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

  1. #31
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindycindy View Post
    I like this. I make the top 10% in net worth but not in income. Does this mean I'm not a complete class enemy?
    That is us, especially now in retirement. Low income, high assets. I hope to hide behind my “we are on a senior’s fixed income” mantra when the pitchforks come into my block.

  2. #32
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    I have never understood that phrase. Whose income isn't fixed? I don't know any company that lets people work as much overtime as they want to max out their earnings. There has always been a limit to what I can spend.

  3. #33
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    I like this. I make the top 10% in net worth but not in income. Does this mean I'm not a complete class enemy?
    nah remember FDR came from a wealthy background too .. and the working class got the New Deal, which wasn't everything, wasn't entirely permanent, wasn't universal initially, and was forced in many ways by circumstances (I mean the economy was a total disaster at the time) but nonetheless ...
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    I have never understood that phrase. Whose income isn't fixed? I don't know any company that lets people work as much overtime as they want to max out their earnings. There has always been a limit to what I can spend.
    Buying on credit, is actually exceeding a limit. As for working as much OT as they want, I know city employees that are/have been allowed to do so (law enforcement, emergency services, etc). This is fairly common based on conversations I have had/employees I know, as the last three years employment are what your retirement is based on. My work, recently offered me WAY more overtime then I could handle (work up to 120 hours a week), I am working OT to help them with their medical issues, but can't drive myself into the hospital as they are currently doing to themselves.

  5. #35
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    I see at least one writer is concerned that we may lose our focus on which percentage of the population is the real "problem".

    https://slate.com/business/2018/05/f...e-problem.html

  6. #36
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    Putting aside the semantics of 1% or 9.9% and how to calculate wealth, I think that facing the hard realities of today's economy is what's really needed. Politicians are loathe to be anything but optimistic boosters, but I'd like to see even one admit that we in the U.S. are in a transition and that the coming years are going to be harder for many.
    Meaning, the facts show that:
    - costs of basic housing, healthcare and post-secondary education have all risen to levels beyond what working-class and now middle-class incomes can manage
    - jobs that were stepping stones, like pink-collar administrative work, or manufacturing/warehouse work, have been greatly reduced and are not coming back

    I've mentioned here before that I believe that simple affordable housing is a major cornerstone to a stable life. (see book "Evicted" for an eye-opener). So one solution is to expand the now-restrictive zoning.
    Examples: I remember reading about a rural school district which would have one family live in a mobile home on each of the school properties. The family provided some level of building security in exchange for living there.
    Another example was a large private storage facility that had one corner of the property set aside for housing for the on-site manager which was big enough for a small family.
    And there's a highway rest area in AZ that has a house built to the side for a family which also cleans and oversees the rest area.

    Why can't this model be expanded to more public and private businesses? Maybe large casinos/hotels can set aside a few rooms for cleaning and maintenance workers to live in. Maybe every shopping center can provide a space for live-in security worker. Maybe every large apartment complex provides a room in exchange for providing some work hours.

    After I graduated high school in the 70s, minimum wage was $2/hour which is $80 for a 40 hour work week. But an above garage apartment rented for $80/month which was 25% of your gross monthly income. That 25% - 33% guideline held true for many years but is now long-gone.
    If we as a country don't increase affordable housing stock we won't see progress on many other fronts.

  7. #37
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I'm casually browsing real estate ads and noticing that the cost of condos is now rising sharply. I saw a nice one-bedroom unit with a sound view for $575K, and was blown away by its affordability (?!). Dwellings of even the most modest kind are rarely under $200K, and middle class wages are stagnant. I'm not surprised that people are homeless or nearly so, or living with their parents indefinitely.

  8. #38
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    Even Phoenix, long a low-cost housing mecca, is now in the Top 10 of cities for cost of housing. This is new. I think investors/flippers have discovered this area which have caused bidding wars for any housing under $250,000.
    And don't get me started on the new/remodeled apartment complexes which are now almost exclusively "luxury" apartments - aka, put in granite countertops and trendy paint colors and jack up the rent.

  9. #39
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    Putting aside the semantics of 1% or 9.9% and how to calculate wealth, I think that facing the hard realities of today's economy is what's really needed. Politicians are loathe to be anything but optimistic boosters, but I'd like to see even one admit that we in the U.S. are in a transition and that the coming years are going to be harder for many.
    Meaning, the facts show that:
    - costs of basic housing, healthcare and post-secondary education have all risen to levels beyond what working-class and now middle-class incomes can manage
    - jobs that were stepping stones, like pink-collar administrative work, or manufacturing/warehouse work, have been greatly reduced and are not coming back

    I've mentioned here before that I believe that simple affordable housing is a major cornerstone to a stable life. (see book "Evicted" for an eye-opener). So one solution is to expand the now-restrictive zoning.
    Examples: I remember reading about a rural school district which would have one family live in a mobile home on each of the school properties. The family provided some level of building security in exchange for living there.
    Another example was a large private storage facility that had one corner of the property set aside for housing for the on-site manager which was big enough for a small family.
    And there's a highway rest area in AZ that has a house built to the side for a family which also cleans and oversees the rest area.

    Why can't this model be expanded to more public and private businesses? Maybe large casinos/hotels can set aside a few rooms for cleaning and maintenance workers to live in. Maybe every shopping center can provide a space for live-in security worker. Maybe every large apartment complex provides a room in exchange for providing some work hours.

    After I graduated high school in the 70s, minimum wage was $2/hour which is $80 for a 40 hour work week. But an above garage apartment rented for $80/month which was 25% of your gross monthly income. That 25% - 33% guideline held true for many years but is now long-gone.
    If we as a country don't increase affordable housing stock we won't see progress on many other fronts.
    i love your ideas. Start building the foundation one small brick at a time.

  10. #40
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    There are no doubt all sorts of creative solutions but this country always seems behind the curve when it comes to addressing societal problems. Money I guess. Another factor raising the cost of housing is that so much of it is now investor or corporate owned. I read that rental home loans via large corporations are now bundled and sold as investments.

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