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Friday, July 14, 2017

Mailvox: the very rich are different

This is a contribution from a friend of the blog.

If I Were A Rich Man ...

"Dear God, you made many, many poor people.
"I realize, of course, that it's no shame to be poor.
"But it's no great honor either!"
-Fiddler on the Roof

There is an old - and very cynical remark - that the very rich are different from the average person - they have more money.  Which is true.  But what isn't encompassed in that rather sardonic bon mot is just what having vast wealth can do for you.  Being wealthy offers opportunities that are, perhaps, not always understood by the poor.

If you’re a rich man, you can buy a house for cash.  You do not have to worry about taking out a mortgage, let alone paying it back.  If you’re a rich man, you can buy a car for cash and afford comprehensive insurance, as well as everything from the very latest gadgets to basic maintenance.  You do not have to worry about taking out a loan or meeting payments.  If you’re a rich man, you can afford lawyers and accountants and everything else you might need to smooth out any little problems you may encounter.  NHS waiting lists?  Go private and be assured of the best of care.  Even being accused of a terrible crime - with a slam-dunk case against you - can be mitigated with expensive lawyers and cash shovelled around like snow.

If you’re a poor man, you do not have these options.  If you want to buy a house, you have to take out a mortgage - and the bank will start talking tough if you miss a payment.  If you want to buy a car, you need another loan - and you can’t afford comprehensive insurance beyond the (legally-required) third-party insurance.  You have to struggle with tax and suchlike on your own and, if you are picked up by the police, you can’t afford to post bail, let alone hire a lawyer.

Indeed, in some ways, the paragraph above is optimistic.  If you don’t earn enough to qualify for a loan, you have to rent - and that eats up your disposable income.  A car accident, even one that wasn't your fault, can fuck up your life ... and God help you if you need medical treatment.  Even in Britain, with the NHS, waiting lists are so long that you might expire before you see a hospital.

If you’re rich, you are insulated from the world.  You can afford to live in a gated compound, with round-the-clock security patrols.  You don’t have to worry about thugs on the street or terrorists, not when you’re secure.  You can cope with almost anything just by throwing money at it.  You can even weather the consequences of your own stupidity if you try.

Imagine two people - Richie Rich and Polly Poor - who get into a car accident.  Both of them are unharmed - and it was a genuine accident, so neither of them are threatened with arrest - but their cars are beyond immediate repair.  And they both have an important engagement in an hour.

Richie Rich calls his insurance firm.  They send him a replacement car and a breakdown truck.  He takes the car and drives to his engagement.  By the time he gets home, the insurance firm has decided that the car is a write-off and offered to let him keep the loaner.  Richie Rich decides he wants to upgrade and takes the money instead, then purchases a new car.

Polly Poor doesn't have insurance.  The remains of her car are impounded until she pays a fine, which she cannot pay.  She has no way of getting to her engagement until a passing motorist takes pity on her and drives her most of the way.  But by the time she gets there, she’s terribly late.  Her boss gives her the sack.  When she gets home, she discovers a whole series of bills she cannot even begin to pay ...

Being rich, in short, offers security from the outside world.  It also offers power.  If you’re rich, people like Hillary Clinton will hunt you up for donations.  You’ll have influence, which you can turn into power.  (The song I quoted above includes a line about just that.)  People like Bill Gates and Donald Trump wouldn't have anything like the influence they do, let alone power, if they didn’t have money.

“Sir, I'm afraid you've gone mad with power!
“Of course I have.  You ever tried going mad without power?  It's boring.  No one listens to you!”
-The Simpsons Movie.

I’m sure some of you are thinking by now that I’ve turned into a raving socialist, if not a communist.  Horror of Horrors!  Trust me - there is a point to this.

Being rich also offers more options than are available to the poor.  Imagine, for the sake of argument, that you wanted to move in a hurry.  Being rich, you don’t have loans or anyone who would have to sign off on your move.  You can just buy a house somewhere else and go there, hiring movers to assist with your possessions.  Or, if you have to leave really quickly, you can just rent an AIRBNB for a couple of months while you hunt for a new place to live.

Why not?  You have the money, don't you?

What all this tends to mean is that the very rich are insulated from the consequences of their own decisions.

I’ve noticed, when I’ve dealt with the top 10%, that they have a certain unconscious (and sometimes very conscious) arrogance.  If you happen to believe that £20’000 is small change, you’re not going to empathise with someone who doesn't have a hope of making that in a year.  The cost of living is meaningless to someone who can afford it without batting an eyelash.  Saying that the poor should save seems to be good advice, for example, but it tends not to take into account the simple fact that the poor cannot save!  They have to spend every penny they earn just to keep their heads above water.

And move to a better area?  How?

No one in their right mind wants to live in a suburb infested with druggies, gangsters and other genuine deplorables.  No half-way decent parent would want to bring up children in such shitty surroundings.  But what happens if they cannot afford to leave?  Going somewhere a little more upmarket might be beyond them.  What happens then?

I wrote all this - in a blaze of fury - after reading an article in the Daily Mail.  George Clooney is apparently planning to move back to LA from Britain after the security situation in the UK deteriorated.  He fears for the safety of his wife and children.  How can you blame him?  If you’re a parent, your children are your first priority.  If you feel that life is unsafe where you are, you need to take them elsewhere.  What self-respecting father could do anything else?

What is maddening about this is the reason the security situation across Europe is deteriorating.  Migrants, terrorism ... and spineless governments.  And Clooney was one of the very wealthy celebrities who urged Angela Merkel to throw open the doors and invite countless migrants into Germany.  Clooney and his fellows had the influence to ensure that their wish to feel good about themselves outweighed any commitment to the safety and security of the German - and European - population.  They pushed a narrative that preached helping refugees - and completely ignored the very real risks to national security.

But Clooney - and his fellows - are insulated from the consequences of their self-righteous stance.  Clooney has impressive security.  He and his family don’t have to worry about the sharp upturn in sexual assaults, murders and religious conflict in Europe.  They can - and, if this article is accurate, they will - simply move away.  How many others have the option to just leave?

Very few.  Picking up and leaving your home isn't easy at the best of times.  Your job isn't going to move, is it?  Nor can you get a new loan if you’re having problems paying the one you already have.  Even if you don’t have a loan or debts, moving to a new region might be tricky.  And what stops the migrants from coming after you?

The very rich are different from you and me.  It is always someone else who pays the price for their self-righteous stupidity.

Labels:

155 Comments:

Blogger Peter Jackson July 14, 2017 7:48 PM  

That's an awful lot of words to say what we all know: Limousine liberals, and the elites in government don't have to live with the consequences of their policies.

Anonymous andon July 14, 2017 7:54 PM  

looks like YouTube has removed Diddler on the Roof for "hate speech":

http://www.renegadetribune.com/diddler-on-the-roof-fiddler-on-the-roof-parody/

apparently you can only make fun of the goy

Blogger Rabbi B July 14, 2017 7:55 PM  

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you. (cf. James 5)

Their judgment does not sleep and their gold and silver will not save them in the day of calamity.

Blogger Aeoli Pera July 14, 2017 8:00 PM  

You'd almost think the purpose of liberalism is death and destruction.

Blogger Johnny July 14, 2017 8:05 PM  

First there is convenience: the house you want, the car you want the vacation you want and so on. And then with greater wealth, power. The power to manipulate the system. And for us right now we have too many rich people with too much power who are too given to manipulating the system. In the end, mainly, for their self interest and for their vanity

Blogger Student in Blue July 14, 2017 8:07 PM  

A corollary to what is said, is that those who become rich have a different mindset than the average person.

Sometimes it's the money that causes the change in mindset. Sometimes it's the mindset that causes the change in your financial status. But either way, Average Joe is not going to be able to hold on to a million bucks because he's going to blow it all on something that's not going to pay him back money.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy July 14, 2017 8:10 PM  

andon wrote (OT):looks like YouTube has removed Diddler on the Roof for "hate speech":
https://archive.is/DGs9O#selection-963.215-963.262

#StopWhiteGeocoding #AutoCoWrecked

And once again the Alt-White demonstrates that it doesn't understand rhetoric or meme warfare. Or spelling.

Anonymous DMV July 14, 2017 8:14 PM  

Your friend sounds like a commie. There's nothing wrong with being rich. But if the elite own the system and the rule of law no longer applies, then, yes, the lower classes are fucked and powerless. But injustice and undeserved privilege can happen even if there is no private property. The intelligent, corrupt, strong, scheming, etc, will always seek to control the system in their favor at the expense of others. It's human nature, not the amassing of riches, that creates misery for others.

OpenID markstoval July 14, 2017 8:21 PM  

"...It is always someone else who pays the price for their self-righteous stupidity."

This is absolutely true. It reminds me that the rich and/or powerful don't even understand the reality that the common folk face. In other words, they don't even understand the middle class, much less the poor.

"Let them eat cake".

Sometimes one gets the idea that the arrogant elites want to keep the overwhelming vast majority poor. They want the people poor and relatively helpless. You see this played out all over the world.

You will notice that the "man on the white horse" that we hope will save us is most often a rich guy --- and he does not even understand us. Even if he did care for us, and he does not, he still can't help as he just does not understand.

And so it goes ...

Blogger tublecane July 14, 2017 8:25 PM  

The rich are insulated from consequences, at least for now. Now is a time of relative peace with occasional nuisances rather than mobs with pitchforks climbing over their gates.

The significant fault of richies, in my opinion, is that they've abandoned noblesse oblige and squandered high culture. They have an obligation to patronize lower classes, not mother them, pretend to be their pals, or ignore them. That doesn't preclude fellow-feeling, because in the days before mad demotism rich and poor saw themselves as part of the same species, part of the same community, in fact.

While there was an attitude abroad of "hire one half of the poor to kill the other," that was in extreme circumstances. They weren't mercenary as a rule, because they had settled civilization to fall back on. There was a bourgeois order, not invented by the rich but developed over time in an ad hoc manner, involving the rich and poor together in their respective slots. And it worked better than the order or lackthereof (also known as anarcho-tyranny) we have now.

As for high culture, it shouldn't come from them directly. Though if you consider statesmanship and war to be part of high culture, and I do, the rich oughtta be producing statesmen, diplomats, and civil servants like the old British imperial public school system, as well as officers to charge machine gun nests head-on with smiles on their faces. The rest of it--science, art, and so on--it comes almost exclusively from the middle class. They may do so on their own, with what little leisure time they can muster. But a lot should come from leisure time they borrow from the rich.

