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Thread: Nearly half of Americans can't afford survival basics....

  1. #11
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    From the data I've seen, you need a $25/hour to survive in NJ. Probably a lot more in many areas. If the minimum wage is <$20/hr, what do people do? You co-house. You put off dreams of having families. As Terry said, you move--a stressful decision, but one that many of our ancestors made. If you are making <$10, you go under. What's wrong? Who are the lucky ones in the bare majority who are managing to get by?
    So, everyone should be able to afford a 1 br apartment to live in, alone? Is that the standard?

  2. #12
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    Workers need to unionize.
    To do what? So many people have been left out of the marketable skill department that finding any job is difficult, ask a millennial who has recently graduated and looking for work experience.

    FWIW, many people used to live in rooming houses for years having shelter and food but the low-skill jobs paying for this are gone as are the rooming houses. If one is out of the work field for even a year, technology has advanced and it is hard to get back in. Even the farming jobs on big farms need advanced computer skills and scientific knowledge. Offshore labour is used for harvesting crops and even these are quite skilled in their own way so local workers won't do them. Farmers will try to use local labour but these workers don't last a day but start complaining or demanding more pay and fewer hours each day. Unfortunately crops don't watch the clock as they grow.
    Last edited by razz; 5-17-18 at 11:03pm.
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  3. #13
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    a studio, but if I couldn't afford a studio I never would have left home, so we can't really fault young people for living at home into their 30s and so on, as it may just be the best choice available. Sure small apartments with shared kitchens and private bathrooms might work but do you know anyone building them. So not really an option that exists for anyone on the market.
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  4. #14
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    It’s high time for a universal basic income.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    I agree with universal basic income or "mincome" or what-have-you.

    I still say workers need to organize into unions. It is an excellent way to better redistribute wealth and resources. It also teaches people to be agents for their own betterment.

    I also think that it would be wise and helpful for people to stop feeling so entitled to so much. Things people feel entitled to they really ought to think of as special privileges for those that can afford it.

    A car of your own? That is a privilege for those that can afford it.
    Having children is your right? No... perhaps it is a privilege for only those that can afford it.
    A house in the burbs? Sure! If you can demonstrably afford it.

    And so on.
    Last edited by Ultralight; 5-18-18 at 5:39pm.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    Around here, it looks like a lot of people as described either live by the river in a tent, rent out a room in a house, stay with friends/family or at extended stay hotels very short term. CL is full of ads from people like this looking for somewhere to be other than under a bridge. What happened to our country?
    the rich are doing well. The stock market is soaring, so people with a nice stock portfolios are doing quite well. If you invested in real estate in some areas you are doing well. Have a nice pension? Good for you. And a CEO

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.016735f45548

    i think we are seeing the tip of the iceberg. As almost no middle class people have even modest pensions, more expensive healthcare and higher costs for housing we are heading for more crime, homelessness, drug use and social unrest. There will always be some poor people as their have been in all societies, but to be poor working to your full capacity at least full time with no hope for a way out? Oh wait, let them eat cake.

  7. #17
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    I think there is a sort of mix of public policy and cultural issues at work here.

    On the housing front, for instance, we often see restrictive zoning or rent control suppressing the supply of affordable housing. The less wealthy can either become homeless or be shifted to less "enlightened" jurisdictions. I see the socialist solons of Seattle will be taxing jobs. That should do the trick.

    There also seems to be a skills gap, not only technical skills, but things like showing up on time and passing drug tests. The first might be addressable through diverting resources from the snowflake hatchery model of education to a more practical-minded system of technical training and apprenticeships. Competing countries seem to be doing a better job of this than we are. If that makes me a philistine who doesn't appreciate the life of the mind, than so be it.

    Above all, I think the cultural barriers to improvement of the situation would best be overcome by a return to the bourgeois values of yesteryear. Personal accountability, stable marriages, self-discipline and all that other boring traditional stuff. I'm not talking about blaming the victim, but I think identifying as a victim does you harm even if you are one.

    I also think UL is right that there has been an upward creep in what we consider a basic living standard to be.

  8. #18
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    My father is generally conservative, but even when I was a child he would talk about how we need to care for the people that are poor. He said that when there’s a big divide between rich and poor, then there’s social unrest and Civil War. Even though this is a utilitarian reasoning, the outcome is still good in that the poor have their basic needs met.

  9. #19
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    So, everyone should be able to afford a 1 br apartment to live in, alone? Is that the standard?
    I could easily afford a one-bedroom apartment on my own back in the day, even before I had a grown-up job, so that seems standard to me. Maybe in this brave new world, we should build dorms. I agree with Ultralight about unions, but that presumes we hold off automation indefinitely.

  10. #20
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    To LDAHL's education statement...my GS will go to 8th grade in the fall. He's been to a few career days already and we are told there's a class ( required) next year to teach employability skills. This class meets for one period a day - 50 minutes - to teach how to say yes sir, no ma'am, please, thank you. To stand when introduced. How to shake hands. Etc...

    He needs math, science, English skills first. The rest should come from the parents. But I guess that's what happens when federal government dictates educational policy.

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