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(The Atlantic)   When you read about "The Poverty Line" in America, keep in mind the line was originally set in 1963 and it assumes all houses have a full-time housewife who is a "skilled cook" and "careful shopper" to stretch their budget   (theatlantic.com) divider line 233
    More: Interesting, abstract concepts  
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10023 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2014 at 2:11 PM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-09 03:39:34 PM  

Phinn: ikanreed: Phinn: ikanreed: Enigmamf: ikanreed: The overwhelming problem in the U.S. is that the hardest working people are among the poorest.

It sounds like you subscribe to the labor theory of value.

Oh, no, I don't care about value(at least in the context of the working poor), I care about human suffering, just world hypothesis bullshiat, and minimizing it.   When the sanctity of your economic system's assumptions come before the people who make it up, you're doing something wrong.

Then YOU alleviate their suffering, big guy.  You've got your caring meter cranked up to 11, so that clearly makes you better than everyone else.  And since caring is all that matters, go ahead, run with it, dude.  Give the poor what they need.

Oh, wait, do you actually need other people's cooperation in solving complex social problems?  Well, then, you might want to actually communicating with the general public in terms of something we like to call "economic reality."

Or how about we don't have an economic system built on screwing people, for the benefit of a very select few on the the justification that it's somehow "fair"?  There's a bullshiat "I care about fairness" ethical lie in your system too, only you're in favor of human suffering to get it.

You're right -- the Federal Reserve should be abolished immediately.


Because that follows.

Let's seriously see you develop a train of logic, from the preposition: "we shouldn't let our economic system be built on screwing people" to "abolish the federal reserve."  Not because I want to challenge that logic, so much as I want to be amused by it.
 
2014-01-09 03:39:35 PM  

Loren: And you missed one category of poor but not idiots--immigrants with limited English.


I'm glad you mentioned them because I have nothing but respect for those people.  Any one who thinks I'm being sarcastic should learn to install plumbing without instructions while someone is shouting at you.
 
2014-01-09 03:41:58 PM  

ikanreed: Except cities don't really have the "low-income" jobs anymore either.  There aren't factories downtown where you can just jump in and start making lower-middle class wages.


As has been explained to me, as we outsource virtually all primary production, the dream job of the future for the 90% is step-and-fetch-it work in service to the top 5%.  As more of the wealthy move into the urban core, they need hairdressers, waiters, maids, hos, Whole Foods cashiers, personal trainers, etc, but they need them to live somewhere else.
 
2014-01-09 03:43:01 PM  

mike_d85: here to help: We have the occasional "grocery bill" thread here on the Fark dot coms and I always shudder at some of the totals that get posted. $200 a WEEK for a couple/small family or even a single person seems to be acceptable. Admittedly I am thrifty, single, know how to cook, don't really buy junk food and don't cram my piehole at the slightest little tummy grumble but I eat rather well on $70-80 per MONTH and could bring that WAY down if I was willing to spend more time doing prep/cooking.
...

WTF are you eating?  Soylent Green and chicken feet?  I get fresh veg, canned foods in bulk, meat in bulk, and cook most everything from scratch and I can't do much better than $80 a WEEK.

FFS, just getting dried rice ($1.29) and beans ($1.30) for 7 days a week is $20 ($18.20).  And that's assuming you only consume one bag per day.  I'm shopping for 3 full grown adults so I assume we'd eat more.

It all depends on your time to cook and you abilities.  Yes you CAN eat cheaply but it takes time.  For example    We figured last night that my wife had fed the family for two nights  on $8 because she made a huge pot of a phenomenal ham and bean soup from the bone of a Christmas ham that we'd frozen.

BUT the soup was possible because she works from home and has a huge cast iron pot that she was able to set to cooking for 9+ hours, season when needed etc.

More realistically I'd say in a typical month, I tend to run about <$400 to feed a family of Three

, BUT the caveat there is that I have a nearly perfect system of food stores around me.   I get most of my protein from Costco, or on deep discount at the regular grocery store (I leverage sales coupons , markdown stickers etc )

, I use the nearby Aldi's for a lot fo staple dry goods and produce and twice a month drop around $100-125  to literally fill the back of my minivan at something called a "Grocery outlet"  where you can get things like BOXES (12 pack)  of organic oatmeal at 3/$1 or 4 packs of Greek yogurt for $0.50 ea if they happen to be brands that we less than successful at the regular supermarkets (the oatmeal sold for $4/box at whole foods for example, or I've paid $7  for a 4lb round of a specialty cheese that sold for $15/lb at my local grocer )

Basically the place is so cheap that  I'm contemplating making a special trip to fill the van rather than donating cash to my local food bank, because I can get things there that are less than even they can get canned and non-perishable food for  sometimes.
 
2014-01-09 03:43:05 PM  

ikanreed: Tricky Chicken: Phinn: ikanreed:
Here's the bullshiat.  That's it.  What you do, like what I did, required a lot of free time for education from your parents in your youth.  A lot of money and free time for education in your young adulthood, and a foot in the door with respect to "respectability".  It's not "difficult" but it is rare(er).


Are you implying that my access to education was somehow greater that that of the poor? I was public school educated at no cost to my parents other than feeding me. I attended university while working and paid for it all myself.  My scholastic aptitude is the only advantage I would have over some of the poor.  I would assume many of them probably have greater aptitude than I.  But I made wiser life choices.  I had no children (easy to do) until I was settled. I made other basic sound decisions.  Nothing I did was ever extreme or overly difficult. My opportunities were not particularly rare. I paid attention in public school. I attended regularly. I generally did about the minimum required of me.
 
2014-01-09 03:43:55 PM  
As I saw in an episode of The West Wing:

They government hates the idea of changing the calculation in a way that raises the poverty line, because then YOU HAVE MORE POOR PEOPLE.