Whereas the Medici funded Michelangelo, Rockefeller subsidized modern art. Chew on that. The premier intellectual institutions of the elite, our university system, is a joke. Aside from some, not all, of the hard science and technology. That's because of government mismanagement, but also because of the deleterious effects of Big Money, and spenders who don't know what they're doing with it.

All you have to know to tell how degenerate are our rich is to look at the architecture they buy. It's disgusting. If we let everyone a hair below the middle class die in a ditch, at least we could give them pretty buildings to look up at.

Anonymous Jack July 14, 2017 8:30 PM  

I believe that line comes from a conversation between Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Fitzgerald: "The rich are different from you and me." Hemingway: "Yeah, they have more money."

Blogger Lazarus July 14, 2017 8:32 PM  

When I saw the story about Clooney, I rolled my eyes and muttered a curse. Your exposition was much more articulate and informative.

Blogger Mordakei Silberreich July 14, 2017 8:33 PM  

Great Gatsby. The scene where he says his cousin or whatever she was, and her husband break people and things.

Blogger Mordakei Silberreich July 14, 2017 8:33 PM  

Great Gatsby. The scene where he says his cousin or whatever she was, and her husband break people and things.

Anonymous Iron Spartan July 14, 2017 8:36 PM  

Lets define the rich. The rich here are the investment class. Those who make money by existing. The amount of money they have isn't as important as how they own it.

The rich as described here are not builders. They are not people who have roots in their community. The God Emperor is a builder. No matter how much money he has, he will never be considered on the of rich by the investment class.

Blogger tublecane July 14, 2017 8:37 PM  

"You do not have to worry about..."

I've been reading Henry James lately, and he's single-minded about creating protagonists who live unburdened by material necessity. Not that they're all Croesuses. Money matters, but none of their important decisions are made due to economic calculation alone. Which allows him to focus on themes that interest him more, like the purely moral aspect of our decisions.

As you might imagine, they still have plenty to worry about. They're full up with worries the poor wouldn't have time for, though the poor do worry about greater things than getting bread, like love and all the rest. The characters are remote from the life of Johnny Bootblack. But you don't get the fiddling while Rome burns feelings from his novels, because they all live in properly functioning societies.

Imperfect societies. Probably all the intellectually significant figures of James' class pondered the Social Question of the time, and despised the political and industrial order of the day. Little did they know how much the answer, socialism, would suck. Not at all could they imagine the Plenty soon to be unleashed by electricity and the internal combustion engine. But of course that didn't please the intellectual class, either. Because it had degenerated too far.

Anonymous Johnny Mayonnaise July 14, 2017 8:43 PM  

Slightly OT: My wife and I never could stand Clooney. Like Keanu Reeves, he has looks but can't act his way out of a paper bag. Has he won awards? Of course ... to reward his politics. An Olivier he's not!

He kept the Clooney name to ride the coattails of his famous aunt, Rosemary. (Having Miguel Ferrer in the extended family didn't hurt, either.) He had a sweet and easy ride to the top, which makes his arrogance and smugness all the more maddening.

Blogger tublecane July 14, 2017 8:44 PM  

@13-Daisy and Tom Buchanan were independently wealthy. Neither worked a day in their lives, probably. Daisy I remember being described as a child. Tom was a bit more competent, I think, and actually worried about the state of the world. Though it might have been in a SJW-type sense, only informed by the works of people like Madison Grant and Oswald Spengler instead of whatever trash SJWs read. There is scene where he worries about global warming/global cooling , as I recall.

Be break a things though. He breaks Gatsby. (He's the one who tells the jealous husband where to find Gatsby, before the husband kills Gatsby for Daisy's mistake.) Then they tra-la-la out of town back to their rich life.

Blogger tz July 14, 2017 8:46 PM  

The key which was not mentioned was the Middle Class.

There was a call by "Alan" which went viral saying he could not make ends meet so shut up about Russia and get Trump's agenda moving.

The parts of the middle class are the well paid blue-collar workers, the white collar workers, and the entrepreneurial small businessmen.

Both have been under attack. Part of it is the Rich don't want to pay taxes for the poor, so it ends up on the Middle class - who pays the most for Social Security? The top rate still leaves the rich rich, especially with shelters and deductions. The mid level rates make the Middle Class poor because they may have the standard deduction and a few other things. They have to use after tax dollars to pay for everything and don't qualify for any help.

Meanwhile, illegals, refugees, poor get everthing paid for - Section 8 or other housing, EBT/SNAP for food, welfare, and medicaid (or just run up a 6 figure bill in the ER).

The Blue Collar, and even the white collar workers now are being outsourced or displaced (H1-Bs). The Small Businessmen are displaced by the big stores (See "Free Lunch" by David Cay Johnston - a small sports shop run by a local guide closes to a Cabelas that gets tax breaks). WalMart gets breaks or moves just outside of town, and kills main street. The small shops that provided parts to the big 3 went overseas. Regulations shut entire industries down. Even the small community bank now has to file huge piles of complience documentation - just like BoA. Farmers and Ranchers are losing their land for the big Agribusiness, foreign imports, and the greens.

The Middle Class had just enough wealth to provide well for a large family, keep their neighborhoods nice, afford better but not luxury items, and save for their retirement, or had a defined benefit pension. They could rely on retiring from the same employer they hired in with decades earlier. They had good benefits, but would have better wages. In the 1930's and 50s there were strikes and labor fought and won. That was the social contract. Capital and Labor would reinforce each other.

Other problems happened - Japan was the first trade problem, but you see what happens when you convince your customer not to buy local but buy cheap. China, India, and the 3rd world have displaced Japan. A Japan who could say no was told no, we've found someone better.

As bad as Union featherbedding is, if the alternative is permanent welfare - especially in the black community, I prefer having the jobs.

The unions had a notion of Solidarity and I think that is what the Alt-Right is aiming for and has already started to form. Labor returning a fair days work, and not being shielded by their union when they don't produce. Capital being more paternalistic toward the workers. All together for this country.

Anonymous William Barton July 14, 2017 8:46 PM  

I realize it's partly a matter of definition, but no one has to buy into the definitions of "rich" and "poor," and anyone willing to have a job, any kind of job, and the willingness to live below their means permanently, can own a paid-for, never mortagaged house, and buy a new car once a decade, also for cash. I grew up on welfare, so I kind of have a clue about "the cycle of poverty." These things only apply to the US, as I don't know about anywhere else.

So if you have a job, even a minumum wage job, and you live as far below your means as possible, you will save money. Over time, it will accrue. Then you search for and buy whatever house you can afford. Maybe its only a single-wide on a few country acres 50 miles from town. Maybe it's a distressed foreclosure. And you'll own it free and clear, but for taxes and likely electric power. It'll have a well and septic, or you won't have bought it. And then you'll save up for the cheapest new car on the market. And then you'll move to your "country estate." No more rent, no car payments. Because you own the house, you don't have to have insurance. Because you own the car, you only have to have liability. Your property taxes will be low, because your house is not valuable. You'll need electricity and food, but you can economize on those. And since you're still going to work, money will continue to accrue. It's not that hard. I guess the definition of "rich" is, "don't have to have a job."

Blogger Timmy3 July 14, 2017 8:47 PM  

It's always someone picking up the tab.

Anonymous Tipsy July 14, 2017 8:48 PM  

Irene Impellizeri, a conservative representative of the educational board from Queens, was quoted in the early 90s of how education was (is) failing the poor by not teaching self discipline:

Self-discipline is not an instinct; it is learned from adults, sometimes subconsciously, sometimes painfully. Even when learned in childhood, it often falters in adolescence, when desire takes on new forms and an anarchic intensity, and when the young brain is awash with hormones and with the erotic imagery of popular culture. The adult who tells an adolescent “You have the right to obey your impulses” is guilty of treachery to the adolescent as well as to the community...

[The problems of indiscipline] may not seem so pressing to the rich, who have a long way to slide, though not as long a way as they may think. But if the children of the poor are taught that they need not be constrained by the social order and its civilities and its prudential demands; that they have the right to set their own standards, or no standards at all; that they are mysteriously able to “think for themselves” without serving any apprenticeship to reality, without in fact learning to think-as distinct from feel or want--they will never, never escape poverty...

The underclass is not really a class so much as a caste; it has its own way of life; it has the strange cultural property of reducing members’ desire to escape. . . . If we accept youngsters’ feckless or undisciplined behavior on the grounds that it cannot really be prevented - “You know they’re going to do it anyway” - we objectively (as the Marxists used to say) push them towards the underclass.

Blogger Ransom Smith July 14, 2017 8:52 PM  

Like Keanu Reeves, he has looks but can't act his way out of a paper bag.
Keanu isn't the moron Clooney is. Sure he's the usual celebrity, but he also has more libertarian type views. And is hard core gun rights.

Blogger Elizabeth July 14, 2017 8:58 PM  

I once remarked to a Jewish friend that one of the reasons why Jews were liberal was because they tended to be affluent and so could escape the consequences of their purported idealism. She agreed with me.

Blogger AdognamedOp July 14, 2017 9:00 PM  

Hard to sell class warfare to this crowd. Trayvon, Sheppard, bake my cake Nazi's, Every Muslim ever, Mayweather and MacGregor, etc, aint having that shit.

Blogger SQT July 14, 2017 9:08 PM  

I worked for a TV show back in the mid-90's and my boss had worked with Nick Clooney (George's dad) and my boss HATED George with a passion.

I guess as an up-and-comer George had badgered his dad to feature him on some tabloid show that he was working on so he could get publicity for his fledgling acting career. But the second he gained any fame he immediately started attacking he paparazzi- even giving a self-righteous press conference after Princess Diana was killed so he could grandstand and blame the press.

I'll never forget the sheer loathing my boss had for Clooney. The guy is an entitled douche.

Anonymous Simplytimothy July 14, 2017 9:09 PM  

The rich have time. We poor ...our time is sold for sustenance.

