It’s not bad being a dinosaur

14 comments

  1. “But you do realize that the ten percent, even those in poverty is a changing population. It’s not the same ten percent of people year after year.”

    Sort of. Some people, we know, can break out. And up. But for the most part, ten percent of the population, or more, only changes as young workers replaces the older ones “retiring” with very little increase in income. I’ve known these people, much of my family. The same factories, restaurants, and offices, barely above minimum wage their whole lives. It isn’t that bad, really, since so many others in town are in the same boat. But they are mostly retired on SS only, with no savings or pensions.

    Its not bad being poor.

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      1. Math.
        Some can. Many do. Most cannot, there are not enough “good jobs” or even business/self employment opportunities.

        It could change, but change comes slowly. And right now, as I understand, change is going in the wrong direction.

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      2. There is an endless supply of business/self employment opportunities. New opportunities come along on a regular basis.

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  2. Or vice versa.

    There is no need to feel persecuted, but you should realize that there is a systemic income inequality in the U.S. Almost anyone can work hard and succeed like yourself and John. But “everyone can’t”. Its math.

    “Four decades ago, the top one percent of earners took home 10.5 percent of the total national income, and now they earn 20 percent of it. The bottom half of Americans, on the other hand, earned 20 percent of the total national income four decades ago, and now they take home only 12.5 percent of it.”

    The U.S. has the worst income disparity of all OECD countries, and it is detrimental to the country as a whole. “Detrimental to the country as a whole” means even those like you and I might benefit from reducing disparity.

    CBO just released a report on the proposed minimum wage increase…
    “On one hand, the CBO estimated that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would cost 1.4 million jobs and increase the deficit by $54 billion over 10 years.

    But it also estimated the policy would lift 900,000 people out of poverty and raise income for 17 million people — about 1 in 10 workers.”

    There are millions of hard working, intelligent, honest people who will remain in poverty through no fault of their own. Imagine if, by helping them, you could improve your own condition. Win/win.

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    1. Strongly disagree, opportunity is not finite. The pie keeps growing. Earners and income are funny words and are used differently. The wealth gap is caused mainly by the increasing value of stocks and real estate investments. The wealthiest among us have very little actual earning income. Raising the minimum wage does nothing to improve the lot of folks or raise them from poverty because as the wages rise so do the costs for employers by more than the wage increase, prices must go up to accommodate, poverty levels must be redefined and in the end we are back where we started, but at $15.00 rather than $7.25 or something in between. In addition, not only the lowest earnings will be affected, but those currently earning just below and above $15.00 who will be looking for parity. In some state teachers and new police make only slightly more than $15. What will happen in those areas? How much higher will they demand when a kid stocking shelves earns as much? what will be the impact on property and other taxes? The only solution is for individuals to get out of minimum wage jobs at any level, start participating in investments even in the most modest ways. Have the top earners taken anything from the bottom half, have they prevented their income improvement? It’s not as simple as saying there is a disparity in incomes, nor can that perceived problem be corrected by simply raising the minimum wage. I’m not opposed to doing so, but in the long run it matters very little, if at all.

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      1. I disagree strongly also. When ten percent of working people are at poverty level, some individuals can get out of minimum wage jobs, but not all. Not even close. Minimum wage is not just “starter level”. Some work at or close to minimum wage their whole lives. About ten percent, in this country.
        Jeff Besos isn’t the problem.
        Some of the problems you discuss will be ameliorated by demand created by lower level workers who can now afford more than basic survival, some by lower paid full time workers coming off government assistance programs.

        But a large part of the problem, IMHO, is dinosaurs who seem to believe that “everyone who works as hard as I did” can be a success (relatively), ergo anyone who doesn’t “make it” is somehow defective.

        Not true. That ten percent is baked into the system. There are ‘very fine people on both sides’.

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      2. But you do realize that the ten percent, even those in poverty is a changing population. It’s not the same ten percent of people year after year.

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      3. When I started my first job as a mail boy earning $1.49 an hour. Literally the lowest paid job in a company of 15,000. I received a clerks job four months later thanks to the union after my first job was eliminated. When I retired nearly fifty years later, there was a guy in the mail room who was there before I started and he kept working there until he died at age 80. Yes, there are people who just don’t have the ability or the inclination to do what is necessary to get ahead. Nothing we can do will ever change that. If they earn $7.25 or $15.00, they will still be at the bottom. Those people typically receive several types of assistance, subsidies, tax credits, etc. For the great majority, opportunity exists if they want it. I wouldn’t use defective, but there is certain something different among individuals who do and do not make it as you say.

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      1. “…worst income disparity of all OECD countries.”

        Correct. Colombia and Costa Rica are much worse.

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  3. Sounds like we have had similar backgrounds. Only difference is I’m 78 and still working part time. Not because we have to, but because I enjoy my job.

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