U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-09-2009, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,458,104 times
Reputation: 2552

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by ufcrules1 View Post
The problem is we have extended ourselves so far we can no longer maintain it. We have to get back to the basics. If wages continue lower, even after the recession, then people will have to downsize which could include not having a cell phone, not having a washer and dryer, not having cable,not having internet, living in a trailer, growing most of their own food, possibly become a vegetarian, cut their own hair, have less kids, etc. The list goes on and on.

Heck, my whole family grew up without cell phones, without a washer and dryer, no cable, no internet, my mom cut my hair, we had a lot of vegetables from a small garden we made, had a beat up car, etc. Were we poor? No.. we were half of poor which is PO, but we grew up right and are just fine now. Actually, we are better off than most people. Material things don't mean a whole lot to us. Slowing down, enjoying life, and thanking god for each beautiful day we have does. Man it would be nice to go back to times were people had strong morals and values again.

Here is the thing though, the only people who will be "scaling back" are the poor and lower middle class.

The solution is not to have our poor become closer to third world poor, the solution is to extract the collected wealth from the top of the pyramid accumulating it all, and allow EVERYONE to have a comfortable middle class lifestyle, rather then a few of us be insanely rich, while 45% of us inch closer to living like Sub Saharan bushmen.

See, the difference in your dads day was that, his boss drove a brand new Ford, while your daddy drove a used. Your daddy lived in a 900 sqft house, and his boss lived in a 1200. Your daddy had a black and white, his boss had a color TV.

Now, your dad drives that same used Ford, and his boss has a Ferrari, your dad now lives in a 900 sqft house, while his boss in a 3000 sqft house, your dad has a color TV now, but his boss? A movie theatre in his basement.

Something wrong here? Yeah. Why should your dad have to downsize to a 500sqft house and sell his color TV, when the only thing that is doing is allowing his boss to take a 5 star Hawaii vacation this year?

It is completely rediculous and hypocritical to ask the middle class to downsize with their shrinking real incomes, while congratulating the guys at the top robbing them blind.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-09-2009, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Castle Hills
1,136 posts, read 2,431,738 times
Reputation: 611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
Here is the thing though, the only people who will be "scaling back" are the poor and lower middle class.

The solution is not to have our poor become closer to third world poor, the solution is to extract the collected wealth from the top of the pyramid accumulating it all, and allow EVERYONE to have a comfortable middle class lifestyle, rather then a few of us be insanely rich, while 45% of us inch closer to living like Sub Saharan bushmen.

See, the difference in your dads day was that, his boss drove a brand new Ford, while your daddy drove a used. Your daddy lived in a 900 sqft house, and his boss lived in a 1200. Your daddy had a black and white, his boss had a color TV.

Now, your dad drives that same used Ford, and his boss has a Ferrari, your dad now lives in a 900 sqft house, while his boss in a 3000 sqft house, your dad has a color TV now, but his boss? A movie theatre in his basement.

Something wrong here? Yeah. Why should your dad have to downsize to a 500sqft house and sell his color TV, when the only thing that is doing is allowing his boss to take a 5 star Hawaii vacation this year?

It is completely rediculous and hypocritical to ask the middle class to downsize with their shrinking real incomes, while congratulating the guys at the top robbing them blind.
Actually, if we stay in a recession type state MOST people will have to downsize to an extent anyway. Personally, I don't care what others have. If someone is being greedy,cheating, lying,etc to make their money and live like pigs, then it will come back on them eventually. I don't long for their cars, houses, money, or any other possessions.

I feel your analogy above is flawed/to personal. Your idea is to take from the rich and give to the poor but do you really trust our government to do that? Even if they did, they would make a bigger mess than we are dealing with now. Living in a decent trailer (20k or less), growing some of your own food, hanging your clothes outside to dry, etc. is hardly equivalent to someone living in a 3rd world country.

