income, now I have loans, and all because I had the audacity to have a job? Can't even deduct the goddamn tuition costs on my tax return.

So I payed for mine, and lazy people's kids. Ya, real "fair" that is.
2013-05-14 12:15:40 PM  
1 votes:

Sticky Hands: Tatsuma: Mr.Man: Where I live if you bought a house in 96 for $250,000 it's worth a million today.
I was fortunate but It sure sucks for the time my kids want to buy a home.

In Israel it's pretty much the case anywhere in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or the surrounding areas. Like, you will hardly find something decent in Jeru or TA if you put down less than $500,000.

How that can be the upper 10% in America, that just confuses me.

America is a very large place, with a lot of empty space and a lot of towns that were built around industries that do not exist anymore.


Given the amount of blood that has been spilled over such a tiny speck of land (Israel), the fact that you can own a piece of it by simply coughing up the shekels is actually pretty fortunate.
2013-05-14 12:15:33 PM  
1 votes:
A million dollar house is not a lot of money.  Most of the guys in my fraternity have a house at least that much in value.  Look, if these people don't want to have debt then they just need to get a job.

I spent a whole summer washing cars at my Dad's dealership to pay for school and I made plenty.  When I graduate next year, I'll have the sales manager job at the dealership waiting for me.  I've earned it.
2013-05-14 12:14:34 PM  
1 votes:
The policy makers in this society push debt on the citizenry.

The elites are shedding debt while the citizenry are urged to take more. It makes sense because the primary driver of economic policy around the world at this time, are central banks. And the business model they understand is a banking-based one, which makes money from debt.
2013-05-14 12:11:23 PM  
1 votes:

Tatsuma: Mr.Man: Where I live if you bought a house in 96 for $250,000 it's worth a million today.
I was fortunate but It sure sucks for the time my kids want to buy a home.

In Israel it's pretty much the case anywhere in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or the surrounding areas. Like, you will hardly find something decent in Jeru or TA if you put down less than $500,000.

How that can be the upper 10% in America, that just confuses me.


America is a very large place, with a lot of empty space and a lot of towns that were built around industries that do not exist anymore.
2013-05-14 12:11:17 PM  
1 votes:
kab: And the best interest rates are reserved for the folks who need them the leastpay their bills and are likely to repay your loan.

Capitalism, working as intended.


-----
If you want to give away your own money to people with known problems paying their bills and with little hope of  ever seeing your money back, let alone the interest, then just go ahead and change your name to Charity.

Or we can just tax other people and hand out the money we won't get back, like Barry does.
2013-05-14 12:08:53 PM  
1 votes:

LineNoise: kab: And the best interest rates are reserved for the folks who need them the least.

Capitalism, working as intended.

Because the bank is losing money on your basic checking account that you draw down to 6 bucks every 2 weeks before payday.


I used to do that. I got paid once a month, paid bills, put money into savings, and then put everything on my credit card. I kept about $100-200 in cash in my checking account, at the BEGINNING of the month.

Then I switched to a local bank that gives me interest for keeping money in my checking account, and now I keep all my money there.

If the bank wants to make money from me, they need to give me a reason to keep some money there.
2013-05-14 12:03:38 PM  
1 votes:

James!: Well yeah, use your savings.  What else are you saving it for?


retirement. rainy days. so I don't have to be a drain on the government.

/ the more I take care of my own independence, the more I try to be responsible member of society, the more I will get farked in the ass by the government and its slaves
2013-05-14 12:03:27 PM  
1 votes:

ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

/just saying


Then they should stop living beyond their means, by selling the house and getting one they can afford.  Then, they can use the excess proceeds to send their kids to college.
2013-05-14 12:02:30 PM  
1 votes:
Keep in mind that average home prices are based on sales. Most people are too poor to move and they live in dumps.
2013-05-14 12:00:06 PM  
1 votes:

Tatsuma: Lawnchair: In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is $186,200.

No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there.


Do a search of www.har.com for Houston (just for giggles).

Because the tax structure is so different here (no state taxes, just property and sales taxes), prices are no where near what they are in New York, Chicago, or LA. Same goes for any city in Texas including Dallas and Austin.

In the grocery a few days back, I just met a new retired couple who moved here from New York. They kept going on about how nice people were here, and how cheap housing, food, etc. was. You'll have to remember, that even though Texas votes Republican, most of the large cities are primarily Democrat, so they fit in nicely.

I'm originally from Louisiana, and I think people in Houston are jerks, and the cost of living and housing is expensive, even though I live in the "best" part of Houston (so YMMV).

A million dollar home in Houston and a moderate income gets you a lot more than you'd get in New York, Chicago, or LA (don't get me wrong, as a consultant, I loved Chicago when I was there for a year). But comparing on house value alone isn't a fair comparison.
2013-05-14 11:59:52 AM  
1 votes:

you have pee hands: A house worth $500,000 is not worth $1,000,000. What are you trying to say here? A million dollar house is way outside the norm.


Not in NY or CT or a lot of the East Coast.  A CHEAP house is $350,000.  Average is $500,000-$750,000.  $1,000,000 isn't uncommon by any means.

...and this is why I neither own a house nor have any savings.
2013-05-14 11:59:33 AM  
1 votes:
A long time ago, I drove my country bumpkin wife through the old part of town and she looked in horror at all the $30k homes. I remember telling her, 'this is how most of the country lives.'
2013-05-14 11:59:08 AM  
1 votes:

valkore: Come on Tats, just admit you made a gross overstatement about how commonplace a $1 million house is in the USA. Please, pretty please? You'd get a lot of brownie points if you nibbled just a bit on some crow. I think crow is kosher, too.


