Half can't afford basics
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Half can't afford basics (by GKARL [PA]) May 18, 2018 11:49 PM
       Half can't afford basics (by Robert,Ontario,Canada [ON]) May 19, 2018 1:01 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Gwen [NY]) May 19, 2018 2:19 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by GKARL [PA]) May 19, 2018 2:37 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Mickie [OH]) May 19, 2018 4:27 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Sisco [MO]) May 19, 2018 4:54 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by NE [PA]) May 19, 2018 4:57 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Roy [AL]) May 19, 2018 5:09 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by WMH [NC]) May 19, 2018 5:22 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Richard [MI]) May 19, 2018 5:51 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Mickie [OH]) May 19, 2018 5:59 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by JR [ME]) May 19, 2018 6:03 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Beth [WI]) May 19, 2018 6:26 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by RB [MI]) May 19, 2018 6:27 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Elena [PA]) May 19, 2018 6:44 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by #22 [MO]) May 19, 2018 7:13 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Tom [FL]) May 19, 2018 7:26 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Mickie [OH]) May 19, 2018 7:30 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Tony [NJ]) May 19, 2018 7:42 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by LindaJ [NY]) May 19, 2018 7:44 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Tom [FL]) May 19, 2018 7:55 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Deanna [TX]) May 19, 2018 8:00 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Deanna [TX]) May 19, 2018 8:02 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Tom [FL]) May 19, 2018 8:18 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by GKARL [PA]) May 19, 2018 8:42 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Busy [WI]) May 19, 2018 11:17 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Busy [WI]) May 19, 2018 11:28 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by GKARL [PA]) May 19, 2018 1:57 PM
       Half can't afford basics (by AllyM [NJ]) May 19, 2018 5:02 PM
       Half can't afford basics (by Vee [OH]) May 19, 2018 5:05 PM
       Half can't afford basics (by Busy [WI]) May 19, 2018 7:39 PM
       Half can't afford basics (by JB [OR]) May 19, 2018 9:32 PM
       Half can't afford basics (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) May 19, 2018 9:53 PM
       Half can't afford basics (by Busy [WI]) May 20, 2018 6:31 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Doris [OH]) May 20, 2018 6:58 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Danno [IL]) May 20, 2018 9:31 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by S i d [MO]) May 21, 2018 5:11 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Chris [CT]) May 21, 2018 7:43 AM
       Half can't afford basics (by Robert Phaedra [NY]) May 21, 2018 12:54 PM
       Half can't afford basics (by RathdrumGal [ID]) May 22, 2018 7:30 AM

Half can't afford basics (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: May 18, 2018 11:49 PM

Excerpts from an article from CNN money. This has implications for our business. Most of us have seen rents rise dramatically, but this translates to a hard limit for rent levels IMO. There's going to be a strong demand for moderately priced housing and higher end housing is going to be sitting vacant. In all sectors, collections are going to be difficult. What's your opinion?

Almost half of US families can't afford basics like rent and food

Nearly 51 million households don't earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project. That's 43% of households in the United States.

The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE -- Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what's needed "to survive in the modern economy."

"Despite seemingly positive economic signs, the ALICE data shows that financial hardship is still a pervasive problem," said Stephanie Hoopes, the project's director.

California, New Mexico and Hawaii have the largest share of struggling families, at 49% each. North Dakota has the lowest at 32%.