Anonymous trev006 July 14, 2017 9:11 PM  

No doubt Clooney's insane wealth- and more talented relations- helped his handsome face skate through life. I think it goes down to roots, though: most left-wing students will be at least as mercenary about leaving for the best opportunity that comes along. Someone with deep connections to their nation- blood, property, etc- is going to be a lot more reluctant to risk it all. The rich and the very poor have every incentive to move and take risks: the man in the middle will find it a much harder go.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 14, 2017 9:26 PM  

William Barton wrote:I realize it's partly a matter of definition, but no one has to buy into the definitions of "rich" and "poor," and anyone willing to have a job, any kind of job, and the willingness to live below their means permanently, can own a paid-for, never mortagaged house, and buy a new car once a decade, also for cash.
That's nice, but that's not how it works.
I've been living off my savings for 8 months, after being laid off because I am more expensive than recent college grad in India. Granted he knows nothing, but the standards, automation scripts and configurations I wrote allow him to muddle along for a while. Or I should say them, since it took 3 to replace me.
"Living below my means" would mean becoming a homeless Breatharian.
This sort of thing happens all the time. Thank God I was making enough to save. I had a neighbor years ago who was squeaking out a living as an independent mechanic. Till some asshole stole his truck with all of his tools. Without credit, without savings, without a vehicle and now his tools gone, he had to farm out any work he had lined up, at a net loss. As a single White man, he was ineligible for welfare. This was during the early 80s recession, and unemployment was 10.5%.
I loaned him $50, which was a hell of a lot for me at the time, two days wages, so he could get to Seattle and maybe find work. I never expected him to pay me back, and we both knew it.
Every person who has lived in a poor community has dozens of these stories. A single event that would not necessarily affect you that much, a fender bender, a roommate who skips out on the rent, a three day furlough from work to meet OSHA requirements, are often devastating for people on the edge.

And don't forget the "poor tax". Those late charges that you avoid by paying your bills promptly? Yeah, they're essentially a tax on people with no savings.

Blogger DonReynolds July 14, 2017 9:47 PM  

@28 trev006
"The rich and the very poor have every incentive to move and take risks: the man in the middle will find it a much harder go."

You may be mistaken.
The most immobile people are actually the rich and the poor. It is the footloose middle class that can grab a U-Haul and zip off to the next job in another state. The poor seldom move anywhere and the wealthy fear leaving so much behind. When the poor do go somewhere, it is to move in with relatives elsewhere. The rich are so embedded in their communities that they would give up to much to pull up stakes and start over in another state. If they have another house to go to, that would make it easier, but the social connections are usually too thick.

It is the middle class that tends to be mobile. They may have some education and work experience of a type and they are typecast as doing that particular type of work. For them, it is a QUICKER solution to follow the work to another state than wait around for a similar position to open up locally. That would probably mean working as a security guard or fast food, getting divorced, and ruining the credit (and resume) in the process.

People move elsewhere for two reasons....to go TO something good or to get AWAY from something bad. Going TO something is always better because you have a destination. Moving AWAY from something bad is more difficult and more risky, since there is little or no knowledge about where you are going or what is going to happen when you get there. I have done both in my gypsy lifetime and my father and grandfather were both the same way. We always went where the work was available. Roots were not as important as water and sunshine.

There is a city in my state that had the same population for 4 US Census in a row. I asked the local economic developer how that was possible. He said...."Every time a baby was born, some guy left town."

Blogger Aeoli Pera July 14, 2017 9:57 PM  

William Barton wrote:I realize it's partly a matter of definition, but no one has to buy into the definitions of "rich" and "poor," and anyone willing to have a job, any kind of job, and the willingness to live below their means permanently, can own a paid-for, never mortagaged house, and buy a new car once a decade, also for cash. I grew up on welfare, so I kind of have a clue about "the cycle of poverty." These things only apply to the US, as I don't know about anywhere else.

This may have been true when you were a kid but I've been an adult for 11 years and I've never seen the possibilities you describe.

Blogger Aeoli Pera July 14, 2017 9:58 PM  

I mean, shit, you can't even live in a tent for minimum wage.

Blogger Aeoli Pera July 14, 2017 10:01 PM  

To answer the obvious follow-up question, people who work minimum wage (or worse) make up the difference by rooming together, working multiple jobs, and selling drugs.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 14, 2017 10:07 PM  

Aeoli Pera wrote:I mean, shit, you can't even live in a tent for minimum wage.
In Portland, you can live in an $800 tent on public property, beg for money, take drugs, defecate and perform sex acts on street corners. I've read that the average cardboard-sign-on-the street-corner guy makes about as much out of begging as he does from welfare. He could make more, but there are so many drugs to take.

Blogger John rockwell July 14, 2017 10:09 PM  

The superrich don't have "skin in the game "to put it in the terms of Nassim Taleb.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit July 14, 2017 10:12 PM  

Saying that the poor should save seems to be good advice, for example, but it tends not to take into account the simple fact that the poor cannot save! They have to spend every penny they earn just to keep their heads above water.

Not true. You eat nothing but ramen. You burn time wealthier people have to make "sweat equity" pay for what you don't have money to buy. You wake up, work (multiple jobs) and make do until you crash, sleep and start over. And unless some God-damned (or so I hope) government or mafia steals it...

You have savings.

That's why "immigrants" used to be the back-bone of the U.S. They got it, even when the pampered red-diaper babies of WASPs didn't.

Anonymous johnc July 14, 2017 10:16 PM  

Where, exactly, did George Clooney get all of his money? So you see... what goes around, comes around.

Blogger DonReynolds July 14, 2017 10:18 PM  

@33 Aeoli Pera
It may interest you to know that 40 percent of the people in this country who have a job make less than $20,000 a year. Some of them have multiple jobs, but this is actually difficult to do. Employers do not want their employees working elsewhere and often shift their schedule around to where it would be impossible to coordinate two jobs, much less three.

So how do 40 percent of the working poor manage? They find a housing solution that does not take more than half their pay. (My own rule was always a week of pay is the most I could afford in rent.) As long as there are enough crummy houses, or room to let, or flophouse motels that rent by the week, they can get by....if they do not have a car payment/insurance to cover. It is not the ideal situation, but it is one that tens of millions of adults (and their families) live with for generations.

Selling drugs is risky and often there is a price to be paid when caught. Less risky to deal in stolen property or become a pack rat. Some even become copper rustlers or burglars or car thieves, but none of the money they make is worth the punishment.

Blogger kurt9 July 14, 2017 10:20 PM  

There is considerable truth to what Vox wrote here.

Blogger kurt9 July 14, 2017 10:24 PM  

I consider myself to me to be (slightly) upper middle class. Yet most of what Vox describes as "rich" does, in fact, apply to my situation more than the poor situation (e.g. I bought my last two cars with cash and have no home mortgage - can move at the drop of a hat). I think much, certainly not all, is obtainable to most people just by having their shot together in terms of career and finance.

Blogger kurt9 July 14, 2017 10:28 PM  

I wrote all this - in a blaze of fury - after reading an article in the Daily Mail. George Clooney is apparently planning to move back to LA from Britain after the security situation in the UK deteriorated.

George Clooney is a limousine liberal, which is the modern-day version of what Machiavelli called the "gentry" in "the Discourses". In "the Discourses", he said no less than four times that all functional societies simply kill their gentry because they are completely inimical to any kind of civil society.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 14, 2017 10:29 PM  

The Overgrown Hobbit wrote:Not true. You eat nothing but ramen. You burn time wealthier people have to make "sweat equity" pay for what you don't have money to buy. You wake up, work (multiple jobs) and make do until you crash, sleep and start over. And unless some God-damned (or so I hope) government or mafia steals it...
Yeah, let's make sure the kids get malnutrition-induced brain damage and diabetes! Yay!

kurt9 wrote:I think much, certainly not all, is obtainable to most people just by having their shot together in terms of career and finance.
You think that because you're never been on the other side of the fence.

Blogger kurt9 July 14, 2017 10:41 PM  

I think much, certainly not all, is obtainable to most people just by having their shot together in terms of career and finance.

You think that because you're never been on the other side of the fence.



Actually I have, and I can tell you it suck donkey dicks. However, I managed to overcome it. Nevertheless, I agree with much of the posting as you will note my previous comment about the "gentry".

Blogger Lazarus July 14, 2017 10:41 PM  

kurt9 wrote:There is considerable truth to what Vox wrote here.

except notVox wrote it. I made the same mistake. A friend of the blog did.

Blogger Mountain Man July 14, 2017 10:48 PM  

@ William Barton
As a direct descendant of the real William Barton..you're an embarrassment. Next time choose a moniker like Peter Griffith or Homer Simpson. Stop pissing all over my family ancestors.

Anonymous Jack July 14, 2017 10:53 PM  

"I think much, certainly not all, is obtainable to most people just by having their shot together in terms of career and finance."

No it's not. And that's ok, because not everyone can be a genius like our gracious host or our esteemed God Emperor. But it is very difficult to rise from nothing, and is beyond the abilities and circumstances of most people. What matters is that society is structured in such a way as to provide meaningful work for average people. This is something boomers don't understand because when they were young there were better jobs, and they act like that's how the world still is. "If you work hard, you can make it" - I guess that used to be true, that's what they tell me.

You also have to consider the sheer amount of nonsense that people imbibe from the media and - worse - "educational" institutions. Even people that might have the potential for upward mobility have to wade through all the bullshit and miseducation. "Go to college, that's the key to a better job!" Most people just do what they're told by society, especially if they lack good parents, and this society has betrayed its workers by selling them into debt slavery.

Blogger Artisanal Toad July 14, 2017 11:02 PM  

@33 Aeoli Pera

It's not comfortable at all, but it's possible to work for average dead-end job wages (convenience store clerk) and have $20k to $30k in savings at the end of 18 months.

Get a mini-van, modify it so you can sleep in it and go homeless. That eliminates lots of bills.
Join a gym and hit the gym every morning before work, 7 days a week. Work out, shower, shave, etc. Lose the spare tire, pack on some muscle, increase your testosterone.
Work two jobs, hopefully one full time job and a part-time job.
Eat cheap food (which can be surprisingly nutritious if you know what to buy). Take vitamins and minerals to supplement the diet.
Have your laundry done by a cheap service, buy needed clothing used at thrift stores.
Don't spend money on anything you don't absolutely need.
No booze, no smoking, no junk food, no carbonated colored sugar water. No excess driving. No playing on the internet unless you can do it at work without getting fired.
Learn game and have at least one job in customer service where you get to meet people and practice on women.


