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Old 03-10-2008, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
857 posts, read 4,474,443 times
Reputation: 809

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
What about those who go to college, get a Master's degree, become a social worker (which should be HIGHLY valued), and make **** money? Should they have become something else, like a stockbroker even if they didn't want to?

Sure, we can find ways to make a good living, but there are many fields that are undervalued by our society - doesn't mean the person didn't become educated and plan a career. Some highly-skilled jobs don't pay very much because we tend to value MONEY - sports figures, movie stars, money-makers like CEO's or stockbrokers, bankers, etc.

And, stagnant wages mean that our buying power has been decreasing since the 1970's. How can we say that doesn't affect our financial situations?

I just heard the other day that more and more people are going to food pantries because groceries are too expensive now. It's not because they are not working - but, wages have not kept up. Also, more and more people are using credit cards for food, gasoline, etc. Do you think people WANT to do that?

Some of you don't seem to see ANYTHING that might affect someone's situation. Why not? Why is it ALL their fault?

(and, I'm not talking about me, as we all have to keep saying because someone will say I'm "whining" - I'm fine - make a good salary, own a home)
Once again... it all comes down to personal responsibility. If a person spent years and tens of thousands of dollars earning a degree in a field that didn't pay very much then I would guess that they were making an informed choice to do something because they LIKED it, not because it PAID WELL. That is fine. I think people SHOULD do something they like doing, but they should do it knowing that all of our decisions have consequences.
When I was young I worked as a SCUBA instructor. It was a blast! I had a great time doing it, but I knew I wasn't going to ever make much money at it, so I had my fun for a year and then I turned my attention toward doing something that would put food on the table and a roof over my head. If I continued doing that I might have enjoyed it, but I would be a long way off from being able to afford to retire now, and I would have no one to blame but myself.
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,687 posts, read 49,469,539 times
Reputation: 19134
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Well you went into that field knowing the wages weren't that great. How did you plan for retirement at that point knowing your field was undervalued and pay wasn't that great ?

At some point people have to take responsibility for the decisons they made.
And then make adjustments based on those decisions.
I agree.

Choose your career-field and you have chosen your fate.

Being in the US military, I did not walk into it thinking that I was going to earn $200k / year.

I knew that our military makes a relatively low income.

At one point my family qualified for food stamps. During my AD career, at most locations we qualified for food pantries if not actual food stamps.

It woke me up, and drove home the idea that we needed to live frugally and invest.

Anyone who chooses a low pay career and yet does not realize that they need to invest, is, well, missing a very obvious fact of life.

If you have chosen a low pay career field, is should be painfully obvious to you that you need to take more decisive action to prepare for your retirement.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:00 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,025,186 times
Reputation: 559
So, we're only to have careers that are valued by our society, even though WE might think there are better things to do that are more valuable in OUR eyes? Frankly, I think our society's "values" are upside down, but there's nothing much I can do about it right now. I think it got really skewed during the 1980's with all the greed going around.

Maybe a person in a low-paying field like social work should stay single and have no children? Or maybe they should not even bother thinking about retirement, but rather about their overall impact on their world before they die?

Guess it depends on what you are thinking on your deathbed, as to how you feel about yourself as a person and what you gave to the world and other people.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:19 AM
 
Location: New Jersey/Florida
5,440 posts, read 10,526,253 times
Reputation: 3628
Unfortunately in a capitalist country we make our own beds. Everyone should be aware of this.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,687 posts, read 49,469,539 times
Reputation: 19134
Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
So, we're only to have careers that are valued by our society, even though WE might think there are better things to do that are more valuable in OUR eyes? Frankly, I think our society's "values" are upside down, but there's nothing much I can do about it right now. I think it got really skewed during the 1980's with all the greed going around.

Maybe a person in a low-paying field like social work should stay single and have no children? Or maybe they should not even bother thinking about retirement, but rather about their overall impact on their world before they die?

Guess it depends on what you are thinking on your deathbed, as to how you feel about yourself as a person and what you gave to the world and other people.
I am sounding very callous.

I do apologize, as I do not intend for it to be insulting to anyone.

You could also dedicate your life to building homes for the homeless. You could start flat broke, and after forty years you would still be flat broke.

However you would have helped many who had been homeless, and after forty years maybe only half of those you have built homes for, will once again have found themselves to be homeless.

We live in a cruel world.

Before the 1940's there was no institutionalized 'safety-net' insurance policy to provide money to folks in their old age. SSA is a new experiment.

Perhaps it worked well in the 1970s - 1980s, but that one short period is the exception to the history of mankind.

It was before microwaves were in every home, TVs used house-top aerials, and nobody had a PC, mothers cooked from scratch and most household still had gardens.

Today to lower anyone to that standard of living would be culture shook for many.

