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40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Roosh - 12-29-2018 06:10 PM

The problem seems to be a combination of stagnant incomes, high debt, and living beyond one's means.

Quote:What do professors, real estate agents, farmers, business executives, computer programmers, and store clerks have in common?

They're not immune to the harsh reality of living paycheck to paycheck, according to dozens of people who responded to a Washington Post inquiry on Twitter.

They’re millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers. They work in big cities and rural towns. They’ve tried to save — but rent, child care, student loans, and medical bills get in the way.

National data on the paycheck-to-paycheck experience is flimsy, but a recent report from the Federal Reserve spotlights the prevalence of extra-tight budgets: Four in 10 adults say they couldn't produce $400 in an emergency without sliding into debt or selling something, according to the 2017 figures.

The partial government shutdown, which began last Friday and is temporarily halting pay for some 800,000 federal workers, has touched off a heated discussion on Twitter about what it means to get by in the United States. (President Donald Trump warned this closure could "last a very long time" if Congress doesn't meet his demands for billions of dollars for a border wall.)

Even brief income lapses can spell disaster for some households.

"My husband is a Park Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and he had to sign his furlough papers," one woman tweeted. "We have a 4 yr. old and a 4-month-old, and we don't know when his next check will come. Mortgage is due, Christmas 2 days away."

“Broke my lease to accept new fed job for which I have to attend 7 months of training in another state,” wrote another Twitter user who later deleted the tweet. “Training canceled with shutdown. Homeless. Can’t afford short(?)-term housing/have to work full-time for no pay/returning Christmas presents.”

These and other #ShutdownStories took off online after Rep. Scott Perry (R., Pa.) suggested last week that a gap in wages wouldn’t be so bad.

"Who's living that they're not going to make it to the next paycheck?" he asked reporters, adding that most of those impacted would qualify for back pay.

According to economists: A lot of people.

“It’s astronomical what people need just to make it month to month,” said Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist at the Department of Labor who now studies how middle-class families spend their wages at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank that is funded by foundations and unions. “Given the high cost of transportation, housing, health care. … There is often no wriggle room.”

About 2,000 custodians, security guards, housekeepers, and other federal building workers are losing money this holiday season because of the shutdown, according to 32BJ SEIU, an East Coast labor union — and because such staffers are employed by contractors, they won’t be eligible for makeup checks.

“My supervisor told me we won’t be getting paid,” one State Department cleaner told the Post last week, “so my bills won’t be getting paid.”

Beyond the federal labor sphere, workers across a variety of professions struggle to make ends meet.

Sol Smith, chair of liberal arts at a Southern California college, said he landed his job after earning three degrees. But with four daughters and mounting health-care costs, he said, saving just isn’t possible.

“I see no way out,” he wrote in an email to the Post. “I am 40, have built a strong career, have 17 years experience, and if something were to happen to me, my wife and kids would be homeless within a year when my life insurance ran out.”

Lani Harrison, 43, said she and her software engineer husband have trouble buying groceries after paying the $2,249 rent on their two-bedroom Los Angeles apartment. They're raising three young kids and rely on her husband's income, she said. Her work as a certified car seat installer earns her $40 per appointment, but the work isn't steady.

"Each month, we have to stretch his paycheck to make things work," she said. "We really don't have any savings. Many months we go under."

Sometimes, she confides in trusted friends.

"I'm often surprised that their stories are so similar to ours," she said.

Dillon Holt, a housekeeping assistant at a Nashville hotel, said he's down to one piece of chicken in his freezer. His checking account often hovers around zero, and he is unable to put away any money for the future or an emergency.

"I make $12.50, work 40-50 hours a week," he said. "I still don't have a savings account."

Emily Webb, 38, said she works full time as an arts administrator in Columbus, Ohio, and waits tables on the side. Staying afloat each month, she said, is a precarious dance.

“It’s a scramble at the end of a paycheck to deposit my tips and make sure none of my automatic payments bounce,” said Webb, who has a master’s degree but cannot make her student loan payments.

