HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Do Americans Know What a ...

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:44 AM

Do Americans Know What a Massive Ripoff American Life Really Is?

Sorry if this was posted before. Should be required reading, imo.

https://eand.co/do-americans-know-what-a-massive-ripoff-american-life-really-is-8804aa6b65fa

I’ve recently moved to the States — shudder — for a year or two. And I’m shocked at how expensive just life is. For no good reason at all.

When I put my economist hat on, a fact becomes clear to me. American life is a gigantic rip-off, one of the world’s biggest, and that’s why America is now effectively a country of poor people, and that makes it a nation of angry, cruel, and selfish ones, too.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start over. American life is the biggest ripoff in the world. Or at least one of the biggest, in the top five, certainly. Just…existing. It costs way, way more than it should. So much so that America cannot ever move forward as a society. So, trapped in a cycle, which economists call a “poverty trap,” Americans now stay poor.

Americans don’t quite get this, though. Why would they? They’ve never lived anywhere else. So let me give you a few examples which, especially if you’re American, might be illuminating. We’ll begin with basic bills, and then zoom out from there.

220 replies, 14533 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 220 replies Author Time Post
Reply Do Americans Know What a Massive Ripoff American Life Really Is? (Original post)
FSogol Sep 30 OP
snowybirdie Sep 30 #1
FSogol Sep 30 #2
BannonsLiver Sep 30 #6
FSogol Sep 30 #7
Missn-Hitch Sep 30 #64
heckles65 Sep 30 #66
localroger Sep 30 #79
Totally Tunsie Sep 30 #92
StClone Sep 30 #115
Grins Sep 30 #143
alittlelark Sep 30 #155
NullTuples Sep 30 #161
Aristus Sep 30 #10
KPN Sep 30 #48
vishnura Sep 30 #52
malaise Sep 30 #59
soldierant Sep 30 #131
róisín_dubh Sep 30 #28
cinematicdiversions Sep 30 #58
róisín_dubh Sep 30 #137
Bernardo de La Paz Sep 30 #32
KPN Sep 30 #54
Celerity Sep 30 #60
Prof. Toru Tanaka Sep 30 #134
DSandra Sep 30 #73
Ferrets are Cool Sep 30 #76
NQAS Sep 30 #77
Joinfortmill Sep 30 #91
tenderfoot Sep 30 #80
chia Sep 30 #3
Mysterian Sep 30 #4
PatSeg Sep 30 #11
appalachiablue Sep 30 #41
CrispyQ Sep 30 #67
PatSeg Sep 30 #99
leighbythesea2 Sep 30 #129
Evolve Dammit Sep 30 #163
uponit7771 Sep 30 #169
Auggie Sep 30 #173
thucythucy Oct 1 #199
PatSeg Oct 1 #202
Lemon Lyman Oct 2 #217
thucythucy Oct 3 #220
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 30 #5
FSogol Sep 30 #9
maxsolomon Sep 30 #18
Shanti Shanti Shanti Sep 30 #21
BannonsLiver Sep 30 #23
Shanti Shanti Shanti Sep 30 #26
BannonsLiver Sep 30 #27
Johnny2X2X Sep 30 #31
Shanti Shanti Shanti Sep 30 #75
Shanti Shanti Shanti Sep 30 #85
tenderfoot Sep 30 #106
Shanti Shanti Shanti Sep 30 #110
tenderfoot Sep 30 #127
Shanti Shanti Shanti Sep 30 #128
ShazzieB Sep 30 #150
RobinA Sep 30 #39
Treefrog Sep 30 #90
TiberiusB Sep 30 #43
Bernardo de La Paz Sep 30 #33
Shanti Shanti Shanti Sep 30 #102
grantcart Sep 30 #50
chia Sep 30 #87
grantcart Sep 30 #142
grantcart Sep 30 #144
chia Sep 30 #175
Equomba Sep 30 #105
wellst0nev0ter Sep 30 #181
Equomba Oct 1 #205
wellst0nev0ter Oct 1 #207
Equomba Oct 1 #210
Celerity Sep 30 #57
Old Crank Sep 30 #74
Old Crank Sep 30 #78
tenderfoot Sep 30 #100
ShazzieB Sep 30 #152
tenderfoot Sep 30 #154
ShazzieB Sep 30 #160
Evolve Dammit Sep 30 #164
wellst0nev0ter Sep 30 #165
Equomba Sep 30 #171
KPN Sep 30 #56
Shanti Shanti Shanti Sep 30 #114
Old Crank Sep 30 #84
Joinfortmill Sep 30 #95
smirkymonkey Sep 30 #124
JanMichael Sep 30 #8
Biophilic Sep 30 #12
Hoyt Sep 30 #13
Johnny2X2X Sep 30 #17
Hoyt Sep 30 #20
RobinA Sep 30 #40
twodogsbarking Sep 30 #22
uponit7771 Oct 1 #191
Bernardo de La Paz Sep 30 #35
uponit7771 Oct 1 #189
Johnny2X2X Sep 30 #14
tiredtoo Sep 30 #36
Chin music Sep 30 #38
Johnny2X2X Sep 30 #45
Joinfortmill Sep 30 #96
RobinA Sep 30 #46
tiredtoo Sep 30 #69
Karma13612 Sep 30 #176
tiredtoo Oct 1 #201
Effete Snob Sep 30 #70
Johnny2X2X Sep 30 #71
3Hotdogs Sep 30 #15
Irish_Dem Sep 30 #16
JudyM Sep 30 #166
Irish_Dem Oct 1 #188
betsuni Oct 1 #194
JudyM Oct 1 #203
dlk Sep 30 #19
Casady1 Sep 30 #24
Joinfortmill Sep 30 #97
not fooled Sep 30 #167
Mad_Machine76 Sep 30 #25
Calculating Sep 30 #53
Moostache Sep 30 #98
haele Sep 30 #120
msongs Sep 30 #138
ProfessorGAC Sep 30 #147
LakeArenal Sep 30 #29
iwillalwayswonderwhy Sep 30 #30
former9thward Sep 30 #107
Skittles Sep 30 #172
former9thward Sep 30 #177
Skittles Sep 30 #179
burrowowl Sep 30 #180
former9thward Sep 30 #182
burrowowl Oct 2 #215
former9thward Oct 2 #216
Steelrolled Sep 30 #34
RobinA Sep 30 #47
grantcart Sep 30 #51
uponit7771 Sep 30 #170
Dukkha Sep 30 #145
uponit7771 Oct 1 #192
Marthe48 Sep 30 #37
cate94 Sep 30 #42
bluewater Sep 30 #44
Loki Liesmith Sep 30 #49
Roc2020 Sep 30 #55
LittleGirl Sep 30 #61
IronLionZion Sep 30 #62
OldBaldy1701E Oct 1 #187
bucolic_frolic Sep 30 #63
Jon King Sep 30 #65
Martin Eden Sep 30 #68
Old Crank Sep 30 #82
Martin Eden Sep 30 #111
Thew Sep 30 #86
BobTheSubgenius Sep 30 #72
Duppers Sep 30 #133
Grasswire2 Sep 30 #146
BobTheSubgenius Oct 1 #213
BobTheSubgenius Oct 1 #212
RVN VET71 Sep 30 #81
OMGWTF Sep 30 #83
Joinfortmill Sep 30 #88
Loge23 Sep 30 #89
RobinA Sep 30 #101
chia Sep 30 #113
Thtwudbeme Sep 30 #117
radicalleft Sep 30 #122
Thtwudbeme Sep 30 #126
radicalleft Sep 30 #130
traitorsgalore Sep 30 #151
budkin Sep 30 #93
WhiskeyGrinder Sep 30 #94
erronis Sep 30 #103
Shanti Shanti Shanti Sep 30 #112
BlueJac Sep 30 #104
Ford_Prefect Sep 30 #108
FSogol Sep 30 #109
Ford_Prefect Sep 30 #135
Sympthsical Sep 30 #116
Thtwudbeme Sep 30 #119
Sympthsical Sep 30 #132
Thtwudbeme Sep 30 #156
beaglelover Sep 30 #118
spanone Sep 30 #121
Act_of_Reparation Sep 30 #123
leighbythesea2 Sep 30 #125
CaptainTruth Sep 30 #136
betsuni Sep 30 #149
Equomba Sep 30 #162
ChubbyStar Oct 1 #204
Equomba Oct 2 #218
chia Sep 30 #178
Sympthsical Oct 1 #183
Equomba Sep 30 #139
msongs Sep 30 #140
Dukkha Sep 30 #141
Auggie Sep 30 #168
onecaliberal Sep 30 #148
LiberatedUSA Sep 30 #153
betsuni Sep 30 #157
Crunchy Frog Sep 30 #158
Progressive dog Sep 30 #159
Johnny2X2X Oct 1 #197
Progressive dog Oct 1 #208
marble falls Sep 30 #174
DFW Oct 1 #184
betsuni Oct 1 #186
obnoxiousdrunk Oct 1 #209
Kaleva Oct 1 #185
moondust Oct 1 #190
Takket Oct 1 #193
DAngelo136 Oct 1 #195
DAngelo136 Oct 1 #196
lambchopp59 Oct 1 #198
FSogol Oct 1 #200
kskiska Oct 1 #206
Marthe48 Oct 1 #211
BeckyDem Oct 1 #214
Mr. Scorpio Oct 2 #219

Response to FSogol (Original post)


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:47 AM

2. You obviously didn't read it.



It is an article on why the system is ripping off Americans and why everyone is getting poorer. Since you post on a Democratic group, you agree with the article's premise. Why the knee jerk reaction?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:54 AM

6. Here you go.

Just play this on a loop and keep pretending.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:55 AM

7. LOL. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:49 AM

64. LOL!

Torture.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:52 AM

66. Holy mother of God

how I hate that song.

And I LIKE some patriotic songs, from "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" to "Coming to America. But I HATE that one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to heckles65 (Reply #66)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:37 PM

79. That's because it's not really a patriotic song

It was created to pander to MAGAts before MAGAts became a thing. Every line is dripping with superiority complex and an implied contrast to those other inferior places and the other inferior people who aren't "proud to be an American," maybe because they are a bit miffed off at some of the other things the song doesn't mention about America, like the economics outlined in the OP, all the kids getting shot by police, and so forth.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to localroger (Reply #79)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:55 PM

92. +1 and thank you!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:07 PM

115. He has an Oliver! A Real American man has a Minneapolis-Moline

F'n loser. Get out of here Lee if that IS your real name comrade.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 04:48 PM

143. Why so many people of color in that clip?

Oh wait….

