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Old 03-18-2009, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Castle Hills
1,133 posts, read 2,419,694 times
Reputation: 611

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
I think its me who is banging on the wall.

What you cant understand at all, is that what he did, is NOT a reality in many peoples situations. It is reality for a healthy white male, from a stable house, in the deep south. If you cant understand the inherent fallacy of trying to protract that on all people, then there is no sense in trying to even talk to you.

The "point" of his book in his own words is to show people there is hope......how exactly does a story of "hope" have any value to people who cannot possibly identify with it? How do you think some minority kid in the inner city of New York is going to look at that? Oh look, some white kid, who lives a thousand miles away in a snazy suburb "decided" to be poor, got a job for $11.50 that actually could pay the bills, and wrote a book about it......
You are seriously missing the point. The kid who wrote the book is right that there is hope. If some minority kid in Inner NY can't make it, he needs to carry his minority butt to an area where he can make it. If he is willing to work hard he can make something of himself. He sure as h e l l isn't going to do it in NY is he?

For people who had a bunch of kids without THINKING first might not have a good chance to do what this kid did. However, their kids could read this book and see through hard work and sacrifice that they can in fact make something of themselves and actually live a good life. That is not reserved for "white kids". Do you think their parents might read the book and then give it to their kids to read to show them they can make it? I will answer that for you.. NO CHANCE. And that is why they will stay at the poverty level.

I myself came from nothing. My mom and dad divorced when I was 2 and my dad disappeared leaving my mom to raise 3 kids by herself. My mom worked odd jobs and we were on welfare and got all of our clothes from the salvation army etc. My mother took me out of school after 4th grade and put me in homeschooling and then I got my GED.

She gave me ZERO financial help and I had no financial help from anyone. I worked very hard and worked my way up and made something of myself. I've been married for 11 years now, live in a beautiful home on a golf course, have plenty of money in the bank, have 2 honda accords 2006 & 2005 that are paid off, have zero debt only owe on my mortgage, etc. The list goes on and on.
If you want a piece of the American pie you have to earn it.

Also, please don't talk about how hard it is in Virginia. While in Maryland my wife and made peanuts several years ago and rented a decent townhouse and saved plenty of money as we moved up at our jobs. It was tight at first but we made the necessary sacrifices. If I wanted to I could easily start from scratch in Virgina and make it there. I might have to live in a rough area at first but I would be willing to do that to get to where I needed to be.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:22 PM
 
2,639 posts, read 5,475,608 times
Reputation: 2362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
I have to agree with this. There are some places in this country where you likely are not going to go very far with $25 and nothing else. Try living in Manhattan on a McJob.

Also, how would one get to the city they "picked", with no money to start? Even if you take a greyhound one way, thats cash.

Then, you obviously cant pick "anywhere" if you dont have a car, you have to pick a place that has a good public transportation system, or is small enough to navigate around on foot or bicycle unless, you are depending on finding a car pool.

Yeah, if you pick a very, very small town, likely in the deep south (for the lower cost of living), where you can walk/bike, to your place of employment, and you can afford a place to live on the lowest prevailing wage of the area (just in case you end up stuck in that job), then you can make it.
True story (and partly inspiration for me).

My brother, years ago now, left home for personal reasons. No car, no job. He was sighted sleeping out at the park around the corner a few times. Then we didn't hear from him for some time. All of a sudden we get a call from our family back in Arkansas; it seems he made it out there somehow. Again, no car, no job, managed to get all the way out to Arkansas, got a job, found a place, and is somewhat stable. Arkansas is inexpensive, but not THAT inexpensive. He had no help that we know of, from anyone. Even if he did get help, that's just being resourceful.

The flip side to that story though, is that was then. This is now. He couldn't do that now if he tried; no way. Everything is way too expensive, and he'd have been stuck here.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,396,489 times
Reputation: 2547
Quote:
Originally Posted by ufcrules1 View Post
You are seriously missing the point. The kid who wrote the book is right that there is hope. If some minority kid in Inner NY can't make it, he needs to carry his minority butt to an area where he can make it. If he is willing to work hard he can make something of himself. He sure as h e l l isn't going to do it in NY is he?
This was LARGELY my point. A person cant just throw a dart at the board, and move there, and expect to "make it". Its much harder in some areas to go with nothing, then others.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ufcrules1 View Post
For people who had a bunch of kids without THINKING first might not have a good chance to do what this kid did. However, their kids could read this book and see through hard work and sacrifice that they can in fact make something of themselves and actually live a good life. That is not reserved for "white kids". Do you think their parents might read the book and then give it to their kids to read to show them they can make it? I will answer that for you.. NO CHANCE. And that is why they will stay at the poverty level.
Have you ever been black or hispanic?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ufcrules1 View Post
I myself came from nothing. My mom and dad divorced when I was 2 and my dad disappeared leaving my mom to raise 3 kids by herself. My mom worked odd jobs and we were on welfare and got all of our clothes from the salvation army etc. My mother took me out of school after 4th grade and put me in homeschooling and then I got my GED.
Home schooling huh......I bet that is something many members of the ghetto have access to. Oh wait, they largely depend on substandard public education.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ufcrules1 View Post
She gave me ZERO financial help and I had no financial help from anyone. I worked very hard and worked my way up and made something of myself. I've been married for 11 years now, live in a beautiful home on a golf course, have plenty of money in the bank, have 2 honda accords 2006 & 2005 that are paid off, have zero debt only owe on my mortgage, etc. The list goes on and on.
If you want a piece of the American pie you have to earn it.
Blah blah blah....two words for you.....GINI index. Learn about it. It might show you that the wealth of this nation is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, at the expense of many. What does this mean? Simple, a person is FAR more likely to be worse off then their parents, then better off. This is regardless of "how hard they work". There are no cushy manufacturing jobs any longer. Those people are now working at McDonalds, and their parents are working in to their seventies, clogging up all the decent paying management type jobs.