Work your ass off and save money. Constantly be on the lookout for job upgrades, network to find them. I know two guys who went past 18 months, almost to 2 years, but both of them had specific amounts they were working for.

With that done, you're different. You're in shape and look better. You have discipline. You aren't burdened by lots of stuff you don't need and can't afford.

Go down to the West Coast of Florida and find a boat being sold out of boatyard at auction. Easy to get one for less than $10k. Marina slip fees are according to the length of the boat. There are plenty of places where one can live on their boat in a very nice area and only pay a few hundred dollars a month in "rent".

The boat does not leave the dock, it's simply floating housing. Drop down to one job and start taking classes to learn a real skill that pays real money. If you need ideas, refer to Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" for ideas. You could become a structural welder in about a year and down on the Gulf Coast there are companies like Ingals that pay over $25 per hour. Or, if you like to travel, join the Boilermakers Union and hit the road. That pays substantially more.

For someone as intelligent as you obviously are, there is no need to even mention minimum wage.

Anonymous AB.Prosper July 14, 2017 11:03 PM  

The Overgrown Hobbit wrote: Saying that the poor should save seems to be good advice, for example, but it tends not to take into account the simple fact that the poor cannot save! They have to spend every penny they earn just to keep their heads above water.

Not true. You eat nothing but ramen. You burn time wealthier people have to make "sweat equity" pay for what you don't have money to buy. You wake up, work (multiple jobs) and make do until you crash, sleep and start over. And unless some God-damned (or so I hope) government or mafia steals it...

You have savings.

That's why "immigrants" used to be the back-bone of the U.S. They got it, even when the pampered red-diaper babies of WASPs didn't.


The bleating of money obsessed parasites as usual.

Not a new problem though , Muzzle Not the Ox that Treadeth the Corn appears in teh Bible more than Thou Shalt Not Kill

You starve people of wages and opportunity you'll get socialism, violence or a population collapse. The US has a little of both, Japan mostly the later

You want the tech of modernity or functional cities even if you don't want modern society, you are going to pay for it big time.

Blogger Cail Corishev July 14, 2017 11:06 PM  

Not true. You eat nothing but ramen.

What about when you're eating ramen, you've eliminated all bills except the absolute necessities, you're taking cold showers because you couldn't afford the gas bill, you take every shit job you can find.....and you're still too broke to save anything?

That does happen. You can tell yourself it only happens to lazy people or stupid people, or that people who claim to be in that situation just haven't tightened their belts enough, but it happens, and you just might be wrong.

I've been that broke, and I always got a kick out of the bill collectors who would say things like, "If you can catch up 3 months of it, we can turn it back on." Well, gee, if I could have afforded to pay one month, let alone three, I would have paid it already. You can't convince them that for some of us, "I don't have any money," literally means, "I don't have any money," not, "I do have some money, but I'd rather go to the movies than pay my bills." Of course, what they're really trying to get you to do is beg, borrow, or steal it.

Those late charges that you avoid by paying your bills promptly? Yeah, they're essentially a tax on people with no savings.

Yes, those are killers. As soon as you're a month behind on everything, it can easily add 10-20% to your cost of living. The local electric co-op tacks on a $40 collection fee as soon as you're 10 days late, and if you get to 15 days and get disconnected, something like $250 to reconnect. Your $100 electric bill is suddenly around $400. And they feel righteous about it, because a guy had to drive out and flip a switch twice.

The point isn't "woe is us." It's just that the system is setup so if you do get in a hole, by your own fault or bad luck, dirt keeps getting thrown in on top of you. If you're smart and disciplined, you usually can dig your way out, but a healthy society would probably try to not to pile on and make the digging harder. If you're not smart, you're probably screwed.

Blogger kurt9 July 14, 2017 11:08 PM  

Jack and Snidely, you are both wrong and I will tell you why. I am a control system and industrial automation engineer. I can tell you the biggest problem my customers have is finding people with decent electrical, mechanical, and/or hydraulic skills. These jobs pay in the $20-25/hour range, are 40 hours per week (no unpaid overtime), and do not require college education. Especially electrical and hydraulic (good hydraulic technicians are REALLY hard to find) with the electrical being someone who can wire a control panel, troubleshoot the same, and read electrical drawings. The increase in automation is increasing the demand for this kind of work. Every job like mine probably produces 8-10 jobs like I mention here.

Blogger kurt9 July 14, 2017 11:10 PM  

Then there is also the fracking revolution, which is allowing high school graduates to make up to $100K per year in Texas and the Dakotas.

Blogger Cail Corishev July 14, 2017 11:12 PM  

George Clooney is a limousine liberal

It's not just liberals. Who was the National Review guy who said workers displaced by cheaper immigrants just needed to get off their lazy asses and find other work? We hear plenty of "let them eat cake" from good conservatives these days, maybe even more than from liberals.

Blogger JaimeInTexas July 14, 2017 11:14 PM  

Forgot General Aviation. No gropings and no weapons search,assuming destination is OK with weapons possesion. Arrive to destination and car rental or limousine pulls next to aircraft. Bags are transferred and you are on your way. On return trip, drive car next to aircraft, transfer baggage and you are on your way.
It is nice.

Blogger Mountain Man July 14, 2017 11:16 PM  

Being poor has major opportunity costs. Its the major reason the poor always remain poor. Its analogous to a truck stuck in the mud. The harder you step on the gas..the deeper you sink.
To get out of the rut, you need to stop doing what isn't working and come up with a solution that vaults you out of the rut. Back to the stuck truck analogy. Stop stepping on the gas, get out the jack, lift it up and place rocks in the holes. Gradually, you will lift yourself out of the rut and onto firm ground.
That said... all of this is nearly impossible if you are a wage slave. The only true path to financial freedom is self employment...and even then you need at least one business with scale and leverage. If not - you are not much better than a wage slave. In fact you are just taking all of the risk and trading your time for money. The only difference is you don't have a weird boss with bad breath breathing down your neck constantly. Thats a benefit..but it still wont give you full financial freedom.
Ive been self employed for over a decade. At various times, so poor , Ive had to empty the spare change bottle ..just to buy groceries. It wasn't until the last four years that I discovered the missing piece of the puzzle....leverage/scale. Its like discovering the entrepreneur's Holy Grail. Suddenly, all of the hard work really has begun to pay off. Not in tiny increments but in large payouts.
I really credit the book " Millionaire Fastlane" and the mindset articles by Mike Cernovich ..for getting me to this point. Although not fully at the point I would like to be, the chronic financial fear and anxiety has subsided quite a bit, due to a string of successes brought on by massive leverage.
Also...if you are going to have a business that trades time for money ; start/find one that caters to the wealthy and rich. Find a way to distinguish yourself from the competition and then use that as selling point to charge 1/3 more than the competition. The wealthy/rich will gladly pay what you charge and - surprisingly- it will elevate your status in their eyes which will eliminate their innate desire to "chisel" you over price..

Anonymous Jack July 14, 2017 11:17 PM  

@kurt9 How does that make me wrong? Jobs like what you mention are a much better option than going to college, yet most young people for the past thirty years have been told every day "Go to college!" The problem is that what you write is far from common knowledge.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 14, 2017 11:19 PM  

Artisanal Toad wrote:It's not comfortable at all, but it's possible to work for average dead-end job wages (convenience store clerk) and have $20k to $30k in savings at the end of 18 months.
HR Lady:"So Mr Pera, before I can take the application, I need to have an address."
Aeoli Pera: "I don't have one!"
HR Lady: "Uh huhn.... Where do you...live?"
Aeoli Pera: "In my van."
HR Lady: "In your van? Where is your van?"
Aeoli Pera: "Down by the river."
HR Lady: "Thanks for applying. We'll let you know if we need any child molesters, I mean hobos, I mean your help."

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club July 14, 2017 11:34 PM  

William Barton & the rest of the "up by your bootstraps" crowd- While you're living out your Horatio Alger LARP, remember to pray before your gourmet ramen meal that you don't get t-boned at an intersection by an illegal without a license, suffer a work-related injury, get an unforeseen but serious illness, or any other of the things beyond your control that can completely fuck a poor person's life.

And if you're lucky (or unfortunate) enough to have a family, pray nothing like that happens to them, especially kids, who are expensive enough even when healthy and happy.

Blogger DJ|Bonky July 14, 2017 11:39 PM  

I don't understand this fascination with $20-$25 an hour. A family of 4 at $40k a year is barely above the poverty line in most states, and is actually well below subsidized living in the majority of large muni's. Hell, combined household earnings of $135k qualify for subsidized housing rates in SanFrancisco, now!

A 20yo with a two-year nursing degree can make $40k a year in her first job easy and likely get any and all school loans paid off by the hospital.

I know an 18yo who, not even requiring any special training or certification is now a personal service worker (aid...advanced babysitter) for one, ONE!, 10yo special needs kid. She makes $16.25 an hour!

If you're busting your ass and literally ruining your back working shale fields or doing industrial hydraulics, I hope to God you're grossing more than $25 an hour, because if not...damn. That's just wrong.

Blogger Cluebat Vanexodar July 14, 2017 11:40 PM  

They also lack the skills required to survive in a difficult world.
They will be eaten first.

Blogger DJ|Bonky July 14, 2017 11:40 PM  

Yep.

JohnQ.

Blogger Cluebat Vanexodar July 14, 2017 11:50 PM  

@50
Yup. I won't take less than $35 plus bennies.
Industrial automation is secure and profitable.
It also comes with lots of gray money opportunities.
Highly recommended as a trade skill.

Blogger kurt9 July 14, 2017 11:53 PM  

Cail Corishev wrote:George Clooney is a limousine liberal

It's not just liberals. Who was the National Review guy who said workers displaced by cheaper immigrants just needed to get off their lazy asses and find other work? We hear plenty of "let them eat cake" from good conservatives these days, maybe even more than from liberals.


I forgot his name as well. But I know who you are talking about. He's their resident dickhead as far as I'm concerned.

I don't pay attention to National Review because I consider them irrelevant these days. They just don't matter anymore.

Blogger kurt9 July 14, 2017 11:55 PM  

It was Kevin Williamson, I think. I remember the article and thought he was a dickhead.

Blogger Mountain Man July 14, 2017 11:55 PM  

"...suffer a work-related injury, get an unforeseen but serious illness, or any other of the things beyond your control that can completely fuck a poor person's life."