Even if the government taxed the rich and gave to the poor in an efficient way, which we know is impossible, then you would get more lazy people with their hands out etc.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-09-2009, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,458,104 times
Reputation: 2552
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
I demonstrated how they could live off that, disagree with the numbers? Someone missing? What? Stating something does not make it the case.
Your calculator example is not real life and you know it. Provided a little more time one of these days I will take it apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Please read the history of Walmart, it started out as a small mom and pop store.
Please study the business climate when Walmart was started. In plain English, there WAS no Walmart, nothing even close. The first Walmarts competed with small mom and pops or regional chains at most. The mid 1900's business climate was close to perfect competition in almost every retail and service sector. National chains that ran whole shopping centers out of business and enslaved whole local economies to its walls did not exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Some business require more start-up capital than others. But that is what investors are for. People with good ideas and no money are able to find angel investors all the time. But there are a variety of businesses that do not require much start-up capital.
There is not enough investment capital on the globe to compete with Walmart.


Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
They can create a number of small businesses, there is no reason why they can't create a manufacturing businesses. There are tons of small manufactures across the country.
As I said, a small service business is really the only path for an entrepreneur, but, lack of demand is STILL a barrier to entry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
There are only a few industries were entry is largely blocked by established businesses, but these sorts of things don't last. Technology has a way of destroying them.
Yep, you call me up when Walmart is destroyed.



Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Instead of guessing why don't you actually demonstrate it?
In 1999, I bought a pair of Levis 501 Jeans for $17.99, regular priced, at a local A&N. The most expensive Levis in the store were $29.99

In 1997, they began a huge exodus of North American plant labor to Asia and Mexico. The last US factory closed in 2003.

In 2009, basic Levis 501 jeans now sell for $39.50 on the website. This is over a 100% jump in price in 10 years, dispite American jobs being dumped wholesale.

So where did that "savings" go?

Hoover's - Levi Strauss Financial Information - Financials (http://www.hoovers.com/levi-strauss/--ID__40278,target__financial_information--/free-co-samples-index.xhtml - broken link)

Well, I think the fact that from 2005-2007, net income went up about 300 million might be one answer, or the fact that in 1999, profits were $5.4 million

LEVI'S PROFITS PLUNGE 94.7 PERCENT IN 1999; JEANSWEAR GIANT HAS BEEN RESTRUCTURING OPERATIONS FOR THREE YEARS. (31-MAR-00) Daily News Record (http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-27632095_ITM - broken link)

Compared to 2008

Fortune 500 2008: Levi Strauss

$460.4 million


Outsourcing doesn't save us a damn penny, it just pads the bottom line. Period.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-09-2009, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,458,104 times
Reputation: 2552
Quote:
Originally Posted by ufcrules1 View Post
Actually, if we stay in a recession type state MOST people will have to downsize to an extent anyway. Personally, I don't care what others have. If someone is being greedy,cheating, lying,etc to make their money and live like pigs, then it will come back on them eventually. I don't long for their cars, houses, money, or any other possessions.
You keep thinking it will come back on them. Guess what, they will be buried in a golden coffin they bought on the back of your blood, sweat and tears.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ufcrules1 View Post
I feel your analogy above is flawed/to personal. Your idea is to take from the rich and give to the poor but do you really trust our government to do that?
No, I dont think the government should take from the rich and hand to the poor. I think the government should be constructed in such a way to prevent the rich from becoming that way in the first place by properly rewarding the poors labor value.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ufcrules1 View Post
Even if they did, they would make a bigger mess than we are dealing with now. Living in a decent trailer (20k or less), growing some of your own food, hanging your clothes outside to dry, etc. is hardly equivalent to someone living in a 3rd world country.
I agree its not, but by the principles you are suggesting people downsize for, eventually, that trailor will be too much, then the hovel will be too much, then the shanty. It will never end. If you allow the capitalist to continue to scrape off more wealth, it will be never ending. At some point you have to say "Look, we live in a modernized civil nation, we cannot keep letting our poor concede a liftestyle that should be easily obtained by our technological and industrial success".

