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(Townhall)   Nearly 76% of Americans in the recovering economy are now living paycheck to paycheck   (townhall.com) divider line 33
    More: Ironic, Americans, Greg McBride, David Limbaugh, unexpected events  
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1358 clicks; posted to Business » on 25 Jun 2013 at 10:06 AM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-06-25 09:41:32 AM
5 votes:

EvilEgg: have big screen TVs


You can buy a "big screen TV" for less than the combined price of the license plate and driver's license renewal for that new car nowadays.

We can all stop using "big screen TVs" as some sort of barometer for poor people not being poor, okay?
2013-06-25 12:38:09 PM
3 votes:

The Stealth Hippopotamus: chimp_ninja: And right on time, you prove my point. Really, there's no political interest in oil? You can't think of anything? That must be why the oil industry spends zero dollars on lobbying and I never, ever read about oil in international news.

Wasting gasoline is the least patriotic thing Americans routinely do. It fouls our air, hastens climate change, stresses our crumbling infrastructure, and strengthens our geopolitical enemies.

No political interests on the pump side. That's just between the federal government and the end user. And you admitted it's the most regressive tax! That's what we are trying to do is get money into the hands of the lower incomes! Fuel is also a cost of goods sold of every single thing you buy! And that was just half of the ideas I listed. So did you like the other one?
Ok you don't like my idea, what's yours?


1) Every single decision involving gasoline is intensely political.  Full stop.  It impacts our foreign policy, air quality, water quality, climate, etc.  Ask the House what they think of cleaner air right now, and you'll hear nothing but frontier-grade gibberish.

2) Fuel is regressive.  I don't like that, but it's still the last thing I'd want cheap, because as I've stated above, burning gasoline is incredibly harmful to the nation.  I'd be in favor of higher fuel taxes (and/or eliminating subsidies to the industry) and increased, stimulative spending on infrastructure, including mass transit, universal availability of high-speed Internet, and a reform of the energy grid.  The energy grid should be prioritized as essential to national security, because it is.  An adversary could inflict far more damage to this country by surgically disrupting electricity, Internet, and water than they ever could with soldiers.  And our current grid doesn't have to be disrupted to be harmful-- the coal emissions and fracking it presently relies on do that.

This creates a lot of jobs that can't easily be outsourced, and it puts money back in the hands of consumers when they don't need a second (or first) car, their existing car breaks down less often, they waste less time commuting, etc.  It was good enough to build the interstate highway system back when the Republicans weren't insane.  It's good enough now.

Couple of easy other things to do:
1) Lift the income cap on payroll taxes, the way Medicare works.  It presently caps out at $113,700.  Terribly regressive for no reason.
2) Tax capital gains as income.  If you make $10,000 working or $10,000 from selling stock at a profit, it counts the same.  If anything, income earned by labor should be taxed at the lower rate of the two, because we want to encourage labor over speculation.
3) Change corporate taxes so this "I have a three-room HQ in Ireland, therefore I owe no taxes" nonsense stops immediately.  Companies want to close all their US offices and give up on this market?  I dare them.
4) Move the retirement age, with reviews every 5 years to reassess it based on lifespan data.  People receiving benefits at age 62 was sensible under FDR, because you probably didn't live to see 70.  With modern medicine, it's crazy talk.  These days, most people can work at 62, or 65, or 68.

Do all of this, and suddenly you're not doing idiotic things like defunding SNAP and elementary schooling.  Some of these could also be done revenue-neutral, if that's your thing-- FICA wouldn't need to be 6.2% if everyone was paying it on their full paycheck (just like poor and middle-class people do right now).
2013-06-25 10:47:38 AM
3 votes:

KFBR392: But that doesn't include the TV service to go with it. And what typically happens is that people who decide to get the HDTV then bundle in highspeed internet and a DVR; suddenly a cable bill that could have been $30-$40 a month is now $150+/month.


Highspeed internet is probably the most cost-effective "optional" bill you pay.  The TV is not, but lumping the two misses the point.
2013-06-25 10:36:41 AM
3 votes:
   I know doctors making $300k a year who live paycheck to paycheck.  This isn't just an issue of condensed poverty, but also an issue of a culture  unsustainable consumption in our society.
2013-06-25 09:29:34 AM
3 votes:
Funny what happens when you keep concentrating wealth at the top of the ladder and cut the bottom rungs off.
2013-06-25 11:22:33 AM
2 votes:
The biggest issue a lot of people, like me, face is everything becoming more expensive without making any additional income. My house payment has gone about about $100/month over the last few years due to increases in property taxes and insurance. Grocery prices are at least 10% higher than a couple of years ago. There is absolutely nothing that costs less than it use to.  And here's the kicker,  my mortgage is the only debt I have.  Cars are paid for, no credit cards, etc. All of this "cut back on spending" talk is nice, but some of us don't have much more to cut.