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 05:49 PM

155. I tear up whenever I hear that song

I was programmed to.............................................


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 06:55 PM

161. I feel like a cat that just coughed up a hairball after listening to that and shutting it off again.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

10. And this is why the problem remains.

The paralyzingly stupid 'love-it-or-leave-it' mentality. How about we love it and do something to fix it? Or is that more difficult than shooting the messenger?..



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Aristus (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:13 AM

48. +1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Aristus (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:18 AM

52. Wow! Love your response. It is the solution to what ails us!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Aristus (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:36 AM

59. THIS

and of course the arrogance that there is no where better on the planet

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Aristus (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:28 PM

131. It has to be more difficult than shooting the messenger.

For centuries, rulers did just that - shot (or otherwise killed) the messenger. Somehow the human race managed to survive - but surely not as well or in as good condition as it would have been had killing the messinger not been SOP.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:29 AM

28. I was born in the US. Grew up here. And have lived all over the US.

Trust me when I say that I can't wait to get the hell out of here. Because I've spent the better part of the last 4 years in various Western European countries. And holy hell is my life much better and cheaper over there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to róisín_dubh (Reply #28)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:36 AM

58. Cheaper???? Dublin? Paris???? Austria??? Denmark????

Where exactly is it cheaper?

(And no I am not moving to rural Greece or Southern Italy....)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #58)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:52 PM

137. My place in England is 1 hour from London...

by train. No need for a car. My health fee in England is cheaper than the sorry excuse for health insurance I pay for (which I couldn’t afford if I didn’t have a job paying part of it). It’s a flat overlooking a river in downtown.
When I lived in Frankfurt, a nice night out was cheaper than a decent night out where I live in Morgantown WV. My rent was also cheaper for a nicer place.
$1500 in Madrid goes way further than it does here.

So…yeah.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:45 AM

32. So you don't like the message so you want to kick the messenger. Get out of bubble much?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:22 AM

54. Seriously?

No wonder the middle and working class keep losing ground the past 4-plus decades. This attitude/demeanor specifically. Geesh!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)


Response to Celerity (Reply #60)


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:24 PM

73. It's not that easy

I’ve looked into leaving this country since 2011. Other countries are scared of immigrants that are a “drain” to public services, so you have to either be rich and invest in a business, buy property, be sponsored by a local business, have a skill that’s in demand by their society (usually STEM fields), have guaranteed income (like a pension), or marry with someone in the country to gain residency. Simply leaving this country is not an option for the majority of Americans.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:35 PM

76. Forum rules dictate that I not respond to this how I would like

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:35 PM

77. Did you read it?

Or are you earning over $100,000?

If you haven’t read it, take the time to do so.

If you’re earning over $100,000, great. Many of your fellow citizens are not. And they’re suffering.

Everything in the article is true.

Broadband.

Cable bill or streaming subscriptions.

Credit card interest rates. Hell, the USG charges 18% on installment plans.

Good prices don’t go down. And most financially challenged people buy highly processed or mass produced food products, most hardly deserving to be called food.

Gas prices mostly obscene.

Health care costs astronomical and so opaque thst you never know what you’re paying for snd don’t have the knowledge or energy to argue with the insurance company or provider.

Education. Should college education be so expensive? Does it make sense to leave college or further professional schooling with 6-figure debt?

$15 per hour. That cones to $31,200 per year. The article focuses on a salary of $35,000 per year, and that’s not liveable. BTW, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. That’s $15,000 per year. Do the math

Rental costs? Most large metropolitan areas are out of the range of all but the wealthiest people. Moving out is not necessarily a solution as jobs may mot be available or you add on commuting time and costs.

And there is no respite. Many people make decisions between food and medicine. Between renting or couch surfing or moving in with parents or renting with friends.

Social safety net vs big business. Think about what it says about a country - ours - where the decisions always - repeat, always - favor the latter.

And if you think this is drivel, that’s terrifying. No empathy. No awareness of the daily realities of probably half the American population. No awareness of life in other “rich” countries. And resorting to love it or leave it is fantastically offensive.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NQAS (Reply #77)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:54 PM

91. 👍

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:38 PM

80. You're obviously pleased with the current state of the country...

so why are you on DU?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:49 AM

3. Excellent read. And sobering.

"Sadly, Americans still believe, more or less, whole-heartedly in the very systems and institutions which rip them off and laugh all the way to the bank — the average American still won’t support public systems and institutions like healthcare or media or education, and will choose the weird, idiotic system of private monopolies and billionaires over it, the very one which keeps them poor every time"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:50 AM

4. When my German friend comes over, she can't believe the price of food

The price is lower in Germany and food is better quality.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mysterian (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

11. And the cost of housing is insane

Our "toys" have gotten much cheaper, but to actually LIVE has gotten much more expensive, especially housing, food, healthcare, and the cost and maintenance of a car. I can actually remember when my rent was 1/4 or less of my take home income and utility bills were basically insignificant. Today families with two fulltime incomes often are struggling to keep their heads above water and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PatSeg (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:01 AM

41. ++

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PatSeg (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:57 AM

67. Americans are trinket rich, but equity poor.

I read that in an article a few years ago. It talked about how Americans have new houses full of new furniture, new cars & new electronics, but all of it is on credit & we have little or no equity or savings. I worked a part-time union job & afforded my own apartment when I was 20, while going to college part-time. But they killed the unions, then they shipped jobs overseas, then they turned our college kids into profit centers, & when wages stalled out, they made easy credit available to make up for it. And we fell right into the trap. It's seriously fucked up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CrispyQ (Reply #67)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:08 PM

99. Oh yes, that is perfect!

I've run across ads from around 1950 for televisions for $500 or more. The average salary at that time was $3,300 a year and minimum wage was only $.75, so a $500 appliance was a bloody fortune. Oh and most households were living off of one income. Today, TVs are cheap, but food, medicine, college tuition, and housing are barely affordable for those who consider themselves middle class. No one told them they are actually poor.

Yeah definitely, "Trinket rich, but equity poor" and it IS seriously fucked up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CrispyQ (Reply #67)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:19 PM

129. Thats a good phrase

Accurate. Sounds like a good article!. A part of consumer goods got really cheap. But it's equally worth-nothing.

Remember reading "The Millionaire Next Door" years ago and the top occupation of self-made (and generally very frugal) millionaires was Auctioneer. Why. They figured they understood all the cr-p people buy isnt worth pennies when bankruptcy and liquidation hits. Furniture is the worst (unless desirable antiques, and that shifts too).

I think about this every time I drive by a Home Goods. I know people with marginalized incomes, like 35k a year that call the place "therapy". Add too many sq ft in a house or apt, and now you have 1500-2500 sq ft of nothingness. Don't get me wrong, if you like Home Goods, sure. Just be moderate, and hopefully realize buying too much/cheap decor is like lighting money on fire. And apparel? And any new car?

I learned a lot from that book. The american dream has become a smoke and mirror prop for a large swath. And yep, as the OP article mentions, they/we defend it to our peril.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CrispyQ (Reply #67)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 08:08 PM

163. it has shifted dramatically since Reagan.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CrispyQ (Reply #67)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:37 PM

169. THIS !!!! ☝🏾☝🏾☝🏾

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CrispyQ (Reply #67)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:03 PM

173. +1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PatSeg (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 08:46 AM

199. Our "toys" are part of the problem.

Take cell phones. The "service" is, IMHO, outrageously expensive, but is now no longer the luxury it once was. It is now a necessity because:

landlines are constantly, incessantly, annoyingly spammed. Even though I'm on every no call list available, I still get ten to twenty calls a day from people either trying to sell me shit, wanting me to contribute to their cause (charities for police are a biggie) or are simply wanting to rip me off. So much so that I never answer my land line, ever, unless I know precisely who is calling and;

public pay phones are now non-existent. I don't think there's a working pay phone within ten miles of where I live. Probably more like fifteen or twenty. So what do you do if you're out in the world and have an emergency? You use your outrageously expensive cell.

Which are marketed to us as if their miraculous powers are the key to a happy life. Oh joy! I can buy shit on line where ever I am! I can take selfies or photos of the last crappy meal I ate and post it on a website that also tries to sell me shit or pushes right wing conspiracy garbage or leaves me vulnerable to identity theft or more offers of rip off. Not to mention: my boss can reach me where ever I am! O rapture!

And then there's all the "lawn maintenance" crap so many are into. My former neighbor, with a less than quarter acre plot, has a riding mower, a leaf blower, two weed whackers (one old, one new), and told me a few days ago he "needs" to buy a power washer to hose down his 1000 square foot house every year, which is the latest "keep up with the Jones's" scam sold to us by our corporate masters. And those who don't have the time to play with their own toys hire "lawn maintenance" firms to come by once a week and spew their petroleum for them.

As for the rest of it--I agree with everything you said, and yes, it's all getting worse.

If only we as a culture could get past all this "USA #1" bullshit. I've had people laugh in disbelief when I describe the way my German family lives, and everything they take for granted. The stance of so many Americans these days seems to be one of willful ignorance--as if the debunking of the delusion that we live "in the greatest country on earth" will strip them of the one remaining consolation getting them through their endless days of mind-numbing struggle.

Well, that was a rant! If you've come this far: thank you for your patience, and best wishes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to thucythucy (Reply #199)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 10:02 AM

202. Oh, that was an excellent rant

and I agree with everything you said.

It's funny, I was one of the first people to get a cell phone and I ended up selling them for a living for awhile. I loved the technology and looked forward to every new innovation. That was before the smartphones and now I hate them. I have a very simple cell phone now for emergencies, no bells and whistles, just smart enough to make phone calls and receive a text message if I forget a password. Even for that limited use, the service plan price is ridiculous. Like you, I never answer my home phone unless I know the caller and I only have one because our wireless service here is inconsistent and unreliable. Meanwhile, I have a PC and laptop, so a smartphone would just be redundant and unnecessary.