She's grateful to work in her field, though, and loves her job. One big financial boost, she said, awaits her at the end of 2019.

“I can finally pay off my nine-year-old car,” Webb said. “The plastic part of the back bumper was slowly sliding off the back of it. I got rear-ended by an uninsured driver two years ago, so I reattached it with zip ties.”

http://www.philly.com/jobs/labor/i-see-no-way-out-living-paycheck-paycheck-is-disturbingly-common-20181228.html

I added a private poll to see if the percentage of RVFers living paycheck to paycheck is closer to the national average. By necessity, I had to build a savings to survive my very unreliable way of earning income (via the internet as a public figure). I have to be able to endure after a shutdown or censorship campaign.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - NoMoreTO - 12-29-2018 06:32 PM

I worked for a Bankruptcy Trustee about 15 years ago, I still remember some of the lessons.
- "All men who go bankrupt get divorced" (seems obvious now)
- "Bankruptcy is for the rich too" (he felt it tied very much to living beyond your means)

Recently visiting friends in Canada, I was amazed at how much parents will spend on their kids high end sports equipment (hockey), who don't actually own their own home yet. The status of the kids is put above the wealth of the family. These are probably the same people who then can't come up with $400. The scary part is these aren't RVF single guys, these are families.

I had some experience in the collection industry, many of the people who were overdue had an unexpected issue with a vehicle, house repair, or work hours being cut. The idea of having a safety buffer seems lost on most.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Day Game Bang - 12-29-2018 06:35 PM

Thankfully I am doing okay financially. I can imagine a decent amount of Americans in a city like New York (Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Harlem) living paycheck to paycheck

Edit: Miami/South Florida is pretty bad too. High cost of living, low wages; and economy dependent on tourism.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Caduceus - 12-29-2018 06:42 PM

Remove all women from the workforce (except for feminine type jobs like secretaries, nursing & childcare) and men's salaries/wages will TRIPLE overnight.

Most of our fathers and grandfathers could afford to have their wives at home and pay for all their families expenses and still have savings in the bank. All that changed when women were forced into all areas of labour.

Now 2 people working still can't pay all the bills, and children are raised by total strangers in daycare.
Putting women into the workforce was the way companies have essentially stagnated salaries and spending power onto 1970s/1980s levels.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Thot Leader - 12-29-2018 06:59 PM

(12-29-2018 06:32 PM)NoMoreTO Wrote:  Recently visiting friends in Canada, I was amazed at how much parents will spend on their kids high end sports equipment (hockey), who don't actually own their own home yet. The status of the kids is put above the wealth of the family. These are probably the same people who then can't come up with $400. The scary part is these aren't RVF single guys, these are families.

I'm no longer very close with my friends who wound up settling down and raising kids, so I have no idea how they are doing financially. But from what I see on their social media pages they seem to live it up (big houses, nice cars, vacations, sports/hobbies for their kids, etc.). In other words, they're living the way Millennials are known to, which is seemingly beyond their means. If these are tough times for Canadians, you'd never know it from how they live.


(12-29-2018 06:42 PM)Caduceus Wrote:  Putting women into the workforce was the way companies have essentially stagnated salaries and spending power onto 1970s/1980s levels.

And yet economists act like it's some huge fucking mystery as to why wages have stagnated since that time. Seriously, as if we can't figure it out. I think this may be one of the main pillars of the feminist lie.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - JackinMelbourne - 12-29-2018 07:02 PM

You forgot about high tax. And I'm not just talking about income tax... I'm talking about tax at every single transaction, double dipping, tripple dipping death of a thousand cuts tax.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Day Game Bang - 12-29-2018 07:05 PM

Quote:Remove all women from the workforce (except for feminine type jobs

Women can be good teachers (high school level and below) and doctors. My current doctor is a early 30's woman and she has been caring. Any sort of illness or problems I have, she genuinely is trying to help me. And she is smart/competent too. Women are biologically more warmhearted than men and work well in healthcare.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - moneyshot - 12-29-2018 07:08 PM

(12-29-2018 06:59 PM)Thot Leader Wrote:  
(12-29-2018 06:32 PM)NoMoreTO Wrote:  Recently visiting friends in Canada, I was amazed at how much parents will spend on their kids high end sports equipment (hockey), who don't actually own their own home yet. The status of the kids is put above the wealth of the family. These are probably the same people who then can't come up with $400. The scary part is these aren't RVF single guys, these are families.