I can see it now, and it makes me cringe how if the Obama administration changed the calculation that put another 10 million people under the line, the GOP would be screaming: 10 MILLION MORE POOR PEOPLE UNDER OBAMA'S WATCH!!!!

/republican
 
2014-01-09 03:49:21 PM  
I'm not poor but I AM lazy. So at least I got that going for me.
 
2014-01-09 03:50:46 PM  

flak attack: So, in reality, the only thing I want to dust off my torch for is to burn down whatever school you went to because it clearly didn't do it's job.


Can you burn down whichever school also taught you this?
 a ~20% increase (I'm estimating $41k and $45k as household income numbers here, since your graph doesn't give exact numbers).

Going from $41k to $45k is a 10% increase, not 20%.
 
2014-01-09 03:50:50 PM  

GDubDub: As I saw in an episode of The West Wing:

They government hates the idea of changing the calculation in a way that raises the poverty line, because then YOU HAVE MORE POOR PEOPLE.

I can see it now, and it makes me cringe how if the Obama administration changed the calculation that put another 10 million people under the line, the GOP would be screaming: 10 MILLION MORE POOR PEOPLE UNDER OBAMA'S WATCH!!!!

/republican


It's both funny, and a little sad how relevant that show still is.

also, the GOP scream if Obama goes to the bathroom, so worrying over their BS isn't worth the time. If something needs done, do it anyway.
 
2014-01-09 03:51:00 PM  

blatz514: AngryDragon: So it's women's fault then.  I always suspected.  If they would just stick to making sammiches, everything would be better.

[j-walk.com image 850x550]


ahh yes, let's encourage women to think being a housewife is below them and deserving of contempt.  it's not like it's a real job, right?
they should apparently work to only undermine their husband & doing anything pleasing is just living in the backwards past.
 
2014-01-09 03:51:01 PM  

menschenfresser: Tricky Chicken: ikanreed: telejester: The overwhelming problem in the U.S. is that the hardest working people are among the poorest.


wtf?  Can you give some examples of such an "overwhelming" problem?

You've never met anyone who's genuinely poor, have you?

Telejester, the answer to your question seems to be 'no' couched as a deflection.

I am related to several people that are genuinely extreemely poor. And I know for a fact that they do almost no work at all. In fact the few times they actually were employed, one of them quit because he didn't want to wake up so early.  One (that I got a job) was fired because he just wouldn't do the work he was asked. One just goes out to clubs and keeps getting herself pregnant (lovely girl, gave up three babies for adoption before she started keeping them). Then there is the used car salesmen (four of them) that can't seem to keep working for the sema place for very long (but I get good deals on cars).  Now if you add into that the waves of dregs I get to meet through this group, I guess that should count as enough annecdotal evidence.

Please drop the 'weeping for the noble hard working screwed over poor' bit.

This and other posts make me want to ask whether folks would like to go the Victorian route and distinguish between the "deserving" poor and the "undeserving" poor. The "undeserving" would be given assistance and the "deserving" poor would be put in the workhouse, etc. Then maybe we could add in your Victorian capitalist to the picture, the guy with the top hat carrying a diamond-topped walking stick to twirl around, and who has 99.9% of the wealth in the town. This is what you guys seem to be asking for.


Do I get a monocle and cape too? I like to dress up my scarecrows.
 
2014-01-09 03:51:31 PM  
When you read about "The Poverty Line" in America, keep in mind the line was originally set in 1963 and it assumes all houses have a full-time housewife who is a "skilled cook" and "careful shopper" to stretch their budget

So because they don't want to cook or clip coupons the ball is now in my court to fix them?
 
2014-01-09 03:53:05 PM  
Don't play the serf game, people.

Opt out.

Apply for ten credit cards, get them, then stiff them.

Never, never, never become encumbered with student loan debt -- not worth it.
 
2014-01-09 03:53:21 PM  
The problem with poverty statistics in America is, you add them all up, and they just don't make any sense.
Example: 98.4% of poor people have refrigerators. I don't know where that comes from, but it's a known fact. It's also a known fact that refrigerators come in boxes.
So how come we have any homeless people at all? What happened to all those refrigerator boxes? See, it just doesn't make sense. I'm not going to gnash my teeth over something that doesn't even make sense.
 
2014-01-09 03:53:51 PM  
zeroman987:

You should have been born in a family with more bootstraps. Then you wouldn't have to be related to those hideous POORS!

I wouldn't like to lump my relatives in with the general poor population, but they are the only poor people I know personally.  I wouldn't refer to them as hieous POORS! as much as I would refer to them as hideous people in general.  They really are a revolting bunch. I wouldn't even introduce them to ikanreed who still affirms that if you ever read one of those articles in the 70s that mistakenly brought up global cooling and in the same breath pointed out how they were mistaken and based upon ever developing information, and that climate change really is happening, you are automatically a denier. It is like saying that some people have disputed the moon landing, but they are wrong and we really did go to the moon makes you a moon landing conspiracy nut.  He also claimed I was a flat earth evolution denier. But I digress.

As far as my spelling and typography.  they are admittedly criminal.
 
2014-01-09 03:55:58 PM  
Percent of food expenditures as a share of disposable income
1929  16%
1940  13.5%
1960  14.1%
1970  10.3%
1990  7.4%
2000  5.9%
2012  5.7%
http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-expenditures.aspx

Food in 1960 was ghastly crap.  Sure, Mom was staying home to cook it, but it was mostly casseroles that contained a can of Cream of xxxx soup.  That's why Julia Child was such an amazing revelation.  It was only in the mid 1970s when most Americans started to become adventurous and experimental in their cuisine.
 
2014-01-09 03:56:08 PM  

GDubDub: As I saw in an episode of The West Wing:

They government hates the idea of changing the calculation in a way that raises the poverty line, because then YOU HAVE MORE POOR PEOPLE.