The thing I find most disturbing about smartphones is they are so addictive. I know people who won't even walk into the next room without their phone - I suppose they might miss something. Hey, I really do love technology, but in this case, I think what should have been an asset, for many people is a liability. The phones and their wide array of capabilities are actually quite impressive, but apparently so many of the people using them are not.

I love your description of your neighbor and his many toys. A lot of today's toys are quite cheap compared to years ago. In the early 1950s a nice television could cost you $500 and considering that the average family income with one working adult was $3300 a year, that was a huge expenditure. Last year I bought a 50" TV for $330, so compared to the 1950s, that is really cheap. Of course, in the fifties, I could have rented an apartment for under $100 and today it would be over $1000. A doctor's visit in the fifties would be $5 to $10 and a hospital stay was probably a lot less than that television. Today three or four days in the hospital would be tens of thousands of dollars. So basically we are toy-rich, but many people cannot actually afford the necessities of life - food, housing, utilities, and healthcare. They are often one disaster away from complete destitution, even homelessness.

Enjoyed your rant!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to thucythucy (Reply #199)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:53 PM

217. :-)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lemon Lyman (Reply #217)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 07:44 AM

220. This is one of my all time favorite clips.

Thanks for posting it here!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:52 AM

5. It must be tough being that downtrodden.

About Umair Haque



Umair Haque is one of the world's leading thinkers. A member of the Thinkers50, the authoritative ranking of the globe's top management experts, he has published two books through Harvard Business Publishing, where he also authored Harvard Business Review's top blog for several years, on subjects including economics, leadership, innovation, finance, and careers. Umair has held senior positions in finance and strategy, and holds degrees from McGill University and London Business School.

A popular media figure, he has over two hundred thousand followers on Twitter, appears on every major global news network, has been published or cited in nearly every major newspaper in the world, publishes at Medium, HBR, and Twitter, and speaks regularly to audiences public and private across the world.

Umair lives in London and New York, where he enjoys good coffee, old books, and leather jackets. He is always happy to hear from fans and followers in person or via the internet, and you can always feel free to email him or say hi if you seem him in real life.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:56 AM

9. At no point did he claim to be downtrodden. He's talking about America's working poor and

middle class that is constantly finding their buying power decreasing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:13 AM

18. Do you Ad Hominem Barbara Ehrenreich, too?

It seems a fairly uncontroversial thesis he's got here: Americans aren't aware of how a functioning Social Welfare state works.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:18 AM

21. Elitist fuckwad living ivory tower lifestyle telling how the poors how poor they are? Fuck him

I lived overseas, try getting a license plate or buy a car, takes a month of govt office trips, with interpreter to get anything done

Same for housing, pay a year years bills up front with your owner/landlord and hope the water or power dont shut off, another month before they get around to fixing it.

Americans are so spoiled because life is so EASY!!!

Holy fuck, it doesnt get any more convenient to live, so whoop dee doo, food is high, check petrol prices around the world, double or triple here, and god forbid you need your vehicle worked on...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:20 AM

23. "I lived overseas"

Way to narrow it down.

Were you listening to Lee Greenwood when you wrote the post?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #23)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:23 AM

26. I lived in Greece, Thailand, the Phillipines, not London, Paris or Berlin, so I should shut up, eh

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #26)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:25 AM

27. Good call.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #26)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:44 AM

31. So Greece is the lone European place you lived?

And your main complaint is that their DMV is slow and complicated for foreign nationals who wish to drive there?

Just looking for context. I do realize getting a car and getting it registered in a lot of Asian countries is a bear. And that US DMVs do well with the use of technology. But I think what this thread is about is the general degradation of the lifestyles of working people in the United States.

We work longer hours for less money and benefits. Doesn't mean that technology hasn't made some things easier, just that most of us see how our parents and grandparents were able to live without working as hard or long as we do and see that things are worse now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #31)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:32 PM

75. Oh I just decided to stir things up, went to Walmart and got prescipt sunglasses for $94, I'm good

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #31)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:47 PM

85. I also lived for months at a time in Colombia, Peru and Brazil, yeah, Americans are spoiled, you bet

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #85)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:28 PM

106. Do their citizens have to start go-fund-me campaigns to help pay for health care too?

eom

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tenderfoot (Reply #106)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:47 PM

110. What health care? Villiage doctors,drink water from the rivers, be lucky to have a toilet that works

Now Greek healthcare is OK, no trained EMS though, load and go if you're in a car wreck, when they get to you, bad traffic could take an hour or so.

Dentists are quite good, must have interpreter with you at all times. English not as widely practiced as many think.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #110)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:59 PM

127. So our dirt poor are living large?

Are Western Europeans spoiled brats too? Canadians? Australians? Japanese?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tenderfoot (Reply #127)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:02 PM

128. Yep, all guilty, its OK though, civilization ends when the power goes out, its only a matter of time

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #128)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 05:17 PM

150. Uh huh.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #26)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:56 AM

39. Probably

Unless you like battling groupthink. And a supposedly great thinker whose article sounds like it was written by a college kid.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RobinA (Reply #39)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:53 PM

90. Lol, this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #26)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:02 AM

43. Debt crisis Greece is your sole European example?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:46 AM

33. Fuck him because he is right? I've lived many years in USA and Canada. . . . nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #33)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:15 PM

102. He's got his whole "We're DOOMED! USA IS DOOMED, EUROPE IS DOOMED!" Schtick going for him, yeah

Whatever

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:15 AM

50. Amazing what drivel is considered great analysis here



He uses wildly inaccurate anecdotal comparisons as social commentary.

For example he may pay $ 150 / month for cable but I pay a total of $ 70 for my phone and the streaming services I use.

More hilarious was his comparison on rent which makes you wonder where he lived. Using Google it took me 2 minutes to find an apple to apple comparison of cost of purchasing a sq meter of city housing space.

The cost of purchasing a square meter of housing is a fraction of other developed countries. Putting aside countries like Israel and S Korea where our costs are 20-30% of other cities the cost of US versus all other developed European countries was at 40%.

That was for city center. Costs for US suburban housing would show an even greater disparity to US advantage.

Poorly reasoned T the quality of writing was even worse.

Lived in many of the same places you did,

Sawadii Khrap

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to grantcart (Reply #50)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:49 PM

87. You're comparing rent with purchasing? Where I live (SoCal) lower incomes can't afford to purchase

"More hilarious was his comparison on rent which makes you wonder where he lived. Using Google it took me 2 minutes to find an apple to apple comparison of cost of purchasing a sq meter of city housing space.

The cost of purchasing a square meter of housing is a fraction of other developed countries. Putting aside countries like Israel and S Korea where our costs are 20-30% of other cities the cost of US versus all other developed European countries was at 40%."

Anecdotally: When I was renting a studio apartment five years ago it was $1200.00 a month to rent. People I know currently spend over 2K a month to rent a 2 bedroom apartment, 3K a month to rent a tract home large enough for their family.

Down payment on a first house is out of the question for most first-time homebuyers here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to chia (Reply #87)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 04:39 PM

142. There is much more volatility in rental markets so it shouldnt

Be used as a metric ever.

The percent of home ownership in Europe is almost exactly the same as the US so a per metric comparison is the best apple to apple comparison of rates.

$ 1200 rent in Paris is likely to be a room with communal bathroom

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to chia (Reply #87)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 04:50 PM

144. The US also has one of the lowest entry levels for first time home buyers



A 650 credit score wil get you something around 3%

And the mortgage rate 76th in the world.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to grantcart (Reply #144)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:05 PM

175. You realize you need a sizable down payment, plus there's PMI until your equity is over 20%

A good credit score won't make your house payment. Median house prices right now in San Diego county are running around 700K. How many first-time home buyers can afford a house like that? So they rent. If they have two kids, and need two or three bedrooms, you're talking over 2-3K to rent.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to grantcart (Reply #50)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:26 PM

105. Agree with the drivel part, at least as it applies to this article.

 

And sensationalist drivel at that. One example, which sets the tone for the entire hit piece, is in the third paragraph...

"But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start over. American life is the biggest ripoff in the world. Or at least one of the biggest, in the top five."


So if we're not #1, WTF is? Are we 5th? If so, are we 1/2 the ripoff of the others? And why are WE the World's First Poor Rich Country?

"Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things can easily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."


Really? I realize this is just one study, but per this article...

https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_price_rankings?itemId=30

...the U.S. ranks #27 for monthly basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage), coming in at $167/month.

And there is so much more beyond this. Whatever good points he might have about healthcare etc. are extremely diminished due to this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Equomba (Reply #105)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:49 PM

181. Drivel indeed

In 2012, Columnist Alistair Walsh suggested in an article written for the website Property Observer, that Numbeo's information is based on what people say and should be taken with grain of salt.[9] There is no third party check or audit on the accuracy of data.

Comparison against other international city data sources conducted by Ray Woodcock in 2017 suggested that Numbeo might be inaccurate on a city level, while on a country level it is more accurate.[10]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbeo

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #181)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 03:10 PM

205. As I stated, it was the first source I happened upon,

 

which I did in the first place because of his following statement, which seemed rather extreme based on personal experience (emphasis mine)...

"Let’s take utility bills. They’re astronomical in America compared to the rest of the rich world, and even much of the rest of the world period. Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things can EASILY add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

Following is the “2019 Average Monthly Bill—Residential”, from the US Energy Information Administration, which shows that the average monthly bill is $115.49
https://www.eia.gov/electricity/sales_revenue_price/pdf/table5_a.pdf?kbid=118190

Per another link https://www.move.org/utility-bills-101/#Natural_gas the average cost of utilities per month for residences are as follows:
The average monthly electricity bill in the US is $114.44
The average monthly gas bill in the US is $63.34
The average American water bill is $70.93 per month.

This totals $248.71. A FAR cry from 'These things can EASILY add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month." And keep in mind that the poor are probably paying less than the average cost of those where they live.

So yes, drivel indeed. And it permeates his article.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #207)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 05:24 PM

210. And?

 

If you're referring to the $ per state map, these numbers also include internet and streaming services. Take these out of the equation and only 10 states (two of which are Alaska and Hawaii) are above $265 for gas/electricity/water, with the lowest at $188 and the highest at $329.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:35 AM

57. Seriously?

Americans are so spoiled because life is so EASY!!!