I'm no longer very close with my friends who wound up settling down and raising kids, so I have no idea how they are doing financially. But from what I see on their social media pages they seem to live it up (big houses, nice cars, vacations, sports/hobbies for their kids, etc.). In other words, they're living the way Millennials are known to, which is seemingly beyond their means. If these are tough times for Canadians, you'd never know it from how they live.


(12-29-2018 06:42 PM)Caduceus Wrote:  Putting women into the workforce was the way companies have essentially stagnated salaries and spending power onto 1970s/1980s levels.

And yet economists act like it's some huge fucking mystery as to why wages have stagnated since that time. Seriously, as if we can't figure it out. I think this may be one of the main pillars of the feminist lie.

Key word bolded. Any "economist" who isn't completely willfully ignorant of societal changes that the West has undergone in the 20th and 21st centuries knows that's exactly why wages have stagnated.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - NoMoreTO - 12-29-2018 07:30 PM

(12-29-2018 06:42 PM)Caduceus Wrote:  Remove all women from the workforce (except for feminine type jobs like secretaries, nursing & childcare) and men's salaries/wages will TRIPLE overnight.

Most of our fathers and grandfathers could afford to have their wives at home and pay for all their families expenses and still have savings in the bank. All that changed when women were forced into all areas of labour.

Now 2 people working still can't pay all the bills, and children are raised by total strangers in daycare.
Putting women into the workforce was the way companies have essentially stagnated salaries and spending power onto 1970s/1980s levels.

People in the big cities are screwed. All of my friends in Toronto have to pull 100K plus, then their wives have to pull 50-100K as well to actually enter into the real estate market and not die commuting every day(house/semi).

I view the double income as the cause of the real estate inflation too, that and economic immigration. Feminism has fucked our standard of living, and the Bankers are lining their pockets.

In Toronto, you are not just competing with local Canadian DINK professionals but from people migrating here from India, China, UAE etc from legitimately rich families.

At the end of the day, these are still the 'smart' people who are fighting this fight and trying to get into the market while they still can. Your kids and future generations will be locked out if you don't play your cards right.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - SamuelBRoberts - 12-29-2018 08:10 PM

With taxes at 20% of income, rent at 30%-40%, and health insurance at 10-15%, it doesn't take much at all to get "beyond your means".


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - BaatumMania - 12-29-2018 08:12 PM

There was also an older article, which Tom Leykis referred to a bit before retiring, saying like 69% of Americans adults had less than $1,000 in the bank.

I have a strong feeling that 69% probably isn't on the Rooshv forum. You're probably not going to Thailand or Taiwan if you only have $300 in your checking account...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2016/09/23/survey-69-of-americans-have-less-than-1000-in-savings-infographic/#7e7964161ae6

Unironically hilarious that for the longest time Eastern European and Asian girls thought the western men they shagged were rich guys just because a few them were $30kmillionaires (guys who made $30,000 but spent everything like they were rich or just spent every saved dollar within a 2 week trip in Thailand).


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - BaatumMania - 12-29-2018 08:19 PM

(12-29-2018 08:10 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  With taxes at 20% of income, rent at 30%-40%, and health insurance at 10-15%, it doesn't take much at all to get "beyond your means".

Yes it was after talking to my accountant years ago which got me into emigrating. Because I was told after paying Federal / Regional / Retirement and other fees the taxables would had ended up between 55% - 60%. Then to get an apartment in a semi-nice area would take out another $24,000 or so from me. Like how does even do this for decades without feeling suicidal?

It's pretty down right impossible to actually live well in the West unless you're down and willing to pay $100,000 each year. I just don't get how people are doing it. Honestly don't.

