Observations on life

Who writes Bernie’s stuff? Questionable judgement on Bernie’s   part. $1,000 in savings⁉️

imageBased on a survey of 1,000 Americans the above is accurate. On the other hand, one statement has nothing to do with the other unless, of course, he is implying 62% of Americans deserve a check from the government. He also demonstrates he doesn’t understand “bailout” and payback and why.

Beyond all that is the simple question of why only $1,000 in savings accounts? These Americans could have much more in savings if they chose to. So what is the real problem?


14 replies »

  1. Even if the $1,000 number is accurate, since when did American’s get so paternalistic that we know what is right for everyone else? The problem is that politicians like Bernie, President Obama and Hillary Clinton want to buy votes … and they believe it is appropriate for taxpayers to subsidize their vote buying.

    I say, if you want to live for today, enjoy yourself. Just don’t ask me to cover your situation when you are no longer able to maintain your standard of living. I am not gonna do that, but, don’t force me through taxes or regulation to subsidize your decisions, either.

    Put on the big boy pants folks and stop the bailouts and wealth/income transfers.


  2. The mentality of the general public is “I WANT IT AND I WANT IT NOW”. Regardless if they can afford it. In my opinion the first step is to have credit card limits reduced to a reasonable amount. My one and only card has a $20,000 limit. I didn’t request it, they just assigned it. That is insane. Folk see that limit and away they go. And on top of that many folks have more than one card, so when they max out the one they go to the next. Then the bills comes in and they just pay some off but pay an excessive interest rate to carry the balance. They never get ahead. I would never spend more than I could afford to pay off in full at the end of the month. Never paid a credit card company interest and never will.
    Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour only contributes to the over spending. Don’t think the supplier is going to foot the extra cost. They just pass it on to the consumer and thus more spending on the “plastic”. The majority of consumers always spend more than they make. So they stay in debt and have little in savings for a rainy day.


    • You don’t have to accept the banks’s $20,000 credit limit; just call them and have it lowered. Citi Bank tries to raise mine every year and I just say “No”


      • I think you have hit the high points, so the corporations are shafting the U.S. worker with price inflation and wage regression.
        I do not think you will see $10 Big Mac’s – a study I saw claims that an increase of just 85 cents on the value meal will cover the $15 per hour. You have to remember most people working at fast food get 20 to 25 hours per week, or less.
        All I know is since High School, 1974, my income has gone up almost every year but prices have gone up even more.
        In the last 20 years my income has gone up 60%, but food prices have gone up 100% or more. My rent for my mobile home spot is up 86%. I spend more today feeding 2 people, than I did feeding 6 people in 1998.
        Thanks to Cash for Clunkers, even used car prices are up. When you take almost 1 million cars off the market, it effects prices.
        I bet the people who got the money from that program were surprised when they had to pay taxes on it.
        As far as Walmart is concerned, they are not always the lowest price. I try and buy made in the U.S. if possible. I needed a pizza pan and at Walmart I found a nice heavy duty made in the U.S.(WM store brand) for $4. The name brand Farberware piece of crap made in China was $8. I find today, if I can wait for the item I need, I can find it cheaper on line, with free shipping.

        When was the last time you saw the CEO or upper management’s pay cut? The CEO of Home Depot received a 350 million dollar retirement package in 2010, after the company had some of it’s worst years. How much do the top 20% really need?
        I do not hate the rich, but they sure must hate us,if you look at what they want to pay us. I guess things never really change, most are working for far less than they should be, when you factor in what they make for the company.


      • You have to consider that a raise to people is not just that. If the MW goes to $15.00 workers earning anything under that get a raise and those earning $15,$16,$17, etc now will feel they deserve a raise as well. Inflation may justify about $9.25 an hour, but not $15.


      • Everyone keeps talking about a $15 minimum wage, but it is not there yet. Even in CA and WA it will be years before it goes to $15 and many small businesses have exemptions. I made $9.10 right out of high school, no skills, in 1974 = $43.96. My friends making $2.85 = $13.88, where doing much better than many are today. Gasoline was 48 cents per gallon and a 2 bedroom apartment rented for $130 per month = $627, Apartment rents are much higher than that today in Los Angeles, CA.
        $10.50 would be a good place to set the national minimum wage. The cities with higher costs of living could always go higher.
        The bottom 50% of wage earners are making less than they did 40 years ago. The top earners increases are pushing the averages up, so it looks like everyone is doing better. Also one income used to support the family, now it takes two.