I can see it now, and it makes me cringe how if the Obama administration changed the calculation that put another 10 million people under the line, the GOP would be screaming: 10 MILLION MORE POOR PEOPLE UNDER OBAMA'S WATCH!!!!

/republican


Sadly, this is exactly the way it would go down too.
 
2014-01-09 03:56:37 PM  

mike_d85: Most of them are idiots.


This is true, but what makes you think it is correlated with wealth?
 
2014-01-09 03:56:39 PM  

Tricky Chicken: You see, fallacy of composition would apply if I implied that all poor are as useless as the ones I listed.  I did not do that.


It's what liberals do.  You say, "I know one poor person who is lazy" and then they start slamming you for making a wild accusation that poor people are lazy.  No, that's not what you said.  Facts don't matter to them though.
 
2014-01-09 03:58:53 PM  

Magorn: Chummer45: Magorn: Which actually tells you how bad things have really gotten in America
look at this graph:
[www.doctorhousingbubble.com image 436x351]

now look at this one:
[www.davemanuel.com image 400x300]

See the Problem?   Yes the median HOUSEHOLD income has risen slightly, but only because DOUBLE the number of people per household are working in most of them.

Those numbers are particularly appalling when you look at charts like this:
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 725x537]

and this one, combined witht he ones above, should inspire you to dust off your torches and pitch forks:
[graphics8.nytimes.com image 511x452]

The tide is rising but only some boats are benefiting while others are taking on water so fast they can barely stay afloat

It's because the vast majority of employees have very little bargaining power with their employers.  We have seen a concerted effort to undermine and eliminate unionization, and have failed to enacted other laws that grant rights to employees.

The reason why wages have been falling isn't a mystery - our legal system (including right to work laws, "at will" employment, and very few mandated benefits) results in management having the freedom to pay employees low wages and benefits, and hire and fire them for whatever reason they want.  The typical employee is not in a position to negotiate with management for better job security, better pay, more benefits, etc.

It's just ridiculous for people to desperately try to explain the stagnation of wages as being primarily caused by anything else.

For you, A ceeegar and another chart:

[wonkroom.thinkprogress.org image 402x253]


Correlation something, something.  Do you really think the competition for manufacturing jobs from China has nothing to do with this?
 
2014-01-09 03:59:33 PM  

GDubDub: As I saw in an episode of The West Wing:


Just happened to watch that very episode last night. "The Indians in the Lobby", season 3, episode 8. Gave some fascinating background on the calculation of the poverty line in 1963.
 
2014-01-09 04:00:02 PM  

Tricky Chicken: zeroman987:

You should have been born in a family with more bootstraps. Then you wouldn't have to be related to those hideous POORS!

I wouldn't like to lump my relatives in with the general poor population, but they are the only poor people I know personally.  I wouldn't refer to them as hieous POORS! as much as I would refer to them as hideous people in general.  They really are a revolting bunch. I wouldn't even introduce them to ikanreed who still affirms that if you ever read one of those articles in the 70s that mistakenly brought up global cooling and in the same breath pointed out how they were mistaken and based upon ever developing information, and that climate change really is happening, you are automatically a denier. It is like saying that some people have disputed the moon landing, but they are wrong and we really did go to the moon makes you a moon landing conspiracy nut.  He also claimed I was a flat earth evolution denier. But I digress.

As far as my spelling and typography.  they are admittedly criminal.


He obviously lacks a point and has resorted to drive by attacks in an attempt to lump you into some imaginary box. He isn't satisfied with simply agreeing to disagree and has some need to try and bash you because he can't accept contrary opinions.
 
2014-01-09 04:01:17 PM  

Carn: No, you're just suffering from the Fallacy of Composition.  It's ok, it happens.


It seems like the error is the fallacy of hasty generalization, since the comments are about a population of people, rather than a part of an object.
 
2014-01-09 04:03:19 PM  

Tricky Chicken: I am related to several people that are genuinely extreemely poor. And I know for a fact that they do almost no work at all.


So you're related to people who don't work hard and are poor. Are you suggesting that because you know some people who "deserve" to be poor that all poor people must deserve it?
 
2014-01-09 04:03:58 PM  

buzzcut73: That's really what the poverty level and the minimum wage should be tied to. How much does it take ONE person, working full time, to pay rent on a modest home with lights and heat and keep the average family fed.

Problem is, now a lot of time both parents have to work just to have those essentials, which adds a daycare expense, and makes fixing proper meals tough when nobody is home to do the work that entails.


You'd be surprised at how wrong those assumptions can be.

For example,  back when the distaffbopper was working, we had to pay for childcare for the littlebopper (before he started school).  It was $35 a day, for two days a week (distaffbopper was working part time).  So that's $70 a week in childcare expenses, which meant that even with her over-minimum-wage job, one whole day of her two days work during the week was paying just for child care.

When you added in the gas and wear and tear on the one car, plus the inevitable her eating at the cafeteria at work and me often just picking up something because I didn't feel like cooking after 8 hours of work and 2 hours of driving, I think it actually cost us money.

Now that the littlebopper is in school, and she's not working anymore, and the car that needed to be reliable enough for a 40 mile commute 3 days a week* that now only gets driven an average of 2 to 5 miles a day is going to be paid off, we're actually a bit better off.

So few people actually do the math.  If the distaffbopper hadn't been working, we could have gotten a much cheaper used car for her to drive, which probably would have saved us at least $300-$400 in car payments and required insurance.  So if you divide that by 4 (300/4) = $75 a week savings.  So our monthly savings on just daycare and care expense would have been $580, or roughly 60% of her *GROSS* pay, and as I recall it was about 2/3rds of her take home pay, eaten up with childcare and car expenses.  That left about $280-ish, which if you subtract out the 10 or 12 $4 meals she'd get at work, leaves $232.  If you figure I did the same, that leaves you around $185-ish.  So for those 90 hours of work, her effective pay rate was $2 an hour.

