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(Eudaimonia)   Americans are getting ripped off and they don't even know it   (eand.co) divider line
    More: Murica, good reason, Viggo Mortensen, States, shudder, year, life  
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9552 clicks; posted to Main » and Politics » on 28 Sep 2021 at 8:30 AM (8 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-09-28 10:04:29 AM  

WhackingDay: I also think that a lot of this stems from our origins as fundamentalists that believe struggle and suffering builds character or makes you closer to god or some garbage. You still see this in a lot of people who repeat a mantra of "work hard" all the time. Europeans have long understood that life is more than work, but Americans cannot come to grips with that, at least as a society.


Yep. The "puritan work ethic" is a big part of the reason America is a capitalist dystopia.
 
2021-09-28 10:07:03 AM  

Nick Nostril: Unfortunately, for many/most 'muricans, The United States of America is the name of a planet, not a single country amongst many on a planet. Their view of the world ends at the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.


Or they get the sense that this douche is representative of the rest of the world and DECIDE that the Atlantic and Pacific are boundaries to maintain some sanity.
 
2021-09-28 10:07:34 AM  

Ambivalence: Speak for yourself, I've known it for a while.


Everyone knows it. And most of them like it 'cuz the alternative is soshulizm.
 
2021-09-28 10:08:16 AM  

Hey Nurse!: NotCodger: "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things caneasily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Where the fark is he living?

I was wondering that. I live in St. Louis.  Water is 60, electricity is 200, gas is 140 - that's budget billing numbers. And that's in a 4800 sq ft house with 7 people living in it. Of course, the author also stated the average income is 35,000, but then proceeded to use that number as an example of what families pay. Most families don't have a single income. There's a lot of cherry picking going on in that article. The solution is simple. If you don't like it here, get the fark out.


Despite the article writer being a douche, and using bad math, they have a point about utility monopolies.
 
2021-09-28 10:10:29 AM  

SUMMERSN0WS: Rapmaster2000: The average American income is about $35K per year. That's about $2400 a month, if you're lucky, after taxes. What bills are we up to? $1200 for a crappy apartment. A few hundreds, let's call it two or three, for connectivity. And another $500 or so for basic utilities. That leaves you with about $400 for the month, or just $100 dollars a week.
That's American life. That's why Americans feel so poor. Because they are. American life is a gigantic rip-offf.
The average American - after subtracting basic bills of shelter and utilities - has just $100 to spend on food, clothing, kids, medicine, all the other necessities.

OK, but Americans don't pay household expenses with an "average income".  They pay it with the median household income, which is $63,688.

Being forced to live with other people in order to make ends meet is not ok. How many people are stuck in an abusive relationship because they can't afford $1400 for a one-bedroom apartment?


I don't know.  How many households exist by choice?  More than half of American adults are married.

The point is that the author is using average (why average and not median?) individual income to pay for median household expenses.  It's misleading.  No economist is going to do that.  An economist wouldn't do that because there is nothing instructive that can be done with it.  You can't make policy decisions or comparisons with a faulty analysis.
 
2021-09-28 10:11:58 AM  
An attempt was made
 
2021-09-28 10:12:26 AM  

BeotchPudding: FARK : 'It's not News, it's communist/socialist talking points'


Because the U.S. is the greatest, best country God has ever given man on the face of the earth? Ok, Hannity.

It would be really awesome if the US swallowed some pride and learned from what other countries were doing well.
 
2021-09-28 10:15:04 AM  

Persnickety: cretinbob: Nah
people overpay for a ton of shiat because they think bigger is better when they didn't even need the thing in the first place.
They have nothing inside their heads so they look to material goods for satisfaction.

//man that would have been an embarrassing typo

A lot of people would rather look well off than be well off.  This description fits the Trumps perfectly.  They give all the outwards appearances of being super rich but they've fought tooth and nail to keep the details of their financial lives hidden.  The public facts we do know, four bankruptcies and admissions of Russian financing, suggest a desperate situation indeed.  Is it any wonder so many people want to prop them up as icons?  If they can survive, maybe I have a chance.

