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Old 03-03-2008, 01:58 PM
b75
 
950 posts, read 3,180,311 times
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A big part of it is because, starting in the mid 1970s, the COL started accelerating rapidly and the pay rates did not come close to appreciating in kind. So in comparison one could technically say that we make less now then we did then (even though the dollar figure has changed) & things cost more to boot.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b75 View Post
A big part of it is because, starting in the mid 1970s, the COL started accelerating rapidly and the pay rates did not come close to appreciating in kind. So in comparison one could technically say that we make less now then we did then (even though the dollar figure has changed) & things cost more to boot.
Yes, real wages (buying power) have stagnated since the 70's. But, like you said, everything else goes up. Makes it kind of hard, I'd say.

I remember in the 70's, they used to say that your rent or mortgage should only be 25% of your gross, which mine was - I made $80/week, and my rent (with one roommate) was $80/month. I made minimum wage after college, and was still able to have a nice apartment, unlike the kids out of college today.

Today, the rents are more like 50-70% of someone's gross. I know people who even pay more than that. There is no connection anymore between salaries and the cost of living. It's totally off-kilter.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:33 AM
b75
 
950 posts, read 3,180,311 times
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I believe Money magazine did an article about this trend a couple of years ago with bona fide research and analysis to back this up. I don't believe it was considered a debatable claim either; it was merely a statement of fact regarding a trend that has been hitting Americans for quite sometime. It isn't a figment of our imagination; it is a reality and I don't understand why more people aren't outraged. In many ways we are being taken advantage of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
Yes, real wages (buying power) have stagnated since the 70's. But, like you said, everything else goes up. Makes it kind of hard, I'd say.

I remember in the 70's, they used to say that your rent or mortgage should only be 25% of your gross, which mine was - I made $80/week, and my rent (with one roommate) was $80/month. I made minimum wage after college, and was still able to have a nice apartment, unlike the kids out of college today.

Today, the rents are more like 50-70% of someone's gross. I know people who even pay more than that. There is no connection anymore between salaries and the cost of living. It's totally off-kilter.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:47 AM
 
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I know *a lot* of peers (baby boomers, mostly older ones) who did whatever they thought of/wanted/experienced etc. etc. earlier in life. Those from middle-class backgrounds got on track later, but got back on track (and often had family help in said track, tuition, house, etc.). The working-class people I know who fell for the whole hippie-dip thing are flapping in the breeze like fish out of water, and many don't even know it, women being the worst, with that feeling that some seem to have that "someone" should take care of them. This seems to happen even to the middle-aged RNs I know, who do make a decent living (or could, if they'd work full-time, etc.).
I'm certainly not saying that everyone is tough shape has created it that way, but I sure do know a lot of people who have.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I know *a lot* of peers (baby boomers, mostly older ones) who did whatever they thought of/wanted/experienced etc. etc. earlier in life. Those from middle-class backgrounds got on track later, but got back on track (and often had family help in said track, tuition, house, etc.). The working-class people I know who fell for the whole hippie-dip thing are flapping in the breeze like fish out of water, and many don't even know it, women being the worst, with that feeling that some seem to have that "someone" should take care of them. This seems to happen even to the middle-aged RNs I know, who do make a decent living (or could, if they'd work full-time, etc.).
I'm certainly not saying that everyone is tough shape has created it that way, but I sure do know a lot of people who have.
As I recall the "hippie-dip" thing, it was about independence - not having someone take care of you. I was into that "culture" myself.

The having someone to take care of you comes more from us baby boomers who grew up in the 50's and early 60's before the hippie era, and women were told that the thing to do was marriage and children, and you might have a career (teacher, nurse) to "fall back on" when the kids grew up.

We were brought up with certain values that we thought at the time were absolute. Our parents before us did, too, although their values were different. The kids growing up today are brought up with certain values, too - someday, we may find that those are not so great, either, and Lord knows how they will fare in the future.

Every era has it's culture, and we're taught differently depending on what has gone before us. We never really know how it will affect us as adults. Most likely, some things turn out well, and other things were a big mistake - like telling girls they had four choices back in my day - nurse, teacher, secretary, or wife and mother!
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:53 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,299 posts, read 15,353,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b75 View Post
I believe Money magazine did an article about this trend a couple of years ago with bona fide research and analysis to back this up. I don't believe it was considered a debatable claim either; it was merely a statement of fact regarding a trend that has been hitting Americans for quite sometime. It isn't a figment of our imagination; it is a reality and I don't understand why more people aren't outraged. In many ways we are being taken advantage of.
We got into this earlier in the thread, but pretty much the top two quintiles of income* ($75k and above) have grown faster than inflation and everybody else has lost ground over the last 30+ years. Although, since one of the biggest trends since the late 60s is the rise of the two-income family, those figures are worse than they appear.