/cutting cable this afternoon
2013-06-25 11:00:40 AM
2 votes:

Nemo's Brother: The liberals tried to battle the war on poverty. Detroit was their frontline.  They failed.


Erhhh Detroit is failing because Michigan is failing, and because of the loss of the manufacturing and specifically the car industry. So I don't know what you are talking about. But that's okay, because you don't seem to either.
2013-06-25 10:45:19 AM
2 votes:
Yay for Townhall... for pointing out the obvious and then blaming the wrong reasons. The reason we are living paycheck to paycheck is because there is no company loyalty anymore to it's employees. When a person who sells a widget at a retail store is told after five years of loyal employment doing commissions based sales, "We're taking away your commissions, but you better sell more widgets, because I can find someone else to take your job *snaps fingers* like that.", staying with that company to keep food on the table, and then see a news report on how their company has made record profits; the employee is not going to think, "Well, if my bosses taxes weren't so high, he could of continued to give me those commissions!"
2013-06-25 10:39:12 AM
2 votes:
This is misleading. Not having half a freaking year's salary in your savings/checking account isn't "living paycheck to paycheck." For those of us with reasonably good job security, we often judge that it is worth taking our savings and using it to pay down debt early. Any time my checking account gets over $5k, I make a double payment on my mortgage.
2013-06-25 10:32:38 AM
2 votes:

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Elandriel: *shrug* I dunno what you expect, you've been involved in enough trolls and derps and nonsensical circular failure-logic that you know politics is the current great divide in America and is going to crop up in every conversation no matter how banal or unimportant.

I dont troll. You maybe talking about me getting troll but when someone brings up the subject it is normally an accusation. Believe it or not there are people out there that disagree with other people and don't do it for the lulz.

That being said my main problem with "wealth distribution" is we are relying on the federal government to do two things: 1) be highly efficient with the collection and distribution of the funds (as close to 1 dollar out for every dollar in) 2) to distribute the funds fairly and without political basis or agenda. You really think they can do that? Or are they trying to gain power and influence with our dollars? If I am "guilty" of anything it's not trusting people in large groups.

That's why I favor tax holidays and tax cuts. The only way to be efficient and non basis is to never send the money to Washington in the first place. We have been fighting the "War on Poverty" for years now and I think it's time to demand an exist strategy!


You might not consider it trolling, and maybe it's not; what I should say is you have a reputation around here for making a Custer's Last Stand on logically unstable positions that don't benefit from established fact or evidence, and then breathlessly insist you're right in the face of overwhelming reinforced objection.  But, I don't really take issue with what you've said in this thread except for actively making the thread more political than it already was.

That said, I would like an exit strategy from the war on poverty, but first I would like if we could stop taking friendly fire.  If there is to be a war on poverty, then it needs to be against the causes of poverty, and not the people suffering it.  And no, we certainly can't trust the government to do it right -- if I were to wager a guess, I would say it's because the rich are the government, they fund it, they choose the candidates, they propose the policies, they support the excess, they stack the deck.  So no, of course we can't trust the government in its current form, because it exists to protect the status quo and/or shift even more wealth upward.  Nothing the government does actually helps prosperity grow because that affects the top-heavy balance of power.  If we could separate money from politics, maybe we'd have a chance, but the funny part of that is the politicians who would make the laws separating money from politics benefit from money in politics.

And, given that laws are now being proposed that attempt to outright ban political participation (such as the "no more 3rd parties" law in Arizona) I doubt very much that we're going to have a snowball's chance of upheaving the existing political apparatus short of actual widescale rebellion.
2013-06-25 09:59:40 AM
2 votes:
Just yesterday I got a corporate email blast - "We beat expectations once again!  Earnings at all time high!"  Then went to a team meeting where we were told we can't buy new equipment, travel for classes, hire new staff (despite measurable increases in workload), or expect raises.  It's been like this since 2000 (we did an astounding job at weathering the recession - earnings never dipped).  And all along we're told, "Consider yourself lucky you have a job."

This is not a whine, it's a fact.  And I am certainly not alone in this experience.