One anecdote wrt this: I know a family who all voted for Trump.  They live in a shiatty apartment but the wife gets $50 manicures every other week while the husband keeps buying sports cars that are completely impractical for their family needs (two kids).  They always always always have new clothes every time I see them.  They have crap service industry jobs and have pulled every trick in the book to dodge creditors who keep on hounding them.  They've moved three times in the last five years.  Oh, and did I also mention that they are black?  Trump is their idol and if you ask me, it's because they see themselves in him.


So they suddenly started living this way when Trump got elected?

That pretty damn bad.
 
2021-09-28 10:15:19 AM  

Unright: BeotchPudding: FARK : 'It's not News, it's communist/socialist talking points'

Because the U.S. is the greatest, best country God has ever given man on the face of the earth? Ok, Hannity.

It would be really awesome if the US swallowed some pride and learned from what other countries were doing well.


but why do you hate us though?
 
2021-09-28 10:17:47 AM  
I've read a lot of criticisms of America by non-Americans that are really silly -- like New York city dwellers can't grow their own food (because NYC is the place to live if you want to grow your own food).  But this one is totally spot on, from top to bottom, start to finish.  Should be required reading in all high schools (before the kids pile on a bunch of student debt) but it won't.  Young farkers  -- take note!  Spread this to all your friends.
 
2021-09-28 10:18:22 AM  
Father_Jack: i do hate when people write about "europe", like it was some monolithic block with no differences in systems across the country.

the UK is not Norway is not Germany is not Switzerland is not Poland.

Author should be more specific.

That being said, i live in germany, and i can agree with much of what he's saying:

i earned 170k in the US per Year in the bay area. 3k in housing, 2k in childcare (part time, no frills), 600$ in student debt, plus health care, which was not cheap. Then car, car insurance, gas, (330, 100, 120 per month-ish)

so i needed to take home 5k just to pay the bills. not saving for myself, my kids education, or investments.

contrast that with here:
rent is 1500
childcare 330 per month (bilingual, with ballet and piano, meals included)
health care out of my check only, no bills
my employer pays my car, car insurance, and gives me free gas card, i just contribute a token % of purchase price out of my salary (my mercedes here costs less than my used jetta cost in CA)
phones are cheaper, but utilities feel about the same.
oh and groceries are super cheap here, at least for subsistence stuff. you wanna go to whole foods equiv you can spend the same but if youre just needing milk eggs cheese pasta and beer (1$ a bottle) you're gtg here.

so not only do i have a higher percentage of my salary left over for me, i dont have to worry about my kids college or medical bills.

oh and 30 days vacation per year plus all sorts of public holidays.

so, unless you're like a few friends of mine who work at google or salesforce and are closer to 300k a year or up, i think you do get a better, less stressful life over here. Even tho people can be pricks. But at least noone shoots you and the cops dont kill you if you're black
.

The humble-brag is strong with this one.

i guess i'm advocating that americans should learn a foreign language and leave for somewhere in western europe. There are plenty of jobs here, come get one.

And the cherry on top. Just move, stupid!
 
2021-09-28 10:19:19 AM  

TwilightZone: I've read a lot of criticisms of America by non-Americans that are really silly -- like New York city dwellers can't grow their own food (because NYC is the place to live if you want to grow your own food).  But this one is totally spot on, from top to bottom, start to finish.  Should be required reading in all high schools (before the kids pile on a bunch of student debt) but it won't.  Young farkers  -- take note!  Spread this to all your friends.


Found the article writer's fark handle.
 
2021-09-28 10:20:00 AM  

Subtonic: And the cherry on top. Just move, stupid!


did.That's why i'm saying you should too.
 
2021-09-28 10:20:55 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Merltech: NotCodger: "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things caneasily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Where the fark is he living?

Texas.

I live in Texas (and specifically Austin, which has a pretty high cost of living compared to the rest of the state) and my total cost for those combined is around $200 per month.


I'm in Wisconsin and pay $150-$200 for gas and electric depending on the season, and $80 bimonthly for water.
 
2021-09-28 10:22:58 AM  
No, subby... really?

/looks at nick...
//I had no idea...
///we use three slashies?
 
2021-09-28 10:23:14 AM  

ltdanman44: the table is tilted, the game is rigged.