70% of millennials (and 54% of all Americans) are living paycheck to paycheck, more than any other generation

https://www.businessinsider.com/broke-millennials-living-paycheck-economic-crisis-savings-spending-survey-2021-6?r=US&IR=T

Millennials' wallets are rather skimpy. Seventy percent of the generation said they're living paycheck to paycheck, according to a survey by PYMNTS and LendingClub, which analyzed economic data and census-balanced surveys of over 28,000 Americans. It found that about 54% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, but millennials had the biggest broke energy.

By contrast, 40% of baby boomers and seniors said they live paycheck to paycheck, the least of any generation. Living paycheck to paycheck reflects economic needs and wants just as much, if not more than, incomes or wealth levels, according to the report. Age and family status also factor in greatly. This explains why millennials, who turn ages 25 to 40 this year, are struggling.

"Millennials — especially older ones — are collectively at important stages of their lives," the report reads. "They may be starting families or taking on their first major purchases, such as homes and new vehicles, but they may also be less advanced in their careers than their older counterparts." It doesn't help that millennials have faced one economic challenge after another since the oldest of them graduated into the dismal job market of the 2008 financial crisis. A dozen years later, many are still grappling with the lingering effects of The Great Recession, struggling to build wealth while trying to afford soaring costs for things like housing and healthcare and shouldering the lion's share of America's student-loan debt.

The pandemic threw yet another wrench into their plans by giving them their second recession and second housing crisis before the age of 40. The report acknowledges that the pandemic played a major role in that stretched thin feeling. "Living paycheck to paycheck sometimes carries connotations of barely scraping by and of poverty," it states. "The reality of a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle in the United States today is much more complex, and the current economic environment has made it even more complicated."

snip

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:28 PM

74. I live in Germany

No examples you give have I seen. My wife and I got driver's licenses without problems. We didn't have to pay up front for a years worth of bills. Repairs are done quickly.
Is it more bureaucratic? yeas. But there are protections for both sides.
When new owners of our rental flat wanted to move in we had 6 months to find a new place, by law.
When I lives in Greece many years ago We had no problems like that either.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Old Crank (Reply #74)


Response to Shanti Shanti Shanti (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:14 PM

100. Spoken like an elitist with plenty for housing, food, fuel and repairs

Oh look at you!


Tell us how lucky we are in regard to affordable health care.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tenderfoot (Reply #100)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 05:28 PM

152. "Tell us how lucky we are in regard to affordable health care."

Ding ding ding ding!

The obscene cost of health care in the U.S. alone is enough to make living here a ripoff.

Unless you absolutely never get sick or suffer an injury more serious than a skinned knee, never need to take any kind of prescription meds ever, and have 20/20 vision, perfect hearing, and flawless teeth that are impervious to decay, that is. (And even if all of that's true for you when you're 25, some or all of it WILL change if you live long enough.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ShazzieB (Reply #152)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 05:44 PM

154. There's a lot of people in this thread that make Ayn Rand look compassionate

eom

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tenderfoot (Reply #154)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 06:53 PM

160. Sad but true. 😒

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tenderfoot (Reply #154)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 08:16 PM

164. thinking the same thing

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tenderfoot (Reply #154)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:14 PM

165. This is supposed to be DU, right?

A haven for true Democrats?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tenderfoot (Reply #154)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:55 PM

171. Sounds rather harsh.

 

The article in the OP has TONS of holes in it. If you would like to argue against these please see either of my posts or I've got more if that's not enough. And I'm talking about FACTS, not emotion.

Of course, your post does not mention any specific posts and/or theme, so nothing more than an unsubstantiated passing remark at best. As far as Rand is concerned, I have to believe had you challenged her directly she would have responded.

I'm certainly not a fan, but I do have an affinity for the Richard Neutra creation, the former Von Sternberg house that she purchased in the 1940's. Unfortunately, but true to form, the house was demolished in 1972 to make way for a subdivision. What a huge waste of an incredible example of mid-century modern!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:32 AM

56. WTF? This is the sort of emotional, illogical, "patriotic" reaction that the Rs have relied on for

decades in fomenting the anger and hatred they've used to undermine governing for the good of all the people. Frankly, it's not unlike the radical right's attacks on Dr. Fauci the past 18 months or so.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KPN (Reply #56)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:07 PM

114. DOOMSAYERS, irk me , jibber jabber, thats all he writes

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:44 PM

84. Nice Screed

This needs to be said. I can quibble with some of the numbers for costs US v Europe. I live in Munich. rents there are closer to the US average. I don't know where he got the utility numbers for monthly power costs.
My US place is about $150 to PG+E for electric and gas (average for year) Of course water/sewer/garbage in another $120. Then there is the nebenkosten (our share of the apartment costs added tot he rent every month)
I do pay for my health insurance at a lower rate based on income. But there aren't any extra charges to show up for an appointment. Some small charges for some prescriptions. The medical in the US is a hot mess. Many people are hanging on to jobs in fear of being turned out before they hit 65 and Medicare age.
But it does lead to much more stress living in the US compared to Germany.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:58 PM

95. Thanks for bio. Guy knows of what he's talking about.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:53 PM

124. I follow him on Medium.

He is one of my favorite writers on that site.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:56 AM

8. I recall a thread about dogs this week.

Lots of people couldn't understand whar this article just pointed out.

We are not very aware of our situation compared to other countries

In fact a lot of times we relish in our poverty we think it's awesome.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

12. Dang, I pretty much knew all that, but it was still depressing

to see it laid out so succinctly. Sometimes I just want to cry for my country. So much promise, so much wasted. I hate capitalism. Certainly the unfettered type we have in this country. Designed to screw everyone except the 1%. Makes me very, very angry. Especially since it seems so few of us understand or even care. It's not like it's a new phenomenon. It just seems to be getting worse and worse.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:06 AM

13. Statistics show we do well in cost-of-living compared to Europe. But Afghanistan is cheap.

www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings_by_country.jsp

Admittedly, cost-of-living is hard to compare. And "happiness" is important too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hoyt (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:10 AM

17. I think that metric is incomplete

It doesn't include many of the expenses the author in the Op is talking about. Health care, utilities, student loans, etc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #17)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:18 AM

20. Utilities, loans (borrowing to pay for things), etc., are included in "cost-of-living." But it is

difficult to directly compare cost-of-living.

Healthcare is obviously a biggie, but is also included to some extent in cost-of-living.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hoyt (Reply #20)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:01 AM

40. Well, This Guy

compares dollars to dollars which is totally ridiculous. And sparkling European TV? He shows his hand right there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #17)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:20 AM

22. Yep.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #17)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 07:16 AM

191. COL index includes healthcare. New York and California are expensive the rest of the country isn't

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hoyt (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:48 AM

35. Food is cheap, but health care is hellishly expensive in US and not great unless you have gold. . nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hoyt (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 07:12 AM

189. +1, nice facts. Thx for this

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:08 AM

14. This is a must read

As someone who's gone from being in the working poor to upper middle class the last 10 years, I fully understand all of this.

Even making low 6 figures, I refinanced a home to finally get rid of the last of my credit card debt, and because it was silly to not do so with rates so low while getting rid of PMI too.

To not be poor, you need savings. Savings are what keeps you from having to charge things in an emergency, savings help a car repair just be an inconvenience rather than years of debt. Even now, I do not feel I have enough savings to truly crawl out of living hand to mouth. I want/need to have 6 months bills in savings to have some security, and even then we're all still just getting sick in the wrong way from the poor house.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:49 AM

36. "To not be poor, you need savings."

Been preaching this to my children for years. Best advice ever given. My dad always said "pay yourself first." (Savings). Don't recall the book i read this in but story talked about "The richest man in Babylon", saved 10 percent of every dime he earned etc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tiredtoo (Reply #36)


Response to tiredtoo (Reply #36)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:08 AM

45. I've read Richest Man in Babylon

And have read a ton of investment and personal finance books. The problem is that there's the proverbial hump to get over so that every setback isn't something that dooms you to debt for years.

And it's incredibly hard, no matter how much your income is rising.

Although he's an asshole about a lot, Dave Ramsey has a few good points. The first step is to get $1000 cash into a savings account. That is you emergency fund and will be enough for 95% of small things happening that can force you into debt.

Like I said, I've been there. I was in a situation where I was earning very little and had my car break down and had no hope of fixing it so I could still make it to work. I would say it was a mistake, which it was, but going to a payday loan place allowed me to get my car on the road and maintain a job. That was very important, but that $600 I borrowed was paid back with so much interest that I paid $1500 back.

And "building credit" can also be a pitfall. People get these high fees and high interest rate credit cards to build credit with and next thing you know there's an emergency and instead of using it a little and paying it off every month, you've had to spend $1200 on it and now are stuck with this revolving debt for years.

The problem is once you've entered into a cycle of credit card debt, it's just incredibly hard to avoid the next big charge emergency because you're now paying cards instead of saving.

And all of this doesn't even mention the problem, the problem is that incomes in the US have been stagnant for 40 years. People no longer earn enough to live without going into debt, it's as simple as that. People today don't lack common sense, they don't lack work ethic, they lack fair wages. It's easy to preach common sense once your income allows you to live without going into debt. The reality is that I have the same values and work ethic now as I did 15 years ago when I was one of the working poor. I was able to add some skills that raised my income to a level where I can live without going into debt and where I can now have some real savings. Sure, I'm a little older and wiser, but I also know that my 15 years younger self as a hard worker and doing the best he could at the time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #45)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:05 PM

96. Amen.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tiredtoo (Reply #36)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:09 AM

46. I Disagree

To not be poor you need income. My grandfather saved so that my grandmother would be comfortable, but you couldn't do that now.
Savings can be blown through and then there is no more. I have savings. I could put a down payment on a nice house. But I don't have the income to make payments, pay the taxes, and repair it. Plus income feeds social security and pension if you're lucky enough to still have one. Which I do because I went out and got a job that had a pension. I realized early on I could never save enough for retirement.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RobinA (Reply #46)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:05 PM

69. Well it should be obvious if you don't have income you can't save.

But you have any income you can save. even poverty level income. We all have luxuries we buy it may be a coffee or soft drink, what ever it is just skip one and save the money. First your savings should be for emergencies. Once you have enough for emergencies you continue saving for retirement, vacations or whatever. Just don't blow through your emergency fund. If you have an emergency, replace the money asap.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tiredtoo (Reply #69)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:10 PM

176. No, there is a whole

Strata of people in this country who can’t make their bills. They CANNOT save anything from month to month.

