(Closed) Wealth distribution in the US

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 77
Member
816 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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@AB Bride:  I think Alberta is a bit different from the rest of the country/US.  These areas are quite rough and not everyon can wok in the oilsands/rigs/wellhead services.  They require working in -40 weather under tough physical conditions.  This can also be very toug on families since some work rotations are 4/2 (four weeks away from family).  Some are kinder though. Also, those fields are VERY tough on women limiting the workforce quite a bit.  But I do agree that Alberta is lucky to have some very well paying jobs.  There is much more that needs to be done though like improving tradeskill tickets (?) allowing for interprovincial work (red seals) unfortunately from what I hear companies are not investing in this and thus causing un-needed shortages.  A solution needs to be found by government and companies to help these situations.

Post # 78
Member
591 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2017

I did not watch the video but I did read the comments, so pardon me if my response if completely unrelated to the video.

 

I think one of the biggest issues in this country is the entitlement of our citizens. Everyone thinks they’re entitled and deserve big fancy homes and cars, regardless if their budgets can allow it, then proceed to complain how broke they are.

 

Living within our means is a policy that this country needs to adapt. Not one of us is entitled to ANYTHING.

 

Prime example: my parents have owned a roofing business for 25 years. Since the recession, we have been pulling in between $25,000 – $50,000 a year for a family of 4. They own a home and a car, but live very frugal and have a strict budget. And they’re happy!

 

Our very close family friends live about 5 miles away and make a combined total of $100,000 – $120,000 a year for a family of 3. They’ve already been bankrupt, lost their home, are renting very small houses, never have any money, have LOADS of credit card debt, and what did they buy in the last year? A BMW and a brand new Harley. Not to mention they are always going out to eat and getting mani-pedis every week. Do we blame the government for their problems? Nope. It is THEIR FAULT and THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to live responsibly within their means.

 

My point is that intelligent people can live within any income if they know how to. Being American does not mean you are entitled to having everything you want. I work 40 hours (at least!) a week and am in school full-time but I don’t bitch that I live in a small, cramped space with a clunker car. I try to live within my means, which is a HUGE no-no to most Americans, it seems. Hell, as I’m aspiring to become a teacher, I’ll never make more than $40,000 a year, and I assure you that eventually I WILL be able to own a home and live comfortably if I plan and budget right. Why can’t people understand this concept?

Post # 79
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

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@Ettalie:  Some of the jobs up north aren’t rough conditions.  They still need secretaries, other admin jobs, cooks (that’s a skilled job though) for the camps, etc.  People are too adverse to moving for a stable job IMO, some of those jobs would be appropriate for families if they would just move north.  I agree that it’s different here, especially compared to places in the US.  Here making your basic retail job pay a living wage is going to create bigger problems IMO.

I could see it working better in places where it’s more difficult, I’m still not convinced it’s the best solution though.

Post # 80
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9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

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@Meglin:  I agree that we need to change our mindset.  I wonder if there’s a good way to do that…because when people who do live within their means talk about it, they often come across as extremely judgemental, which makes people tune them out.  

As a teacher, you most likely will make more than $40K if you work in a city.  Good luck!

Post # 81
Member
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

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@AB Bride:  Why do you think it would cause bigger problems?

Post # 82
Member
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

First, it annoys me when people complain about (for example): “I get 35% taken out of my check for taxes!” No. You do not. Tax brackets are progressive. So while 35% of any amount over 380k is taken out, a progressively lower percent is taken out of everything below that. 

Second, I think change needs to come to this country. And I have no real incentive for saying that (other than, in my opinion, being a decent person). I think I’m a prime person who SHOULD be for the current system. My husband and I make pretty good money (well over 100k and no kids). We’re upwardly mobile with potential to rise in our careers/incomes. Plus, I am currently an independent contractor which means I pay a flat 6.725% MORE of my income into taxes than anyone else. 

And yet? I feel lucky that I live in a country that affords the opportunities I was given, that I was born to parents who valued education, and who pushed me to pursue it and had the ability to help me. It took a lot of hard work for me to get where I am, but I don’t think for a second that my financial stability is entirely of my own making, a lot of it comes down to pure dumb luck. And a lot of people aren’t so lucky. So I do think we need to even the playing field to allow more opportunities to rise out of poverty.

Post # 83
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I couldn’t find current stats, but in 2010 1.2% of workers in Alberta earned minimum wage which was $8.80/hr.