[quote=ufcrules1;7945985]
Also, please don't talk about how hard it is in Virginia. While in Maryland my wife and made peanuts several years ago and rented a decent townhouse and saved plenty of money as we moved up at our jobs.
[/quote}

Blah Blah Blah....you have it so much harder then everyone else. Get real. Your wife couldnt have been making that little to be renting a "decent townhouse", and still saving money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ufcrules1 View Post
It was tight at first but we made the necessary sacrifices. If I wanted to I could easily start from scratch in Virgina and make it there. I might have to live in a rough area at first but I would be willing to do that to get to where I needed to be.
Yeah sure you could. You take the average no skilled job around here (pays around minimum), tell me all about how you can make it.

Oh wait, let me help you out.......according to this article http://www.stephenheise.com/2008/02/11/top-300-most-overpriced-cities-in-q3-2007/ (broken link)

The Virginia Beach metro area is the 14th most overpriced metro area in the country as of late 2007.

Baltimore is 21st, but outside of Baltimore and the DC metro area, the next most overpriced area is the Bethesda area, at 46.

What does that mean? Unless you've recently lived in Florida, or parts of California, you have no idea the difficulty of getting by in SE Virginia at the current time, however, its nice to build up your ego and toot your own horn.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,068 posts, read 76,638,376 times
Reputation: 27642
The middle class has been whittled away for years now. People didn't notice because credit (debt) was cheap and easy so they racked it up. Salaries stagnated but prices went up.

The CPI came out..food went up 5% (unadjusted-12 months). Medical/education went up about 4% (unadjusted-12 months). Did any of you get a 5+% raise to keep up with the prices and have a bit more over that ?

We're turning into a 2 class system. With the high unemployment of upper middle class white collar jobs more middle class folks are moving down to join the ranks of the lower class.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,396,489 times
Reputation: 2547
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post

We're turning into a 2 class system. With the high unemployment of upper middle class white collar jobs more middle class folks are moving down to join the ranks of the lower class.
This is exactly what the GINI Index has shown.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,478 posts, read 54,159,970 times
Reputation: 24729
The loss of the middle class started when upper crust sports noticed too many workers clogging up their hither to for parks and fancy towns. They decided it was time to thin the heard a bit. This started forty years ago. I remember taking trips when I was a seasonally employed college student that I cannot afford now.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
12,263 posts, read 28,595,698 times
Reputation: 5047
Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
No, I didn't say we "made it". I said we SAVED $11,000 on a $32,000 a year income. After taxes, that means four of us lived on about $19,000 a year.
Just out of curiosity, did you have a mortgage? I have to say that's good budgeting. I know it can be done. I always tell everyone, it's not how much money you make, it's how you spend it!
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 3,055,299 times
Reputation: 555
Hi Guys,
You can have all the anecdotal wonderful stories you want of people "making" it. But, the fact remains that quantitative data on real median incomes still show a stagnated middle class and an ever increasing disparity between the upper 20 percentile and the rest of the nation.

World GINI Indexes (lower the better distribution):
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d4/Gini_since_WWII.gif (broken link)
Gini coefficient - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So, we're just as bad as China in income inequality.... and their the ones with the sweatshops The Mexican peasants and the drug lords have just as good of a distribution as the good 'ol USA. Mexico distribution has been going down... probably thanks to NAFTA.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a7/United_States_Income_Distribution_1967-2003.svg/800px-United_States_Income_Distribution_1967-2003.svg.png (broken link)
Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So, yes, some people were able to "make" it and cross from poor to middle, .. but the majority aren't. Quantitative statistics and numbers show the facts about the diminishing and struggling middle class... stories bring hope... but ultimately, they are used to make someone else money. The poor and the middle class love rag to riches stories. They sell! But in reality, very few make it and it has only been getting harder every year.

-chuck22b

Last edited by chuck22b; 03-19-2009 at 01:06 PM..
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge.
3,196 posts, read 4,996,745 times
Reputation: 979
This could be dangerous -- too much inequality can create political instability. So, is the right thing to do tax the wealthy (a lot) and give their wealth to the poor? I hope not--I tend to hate that idea...but I don't have a better one.....???
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:28 PM
 
Location: In My Own Little World. . .
3,238 posts, read 8,206,604 times
Reputation: 1609
Quote:
Originally Posted by beckycat View Post
Just out of curiosity, did you have a mortgage? I have to say that's good budgeting. I know it can be done. I always tell everyone, it's not how much money you make, it's how you spend it!

No, we rented a small apartment, and had one very old (paid for) car. DH took the bus to work. I was a SAHM, so I made most of my kids clothes, or bought them at thrift stores. Cooked all our food from scratch. When we had saved the $11,000, we used that for a down payment on a house.
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