Your suggestions are absolutely correct, but as the pandemic showed, once people started getting payment checks which equaled more than their normal salary, THEN they were able to save some.

There is a tipping point between only having enuf to survive and actually having a few bucks to set aside.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Karma13612 (Reply #176)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 09:34 AM

201. Have no intention of arguing the point but

Do want to point out something here.
A facebook friend was posting how he could not afford health insurance and would go without it and pay the penalty. This came about after the "Obamacare" was first initiated. A few weeks later he was posting pictures of a new boat he had just purchased. He could afford the Insurance he just chose not to.
Anyone who cannot find a way to salt away a small amount of money each week/month will spend their lives paying excessive interest to credit card companies. They will die as they came into the world, naked.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:16 PM

70. The infrastructure requiring car ownership IS the trap


There aren't as many places in the US where it is practical not to have a car.

Automobiles are a huge financial suck.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Effete Snob (Reply #70)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:20 PM

71. That's a huge factor

I've lived in cities with public transportation, it's a game changer not having to have a car.

Working from home the last 18 months has been a game changer for my car, I barely drive it and have no maintenance or gas bills.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:08 AM

15. Europeans are pissed because they ain't got a Starbucks on every corner.... and

they resent our democracy.

I learned that from George a few years ago.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:09 AM

16. America does not believe in helping its citizens.

Doesn't want the people of this country to have the same standard of living as other industrialized nations.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:16 PM

166. Not "America." Republicons. Big difference.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JudyM (Reply #166)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 07:07 AM

188. Recent events show us it is not just the GOP.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #188)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 07:29 AM

194. What do you mean? The whole Democratic Patty is Both Sides because of a few people?

Why?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #188)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 10:21 AM

203. IKWYM but they are outliers, not representative of the Democratic party, at least IMO.

Big difference with the overwhelming majority of other Dem Congress critters, organizations and voters.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:17 AM

19. Yes, Americans have been deluded with propaganda while corporations take in enormous profits

We are the only country in the world where someone can go bankrupt if they get sick. We overpay for many of our services, such as cable and internet. A comprehensive list would be more than a little discouraging.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:22 AM

24. This all started with raygun

That piece of shit hollowed out the middle class and big business moved all the real jobs overseas.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Casady1 (Reply #24)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:07 PM

97. Yup


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Casady1 (Reply #24)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:25 PM

167. ++++++++++++++++++++

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:23 AM

25. No

And they only hear supposed "horror stories" (without citations and support of fact) about the evils of "socialism" in other first-world countries. If people REALLY knew what it was like elsewhere, it would be amazing if there is no massive revolt. But a lot of our leaders- including even a few Democrats like Manchin and Sinema- keep us ignorant and in perpetual fear of becoming "like Europe".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mad_Machine76 (Reply #25)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:19 AM

53. I don't want to be like EU

$8+ gas prices, horribly hard to license and own a vehicle, massive taxes on everything etc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Calculating (Reply #53)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:07 PM

98. Well, in the few urban centers of Europe I have been, driving is not a thing...

They bike, walk and use public transportation FAR more than Americans from the suburbs can even imagine.

Now, I did not have a chance to spend much time in rural areas of the UK, France and Belgium, but the people I met with and interacted with did not seem to believe having access to a car at every moment (to basically have it sit idle 90% of the day anyway) was such a great expenditure.

The high-speed rail I used to traverse through the area (from South of France near Lyon to Paris, from Paris to London and back to Paris, from Paris to Brussels) was convenient, prompt, clean and not really a sacrifice I would miss by not having an automobile.

Cost of ownership of a vehicle - TOTAL cost - is always understated by Americans.

Car Payment - $250 - $700 a month (and I don't know many who are on that lower end)
*now, some people, the VAST MINORITY, pay for vehicles up front and do not finance a depreciating liability (cars are NOT assets)...but that is exceedingly rare today and for purchasers of new cars ($40-65K), that is permanently out of reach.

Insurance - $75 - $200 a month (depending on a lot of factors, but mine is high without being outrageously outside norms)
Non-oil - tires, belts, wipers, brakes --> estimating here at about $1,200 a year overall, so add another $100 a month...
Oil - change oil every 5,000 miles (about 2-3 times a year at ~$100 a pop with newer cars = about $25 a month)
Gas - fluctuates but average this year is about $3 a gallon for me, using 12-15 gallons a week - $45 a week with any leisure use of the car, we're touching 2 bills a month, so another $200...

Totals - $450 / mo. loan, $125 / mo. insurance, maintenance (non-oil) $100 / mo., maintenance (oil) $25 / mo. and throw in $200 / mo. for gas. - puts me at around $900 a month or $10,800 annually to own a car...and that is a 2017 Honda Accord, not a Bentley or Benz.

$8 a gallon for gas that you don't buy or use is actually $0.00 a month for many Europeans (obviously not all).
Fearing "high taxes" is living in denial and fear and under the thumb of people who profit off of negative emotions and human misery. Americans are CONSTANTLY bombarded with images and stories to make them afraid, keep them afraid and never let them stop being afraid for one second a day. At its core - that permanent 'fight or flight' state of existence - whether monetary, political, religious or social - ensures that overall, the people of the US run NOTHING, but they are RUN BY the monied interests that control the economy, economic and tax policy and are quite satisfied with their current cut, unless they can scheme a way to get even more of the total still.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Calculating (Reply #53)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:38 PM

120. $8 a liter for gas is appx. $2.11 -sorry, this post should be trashed.

Last edited Thu Sep 30, 2021, 05:21 PM - Edit history (1)

Low end of US gas prices. Not to mention there's more diesel vehicles in Europe, which doesn't require as much processing an is cheaper than gasoline, from what I remember.

It may be that there's places in the US where gas is that cheap. They also don't typically drive that far in Europe.
On edit, I'm assuming you're looking at what a European sees at the pump, they price by the liter, not by the gallon.

Haele

On edit, mea-culpa, I'm more than a bit sick today and got my math mixed up. Sorry for the totally bat-shit comment.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to haele (Reply #120)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 04:01 PM

138. 1 gallon about 3.8 litres, at $8 each $30 nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to haele (Reply #120)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 05:00 PM

147. Not Close

There are 3.78 liters in a gallon. So, $8 per liter would be $30.25 per gallon.
I think you did the math backwards.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:34 AM

29. This is right on. Not only are you being ripped off...

US is spoiled.
If you moved to one of those supposed poor countries, you’d find how spoiled the US. Even the name “Americans” has been purloined from two continents. The US is not America as they think they are.

Just reported yesterday that folks in Costa Rica live longer. How is that possible?
No OSHA for highway workers, no big expense accounts, hourly wage about $3-$6 bucks an hour.

Luxuries like big new cars are rare. Ticos drive 20 year old cars they keep running because there are yearly inspections. Tires are so expensive, people rent good ones for the inspection. Very rarely can anyone buy a car because you pretty much pay cash for things like that.
There’s no Goodwills here, no rummage sales because everyone uses everything.

We put a broken lawn chair on the curb. Someone took it. Who knows why.
But someone will do something with it

A Third World country is an outdated and offensive term for a developing nation characterized by a population with low and middle incomes, and other socio-economic indicators.Oct 26, 2020

Well the US is well on its way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:39 AM

30. Back in April, at the age of 65

I was stricken with appendicitis. I am a U.S. citizen living in the U.K. on a spouse visa. My appendix burst.

Ambulance ride to hospital
Cat scans
Emergency surgery
Bloodwork
I.V. antibiotics
Pain medication
10 days in hospital
10 days of oral antibiotics after discharge
Follow up appointment with another cat scan and bloodwork

What I paid ~0~
Care I received - excellent

I can’t imagine what this would have cost money wise if I still lived in Florida.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to iwillalwayswonderwhy (Reply #30)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:36 PM

107. Since you are 65 you would be covered by Medicare.

So it would have cost you very little.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to former9thward (Reply #107)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:58 PM

172. that covers about 80%

20% is not "very little"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #172)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:12 PM

177. Not on a hospital visit.

So yes, very little

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to former9thward (Reply #177)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:23 PM

179. that is not all you are charged for

there would be many extra bills...it most certainly would not cost "nothing"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to former9thward (Reply #107)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:39 PM

180. Under Medicare you still have to pay for the ambulance and

if taken to the ER before being hospitalized $300 or so copay.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to burrowowl (Reply #180)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:53 PM

182. "Free" has a cost.

NHS: UK NOW HAS ONE OF THE WORST HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS IN THE DEVELOPED WORLD, ACCORDING TO OECD REPORT

The UK has one of the worst healthcare systems in the developed world according to a damning new report which said the nation has an “outstandingly poor” record of preventing ill health.

Britain was placed on a par with Chile and Poland as countries still lagging behind the best performers in survival following diagnosis for different types of cancer. The UK came 21st out of 23 countries on cervical cancer survival, 20th out of 23 countries on breast and bowel cancer survival and 19th out of 31 countries on stroke.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/nhs-uk-now-has-one-worst-healthcare-systems-developed-world-according-oecd-report-a6721401.html

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to former9thward (Reply #182)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 07:41 AM

215. The US and UK have

Really been going down hill since Raygun and Thatcher. I lived in France for over 20 years and there Heath care is much better than US and UK.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to burrowowl (Reply #215)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 09:57 AM

216. How long are we going to blame our problems on long dead people?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:47 AM

34. The problem with these articles is it is hard to trust anyone.

 

Is it fair or is it biased?

Well there are red flags throughout, starting with the first sentence, that push me towards "biased".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Steelrolled (Reply #34)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:13 AM

47. Totally Biased

and not well argued at all. Which is not to say it's all wrong, but I don't trust it a bit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RobinA (Reply #47)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:16 AM

51. Correct

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RobinA (Reply #47)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:40 PM

170. +1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Steelrolled (Reply #34)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 04:56 PM

145. A little digging on the author

Umair Haque: Director of the London-based Havas Media Lab and heads Bubblegeneration, a strategy lab that helps discover strategic innovation. Education: University of Oxford, McGill University

So yeah it's safe to assume he's quite well off, far more than the average working class American, and lives in a cosmopolitan metro city that has a very high cost of living. So he's in the same bubble as silicon techies and bloggers that see none of rural small town America and the plight of the working poor.