That's compared to most of Asia where I can have a studio in a nice area and eat out everyday and spend under $1,500 and the countries I've lived in I chose the ones where the tax was 0%.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Days of Broken Arrows - 12-29-2018 08:34 PM

(12-29-2018 06:42 PM)Caduceus Wrote:  Remove all women from the workforce (except for feminine type jobs like secretaries, nursing & childcare) and men's salaries/wages will TRIPLE overnight.

Most of our fathers and grandfathers could afford to have their wives at home and pay for all their families expenses and still have savings in the bank. All that changed when women were forced into all areas of labour.

Now 2 people working still can't pay all the bills, and children are raised by total strangers in daycare.
Putting women into the workforce was the way companies have essentially stagnated salaries and spending power onto 1970s/1980s levels.

A college friend said this to me during the Bill Clinton era. I filed it in the back of my mind and didn't think much of it. Until I got older and looked around at couples struggling.

Now I think this is THE economic issue of our time. Glad to know other people see this even though you can't talk about it in "polite company" without being called names.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - SamuelBRoberts - 12-29-2018 08:50 PM

(12-29-2018 08:19 PM)BaatumMania Wrote:  
(12-29-2018 08:10 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  With taxes at 20% of income, rent at 30%-40%, and health insurance at 10-15%, it doesn't take much at all to get "beyond your means".

Yes it was after talking to my accountant years ago which got me into emigrating. Because I was told after paying Federal / Regional / Retirement and other fees the taxables would had ended up between 55% - 60%. Then to get an apartment in a semi-nice area would take out another $24,000 or so from me. Like how does even do this for decades without feeling suicidal?

Ayup. And that doesn't include student loans, which on average is another 5-10% of income.

But nobody likes to talk about this, 'cause it's much more fun to yell at poor people and accuse the young of wasting their money on "avocado toast".


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - chicane - 12-29-2018 11:48 PM

Overall, my standard of living has been decreasing steadily over the past 30 years. Wages have stagnated while cost of living has increased dramatically. I'm doing better than a lot of people, but there's not much left to trim. Personally, I put a lot of the blame on increased taxes. Not just income tax. Sales tax was 4% when I was young, now it's 8.5%. I'm certainly not getting twice the services I was then. Property taxes are rapidly ratcheting up, I can count on paying at least 10% more every year. The various fees and taxes on my utility bills are now more than the actual services.

When I was in college, I knew a guy who was supporting himself and paying his way through college by working evenings and weekends as a grocery store stocker. Today that would be impossible.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Employee22 - 12-30-2018 12:54 AM

https://radicalpersonalfinance.com/my-plan-for-how-i-would-become-a-millionaire-with-a-minimum-wage-job-at-walmart-rpf0043/

I'm financially secure and have never made more than $17/hr. Even if I choose to never save another dollar from a future wage/salary, I'll end up with a net worth north of $1 million by the time I'm ready to retire. If I invest a paltry $5,000/year until I'm 60, my portfolio will be worth nearly $5 million. (I am predicting conservative returns on investments here, not runaway stock-picking success.)

3 years ago I was broke, and never had had a real job before.

It's possible to stack money at low levels, but you really gotta want it. Just like anything else, I guess. Walking to work, shacking up with roommates, picking up as much OT as you can handle, working holidays and weekends, cooking your own meals (or 'cheap' fast food), cutting out cable, getting gently used office clothes from family members . . . Books from the library instead of Amazon, documentaries from YouTube instead of Netflix.

"A millionaire is made $10 a time."

I've got plenty of people in my life who are always complaining about being broke, like the unfortunate folks above. And yet everyday, I see that they're broke because of personal lifestyle decisions, not for the other (true) observations made by other posters. They're stuck living in a paycheck-to-paycheck loop. As I've quietly worked to build a good financial foundation for myself, these people are struggling with the same financial problems they had when I met them years ago.

For example, one buddy of mine worked a couple of OT shifts. I thought he'd pay down his legal dues from a DUI. What'd he do? He bought one of those Apple Watches, ha ha! My best bud from growing up drunkenly texted me the other day telling me he was going to file for his tax return "as soon as I possibly can." Some of his 'problems' got the best of him, he explained, and now he's in a hole with credit card debt.