Many of these folks are the nation's child care workers, home health aides, office assistants and store clerks, who work low-paying jobs and have little savings, the study noted. Some 66% of jobs in the US pay less than $20 an hour. --207.172.xx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Robert,Ontario,Canada [ON]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 1:01 AM

There was not just a recession but economic change where the good paying jobs went to places where wages, environmental standards are extremely low. Unlike the US here there is universal health care but pharmacy is a problem for some. The cost of gasoline, electricity, natural gas, consumer goods is considerably higher then the US. The middle class is a smaller percentage of the population. For those who lived in a time when a job you were able to buy a modest house is gone forever. --82.202.xxx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Gwen [NY]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 2:19 AM

I was surprised that paid child care was included in the 'basics'. I would have supposed that in most cases one parent (or other relative) could take care of the child while a parent worked, which would not have a direct monetary cost. --74.70.xx.xx

Half can't afford basics (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 2:37 AM

Child care is a must when both parents work or when there's only one. Families have disintegrated, so extended family is less. Grandma may not be around or may be working too. --207.172.xx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Mickie [OH]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 4:27 AM

From time to time I see stories like these. I ask myself who funded the story or report. Then look at their agenda and think about how it might benefit their organization. Some are becoming savvy about using the media.If I don't see a motive then I may do some digging for facts. Sometimes it reminds me of tenant applications. --71.213.xx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 4:54 AM

Ditto Mickie. This is propaganda meant to shape opinions and polling numbers. --72.172.xxx.xx

Half can't afford basics (by NE [PA]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 4:57 AM

I rent to the 1/2 who can. --50.107.xxx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 5:09 AM

My state (AL) leads the nation in the highest percentage of households receiving 'food stamps',...40%. And there is no 'shame' in receiving this type of assistance,...it is considered normal. --68.63.xxx.xx

Half can't afford basics (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 5:22 AM

The applications I am dealing with every single day...they don't make enough money to afford my spaces and I am cheaper than almost anyone else on the beach on purpose...if I lower my prices, though, I will be dealing with people I don't WANT to deal with... --50.82.xxx.xx

Half can't afford basics (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 5:51 AM

It's the same here. Most make less than $15 per hour.

What gets me is the ones who refuse to learn something that pays better or start a side business. This has been going on since day one. There are and always will be some who just will not do what is needed and expect others to just give them What they want. --66.188.xx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Mickie [OH]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 5:59 AM

That floors me. The unemployment rate is 3.8 or 3.9 and the US unemployment rate is about 4.1 the last time I looked earlier this year. Ohio unemployment is about 4.6 or 4.7 and the

Percentage on food stamps is 14 to 15%. Interesting to see what makes the two state economies so different. --71.213.xx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by JR [ME]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 6:03 AM

Ditto the comments about the concerns of the ‘Big Poverty” industry. “Food insecurity” is a new term which means “well fed” but raising funds for well fed children is a losing proposition.

We have a very skewed idea in the US about what it means to be poor. I would throw out there that there is no poverty in America any more. Those who truly are poor generally because mental illness or substance abuse hinders their ability to access help available to them.

The poor people I run across each day have access to healthcare, more than enough food to eat, and weatherproof housing with central heat, hot and cold running water, and out local public housing units advertise having a dishwasher. A true must for those down on their luck.

The homeless almost to a person is one with mental illness who refuses help or the junkie who doesn’t want to quit his vice.

If I sound harsh, well too bad. Take a trip to a third world country if you want to see real poverty.


Half can't afford basics (by Beth [WI]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 6:26 AM

Ditto Mickie and JR.

We have elections coming in Nov. Republicans in office. Therefore the media will report on all the poverty... as well as homelessness.

I read that article, and it had the feel of piecing together info incorrectly. Many elderly households would fit the income profile not have healthcare or childcare issues while living in a paid off home.

One can eat healthy on $2/day. But that means no proccessed foods and little meat. Therefore, according to “authorities “ one needs to spend $4.50/day on food.

I do agree that we need more basic, cheaper housing. In my area, only luxury apartments and 300k plus houses are being built.

No mention of subsidized housing, cell phones, food stamps, or healthcare in this article...


