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Old 05-03-2014, 06:34 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,212,814 times
Reputation: 22375

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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
Actually, there are people making around that much per job, and supporting a family. If it is a two parent family, often one member will hold two jobs, and the other might hold down one. Often though, the family is a one parent family, probably headed by a woman. She might be holding down 2 part time jobs and making about $20-25,000. If she is working as an aid in a LTC facility, for instance, she will probably make a little more than minimum wage. If she works in the kitchen, she will probably make less. I volunteered for a time in a food pantry, and I was astonished at the low wages so many hard working people make. The people in the fast food kitchen? Probably immigrants making minimum wage. Landscaping? Probably immigrants, but I don't know how they are paid. Aids in assisted care facilities or LTC places? A little above minimum wage. Waitresses? Less than minimum wage plus tips. A family existing on $25,000 will have to depend on food stamps, community services, federal subsidies for energy assistance (if obtainable) and any help they can find for themselves. They will work, and spend countless hours trying to obtain aid to keep their families afloat. They will not have bank accounts either, probably, but will depend on Pay Day loan places to put their wages on a card for a fee.

At any rate, no, these people are not saving for the future, because every cent they earn is allocated already.
^ ^ ^ Exactly. I know (and have known, all my life) sooo many folks in this exact situation.
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:03 AM
 
29,815 posts, read 34,900,894 times
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Probably at the root of the discussion is the following reality.

Why do we think that retirement as most of us conceive it is a universal right or possibility? If it is a right than we collectively are accepting responsibility for providing it at a minimally accepted level. If it is just a possibility than the market place will decide who and at what level. This is the struggle we are seeing play out with consequences for all good or bad.
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:08 AM
 
29,815 posts, read 34,900,894 times
Reputation: 11735
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
^ ^ ^ Exactly. I know (and have known, all my life) sooo many folks in this exact situation.
About a third of American adults don't even have bank accounts and many more are living pay check to pay check etc etc. a retirement nest egg is alien as many have no net worth period. At least in their 60's, SS and Medicare can help provide a floor even if still working minimum wage. For many the crisis is getting there.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:09 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,514,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Probably at the root of the discussion is the following reality.

Why do we think that retirement as most of us conceive it is a universal right or possibility? If it is a right than we collectively are accepting responsibility for providing it at a minimally accepted level. If it is just a possibility than the market place will decide who and at what level. This is the struggle we are seeing play out with consequences for all good or bad.
We, for two, never considered a comfortable retirement to be a right, or is that "rite" of passage? We planned for ours, sacrificed higher wages early-on to secure Cadillac retirement benefits and decent pensions; not to ignore primo medical benefits for our families as they grew and matured.

Collective responsibility for providing benefits for others? Yes, to a reasonable degree. By reasonable I'm thinking along the lines of Medicaid, SSI/SSP, etc. Should those who could have but chose not to provide for their futures receive the same level of benefits we do? Absolutely not. That's tantamount to awarding all children on all athletic teams the same trophy even when they lost every game and/or warmed the bench all season. Don't wanna bend those tender little psyches, ya know. Bravo Sierra!
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Old 05-03-2014, 09:07 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,212,814 times
Reputation: 22375
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Probably at the root of the discussion is the following reality.

Why do we think that retirement as most of us conceive it is a universal right or possibility? If it is a right than we collectively are accepting responsibility for providing it at a minimally accepted level. If it is just a possibility than the market place will decide who and at what level. This is the struggle we are seeing play out with consequences for all good or bad.
I don't think retirement is a "right." And it wasn't that long ago that no one thought of it as a "right" - you just worked til you couldn't work any more (or your employer forced you out). So much of America was agrarian and in those situations - taking care of the farm was a lifelong duty to ensure sustenance - and often, it was a family run activity.

I think folks have distorted ideas about what is and isn't a "right" in this country. Seems to me folks think everyone has the "right" to a middle class lifestyle, whether they are working or not.

Same for retirement.
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:09 AM
 
29,815 posts, read 34,900,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
We, for two, never considered a comfortable retirement to be a right, or is that "rite" of passage? We planned for ours, sacrificed higher wages early-on to secure Cadillac retirement benefits and decent pensions; not to ignore primo medical benefits for our families as they grew and matured.

