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Old 07-20-2009, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,064,818 times
Reputation: 3717

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synergy1 View Post
Our economy has shown a cyclical variation of highs and lows throughout the years....Veterans of War, especially disabled Veterans, deserve the best continued treatment available to anyone in the USA. Their standard of living is lower than what we Americans should expect of a person who vows to protect the freedom of certified citizens.

But like the water in our sinks, the standard of living for everyone has to be lowered to a lower level they do not desire. I believe and have seen not many Wall Streeters send out this message because it is detrimental to their high living standards.

I contribute what little I can afford to all USA Military Veterans who are down on his/her luck...How do I spot a Veteran? It is imporssible for me to do it so I ask questions. As I see worn clothes, the beaten look on their face and their general poor appearance I ask if they were a Veteran... During the Holidays I look for people who need help and give them something outta my wallet.....then direct them to a sponsored organization who can permanently assist this person. Why do I look for Veterans?

I cannot spot a Vet outright unless I ask questions and when the person says NO I wasn't a Vet. I still contribute to a down trodden person who was not a Veteran but I believe Veterans deserve a whole lot more then what they currently receive.....

God Bless our Veterans and Troops.

..
Absolutely agree! We conveniently ignore their ongoing plight and suffering. It's amazing, frankly, that we still have volunteers to go to war for our freedoms. What a crock when they return!

And meantime, we provide vast entitlements to those who choose not to work...

What's wrong with this picture?
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,116,890 times
Reputation: 9523
But what is "better"?

Bigger isn't necessarily better - I've been in those McMansions, and watched them go up, and they are very poorly built. One friend who bought one couldn't get his sprinkler system to work - the contractor had to come out and dig it up only to find that the heads had all been hammered into the ground upside down! Then his wife was pulling out of the garage one morning and she pushed the button to close the garage - and the garage pulled off of the house and came crashing down. But they had fake wood veneer floors and Corian counters! Yes, and wood particle-and-glue exterior walls covered up with siding that rippled within a year as the particle-board absorbed water. Another friend spent a half-million on a home with all of the latest amenities - 3 car garage, glassed in summer room, etc - and now 6 years later his entire home has wood rot in every exterior wall. To fix it, it would have to be torn down wall by wall and replaced - or bulldozed. He can't sell it and he can't afford to fix it. But gawrsh, it sure was purty!

Our first (950 sq foot) house was considered 'crap' by the standards when it was built in 1975; brick exterior and solid wood frames, even though not one wall was true. We raised three kids in it. The current McMansion BRs are half the size of our first house's BRs!

Now we live in a 100 year old farmhouse. Big rooms, big windows, big basement, all built as solidly as a rock. Solid 3-inch maple trim and baseboards inside, even old leaded stained-glass windows in the front. My city friends make fun - but it costs me less to heat this place than it did back east, because of its good solid construction. I didn't pay half of what a McMansion costs for this place - and it is far better built and more energy efficient than any of those "certified" homes. So what have we really gained by building new shacks that will fall apart in years, not decades; in putting folks in expensive homes with all of the latest construction marvels that have planned obsolescence built right in? In five years I might have to replace a few shingles that get blown off - what will THEY have to replace? McMansions are fiscal boondoggles that are more promise than produce - and yet folks look to fill them with their WalMart garbage as quickly as they can go buy it.

To me, that's where the whole materialism thing comes in - everything has to be newer and better and prettier, not have lasting beauty and durability. For the same price - or less! - they can have the latter, but they'll turn up their noses because "it's old". "Old" relationships, "old" marriages, "old" cars, "old" houses - no matter what their intrinsic worth, no matter their performance levels or productivity, they must all be discarded for the Disney-World, Wal-Mart mentality, the desperate and pathetic need for the excitement and desire of the new and shiny. We have all become - magpies; filling our nests with shiny crap we have no use for. And that will be our downfall, when the winds of change blow down those shiny pretty things because the 'nests' of our needs and desires are not built to last.
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 14,754,589 times
Reputation: 6644
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
I'm with you - except that I own houses as investments.


I was thinking about this though, on a very long motorcycle ride the other day (yes, it gets 50 mpg)... Think about how much more economically most Americans COULD live, if we simply chose to. Buy food staples in bulk. Prepare all your own meals the "old" way. Don't eat out, at all.

My wife & I had ham, baked potatoes, green beans & muffins for supper the other night. Total cost: Less than $18. But we made 4 more meals out of the leftovers. So the two of us ate 5 good meals for about $20.

I bet most of us could cut our food bills in half, and do so with relative ease. Further, it'd probably be a really good and healthy thing to do.
Yes, we all know how wonderful it would be for the food service industry (a huge industry indeed) if everybody "didn't eat out, AT ALL."

Not saying it's good to spend excessive money at restaurants. But it is an important sector of our economy.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:22 AM
 
44,580 posts, read 43,115,486 times
Reputation: 14379
I don't know how bad things will get and I don't know if things will get better. Personally, I just feel like I am in a sort of limbo.
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:05 PM
Status: "happy again, no longer catless! t...." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,421 posts, read 16,686,996 times
Reputation: 16425
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Yes, we all know how wonderful it would be for the food service industry (a huge industry indeed) if everybody "didn't eat out, AT ALL."