Quote:
Originally Posted by ufcrules1 View Post
Even if the government taxed the rich and gave to the poor in an efficient way, which we know is impossible, then you would get more lazy people with their hands out etc.
Taxes and hand outs, not the way to go. I completely oppose social welfare outside of universal healthcare, and coverage for the elderly and infirm who are not in that condition by their own doing (obese and people dying from smoking related cancer need not apply).

Social welfare is only the safety net needed by capitalism to appease the individuals it abuses economically. My thought is that the need for that safety net should be erased, and all steps should be taken toward that end.

Last edited by Randomdude; 06-09-2009 at 08:09 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-09-2009, 02:03 PM
 
Location: In My Own Little World. . .
3,238 posts, read 8,236,133 times
Reputation: 1611
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
I demonstrated how they could live off that, disagree with the numbers? Someone missing? What? Stating something does not make it the case.
Ok, let's take apart your "budget". I live in Oklahoma which is one of the lower COL states. So let's see how your budget compares to reality:

Housing - you said $600 a month. Forget owning a house. $600 a month would not cover principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and maintenance for any house you would live in. You may be able to get an apartment big enough for a family of four for $600 a month here, but I don't think you would be satisfied with the safety and school your children would attend.

Food - $500 a month. Okay, I have a family of 4, we don't eat extravagant foods, and MAYBE we could get by on $125 a week, but that would allow for NEVER eating out (not even McD's). It can be done, but where is the quality of life?

Utilities: You said $200 a month. Our weather here is neither extremely hot or extremely cold. My gas and electric average just about $200 a month. But that doesn't allow for phone, cable or our $75 (approx) a month for sewer, water and trash pickup.

Health care: I get OK state benefits, so you know we have a good plan. After my benefit allowance is added to my check, and my actual premiums are deducted, it costs me approximately $120 a month out of my pocket. Add to that the $120 a month that I put into a MSA to cover out of pocket deductibles and prescription co-pays, we're over that $200 a month you mentioned. Plus, the $120 a month I'm putting in is not going to last all year. So our monthly costs there are higher.

$200 a month for a car? I'm assuming that would mean a paid for car. So you think $50 a week will cover car insurance, gas, oil, and repairs? Hmmm.

Clothing, $50 a month???? For four people? That's $600 a year. If you have kids who outgrow their clothes faster than weeds grow, $600 would not cover THEM, let alone the two adults.

Now, let's visit real life. If you have a family of four, I'm assuming you mean two adults and two kids. Where's the extras for: field trips, birthday parties, school functions, sports fees/equipment, gifts, occasional movies, vacations, school fundraisers, school supplies, food for the goldfish, savings for retirement, college, etc., etc.?

Also, your budget did not include life insurance, or church and other contributions. If if the wife does go to work part time to supplement, throw in another car/mode of transportation, professional wardrobe, occasional babysitter for when the kids are sick, etc.

No, a family of four cannot live on the budget you presented. Maybe for a year to save for something really big (my family did it to save for a downpayment on a house one year), but to live on that sort of a budget as a permanent way of life is not realistic.

Last edited by colleeng47; 06-09-2009 at 02:11 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-09-2009, 02:40 PM
 
13,760 posts, read 24,155,932 times
Reputation: 14110
Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
Now, let's visit real life. If you have a family of four, I'm assuming you mean two adults and two kids. Where's the extras for: field trips, birthday parties, school functions, sports fees/equipment, gifts, occasional movies, vacations, school fundraisers, school supplies, food for the goldfish, savings for retirement, college, etc., etc.?

Also, your budget did not include life insurance, or church and other contributions. If if the wife does go to work part time to supplement, throw in another car/mode of transportation, professional wardrobe, occasional babysitter for when the kids are sick, etc.
Exactly. His budget is for a poor family, not middle class.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-09-2009, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,470 posts, read 18,300,051 times
Reputation: 4343
Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
Housing - you said $600 a month. Forget owning a house. $600 a month would not cover principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and maintenance for any house you would live in.
You are not demonstrating a thing. You can easily find houses for $60k in the mid-west with a modest down-payment and a FHA loan the PI for the loan would be around $340. Taxes and insurance would be around $150/month leaving $110/month for maintenance. Most people don't even save for maintenance....