Half can't afford basics (by RB [MI]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 6:27 AM

There will always be a group that

comes to the table (in life)

expecting / demanding something, while contributing


Ya don't work, ya don't eat. --47.35.xx.xx

Half can't afford basics (by Elena [PA]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 6:44 AM

Another contributing factor is loss of a strong family unit. Mom/dad not living together, not putting their income in the same pot. Think about it. It's not hard for me to make an extra bowl of soup for my husband, and it's not hard for him to paint our bathroom (while I am making soup). All this is "for example". I share what I have, so speak, and he does the same. We are paying 1 mortgage vs 2 housing expenses if we lived separately. Heating bill warms us both.

Grandparents - who used to help out in older generations - are now not married themselves and live far away, or too concerned with their own lives. On the other hand, there are so many elderly people who literally have no one involved in their healthcare (I am in medical field), because kids are far away and only have 2 weeks vacation. The world has changed. And for the poor to survive they need to build stronger interfamily relationships. Stay committed (whether married or not), keep kids with mom and dad (rather than remarrying and taking care of stepkids), have one parent work part-time or not at all (to decrease child care costs and prepare healthy meals), live near family if possible to help them ant to receive help from them. You don't have to be rich or have a super education to do the above. It's back to the basics that worked for generation prior. --72.94.xx.x

Half can't afford basics (by #22 [MO]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 7:13 AM

Vickie, Sisco, JR, and others! I agree! I started reading this garbage report. They are guarded on the details and factor in technology as part of not being poor. I've never been one to trust the United way and this report cements those feelings. They even have a link for you to give them money on the website that shows the full report... Can you say agenda? So many people look at the headline and accept it as fact.. what a shame! --174.234.xxx.xx

Half can't afford basics (by Tom [FL]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 7:26 AM

Housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone: Each of these there's an affordability factor. IF you can not afford it scale back. Change YOUR spending habits. IF you can't afford child care, STOP having kids. Yes older generations worked to make ends meet and many of the family structure, one stayed at home to take care of the kids. AND they provided for themselves with a garden to help feed the family AND they were large families too. NO hand out or hand up. NOW its, OH let someone else take care of our financial needs, they owe it to us!!! EXCUSE ME!!! This year mid terms, a new Governor of Florida will be elected. Gov Scott has term limited out. There is a candidate that is running on the platform of FREE health care. WONDERFUL!!! Where is the money going to come from for FREE health care... Some of these politician are way out of touch with reality. However, if elected the taxes will sky rocket with their pie in the sky over budgeted pork barrel projects. Smaller government is the best!!!

ALICE: Alice in Wonderland!!! Alice in The Sky with Diamonds

Excerpts from an article from CNN money. Skewed data??? Factual Data??? Politically skewed on purpose??? Fake News??? --99.56.xx.xx

Half can't afford basics (by Mickie [OH]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 7:30 AM

People need to think for themselves and stop believing that if the media puts it out there it's factual or truthful. --71.213.xx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Tony [NJ]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 7:42 AM

When #44 went into office, food stamp recipients jumped from 30 million to over 45 million. Last I saw, that number declined to under 38 million due to the improved climate of prosperity since #45 was sworn in. Didn't see any CNN story about that ............. --73.195.xxx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 7:44 AM

I think the data is presented in a way to make it look like a lot of poverty. Few are living in dirt huts with no food. Even the "poor" have AC, TV, cell phone and plenty of assistance.

How many of those low wage earners are doing it for extra money (retiree), because they are still in school (teenager) etc. Now I agree "affording" housing gets harder and harder but I think a lot of that has to do with regulations that make building difficult and more expensive, especially in the more democrat cities with environmental rules and pretty police.

I also find it interesting that few people want to buy something small, basic and affordable while they work their way up to afford better later. --108.44.xx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Tom [FL]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 7:55 AM

Linda J of NY, You had to mention it. The "poor" have TV, cell phone, plenty of assistance. The TV is most likely a 65" TV. hmmm...

...living within their means!!!!


Half can't afford basics (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 8:00 AM

"Some 66% of jobs in the US pay less than $20 an hour."

$20/hr works out to $41,600/year.