If my buddy lost his job right now, he'd be in the same place as the government workers. And he's got a great job.

Remember, this sort of financial sacrifice isn't eternal. I've achieved financial stability in 2.5-3 years, and I'm just an entry-level worker.

I'm at a place in life where I could buy an Apple Watch without thinking twice about it, even on my low wage. But when you've assessed material goods and money in a different sort of way (a financial red pill, if you will), you really begin to see what the actual value of 'stuff' is to you. I don't want an Apple Watch, but I do want that month-long vacation to Peru, for example.

Just a different perspective I thought I'd toss out there.

---
Quote:Remove all women from the workforce (except for feminine type jobs like secretaries, nursing & childcare) and men's salaries/wages will TRIPLE overnight.

Most of our fathers and grandfathers could afford to have their wives at home and pay for all their families expenses and still have savings in the bank. All that changed when women were forced into all areas of labour.

Now 2 people working still can't pay all the bills, and children are raised by total strangers in daycare.
Putting women into the workforce was the way companies have essentially stagnated salaries and spending power onto 1970s/1980s levels.

Got into an argument at work a few months ago with a young feminist intern and a male co-worker. The gist of the argument was my claim that women entering the workforce en masse permanently destroyed out economy and made wages stagnant.

Feminist Intern: "So, let me guess -- you think I should just stay in the kitchen or something."

Me: "Well," grinning, "That's not what I said . . ."

Feminist Intern: "Well, why shouldn't I get to have my dream then? I've always dreamed of having a career."

Me: "You can have your dream of a career, nothing's stopping you."

Feminist Intern: "You just said career women are ruining the American economy."

Me: "Yeah, that's true."

Male Co-Worker, with an edge to his voice: "So why shouldn't women get to work?"

Me: "Well, they can work, but they need to realize that they and all of their career women friends have stagnated our economy."

Feminist Girl: "Wow, just wow. I can't believe you'd say that! That doesn't even make any sense!"

Me: "It makes perfect sense!"

Male Co-Worker: "Yeah, man, you make no sense. You're gonna have to explain yourself, because right now you sound like a chauvinist."

Feminist Girl, getting all testy: "He's always says this chauvinist shit.

Me: "Wait, are you guys actually serious? I can't tell if you're messing with me. This is the easiest argument to make in the world."

(Pregnant pause, while I wait for them to respond. I get nothing.)

Me: "With all of the women in the workforce today, there's twice as many workers for the same amount of jobs. Why would an employer pay people more when there's twice as much competition for the same job?"

I got nothing back. Both sheepishly looked away from me, resuming their work.

I laughed.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - yankeetravels - 12-30-2018 01:28 AM

I'm not sure how surprised I am to hear this, but I have to assume the under 30 crowd heavily skewed these results. I'd imagine young people don't have a ton of emergency savings and extra income for it compared to older folks. Take student loans out, that's still an issue due to high rent in certain cities and low entry salary.

One big thing I can say is that young people tend to flock to big cities early for career opportunity and independence. Where I live, rent can cost 2-3k a month in these areas. Salaries don't match well for savings money. My solution to this was to swallow my pride and move back in with my parents when I came back from my last trip. This has helped me rapidly build back up a savings account by eliminating 75% of my bills. The way I look at it is it's not worth moving out if I can't comfortably live on my own. I tend to view stranger roommates as a worse arrangement.

Also like others have said, minimize materialistic expenses. I haven't bought a laptop in 5 years, usually wait 3 years between phones, sneakers every 2 years, clothes basically as I need them mostly, limit eating out, even cutting back alcohol if necessary. However, I am not a bare budget traveler, as that's where a lot of my entertainment money goes. Not a luxury travel guy either though, can usually find destinations that offer reasonable costs or stay at friends houses on the road or even travel with a friend sometimes.

