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Old 03-17-2013, 07:52 AM
 
Location: England
22,222 posts, read 5,499,499 times
Reputation: 29102

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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post

We put 20% of our income into retirement savings, as we don't believe SS will be there for us--only for the people who didn't bother to save as it will become means tested in the future. If our taxes increased in order to give others the life we have, we'd would be in worse shape than they are.

Explain to me why we should have to cut back on retirement savings and our fairly modest lifestyle in order to pay someone else's way--particularly when that person has made a series of bad choices and obviously not learned from their mistakes. Why should we have to pay for children we didn't choose to bring into this world? Why should we have to pay to cover the expenses of people who can't afford a child and go ahead and have one anyhow? Why should we have to lower our lifestyle because a mother refuses to work an opposite shift from her husband so someone can be home with the children and collect benefits instead? We worked split shifts for years when our son was younger to keep childcare costs to a minimum. We wouldn't dream of asking for a handout for our choice. We both went through job losses, we managed. We had savings to get through the hump because we lived below our means and didn't always rush out to buy the latest greatest.

Do I believe as a society we have an obligation to care for those who are truly so disabled as to not be able to care for themselves? Of course. Do I believe that we should have an unlimited coffer from the pockets of income earners to provide for people who make bad choices and do stupid things and get themselves into a mess? No.
I know you are angry and bitter. I have had Americans expressing their fears to me about things like illegal immigration, anchor babies etc. I see things here in England that make me angry also. Like you, I have seen massive changes in my country since I was young. Like you, I worked hard, paid into a private pension scheme. My wife spent years working evenings, leaving me alone at home looking after our two sons.

There have always been the haves, and have nots. But the gap is widening. Not everybody is intelligent, and can strive for a better life. The sort of work we had many years ago for ordinary people, the factories. the mills..... it's all gone. Poverty makes some people desperate. When times are hard, crime tends to go up. The sort of crime that makes us angry. Mugging, burgling peoples homes, car break ins. The fight against drugs has been lost. Has been for years. Yet the authorities still fight it at massive cost to your taxpayers and mine. Jails are awash with drug suppliers, customers and international mules. It's just crazy.
What is the answer? More and more people jailed?

I know my Government is quietly buying water cannon, and other riot control devices. They were caught out a couple of years ago. Next time they'll be ready. Is this the future for you and us. Controlling the poor
with whatever is necessary? I wish I had answers, but I don't.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:12 PM
 
994 posts, read 1,012,351 times
Reputation: 806
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
There is nothing wrong with it. Not everyone can be rich. That's life. My husband and I were both born middle/lower-middle income. We worked hard, limited our family size, made smart career choices, and as a result are well into the top 5% of household incomes in the US. That doesn't mean we're wealthy. We don't live in a McMansion, we don't drive luxury cars (my husband is driving an eight year old Prius and I a four year old Matrix--hardly luxe). We both work demanding full time jobs and have part time income from freelance work.

We put 20% of our income into retirement savings, as we don't believe SS will be there for us--only for the people who didn't bother to save as it will become means tested in the future. If our taxes increased in order to give others the life we have, we'd would be in worse shape than they are.

Explain to me why we should have to cut back on retirement savings and our fairly modest lifestyle in order to pay someone else's way--particularly when that person has made a series of bad choices and obviously not learned from their mistakes. Why should we have to pay for children we didn't choose to bring into this world? Why should we have to pay to cover the expenses of people who can't afford a child and go ahead and have one anyhow? Why should we have to lower our lifestyle because a mother refuses to work an opposite shift from her husband so someone can be home with the children and collect benefits instead? We worked split shifts for years when our son was younger to keep childcare costs to a minimum. We wouldn't dream of asking for a handout for our choice. We both went through job losses, we managed. We had savings to get through the hump because we lived below our means and didn't always rush out to buy the latest greatest.

Do I believe as a society we have an obligation to care for those who are truly so disabled as to not be able to care for themselves? Of course. Do I believe that we should have an unlimited coffer from the pockets of income earners to provide for people who make bad choices and do stupid things and get themselves into a mess? No.