P.S.
My DW's mother was on SSA in the 1970s and she would beg to differ with your opinion that in the 70s SSA could comfortably support anyone. Even then you needed to own a home with no mortgage, or you would still need a part-time income stream.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:56 AM
 
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
156 posts, read 352,187 times
Reputation: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post

You could also dedicate your life to building homes for the homeless. You could start flat broke, and after forty years you would still be flat broke.

However you would have helped many who had been homeless, and after forty years maybe only half of those you have built homes for, will once again have found themselves to be homeless.

We live in a cruel world.

I wouldn't disagree with anything you say Forest about how you may end up if you don't look out for yourself first. I think the struggle many of us idealistic types have with that arguments is...where does religion and morality fit in to all this dog eat dog stuff. Would god say to you "just worry about yourself"... even if you have the capacity to help others? Does the term ..."it's a cruel world " somehow justify not doing anything you can do to make it a little less cruel. Or is this somehow outside the realm of all of that? For people like us it's very hard not to worry about how hard it is for others even if we have it better. It's not always just about survival...
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 644,441 times
Reputation: 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
So, we're only to have careers that are valued by our society, even though WE might think there are better things to do that are more valuable in OUR eyes? Frankly, I think our society's "values" are upside down, but there's nothing much I can do about it right now. I think it got really skewed during the 1980's with all the greed going around.

Maybe a person in a low-paying field like social work should stay single and have no children? Or maybe they should not even bother thinking about retirement, but rather about their overall impact on their world before they die?

Guess it depends on what you are thinking on your deathbed, as to how you feel about yourself as a person and what you gave to the world and other people.

Have you ever noticed that rich people tend to give a lot of money to charities that help the poor, the sick and the downtrodden? It takes money to run social services and charities. Sure, it takes people to work there, but who is paying their salaries? When was the last time you saw a wing on a new hospital named after some poor social worker? To say that people who work hard to build wealth just for their own benefit is missing the point. The poor, or maybe even the middle class, don't have the time and wherewithal to organize and run major fundraising campaigns for charity. They're too busy working! But, thanks to the "evil rich" with all of their idle time, it gets done and the money gets raised and the people get care and that's how it works.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:50 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,025,186 times
Reputation: 559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckhead_Broker View Post
Have you ever noticed that rich people tend to give a lot of money to charities that help the poor, the sick and the downtrodden? It takes money to run social services and charities. Sure, it takes people to work there, but who is paying their salaries? When was the last time you saw a wing on a new hospital named after some poor social worker? To say that people who work hard to build wealth just for their own benefit is missing the point. The poor, or maybe even the middle class, don't have the time and wherewithal to organize and run major fundraising campaigns for charity. They're too busy working! But, thanks to the "evil rich" with all of their idle time, it gets done and the money gets raised and the people get care and that's how it works.
I never said it's bad to be rich. Go to it, if whatever you like doing can make money. And, most of them are probably not evil - I don't know any, so I'm unsure.

Mostly what I'm saying is that we, as a society, value the wrong things, for the most part, IMO.

We pay some idiotic ballplayer who can't even spell his own name more than a teacher who has responsibility for our children's future. But, unfortunately, we value entertainment WAY over things like our children's future.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,687 posts, read 49,469,539 times
Reputation: 19134
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregoryS View Post
I wouldn't disagree with anything you say Forest about how you may end up if you don't look out for yourself first. I think the struggle many of us idealistic types have with that arguments is...where does religion and morality fit in to all this dog eat dog stuff. Would god say to you "just worry about yourself"... even if you have the capacity to help others? Does the term ..."it's a cruel world " somehow justify not doing anything you can do to make it a little less cruel. Or is this somehow outside the realm of all of that? For people like us it's very hard not to worry about how hard it is for others even if we have it better. It's not always just about survival...
You are correct, until 1940 in our nation the churches did have a far greater role to play.

Every community had the poor, as it also had churches who fed the poor.

People did not look to the government to help them, they looked to the local church. And a great deal of social importance was placed upon your attendance at church, and your alms giving.

Churches had a greater role in society, the Federal government did not.
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:13 PM
 
13,322 posts, read 25,574,131 times
Reputation: 20505
As a supposed "giving" member of society (an RN), I am very clear on why I am not paid the same as Barry Bonds. He earns money for his employers, I cost money.
Now, I hope I'm in the minority of healthcare providers whose employer considers workers on my level as a liability. After all, we do produce "the product"- the patient care! But work certainly isn't paid according to societal value. Right, wrong, or indifferent, I think it's incumbent on all of us to be aware of how it works, and make our choices (and compromises) accordingly.
Personally, I think Barry Bonds is worth a whole lot more than some corporate CEO with an absurd golden parachute who can cut the knees off his workers. At least Bonds is talented and fun to watch.
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