In 2011 it was 1.6%, at $9.40/hr

Today, minimum wage is $9.75, and $9.05 for those serving liquor who also get tips.  Other than the liquor servers (who for the most part make decent money) I think it’s actually very difficult to find a minimum wage job.  McDonalds pays more.

Post # 84
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

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@peachacid:  It will cause costs to increase.  I think it will cause an issue with constantly having to catch up to what the new higher living wage is.  Inflation would become a problem.

 

I also think that people should have skills beyond the basics.  Should people be able to survive off the very bare minimum work?  If someone didn’t do any formal training, they should be developing skills from the job they are working at.  I don’t expect someone to be a server at McDonalds as their career.  If they love McDonalds great!  If that’s want someone wants to do full time for their entire life though, start at 16, but by 18 you should have moved up beyond a server.

 

 

 

Post # 85
Member
7899 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

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@peachacid:  I listened to that show on NPR and it was really eye-opening. For some people, there just aren’t any jobs at all that don’t require physical labor.

Post # 86
Member
491 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

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@Ettalie:  high five sista! Vote with your wallet, shop co-ops, bank with credit unions, support your people. Focusing on getting stuff for the cheapest possible price is your contribution to the race to the bottom. 

 

I don’t think AB is the gold mine utopia many think it is. Many jobs pay under $12/hr. Even admin jobs at oil & gas companies pay under $15/hr. With rental vacancy rates under 1% in Calgary, no one can get ahead with this income. Yes, engineers, “rig pigs” and many construction trades do very well, but there are many people left behind in the energy/resource based economy. We can’t all be a part of that industry, and their success does not necessarily trickle down to the rest of the working public. 

 

I currently make $20-25/hr as a self-employed person, and I would still be in the poorhouse if it were not for Fiance and I pooling our money, and him subsidizing me to some extent. I just left a company making $15/hr for an admin job, and it was considered a “good” income. Puh-leeze. One could not get to work without their own car, which is a reality for many in this city. There goes 1/4 of your paycheque. 

I know of many people trying to make it up north, and either failing, or just breaking even because when the income goes up, the COL does too – drastically. It’s not a magic bullet solution. 

Post # 87
Member
591 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2017

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@peachacid:  You’re right, median salary for teachers is about $45,000 here. Still not fantastic, but you are right. 😛

Post # 88
Member
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

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@AB Bride:  In Pennsylvania, 5.7% of workers earn either minimum wage ($7.25) or less.  Of those paid hourly in Pennsylvania, the median wage was $13.24.  For men it was $14.89 and for women it was $12.01.

Working full time at $14.89 before taxes is about $28K a year.  That’s a take home of about $862 each paycheck, so $1724 a month.

 

Post # 89
Member
3658 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

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@soontobemrsm11:  you said

 

“…but you are not a 1%-er. that is what makes me laugh because i know many people who think they are in the 1% and fully act like it and they are no where close. many people are not aware how EXTREME the distrubtion is .

 

So? So what if they don’t know where they fall in the income/wealth continuim?

Should I laugh at you for not knowing how high you sit in the wealth category relative to the world’s population?

This web site shows that many many Americans are easily in the top 1% worldwide:

http://www.globalrichlist.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 90
Member
7899 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

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@AB Bride:  “I also think that people should have skills beyond the basics.  Should people be able to survive off the very bare minimum work?  If someone didn’t do any formal training, they should be developing skills from the job they are working at.  I don’t expect someone to be a server at McDonalds as their career.  If they love McDonalds great!  If that’s want someone wants to do full time for their entire life though, start at 16, but by 18 you should have moved up beyond a server.”

That’s all fine and dandy in theory, but the reality is that there are more low-skill jobs out there that are the base of our economy than there are 16, 17, and 18 year-olds to do them. It’s structurally not possible for every adult in America (or Canada) to have a skilled job, so we should pay the unskilled a living wage. Plus, it takes money and spare time to pursue the training needed in many fields to move up, a luxury those living paycheck to paycheck can not afford.

Post # 91
Member
11736 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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@soontobemrsm11:  I’m with you and totally get what you were saying!  Our issues with those people during the election were they were supportive of candidates and policies based on their income, but were sorely misinformed about what certain taxes and policies would mean for them, since they assumed they were considered among the “wealthy”, which they were not as far as taxes, etc went.  We make over $100k, don’t live a lavish lifestyle by any means and it doesn’t get us far. It’s all relative to cost of living/geographic area. 

 

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