Friday, January 28, 2011

Economics

     What is Rich anyway?  How much money would you need to consider yourself rich?  The town next to me is considering an income tax to help support the local schools.  The first $50,000 is exempt and then the tax kicks in.  Some are saying this is a tax on the rich but their first $50,000 isn't taxed either.  If the schools need money where are you supposed to get it from?
    Our President wanted to increase taxes on those who made OVER $200,000!!! Not the first $200,000 they made but on money over that amount!  I can't even imagine money like that and in my wildest dreams I could never spend it.
    I can reminisce and tell you of a time when I was at my wealthiest.  This goes back to the days when the dollar was actually worth something and just a different math to the economics of living entirely.
    It used to be, previous to 1980, that one could buy a house for 25% of his wages.  It was always the same 25%, the only difference was if you made a lot of money you could afford a nicer, bigger house.
I was working at the local cannery, a seasonal job at that, processing carrots and beets and corn from the local farmers.  I made $2.00 an hour in those days, which was considered average for a not too spectacular job.  I bought my house then, a not too spectacular 900 square foot house on a large lot in the middle of town.  I paid $8,375 for it.  My down payment was $1,500 and the monthly payments were about $85 per month.  My utility bill was about $25 per month.  With overtime and long hours I made about $100 per week.
     In those days, my wife worked at the cannery also, we could work a season, about five or six months and saving our money like fanatics, we could go to Europe and live for three months there. When I wasn't traveling I would be at the University and that would cost $97 for a term. Or you could buy a brand new car for $2,500 dollars, about half a years wages for an average not too spectacular job.
    Those were the days when there was no excuse.  If you had just an average run of the mill job, you could do anything you wanted to:  buy a house, buy a new car, travel the world.  All of that is impossible now, at least impossible with an average job.
    My house now I couldn't afford.  Even in this slumped economy it would sell for about $250,000!!!!!!!
and after a hefty down payment would cost about $1,500 a month with utilities adding another $200. If the math had stayed the same and we were still talking about that 25% of income for a house, you would then need a job that paid $6,000 a month!!! That would be about $38 per hour!!! Travel would be about impossible and a new car pretty much out of the question.
     That's my story for today.  We have created a bleak world of slavery and insanity.
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13 comments:

Constance Stanza Extravaganza Extraordinaire said...

Jerry it's slavery alright! Those who don't and will never have what you write about in the 70's, are provided cheap and nasty crap that comes from China so they will feel as though they too "have it all". This is reinforced by the great "drug" television and the media - Julian Lennon described it perfectly in his seminal song, "Working Class Hero".

Hah!!!

The "Wealthy"? They NEVER have enough, so they too are enslaved! There is ALWAYS something more expensive, newer, or more valuable. They spend all they energy trying to do better than their "friends" (who aren't really) and find ways of avoiding paying taxes, etc. Why do you think there are "Tax Havens" like the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Phillipines?

These people hoard but also conversely spend vast sums of money, subscribing to pet philanthropic ventures which are simply used for tax purposes. They regard their wealth as an elite badge of honour and they sneer at the common masses. And they are not happy, they do not realise that they too have been manipulated by this odious materialism slavery.

It brings to mind when my brother spent 40,000 English pounds to own an ancient Egyptian statuette - when he arrived at his Hyde Park, London "town" apartment, he unwrapped it, put it on the table and said that there was no pleasure in it now that he owned it.

It is the same as when I was a "part" of owning 9 classic, very expensive classic sports cars, luxury vehicles, 30 vintage and modern superbikes - they were put into a house specially bought for that purpose as part of a "private museum" and only saw the light when it was time to show them off! Did I tell you that yesterday I gave instructions for an expensive Jaguar motorcar to be taken to the waste dump and abandoned there?