I agree America lifestyle is a huge rip-off, but some of his stats are a big eschewed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Steelrolled (Reply #34)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 07:20 AM

192. Europe is more expensive to live than the US (COLI Link)

https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of living/rankings_by_country.jsp

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:51 AM

37. I'm in the top 20%

Because my house and car are paid off, I have little credit card debt, and I have money in the bank. All of which most Americans don't. But by my own rating, I am not rich.

Did you notice the graph at the top of the artcle? How none of the items mentioned by Umair ballooned until the 1990's? When did having an MBA get popular? Prior to MBAs and entrepreneurs becoming the thing in business, we had family owned businesses that supplied us with our wants and needs. Now we have multinational companies who charge the same price in every market regardless of the endmarkets varitions in income. And the companies have made their products the ultimate status symbols, where if you aren't wearing those shoes, or that shirt, you don't rate. Not to mention we are FREE walking billboards for the companies we wear.

I couldn't live like that. And I don't. And I won't. Make good choices people-buy what you can afford, don't worry about what others think, and stay free.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:02 AM

42. I agree with much of the article.

I’ve been saying for some time that we are effectively paying tax to the private insurers. And our for profit healthcare system sucks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:04 AM

44. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:14 AM

49. Shorter article

“Americans don’t agree with me that their lives suck so I need to convince them.”

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:32 AM

55. Depressingly true. Dems should burn the whole system down

Americans are rich in sports entertainment and music. But neck deep in debt and poverty. Article is right. .

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:44 AM

61. I don't know what it costs to live in the states anymore

Because we left in 2018. Sold the house in AZ.
These numbers are exactly why we enjoy our life in Switzerland and it’s not cheap there.
We get street sweepers down our street several times a year. I can’t remember the last time I saw them in the states.

We’re visiting CA right now. It’s going to be interesting what we see while we’re here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:47 AM

62. We pay so much for healthcare so we don't have hundreds of thousands dying of treatable issues

and we pay so much for defense that no one will dare to shoot American citizens dead in our schools or workplaces.



I suppose there are some Americans who moved to Europe or South America as "expats" since white people don't want to be called immigrants. But there is a hell of a lot of immigration to the US from all over the world, even Europe. Somebody seems to think this is a good place to live despite GOP efforts to turn us into a shithole country.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to IronLionZion (Reply #62)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 06:58 AM

187. We still have one of the greatest propaganda machines in the world

That us why the rest of the planet thinks we are so great.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:49 AM

63. He fails to mention how lobbyists buy the politicians to enact the laws that protect them, and

he doesn't mention insurance or at least only in passing. Fear and laws cause people to pay insurance companies to accept their risk.

I don't have cable. I'm working on a plan to ditch landline and internet. Insulation pays off. Skills that support your home life pay off - plumbing, electric, automotive, vegetable gardening. Anything you can do yourself reduces cash outflows to pay bills. You may feel like a neurotic cheapskate watching every nickel, but that is where the money goes. You can even find things of minor value in parking lots - screws, bolts, etc.

We must pay some of these things because of the laws that legislatures write and executives sign. Taxes on phone bills can be 25% of the bill itself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:50 AM

65. US ranked 17th in overall quality of life rankings.

Guess its hard to quantify, but some do anyway. My hunch is if working class people had not voted Republican the past 40 years, we could be top 5 under Dem only government.

https://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/rankings_by_country.jsp

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:04 PM

68. Median Household Income in the US varies from $67.5k to $79.9k, depending on source

That's the two most recent figures I found in a fairly brief search. Of course those figures could be off, and tens of millions of households have far lower income.

Overall I agree with the article about the rip-off in the US compared to Europe, but the author's math is suspect.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Martin Eden (Reply #68)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:43 PM

82. He said average income

Not family income. Which screws the number a lot lower to help make his point. But emphasizes the need to have two incomes in a family unit. I won't go into the politics of is it better to have to have both partners working while raising a family. That is another discussion.

I agree with most of what he means, even if he sensationalizes the numbers. I would have prefered it if he hadn't.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Old Crank (Reply #82)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:57 PM

111. "Average" could divide the total population by total income

... which includes children and can be very misleading. Median is a better metric in my view, and median or household average within each quintile would provide a better understanding.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Martin Eden (Reply #68)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:49 PM

86. Could be Individual v Household

The link in the piece ( [link:https://datacommons.org/place/country/USA?utm_medium=explore&mprop=income&popt=Person&cpv=age%2CYears15Onwards&hl=en|) gives only individual median income. Underscore that many households require multiple incomes to make ends meet.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:21 PM

72. I totally disagree with the idea that life is immeasurably better in Canada.

Better? Probably, especially if you are a low-income citizen. I wish I'd held onto the article that explained it in detail, and with supporting data; in short, you are better off here if you are poor, worse if you are rich.

I live in Victoria, which is a provincial capital, with concomitant civil service jobs, and a major tourist destination, which is soft industry, but inconvenient in tourist season. So...nowhere near depressed, but not dripping with high-salaried jobs, either. Its main attributes are a truly temperate climate, and incredible natural beauty. It does bring wealthy retirees here by the hundreds.

Real estate here is as expensive as any other comparable city - 1BR apts going for $1200-1800, depending on location and finishes, and the latest published average selling price of a single-family home is $1.22 million. These numbers roll trippingly off the tongues of many people, but consider 2 quick smacks of reality. In what world can a young couple POSSIBLY save a $200,000 downpayment....which would still leave them with a MILLION DOLLAR MORTGAGE???

A US gallon of gas is over $6, a 4L jug of milk is almost $5 and even fairly low-end cuts of beef are $7 a pound.

If you are lucky and/or clever enough to situated yourself well in life, you can get by on surprisingly little....IF you're willing to trade *THINGS* for time. I've always valued time far above "things," so a reduced-income retirement was a no-brainer for me.

Last year, my pensions totalled something over $25,000, which sounds nearly drastic, but my mortgage has been paid off since the mid-80s, I pay no income taxes, health care is free, and there is even a program that subsidizes my Rx needs to the tune of 70%. I drive very little, and my household energy costs are a little over $100 a month.

If you have a burning need to drive a Maserati, live in a 4500 square foot house with luxury finishes and vacation on the Cote d'Azur at least annually, my situation is an appalling idea. If you look at it through the prism of the late 60's - my truly formative years - I am living LARGE.

In short...in my experience and opinion, the author has some good points and is heading towards a decent interpretation of latter day reality, but generalizes and overstates...and, probably worst of all...over-simplifies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BobTheSubgenius (Reply #72)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:38 PM

133. Thank you!

I know you know what you're talking about! And anyone can do an online search for Canadian housing, as dh & I did, and discover just how very expensive housing is there.

my friend.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Duppers (Reply #133)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 04:59 PM

146. My grandparents homesteaded on the Saskatchewan prairie in the early 1900s.

I wonder what housing cost would be now, there, for a sod cabin and 100 acres of dry land.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Grasswire2 (Reply #146)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 08:03 PM

213. I guess the price would depend, as the price of all land does, on location and quality.

No offence to your forebears, but I'm not sure there is enough money to get me to live there full-time, and forever. I did a year in Saskatoon, and it quite literally almost killed me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Duppers (Reply #133)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 07:20 PM

212. You are more than welcome....and thank you, as well!

to Duppers!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:42 PM

81. A bit of an over simplification, of course.

But his postulate, that most Americans are poor, is certainly worthy of discussion. There’s certainly no disputing the fact that tge rich have been getting richer while the poor get desperate and the middle class gets depressed struggling to maintain a veneer of security fir their families. And there’s no question that George Carlin was on the money when, speaking of the extremely wealthy oligarchic class, he asserted, years ago, that “they own you.”

I don’t know how my life and finances compare to imaginary doppelgangers in Ireland, say, or Costa Rica; or how my adult children would compare to their peers in those and other countries. But I do know that my health insurance costs approach $9,000 per year — not including dentistry! — and that my mortgage, with 15 years to go, costs me more per year than a poverty-line worker earns in a year.

So something is wrong. And Umair did not even mention the cost of food and clothing! Yet when the topic of social safety nets and gov’t provided benefits is broached, millions of MAGAs — even those varely getting by and sinking ever deeper into debt! — scream “socialism!”

America is on the brink of falling off a cliff into a pit of corporate fascism and things can only get worse.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:43 PM

83. Further to this post, watch Michael Moore's "Where to Invade Next"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:49 PM

88. He has a point

In the USA salaries are too low and expenses, particularly rent and Healthcare, are too high.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:50 PM

89. What happened to DU?

Yikes! The guy puts forth a thoughtful piece with facts about the economic differences of life in America as compared to abroad and we get a blast of responses from the "love it or leave it" crowd!
Whether you love our corrupt political and economic system or not, "love it or leave it" really doesn't represent a Democratic value in my mind. But then again, in light of the current situation in Washington, I'm no longer sure just what does represent Democratic values anymore.
Proud leftist.
And yes, we are being ripped off.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Loge23 (Reply #89)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:15 PM

101. Because

it isn't a thoughtful article, it's a lot of numbers and comparisons that don't hold up mixed with a Europe is all right, Americans are all wrong vibe. Raises hackles. And I love Europe and their social Dem ways.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Loge23 (Reply #89)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:06 PM

113. +1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Loge23 (Reply #89)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:25 PM

117. Did you see my thread about the average family owning a DOG?

I mentioned the cost of veterinary medicine, food etc...and then listed other bills that are going up right now (Natural gas for heating, electricity, water from private companies, etc) and many immediately decided:

I was chastising them for owning a pet.

I am an elitist.

I was stating that I am pinching pennies on a really good salary.

I don't have a "can do" attitude (that was the stupidest comment in my opinion)

Yep. DU has changed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Thtwudbeme (Reply #117)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:43 PM

122. That was actually funny reading the comments...

The "How dare you criticize my fur-baby choices" attitudes went ballistic! Whoosh! That was the sound of your point blowing over their heads...lol

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to radicalleft (Reply #122)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:58 PM

126. Jesus, you aren't kidding. Thank you

Some people "got it" ("owning a pet should not be a luxury" )....but, others? Good God- Most bizarre shit I have ever seen.