While I like the idea of a tax holiday for consumers or a decrease on federal taxes for fuel, I seriously doubt Townhall would suggest such specific and direct reliefs.  Look at their 'concluding' paragraph.  Cut government spending = reduce corporate and business taxes, to free them to generate wealth.  Except they're not.  How much longer are we expected to buy this lie?  How much more wealth must be concentrated at the top before it trickles down?  Is there some threshold?  Is it like bursting a dam?

I'm not taking issue you with you, Stealth Hippopotamus.  It's Townhall and the same tired subtext (which is admittedly less obvious this time).  Blame government, and blame the middle class for not being able to consistently do more with less while being denied the means to advance up the ladder of opportunity.
2013-06-26 06:35:51 AM
1 votes:
24.media.tumblr.com
2013-06-25 10:29:24 PM
1 votes:

buzzcut73: Ethertap: Crotchrocket Slim: Ethertap: You could try what my parents did when my sister and I were young, which is Dad worked days and Mom worked nights.  I don't know the job market in the Twin Cities area, but many walmarts and fast food places (as soul suckingly awful as they are) are now either 24/7 or open until 12 or 2 am, which could be an option for night work.

Elandriel already addressed this: whatever pittance they'd pay her would not be enough to cover child care. Reading comprehension kids.

He mentioned 7-5 daycare. Thats why is suggested his wife works NIGHTS. Not days. Nights, as in after he gets home from work. You're the one who needs to brush up your reading comprehension.

That's assuming the wife could get a Wal-Mart or fast food job that had a regular schedule. They don't do that anymore, now they'll work you 8pm-2am one day, Noon-4pm the next, 6pm-8pm that same day, then maybe another 4 hours the next night, then an afternoon...you get the point.


As I've found out twice in the last year, farking THIS.

Once you've gotten to a certain level of either professionalism, or experience, or income, or *insert thing here*, 'lower than that' jobs won't even look at you, regardless. You're "overqualified". You'll leave as soon as a 'real' job opens up.

I can't tell you how many times I've gotten the 'OQ' tag while looking for work, and it pisses me off like little other can. I mean, really? You'll leave the position unfilled because you're afraid I'll leave too fast? It doesn't matter that I could easily have truthfully told them, "Look, I understand. I'm not planning on leaving for at least a year. I know you're looking for a young kid that won't biatch about the hours and workload but still has some experience. I'll take it, and give you ample time at the back end to find a replacement AND I'll stick around and get him up to speed for at least a month!"

Don't matter. They see a 50k+ salary for the last decade and 15+ years experience, you can not even waste time applying for a 'sub-40K with matching 401' job.
2013-06-25 06:01:42 PM
1 votes:

o5iiawah: Elandriel: To take care of the people.

Government provides a system of laws which is designed to protect individual rights and property, along with settling disputes in the marketplace.
Please find something, anything that has ever been written in the annals of US history that alludes to the role of government being to 'Take care of people'


The preamble to the constitution would like to have a word.

We The People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Unless I'm misreading things like promote the general welfare, etc.  Maybe we should rewrite it to state something like "promote the corporate welfare and screw the lil' man".
2013-06-25 05:33:16 PM
1 votes:

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Oh I understand the correlation between the two subjects. However most (not all) Business Tab threads don't go full derp. Its been a place where we could have a somewhat reasonable debate without having to hear from the hacks about how one party wants to starve people and bomb brown people for oil. This thread took a bee line to the sub basement.


Maybe more and more people are getting sick of (or becoming aware of) the ever increasing wage/wealth gap? The sheeple are waking up.
2013-06-25 03:48:03 PM
1 votes:

xaks: But, yea, I'm a prick for making smart financial decisions with my life and my families' future.


You live in Florida.  How smart can your decisions be?
2013-06-25 02:11:20 PM
1 votes:

xaks: This is going to sound way worse than it should, but I can't think of a nicer way to say it.

But if you're complaining about the cost of child care, why did you have kids? If you can't afford to take care of them, you might have been better off not popping them out.

If you cannot afford to have the wife take off work to care for them until they reach school age, perhaps you acted irresponsibly and did something really expensive and foolish with really long term financial repercussions, and you should take responsibility for your bad decision and suck it up, buttercup.

Some of us don't have young kids right now because we decided it was not a good idea to do so, given economic realities. We don't need to listen to you whine because you can't be bothered to think ahead.