      • You missed the point Dave. I could care less what my credit limit is as I am a responsible spender. It is for those that see the $20K and spend. It almost encourages heavy spending. They are one ones that would not want to ask for a reduction in the limit.


      • David, higher credit limits improve your credit score, so you get a better interest rate when you do go to buy a car or house.
        Just because you have a $25,000 credit limit does not mean you have to use it. I have a $7,000 balance, 28% of my credit limit. and by the end of the year it will be less than $3,000. And, when it is paid off in 2017, I will only use credit to buy a car or house.


  3. Then what does he consider welfare and all of the other government programs from heating assistance to food stamps? Are these not a bailouts for poor decisions or are they handouts?


  4. The real problem is low wages for the bottom 50% over the last 40 years. Price inflation has robbed the average family of a middle class standard of living. Most families have had to use credit to maintain the illusion of a middle class standard of living.
    40 years ago credit was only used to buy a car or house, today it is used for everything, because prices are so high.
    I lived better on $6,500 in 1980, than I do today on $20,000 and I pinch every penny. Cut cable TV savings $720 per year.
    Total cost of my first cable bill in 1978-$120 per year. This over use of credit has kept the economy going, but people have nothing left to save for the future, after paying the banks.


    • You have a point about credit, but people don’t use it because prices are high, but because they want more stuff than they can afford or need and they don’t want to wait to save for the stuff.


      • If wages were higher for many, they would have the money to buy what they want and need. I loaded trucks for Gallo Wine in Commerce, CA with no skills, right out of high school, in 1974 and was paid $9.10 per hour. Where are those kind of good paying jobs, today? Even my friends that were making $2.85 per hour, 85 cents above minimum wage, at the local Weiser Lock plant in my home town of South Gate,CA, were doing better than someone making $12.61, today. Most of the retail jobs in my town of 60,000 start at under $10 per hour. I know city bus drivers that are making less than $12 per hour, and they belong to a union. My brother-in-law, made more than $12 per hour in 1986, driving for RTD in Los Angeles, CA. Record corporate profits and record low wages for many, when you adjust for price inflation, that hurts the bottom 50% of wage earners more than anything else.


      • In 1980, I would have to go to the bank and cash my paycheck and be smart about how much cash went into my pocket and how much had to go into my checking account. I wrote paper checks painfully aware of what things cost. For everything else, I reached into my pocket and if I had the cash and didn’t need gas money, I could buy something. I never had cash.

        In the early 2000’s, banks gave college freshmen credit cards even though they did not have jobs. Most companies and the military required direct deposit so there now is a dependence on debit cards. You just give a plastic card and they let you take something home. I know that most people do not even balance their check books anymore but rather rely on the bank tracking their balances.

        I rarely handle cash anymore which removes that sense of what things cost. Your pockets never seem empty of cash because you just keep handing the retailers your plastic. If you think your debit account balance is low, just hand them a plastic credit card. Once a month you transfer any required amount from your checking account to your credit card on the Internet and your bills are paid and your hands never write a check, never touch cash.

        Government policy was and still is consumption is needed to drive our economy. Tax your savings, encourage borrowing, spend, spend, spend.


      • Is it price inflation or wage regression?

        You can buy a lot of crap at Walmart as in stuff you do not need and poorly made for a low price. Cable and phone bills have skyrocketed and you get a ton of bundle services you don’t need but the claim is that you get more for your money than decades earlier. I also agree price inflation has taken its total for cars and housing among other things.

        But the US worker has seen its jobs go overseas and thus the wage growth has been almost non-existent. The American worker has seen their wages cut and benefits cut to compete with the world wide labor pool. Free trade agreements have given us cheap crap. They have also cost us jobs and stagnation in our wages. I fear this is the appeal that is giving Trump his success. I do not believe any one man can convince Congress on a proper course of action to correct this. Economist are divided over these issues and some of their models do not take in the human factors or can predict what another county will do.

        In the mean time get ready to enjoy a $10 Big Mac to pay for that $15 hr minimum wage.


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