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Old 03-02-2010, 11:18 AM
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People are just going to have to go back to living with their families, taking in boarders, rooming together, etc.. even people working are not going to be able to maintain the McMansion lifestyle of living in a monster house far out from the city, paying gas, tolls, HOAs, leased cars, pools, outdoor kitchens, high utility bills for large spaces, etc. Those places may also become boarding houses or divided up eventually...
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:29 PM
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I agree, and have seen it happen already, where these huge homes are being chopped up into apartments, or where 3 or 4 people each rent a bedroom and share the rest of the house.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
My point wasn't that, because people cannot afford to stop working when older and might not be able to work, that younger taxpayers must support everyone. What I meant was, for those people who blithely say, "I'll just work until I die," those people might find a nasty surprise when they can't work (and I'm talking about people now in their 50s, 60s, etc.). What will they do? Whatever they have to do. Move to a cheaper state and and live in a mobile home.
Where my father lives in a nice park in a nice suburb (the only park) they've started to get rid of the old trailer-type mobiles and put in newer, modular-looking double wides, that look like real houses. Currently a new one is for sale for $69K. Can walk to the train to Philadelphia or Atlantic City, walk to most stores, taxi to other stuff.
People will do what they can do or have to do.
But you ARE making that point implicitly. Your proposed alternative is a non-choice. Essentially you're advocating the "quiet death" of the insolvent, which as I suggested in my previous post, is a complete fallacy. Your proposed outcome is based on the flawed assumption of the "obedience of the dispossessed". This doesn't happen in real life.

By suggesting a mythical "move to a cheaper state and live in a trailer" for a whole generation of people, millions, you're pawning off the solution to a non-real outcome. This massive diaspora is not going to happen. And even it it was possible for it to happen, it won't magically make these millions of destitutes all of a sudden cost of living solvent. They require food, medical care, transportation, sanitation services, all at a cost. The south might be cheap, but when you got zero in the bank and your hands are mangled from old age the south and the north don't make a lick of difference. That's the fallacy of "everybody move to cheap-o South US and all is well with the world", nevermind that such shift, by definition, raises the cost of living in said destination. Population shift is not a relevant outcome to this problem.

That's not what this issue is all about. When people can no longer work they will HAVE to get subsidized by the rest of society, otherwise you'll have ever-increasing masses of destitute people out in the streets causing an erosion of the law and order we currently take for granted in this country. They didn't have squat to retire on and can no longer toil, they're destitute. Unless you agree to subsidize their upkeep you're gonna have to either off them or have them de-stabilize the social construct. Your malls will be full of panderers and bitter ex-middle class workers turned paupers. Your roads will be eroded from lack of tax base. Your neighborhoods will look like Flint, MI. Your schools will go back from the college campus scales of today (maybe a good thing). In essence, what's the point of being rich in Colombia, where you live in a shthole of a country and people look at your bank account as a target on the back of your head. There's no "what are they going to do? I don't care, whatever they HAVE to do, but we ain't paying for them" free lunch alternative about it. People don't die quiet deaths, they simply steal and take from their "have" neighbor.

You are right, people will do what they HAVE to do. But not in your terms. They'll take from those who have. It's a matter of survival. You don't agree with that? Be the first one to cast that stone and I'll call you out on your sense of community. We're all brothers right? Nope, not in America. And that's the point. Nobody wants to say it but we have a fundamental philosophical conflict in this country. We call each other compatriots but don't feel responsible for our neighbor's dispossession and find it economically detracting to our capital interest (DUH...). We love capitalistic individualism but raise our children with fundamentally socialistic views of the value of family and community. THAT's why were in the impasse we're in. We have a bitter sense of entitlement from the "haves" about the wealth they've accumulated, and a fundamental rhetoric of moral bankruptcy accusation to the "have nots". But we also want an obedient, clean, industrialized and safe country to consume our riches in. We're an oxymoron of a country. The closest you'll get to a construct where you dismiss the dispossessed and live your self-righteous comfortable living is something we call Brazil, and let me tell ya, it ain't exactly peaches and cream down there either. And even they have subsidized health care if that tells ya anything. We're just twisted...

You're not gonna be able to kick the can on this one. Everybody's standard is going to come down. What we need is a monetary policy where we enable this population to gain access to a more independent method of "retirement". This means an economic overhaul. The service economy ain't it. And yes, the rich will be impacted. Social or capitalistic, you can't optimize policy for both, you have to lean on one side. We just refuse to assert our position because of fundamental philosophical conflicts of opinion which have more to do with what color spoon you were born with and a twisted double-take we were given as children on the concept of [selective] 'sharing'.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:38 PM
13,323 posts, read 25,574,131 times
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Jeez, no more coffee for the previous poster!
Regarding "move to another state and live in a trailer," I was not putting it all on the U.S. South. There are trailer parks, 55+, in every state. People might well move into one of those. My town has one (the only one in the town) and there's no reason I couldn't move to it if need be. Of course people still need money for basic needs. My father lives on his Soc. Sec. of $1300 (and refuses my offers to give him some extra). Yes, he lives tight, but he wants for nothing (food, shelter, heat, health care). He's 85.
I do agree that the general standard of living is going to go down, is going down, as incomes are going down and disappearing.
And when mentioning people who will have to work for life and will not have work or health to do so- I was specifically thinking of the many baby boom people I know who are getting into that position because of bad choices, not the failing economy (although there will be those people, too, increrasing all along).
I remember one friend, a resp. therapist who spent all his money on going out, etc., asking me why I cared that high-end stores were moving into the neighborhood. I pointed out that I worried that only high-end people will be able to live there or anywhere, and asked him what he thought would happen in the future for all of us (then in our 30s). He said, "I just figure the government will take care of us." I said, "You mean the government that doesn't take care of poor people and poor kids now? You think it's gonna pony up for people who spent all their money in restaurants and credit cards?"
His eyes went blank and he honestly look terrified and he said carefully, "I really don't want to think about it."
He ended up with a job at the V.A. (and presumably good pension) and his boyfriend/husband (we're in Mass.) expects to inherit from his very comfortable parents. He's a real mooch.
I personally would prefer to pay more in taxes and whatever and have more services to more people, including healthcare. Like a Scandinavian country or something. I'd happily see whatever I pay (and more) for health insurance at my job go into paying for all of us, in fact, "job lock" would loosen up and there might be more flexibility in jobs as opposed to people holding on by their fingernails for health coverage.
I'd also like to be appointed Queen someday, but it doesn't seem to be happening.
If the previous poster in fact thinks I was personally born with a fine-colored spoon in mouth, he/she clearly hasn't read any other posts I've written.
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