Anyhow, its cheaper to own in the mid-west than rent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
Food - $500 a month. Okay, I have a family of 4, we don't eat extravagant foods, and MAYBE we could get by on $125 a week, but that would allow for NEVER eating out (not even McD's). It can be done, but where is the quality of life?
You think eating crappy fast food is quality of life? $500 for food is plenty. The wife is not working and can make home cooked meals. They can eat rather well on $500/month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
Utilities: You said $200 a month. Our weather here is neither extremely hot or extremely cold. My gas and electric average just about $200 a month. But that doesn't allow for phone, cable or our $75 (approx) a month for sewer, water and trash pickup.
We are not talking about your area, rather the mid-west. A basic phone plan would be around $20/month, broad coast cable is $15/month, water/sewer/trash would be around $50/month and leaves $115/month for electric/gas. Electric bill should not be much more than $50/month and that leaves $65/month for gas (Gas bill should only be $15~$20 in non-winter months, leaving a good $600 for the winter). If you add internet it would be more like $230/month, still doable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
$200 a month for a car? I'm assuming that would mean a paid for car. So you think $50 a week will cover car insurance, gas, oil, and repairs? Hmmm.
I'm assuming they have small used car. The costs are amortized. They should be able to get by on $60/month gas (2 tanks), $50/month insurance, $40/month repairs leaving $50/month for the cost of the actual car. For a nicer car it would be more like $250/month, still doable.

When I was in the area I paid around $130/month on average and I had an older truck. Within 6 years the truck had 2 major repairs ($800 or so each), yearly emissions/inspection, oil changes, some other minor repairs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
Clothing, $50 a month???? For four people? That's $600 a year. If you have kids who outgrow their clothes faster than weeds grow, $600 would not cover THEM, let alone the two adults.
$600/year on clothes is rather easy. Yeah the kids outgrow the clothes fast, that is why you go to the goodwill, get hand-me-downs from friends and family, etc. $150/year each is plenty, but if they want nicer clothes they can use some of the excess they have each month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
Where's the extras for: field trips, birthday parties, school functions, sports fees/equipment, gifts, occasional movies, vacations, school fundraisers, school supplies, food for the goldfish, savings for retirement, college...
They have some excess each month that can be used for savings and/or extras. I was only including the necessary items.

But the issue here is that the wife is not working, that is why they have to make sacrifices. The $12/hour is also starting pay and the wife can work part-time when the kids get school aged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
Also, your budget did not include life insurance, or church and other contributions.
Nope, none of this is required. They can get a cheap life insurance policy if they are interested. There is an excess of $300/month in my budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
but to live on that sort of a budget as a permanent way of life is not realistic.
They could live permanently on that budget, but it would not be the nicest thing. But the $12/hour is starting pay for unskilled labor. If they want to improve their life they need to work for it (You know instead of complaining). As the husband gains more skill his pay will go up, probably to a max of about $20/hour. That's around $38,000/year, after tax around $33,000 or $2,750. They would then have an extra $1,000/month beyond my budget.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-09-2009, 04:31 PM
 
159 posts, read 515,546 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Exactly. His budget is for a poor family, not middle class.
A couple points that this thread has raised. First, if companies are efficient with capital and labor, what does the changing standards of lifestyle tell us about what is coming down the pike? Companies are not altruistic right off the bat overall. Heck, I tend to believe that state and federal laws are the only things keeping them from returning back to sweatshop practices. Really. Second, we are experiencing a credit contraction. The reality will take place to see what is worth producing if the markets start having to respond to people saving to pay for stuff or if they just do without. Going back to the Levi jeans thing, I remember paying roughly $50 for new gym sneakers about 30 years ago and likewise similar dollar amounts for Sassoon jeans. Remember the designer jean fad? Anyway, where the heck did that money go to? Who could justify prices like that back then? Was it all "Made In USA" costs?