I was making about $17/hr as a secretary. ($35k/year) Then I quit, took a $7k pay cut to work in my niche with my Master's degree (I was a librarian), and worked my way back up to what I had been making, before I quit again to go raise my family. :)

The average household income in the US at the time (9 years ago) was about $50k/year. Now, the average household income is about $59k/year. In my town, about that time, the average household income was about $26k/year. Now we're up to $44k/year.

But our economy has shifted to be a very consumer-driven economy, not a production-driven economy. Consumer spending in 1960 was 62% of the GDP. It stayed there until the beginning of the 80's. In 2013, consumer spending was 71% of the GDP.

Another interesting thing-- talking to older people from the 20's and 30's in Washington, DC, about how society has changed during their lifetimes-- one person made the point that the question had come up, "How do you double the tax base without doubling the population?" And the answer came back, "Encourage women to work outside of the home." In 1900, only 6% of married women worked outside of the home-- usually when their husbands were unemployed. About 1 out of 3 widowed or divorced women worked. And almost no one was unmarried-and-without kids. During WWII, there was about a 60% labor participation rate for unmarried women; and about 25% for married women. But in 1950, which is the earliest we have stats for, only 12% of women married-with-kids-under-age-6 were employed outside the home.

Nowadays, women-with-kids-under-18 has a 70% labor participation rate. Married moms are a smidge under a 68% labor participation rate; "other marital statuses" is 76%.


Half can't afford basics (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 8:02 AM

"Almost no one was unmarried-with-kids." Blah!

1 in 4 kids in the US under the age of 18 are being raised without a father. --96.46.xxx.xx

Half can't afford basics (by Tom [FL]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 8:18 AM

I would love to have an 85 inch TV. AND a Bose surround sound system!!! Then my neighbor 5 doors down can watch it too!!! from their back porch...

...with great sound effects!!!


...My budget allows for a 50" TV

If it's an 85 inch OLED TV then watching distance from the TV does not matter.

Best Buy had the large screen for $15,000.

OH WELL budget does not allow for it..

AND you did not realize that a 65" TV or 85" TV is part of BASICS living NEEDS...

...IF NOT now you MUST go back and re-read the article I AM sure you missed it saying 85" TV and the I Phone X is part of BASICS...


My platform for running for public office: EVERY one gets a FREE 85" TV and I PHONE X!!! WHEEW!!!


Half can't afford basics (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 8:42 AM

Wow. I'm apolitical here. That doesn't mean I'm without an opinion just that I have another outlet where I engage folks about that.

Just yesterday, there was a post about the low ratio of accepted applications. I think about 1 in 10 or less is the rate which would tend to confirm the problem. Not all those folks get rejected due to income but many do. I know I reject a lot of people due to income which was one reason I sought a rooming house. Perhaps I missed it, but I don't see anything political in the article; just a recounting of the stats we're already familiar with and are dealing with.

I definitely think women going into the workforce was a response due to the ravages of inflation and while that opened up opportunities for women, it also impacted families. It wasn't just a doubling of the tax base but a response to the economic shocks of the 70's; women had to go to work for families to stay even. But that has had a deleterious effect on families and marriages. A family is not only a social unit but an economic one as well and when it falls apart you have both social and economic disorder.

I guess I'm looking at this from a business standpoint and looking to sort how that impacts what I do. I think there a hard limit on rent levels as they can only go so far before something gives. The implication is that there's a bubble in rents and prices of rental housing. --207.172.xx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 11:17 AM

My monthly newsletters focus in how to be frugal. Just this week several tenants commented that they love those newsletters; very little else is encouraging them to live within their means, and be creative. My tenants all have a good focus on enjoying a good life within their means, and improving their means.

