Oh, poor Bernie, poor us

What outrageous statements. Take a look at these data. When haven’t most Americans lived paycheck to paycheck, which by the way includes spending that paycheck on far more than the basic necessities of living. If the Sanders statement was accurate, how could US consumers drive 70% of our economy? Is it only 50% of Americans who buy “stuff,” go to sports and entertainment venues? And keep in mind, it’s not the wealthy that drive consumer spending, they invest their money.

No money? Paycheck to paycheck? Humm Only half live paycheck to paycheck? That’s quite an improvement.

It was the second-largest online spending day in U.S. history, coming in behind Cyber Monday 2019. Adobe expects Cyber Monday 2020 to become the largest online sales day in history, with spending between $10.8 billion (15% year-over-year growth) and $12.7 billion (35% year over year growth).”

In-store and curbside pickup increased 52% on Black Friday year over year, as many consumers looked to avoid in-store shopping.

Source: https://abcnews.go.com/Business/black-friday-hits-record-report/story?id=74435965

Underinsured is an interesting concept. There is no doubt that low income families with high deductible health plans and high health care spending will struggle with costs.

However, underinsured includes deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance. These amounts are nearly always deemed unaffordable in surveys simply because Americans do not see them as part of their spending budgets or responsibility. Who wants to spend any money on health care? And we quickly forget that the lower out of pocket costs, the higher premiums … and that includes all forms of insurance, including government programs.

Oppressive student debt? Going to college is a choice, the degree of preparedness for college is a choice, where to go to college is a choice, the type of school is a choice, the course of study is a choice, the time spent in college is a choice, the career following college and related income potential is a choice. Enough said.

To apply a blanket student loan statement and propose largely unqualified loan forgiveness is naive and irresponsible.

What really needs to happen is reassessment and restructure of our education system from grade 9 upward, better evaluation of college preparedness and qualifications and more support for vocational programs.

11 comments

  1. I don’t think yours or Senator Sanders’ remarks are mutually exclusive. They both address weaknesses in our economy at its opposite ends and ignore relevant data. Nothing is as black and white as portrayed here. Because there is no movement toward the real truth for some or many Americans, it’s largely unproductive and will never solve anything. The truth is alway somewhere in the middle.

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    1. The truth is there are citizens who need and deserve assistance, but the truth is also those folks are not nearly as many as Sanders implies. The truth is you cannot accept what people say in surveys about money or healthcare. The truth is too many people make poor choices and fail to exercise responsibility.

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      1. Where does Sanders say anything about who does not deserve assistance? Where does he imply that you can rest easy in refusing assistance to those who “fail to exercise responsibility”? You’re not saying what the truth is; you’re saying what Republicans are like. (Sanders is not s Republican.)

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      2. If you are going to comment at least stay on topic. This post simply pointed it that Sander’s generalizations are not accurate and do not reflect the accurate picture. If you want to refute the facts presented, please do so. Otherwise I don’t want to hear about Republicans or Democrats, but rather differences in ideology and what may or may not support that.

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      3. You said that Sanders’ statements were outrageous. He said half our people live paycheck to paycheck Pray tell what you said that bears on the accuracy of this. I read your reference to “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2019”. Nothing relevant there. You remarked that half living paycheck to paycheck would be an improvement in people’s fortune, which is obvious not relevant to the matter of whether they do live that way.

        It seems to you that you’re commenting about facts, but you’re really just telling us about your own ideology.

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      4. If you clicked on the link you would have seen I was referring to a previous survey. “In fact, a survey reported by CNN says 78% of Americans claim they live paycheck to paycheck and even worse most of those are in debt too.” Living P to P includes income and spending so saying x% live that way does not mean much which is my criticism of Sanders claim.

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  2. Totally agree with you on this article.
    Student Loan forgiveness really upsets me. You made the decision where to go to school. Nobody forced you to do it. If you couldn’t handle the debt you made a bad financial choice. I went to a commuter school because I paid my way through and never thought of a loan.
    Also, the education institutions just keep running up the cost of attending. If people said no more, I am not paying those inflated prices maybe tuition would come back to reality. When consumers reward high prices, prices remain high.

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  3. Once again, you are right on the mark. As for student debt, it was a choice. It was a problem that government created by policies of pushing everybody to college and giving colleges a blank federal loan guarantee check coupled with blank VA educational checks. (At least the VA checks were earned and not just given to everybody.) Each student should have a loan limit based on maybe one to two times the actual salary of the degree they are taking. Why are people spending $200-300K to become teachers and social workers? Also there should be some kind of factor for the number of jobs available. It may take $400K to be a one-of-a-kind astrophysicist but there may only be two job openings world wide per year.

    The whole US educational system needs to be redone. Common core is a crime. 100 years ago, you could survive with an 8th grade education. Now, students graduate high school unable to balance a checkbook. It is obvious that schools have stop teaching critical thinking and history. How else do you explain this socialist movement and attempts of erasing history by removing statues, some for made up reasons. I also think that schools need to be teaching more coding and electronic basics since more and more low wage earners will be working with or replaced by robots.

    It is sad that in 1980, my high school class was the first class required to pass a state mandated basic reading and math test to graduate. If you went to a NJ college, you were required to pass a reading and math test before attending college and your NJ school high tests did not count. Why, because schools were faking the grades to get kids to graduate.

    Currently, due to covid, we are educating the dumbest generation. Last spring, everyone passed due to covid. I cannot see how they cannot do the same thing this year. The teachers that I talk to say that the younger students just are not getting the instruction that they need. For others it is a matter of how much a family can afford in home technology or how much time they have to supervise their kids assuming that the parents are not working.

    I’ll stop my covid rant here, but my main point is that education affects earnings and will affect retirement. You do not need a fancy college degree to retire comfortably. We are not teaching kids what they need to know other than that the government will provide and that is not our governments job.

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    1. There is much to discuss here, but I simply want to point out that the difficulty with our country is not that critical thinking is taught. It is that critical thinking is not learned. There is a vast amount of information that is available, but much of it is simply untrue or manipulated. Without critical thinking skills, people are unable to evaluate information adequately, and they become subject to wild conspiracy theories. The widespread disregard of intellectual rigor, by liberals and conservatives, is a major cause of the rancor that permeates the country.

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      1. Very true, indeed. And it’s all made worse by social media. There is also a disregard to possible consequences and a lack of long-term thinking.

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      2. Yes, critical thinking is important. There is a problem in teaching it in college, though. Colleges that have a reputation for teaching it use a method that doesn’t generalize easily. They are careful to admit mostly students who are already capable of it. I think it gets taught, if ever, before students get to college.

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