I'm convinced I save more money than people who make twice my annual income. It's not just how much you make but how you spend your money.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Delta - 12-30-2018 01:35 AM

I have to go against the grain on this one; the main issue here is people spending like fucking morons. I constantly witness people who are far from rich drop lots of money on totally unnecessary things, presumably for the perceived status boost.

You don't need to attend college at some mediocre $60k/yr private school. You don't need a $40k performance car, and you sure as hell don't need to keep getting a new one every few years. You don't need to "treat yourself" to meals at fancy restaurants. You don't need to pay $300+ a night to stay at luxury resorts when you travel. You don't need to drop triple figures on shots at the bar every weekend. Guys, you don't need $200 LeBron sneakers when you fucking suck at basketball anyway, and girls, no one's fucking impressed by your overpriced $200 heels that were made in the same Indonesian sweatshop alongside the Walmart brand.

I respect people's right to spend their money how they choose, but when I see people pissing their money away on stuff like this and then whining about how hard it is to save and how the 'system' or whoever else is fucking them over, I just think of them as pathetic dumbasses and have no sympathy.

I live on my own in a very expensive part of the country. I eat out all the time. I go out with friends. I go on dates. I travel. I do not deprive myself of anything. And yet I spend way less in a year than the average person earns, because I don't spend status dollars. I only spend on things that are worth it from a utility perspective. It really isn't hard at all.

Your grandparents made ends meet on one salary BECAUSE THEY WERE FUCKING CHEAP by today's standards. Have you guys never spent time around old people? Those motherfuckers would rather take a bullet to the kneecap than blow $30 on artisanal cheese.

Stop romanticizing the past. No generation ever had it easy. Get yourself out of the pointless status-signalling arms race and you'll find that building up savings really isn't that difficult.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - SamuelBRoberts - 12-30-2018 02:00 AM

(12-30-2018 01:35 AM)Delta Wrote:  I have to go against the grain on this one; the main issue here is people spending like fucking morons. I constantly witness people who are far from rich drop lots of money on totally unnecessary things, presumably for the perceived status boost.

No, the main issue is that fixed costs are skyrocketing.
College tuition: Way, way up. Used to be able you could pay for this by working summers. Now you're a debt slave for years if you want a degree.
Health care: Way, way up. The average person used to spend 10 days out of the year working to afford health insurance. Now it's 60.
Rent and housing: Way, way up. I know guys who've had to leave the towns they grew up in because they literally could not afford it anymore. A house in my neighborhood has appreciated 50% over the last 5 years.
Taxes: Way, way up. Sales taxes are up. Fees are up. (It cost 300 fucking dollars for me to get my boring, average sedan registered last year.) Everything is up.

This stuff eats up every single paycheck. There's barely any left over after all of it.

Meanwhile, job stability is in the shitter. Family formation is way down. Full-time work is getting rarer and rarer as Americans are being pushed to contract work and multiple part-time jobs.

THAT is what's killing 40% of American families. Not "$200 LeBron Sneakers", whatever the hell those are.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Roosh - 12-30-2018 02:23 AM

Both Delta and Sam are correct at the same time: people are spending beyond their means AND costs have gone up. That said, someone who takes frugality seriously can still make it, but it won't be fun. You'll have to control your spending daily with extreme discipline. The real key is to eliminate all credit card debt, and then student loan debt. I noticed that many Americans think of debt in terms of "monthly payments". They are living paycheck to paycheck because they measure affordability of cars, houses, etc by the monthly payment. They make $3000 a month take-home and then get a $500 car payment that takes 5 years to pay off on top of $1000 rent and $1000 food/dining/alcohol/dating. They will have nothing left over after incidentals and student loan payments.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Sgt Donger - 12-30-2018 02:29 AM

(12-30-2018 02:23 AM)Roosh Wrote:  That said, someone who takes frugality seriously can still make it, but it won't be fun.

And you won't get laid.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Penta Sahi - 12-30-2018 02:42 AM

Right now I'm in a good place (no debt, steady job, fat emergency fund, some investments, almost enough for a down payment on my own place).