Not saying it's good to spend excessive money at restaurants. But it is an important sector of our economy.
I wouldn't want to never eat out. I love having someone else do the work (which I don't consider the cooking to be part of). But due to renting a room with allowed but very difficult use of the kitchen, I had to eat out a lot for a time. The most wonderful thing about the apartment I moved into was the kitchen. It was *tiny* but it was mine.

I think we need to return to cooking at home as the norm and eating out as the special or circumstancial moments. People also need to learn how to cook. Shoving it in the microwave or warming up a can is not the same thing. Perhaps those of us with little money, who have to cook carefully, should offer insturction on how to cook and eat cheap and well to the microwave generation.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:25 AM
 
2,700 posts, read 3,749,435 times
Reputation: 2867
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
The short answer to the OP, is, for me at least, yes. Our standard of living is very likely going to be severely eroded.

I think our government is going the way of Argentina or Venezuela. We are spending huge gobs of money on bailouts for banks as well as 'economic stimulus' plans. Now Congress wants to throw an extra $1 Tillion (yes that's right, a Trillion) to 'reform' a health care system that is already the world's most expensive.

Add on to all of that the reality of the future liabilities of Social Security and Medicare, and things look really bad. People fret about Social Security, but Medicare is actually in much worse financial shape.
Yes, you are beginning to figure it out. In order to get cheaper healthcare, we are going to have higher taxes. But, of course, not everyone pays taxes, only those in particular socio-economic brackets. This is just another form of wealth redistribution.

The Dems figure that they only need to soak the rich for this better healthcare system. What they don't realize is that the rich have their own ways of moving outside the system. Thus, the tax increases will have to move down the income ladder to include people for whom Mr. Obama promised that they would see no tax increase.

One trillion for cheaper healthcare. Cheaper for whom?
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,045 posts, read 18,263,811 times
Reputation: 15568
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teak View Post
Yes, you are beginning to figure it out. In order to get cheaper healthcare, we are going to have higher taxes. But, of course, not everyone pays taxes, only those in particular socio-economic brackets. This is just another form of wealth redistribution.

The Dems figure that they only need to soak the rich for this better healthcare system. What they don't realize is that the rich have their own ways of moving outside the system. Thus, the tax increases will have to move down the income ladder to include people for whom Mr. Obama promised that they would see no tax increase.

One trillion for cheaper healthcare. Cheaper for whom?
You got it. Probably what will happen is that the "new healthcare" system will force everyone to have health insurance and pay for it or get fined by the IRS, like in the state of Mass. The rich will never see a tax hike, mark my (and your) word.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:01 PM
 
115 posts, read 296,869 times
Reputation: 90
I personally feel most Americans are spoiled & could easily scale back. think about a generation ago.
in the 60s-70s & even early 80s, most middle class Americans didnt have anywhere near the stuff we have now. most of us grew up sharing a bed room, sharing toys, hand me down toys & clothes & shoes, we rarely went out to eat, vacations were generally occasional weekend trips. probaly had 1 TV...with 4 or 5 channels, 1 phone, 1 maybe 2 cars, neither very special really,probaly no AC, crank up windows, maybe power steering.
Now look at the average middle class, 3-4 bed room house with a couple bathrooms, hand me downs ? are you kidding ?, computers, electronic games, out to eat pretty regular, trips to Disney,nice tv's through out the house with cable or sat., everyone ,even the kids have cell phone, with texting & maybe e-mail & GPS,atleast 2 usually nice vehicles, well equiipt.
& most likely in dept up to there eyelids, but they still want more.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:29 PM
 
2,318 posts, read 1,465,983 times
Reputation: 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
With a few minor bumps things have been good for Americans since 1945.

In 1950 the average size of a new house in America was 950 square feet, the wife stayed home and nearly every family had an automobile parked in their driveway. One automobile.

Today the average size of a new house in America is 2,600 square feet, we have two and sometimes three cars parked in the driveway or sometimes in the garage because some garages today are larger than the house grandma lived in.

Unlike grandma today's modern has credit cards that help live beyond means.

Things we have today in the house we pay for that grandma never thought of. Cable television, high speed internet and a cell phone for everyone. Grandma had a party line to save money.

And we wonder why mom will never be able to stay home as we lament how our wives will never be able to quit work and stay home like grandma did.

You can learn alot from a granny . But most don't want to hear it .
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,045 posts, read 18,263,811 times
Reputation: 15568
Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
I don't know how bad things will get and I don't know if things will get better. Personally, I just feel like I am in a sort of limbo.
I think a lot of us are in limbo. Just a year ago decisions seemed so much easier, more natural, more doable. I'm definitely in limbo, trying to decide whehter to spring for listing my house now, or wait thru yet another long winter.... I applaud those who were able and are able to make good decisions for themselves in this national mess....
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