Let’s stop and think a minute. More people entered the upper class than ever last year, more people work as temp staffers than ever. The Middle Class died. The dream of USA working people never really existed; it was a marketing scam. “We make the American dream come true,” according to Fannie Mae, the big provider of mortgages since WW II. Fanny Mae marketed the dream and the dream popped. They created a boom and then caused a bust.
Middle class workers, we have been replaced. Have you noticed the increase of part-time workers, or jobs being sent to countries with fewer regulations and lower wages, or those who produce goods and services being replaced by technology, of health care and education being privatized? Thus, the gap between rich and poor grows.
What would be the worst that would happen if working people got off the Working-Poor-Train and declined the opportunity to be exploited?
This is too depressing!
I don't know what to think. I agree that greed has consolidated more and more into the hands of fewer and fewer.
Having spent a lifetime working harder than anyone I know, it's kind of scary to think it could all collapse. And it could.
Yes, it is scary. The worst part is that working people don't realize this is happening. It is like the frog in a pot of water that doesn't jump out in time to survive the heat. I first started noticing the trend when I bought my first computer in the early 1980s and the trend lines just kept getting worse and worse. It is scary because our whole lives have been devoted to giving good service, being sacrificial, of giving more and receiving less and it is not a nag, it is a fact.
That said, we can be victims of the system, or we can make the system irrelevant. If we do that, the system is powerless. They have power over us as long as we acquiesce. With your small farm operation, you can find ways to feed yourself year round. I don't know what your living situation is, but I decided a long time ago to pay off all my expenses, live frugally, and the only real expense I have other than food is utilities and taxes and insurance. That is a lot, but not as much as for those who don't own their homes or cars and have credit card debts.
Remember how frightened I was all those months ago? Now I am just pissed. My experience was a preview of coming attractions. Very many hard working, dependable, honest, intelligent, loyal men and women worked, and it didn't matter. When someone else holds economic control over another, he/she/institutions can withdraw that resource at any time without recourse. Your story is different than mine, but the principle is the same. Countless men and women in this country, and around the world face, the same reality.
It is kind of like the Joker manipulates the system and the rest of us wonder what on Earth happened. Take power away from the Joker, create a life full of really meaningful relationships and things. If the Joker wins, everyone loses, even the Joker.
The Joker may wear nice clothes, have nice homes and cars, eat at fancy restaurants, but he is really a thug, thief, and a hypocrite. I think he will prove to be a coward when the chips fall where they will.
All I can say about my own practices is I've been diligent and careful. I tried not to take out education loans, but in the end had to choose either quit or take out loans, so I did. I paid those off by living frugally and over-paying several - fold each month. Currently I don't have any other loans, everything is paid off including house and land. When I bought the Battleground place, it was an as-is bank sale, discounted. We collected together various resources and paid cash. Furnishings and kitchen ware are mainly yard sale and estate sale, aiming for durability and quality for low cost. Improvements are mainly do-it-yourself.
I work for a "non-profit" but they seem to behave more and more like a for-profit. They still have a retirement plan but are "looking into" changing that. I don't know how that will affect me. The one carrot they had that kept me holding on, even when very unhappy, was I was vested in the retirement plan. Changing that feels like a betrayal.
Seems like the professional managers and MBA types are in charge of everything. I don't want to over-generalize, but I keep feeling like their careers are based on raw greed, scrambling over each other for incremental personal gain, rather than providing a service of value to build up everyone including themselves. It's not just the super-rich who are dragging the country down. It's also the university educated professional business managers and similar trained administrators, marketing managers, and consultants.
That's great that you don't owe any money on loans Daniel! We paid our house off several years ago. We do have a loan out on my husband's car (a luxury), but that is it. We will pay that off early. We pay our daughter's tuition in cash each year, next year is her last, and then we'll do so for our son. When we do use our only credit card, such as on vacation, we pay if off in full the next month. We pay our savings account first, a set amount, out of each paycheck. I know we could be more frugal if we had to. We don't lack for anything!
Changing pension plans for workers when they are about to partake of the benefits should be illegal, if it isn't already. Just imagine if you were not aware of what is happening, would we rather be ignorant of facts and live as though everything was equitable? Frankly, I'd rather know what is going on and why and then take care of problems as they rise.
For the first time this spring, I am headed for the garden with clippers. A clip here, a chop there, and things begin to look healthy again. All the old seed heads have been emptied by birds. These little thing brings me utmost happiness. I know you have such little pleasures as well.
I agree with Daniel that this is depressing and scary. My husband has a job that he has been in for over 25 years, in a union, qualifies for his pension already, etc. I know he is lucky, and that that type of employment will never be available for our children. Heck, I need to get a part-time job, and have no idea where to begin.
I am very nervous for my children, both in college, hoping they will even get jobs that pay a living wage, let alone benefits (esp. health ins. that will take pre-exsisting conditions.)
Again, this is why my husband and I are frugal. So our kids will always have a home, and we will have money to help them with any medical expenses.
It isn't all bad news, Melinda. If we recognize what is happening, and why, we can take control of our own lives. It may mean not living the way we thought we could, and we may have to simplify our lifestyle. But when you really look at it and take steps to get unattached to stuff that advertising says we must have, and if we stop paying money for money, life can be pretty darn good.
Your son and daughter feel your love, I am sure. That is a wonderful strength. There is a rough time when kids believe they know more than their frugal parents, but in the long run, they will learn that life isn't easy, and nothing is free.
So, find something every day that brings you pleasure, and if there are others in your household, it can be doubly pleasant. Just being alive and conscious is full of wonder. Have you noticed how green things are getting?! My gosh, I don't remember a brighter green shooting forth.
I agree Joan! I do try and find things to enjoy each and every day! It's raining here all week, but I'm enjoying cozy naps with my pets! :)
My daughter has a phrase she uses, "Be the cause in the action." If a problem arises, do that which is necessary to solve it. If fungus killed my weeping cherry, either use it as a scaffold for a vine, or cut it down. Well ... I won't cut it down, but Cary likes things looking nice too. I'm lucky that way. What I can't do, nature does its job.