By the way, to address your issue with the banks. The way the media makes it seem, the big bad banks ripped people off by making them buy houses they couldn't afford. Where is the responsibility on the MORONS who signed the paperwork who HAD to have known there was no way they could afford a $500,000 home on a cashiers pay. The problem wasn't just with the banks. It was with greedy people who took loans they couldn't afford for crap they didn't need and lived beyond their means without saving a dime and going deeper and deeper into debt. I have no more sympathy for the banks than I do for the people who made STUPID choices and then defaulted. It was a two-way street. Anyone who signs a contract without reading or fully understanding what they are signing and what it will cost them deserves whatever they get--including homelessness. it's called personal responsibility, and unfortunately in this country there are far too many who want to blame everyone else but themselves for their situation.
I find it surprising that with the material position you've earned yourself - being in the top 5% and all - you don't seem to have carved yourself out much by way of mental breathing space in which to think in a calm and reflective way about the issues you obviously feel your country faces. Your post sounds more like the sort of thing I'd expect from someone who was busting a gut just to make ends meet...
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:14 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,942 posts, read 4,216,951 times
Reputation: 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
There is nothing wrong with it. Not everyone can be rich. That's life. My husband and I were both born middle/lower-middle income. We worked hard, limited our family size, made smart career choices, and as a result are well into the top 5% of household incomes in the US. That doesn't mean we're wealthy. We don't live in a McMansion, we don't drive luxury cars (my husband is driving an eight year old Prius and I a four year old Matrix--hardly luxe). We both work demanding full time jobs and have part time income from freelance work.
That shows how out of touch with reality you are.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:17 PM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
Reputation: 12963
Quote:
Originally Posted by George & Bill View Post
I find it surprising that with the material position you've earned yourself - being in the top 5% and all - you don't seem to have carved yourself out much by way of mental breathing space in which to think in a calm and reflective way about the issues you obviously feel your country faces. Your post sounds more like the sort of thing I'd expect from someone who was busting a gut just to make ends meet...
I'm not a 1%-er and I don't take my situation for granted. I'm still busting my butt.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:19 PM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
Reputation: 12963
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
That shows how out of touch with reality you are.
Not at all. It shows that I'm in touch with the reality that we need to save about half of our net pay in order to support ourselves after we retire, as our social security system will eventually become means tested and only benefit those who paid the least into it and didn't save for retirement. We might earn a lot, but we certainly don't spend it.

By the way, one of the problems with the way we look at earnings in this country doesn't take into consideration the HUGE disparity between the cost of living in different areas. The average rent in some areas for a 1BR apartment is around $400 including heat and water. In others it's over $2000 with nothing included.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,942 posts, read 4,216,951 times
Reputation: 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Not at all. It shows that I'm in touch with the reality that we need to save about half of our net pay in order to support ourselves after we retire, as our social security system will eventually become means tested and only benefit those who paid the least into it and didn't save for retirement. We might earn a lot, but we certainly don't spend it.

By the way, one of the problems with the way we look at earnings in this country doesn't take into consideration the HUGE disparity between the cost of living in different areas. The average rent in some areas for a 1BR apartment is around $400 including heat and water. In others it's over $2000 with nothing included.
If you're in the top 5% household incomes in the US, it means you're earning at least $150,000 per year. If you don't think that qualifies you as "wealthy", you're simply delusional. It doesn't matter whether you choose to spend it or not, the fact is that you're earning more than 95% of the country and more than probably 99.9% of the world. It's not hard to save money when you're earning more than 3 times the average income

Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:23 PM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
Reputation: 12963
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
If you're in the top 5% household incomes in the US, it means you're earning at least $150,000 per year. If you don't think that qualifies you as "wealthy", you're simply delusional. It doesn't matter whether you choose to spend it or not, the fact is that you're earning more than 95% of the country and more than probably 99.9% of the world. It's not hard to save money when you're earning more than 3 times the average income

Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sorry, that is not wealthy. It's comfortable. Wealthy people make a million a year. We are no where near that.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:06 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,942 posts, read 4,216,951 times
Reputation: 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Sorry, that is not wealthy. It's comfortable. Wealthy people make a million a year. We are no where near that.
Like I said, completely out of touch. You don't have to be a millionaire to be wealthy. Do you realise that almost 1/3 of households in the US earn less than $25,000 a year? That's 6 times (!!!) less than what you're earning and you expect these people to save? Oh, but it's all their own fault because they weren't responsible like you, as if anyone could earn $150,000 a year if they put in a little effort
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:45 PM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
Reputation: 12963
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
Like I said, completely out of touch. You don't have to be a millionaire to be wealthy. Do you realise that almost 1/3 of households in the US earn less than $25,000 a year? That's 6 times (!!!) less than what you're earning and you expect these people to save? Oh, but it's all their own fault because they weren't responsible like you, as if anyone could earn $150,000 a year if they put in a little effort
And many of them live in very low cost of living areas and a good number get free housing through the military.

I don't, and in order to have that income we are required to maintain two households, one in one of the highest cost of living parts of the US--178% of national mean--and the other in an average COL area--at national mean (my husband's job is 1000 miles from our home.) So don't tell me I"m wealthy. I'm far from it.

Many people could make more money if they were willing to make some changes to their lifestyle. For example parents can work opposite shifts to avoid childcare costs--but instead they live on one income. This is their choice, and not my problem.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:47 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,549 posts, read 51,750,301 times
Reputation: 82971
Please go back on topic which is: Homeless and Tent Cities in USA and not about the upper level earnings and why isn't that enough for some...
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