Then there is the gas:  Car gets 30 MPG, driving (40*12) = 480 miles used 16 gallons of gas, which at $3.50 a gallon cost another $56 a month.  Figure she drives 5 miles on average a day, 5 days a week, now, she's only driving 100 miles a month, and at $3.50 that's only $12 in gas.  She actually uses a bit more ;)

That doesn't include the money she had to periodically spend on uniform items she wouldn't wear out of work.

So, she has time to visit with friends or do shopping or whatever during the day while the littlebopper is at school.  I get home, most of the time she's got a decent meal either ready, or in the process of cooking.  House is well kept up, because when you aren't tired from work

If her job payed as much as mine, and I quite and stayed home, we'd save even more, because I drive $1,200 a month.  Granted, my car gets better mileage, but I'd be perfectly happy with doing the domestic thing.   Give me a bit more time to play ham radio, and I might even start writing code for fun again (I stopped doing that when it became a job).

*She worked 2 weekdays and alternate weekends, so it averaged to 1 weekend day and 2 weekdays a week
 
2014-01-09 04:05:12 PM  

profplump: Tricky Chicken: I am related to several people that are genuinely extreemely poor. And I know for a fact that they do almost no work at all.

So you're related to people who don't work hard and are poor. Are you suggesting that because you know some people who "deserve" to be poor that all poor people must deserve it?


No he suggested that many poor are their own worst enemy. Did you read what he wrote?
 
2014-01-09 04:08:13 PM  

trappedspirit: So because they don't want to cook or clip coupons the ball is now in my court to fix them?


I'm sure they'd be happy if your provided them with a no-cost full-time household employee instead. Or you could take the article's actual point and consider re-defining "poverty line" to reflect modern life instead of assuming everything is the same as it was half a century ago.
 
2014-01-09 04:09:26 PM  

CleanAndPure: ikanreed: The overwhelming problem in the U.S. is that the hardest working people are among the poorest.

How hard you work and what you're paid arnt really too correlated.

Lots of rich people are rich because of hard work... others have done little.

Lots of poor people are poor despite lots of hard work... others due to laziness.


Yes.  But there are drastically more poor people then wealthy.  So overwhelmingly more hardworking people are poor then wealthy.
 
2014-01-09 04:10:58 PM  

DerpHerder: No he suggested that many poor are their own worst enemy. Did you read what he wrote?


I did. He seemed to be drawing a correlation between poverty and personal effort, based on evidence from a small, non-random sample group, as a counter-argument to previous comments about how effort and wealth are not strongly correlated. Did you read the comments he was replying to?
 
2014-01-09 04:11:36 PM  

Tricky Chicken: ikanreed: Tricky Chicken: Phinn: ikanreed:
Here's the bullshiat.  That's it.  What you do, like what I did, required a lot of free time for education from your parents in your youth.  A lot of money and free time for education in your young adulthood, and a foot in the door with respect to "respectability".  It's not "difficult" but it is rare(er).

Are you implying that my access to education was somehow greater that that of the poor? I was public school educated at no cost to my parents other than feeding me. I attended university while working and paid for it all myself.  My scholastic aptitude is the only advantage I would have over some of the poor.  I would assume many of them probably have greater aptitude than I.  But I made wiser life choices.  I had no children (easy to do) until I was settled. I made other basic sound decisions.  Nothing I did was ever extreme or overly difficult. My opportunities were not particularly rare. I paid attention in public school. I attended regularly. I generally did about the minimum required of me.


WHICH public school?  How many resources did they have?  IS it like the HS  my son attends now that spent $65 million building the place and has everything a school could want since home prices in my area are some of the highest in the nation, or was it like the one in Chicago he went to for 1st grade where they had to ask parents to donate an old books they had lying around so the school could finally have an actual library?   How much money did they have to pay teachers? could they attract the best and brightest or did they have to make do with the inexperienced and burnt out?   Could you "pay attention" in class because of your innate status as an ubermencsh or did it have to do with the fact that your family could afford to send you to school on a full stomach so you could concentrate (and take you to a doctor and get medicines if you DID have focus issues?)

How about your parents?  Were they educated middle-class professionals?  Did they work one job that they got home at 5pm for and so were available to help you with homework?  Or were they barely educated themselves and having to work two jobs just to make ends meet?   How was your local public library?  Could your family afford a computer for you to do schoolwork on?  what was your community like? Did you have other middle class people and professionals available to use as role models?  Did they help set for you an expectation that you too, would one day have a similarly white-collar job just like everyone's parents you knew?

The fact that you think YOU made any decisions as a child that affected your future outcomes as an adult , and your success is a result of your innate virtue and wisdom in making life choices as a 7-year old is pathetically, laughably, delusional.    But a delusion all to common among those who ridiculously think of themselves as "self-made"
 
2014-01-09 04:11:45 PM  

kidgenius: letrole: poverty is a result, not a cause

poor decisions, inadequate self-control, lack of ambition, no shame

a man may be born poor, and that's the fault of his parents, but a man who's born poor, and still poor by the age of 30 has nobody to blame but himself

A man born poor will have to grow up in a house where he wont get the same kind of interactions as his more successful counterparts. He won't get the same level of schooling. He won't receive many of the other similar opportunities and benefits as a person who is born into a better situation. s it still possible to overcome this deck stacked against him? Sure, but that's going to be the exception not the rule.


Hold on, lets draw a line here.

You have people with a lack of education and "street smarts" that live somewhat normal lives (which I hope is what letrole was thinking of).  These people get menial jobs, work at them and some day become the manager of a local McDonalds or get another menial job with moderately good pay (landscaper, unskilled construction, etc.).  THIS is not "poor".  This is "lower class" or "working poor" maybe.  At 30, you should have worked out making shift supervisor at Pizza Hut, at least.  I mean, many of them even let you smoke pot while you work.