If you're an employee, while any of these terrible scenarios befall you , there is at least a modicum of security in place to take care of you. If you're self employed, its literally a death sentence. Your are truly SOL and better hope that your far flung family cares about you.

Anonymous DissidentRight July 15, 2017 12:02 AM  

Didn't they kil entire families in the French Revolution? That is the future Clooney types can look forward to.

Blogger Artisanal Toad July 15, 2017 12:14 AM  

@56 Snidely Whiplash

Snidely, I have come to the conclusion that you're not just an ordinary idiot, you are a serious idiot, possibly a complete idiot.

Typical dead-end jobs never get you in to see an HR person, it's the local manager of whatever who makes the decision. However, just for your education, it is not difficult to get an "address" one can claim as a residence. Google "how to find a 'ghost' address" and that will get you to the main man when it comes to private living.

And I can tell you for a fact that if you actually live on a *nice* boat, saying you live on your yacht in the marina puts you in a completely different category. Or, you can just give them the marina's address and only tell them if they ask about it.

I picked up a 45 foot Wheeler in pretty good shape for $8k and a 78' Mercedes 450SL from the original owner for $6k. It was an anniversary present from her late husband and she was only selling it because she was going into assisted living. The slip fee was $6 per foot with a flat $50 fee for electric, water, trash and wifi included. My monthly nut was a bit less than $850 for everything, 2012-2015.

The marina was in the downtown area and the cheapest rent on a studio apartment in that area was around $800 a month, with all the usual bills. I worked as a waiter at a decent restaurant (+$100 a night in tips on busy nights), drove a classic Mercedes, lived on my boat in the marina with zero debt and decent savings. Arguably I was far more solvent than the vast majority of the people I served.

I didn't have to go homeless to do that, but I knew a few men who did in order to get a nest egg that would allow them to start over. One of the big benefits of living in a marina is the people you get to meet. Most boats are quite expensive and owners will pay you to wash them so they're ready to take out when they get there. Some of them are excellent contacts to have if you can get to know them. One way to do that is to work for them.

The main reason I liked it is if I took a contract, I could have the boat pulled out of the water and put in the yard while I was gone. One phone call and they'd schedule it to be put back in the water the day I got back. For jobs in the US, if there was a marina close I could simply move the boat.

Anonymous Panzer Man July 15, 2017 12:15 AM  

Cail Corishev wrote:I've been that broke, and I always got a kick out of the bill collectors who would say things like, "If you can catch up 3 months of it, we can turn it back on." Well, gee, if I could have afforded to pay one month, let alone three, I would have paid it already. You can't convince them that for some of us, "I don't have any money," literally means, "I don't have any money," not, "I do have some money, but I'd rather go to the movies than pay my bills." Of course, what they're really trying to get you to do is beg, borrow, or steal it.



Ah, I remember those b******ds myself.

"I don't have the $100 now, but I can pay it in four days."
"If you don't pay by tomorrow there will be a $250 penalty."
"I don't have $100. Increasing it to $350 just means I can't pay in four days, either."
"You have until tomorrow to pay or there will be a $250 penalty." CLICK.

The most exquisite part, in a way, is when you finally get the money to pay off the wretched thing, and after calling up to arrange payment, they just hang up without even saying "f*** you," let alone "thanks" or "goodbye." In a way, they're even more rude and contemptuous when you DO pay them than when you can't.

Blogger BC July 15, 2017 12:18 AM  

I went to school with a guy who was the fourth generation of one of the most successful American families ever. Not only did their money insulate them from reality, but also everyone around them was so eager to kiss their butt that they never got negative or realistic feedback from anyone they knew. Few people really know the true extent of the fantasy land that some of the rich live in.

Anonymous AB.Prosper July 15, 2017 12:21 AM  

kurt9 wrote:Jack and Snidely, you are both wrong and I will tell you why. I am a control system and industrial automation engineer. I can tell you the biggest problem my customers have is finding people with decent electrical, mechanical, and/or hydraulic skills. These jobs pay in the $20-25/hour range, are 40 hours per week (no unpaid overtime), and do not require college education. Especially electrical and hydraulic (good hydraulic technicians are REALLY hard to find) with the electrical being someone who can wire a control panel, troubleshoot the same, and read electrical drawings. The increase in automation is increasing the demand for this kind of work. Every job like mine probably produces 8-10 jobs like I mention here.

$20 an hour is a poverty wage in many parts of the country and in California its not really enough for a one bedroom apartment in most areas

In say Moreno Valley California which is a die-verse area a safe apartment is $1200 a month, one bedroom , a little more, a little less.

In order to qualify under normal terms you need an income of $32 an hour. You barely qualify at the more lenient 3x base at $25 an hour!

Its no wonder there is a push to get the minimum up to $15 its the real adjusted minimum wage around 1970 or so.

And note, you can't opt out and have a future.

Take the example of Poland, its a religious country that just crowned Jesus Christ its kind, hard to be more religious than that its nationalist, socially conservative and not diverse. Its total fertility rate is 1.29 which is a level if sustained that will never be recovered from. Ever. Its lower than Germany

The reason isn't feminism but that in a crowded developed urban society it costs much more to live and if most of you young men are in another country working , you don't have a future. Its game over.

And note the operative word developed, in a few generations when modernity collapses and IQ's plummet 5 or 10 points, well its another issue.

The US also faces the same dilemma , wages measured as percent GDP are down by half and even with mass import of more natal groups the US TFR is that of the 1930's

Wages up, stable work for people or do without children.

Bitching and moaning because wages have to rise isn't going to help and there are no memes that will work. Modern people with good IQ's aren't going to pop out favella babies for the elite to exploit. They'll opt out and be right in so doing.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 12:23 AM  

Snidely, I have come to the conclusion that you're not just an ordinary idiot, you are a serious idiot, possibly a complete idiot.

Did I step on your narrative? I'm sorry.
Look sonny, I'm glad you made it. That doesn't mean you get to spit on the peopke who didn't. I'm glad it was easy for you. That doesn't mean it's easy for anyone else.
Are you a Boomer or something? Cause the entitled narcissism is just dripping from your comments.

Blogger Artisanal Toad July 15, 2017 12:55 AM  

Well Snidely, I'd say that confirms it: You are a complete idiot. It can be difficult to find a man who takes being an idiot as seriously as you so obviously do, but the projection in that last comment of yours confirms it.

Blogger tublecane July 15, 2017 1:25 AM  

@38-Ten years or so ago I made $18,000 a year, roomed with someone in a house, had my own car, and went to college. It's possible. 'Course, that was more money back then.

I was also young and healthy, wasn't wildly improvident, didn't eat out much, didn't go clubbing and what-not, didn't have cable tv, and didn't squander it on women. Didn't have any dependents, either.

Anonymous Sharrukin July 15, 2017 1:41 AM  

66. Artisanal Toad

I worked as a waiter at a decent restaurant (+$100 a night in tips on busy nights)

$75 to $100 a night would be $20,000 to $25,000 a year and with just minimum wage ($8.10 in Florida) would add $17,000 to that ($42,000+ yearly), Given that you call it a "decent" restaurant I assume you are making more than minimum wage?

Blogger Hunsdon July 15, 2017 1:48 AM  

I am going to catch so much shit for this.

Muh capitalism!

Anonymous map July 15, 2017 2:15 AM  

Artisanal Toad,

Yeah...

Don't go out; don't date women; don't waste money. Live in a Marina or on the street; don't have tv or internet. Work any shitty job just to make ends meet.

This is simply checking out of life...only grinding yourself into a nub to do it.

It's ridiculous...you know why?

Because the people you will be dealing with will be wildly dysfunctional or dangerous...making it hard for you to work around them. Or...they will be so much better off than you are that they will largely reject on any level...making it hard to work around them.

Man is primarily a social animal driven by status and the pursuit of relative security. How does this path you pick accomplish any of that?

Blogger S.Luotto July 15, 2017 2:23 AM  

In Italy they say "fare il frocio con il culo degli altri" (playing the faggot with someone else's ass). That's what a lot of the rich and celebrated are doing.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 2:28 AM  

kurt9 wrote:Jack and Snidely, you are both wrong and I will tell you why. I am a control system and industrial automation engineer. I can tell you the biggest problem my customers have is finding people with decent electrical, mechanical, and/or hydraulic skills. These jobs pay in the $20-25/hour range, are 40 hours per week (no unpaid overtime), and do not require college education. Especially electrical and hydraulic (good hydraulic technicians are REALLY hard to find) with the electrical being someone who can wire a control panel, troubleshoot the same, and read electrical drawings. The increase in automation is increasing the demand for this kind of work. Every job like mine probably produces 8-10 jobs like I mention here.
That's great if you've 3 years of experience. Not much help for the schlub with no connections, and no money.

Then there is also the fracking revolution, which is allowing high school graduates to make up to $100K per year in Texas and the Dakotas.
That was two years ago.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 2:36 AM  

Artisanal Toad wrote:Well Snidely, I'd say that confirms it: You are a complete idiot.
Based on, what exactly? That I stepped on your precious narrative? That my experience tells me that your narrative is unrealistic for most people? That I think you're a precious and pretentious jerk, pirouetting madly on stage, saying "Look at me! I'm so clever!"
Look you narcissistic little puddle of wank, I spent 15 years there. I know the territory. And yes, there are plenty of HR ladies waiting to interpose themselves between you and a decent job.
You worked as a waiter, making $100/night in tips. Great. Not everybody is suited to that work. Suppose I don't have as much cleavage to shove in customer's faces as you do, or the legs to make that tiny miniskirt uniform work? What then?
So cut the bullhockey, admit that maybe you're atypical and let it ride, you self-absorbed twat.

Blogger Dire Badger July 15, 2017 2:57 AM  

It is possible for a man that is willing to work to succeed even if he has no wealth to start with.

Yup.

The problem is he has to KNOW HOW. Or have a talent that manifests itself early enough for him to exploit it. and know how to exploit it.

And, Frankly, keeping the knowledge of how to lift yourself out of poverty secret is how the elite moneylenders stay in power. It took me literally decades to finally figure out how to gain wealth by a natural talent I trained through interest... and it is a loophole I plan to exploit ruthlessly until that loophole is inevitably closed by the power mongers who hate those who try to succeed the same way they did.