I think costs on things shift as the capital to bid them up changes in availability. Why did houses nearly double in price in a few short years? Was the intrinsic value of them depressed in the sticker price and all it took was low interest or no-interest or ARMs to "unlock" the price that was suppressed?

If we head to a middle class standard where job benefits are decreased from the prior generation(s), then there is nothing you can do about it for the general masses. All you can do is for yourself and family and friends. The more we acknowledge that that we are under constant competition, the better off we will be. Now, if we could just teach the kids in public school that solving the problems of equitable sustenance and prosperity is paramount, we may return to some balance of things here in the USA within a few decades.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-09-2009, 04:42 PM
 
159 posts, read 515,546 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
But the $12/hour is starting pay for unskilled labor.

Maybe in some places it is. Most places pay less than that and you still have to factor in the benefits.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-09-2009, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,470 posts, read 18,300,051 times
Reputation: 4343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
Your calculator example is not real life and you know it.
Its real life, I'm basing it on having lived in the area for 6 years. I lived on similar sort of budget, though for different reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
Please study the business climate when Walmart was started. In plain English, there WAS no Walmart, nothing even close.
Perhaps you don't get the point, Walmart started as a small business and grew big. Now, of course the environment in this area differs, but I'm not suggesting people go out and try to out do Walmart. They need to look for new business opportunities.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
There is not enough investment capital on the globe to compete with Walmart.
Ugh. Again, they should look for business opportunities. Trying to out do Wal-mart at the national level is unlikely to be successful, but they can most certainly try to bet them at the local level. Wal-mart does not succeed in all areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
As I said, a small service business is really the only path for an entrepreneur, but, lack of demand is STILL a barrier to entry.
Yes, you said that. But its not true. Why don't you say what stops them from starting a manufacturing business? I know people that have done just that on a few thousand bucks in start-up money.

Also, have a look at Etsy :: Your place to buy and sell all things handmade. You'll find thousands of people making things (i.e., manufacturing) and making decent money. Why does it work? Because they are vertical integrated, they selling the products they make at retail. Most would never make enough wholesaling.

While you pretend that nobody can start a business in such and such, thousands are out there actually doing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
Yep, you call me up when Walmart is destroyed.
In what way does Walmart block entry? Walmart in no way blocks someone from starting a similar store and competing with them. The issue here is that Walmart is very good at what they do, in fact they are brilliant at supply chain management. If by "block entry" you mean there is already a successful business, than almost every thing is blocked! But this is ridiculous.... But hey, maybe the government can put successful businesses out of business!

Anyhow, you don't attack Walmart by trying to "out walmart" them. You attack them where they are weak, which is in a variety of niche/local markets. Walmart has trouble adjusting to local markets well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
In 1999, I bought a pair of Levis 501 Jeans for $17.99, regular priced, at a local A&N. The most expensive Levis in the store were $29.99....
Are you serious? Dude, one purchase means nothing. You need to look at average prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
$460.4 million
That's great. You do realize the point of business is to make you know...profit? $5.4 million profit for a company that size is horrible. Their total revenue is $4.3 billion though, so their profit is only around 10%. That is not outrageous at all.

But what you are trying to suggest from this is simply not supported. Business are not charities, they are going to get the most for their products as possible. If Levi's can get their products produced for less and still sell them for the same amount that is great for business. Why would they lower the price if they did not have to? Makes no sense at all. The only reason why will lower their price is competitive pleasure. But this is not so simple, Levi's has a good brand name. So although, their competitors may be lowering their price, Levi's may not have to if they can convince people that their Jeans are worth the extra price.

But yeah, Levi's should hand out their profits to the general public. Hell, lets just nationalize the company. We could nationalize everything! Oh wait.....
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:22 PM.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top