Just know finding that out...
 
2021-09-28 10:23:20 AM  

Unright: BeotchPudding: FARK : 'It's not News, it's communist/socialist talking points'

Because the U.S. is the greatest, best country God has ever given man on the face of the earth? Ok, Hannity.

It would be really awesome if the US swallowed some pride and learned from what other countries were doing well.


What Country spread Democracy around the world?
 
2021-09-28 10:24:09 AM  

ltdanman44: the table is tilted, the game is rigged.


Just now finding that out...


Also, corporate America:
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-09-28 10:24:44 AM  

sid244: ltdanman44: the table is tilted, the game is rigged.

Just know now finding that out...

I'm an idiot

 
2021-09-28 10:26:04 AM  

BlazeTrailer: Nick Nostril: Unfortunately, for many/most 'muricans, The United States of America is the name of a planet, not a single country amongst many on a planet. Their view of the world ends at the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Or they get the sense that this douche is representative of the rest of the world and DECIDE that the Atlantic and Pacific are boundaries to maintain some sanity.


Indeed. The US is the only developed country without some sort of single payer healthcare system. We must be the ones doing it right.
 
2021-09-28 10:26:40 AM  

Subtonic: TwilightZone: I've read a lot of criticisms of America by non-Americans that are really silly -- like New York city dwellers can't grow their own food (because NYC is the place to live if you want to grow your own food).  But this one is totally spot on, from top to bottom, start to finish.  Should be required reading in all high schools (before the kids pile on a bunch of student debt) but it won't.  Young farkers  -- take note!  Spread this to all your friends.

Found the article writer's fark handle.


Nope.  I'm just another ripped-off American -- just old enough to realize it.
 
2021-09-28 10:27:38 AM  
He must be living in a shack with leaky pipes and no insulation if he's paying that much in utilities.

He's right about cable / internet, but there a counterpoint. Gasoline. That shiat is ridiculous in Europe.
 
2021-09-28 10:29:23 AM  

Father_Jack: Subtonic: And the cherry on top. Just move, stupid!

i did.That's why i'm saying you should too.


Next you'll ask why I don't just buy more money.
 
2021-09-28 10:30:24 AM  
average rent tucson
$700 room, $1,400 house (some deals out there)
electricity $75-$200/month
internet only $73
water $75 (city)
gas $20-$80

Mountains southern new mexico
electricity $80+
internet only $94
water $55+
gas- don't have it
 
2021-09-28 10:31:45 AM  

Nick Nostril: BlazeTrailer: Nick Nostril: Unfortunately, for many/most 'muricans, The United States of America is the name of a planet, not a single country amongst many on a planet. Their view of the world ends at the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Or they get the sense that this douche is representative of the rest of the world and DECIDE that the Atlantic and Pacific are boundaries to maintain some sanity.

Indeed. The US is the only developed country without some sort of single payer healthcare system. We must be the ones doing it right.


We're also the only country where hundreds of thousands of people can just walk across the border.

We simply cannot have social programs while the borders are basically open. It is unsustainable.
 
2021-09-28 10:32:56 AM  

Hey Nurse!: I was wondering that. I live in St. Louis.  Water is 60, electricity is 200, gas is 140 - that's budget billing numbers. And that's in a 4800 sq ft house with 7 people living in it. Of course, the author also stated the average income is 35,000, but then proceeded to use that number as an example of what families pay. Most families don't have a single income. There's a lot of cherry picking going on in that article. The solution is simple. If you don't like it here, get the fark out.


That's a common trick -- start out with average (mean) per-capita income, then pivot to "household" expenses.

The 2019 CPS ASEC real median earnings of men ($57,456) and women ($47,299) who worked full-time, year-round is considerably higher than the ACS median per capita  ($35,672).

That $35K number is the mean income computed for every man, woman, and child.
 
2021-09-28 10:38:18 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Merltech: NotCodger: "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things caneasily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Where the fark is he living?

Texas.

I live in Texas (and specifically Austin, which has a pretty high cost of living compared to the rest of the state) and my total cost for those combined is around $200 per month.


For me it is €90 for gwe, and I get money back each year.
 