Every time someone breaks into wealth by an unusual route, the first thing he does is close that route to anyone else in order to be the only beneficiary. I want to say this is a leftist philosophy, but it is a human philosophy... Very much the way the left used free speech to get what they wanted, and now are desperate to shut free speech down before anyone else can use it the same way.


The fact is, If I give you ideas on how to succeed with your resources, you will immediately close that route off for anyone else. Hell, at least if you think of it yourself, it won't be my fault.

The Only thing I can success for succeeding from absolute poverty is to find a talent and exploit the hell out of it in a non-traditional way. If that means selling homemade jewelry on Ebay, robbing U-stor-its, cleaning yacht hulls, painting the numbers of houses on the sides of mailboxes or curbs, cleaning gutters, begging on street corners, making and selling twine-and-stick patio furniture by the side of the road, or boosting bicycles... There's something you are good at, and can make money at.

Or, as Trump says, "Don't try to just fill a need, everyone does that... MAKE the need."

Anonymous Dyskord July 15, 2017 3:08 AM  

It all goes back to the devastation of WW1. One thing often overlooked or glossed over is how it deprived the world of an entire generation of the old aristocracy. So many died that they were unable to recover after the war.
i'm not singing the praises of the aristocracy. They were undeniably as bloated and out of touch as modern elites. However they at least came from a culture or society that believed in Noblesse oblige. That with great wealth and power and authority came responsibility to those whom you had authority over and sustained your wealth.
The working class who rose to replace them were more mercenary. They attained wealth and sought power and influence for the sake of wealth, power and influence. There was no inherant belief in a social contract or unspoken obligation to the people dependent upon your employ.
It was the beginning of the modern Elite social structure.
Today the men and women who run our governments seek wealth, power or status at the expense of their constituencies. They do whats best for the country even if its in contrast to whats best for the people of that country. They serve themselves and do not see themselves in the service of others.
Its easy for Angela Merkel to flood Germany with foreigners and show disgust at the idea of a Nation because she does not serve the people of a Nation. She sees no responsibility towards the men and women in the care of her government. She knows only she has a title and priveleges and constraints of that title. She knows what must be done to increase her influence and wealth but has no concern if that entails the destruction of the middle class or increase in unemployment or inability of the working class to sustain themselves or the wholesale destruction of the German people.
Sadly this can be said of most governments.
The modern so called Elite is little more than a tick upon the society they reside in.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 3:08 AM  

Dire Badger wrote:The fact is, If I give you ideas on how to succeed with your resources, you will immediately close that route off for anyone else. Hell, at least if you think of it yourself, it won't be my fault.
White men are the only ones who, sometimes, won't do that. I have personally (and successfully) lobbied a professional organization to stop their efforts at developing a college curriculum leading to certification, on the basis that it would exclude a lot of talented prospects, and eventually work to the detriment of the profession.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 3:15 AM  

Dyskord wrote:They do whats best for the country even if its in contrast to whats best for the people of that country. They serve themselves and do not see themselves in the service of others.
No, they do what's best for themselves, considering the interests of the constituents only to the extent that their actions affect their prospects for re-election.
The good of the country does not ever even begin to intrude into the calculation.

Anonymous Dyskord July 15, 2017 3:39 AM  

@82 Snidely That was what I was trying to say. Looks like I unfortunately didn't communicate that properly

Anonymous Airquote Sarctag July 15, 2017 3:39 AM  

"I’ve noticed, when I’ve dealt with the top 10%, that they have a certain unconscious (and sometimes very conscious) arrogance."

We need to be more clear about these percentage stats that people throw around. The low point of the top 1% (not 10%) in the U.S. is about $400K/year. Those type of working rich (as they're called) usually have a mortgage and several car payments (wife's car, etc.), multiple kids in college, and so on. They are not the George Clooneys. (The top 1% on a global scale is only $32K/year!)

Clooney has a net worth of about $250 million. (You can Google "net worth xxxxx" for most famous people and instantly get an estimate of how rich many celebrities are.) That's a lot for an actor, certainly in the top 1/10th of 1% of anybody (I'd think.)

But entrepreneurs outclass actors in the wealth area. Elon Musk, for instance, has a net worth of $16 billion, about 64 times as great as Clooney. (I have a lot more respect for entrepreneurs and innovators who actually build and invent stuff than for actors, ballplayers, et al.)

The average "rich" person you might run into on a daily basis is probably a working professional who busts his butt every day in some capacity, not some jet-setting celebrity.

Most folks earning $40-60K/year would be just as devastated by a serious accident or illness as would someone in the minimum wage bracket.

Anonymous Looking Glass July 15, 2017 3:50 AM  

This entire discussion leads me to realize how easy it'll be to raise an army, if it comes to that.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 3:51 AM  

Airquote Sarctag wrote:Most folks earning $40-60K/year would be just as devastated by a serious accident or illness as would someone in the minimum wage bracket.No, not at all. They would think they were. But they're not going to go hungry. They probably not going to have to sleep outside. They're not going to have to find a place to sleep where their children won't get raped, or sleep in shifts to keep an eye on them.
Hell, at 40-60K, you probably have some sick leave.

Anonymous deplorable six pan July 15, 2017 4:18 AM  

Minimum wage for a server in Florida is $2.10 an hour, FYI/BTW. They are expected to make tips, and sink if they don't. Where I work they get that and plenty more, since salespeople are always overcompensated relative to us production folks.

Anonymous AB.Prosper July 15, 2017 4:18 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:This entire discussion leads me to realize how easy it'll be to raise an army, if it comes to that.


Money grubbing fuck heads are exactly why Communism or the French revolution seemed so appealing even though they both sucked

Hell using CIA stats the total fertility rate of Russia the late Soviet Union was higher than anywhere in current Europe except the Scandinavian countries and current Russia!

The hard fact that our society can't get is that the common people who can't grub for every shekel and live on nothing chasing the all mighty dollar are the backbone of a nation. Nations need a stable economy, stable jobs and wages that allow family formation or they die

The Neo Liberals and the Economic Liberals and the rest of the Ayn Rand Jihad who spend every effort to push wages lower and to make labor arbitrage #1 murder nations nearly as fast as Globalism and Cultural Marxism

Its like the people that want to pay people to move so they can chase jobs. I've seen this crap on Republican think tanks and parroted by the Atlantic People like that are evil, end of story and destroy culture.

Also to what Snidley said in #86 , it depends on where they are. Airquote is right, in many parts of the US, its perfectly adequate but there are others, California and the like, its basically a bit above a minimum wage job. Its working class at best

If wages had kept pace with inflation and growth , the Federal minimum wage would be
about $10 and allowing for housing prices, local minimum wages would be $15 or $20 or more in a few areas



Anonymous roughcoat July 15, 2017 4:22 AM  

It's pretty clear a lot of people commenting here have never actually been poor in recent years. Especially the people talking about some surefire method of finding work, whether it's by living out of your car--a great way to get arrested around here, since virtually everywhere you might go at night is off limits--or plunking down a couple thousand dollars on certifications for a job that might not exist in six months because the world is changing so quickly.

Besides which, there's so much shitty information out there--and so few people willing to admit whether luck was part of their success--that it's very difficult to sniff out a path to even moderate success once you're already in a hole.

It's not just about being willing to put in effort. It's 1. building up enough spare resources to even be able to reasonably roll the dice on a move, certification program, etc and 2. those dice paying off. If they don't pay off, you're in an even worse spot than before, and it's even harder to get out.

Most folks earning $40-60K/year would be just as devastated by a serious accident or illness as would someone in the minimum wage bracket.

It takes a lot less than a serious accident or illness to cause cascading problems for someone living hand to mouth. It can be something as simple as the bank making a mistake that results in a couple overdrafts. Or a blown tire, or a traffic ticket, or any other trivial thing that requires a couple hundred dollars to fix.

Anonymous AB.Prosper July 15, 2017 4:27 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:This entire discussion leads me to realize how easy it'll be to raise an army, if it comes to that.

People have already been throwing rocks at the Google bus in SF . Most Americans though have a while to go before they get really class conscious like Europeans are

we Americans are so atomized and have been subjected to decades of relentless anti-group action, anti-collectivist propaganda mostly in failed attempt to help prevent Communist subversion and between them and the various Conintel-Pro efforts to prevent even basic organization.

This is going to change though and change hard and fast .

The real risk though is if instead o building a high trust society again , we go the route of the barbarian and can no longer trust strangers in the slightest. This doesn't mean Mad Max mind you but simply the US/Europe joins the rest of the world in being low/no trust

The efforts of Christianity to create high trust could be gone in a very short period of time and this is the end of the West as we know it. There isn't a single force that I know of other than Christianity that provides the needed social software

This makes me think we'll need a Christian Nationalist economy to make up a Christian and Nationalist society

What makes a Christian economy is of course a matter of debate but its not Neo Liberalism, Unfettered Capitalism or Communism that much I know

Anonymous Looking Glass July 15, 2017 4:53 AM  

@89 AB.Prosper

Usery. Removing that would eliminate a lot of the problems in a very big hurry. And excuting a bunch of Bankers. Then removing the non-Americans. Suddenly, you have the best economy on the planet, again. Funny, that?

Anonymous Looking Glass July 15, 2017 5:02 AM  

I forget how useful a basic spell check is at times. One feature I hope Brave adds soon enough.

Execute those who commit Usury.

There we go. :)

Blogger Foehammer July 15, 2017 5:02 AM  

Within 20 years the United States will have boys dying fighting in the streets of Europe thanks to men like George Clooney. We should have seen this coming. He was a rotten Batman.

Anonymous Luke July 15, 2017 5:04 AM  

Vaguely on-topic:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/bill-hillary-clinton-labor-union-yale-law/

When Bill and Hillary Crossed the Picket Line
ZACH SCHWARTZ

In 1971, Bill and Hillary Clinton went on their first date — and scabbed.

"Yale Law School students Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton were both members, alongside future Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal and Bill Clinton’s eventual secretary of labor, Robert Reich, of the Yale Law School Students Committee for Local 35, the university’s blue-collar worker union, and signatories, during the week before the union went on strike, to a statement asserting “WE BELIEVE THE UNION DESERVES THE SUPPORT OF YALE STUDENTS AND FACULTY.”

Bill Clinton was even, former UNITE-HERE President John Wilhelm would note decades later in his eulogy for Vincent Sirabella, the voter registration chairman of the Sirabella for mayor campaign.