Then you have the people who have "street smarts" who turn to crime because, unfortunately, they can do math well enough to calculate the benefits of drug dealing.  I actually do not begrudge these people.  I can respect a decent drug dealer or bootleg DVD manufacturer.

Then you have the people who DON'T have "street smarts" or "book smarts" or "smart ass" and barely qualify for "dumb ass".  They can't keep a job at a fast food place.  They don't turn to crime in an effective way.  They might sling dime bags trying to pay for their habit or steal an xbox to make rent, but they aren't making a real living.  These are the poor people that are idiots.  They are the people who don't pay a bill until they get their fifth and final notice because that's when they cut it off.  These are the people who are continually 3 months behind on rent because if they aren't getting evicted, rent isn't due.

These are people who are told time and again how to manage their lives and ignore it because they only see immediate, direct consequences to their personal comfort and cannot manage the abstract thought of pursuing anything or effectively managing anything.  They're the same people with a Playstation and no pictures on the walls.  I don't know why, but that's how you can tell the houses.
 
2014-01-09 04:12:27 PM  

here to help: We have the occasional "grocery bill" thread here on the Fark dot coms and I always shudder at some of the totals that get posted. $200 a WEEK for a couple/small family or even a single person seems to be acceptable. Admittedly I am thrifty, single, know how to cook, don't really buy junk food and don't cram my piehole at the slightest little tummy grumble but I eat rather well on $70-80 per MONTH and could bring that WAY down if I was willing to spend more time doing prep/cooking.

That said the cost of food, especially staples, has soared as has all essential costs like housing, transportation, etc while the wages have not only stagnated but have been going DOWN when factoring in inflation, benefits, full time status (working two decently paid part time jobs is FAR more expensive than one meagerly compensated full time job) and the like.

We have trained the past couple of generations to be the ultimate bean counters who specialize in nickel and dime tactics to squeeze every last micro cent and millisecond out of every scenario they can while the salesmen lull everyone into believing they are subhuman for not making fiscally irresponsible purchases even if it means going into to debt at ridiculously high interest rates.

Then, those seemingly intelligent and cautious few who scrimp and save and claw their way into saving and investing or slave their way through jobs with supposed retirement benefits have their entire efforts wiped out every decade or so funneling it into the pockets of the very same people who would shame them if they did anything less than complete and utter meekness and subservience. Of course once the grift is complete those same entities that cried poverty and "too big to fail" have gotten their bailouts and reduced the quality of life for everyone everywhere start reporting "RECORD PROFITS" a few short years later while their victims are too old and tired to hold them accountable for their crimes.

My solution? Completely overhaul how busines ...




If the next crash doesn't do it, the next war will
 
2014-01-09 04:13:49 PM  

Magorn: mike_d85: here to help: We have the occasional "grocery bill" thread here on the Fark dot coms and I always shudder at some of the totals that get posted. $200 a WEEK for a couple/small family or even a single person seems to be acceptable. Admittedly I am thrifty, single, know how to cook, don't really buy junk food and don't cram my piehole at the slightest little tummy grumble but I eat rather well on $70-80 per MONTH and could bring that WAY down if I was willing to spend more time doing prep/cooking.
...

WTF are you eating?  Soylent Green and chicken feet?  I get fresh veg, canned foods in bulk, meat in bulk, and cook most everything from scratch and I can't do much better than $80 a WEEK.

FFS, just getting dried rice ($1.29) and beans ($1.30) for 7 days a week is $20 ($18.20).  And that's assuming you only consume one bag per day.  I'm shopping for 3 full grown adults so I assume we'd eat more.
It all depends on your time to cook and you abilities.   Yes you CAN eat cheaply but it takes time.  For example    We figured last night that my wife had fed the family for two nights  on $8 because she made a huge pot of a phenomenal ham and bean soup from the bone of a Christmas ham that we'd frozen.

BUT the soup was possible because she works from home and has a huge cast iron pot that she was able to set to cooking for 9+ hours, season when needed etc.


More realistically I'd say in a typical month, I tend to run about <$400 to feed a family of Three

, BUT the caveat there is that I have a nearly perfect system of food stores around me.   I get most of my protein from Costco, or on deep discount at the regular grocery store (I leverage sales coupons , markdown stickers etc )

, I use the nearby Aldi's for a lot fo staple dry goods and produce and twice a month drop around $100-125  to literally fill the back of my minivan at something called a "Grocery outlet"  where you can get things like BOXES (12 pack)  of organic oatmeal at 3/$1 or 4 packs of Greek yogur ...


1 - Gary?
2 - Now your numbers match mine.
 
2014-01-09 04:14:45 PM  
There is nothing funnier than a thread where a bunch of people keep demanding proof  that they'll dismiss simply because they don't "believe" it, just like any scientific subject.
 
2014-01-09 04:14:49 PM  

mike_d85: work at them and some day become the manager of a local McDonalds or get another menial job with moderately good pay (landscaper, unskilled construction, etc.).  THIS is not "poor".  This is "lower class" or "working poor" maybe.  At 30, you should have worked out making shift supervisor at Pizza Hut, at least.


No. This is poor.  Landscaper, construction labor, or shift supervisor at Pizza Hut level jobs paid working-poor/lower-class wages 15 years ago.  They pay utter poverty wages now.
 
2014-01-09 04:17:45 PM  

Lawnchair: meyerkev: increased urbanization (which then combines with anti-growth policies to fark over EVERYBODY).

Where are you getting this "everything's anti-growth" victim complex?  Portland, fine, but that's the extreme outlier.  A lot more of the nation is like greater Houston... ever-the-more enthralled, begging, and will give you tax breaks (if not straight-up give you money) to put up all the duplexes, Walmarts, and fried-chicken-and-oil-change huts you want.

The problem is with urban renewal and gentrification, the wealthy are moving back into cities.  The poor are ending up in the peripheries.  Trailer parks in Victorville and Tracy.  Which are far worse places for the poor, since they're so tied to driving 300 miles a week, which kills the poor at $4 gas.