I was in a different situation years ago when my son was born.  This weird thing happened in 2008, not sure if you were watching, it was called "the second worst recession in the history of the United States".  You're being a bit disingenuous here anyway; are you suggesting that I should have waited until I had enough savings to provide for my klids for 18 years regardless of my yearly income?  As far as I am aware, people can't actually see the future so they make the best decisions they can based on existing circumstances.  If I had known my comfortable job that provided enough for us was going to disappear then maybe I would have told my wife we should hold off, but then I wonder if I would now be coming on Fark to mock people because they made different life choices and have it harder than me.

I think I'd rather take financial hardship over being an insufferable prick.
2013-06-25 01:06:19 PM
1 votes:
This is going to sound way worse than it should, but I can't think of a nicer way to say it.

But if you're complaining about the cost of child care, why did you have kids? If you can't afford to take care of them, you might have been better off not popping them out.

If you cannot afford to have the wife take off work to care for them until they reach school age, perhaps you acted irresponsibly and did something really expensive and foolish with really long term financial repercussions, and you should take responsibility for your bad decision and suck it up, buttercup.

Some of us don't have young kids right now because we decided it was not a good idea to do so, given economic realities. We don't need to listen to you whine because you can't be bothered to think ahead.
2013-06-25 12:35:10 PM
1 votes:
Impossible. 100% of the people on Fark have no mortgage or credit card debt and 2 years worth of living expenses in savings.

/they can't put anything on the Internet that isn't true
2013-06-25 12:23:24 PM
1 votes:

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Can you name the government that has done this? What government in the history of man has served the people to the level you are thinking of? Rome worked out really well for it's people for a long time, however they ground up and used up whole continents to make that work. Unless you want to start a Pax America we are going to have problems.


There are other nations than the USA, you know. Canada, Australia, the Scandinavian nations are all doing reasonably well at serving their people. I don't much like the current Conservative government here in Canada just now, but that's mainly because I perceive them as moving towards the American model!

It is possible to have a government not beholden to corporatism that functions reasonably well. Part of your problem is that you have been exposed to the idea that government is bad for so long you have stopped seeing that those who are telling you this are doing so for ulterior motives. If you don't trust government and are disenchanted with its inability to remedy problems, then you end up contributing to that inability.

What you need to remember is that government is not static. It changes with time. Currently the American system as it is now is the result of a decades long slow process of co-option by business interests. Note that I mean no conspiracy here. I simply mean that businesses have predictably used their money to leverage political power incrementally over the years through a variety of means, including the spreading of their ideology.

This is not irreversable. It can be remedied by a similar process that will be long and incremental. The problem is finding the political will to engage in that process. That means either money or sufficient social dysfunction to provoke public outcry and unified demands for change. Currrently the moneyed interests in the USA are doing their best to play the disaffected off against each other in order to maintain their pôwer and privilege. Again, this does not require conspiracy, simply people being people and seeking their own personal short term interests at the expense of the long term interests of their society.

It remains that government is the only estate of society that is intended to be responsive to the will and needs of the people. Business and industry manifestly is not; they are responsive to the need to make more profit for the owners and shareholders. The media can be, but there is no designed intent for such as their is with government, and they have also been deeply infiltrated by corporatism.
2013-06-25 12:14:25 PM
1 votes:

Pocket Ninja: Diogenes: Funny what happens when you keep concentrating wealth at the top of the ladder and cut the bottom rungs off.

Nonsense. By cutting off the bottom rungs, you just create more incentives for people to stay higher up.


Of course a rising tide lifts all boats.

/poor people don't own boats of course, so they just drown
2013-06-25 11:58:50 AM
1 votes:

Diogenes: Just yesterday I got a corporate email blast - "We beat expectations once again!  Earnings at all time high!"  Then went to a team meeting where we were told we can't buy new equipment, travel for classes, hire new staff (despite measurable increases in workload), or expect raises.  It's been like this since 2000 (we did an astounding job at weathering the recession - earnings never dipped).  And all along we're told, "Consider yourself lucky you have a job."


In the same boat. My team has a 30 to 40% workload increase and we've gone from 15 people to 12. One is quitting soon and another is retiring this fall: I'm being told I won't get replacements.

/No raise in 3 years
2013-06-25 11:44:32 AM
1 votes:

God Is My Co-Pirate: Childcare is crippling us. The daycare in my office wants $2000 per month, per child.


If you'd just worn a little rubber thing on the end of your cock, you'd not be in the mess you're in.
2013-06-25 11:30:52 AM
1 votes:
I call bullshiat.