And yet, on her first date with classmate Clinton in 1971, Rodham would later recall:

We both had wanted to see a Mark Rothko exhibit at the Yale Art Gallery but, because of a labor dispute, some of the university’s buildings, including the museum, were closed. As Bill and I walked by, he decided he could get us in if we offered to pick up the litter that had accumulated in the gallery’s courtyard. Watching him talk our way in was the first time I saw his persuasiveness in action. We had the entire museum to ourselves. We wandered through the galleries talking about Rothko and twentieth-century art. I admit to being surprised at his interest in and knowledge of subjects that seemed, at first, unusual for a Viking from Arkansas. We ended up in the museum’s courtyard, where I sat in the large lap of Henry Moore’s sculpture Drape Seated Woman while we talked until dark.

The relationship between Rodham and Clinton, two instrumental figures in the decoupling of the Democratic Party from the priorities of the mainstream labor movement, thus began with the crossing of a picket line.

When Rodham and Clinton picked up the garbage strewn about the art gallery courtyard (if, indeed, they ever did so), they were doing exactly what everyone from Sirabella to the Black Student Alliance at Yale had asked students not to do. They were performing — or at the very least offering to perform — the work that members of Local 35’s grounds maintenance division, had refused to do.

Rodham and Clinton were offering themselves as replacement labor, blunting, if only temporarily, the effects of the strike on the university. The two law students then bartered their litter pickup, which was, in essence, scab labor (or maybe just the promise thereof) into access to a struck building.

The art gallery and other nonessential buildings were closed because the university did not have enough managers to keep them open during the strike. They were closed because the people who usually cleaned and repaired them, whose labor helped make the university’s display of art possible, had been forced to absent themselves by the necessity which fueled the ongoing strike.

For Rodham and Clinton, the workers’ concerns were at best secondary to the romance of the empty museum, the sophistication and transgressive pleasure offered not only by the modernist art, but also by the act of violating the strike.

Hillary Rodham Clinton offers this anecdote in her 2003 memoir Living History not in her discussion of how her time in New Haven affected her understanding of urban politics and life, but rather in a distinct chapter devoted entirely to the origins of her relationship with the “Viking from Arkansas.”

The “labor dispute,” not even named here as a strike, is not only abstracted from the very spaces the future Clintons inhabit in this narrative, it is made incidental to them, an obstacle which has to be sidestepped in order for the art to be viewed and the date to acquire its romantic ambiance."

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 5:05 AM  

roughcoat wrote:Or a blown tire, or a traffic ticket, or any other trivial thing that requires a couple hundred dollars to fix.
Anybody who's never had to get up at 4:00 and walk 18 miles to work because he can't afford a tire and the busses don't run that early on Saturday can kiss my assets when he wants to expound his magic formula for saving money and surefire success.

Anonymous Luke July 15, 2017 5:17 AM  

77. Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 2:28 AM
kurt9 wrote:


"Then there is also the fracking revolution, which is allowing high school graduates to make up to $100K per year in Texas and the Dakotas.

"That was two years ago."

Indeed. I am a white male in my 50s. I have B.S. and M.S. Geology degrees. When the most recent oil industry bust hit at the end of 2014, I lost my job looking at rock samples on oil rigs. (Net about 8K if I spent every day of a whole month on a rig.) I drove a taxi for a year (that was seriously and increasingly hit by the Uber Cab criminals, but that is another story).

I managed to get rehired in Fall 2016 by another company in the oil patch doing the same thing as before -- at 40% of my previous pay. Finally, 6 weeks ago, I managed to get hired by a different company in perhaps the geographically least desirable location for oil rigs in the U.S. at 60% of my pay 2 /12 years ago.

(I have two minor children and a SAHM wife who earns nothing, so things are still not awesome financially.)

Anonymous Looking Glass July 15, 2017 5:19 AM  

@94 Snidely Whiplash

Part of the destruction & atomization of families (especially among the Boomer set) is that the historic "hedge" against a lot of problems was, simply, family. The Credit Age has made intra-family relationships pretty terrible, and people have lost sight of what actual "value" is in life.

It should also be mentioned that our entire Legal & Economic structure is now designed to pillage the most productive humans in the history of the Earth. That's really what Leftism is about: pillaging the wealth of White Men.

Also, to borrow one of Vox's points about the 2 SD gap, always remember that just because we're a collection of *much* higher IQ folks than the world standard, it doesn't mean the entire aspects that let most of us thrive works for everyone else. The Vampire aspects of the Wall Street economy rely on abusing the honest.

Relatedly, I realized recently that the most dangerous information on the face of the Earth is actually the money flows through the BIS (they're mostly in Switzerland). Very few realize what you could do with that information.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy July 15, 2017 5:28 AM  

The Overgrown Hobbit wrote:Not true. You eat nothing but ramen. You burn time wealthier people have to make "sweat equity" pay for what you don't have money to buy. You wake up, work (multiple jobs) and make do until you crash, sleep and start over. And unless some God-damned (or so I hope) government or mafia steals it... You have savings.

That's why "immigrants" used to be the back-bone of the U.S. They got it, even when the pampered red-diaper babies of WASPs didn't.

You tell us to eat wheat drenched in sodium and fried in the least nutritious oil available—now that we know wheat gluten causes long-term damage to a large fraction of the population, saturated fats are essential to proper brain function and good general health, and excess sodium intake causes potassium deficiency. Potassium deficiency, in turn, generally causes depression and cognitive impairment, and specifically shortens a person's time preference.

You tell us to spend months or years in misery, with no guarantee that we will ever climb out of it, and eating a diet that will drive us insane and make the misery even worse. You tell us to work, and work, and work, while the taxes stolen from us go to the precious ‘immigrants’ you bring in to vote for welfare. And yes, there's a significant chance that lawyers or other government officials will steal everything we own and throw us into debt slavery, because we're neither dark enough nor wealthy enough to fight back.

And you say these things even though your religion teaches that when your decisions drive a man to suicide, he is eternally damned.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy July 15, 2017 5:30 AM  

Cail Corishev wrote:Your $100 electric bill is suddenly around $400. And they feel righteous about it, because a guy had to drive out and flip a switch twice.
They only do that in neighborhoods where that guy will come home afterward.

Anonymous Luke July 15, 2017 5:32 AM  

58. DJ|Bonky July 14, 2017 11:39 PM
"I don't understand this fascination with $20-$25 an hour. A family of 4 at $40k a year is barely above the poverty line in most states, and is actually well below subsidized living in the majority of large muni's. Hell, combined household earnings of $135k qualify for subsidized housing rates in SanFrancisco, now!

If you're busting your ass and literally ruining your back working shale fields or doing industrial hydraulics, I hope to God you're grossing more than $25 an hour, because if not...damn. That's just wrong."


>21/hr (84 hrs./wk) in 2014, under 12/hr at first rehire job in 2016, close to 16/hr. now, all at exactly the same position, just for different companies.

Drill crew floor hands (entry level) make up to around 22/hr to start. Their jobs are physically far more dangerous, dirty, and arduous than mine. Also, mine can be done to a much older age; conversely, the rule of thumb in the oil patch is that you can't begin as a roughneck after age 40 due to the physical demands. OTOH, even most people with the same job title as me aren't nearly as good with the rocks as I am.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy July 15, 2017 5:37 AM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:Airquote Sarctag wrote:Most folks earning $40-60K/year would be just as devastated by a serious accident or illness as would someone in the minimum wage bracket.
No, not at all. They would think they were. But they're not going to go hungry. They probably not going to have to sleep outside. They're not going to have to find a place to sleep where their children won't get raped, or sleep in shifts to keep an eye on them.

Hell, at 40-60K, you probably have some sick leave.

You probably (hopefully) haven't seen a medical bill recently. A serious accident or illness would be in the tens of thousands without insurance, plus at least a week or two without wages. Insurance companies only allow hospitals to charge their clients in the thousands for those services, so the hospitals really need to stick their fake inflated charges to anyone they can, i.e. anyone who can't bill an insurance company and has enough assets to be worth attacking in court. 40-60k/year is probably the sweet spot for them and their lawyers to bleed a person dry without effective opposition. They'll be worse off than you are within a year.

Anonymous Looking Glass July 15, 2017 5:40 AM  

Also related a bit, Total Fertility Rate isn't that important. Yes, it matters a bit for certain aspects, but it matters more who is still having children. I realized part of the TFR discussion is actually an argument for importing a New People.

Region of land can only support so many people. Quite a lot of the world is dependent upon food shipments from just a few countries to survive. (The USA has abused this for a century.) Humans will hone themselves to their resources and over-consume when it costs them very little. Most of the world is at 2x to 4x the population that they had 100 years ago. Any major disruption of food shipments means 10s of millions starve to death.

It's not great from a cultural confidence stand point when TFR is low, but it isn't "bad". It might outright not be a bad thing for certain places, as it'll avoid a calamity later. Plus, we're eventually going to get another Plague of some form.

Side-point: from other discussion around here, there's a big argument that most population statistics outside of the West are rather inflated. Even inside the West, a bunch of them might be really questionable.

Blogger Cloudbuster July 15, 2017 6:20 AM  

"Even in Britain, with the NHS, waiting lists are so long that you might expire before you see a hospital."

EVEN in Britain, with the NHS?

It's as if the author doesn't understand that socialized medical systems are the *cause* of long waiting lists.

"The very rich are different from you and me. It is always someone else who pays the price for their self-righteous stupidity."

They have that in common with the poor, as it is the rich and middle class who generally foot the bill for the serial bad decisions of the poor.

An anecdote: I have a friend a few years young than me. We have been friends for decades. We remain close, but our life paths and fortunes have deteriorated greatly. Neither of us started with great wealth, but I doggedly worked at jobs I often hated, slowly worked up the income ladder, slowly paid off bills. I incrementally improved my life. He, meanwhile, has bounced from job to job. I've watched him squander one opportunity after another. There have multiple times in his life when he's had opportunities to settle into a lucrative career, but he's found a reason every time to throw the opportunity away, always seemingly oblivious to the ticking clock of his life, always, until recently confident that he could simply start over. But now, he has nothing. Pushing 50 and living day by day. His health has deteriorated so now he cannot work, and he's dependent on his wife to bring any household income. He's lived his life as the grasshopper in that old Aesop's fable and now he's facing winter.