There's someone down thread on this thread arguing that "utilities are not that expensive." I broke down our bills for him (we have a small house)- and said, "oh yes- they are."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Thtwudbeme (Reply #126)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:27 PM

130. EVERYTHING is more expensive

relative to income these days. Living day-to-day is not what it used to be a generation ago...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Loge23 (Reply #89)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 05:18 PM

151. Agreed, there's a huge "love it or leave it" response

I don't think the article even pointed out that more than 70% of Americans retire with less than 30K saved.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:55 PM

93. Absolutely. This country is one giant corporation that chews up and spits out its citizens

It's disgusting tbh.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:57 PM

94. Lol this thread

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:16 PM

103. Umair Haque publishes many deep and dark articles a week - I read them on medium.com

I really don't understand how he has the time to write so many. And they all have a slant that seems to point to the failure of the US systems, whatever they are. Wonder what is behind his viewpoint.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to erronis (Reply #103)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:04 PM

112. Veilikovsky sold a lot of books on the DOOMSDAY scenarios too, Worlds in Collision Earth in Upheaval

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:16 PM

104. K&R

Great article and true.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:38 PM

108. I tried to read the piece and got the following response

Error 1020 Ray ID: 696f8c95687427e6 • 2021-09-30 18:35:06 UTC
Access denied
What happened?
This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks.

Cloudflare Ray ID: 696f8c95687427e6 • Your IP: xx.xxx.xx.xxx • Performance & security by Cloudflare

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ford_Prefect (Reply #108)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:42 PM

109. Still works for me. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Reply #109)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:42 PM

135. Tried another browser, SRware Iron to Firefox, and it worked ok THX.

Must be some security setting in SRware Iron??

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:22 PM

116. The statistical analysis is skewed and his facts are weird

While I don’t disagree in a lot of places (health care and housing), his narrative elsewhere is almost bizarre.

Utilities are $500-$1000 for the average American?

Whut.

I have lived in varied climates, and I’ve never come close to that. Right now, I have a five bedroom house. Our PG&E is roughly $100 a month. Why? Because we don’t go crazy. Lights off in unused rooms. AC only when it’s crazy out (usually 95+), heat when clothes and blankets don’t entirely suffice.

We pay $45/month for tv. If you’re doing a whole cable package these days, you’re an idiot. I think out internet is something like $50.

He has good points about housing and health care - they’re killing us. But the rest sounds like he doesn’t know any poor people. We live comfortably, and our expenses look nothing like that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sympthsical (Reply #116)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:34 PM

119. We have a two bedroom house in Podunk, NC

Our last electric bill was $200.00. Our gas bill (appliances) averages $100.00. Private water company is about $90 a month. Our internet, no cable, is $75. Two phones are a little over a hundred.

This guy is not "off" by any stretch of the imagination for many people.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Thtwudbeme (Reply #119)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:31 PM

132. Even with that, you're well below his averages

$500-$1000 average?

I’ve only heard that from people with huge homes running AC and heat 24/7. I mean, you have to work up to that.

It is by no means normal for most people.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sympthsical (Reply #132)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 06:10 PM

156. Many in the South

Run the A.C. all summer. Ours utilities are about 500...not sure why you think that is abnormal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:34 PM

118. Very accurate and depressing article. And the sad thing is NOTHING will ever change here

in 'Murica! Because FREEDOM!!!!! LOL! Suckers......

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:43 PM

121. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:51 PM

123. Yes and no.

They know shit is expensive, but they generally do not know how expensive it is compared to other places. Because getting out of the country is fucking expensive and most people don't do it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:57 PM

125. Archiving

That was a brillant concise description. The "classic Weimar" descent comment....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:42 PM

136. I guess I have it pretty good.

"Heating, electricity, gas, water? These things can easily add up to $500 to $1000 dollars per month."

My monthly total for all that is around $100 or less, depending on the season.

And wow, this: "Now you need healthcare. In Europe and Canada and even Australia, with its crazy climate change denying PM, that’s free."

Dude, when you pay half of your income in taxes that's NOT FREE. And yes I have friends in Europe who pay 51% of their income in taxes so that "free healthcare" gets paid for.

I'm not saying everything is better in the US, far from it, some things like cell phone & TV seem way too expensive, but this guy should look at things like the financial consequences of self-employment in the EU vs US. I can only speak to Italy on this point because my wife is from there. She's a legal translator (translates court documents, mostly for cases in Italy) & she's successfully self-employed working out of our home office making quite a good profit. She's run the numbers & if she tried to do the exact same thing in Italy with all the taxes & fees involved she would only make about 1/3 the profit, & it would not be enough for her to live on. She concluded it would just be impossible for her to do it there, but she can do it easily & lucratively here. Any thorough analysis has to take situations like that into account, or it's an incomplete picture.

And "When a nation is paying enough every decade in credit card interest alone to have funded good healthcare and education and retirement for everyone…forever…"

I know math isn't everyone's strong suit but the amount paid in credit card interest in one decade is a finite number. The amount of money required to pay for "good healthcare and education and retirement for everyone…forever…" is by definition an infinite number because it literally goes on "forever." There's no way a finite number of dollars can pay an infinite expense. The guy makes a lot of good points but to me it gets lost/ruined by logical & mathematical fallacies. Maybe it's the engineer/geek in me, so sue me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #136)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 05:09 PM

149. +1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #136)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 07:10 PM

162. Umair has made SO many mistakes in logic that I'm beginning to believe it's on purpose.

 

This means he's leading everyone on, or at least those who haven't determined something smells a lot like fish.

There are so many fallacies that I missed the one you highlighted,

"When a nation is paying enough every decade in credit card interest alone to have funded good healthcare and education and retirement for everyone…forever…"

Not only what you said regarding finite vs. infinite, but he's talking about $100 billion per year in credit card interest, and not only funding for healthcare but education and retirement as well. We spend $3.8 trillion per year on healthcare alone, $100 billion is 2.6% of that, which is nothing, especially when he adds education and retirement to the equation.

I don't get why anyone would take this article seriously, considering. There's an agenda somewhere.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Equomba (Reply #162)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 11:10 AM

204. I'm pretty sure everyone has an agenda, wouldn't you agree?

Glad you found DU, it is a wonderful source of information. The cooking and baking forum is fun, so happy you discovered it! The cooks on DU are very cool.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ChubbyStar (Reply #204)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 04:51 PM

218. Sure, I guess you could say that to one degree or another everyone

 

has an 'agenda', some are just more hidden than others, which is what I was alluding to. I thought perhaps the surrounding context might have indicated that, but I see another poster (#184) did a much better job by stating

"Like Fox Noise, this guy has an agenda, and presents his story accordingly. For SOME people, like Fox reports for SOME Fox viewers, it will even ring true."

Cooking forums can get rather heated, I remember one I happened upon where the recipe was for Cullen Skink. One of the posters questioned if the one cup of salt might have been in error, that perhaps it was a typo and should have been more like 1 tsp. Well, this received a lot of push back, until another noted there was no haddock, or even fish, in the recipe. Didn't go over well, a few even made a comparison to "Black Jack" Randall lurking about. Being a fan of Outlander I found the comparison rather amusing!

Oh, and thanks for the welcome!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #136)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:15 PM

178. $100 or less for heating, electricity and gas? Don't know if I paid that little in 1983...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to chia (Reply #178)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 12:09 AM

183. We pay that now

On about 3,400 sq ft. Now granted, we live in NorCal, so the weather's a bit more amenable to it. On days we know it'll be hot, we open all the windows overnight, then close up the house in the morning when it's cool, draw the blinds/curtains, etc., and don't let the hot air in. On 100+ days, we do the same, but we might run the AC for an hour or two with the same set up, then turn it off. When we're uncomfortable, fans. I have a woozoo on my desk blowing in my face when I'm home working. Along with ice water, that does for me even in upper 90s. It's not amazingly super comfortable, but I am also not paying PG&E a ton of money.

In winter, close up at night, then open all the blinds and curtains to let in sun for heat during the day (assuming it's around). If it's super cold in the house in the morning, flip on a space heater only in the room you're going to be in, and only then long enough to take the chill off.

Our PG&E bill last month was $107. If we're not using something, it's turned off.

When I lived in the Midwest with the summers and winters, I paid a bit more for AC with the humidity and heat in those winters. But even then, I never came anywhere near the numbers he's citing. He's citing $500-$1000 as averages for Americans. That is an unbelievable figure.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 04:06 PM

139. Perhaps you can help me make sense of this.

 

"How deep in credit card debt are Americans? The industry itself will tell you that the average American owes about $6500 or so, though other sources report that the average American is in debt for almost $30K, excluding mortgages — and the majority of that is credit card debt. And maybe even $6500 doesn’t sound like a lot, until you realise that for a family of four, that’s more than $25,000."

From the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Center for Microeconomic Data's Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit...
https://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/news/research/2021/20210803

Total household debt - $14.96 trillion
Total mortgage/home equity debt - $10.76 trillion
Which leaves a debt, excluding mortgages, of $4.2 trillion
Of this $4.2 trillion, $.79 trillion is credit card debt, or around 19% of non-mortgage debt, which is hardly the majority.

$790,000,000 in credit card debt divided by $6,500 is around 121 million, which is close to the estimated number of households in the U.S. So if the average household credit card debt is $6,500, how can he then multiply this by the number of household members, in this case four, to get his more than $25,000 figure?

Obviously, I've made a mistake somewhere. If anyone would be so kind to show me where I'd appreciate it. Thanks!



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 04:09 PM

140. some relevant information presented hysterically by an elitist. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 04:39 PM

141. three words: temporarily embarrassed millionaires

John Steinbeck once said that socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires. This has become a favorite tactic by the rich and elite, Republican politicians, and a big Fox News talking point. They all work at perpetuating the great con to their own support base to give up all their basic entitlements for the scheme that if they do they will also one day be rich.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Dukkha (Reply #141)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:05 PM

168. Yes, perfect, one of many contributing factors

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 05:08 PM

148. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Most of the congress is owned.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 05:30 PM

153. That was a great read.

Thanks!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 06:10 PM

157. Because Republicans politicized religion and created a media empire to spread their propaganda.

The goal: create a banana republic.