If you want to see more about the select few MANIPULATORS, have a look at this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peX4dBEF0Vg&feature=player_embedded

I've woken to a grey day :-(

Kay said...

wow..I can't even imagine having money. We are always short. Hubby works long hours and even gets occasional overtime at very good pay but we are now living paycheck to paycheck. By the time the social security taxes, state and federal taxes and medicare are taken out and we pay for our health insurance..we are always a hundred or 2 in the hole every month. In the 70's and 80's we would have been considered upper middle class or better. We used to travel the country and I could spend a lot of time with my family but years of bad or no employment put us under and we are still digging our way out over 12 years later! I sometimes imagine getting rich and I know I would pay off our bills, my sons' bills and help others..who needs a lot of money to be happy? I just want enough to pay my bills on time and have a bit to save for some travel..I feel as if that is an impossibility right now. How did we get here? when we make a good wage and we are still poor? There is something wrong with this picture. I admit that there were times we spent the money instead of saving it..but years later..even being very careful and trying to get out from under medical bills and lost wages..we still can't seem to make headway. One broken car and back to square one! But in spite of the money situation..I am a happy person. We have a lot to be thankful for. If I can find a job..maybe we can rise above!!! Or better yet..maybe my art will sell..ahh daydreams.

stonepost said...

thanks, Constance and Kay for you substantial comments! I thought this might get more discussion, you know I like that!

Constance Stanza Extravaganza Extraordinaire said...

:-) And now my fingers are worn to the bone!!!!

I didn't intend letting off steam like that, but I am weary of the would-be manipulators (who will never reach those lofty echelons) who are such low life forms that they even stoop to pretending to be dying and involving all of their "friends"!

PAMO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clipped Wings said...

Well, I like the independence having money gives to my life. I've known many poor years, but husband has a very good job right now, and I don't mind riding on his coat tails. Husband doesn't mind it either as long as I keep the job I have. We've been able to take care of health issues that insurance wouldn't pay, do expensive repairs needed on our home, and even managed to do a little vacation this year. But we budget like crazy, treat ourselves wisely, managed to pull ourselves out of an enormous debt, and in two more months our home will be house payment free.

When I was young I used to look at those pie charts on how all your expenses should be divided and just rolled my eyes. I worked in cities, lived in apartments, and that 25% didn't even come close to what I dished out every month for rent. I used to wonder who all these people were that had so much money where only 25% of what they made went for rent or a house payment. I probably could have bought a car, but I knew I could not afford upkeep on it, so I always depended on my own two feet and rides from others. I spent one very cold winter walking 3 miles each way to work, because I couldn't find a ride.

On my own I've mostly made what the government calls poverty wages. My husband and I call ourselves lower middle class, and most of our years together have been a struggle money wise. And even now, if his job disappears with the wind, we will have a very hard time. I have nothing against people with money, more power to them. I just want everyone to pay their share in taxes. I guess I'm part of the common masses, although I never think of myself as common or a part of any mass. Not all are never satisfied. Not all do things just for tax purposes. Everyone's a different story, so I am careful on judging. I do own some very nice materialistic things and I find great joy in them, and my life is full of non-materialistic things that I also find great joy in. I love the independence money gives me, but I know how to keep it in perspective with the rest of my life.

sm said...

rule is perfect
more income more tax

Ruby said...

Slavery to the almighty dollar! Indeed that is where and what we are.
I am poor ... almost on a par with the 'poor church mouse'; and having retired five times I was telling my daughter yesterday I must get a job; I can't continue like this ..... old age pension cheque to old age pension cheque.

I have worked since I was 14; my mother having to sign a paper to allow me to work at that time (I was under the age allowed) --- and let me tell you a story.

My last earning years was at a very, very high salary. Made loads of money, at the time supporting a wayward son with an alcoholic problem and the money just drained away. That's okay...that was my decision; I thought I was helping him. And what the hey, I could always earn more, right. Well now I can't and he didn't learn anything.

But that's not the story. I was up at 4 a.m. each morning cathcing a bus, then transferring to another, then to the subway to get to my job in a city close by. With the commute I would leave home at 5 a.m. and be back in the evening at 6 p.m. I worked for government subsidised housing. Now in order to qualify for this housing one had to have a limited income, very limited. I could never, ever figure out how the applicants could DRIVE to apply for this housing .... driving up in their brand new SUV's; wearing clothes I couldn't afford and be granted government subsidised housing. I couldn't afford to buy a car!