A lot of people in the top quintiles (and I'm one of them, based mostly on 8+ years of tech schooling for both of us in the household) seem to see their income level as being solely by dint of hard work, and assume that everyone below them is simply lazy or unwilling. But the thing is - we can't all be doctors and lawyers and engineers and managers and entrepreneurs. For the economy to work, we need a full range of jobs that pay something close to a living wage, and everyone needs to participate when the economy booms - as it is, the bottom 3 quintiles take the brunt of losses in their day-to-day living, while the top quintiles (really the top quintile alone) see most of the benefits.

The argument goes that "the rich" pay most of the taxes - which is true in absolute terms, but as a percentage of day-to-day expense needs, the percentage is lower.


*Most economists and statisticians divide income (as determined by tax forms) into five groups. The current quintiles are: $25k/yr and below, $25k-$50k, $50k-$75k, $75k-$100k and $100k and above. There is also a "top 5%" figure, which is $157k/yr and above.

Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:06 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,024,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post
We got into this earlier in the thread, but pretty much the top two quintiles of income* ($75k and above) have grown faster than inflation and everybody else has lost ground over the last 30+ years. Although, since one of the biggest trends since the late 60s is the rise of the two-income family, those figures are worse than they appear.

A lot of people in the top quintiles (and I'm one of them, based mostly on 8+ years of tech schooling for both of us in the household) seem to see their income level as being solely by dint of hard work, and assume that everyone below them is simply lazy or unwilling. But the thing is - we can't all be doctors and lawyers and engineers and managers and entrepreneurs. For the economy to work, we need a full range of jobs that pay something close to a living wage, and everyone needs to participate when the economy booms - as it is, the bottom 3 quintiles take the brunt of losses in their day-to-day living, while the top quintiles (really the top quintile alone) see most of the benefits.

The argument goes that "the rich" pay most of the taxes - which is true in absolute terms, but as a percentage of day-to-day expense needs, the percentage is lower.


*Most economists and statisticians divide income (as determined by tax forms) into five groups. The current quintiles are: $25k/yr and below, $25k-$50k, $50k-$75k, $75k-$100k and $100k and above. There is also a "top 5%" figure, which is $157k/yr and above.

Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yes, that's exactly right, but we don't hear this from the media. They're trying to push this "the economy is good for everyone", when it just ain't so!

Whenever I hear such things, I get a big laugh. Yeah - the economy is good for WHOM? I'm in the lower three, but the highest of them! That's something, I guess.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:28 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,943,432 times
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No economy is never going to be good for everyone.Unless you want to become a socialist state that will always be true.Then history seems to say that even then ;there are the leaders and the poor.How much is enough is a never ending thing from what i see. What is are the best middle class occupations are ever changing as well.At one time everybody in the middle class want that manufacturing job security but that has been changing for tenty years as that sector declines.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,684 posts, read 49,455,573 times
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Originally Posted by texdav View Post
No economy is never going to be good for everyone.Unless you want to become a socialist state that will always be true.Then history seems to say that even then ;there are the leaders and the poor.How much is enough is a never ending thing from what i see. What is are the best middle class occupations are ever changing as well.At one time everybody in the middle class want that manufacturing job security but that has been changing for tenty years as that sector declines.
I agree.

Everyday is a dice roll.

Anyone could be poor today and wealthy tomorrow; or wealthy today and poor tomorrow.

Focusing on it exclusively will only bring you head-aches.

The only constant is that time marches on.

Yesterday we were teens, today we are parents, tomorrow grandparents, etc.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:53 AM
b75
 
950 posts, read 3,180,311 times
Reputation: 329
I wasn't aware it had to be one extreme or the other...A sound middle class is vital for a country's longevity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
I agree.

Everyday is a dice roll.

Anyone could be poor today and wealthy tomorrow; or wealthy today and poor tomorrow.

Focusing on it exclusively will only bring you head-aches.

The only constant is that time marches on.

Yesterday we were teens, today we are parents, tomorrow grandparents, etc.
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