2021-09-28 10:39:30 AM  

big pig peaches: We're also the only country where hundreds of thousands of people can just walk across the border.


Serious question: Are you a Fox News watcher?

Because there's no part of that sentence that's even remotely true but I know they've been pushing that narrative pretty hard.
 
2021-09-28 10:40:51 AM  

Subtonic: Father_Jack: Subtonic: And the cherry on top. Just move, stupid!

i did.That's why i'm saying you should too.

Next you'll ask why I don't just buy more money.


WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN

and sorry for coming across like a humblebragging douche. its a hard line to walk online.

on the one hand, if i provide a lot of numbers and details, it sounds like i'm tooting my horn. but if i dont provide deets, it sounds like just talking points and not "real".

anyway hard balance to strike.

/sorry
//you should still move tho, america sucks
 
2021-09-28 10:43:26 AM  

Rapmaster2000: The average American income is about $35K per year. That's about $2400 a month, if you're lucky, after taxes. What bills are we up to? $1200 for a crappy apartment. A few hundreds, let's call it two or three, for connectivity. And another $500 or so for basic utilities. That leaves you with about $400 for the month, or just $100 dollars a week.
That's American life. That's why Americans feel so poor. Because they are. American life is a gigantic rip-offf.
The average American - after subtracting basic bills of shelter and utilities - has just $100 to spend on food, clothing, kids, medicine, all the other necessities.

OK, but Americans don't pay household expenses with an "average income".  They pay it with the median household income, which is $63,688.


While your point stands, you should compare the averages to averages, not averages to medians. Which will change all the numbers in the equation.
 
2021-09-28 10:44:16 AM  

NotCodger: "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things caneasily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Where the fark is he living?


I'm one person.  I unplug the vampire appliances.  I walk around in the dark despite having 100% LED bulbs.  I take 5 minute showers and wear jeans & PJs multiple days before laundering them in an efficient machine.  If it's yellow, I let it mellow, and the toilets are (much to my displeasure) low-flow, as is the showerhead.  My home is not-quite-century-old brick with 10-year-old triple-pane thermal insulating replacement windows.  I use draft stoppers, turn the thermostat low/high and use sweaters/fans, respectively.

I pay $150 a month electricity, $250 in the summer (with the AC so low I can barely tell the difference; turning it up is MUCH worse)

I spend about $400 a month in heating in the winter.  Unfortunately, in my state, that lasts from October 1 through April 30, at the very minimum (extra rough winters are even longer).

Water, sewer, trash & recycling comes to $100 a month, as does my homeowner's insurance.

Despite being an 1,100 square foot hole-in-the-wall with tiny rooms, I pay $300 a month in property taxes, $25 a month in school taxes, a local income tax on top of the state & federal one, and an "occupational privilege" tax of... honestly IDK what it's up to now because it goes up every year but it was creeping up on $100 a year last time I looked, just to have a job in the city in which I work.  My state's sales tax is one of the ones well above 5%, and they only exempt some clothing, food, & medicine.

I keep bare-bones internet at $55 a month (literally zero cheaper options; Comcast the only service in my zip code with > 1 mbps down), and pay-as-you-go phone service that keeps me tethered to wifi and cutting calls short or sending them to voicemail but keeps that bill under $25 a month instead of the $80 - $100 the market would like to collect from me.

A 2nd floor walk-up, 1 bedroom with no laundry, which doesn't even include trash, water, or electricity, is going for $1,100 a month in complexes near me.  To break $1k you have to get a 200 square foot studio, 7th-floor walk-up in gang territory downtown, full of junkies, bed bugs, mold and rats.

I eat mostly rice & beans, chicken when I can afford it, and drink water or bulk-brewed iced tea I make myself for about 50 cents a gallon.  Since the pandemic price spikes, I cannot stock my pantry for under $75 a week, just for me alone, even on this modest diet.  I'm up to giving up things like eggs, any bread other than el-cheapo Wal-Mart white bread, etc.  Sandwiches are about to go the way of the dodo because even bologna is too expensive.

I'm fortunate enough to fully own my home and a low-mileage, reliable (if old) car.  And I still cannot break $1,200 - $1,500 a month in expenses, while staying at home and reading books I already own or surfing the internet (i.e., $0 hobbies).

It's not bullshiat.  Especially if you have kids.
 
2021-09-28 10:45:49 AM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: big pig peaches: We're also the only country where hundreds of thousands of people can just walk across the border.

Serious question: Are you a Fox News watcher?

Because there's no part of that sentence that's even remotely true but I know they've been pushing that narrative pretty hard.


There aren't millions of illegal immigrants in the US.

Man, I was wrong about Biden.
 
2021-09-28 10:46:29 AM  

big pig peaches: Nick Nostril: BlazeTrailer: Nick Nostril: Unfortunately, for many/most 'muricans, The United States of America is the name of a planet, not a single country amongst many on a planet. Their view of the world ends at the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Or they get the sense that this douche is representative of the rest of the world and DECIDE that the Atlantic and Pacific are boundaries to maintain some sanity.

Indeed. The US is the only developed country without some sort of single payer healthcare system. We must be the ones doing it right.

We're also the only country where hundreds of thousands of people can just walk across the border.

We simply cannot have social programs while the borders are basically open. It is unsustainable.


we can't have a lot of nice things.  because we don't have the finacial rescources.  because they are hoarded by the billionaires without ever crossing the hands or eyes of the average American.  hoarding during a crisis like this pandemic, ought to be making us a lot angrier than it seems to.

Persnickety: WhackingDay: I also think that a lot of this stems from our origins as fundamentalists that believe struggle and suffering builds character or makes you closer to god or some garbage. You still see this in a lot of people who repeat a mantra of "work hard" all the time. Europeans have long understood that life is more than work, but Americans cannot come to grips with that, at least as a society.

"Arbeit Macht Frei" is quite obviously far from being an American-only sentiment.  The most memorable and pitiful character in Englishman George Orwell's Animal Farm is Boxer the horse whose mantra and life philosophy was "I will work harder."  And then there's The Protestant Work Ethic espoused by Europeans like Martin Luther and Calvinists.  As with many things, America didn't invent this (although we think we did), we just scaled it up due to our nation's unusually large size and media domination.


i reread Animal Farm every several years; Boxer makes me cry every time.
 
2021-09-28 10:48:16 AM  
I moved to Europe (The Netherlands) in 2016 from the DFW area, everything I am going to put here is based on that location. Here is what I can tell you:

-Groceries are 25-30% cheaper here. That includes beer and wine, basically anything you buy at the supermarket.

-Cars and gas are crazy expensive here, maybe the most expensive in Europe. If you can get by just using the amazing public transportation and/or bike lanes you can save tons of money. I lived here for 5 years without a car. Almost any job will reimburse you for your public transportation costs here as well.

-Insurance is cheap. My homeowner's insurance on a €400k house is like €40 a month. I have a €1,000,000 liability policy that literally covers almost any way I can fark up for €4 a month.

-Health insurance is absurdly cheap. Around €125 a month, €385 annual deductible. Covers everything, it's great. No medical bankruptcies here at all.

-Crime is low, gun violence is almost non-existent among non-criminals. The murder count in Amsterdam, a city of +850k people is less than my home town of Lafayette, LA which has around 120k people. Violent crime is rare.

-Income taxes are a little higher but you get a lot for them. The quality of life within 5 miles of my house is like what millionaires have in the US.

-The police don't kill nearly as many people here. Traffic stops aren't used as revenue generators for cities and towns. Getting arrested and put in jail for drug possession means you were really carrying a lot of drugs and not just a few pills or a little coke.

-Aside from mortgages and some cars, there is little debt here. Credit cards are almost entirely the pay off every month kind with low limits, mine is €2500. Speaking of mortgages, the rates are super low, mine is 2%.

-There are grocery stores, drug stores, etc. in every neighborhood. You never have to drive to a store if you live in a city or town. Because of the lack of big box stores there are also cool businesses like butcher shops, specialty delis, and other small businesses that were all eaten by Walmart in the US.

Life is not perfect here but it's very pleasant, far more enjoyable than anywhere I lived in the US at any time.
 
2021-09-28 10:49:39 AM  

big pig peaches: MusicMakeMyHeadPound: big pig peaches: We're also the only country where hundreds of thousands of people can just walk across the border.

Serious question: Are you a Fox News watcher?

Because there's no part of that sentence that's even remotely true but I know they've been pushing that narrative pretty hard.

There aren't millions of illegal immigrants in the US.

Man, I was wrong about Biden.



so maybe we should allow the millions of them who have been here since childhood have a path to citizenship since we've already invested in them, they've integrated, and are our neighbors and coworkers?
 
2021-09-28 10:50:23 AM  
And I forgot to mention, 20 days statutory paid vacation with most jobs giving more than that. People here regularly take 2-3 weeks off in a row. I wouldn't have dared to take that long off at any job I had in the US.
 
2021-09-28 10:50:38 AM  
I dislike the love it or leave it talking points about the U.S.

Americans are ignorant and selfish. This is true. The article is a bit meandering, but the general thesis is correct: We are too hoodwinked to acknowledge how over the barrel we really are. We've bought in and have dug our heels in to defend the indefensible. It's ingrained into us at a young age.
 
2021-09-28 10:51:58 AM  

Evildog: I moved to Europe (The Netherlands) in 2016 from the DFW area, everything I am going to put here is based on that location. Here is what I can tell you:

-Groceries are 25-30% cheaper here. That includes beer and wine, basically anything you buy at the supermarket.

-Cars and gas are crazy expensive here, maybe the most expensive in Europe. If you can get by just using the amazing public transportation and/or bike lanes you can save tons of money. I lived here for 5 years without a car. Almost any job will reimburse you for your public transportation costs here as well.

-Insurance is cheap. My homeowner's insurance on a €400k house is like €40 a month. I have a €1,000,000 liability policy that literally covers almost any way I can fark up for €4 a month.

-Health insurance is absurdly cheap. Around €125 a month, €385 annual deductible. Covers everything, it's great. No medical bankruptcies here at all.

-Crime is low, gun violence is almost non-existent among non-criminals. The murder count in Amsterdam, a city of +850k people is less than my home town of Lafayette, LA which has around 120k people. Violent crime is rare.

-Income taxes are a little higher but you get a lot for them. The quality of life within 5 miles of my house is like what millionaires have in the US.

-The police don't kill nearly as many people here. Traffic stops aren't used as revenue generators for cities and towns. Getting arrested and put in jail for drug possession means you were really carrying a lot of drugs and not just a few pills or a little coke.

-Aside from mortgages and some cars, there is little debt here. Credit cards are almost entirely the pay off every month kind with low limits, mine is €2500. Speaking of mortgages, the rates are super low, mine is 2%.

-There are grocery stores, drug stores, etc. in every neighborhood. You never have to drive to a store if you live in a city or town. Because of the lack of big box stores there are also cool businesses like butcher shops, s ...


careful, the wageslaves will say you're humblebragging.

really the only issue with the NL is the orthography. there's far too many AAs and EEs and GRAACHTs for anyon'es good.
 
2021-09-28 10:54:02 AM  

DerAppie: Rapmaster2000: The average American income is about $35K per year. That's about $2400 a month, if you're lucky, after taxes. What bills are we up to? $1200 for a crappy apartment. A few hundreds, let's call it two or three, for connectivity. And another $500 or so for basic utilities. That leaves you with about $400 for the month, or just $100 dollars a week.
That's American life. That's why Americans feel so poor. Because they are. American life is a gigantic rip-offf.
The average American - after subtracting basic bills of shelter and utilities - has just $100 to spend on food, clothing, kids, medicine, all the other necessities.

OK, but Americans don't pay household expenses with an "average income".  They pay it with the median household income, which is $63,688.

While your point stands, you should compare the averages to averages, not averages to medians. Which will change all the numbers in the equation.


I don't think the author was clear on whether or not he was using averages or medians.  I think the author does not know that you should always use median when discussing income, wealth, and expenses because there are dramatic outliers in all three areas.  It sounded to me like a flawed analysis by a person who does not normally do this kind of thing.