We have friends our own age, on the other hand, who are whining about how 'they never had a retirement plan at their work (that person was offered management several times, but wouldn't take the position.) Or, that 'workers should have it better each generation' with workers putting in no additional effort. The husband in that couple had thought of being a landlord, was keenly interested when I started. Decided it was too much work, parts of the city I deal with are too dangerous. Both couples recently took expensive out of country trip to an island with tourist advisory warnings from NSA, or whatever agency issues those, and these couples are planning more expensive trips. They got a little miffed at us that we didn't want to join. Its made hubs and I realize we need to divorce from these friends.


Half can't afford basics (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 11:28 AM

GKar, I vehemently disagree that women HAD to go to work in the 70' S just to stay afloat. From my perspective that was the generation that made the leap from modest houses, hang clothes on the line, plant veggies in the summer to central A/C, dishwasher, second car, second tv, annual vacations.

My husband and I were still in high school when we saw our siblings frittering money away on all of that luxury stuff, like it was their due. Husband and I have always been frugal, though we judiciously indulge occasionally. We've had older siblings from both sides asking to borrow money from us.(No!) All those who asked later eventually went on to file bankruptcy.

How statistics are measured, reported IS completely political. Sad to say.


Half can't afford basics (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 1:57 PM

True, however those women who went to work to enlarge their family's consumption are not the subject of the article unless they had a steep fall out of the middle class. I don't disagree about the level of mindless consumption that many folks have engaged in nor do I disagree that those who can ill afford it are most likely to buy worthless stuff. Consumption rather than financial education is what's marketed in America. Indeed, it is not in the interest of those with stuff to sell for people to be more frugal. Our economy would likely collapse if there was the same level of frugality of generations ago.

I would agree the measures are political in some instances, particularly as regards how the unemployment rate is compiled. That rate doesn't measure underemployment, part-time employment and it excludes large numbers of people who are supposedly not in the workforce. The same would apply to the rate of inflation driven by the assumptions of what people theoretically buy. Both unemployment and inflation are understated although statisticians would argue that these measures are correct. The theory behind them is flawed.

My purpose in posting the article was not to engage in a political discussion. I find the whole liberal vs conservative paradigm mostly off point leaving otherwise reasonable people at loggerheads. I see it as "team politics" to be honest; where each side is trying to one up the other leaving their respective electorates going to the voting booth either fearful or angry rather than rational. Therefore, getting involved in these sorts of discussions here is not what I want to do. I'm here to learn about landlording business.


Half can't afford basics (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 5:02 PM

Cell phone, cable tv and not the lower tier, the higher tier with the moooovies, and eating out are the things that make it hard for low income people to pay their rent. They want to live like the people they see on tv and they should not and can't. I see it in the tenants from one of my best buildings. Food delivery containers, $300 cable bill, dog groomer and they have to owe me part of the rent for a couple days until the next check comes in for SS or Pension. --73.178.xxx.xx

Half can't afford basics (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 5:05 PM

Going to sign up for free everything is almost a full time job, then they must have a (liquid) therapy lunch before waiting on Uber to get them home... --76.188.xxx.xx

Half can't afford basics (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 7:39 PM

So, G, what's your recommendation? I have given mine- encouraging creative frugality among MY tenants. With only a small number of rentals, I cannot impact many people, but I have chosen people with a propensity to learn, communicate, and that are coachable. And I coach.

So, whether or not other landlords are experiencing price ceilings on rents, my tenants want to stay in my places, and I have a list of their family members and neighbors who are interested in a Busy house. (And a couple of tenants admit they have family wanting to contact me about a rental, but my tenant has already screened them out. Yay)

So, maybe part of the answer is to develop properties that desirable tenants want. OR maybe it is to help the existing tenants develop INTO being desirable tenants.... --172.58.xxx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by JB [OR]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 9:32 PM

I can understand how it is more desirable to wish to keep politics out of the LL discussions, but it doesn't seem correct or prudent.

When you have one political party waging war against those who work hard, earn money, and have built up assets. Then you tell the other side that they deserve what you have even though they've done nothing to earn it, I'd say that is a BIG problem.