"Poverty makes people fanatics and extremists." People from any economic background become hateful, angry lunatics when brainwashed. This article reminds me of all the nonsense that "economic anxiety" supposedly caused people to vote for Trump.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 06:11 PM

158. America is a great scam if you can pull it off.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 06:36 PM

159. Thes are the facts

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/08/23/most-americans-vastly-underestimate-how-rich-they-are-compared-with-the-rest-of-the-world-does-it-matter/
But even the developed world’s poor and middle classes are, by global standards, extraordinarily rich. After adjusting for cost-of-living differences, a typical American still earns an income that is 10 times the income received by the typical person in the world.


So what did they say? The average U.S. resident estimated that the global median individual income is about $20,000 a year. In fact, the real answer is about a tenth of that figure: roughly $2,100 per year. Similarly, Americans typically place themselves in the top 37 percent of the world’s income distribution. However, the vast majority of U.S. residents rank comfortably in the top 10 percent.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Progressive dog (Reply #159)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 08:14 AM

197. Pointless to compare the US with undeveloped countries

The US is always compared to the other leading industrialized nations of the world, as it should be.

The US has the largest economy in the world and we have a population of 330 million. China's economy is close to the same size, but they have 1.5 billion people. The US has the biggest pie to share. Comparing a country with an economy that is nearly $23 Trillion in size with a country whose economy is $50 Billion is pointless.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #197)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 05:04 PM

208. America is part of the developed world

because it has high productivity and a high standard of living. Every nation with a higher standard of living has a much smaller population.

But even the developed world’s poor and middle classes are, by global standards, extraordinarily rich. After adjusting for cost-of-living differences, a typical American still earns an income that is 10 times the income received by the typical person in the world.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:04 PM

174. I guess he's never been to Tokyo, London, Singapore, the Emirates, Dubai, or Disneyland.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 01:34 AM

184. Carefully selected statistics and vague generalizations do not describe ANY country accurately

His “European” statistics don’t describe life here at all, and his American misery by no means is the typical American’s reality. The tired old “everything in Europe is free” cliché is no more true than everyone in America living in a hell hole of misery except for the 716 (or however many it is) billionaires.

If you want to make America out to be a horrible place, or Europe to be a paradise, you can do a better job of it than this guy does by selecting real people and using real numbers. You’ll never tell the whole story, but at least you won’t be so far from accuracy as to be an easy laugh-off.

Disneyland? I grew up in America, live in Germany, and am married to a German social worker. As a generalization, this guy is reporting from Fantasyland. Like Fox Noise, this guy has an agenda, and presents his story accordingly. For SOME people, like Fox reports for SOME Fox viewers, it will even ring true. But it selects, simplifies and distorts. Caveat lector.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DFW (Reply #184)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 05:34 AM

186. +10000000000000000000000000Thankyou.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DFW (Reply #184)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 05:05 PM

209. +1. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 05:24 AM

185. A couple of comments on article



As for rent, average cost is is misleading as the average contains rentals that are high to over high priced. Nobody making $35k a year would look at apartments that cost $5k a month or more so they should be taken out of the average which would then reduce that final number.

"Unusually expensive homes can skew the average price more than the median price, so buyers may prefer to look at the median sales price while considering a neighborhood."

https://www.thebalance.com/median-vs-average-what-the-difference-2682237

Apartment costs vary widely across the country.

"Apartment rent costs in California are the highest in the U.S. at a median monthly rate of $2,542, according to recent data from Zillow. At the other end of the spectrum, West Virginia had the lowest median rent at $866—nearly one-third the cost of the average rent in California."

https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/median-rental-rates-for-an-apartment-by-state/

Author makes an error by saying the average income in the US is $35k a year but the link he provides gives the median income. There a difference between the two.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 07:12 AM

190. An economy driven mainly by greed

is liable to end up in a bad place. It may work for a while to stimulate innovation and growth, but eventually there may be little left to innovate and some bad actors may turn to corruption or abuse to sustain the growth.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 07:26 AM

193. I remember several years ago posting here...

A list I had found online of the 20 most liberal countries in the world. Then a few days later a completely different outline post a list of the 20 happiest countries in the world, based income, life expectancy, education, and happiness of if citizens.

I posted that too because 19 of the 20 countries were the same!!!

The rethugs are denying us this same existence every day.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 08:03 AM

195. Actually...You're Being Screwed In More Ways Than You Realize

There's an old book out of print and a bit outdated but still relevant to these times.
It's titled: "The Screwing of The Average Man" by David Hapgood which is subtitled: "How The Rich Get Richer And You Get Poorer"
It explains all the ways the average man is ripped off and misled by private industry making you pay more, for less and how these ripoffs are preserved by the bought and paid for government of, by and for the wealthy. This book was written back in 1974 and with some tweaking, it could explain perfectly today's times.
Another book to read is "America: Who Really Pays The Taxes" by Donald Bartlett and James Steele. Reporters for the Philadelphia Inquirer who looked into how the tax laws benefit the wealthy at the expense of everybody else. They also wrote "America: What Went Wrong?" Two highly recommended books
Then there's David Cay Johnston's books "Perfectly Legal", "Free Lunch" and "The Fine Print" all explain how the rich in this country manipulate the tax code and laws to benefit themselves.
Now you don't have to be a Marxist to feel a palpable sense of outrage (It helps though) about how the wealthy class in this country, protected by their lackeys in all levels of government have taken advantage of you and me and made out like bandits (More like Robber Barons) in the name of "capitalism". Read these books, go with righteous anger to your governmental critter and raise hell and while you're at it, keep bashing the MAGATS, spreadnecks and those kooks from "Howdya Arabia" who keep us from having nice things.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 08:03 AM

196. Actually...You're Being Screwed In More Ways Than You Realize

There's an old book out of print and a bit outdated but still relevant to these times.
It's titled: "The Screwing of The Average Man" by David Hapgood which is subtitled: "How The Rich Get Richer And You Get Poorer"
It explains all the ways the average man is ripped off and misled by private industry making you pay more, for less and how these ripoffs are preserved by the bought and paid for government of, by and for the wealthy. This book was written back in 1974 and with some tweaking, it could explain perfectly today's times.
Another book to read is "America: Who Really Pays The Taxes" by Donald Bartlett and James Steele. Reporters for the Philadelphia Inquirer who looked into how the tax laws benefit the wealthy at the expense of everybody else. They also wrote "America: What Went Wrong?" Two highly recommended books
Then there's David Cay Johnston's books "Perfectly Legal", "Free Lunch" and "The Fine Print" all explain how the rich in this country manipulate the tax code and laws to benefit themselves.
Now you don't have to be a Marxist to feel a palpable sense of outrage (It helps though) about how the wealthy class in this country, protected by their lackeys in all levels of government have taken advantage of you and me and made out like bandits (More like Robber Barons) in the name of "capitalism". Read these books, go with righteous anger to your governmental critter and raise hell and while you're at it, keep bashing the MAGATS, spreadnecks and those kooks from "Howdya Arabia" who keep us from having nice things.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 08:21 AM

198. When I first spotted this thread yesterday unsure where it was going

I held comment. Especially because I was about to blast the first comment with "how very republican of you", I see it got self-deleted and many DU'ers already took that thread to the woodshed.
I chime in due to devastation from health issues, repeatedly. Although I make just over 100,000 it quickly gets absorbed in follow up medical costs. I'm veritably priced out of the market to own any home-- from plain unwillingness to sink myself into long term debt. Such a thing is impractical for me anyway because traveling for work- I never know if my contracts will last 3 months or years.
The "poverty trap" was indeed very, very difficult to overcome, and yet I'm only looking at the most meager retirement.
Had all my life's circumstances occurred in a country with nationalized healthcare
I wouldn't soon be having to cross the border to Mexico to have my dental work done.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lambchopp59 (Reply #198)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 09:19 AM

200. People have a visceral reaction to criticism of America from an outsider, so I understand that

that poster's knee jerk comment. Had they read the article, they would have seen that the writer raises many good points. Most of these points are what we as Democrats are fighting for.

To many Americans travel, especially overseas, is a luxury. Travel to Europeans is just a normal part of life. Most European countries have twice as many or more weeks of vacation as do Americans. Their businesses don't suffer and they actually hire more people to cover the workload. We are constantly shortchanged by the rich and by corporations that don't pay their fair share into our system. It shouldn't be upsetting to admit that. We need to change that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 03:21 PM

206. Michael Moore's movie "Where to Invade Next"

is all about this subject. He could have chosen a better title, though. It wasn't about invasion. It was about quality of life.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 06:10 PM

211. I read this post yesterday

After thinking about it since I read it, I think that it is great for us to be insisting on fair wages for service, but the prices of goods and services need to come down.

I went to college for 3 quarters, 1970-71, and tuition, room and board was $1200.00. My husband and I paid a minister $10 to get married. For our first baby, it cost us $150.00 for 3 days at the hospital and $150.00 to the dr. For our 2nd baby, it was $600.00, but ins. paid all but the co-pays for dr. visits, and prenatal vitamins. . We paid $35.00 a month rent. Utilities, not counting a phone, were not more than $25.00/month. When we moved to town, rent was $70/month, and we added phone, water and cable to our utility bill, which was still under $100.00/month. Our first mortgage was $73.00/month and it was a 2 story house on 9 1/2 acres.

We had free medical insurance through my husband's job, and co-pays were $5.

We could feed the 4 of us at McDonalds for $5. A Big Mac was .79 cents. We thought shoes were expensive if we paid more than $10.

I look at prices now, and I don't even know how people can make it on their own, let alone trying to take care of a family.

If prices across the board come down, and wages go up, maybe it'll be easier to make it in the U.S. Right now, the author of the article brings to light some harsh realities.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 08:10 PM

214. Unfortunately, the US is a failed state.

It doesn't make me happy to recommend but truth is truth.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Original post)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 04:57 PM

219. At this point, I should start exploring moving back to Europe.

Find a small town in back in Northern Europe chill.

Probably somewhere between Brussels and Rotterdam.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread