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Old 06-06-2012, 01:04 PM   #81 (permalink)
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It's always good to hear from the Heritage Foundation. In 2010 the median household income in the US was $49,445. That's per household, not per capita or per job. So for half of the households (well over half of the people) in the country, socking away $17k every year isn't realistic.

Yes, there are many jobs that pay more than that, but simply instructing someone to get one of them is pretty... elitist. Sidetracking things by pointing out that people are capable of economic success is not very constructive.

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Old 06-06-2012, 09:58 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fat Charlie View Post
It's always good to hear from the Heritage Foundation. In 2010 the median household income in the US was $49,445. That's per household, not per capita or per job. So for half of the households (well over half of the people) in the country, socking away $17k every year isn't realistic.

Yes, there are many jobs that pay more than that, but simply instructing someone to get one of them is pretty... elitist. Sidetracking things by pointing out that people are capable of economic success is not very constructive.
Is that a joke?
Living on $32k a year isn't realistic? How do the millions of people who actually make less than 32k manage to survive? 32k is more than I've ever made in a year. Making more doesn't mean you HAVE to spend more.
You (and everyone who makes 50k or more yet can't save a mere 17 a year) really need to read the rest of the blog from the first post:
MrMoneyMustache.com

Don't get me wrong, I don't fully agree with Sundog that all poverty is a choice (not everyone starts out with the same educational opportunities, for one - the immigrants who "make it" are the ones who INS decided to let in. They don't choose arbitrarily). If one goes to a crappy public school, is always behind due to not having had kindergarten and semi-illiterate parents, fails out of High-school, and therefor ends up at a minimum wage job, that's not just poor choices on the individuals part.
But households making 50k a year are middle class, easy, and they have NO excuse for not saving half their income.
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A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?

Last edited by JacobAziza; 06-06-2012 at 10:06 PM..
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:07 AM   #83 (permalink)
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Your situatuion in life is a compendium of the decisions you make ( BTW -
I lived in a trailer park for years).

...

As an example - observe the behavior, and sucess, of many of our minority immigrants. Everyone has the same opportunity - just not the same result.
Sorry for the generalization, not everyone that lives in a ghetto or trailer park is in a bad situation. But I used it to quickly sum up the point of the conditions of someone's upbringing.

Everyone does NOT have the same opportunity. That makes the assumption that all schools are equal, parental support is similar across the board, and all job applicants have an equal chance, etc.

I'll just give you an example: Suppose someone with a horrible upbringing that went to terrible schools and does not happen to look like all the other workers in a company succeeds tremendously... because they simply applied themselves to improving themselves and education and morality. Yet their closest family members keep coming close to losing their homes through no fault of their own, creating a situation where it would disperse the family. The person chooses to help out because having a family together is more important than just being ok by themselves. Do they really have the same opportunity?... because otherwise they would be going against their morals to max the 401k and let their family rot.

And the point is not that people making good money should be able to put that kind of money away. But telling people to just go out and make that money is not really a legitimate thing to say.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:40 AM   #84 (permalink)
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The worst childhood situations can make for the best people. Ben Hogan watched his father blow his brains out at age 9. The hard childhood made him an especially driven person who had to fight for everything he earned. Early in life he boxed for money. Later in life he was one of the best golfers who ever lived. After a head on collision with a Greyhound bus, the doctors told him he would never walk again. In that same years time he managed to walk the many miles it took to play in the US Open and he came in second place, on legs he was told would never support him.

Some people who are born into priveledge waste their opportunities. Some born in the worst situations go one to become wealthy and famous, it that is your measure of success. I was lucky to have and still have parents who always loved and supported me. For some in the same situation that is the kiss of death.

I sold my Maxima to a gent who commuted 55 miles each way to his job. The job was a government contractor, a job that can disappear quickly. He was drving a new Tundra and got about 16 MPG. He had 90k miles on the Tundra in 3 years. He told me the Maxima would pay for itself in a year and save him tons of depreciation and wear and tear on the Toyota. His house in the country was paid for and he had no desire to move to the metropolitan area. At 28-30 MPG the Maxima cut his fuel bill in half and saved him about $3500 a year in fuel costs.

I totally agree that those who do not enjoy a stable childhood with a close family group, do have an advantage, but they also seem to, in many cases, be those who throw their lives away at a very young age.

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Mech
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:06 AM   #85 (permalink)
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The worst childhood situations can make for the best people. Ben Hogan watched his father blow his brains out at age 9.
That's not very inspiring. It's got a suicide, a mother and two older kids who don't even get even a mention and one guy who played golf really well. It's a success story that ignores or kills off 80% of the family.

The only advice you can take from it is to make sure you play golf freakishly well, and the world is full of incredibly talented and driven people who sink huge amounts of time and effort into singing, basketball, acting, swimming or whatever they do- and don't have the exact right circumstances to make a career out of it.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:45 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Hand Grenade!

I have a 60+ hr/wk job that I love, two dogs, a beautiful wife, and live on an awesome beach... so I don't have alot of spare time.

But I can see how this blog stuff could get you hooked if you did (have ALOT of spare time).

Y'all have fun... glad I could help spark it up!
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:42 PM   #87 (permalink)
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This is a rather interesting discussion - I like reading both sides. I'm a rabid reader of MMM, and while I don't know I fully expect the returns on investment promised, I absolutely think he's hit the nail on the head when he says most people are living incredibly wastefully. If you doubt it, look around just about any neighborhood, and see the ridiculous excess.
I have a great example from my own life. I've recently started cutting back on wasteful spending, and trying to be aware of things that cost far more than they're worth "to me." I work for a tech company (website), and the number of people making less than $35k that have BMWs and Mercedes is almost as ridiculous as the way that they're upgrading their smartphones and laptops every 6 months with the newest thing. Because apparently angry birds plays much better between tweets on a phone that costs you another $200 without offering significant performance increases.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:14 PM   #88 (permalink)
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My issue is if I move closer, I would live in the "hood". Yea, 45 minutes one way sucks, but I actually like driving, and I tend to drive slower, so the frustrated ones are the ones behind me. I turn up the radio, ignore the cellphone and drive nice and slow. Trying to get better mileage reduces my stress. Some times I switch back to my old habits, aggressive fast driving, and I can feel my stress go up. It does help that I don't HAVE to get home at a certain time, and I leave early enough that I don't have to drive fast to be to work on time.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:25 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Slurp, well said. I'm going to be doing a 45 minute 27 mile commute one-way to work pretty soon myself. It's about 60city 40 highway and when I start doing that commute, I dont want to be in a rush and just relax my body, concentrate on driving, and get that feel good feeling you get when you perfectly time a light such that you dont have to press the brake pedal.

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