But I could have been in this place years ago had I not fallen into the trap of POST FUCKING SECONDARY EDUCATION.

To be clear, I greatly enjoyed my time at university and intellectually I'm better in life because of it. I was involved in a lot of clubs, had my first real experiences with women, met some life long friends, and the employment I took at my university (not related to my degree) helped me start out with my first career.

But my degree in Sociology is WORSE THAN USELESS. It's EMBARRASSING. People ask what I took in University, and I have to mutter it because I'm not proud of it.

The real salt in the wound was that this degree cost me north of $30K, even more with the interest in my loans. It took some lean years living in Uncle Rico's basement to pay that off, and it makes me wonder how much better off I would be if I had basically a $30K+ headstart in life (though Uni inadvertently led me to the Red Pill, so who knows I could be shacked up right now with some random 4.5 and been clueless to everything).

Anyways, whenever I hear someone say they're thinking of "going back to school", I really dig down and ask them why, and slowly try and persuade them into believing that it's an overpriced sham. Because it is.

Is there any way to live the "university life" (seriously I think those were the best years of my life) without having to pay the ungodly tuition fees?


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Nordwand - 12-30-2018 03:22 AM

The same is true over here in the UK. House prices/rent have increased massively in the course of a generation, and young people starting out today can only dream of the standard of living that their parents had. Add to that the fact that wages have stagnated, with no or below inflation pay increases for many. For others, wages have been cut massively due to oversupply of labour, and this goes across the social spectrum, from a low wage packer, to a highly qualified professional.

A little while back, I read an anecdote from someone who had been educated at a good, fee paying school in the UK. He had recently attended a school reunion, and found that, like himself, his former classmates had been unable to send their children to the same school, as it was beyond their finances.

From the same forum, a poster told how he had become embroiled in an argument with an estate agent, over the exorbitant rent that was being charged on a 2 bedroom flat, somewhere in London. The estate agent stated that the flat was actually very affordable, because it would be occupied by two couples.

Job stability has gone to hell. Many lower paid jobs, which would have been permanent employment in the past, are now agency work, on a week to week basis, even though the employees have been working in the role for months, or even years.


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - Sumanguru - 12-30-2018 03:51 AM

(12-29-2018 11:48 PM)chicane Wrote:  Personally, I put a lot of the blame on increased taxes. Not just income tax. Sales tax was 4% when I was young, now it's 8.5%. I'm certainly not getting twice the services I was then. Property taxes are rapidly ratcheting up, I can count on paying at least 10% more every year. The various fees and taxes on my utility bills are now more than the actual services.

Not just an increase of taxes beyond the rate of inflation, but also a *poor use of taxes*. Federal, state, and local governments are getting bigger and more bloated yet remain painfully inefficient and incapable. Every time we complain about incompetent police, or how terrible going to the DMV is, or how crappy public education is, or how worthless Congress is, we're complaining about our taxes being used poorly. Our systems are so shit that governments have to increase taxes just to keep up with their bloat. Shitty systems can also be part of the reason people fall behind (public transit that doesn't exist or is unreliable, bureaucracy that blocks progress, shitty police and justice system destroy lives and families, shitty education can hinder some kids from reaching their potential, etc.)


RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - MongolianAbroad - 12-30-2018 04:33 AM

America, and most of the West, is life on easy mode.

If you can't make it in America given enough time, say 15 years as an able-bodied adult, then you're just dumb in regards to finances, or you just don't prioritize financial security.*

I'll spell it out. We get an economic crash every ten years or so. If you spent the ten or so boom years buying brand new cars, renting expensive places, and taking expensive trips abroad simply for travel's sake, or worse, to bang loose women, you will not have the capital needed to invest during the crashes. The investments you make during the crashes, the plays you make, those are the plays that set you, and many times your heirs, up for life. They set you up for life on the backs of those that spend the boom years buying into things with a negative ROI and investing in relationships, including with women, that have a negative ROI. In a way, you can say that fortunes aren't made during the booms, they're made during the crashes. The booms are simply when the dullards get interested in investing.

The end.