We have made access to all the 'products' too easy. These same people would be at the local McDonald's with their broods for breakfast and lunch! They would be in the local shops buying trinkets and trash.

And guess what. I worked over 50 years ... I have a sibling who receives the same 'government controlled' old age pensions as I do .... and she never worked! Not only that my private pension is penalized in that the government reduces my old pension because I receive a 'small' private pension.

So there you go. That's my soap box.

Riches I don't need. I don't need a big expensive home ... but this apartment seems a bit ridiculous after half a century of toiling and working my way through life. I do not shop .... except at the local second hand shop. My one HUGE extravagance is art supplies. I currently lease a car, the lease is up in April and I either must get a job or look at being without a car again.

But am I happy. Oh, yes, I am slap happy; and will definitely figure out a way out of this 'poverty trench' I currently occupy. Don't know exactly what I will work at; health issues taken into consideration; but I will.

We have this government sponsored thing in our country right now to reduce personal debt ... reduce purchasing with platic. Imagine, our economy has reached such heights they government must step in and encourage people to stop using plastic!

My father would tell of a time when personal income tax was a temporary measure to reduce the war debt. I cannot ennumerate the taxes we now pay .... personal income tax, Goods and Services Tax, Gas Tax, .... this tax, that tax. May as well keep my dollar ... it's only worth about 40 cents now anyway.

Sorry, you have me rambling. But you started it Jerry.

Stay well, stay happy; eat cat food like many seniors must.

stonepost said...

I did start it Ruby, and I think it is a great discussion whith lots of good tangents. I am a baby boomer and somehow feel as though we created this mess ourselves! I drive a 1998 model, still runs, so I keep it. I do see a lot of people in new cars hunying for government assistance! It is a mess everywhere.

AutumnLeaves said...

I'll never have money. But I'm just glad that at least we have a roof over our heads now. Never before realized how blessed I was to have just that.

Ruby said...

Yes Jerry, I guess we did create it didn't we.
And I guess I'm as guilty as the next....I was married to a man who was a 'must have'; have a sibling who 'must have' the latest whatever it is.

Always in pursuit of more, larger, bigger, better!

My 'ex' (hate that term); couldn't understand why I didn't want the house we purchased, why I didn't want to purchase a later larger home. Why I was happy with our Army Surplus canvas tent; why I didn't want that 'Apache' tow trailer and later a larger trailer complete with stove, 'fridge etc.

Why didn't I want a complete bedroom suite. Why was I happy with the cheapy thing we had purchased with limited funds and painted several times.

And yes, I am guilty of adding to all this. Because I worked so we could 'have'.

I am very proud of my daughter; she has yet to purchase a 'new' living room or dining room set. They redesigned and rebuilt their kitchen out of 'scrap' wood and it is beautiful.

She does not have all the trimmings and couldn't care if she ever has; has driven a 'heap' for years. But, she has paid for four years university education for her daughter and will continue to do so for the next number of years while my granddaughter studies law.

So, she and her husband at least have the right concept.

And 'happy'; they truly are!

stonepost said...

Ruby, I think our intentions were good, we just never thought about the consequences or the price that would have to be paid. I hope our children don't do what we said but instead do what we should have said, or meant to say but didn't.

Kay said...

I drive a 1995 Pathfinder..and I love it!! I sold the big pickup and paid cash for my car and I am so happy with that. For years I never shopped except for groceries and absolute needs. Never set foot in a mall and still never do. My biggest expense is my studio space and art supplies and I am starting to get that back in some small sales. So things are good. Still job hunting..can't hide the fact that I am a baby boomer with gray hair..but I will find something and the tunnel light will be brighter for the finances. I am never jealous of the uppity ups who drive their giant SUVs to go grocery shopping. How dumb are they? My car works terrific, it is paid for and it gets me and my dogs and 4 adults around town..who could ask for anything more?