Collective responsibility for providing benefits for others? Yes, to a reasonable degree. By reasonable I'm thinking along the lines of Medicaid, SSI/SSP, etc. Should those who could have but chose not to provide for their futures receive the same level of benefits we do? Absolutely not. That's tantamount to awarding all children on all athletic teams the same trophy even when they lost every game and/or warmed the bench all season. Don't wanna bend those tender little psyches, ya know. Bravo Sierra!
A well reasoned position
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:13 AM
 
29,815 posts, read 34,900,894 times
Reputation: 11735
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I don't think retirement is a "right." And it wasn't that long ago that no one thought of it as a "right" - you just worked til you couldn't work any more (or your employer forced you out). So much of America was agrarian and in those situations - taking care of the farm was a lifelong duty to ensure sustenance - and often, it was a family run activity.

I think folks have distorted ideas about what is and isn't a "right" in this country. Seems to me folks think everyone has the "right" to a middle class lifestyle, whether they are working or not.

Same for retirement.
Another good position that reflects a wide body of opinion. Of course there are others feeling differently who might weigh in.
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:20 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,514,657 times
Reputation: 29081
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I don't think retirement is a "right." And it wasn't that long ago that no one thought of it as a "right" - you just worked til you couldn't work any more (or your employer forced you out). So much of America was agrarian and in those situations - taking care of the farm was a lifelong duty to ensure sustenance - and often, it was a family run activity.

I think folks have distorted ideas about what is and isn't a "right" in this country. Seems to me folks think everyone has the "right" to a middle class lifestyle, whether they are working or not.

Same for retirement.
^^^ Yes! They don't and will never have the right to pick my pockets for equal financial status when they haven't worked and planned for it.

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 05-03-2014 at 11:03 AM..
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,212,814 times
Reputation: 22375
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Another good position that reflects a wide body of opinion. Of course there are others feeling differently who might weigh in.
I would add (and I think we have discussed this in the past) -- that the Big Myth in this country is that everyone has the RIGHT to access the American Dream.

Doesn't matter if you work at it or not . . . it is just supposed to happen. If you are an American, you automatically given access to middle class America - just b/c you were born here.

People have mistaken that the "PURSUIT of life, liberty and happiness" is just that . . . A PURSUIT.

You have to work for it. Or, at least, that is what I was taught.

I never dreamed that at this stage of life, I could have worked for my entire life and lose it all b/c of health issues (nursing home care, Medicaid spend down) and yet, the person who has lived off subsidies all his life won't lose a thing, lol, and could be in the room next to mine in the nursing home.

I cannot fathom that one of my neighbors has a son with an illegitimate child and b/c of that, he and his "baby momma" qualify for a voucher on an apartment that has granite countertops, a deck, and nice appliances for which they are only paying $275/month. Oh, and he is a felon. And she is, too. And both are drug addicts, and have been in rehab programs at least 3 times each, all paid for with tax dollars.

One of my relatives needed to get into drug rehab but his family couldn't afford the 30 day stay and their insurance didn't cover it. So their college graduate son was denied the treatment that my neighbor's high school drop out drug dealing felon son received.

I nearly starved in grad school . . . but these folks get free tuition (back to work program!) and food stamps. And a good samaritan type organization in the community gave them a used car. GAVE. Of course, they wrecked it, while on heroin.

But they got their MRIs post-wreck no-charge. Cause they are on Medicaid. I had a wreck while in grad school and it took me several years (three, to be exact) to pay back the hospital for the xrays and ER treatment.

Still, in the end, I guess I got the American Dream and you can bet - the young man I mentioned won't, b/c he will either overdose, get shot in a fight or end up in prison (this time for a longer sentence than last time).

The difference is . . . I knew I had to PURSUE and WORK for the "better things in life." Too many these days think they are entitled to the "finer things in life" - just because they are American.

As my friend's son said to me one afternoon, when I asked him about paying for his Rehab treatment . . . "Oh no, no worries . . . It's free."
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:59 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,514,657 times
Reputation: 29081
anifani821, thanks for the memories, I think. I had almost totally forgotten that when my second son was about 14 months old he started to go into kidney failure due to a birth defect no one had picked-up on until his mother and I noticed his output wasn't keeping pace with his intake. I was an Army Captain at the time living some 60 miles from the nearest military facility with a full hospital so we were dependent upon CHAMPUS (now Tricare) for our medical benefits. With emergency surgery and all and our share being 20% of the total on not all that much pay in 1973 - about $1,000 a month - it took about two years to finally get the pink slip (title) on the little rug rat.
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