So I'm sitting in SF.  Anti-growth out the wazoo.

No building up, no proper mass intra/inter-city mass transit late-nights and weekends so you can't live in the burbs and "live" in the city (and even with the piss-poor regional transit we have now, it's just as expensive to be at the suburban transit stations as it is to live in the city), no new freeways (or added lanes) to at least support more commutes.  They're supposed to increase the regional population by 30% over the next few decades, and I have no clue how they're going to do it because every time someone builds more housing, there's screaming, and there's absolutely no intention of fixing the problems (namely, a super-low supply of housing, exacerbated by unfortunate rent control policies, the geography forcing all traffic through a couple of choke points, and a piss-poor mass transit network).

And all that ends up happening is that the rich get richer (not necessarily a bad thing depending on how and why it happens), the "rich" get poor because a 1 BR is $4K/month and that's 2/3rds of their take-home, the middle-class gets farked and pushed out past Altamont because they can't afford that and never could, and the poor get stuck on welfare, because Section 8 pays for it and moving up to middle-class just gets you farked.

Mind you, you will never get to a point where you can live cheaply in a big house that you bought with petty cash, AND live in a cool city because lots of people want to live in cool cities which requires density, but FFS, you're driving out the software engineers (who you blame for causing all the problems) because they can't afford to live here.  Do you not see the issue here?

/And meanwhile, anytime someone suggests fixing the problems, the "Let's keep our city wierd AND Let's somehow make it affordable by wishing for unicorns" activist nuts show up and start ranting.
//Trust me, the city will be weirder with high-rises then it will be when the poor and "poor" people all leave because they can't afford it and you're just left with super-rich people and their groveling servants.
///And in all fairness, "wishing for unicorns" probably equals "Making Silicon Valley leave".  So they do have a plan, it's just unrealistic.
////And so Victorville people are just screwed (Weren't they looking at Caltrain to Monterey at one point?), but there *are* plans to extend BART to Tracy at some point.  It'll never, ever happen because the NIMBY's will kill it, but the sane people get that you can only live in the super Central Valley exurbs, and  are trying to make that at least possible.
 
2014-01-09 04:19:20 PM  

ikanreed: The overwhelming problem in the U.S. is that the hardest working people are among the poorest.


They probably wouldn't be poor if they had that same work ethic you claim in school.
 
2014-01-09 04:24:38 PM  

meyerkev: exacerbated by unfortunate rent control and zoning policies


FTFM.

Honestly, the zoning is probably more of a problem than the rent control.
Build enough 20-story apartment buildings and the rent control stops mattering (much.  I mean, it's still a bad idea for a lot of reasons.)
 
2014-01-09 04:25:24 PM  
Getting a strong Craig Nelson vibe from this thread.

The poverty line calculation is antiquated.  To prove how useless it is, look at the number of programs that are targeted at people 2X to 4X the poverty level.  The actual poverty level is much higher than the government's calculation.

Sorry if I disrupted the discussion on how a family of four can actually survive on recycled corn husks and boiled tree bark if they just stayed up cooking all night.
 
2014-01-09 04:26:23 PM  

buzzcut73: That's really what the poverty level and the minimum wage should be tied to. How much does it take ONE person, working full time, to pay rent on a modest home with lights and heat and keep the average family fed.

Problem is, now a lot of time both parents have to work just to have those essentials, which adds a daycare expense, and makes fixing proper meals tough when nobody is home to do the work that entails.


Why should a single 16 year old make the pay required to have a home and provide for 2 kids? That is a stupid standard.

Also if each make enough to provide for 2 kids and a home, why are you advocating double the income is needed?

Do you see the ironic correlation in your post with the doubling of the work force as women entered the workforce in large numbers? If we halved the current workforce, wages would go up dramatically.
 
2014-01-09 04:27:16 PM  

Lawnchair: mike_d85: work at them and some day become the manager of a local McDonalds or get another menial job with moderately good pay (landscaper, unskilled construction, etc.).  THIS is not "poor".  This is "lower class" or "working poor" maybe.  At 30, you should have worked out making shift supervisor at Pizza Hut, at least.

No. This is poor.  Landscaper, construction labor, or shift supervisor at Pizza Hut level jobs paid working-poor/lower-class wages 15 years ago.  They pay utter poverty wages now.


Eh, I should have said "assistant manager".
Last time I checked (5-ish years ago) I was considering quitting my office job to become a pizza place manager and my $27,000/year pay was equivalent to the pay I would make at slinging dough (assuming I made the $15 an hour a friend made at Mellow Mushroom).  Plus after working as a general manager at a Domino's for 2 years, you qualify for franchise financing programs.
 
2014-01-09 04:28:37 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: telejester: The overwhelming problem in the U.S. is that the hardest working people are among the poorest.


wtf?  Can you give some examples of such an "overwhelming" problem?


They don't pay their workers overtime, they tell their workers how to apply for food stamps, they discriminate against women...


Liberals tell people to apply for food stamps too. Are they evil?
 
2014-01-09 04:30:10 PM  

ikanreed: The overwhelming problem in the U.S. is that the hardest working people are among the poorest.


That's preciesly the point. Work smart, not hard.
 
2014-01-09 04:32:23 PM  

MyRandomName: Liberals tell people to apply for food stamps too. Are they evil?


Yes.  And so are Conservatives, Moderates, Libertarians, Green Partiers, Tea Partiers, and Coke Partiers.
 
2014-01-09 04:34:34 PM  

cryinoutloud: umad: ikanreed:
You've never met anyone who's genuinely poor, have you?
I have. And they were stupid and lazy motherfarkers to a person.

Not too lazy to finally put you on ignore, douchebag.


Oh noes! A trailer trash welfare queen called me a mean name. This just totally ruins my day. I don't know how I can continue to live with myself.

Except now I've figured out why you finally hate me so much

Because you are lazy and stupid? You're probably right.
 
2014-01-09 04:37:03 PM  

acohn: Carn: No, you're just suffering from the Fallacy of Composition.  It's ok, it happens.

It seems like the error is the fallacy of hasty generalization, since the comments are about a population of people, rather than a part of an object.


Touche'
 
2014-01-09 04:38:49 PM  

timujin: flak attack: So, in reality, the only thing I want to dust off my torch for is to burn down whatever school you went to because it clearly didn't do it's job.

Can you burn down whichever school also taught you this?
 a ~20% increase (I'm estimating $41k and $45k as household income numbers here, since your graph doesn't give exact numbers).

Going from $41k to $45k is a 10% increase, not 20%.


I goofed and forgot my numbers.  It was actually $41k to $49k.
 
2014-01-09 04:41:29 PM  

mike_d85: WTF are you eating? Soylent Green and chicken feet? I get fresh veg, canned foods in bulk, meat in bulk, and cook most everything from scratch and I can't do much better than $80 a WEEK.

FFS, just getting dried rice ($1.29) and beans ($1.30) for 7 days a week is $20 ($18.20). And that's assuming you only consume one bag per day. I'm shopping for 3 full grown adults so I assume we'd eat more.


rustypouch: I'm curious as how you can feed yourself for $2.50 a day, let alone eat 'rather well' on that budget.


Well I should probably be working on some music but for the sake of perhaps saving some folks some cash here is a semi long winded but semi truncated explanation.

I do in a way try to run my home kitchen like a restaurant kitchen in the sense I try to keep ingredients around that are multi purpose. I will snag these items on special when I see them but some are just so cheap as it is specials aren't even necessary.

I also own a cheap little energy efficient chest freezer so I can stock up on goods. I HIGHLY recommend getting even a small chest freezer because those f*ckers can save you a FORTUNE on food.

Starch/carbs:

Rice (I mean really everyone should ALWAYS have a bag of rice in their cupboard. I also buy those packets of flavored rice for a buck a piece or less which I can get two large meal sides out of of... my fave is the broc and cheese flavor)

Ramen style noodles (yes I know this may not seem all that healthy or "good" but read on... you don't eat the fookers plain. You add stuff to them)

5-10lbs bag of potatoes (I've just started getting back into this habit now that I have a full kitchen again but suitable alternatives are looking for frozen potato patties, fries, perogies or other frozen potato starches.

Rotini (my favorite pasta because it's big and hearty and soaks up all the goo into it's delicious spirals)

Breads/Cereals:

Instant oatmeal (I could save even more buying the plain boxed stuff but I just buy those little packets because really they are dirt cheap anyway, are easier to make and taste better).

Corn Flakes (no name corn flakes or even the Kellogg's stuff really costs next to nothing if you watch for specials)

Whole wheat bread (the no name/cheapo brands/good brands/whatever will ALWAYS be available for under $2 a loaf and sometimes $1 per loaf so I stock up and toss them in the freezer. I make tons of sandwiches so it will always get used).

English muffins/Bagels (this is my own little quirk and a bit of a luxury but I like bagels with cream cheese and home made egg mcmuffin dealies)

Note: I do not eat breakfast as much as I should and actually have boxes of cereal and oatmeal going uneaten at the moment but even if I ate breakfast every morning it would not increase my food budget in any significant way except perhaps for the milk but even then that's only pennies.

Fruits/Veggies:

Veggies have gotten stupid expensive lately IMO but because of some specific brands of frozen stuff and the fact I've started freezing certain fresh stuff until I'm ready to use it I can still keep this down.

Frozen (I buy big 1kilo bags of "California mix" for $3 which acts as a filler for soups, sauces, etc but I'll also add fresh veg to those recipes as well a bag can last me two months)

Fresh broccolli/cabbage (red)/carrots (dirt cheap and wicked healthy. The broccolli can go in pretty much anything and I like the carrots and cabbage on their own as side dishes. I also used to be able to get huge bags of flash frozen spinach for cheap but alas that is no more and the fresh stuff goes bad too quickly).

BRUSSEL SPROUTS!!! These are like CANDY to me so if I see frozen bags on special I'll buy them. Sadly I find the fresh ones in most supermarkets to be too dry and woody so I stick to frozen. This is a special treat though.

I do not eat much fruit because I do not care for it but I will buy bananas on occasion for my oatmeal or sometimes I'll buy muffin mix and stir them into that. However if I WERE into fruit apples and oranges are dirt cheap so that wouldn't cause any significant dent to the budget.

Meat/Protein:

I will ONLY buy meat that is on special for UNDER $2-2.50 per lbs. Fortunately because of the freezer this is very easy to stock up on. I get chicken breasts, pork chops, ground beef, sausages, roasts, etc, in those big trays and use cling wrap to separate it all into meal sized portions and toss them in the freezer (in the case of the roasts I will cut huge roasts up into smaller ones). The only thing that is extremely difficult to get in that price range is full cuts of beef but chicken is easy and is healthier anyway.

I will also watch for things like those breaded chicken strip or fish fillets on special and snag 1kilo boxes for $5-6.

Most of that is all straight forward cooking. Spice it, cook it and eat it however the ground beef gets put into my homemade burgers (which I freeze as patties and take out one or two at a time for dinner) or tossed into a pasta sauce with chopped up sausage and veggies (and on the delicious rotini and some cheese).

Eggs!! I always keep at least a dozen eggs in my fridge because they are the cheapest and easiest to prepare animal protein of all. I make egg salad, egg mcfuffin thingies or just boil them up and eat them straight with some salt and hot sauce.

Canned tuna (SAMMICHES! Little pricey but I watch for specials and I get two sandwiches out of a can so I can have tuna sammies for dinner two nights in a row with soup or have a sandwich the next day for lunch).