I also believe that if we lived like we did generations ago that our economy would suffer for a while, but we'd be much better off after a few years. I think China's economy would be the one to collapse if we became frugal...oh well. --50.45.xxx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: May 19, 2018 9:53 PM

I don’t know national stats, just what I see locally.

We approve 1.5 apps out of 10. I feel for those folks. Many are simply stuck in poverty.

As I age and see what the schools are doing I must place much of the blame there. Dumbed down and lack of discipline. The public school kids I teach in Bible Study and Youth Group don’t know jack and can barely write their names. BASIC math? Crickets.

Many apps from adults are illegible. They sign the lease with a scribble.

They don’t have basic knowledge and cannot adapt for the future.

Local employers are hurting for workers who can pass a drug test. More and more are automating because workers cannot read a manual. “Just show up and pish this button.” But they don’t show up.

WE must adapt our businesses to the modern mindsets.

BRAD --68.50.xxx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 20, 2018 6:31 AM

After 9-11, we entered a time period where 'staycations' and other frugality measure became vogue, out of fear of terrorism. Yes, we experienced recession, but then we saw, after 8 years of 'more free stuff' did absolutely nothing to get the economy going. The leader at the top said its just the way things were going to be. And, now we see, when stifling regulations are removed, and there is a true belief in the value of hard work, and in the strength of the American people, economy is rolling along. ALL of my current tenants have gotten better jobs. BUT, they also worked for it, doing home-study, taking college classes, and making lifestyle sacrifices so they could better their positions. But, the opportunities and optimism are there for them to use.

GKARL, I really would be interested in what your solutions would be. Mine are to encourage self-improvement. Even my tenant who is afraid of bugs, dirt, germs, is considering planting veggies in the whiskey barrel I provide for gardening. She's got kids, and the kids want to learn life skills, so she's working it. Yay!Tomatoes and greens! --172.58.xxx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Doris [OH]) Posted on: May 20, 2018 6:58 AM

My husband and I talked about this thread last night. We grew up before credit cards. If you wanted something you saved your money until you could afford it. Although we have credit cards now, we pretty much live the same way, the cards are just for convenience and are paid off every month. Consumption mentality and credit card debt are huge factors. --74.140.xxx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Danno [IL]) Posted on: May 20, 2018 9:31 AM

I really question the standards that basically define when someone or a household is in poverty. Like Brad[20,000], I observe the economic pulse by my own observations in my own local marketplace. During the 1970's and 1980's, people were more frugal and close-knit family oriented. Then in the 1990's, people started living beyond their means. I'm certain this was being influenced by the alleged higher living standards being hyped by shows that Hollywood and other entertainment media were drumming out. A case in point - about ten years ago, I was forced to evict someone to the street curb. Of all of their personal possessions, nothing was more important to them than preserving that big screen plasma TV of theirs. To this day, we don't have cable in our home, as we justify it to be an unnecessary expense. As this is the information age, having an internet service is necessary and far more important. --99.203.xx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 21, 2018 5:11 AM

Morning, All....

I'm late to the party. Ah well...it was a fun weekend filled with graduations and confirmation ceremonies and parties!

I am a student of history, both by training (1 class short of a B.S. in History) and by hobby. A little perspective not based on the 24-hour news cycle may help.

First, we are not the first and only American generation to deal with this. Remember our founding father, Ben Franklin? His aphorisms were legendary as they were a reaction to a climate of late 18th century hyper-consumerism: "A penny saved is a penny earned." The difference is it was the rising middle class and upper class who were hyper-consumers. The vast majority of American living under British rule would have been considered living in poverty today. Dirt floors, kids sleep in the barn, 1 room school house with a Marm who (maybe) had graduated from high school was as good as it got in most rural communities.

AC, cell phones, internet, antibiotics, indoor plumbing....HAH! In your dreams! ;-)

Politicians riled up their voting base then as they do now. People fought in regard to what should be the status quo then as now. Nothing new under the sun.