You see this a lot in net worth discussions.  "The average net worth of a Boomer is $1.2M so those Boomers are rich", but the median is only $266,000 inclusive of home value.  That's telling you that more than half of Boomers are not remotely rich.  They can't even spend that home value.  It's not liquid.

Or this thing he threw in:   that the average American now dies underwater to the tune of about $60,000. They've spent a lifetime paying off debts that they can never fully make good on

You follow his link and you find this:  Those consumers carried an average total balance of $61,554, including mortgage debt. Excluding home loans, the average balance was $12,875.

Medians are hard to come by in this area, but the fact that millions of people die with mortgage debt should not be a surprise.  Houses are expensive and they take a long time to pay off.  If I die, I will be $244,000 in debt - my mortgage.  That's not actually a problem though because the net value of the home more than covers the debt.  In addition, I have over a million in life insurance so the home is paid off.  He's complaining about debt like it's a problem that can't be mitigated.  I chose to have this debt and I can manage its risks.
 
2021-09-28 10:55:24 AM  

big pig peaches: There aren't millions of illegal immigrants in the US.

Man, I was wrong about Biden.


Well, that was expected. You don't have to tell us every little detail about your vapid life.

When you're right about something then let us know.
 
2021-09-28 10:56:59 AM  

Joe Satin: Persnickety: cretinbob: Nah
people overpay for a ton of shiat because they think bigger is better when they didn't even need the thing in the first place.
They have nothing inside their heads so they look to material goods for satisfaction.

//man that would have been an embarrassing typo

A lot of people would rather look well off than be well off.  This description fits the Trumps perfectly.  They give all the outwards appearances of being super rich but they've fought tooth and nail to keep the details of their financial lives hidden.  The public facts we do know, four bankruptcies and admissions of Russian financing, suggest a desperate situation indeed.  Is it any wonder so many people want to prop them up as icons?  If they can survive, maybe I have a chance.

One anecdote wrt this: I know a family who all voted for Trump.  They live in a shiatty apartment but the wife gets $50 manicures every other week while the husband keeps buying sports cars that are completely impractical for their family needs (two kids).  They always always always have new clothes every time I see them.  They have crap service industry jobs and have pulled every trick in the book to dodge creditors who keep on hounding them.  They've moved three times in the last five years.  Oh, and did I also mention that they are black?  Trump is their idol and if you ask me, it's because they see themselves in him.

So they suddenly started living this way when Trump got elected?

That pretty damn bad.


No, they were always like this.  And like Trump, none of their problems are ever their own fault.  They are always looking for a scapegoat while they waste money on trivialities.
 
2021-09-28 10:59:03 AM  

princhester: As others have pointed out, even while the conclusion of that article may have some validity, the facts and reasoning are crap.

So Wall St makes huge amounts out of extending credit that people can't repay?   How does that work exactly?


Easy.  You make it so that they repay the debt multiple times over without ever being able to pay off the principal.

This technique has been known for thousands of years.  In the old days, it would end with the indebted person becoming a slave of the creditor.
 
2021-09-28 10:59:29 AM  

NotCodger: "Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things caneasily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Where the fark is he living?


Middle Tennessee and east Tennessee can see prices like that, for sure...  We live outside of Nashville, and I've also lived just outside of Knoxville.  Our first six months, we had an electric bill around $350 per month.

We installed high-efficiency AC/Heat pump units (1 upstairs and 1 downstairs) six months after we moved in to our current house, and dropped our monthly electric bill from $350 to $275.

Then we installed a 7.1kw solar system on the roof and dropped the electrical bill from $300 to an average of $100 or so (about $75 in the fall, winter, and spring, and $130 in the hottest part of the summer).

Water can run us $100/month for normal usage for a family of 3 -- though our city has high water costs, so we're not a good example on that one.

Gas for the car (the house is entirely electric) can run upwards of $400/month.

That's $850 before we mitigated a significant chunk of the cost with solar panels and high-efficiency air conditioning.

...and we compromised when we bought our most recent vehicle, too.  I drive back and forth to east Tennessee once per week, and five or six times per year I tow 1500-2000 lbs of stuff -- instead of the F150 I wanted, we got a Subaru Impreza and put a tow-hitch on it.  It will tow everything I can put behind it, and it gets 22mpg in the city, and upwards of 35mpg on the highway (about 28 while towing).
 