BACON! I skulk and wait and plot and scheme until I can get bacon for under $5 for 500g. Usually I can get it for $3. Then it goes in the freezer. I only eat 2-3 slices at a time so one package can last me quite a while. It goes with my egg mcmuffins or my burgers and is kind of a treat.

Dairy:

Milk (I buy in bulk and freeze it because it's cheaper. I only use milk in my tea or in recipes that call for it which is rare).

Cheese. (I buy big blocks of cheddar for $4 per 500g and use it sparingly but almost every night. One block lasts about a month. I also try to snag buckets of cream cheese on special like today I got a 500g bucket for 3 bucks. It will last me until spring and goes on my bagels or pasta.)

Yogurt. (Yogurt is cheap and I'll snag some every so often for breakfast but not as often as I should I guess).

Stuff that glues it all together...

Obviously much of that stuff requires other ingredients to make it work so the things I keep around ALWAYS are...

Mayo. (tuna/egg sammies cannot be made without mayo and I slap it on my burgers. It's a little pricey but considering how many cheap meals it enables it is worth it and I get it when it goes on special so a small jar for $3 lasts me a month or a big jar for $5 can last me 2 or more months).

Garlic powder. ($2-3 for a bag that lasts like a year. I get other spices too like paprika, curry or whatever but garlic powder is the main one I use because damn garlic is awesome)

Fresh onions/garlic. (Onions are cheap, last a looong time and just add something awesome to so many things so I've started keeping a bag around. Fresh garlic is a little redundant but it tastes better for some things than the powdered stuff and sometimes I like eating a raw clove because I'm weird like that. It's also cheap.)

Mustard. (Can't have burgers without mustard. A $1 bottle of yellow mustard last forever around here).

Sriracha. (Kind of expensive but is the spice of life. Goes in the burger mix and ramen soup. I bought my current bottle a year ago and still have a quarter left)

Frank's Red Hot. (Another luxury but it goes in the tuna, egg sammies/mcmuffins and sometimes I just suckle on the bottle. Again long lasting and worth it).

Pickles and olives. (My vice. My candy. I spend far too much on pickles and olives but god damned do I love them and my sandwich nights just aren't the same without them. I spend about $5 per month on these alone. I'M AN ADDICT!)


So that's the stuff I ALWAYS look for and try to keep around but obviously I don't eat ALL of that every month. I just keep it around and have my own recipes that are quick, tasty and filling. My meals literally do end up costing me $2-2.50 per day, do not require anything particularly epic cooking wise unless I'm feeling fancy and is all more or less healthy.


The moral of the story is...

a) Look for specials

b) Get a freezer

c) Learn to cook and keep a consistent set of ingredients around that compliment each other

d) Don't gorge but don't starve
 
2014-01-09 04:42:30 PM  

asquian: So, the general consensus is people are poor because they're ignorant/stupid.

Well, obviously a good education is the cure.

oh, wait. We have an entire political party dedicated to privatizing education and eliminating critical thinking from the curriculum.

Well, we can fix that by sending them to college right?

oh, wait, crushing debt and a lack of jobs that pay enough for people to pay back the debt.


Uhh... it is common core who is now grading wrong answers as partially correct. It is unions who have attempted to move to pass fail instead of grading. Ted Kennedy was the architect of NCLB. How do private schools do worse than public? They don't.
 
2014-01-09 04:42:32 PM  

Magorn: mike_d85: here to help: We have the occasional "grocery bill" thread here on the Fark dot coms and I always shudder at some of the totals that get posted. $200 a WEEK for a couple/small family or even a single person seems to be acceptable. Admittedly I am thrifty, single, know how to cook, don't really buy junk food and don't cram my piehole at the slightest little tummy grumble but I eat rather well on $70-80 per MONTH and could bring that WAY down if I was willing to spend more time doing prep/cooking.
...

WTF are you eating?  Soylent Green and chicken feet?  I get fresh veg, canned foods in bulk, meat in bulk, and cook most everything from scratch and I can't do much better than $80 a WEEK.

FFS, just getting dried rice ($1.29) and beans ($1.30) for 7 days a week is $20 ($18.20).  And that's assuming you only consume one bag per day.  I'm shopping for 3 full grown adults so I assume we'd eat more.
It all depends on your time to cook and you abilities.  Yes you CAN eat cheaply but it takes time.  For example    We figured last night that my wife had fed the family for two nights  on $8 because she made a huge pot of a phenomenal ham and bean soup from the bone of a Christmas ham that we'd frozen.

BUT the soup was possible because she works from home and has a huge cast iron pot that she was able to set to cooking for 9+ hours, season when needed etc.

More realistically I'd say in a typical month, I tend to run about <$400 to feed a family of Three

, BUT the caveat there is that I have a nearly perfect system of food stores around me.   I get most of my protein from Costco, or on deep discount at the regular grocery store (I leverage sales coupons , markdown stickers etc )

, I use the nearby Aldi's for a lot fo staple dry goods and produce and twice a month drop around $100-125  to literally fill the back of my minivan at something called a "Grocery outlet"  where you can get things like BOXES (12 pack)  of organic oatmeal at 3/$1 or 4 packs of Greek yogurt for $0.50 ea if they happen to be brands that we less than successful at the regular supermarkets (the oatmeal sold for $4/box at whole foods for example, or I've paid $7  for a 4lb round of a specialty cheese that sold for $15/lb at my local grocer )

Basically the place is so cheap that  I'm contemplating making a special trip to fill the van rather than donating cash to my local food bank, because I can get things there that are less than even they can get canned and non-perishable food for  sometimes.


I've been making soup from ham hocks and dried beans in large batches for the last two weeks. Makes for easy, healthy, cheap meals. I gave up all hope of eating for pleasure though, honestly, unless you have variety it's just a fuelling operation no matter how imaginatively it is made/spiced.
 
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