When I said 1m originally, I was more thinking about the $500,000 to $1,000,000 bracket, not the one over that (and that's what the $1,000,000+ is).

However, even that is only 10% so I seem to have had a warped view of just how many people own houses in big cities.
2013-05-14 11:56:54 AM  
1 votes:

ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

/just saying


Not if they own the house and have no debt.

If you want to play the financial aid game, you take all your savings and payoff as much of the mortgage as you can.
2013-05-14 11:56:16 AM  
1 votes:

what_now: No they won't. I don't have time for this shiat today, because my actual students have sent me actual FAFSAs to review and I've been out of the country for a week, but take it from me: I've been doing this for a decade.

FEDERAL AID DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.


DING DING DING!   Winner!  All go home now.thanks.bye.
2013-05-14 11:55:49 AM  
1 votes:

Three Crooked Squirrels: What the fark are you talking about? You went from "most of the country" to "decent neighborhoods in NY, Chicago and LA" in the span of just one post. Just because you live in an expensive neighborhood does not mean "most of the country" lives in an expensive neighborhood.


Well I guess I have a warped view of where most people live. Most of the people I know live in big cities, and those who have houses, none of them have anything under $500,000.

Seems like this is only ~12% of the country, so I guess I was wrong
2013-05-14 11:51:44 AM  
1 votes:

Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.


Tatsuma: Lawnchair: In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is $186,200.

No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there.


What the fark are you talking about? You went from "most of the country" to "decent neighborhoods in NY, Chicago and LA" in the span of just one post.  Just because you live in an expensive neighborhood does not mean "most of the country" lives in an expensive neighborhood.
2013-05-14 11:50:55 AM  
1 votes:

Tatsuma: No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there.


A house worth $500,000 is not worth $1,000,000.  What are you trying to say here?  A million dollar house is way outside the norm.
2013-05-14 11:45:14 AM  
1 votes:

Lawnchair: In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is $186,200.


No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there.
2013-05-14 11:43:57 AM  
1 votes:

Iron Felix: Wait kids can actually get IN to a 4 year college with a SAT score under 700???


I saw kids at one of the campuses of the University of Nebraska who I'm sure struggled to get a 70. I'm betting every state college has their generous share of those.
2013-05-14 11:40:58 AM  
1 votes:
I remember this is exactly how it worked when I was about to go to college. My parents on a good year earned 45-50k combined, had socked away 30k in savings and our house was probably worth about 400k(they got it for 150k back in the mid 90s). When the FAFSA stuff came back all my richer friends who lived in the better more expensive half of the city got 2-3K of free money. My letter told me that I was going to get nothing. I was greatly annoyed. It's not that I felt entitled to free money(I won't turn it down if offered though), it's that people whose parents earned far more got free money.
2013-05-14 11:38:47 AM  
1 votes:

Gulper Eel: I guess it's possible to sock away $200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there.


I've saved more than that on about 60-70K here in Montreal. Cheap apartment well below my means (and lease from 1999, with state controlled increases), t-shirts, no car, no kids. Also, all the money I save I put into retirement savings which are tax deductible. Then I get a nice return at tax time, which I put back into retirement savings.

And I still spend without thinking because I figured it all out years ago. Oh, look, a 2000$ quadcopter? No problem. Food's not on special? Buy it anyways.

Oh, and a house is not an investment.
2013-05-14 11:38:10 AM  
1 votes:
.... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich.
2013-05-14 11:37:37 AM  
1 votes:
Wait kids can actually get IN to a 4 year college with a SAT score under 700???
2013-05-14 11:28:07 AM  
1 votes:

what_now: No they won't. I don't have time for this shiat today, because my actual students have sent me actual FAFSAs to review and I've been out of the country for a week, but take it from me: I've been doing this for a decade.

FEDERAL AID DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.


I am sorry; you have actual real-world expertise and knowledge in this field. You do not belong here.

Your comments will be ignored, or random Farkers will contradict you with no references or sporadic references to unreliable sources.

There is really no point in your posting to this Fark thread. Sorry.
2013-05-14 11:27:00 AM  
1 votes:

kab: LineNoise: Because the bank is losing money on your basic checking account that you draw down to 6 bucks every 2 weeks before payday.

And raking in truckloads by charging 18%+ compound interest to folks who carry long term credit card debt.

Those poor, poor banks.  Perhaps another bailout is in order.


What should they charge for loaning you money with no collateral?

Also if you don't have shiat credit, you can do far better than 18%
kab
2013-05-14 11:22:00 AM  
1 votes:

LineNoise: Because the bank is losing money on your basic checking account that you draw down to 6 bucks every 2 weeks before payday.


And raking in truckloads by charging 18%+ compound interest to folks who carry long term credit card debt.

Those poor, poor banks.  Perhaps another bailout is in order.
2013-05-14 11:21:35 AM  
1 votes:
A year after graduation, all those business majors will realize that they could have got their job as a teller with Wells Fargo with a high school diploma. Thirty grand well spent.
2013-05-14 11:21:20 AM  
1 votes:

DubyaHater: Earn $50K a year and have $200K in savings?  No one in this planet is that good with money


Gulper Eel: I guess it's possible to sock away $200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there.


Parents (and random uncles) die all the time.  It's entirely possible.
kab
2013-05-14 11:16:26 AM  
1 votes:
And the best interest rates are reserved for the folks who need them the least.

Capitalism, working as intended.
2013-05-14 10:31:06 AM  
1 votes:

ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away already in bankruptcy court.

/just saying


Assuming the house is carrying a mortgage, of course.
 
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