"Paycheck to paycheck" implies that they have jobs from which to receive paychecks.
2013-06-25 10:49:50 AM
1 votes:
I don't think we have six months in savings, but we're also trying to pay down debt as quickly as we can right now, so we can put more into savings and investments in the future. F*cking student loans and car payments.
2013-06-25 10:39:28 AM
1 votes:

Debeo Summa Credo: If I responded that I believe that the gas tax is in fact too low, and that the most efficient way to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles is a higher gas tax, would tat be political? Or if I argued that the middle class shouldn't get a tax cut, would that be political?


The Stealth Hippopotamus defines any tax cut he doesn't want as "political".  Anything he wants is "common sense".  He's not an honest person.

And yes, as regressive as the fuel tax is, it's the last tax we should be cutting back on.  Cheap gasoline means more incentives for dirty air and water, and we pay out the nose for these already in terms of excess cases of respiratory illness in polluted areas.
2013-06-25 10:25:50 AM
1 votes:
I wasn't aware that "living paycheck to paycheck" meant having less than six months' worth of expenses in the bank.  Unless you get paid twice per year.  It's bad to not have a fallback plan like that, but it's not as bad as the headline makes it sound.

Also, the article claims it's measured by money in a savings account.  You know where I try to avoid parking money?  In "savings" accounts that bear virtually no interest.  I invest excess money aggressively, because selling investments in the event of a crisis isn't especially hard.  Internet, push some buttons, I'll have cash in a couple days.  There's very little I can't pay for by credit card, so by the time the surprise bill comes, the investment money would be in hand.

Also, is this a sign of the economy, or a sign that Americans are particularly stupid about saving money?  The Census tracks household saving rates, and America's has been low (2.7% in 2008, not much different from 2000-2007), while several countries in Europe with crappier economies were much higher (Italy 8.6%, Spain 6.1%).
2013-06-25 10:19:13 AM
1 votes:
Elandriel:I do agree that serious relief is needed for the lower and middle classes - I live paycheck to paycheck because I have two children and life in the Twin Cities, where cost of childcare is something like the 4th highest in the country.  My wife actually can't afford to get a job right now because putting 2 kids in M-F 7-5 daycare would far outweigh whatever meager wages she could get, having been out of the workforce for years.  So I struggle along, making what I can and just watching everything get way more expensive without a matching rise in compensation.

You could try what my parents did when my sister and I were young, which is Dad worked days and Mom worked nights.  I don't know the job market in the Twin Cities area, but many walmarts and fast food places (as soul suckingly awful as they are) are now either 24/7 or open until 12 or 2 am, which could be an option for night work.
2013-06-25 10:18:21 AM
1 votes:

The Stealth Hippopotamus: I was hoping for a reasoned discussion on how is not the time for increase the cost of living on the middle and lower classes, maybe help them out with a Federal Tax holiday or a decrease in federal taxes on fuel.
But is see the derp squad has migrated from the Politics Tab over to the Business Tab.

It's a damn shame


Funny how you puke up a wheelbarrow full of political derp in the same paragraph in which you go on to lament political derp polluting the politics thread.
2013-06-25 09:47:04 AM
1 votes:
I was hoping for a reasoned discussion on how is not the time for increase the cost of living on the middle and lower classes, maybe help them out with a Federal Tax holiday or a decrease in federal taxes on fuel.
But is see the derp squad has migrated from the Politics Tab over to the Business Tab.

It's a damn shame
2013-06-25 09:44:47 AM
1 votes:

sigdiamond2000: EvilEgg: have big screen TVs

You can buy a "big screen TV" for less than the combined price of the license plate and driver's license renewal for that new car nowadays.

We can all stop using "big screen TVs" as some sort of barometer for poor people not being poor, okay?


It just takes to long to write 65" OLED TV.  Okay actually it doesn't, but still, There are big screen TVs and then there are big screen TVs.
2013-06-25 09:44:25 AM
1 votes:
The economy isn't getting better and the unemployment numbers we keep seeing are far from accurate. According to 76 percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck....Meanwhile, a new Rasmussen Report shows the majority want the government to cut spending in order to spur economic growth.

I'd ask that Townhall connect those dots for us, but:

1)  Cut spending is their answer to everything, including, "What would you like for breakfast?"

2)  I don't care for Jackson Pollock's work.
2013-06-25 09:44:21 AM
1 votes:
WHAR JERB CREATORZ WHAR
 
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