Greek philosopher Socrates is attributed as saying, "The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise."

Sound familiar?

What's the point? Several:

1) We tend to romanticize the past compared to today. Whatever we don't like today, if we went back to the "Golden Age" we'd find plenty of problems then.

2) If it bleeds, it leads. Reporters don't sell ad space (i.e. papers, websites, emails) with feel-good fuzzy stories, though they will toss one in now and again to maintain a certain level of credulity.

3) Are there people in financial trouble today? Yep, no doubt. There always have been; there always will be. "The poor will be with you always." - Jesus, Matthew 26:11

4) We are in a time of economic concentration. Throughout history, economic cycles run between periods of concentrating wealth followed by wealth dispersal. It has been observed in the Ancient empires: Egyptian (pre-pharaohs), Assyrian, Babylonian, Israel, Greece, Rome, etc. Economic forces are largely self-regulating, and when it swings too far one way a correction ensues. Only problem is these cycles run in 100 - 300 years time slices, so it's hard for people living during them to see them.

Rome wasn't built or destroyed in a day: it took almost 1,000 years. If we measure the USA by that standard, we've barely passed out of our adolescent years.

When I see a totalitarian dictator sitting in the Oval Office, I'll be deeply concerned. But America today is still more like America in 1776 than it is Imperial Rome.

Could the cycle run its course faster today than ever before? I suppose it could. But I'm not worried about it. Here's one of my favorite aphorisms: "Worry is like paying interest on a debt never owed."

I'm not here to fix the world. Like Busy, my goal is to manage my small slice of the world: raise my kids right, love my wife, volunteer in my community, and provide a useful service. --173.19.x.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by Chris [CT]) Posted on: May 21, 2018 7:43 AM

I don't deal in the lower end market, my tenants are doing just fine.

Their always will be a segment of the population that can't make it.

The people who cannot hold down jobs in this economy have other issues, ie mental/substance abuse etc.


Half can't afford basics (by Robert Phaedra [NY]) Posted on: May 21, 2018 12:54 PM

I am generally a very liberal minded person, but these statistics often boil down to poor life decisions.

1) Housing - get a roommate (or two), or live with family

2) Food - Shop farmer's markets and discount food stores (many places have what are basically second hand grocery stores that sell food that has been discontinued or is close to expiring (canned frozen or packaged food lasts much longer than the arbitrary date stamp. Use SNAP benefits if you qualify.

3)Child care - don't have kids in the first place if you can't afford to provide for them. Condoms are cheap and readily available.

4)Health care - a HUGE problem in this country, not just for the poor. No easy solutions until the government actually does something other than juggle the same issues over and over.

5)Transportation - Not always an easy solution if you live someplace that does not have good mass transit. Even bicycles and bus transit cost money.

6) Cell phone - Practically no one had a cell phone 25 years ago. Get a landline. They are cheap and almost all companies include long distance at no charge.

Get a second (or third) job if one isn't enough to provide for yourself. Share services with friends or family (living space, child care, transportation). Cooking filling meals for a group can be done on the cheap if you shop properly and get a little creative. A single parent doesn't NEED their own apartment. Kids don't NEED their own room. Rent a large house with friends or family. Encourage children to stay in school and get an education so that THEY won't follow the same cycle. --134.179.xxx.xxx

Half can't afford basics (by RathdrumGal [ID]) Posted on: May 22, 2018 7:30 AM

I read this thread with interest. Hubby and I just finished a turn over. We were not sorry to see this young family go. They had had two more children while living in our 2 bedroom apartment -- so three kids under 4 years of age. They had been late several times with rent through the years, but always paid with late fees. We were recently in their apartment (before they gave notice) upgrading their window covering. The cheap mini blinds had torn, and they had tacked up a sheet. Too ghetto to tolerate, so we were installing new vertical blinds.

They had pizza delivered while they watched us work.

Classic. --98.146.xxx.xxx

Subject: RE: Half can't afford basics
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