2021-09-28 10:59:39 AM  

big pig peaches: Nick Nostril: BlazeTrailer: Nick Nostril: Unfortunately, for many/most 'muricans, The United States of America is the name of a planet, not a single country amongst many on a planet. Their view of the world ends at the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Or they get the sense that this douche is representative of the rest of the world and DECIDE that the Atlantic and Pacific are boundaries to maintain some sanity.

Indeed. The US is the only developed country without some sort of single payer healthcare system. We must be the ones doing it right.

We're also the only country where hundreds of thousands of people can just walk across the border.

We simply cannot have social programs while the borders are basically open. It is unsustainable.


Where do you think all the "refugees" in Europe come from? They didn't buy airline tickets. They just show up as well.
 
2021-09-28 11:04:48 AM  
Here's the thing I noticed on trips to the US in the past 10 years - I used to think prices were better in the US than Canada for basic things. Turns out, they're not. They're more so in some cases. The only thing that turned out to be less expensive was alcohol.

I suspect there's a reason for that.  Something, something, keep the workers sedated, something.
 
2021-09-28 11:10:22 AM  

Father_Jack: Subtonic: Father_Jack: Subtonic: And the cherry on top. Just move, stupid!

i did.That's why i'm saying you should too.

Next you'll ask why I don't just buy more money.

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN

and sorry for coming across like a humblebragging douche. its a hard line to walk online.

on the one hand, if i provide a lot of numbers and details, it sounds like i'm tooting my horn. but if i dont provide deets, it sounds like just talking points and not "real".

anyway hard balance to strike.

/sorry
//you should still move tho, america sucks


All my stuff is here and I don't have an aptitude for foreign languages. I could go be a GIS nerd in UK or some other commonwealth country, but that seems a lateral move at best. I have it comfortable here and I'm happy enough.  My bills are cheaper than anything quoted in the article (expect cable/internet/streaming but I can afford it), I like my job, I walk to work, I have insurance (gastrointestinal surgery and a three day hospital stay cost me 500 bucks), a sensible car that's paid off, no more student debt, and some decent savings as well as a pension and more time off than I would really use. I don't see what euope has to offer.

And they probably don't have Taco Bell.
 
2021-09-28 11:12:01 AM  
I've been very seriously considering moving out of the US. I have way too many family ties and my parents' health is failing, which makes it impractical to just leave the country. But this country really does f*ck you, and this article, while perhaps not completely spot on, nails enough of the general problem to make a case for not living here.

Not every place in the world is perfect, but the US has too many long-term problems. Things will not get better here in the foreseeable future.

I will probably tell my kids not to live here. For real. They're European citizens by birth - there's no reason for them to stay here past college.
 
2021-09-28 11:13:43 AM  

princhester: So Wall St makes huge amounts out of extending credit that people can't repay?   How does that work exactly?


Simple.
Say I loan you $100 and you need to pay me back 12 a month for a year. You lose your job/have some extra expenses or whatever and miss two payments. Now you owe me another $50 in fines and "administration cost". But since you can't afford to pay me more than that $12 a month, I'll graciously allow you to keep paying that amount. I'll just extend the term of the loan.

Now instead of repaying me $120, you'll be repaying me $300 because of the extra $50 I charged you, and the extra interest payments.

It becomes even more fun with creditcards where the minimum payment only covers interest. I can keep getting money from that principal I lend you for decades, and at up to 29% a year at that!
 
2021-09-28 11:18:27 AM  
The big ripoff in America is healthcare. People don't realize it because the cost is hidden, If your median income is $5K a month between what you pay and your employer pays its a minimum of $500/month and for a family of just three likely $1K. Add in deductible and most are paying 15-20% of their income towards health care.


When you take the per capita spend in the US and compare it to, say France, the extra amount we pay adds up to about what we pay in  individual income tax
 
2021-09-28 11:19:50 AM  
EVERYTHING IS BETTER IN EUROPE! THE STREETS ARE PAVED WITH GOLD!

/it sucks there too, don't kid yourself.
//look at the protests
///you can get better cured meats and wine for less that's about it
 
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