I have another acquaintance a few years older who's almost exactly the same story. I have seen this same thing play out, over and over. The older one is now living on disability. The younger friend surely will be soon.

I no longer have much sympathy for those theoretical poor guys who just had a lot of bad luck, because every single time, when I dig down into the facts of their situation and their long-term behavior I see the same thing. Most chronically poor people are there because of their serial bad decisions.

And it's rich people that pay for their disability, their healthcare, their foodstamps, and so on.

So, if poor people want rich people to pay "the price for their self-righteous stupidity" the poor should be equally willing to pay the price for their own stupidity.

Me, I'm happy to not tell the poor how they should live, to not try to socially engineer society, to not force globalism, diversity and multi-culturalism on the poor. Now, will they stop demanding I pay for their bad decisions?

Blogger Matthew Funk July 15, 2017 6:21 AM  

I could go for many months on savings if needed. Far more if I incurred a tax penalty from IRA withdrawals or collected any form of unemployment. I'm fortunate enough to be able to save 35%-40% of my post tax income. I know that somewhere between 60 and 75 percent of Americans are one missed paycheck from falling behind. Some of them are in this situation out of necessity, as described in the original post, but many more simply lack discipline. Setting aside an annual charity budget certainly helps, both at tax time and I swear that a dollar in charity buys more satisfaction than a dollar in entertainment. I not only vote with my dollars (withdrawing business from businesses I find objectionable) but wage war with them by donating to causes that stick it to my enemies. The satisfaction that comes from this far surpasses what a night on the town could. One doesn't need to be a complete adherent to Spartan living, but the satisfaction of waging war with a good portion of your disposable income makes it easier to save. The sense of purpose breeds a sort of discipline of its own.

Blogger Cloudbuster July 15, 2017 6:22 AM  

Cloudbuster wrote:our life paths and fortunes have deteriorated greatly

Darn it. That should have been "our life paths and fortunes have diverged greatly."

Blogger OGRE July 15, 2017 6:33 AM  

Its nice to think that one can work a min wage job and claw themselves out of poverty, but the reality is that very few people have the fortitude to do so. And even of those few it would take everything going right and nothing going wrong to make it happen. Even one child puts those plans right out. An injury, an illness, a divorce, an arrest (even if innocent), a family member in need, one bad financial decision...any of those things can drain all your savings in a second and leave you in debt for the rest of your life. Most people will have at least one child and one or more of those other factors in their life to deal with. Rising out of poverty isn't just about earning money, its also about avoiding the pitfalls of life awaiting us all at every turn.

Even maintaining a min wage, 40 hr/week job is out of reach for most people. Those jobs have been evaporating as most low wage employers have been using multiple part time employees in place of full timers. Part time employees aren't entitled to benefits or Obamacare. Those are also the employees subject to constantly changing work schedules that make it nearly impossible to get a second job; this is often intentional on the part of the employer. Few people are as ruthless to their employees' well-being as a service industry manager.

Twenty years ago, maybe even fifteen, a single person could survive with a minimum wage job. Those days are gone. I live in a rather rural area, and a short drive takes me into exceptionally rural areas with county seats having a population of under 500; even here a bottom of the barrel rental is 400/month and most are well above that. With utilities a 40hr/week min wage employee will spend half his net income just on housing. If he works less than 40 hrs/week living alone is out of the question--unless you count renting a boarding room or living in a homeless shelter as living alone. (I've known people who have done both.)

My father took his first job at a tailor in a small town in the 70s, and was able to afford to build a new house and buy a new car. (A 2000ft split entry and a new oldsmobile.) The mortgage on the house was 350/month. Today it would rent for 1500 and is a palace compared to most low end rentals. The new house is completely out of reach of a low wage earner today, and all but the very cheapest new cars are as well.

Vox has said it before many times, and hes spot on about it, but the entry of women en mass into the workforce has been the primary cause of this decline in real wages. Other factors abound of course, but when you increase the supply of labor by 75% or so it tends to have a substantial effect on the price of labor. And it took a while for wages to catch up to the glut of new workers, so for a bit everyone seemed rich with two incomes per household. But in time real wages caught up with this new reality, so that now one income per household is unworkable except for the upper middle class and above.

But all in all, imagining that an individual can step out into this economy with no degree and no connections, get a min wage entry level job, and work themselves into financial independence through frugal living and careful savings is not a reasonable conclusion to make. (You're better off just pursuing advancement in your min wage job.) For every one person that can do this there are 10,000 that can't for whatever reason, and thats not what we can call an expected outcome.

Blogger Dire Badger July 15, 2017 6:33 AM  

As Robert Heinlein stated:
"People who go broke in a Big way never miss a meal... It's the poor bastard that is shy half a slug that has to tighten his belt."

Anonymous MIG July 15, 2017 6:50 AM  

I disagree with one but important point. Don't overestimate the quality of life in a gated community. It's unbearable in the long run. Talk to people who lived in South Africa and Saudi-Arabian expat compounds. One South African told me that moving to a country where you had freedom to walk where you wanted to walk felt like Paradise.

Blogger Jonathan Wales July 15, 2017 7:15 AM  

NHS needs to be scrapped. It just helps keep migrants alive by treating them for all the foreign diseases they bring in, and helps them give birth to their 8 kids ensuring they outbreed us.

Celebrities with migrants are like a retarded dog with a bone. They just keep at it, even when everyone else can see it is the problem.

Blogger Aeoli Pera July 15, 2017 7:20 AM  

Artisanal Toad wrote:For someone as intelligent as you obviously are, there is no need to even mention minimum wage.


And yet, I made minimum wage for 17 years for lack of a social network or understanding of neurotypical social rules.

Blogger Aeoli Pera July 15, 2017 7:25 AM  

I'm not even complaining. One guy with Asperger's got locked in a cage and set on fire by his coworkers, and then killed himself. I'm in the 99th percentile for my demographic, probably because I'm a pretty big dude.

On the other hand, please understand I'm not helping Western civilization because I think any of you niggers deserve it.

Anonymous GithYankee July 15, 2017 7:27 AM  

I don't know if you'll read this far down Vox, but just a quick attaboy. Hell of a rant. One glaring issue, maybe the most important, is freedom of association.
Some kind of law allowing whites to self-segregate has to become reality. I feel like the black students self-segregating at colleges should be encouraged, and then used as a wedge to allow it for whites.

Blogger S1AL July 15, 2017 7:52 AM  

Sounds like a lot of good reasons to get the hell out of any urban area. You can survive just fine on the federal minimum in pretty much all of flyover country, and save money to boot.

Anonymous glosoli July 15, 2017 9:27 AM  

'17And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

23And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

28Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. 29And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. 31But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.'

Sadly for those who like their dollars (rich or poor), trouble looms. Hyperinflation of the USD, JPY and GBP are virtually guaranteed. Have a look at those countries' trade deficits. If you think it's tough now, the reckoning that lies ahead will surprise you. All part of the plan of the financier elite, who are in gold already, and have moved back home, or to Singapore.

There will many who die of starvation, aim for self-sufficiency. Clooney can't eat his dollars, or his equities. We all need food.

Get right with God, in case your time is up sooner than you think; this life is just a little test for greater times ahead, if you want them.

Anonymous patrick kelly July 15, 2017 9:49 AM  

Yeah the poor living on minimum wage can Klein that American Dream ladder if they do everything perfect have all the good right information all the time but what the rich or the middle class would consider a minor setback or inconvenience is a life devastating experience for them.

I'm in the middle of what is described as extreme rich or poor here probably closer to the poor side and I have climbed up that ladder and been knocked down again several times I don't quit but to suggest all places and situations in this country are the same and that someone living on minimum wage in the Silicon Valley where the median price house is a million bucks can just save and work their way out of that situation is hyperbolic arrogance.

Blogger bosscauser July 15, 2017 9:50 AM  

It's a mindset. Give poor million bucks and they'll be broke in a month or so.

Poor are mentally challenged, lazy, or undisciplined...

Like me!

Job, marriage, and debt free is Tru happiness...

Gab.ai/GaryCauser

Anonymous BBGKB July 15, 2017 9:59 AM  

vast wealth can do for you. Being wealthy offers opportunities that are, perhaps, not always understood by the poor.

Man I burned out my kidneys with some bad cocaine good thing China will execute a prisoner that's the best match. Time for a foreskin facial with Oprah http://www.ecouterre.com/oprah-draws-criticism-for-endorsing-face-cream-made-from-foreskins/

If you’re a rich man, you can buy a car for cash and afford comprehensive insurance

If you are rich you can just have your cars bonded by allocating the minimum liability coverage as part of your investments.

No one in their right mind wants to live in a suburb infested with druggies, gangsters and other genuine deplorables

There could be some benefits to living next door to Charlie Sheen.

The most immobile people are actually the rich and the poor.

Steve Sailor covered a story of 3 generations of niggerettes that never worked who spent 3 months driving up & down both east/west coasts looking for the best house to use their SECT 8 voucher on. Few nurses could afford to take 3 months off just to search for a house.

Blogger Cail Corishev July 15, 2017 10:03 AM  

You probably (hopefully) haven't seen a medical bill recently.

The local newspaper here runs a charitable campaign every Advent where they spotlight a different down-on-their-luck family each day and collect donations for them, focusing more on stuff the kids need like clothes, rather than money. They're usually working poor, not generational welfare families. It's a nice thing.

I've noticed over the years that a very common factor is that someone in the family has an expensive medical condition. Self-employed dad got badly injured and can't work for a few months. Someone's being treated for cancer. There was a difficult birth and mom and baby spent a few weeks in intensive care. Something's come up that's causing medical bills an order of magnitude greater than either their income or their normal expenses, so "saving" to cover it isn't even imaginable for them. That's like the people who think USgov can address the debt by cutting foreign aid.

Anonymous BBGKB July 15, 2017 10:06 AM  

3 generations of niggerettes that never worked who spent 3 months driving up & down both east/west coasts looking for the best house to use their SECT 8 voucher on

Typing in the exact name of the article doesn't give it on the first page of googles.

FROM BLUE STATE TO RED STATE VIA SECTION EIGHT By Steve Sailer on June 27, 2011, 6:10 am
http://isteve.blogspot.com/2011/06/from-blue-state-to-red-state-via.html

Blogger Cail Corishev July 15, 2017 10:29 AM  

Anybody who's never had to get up at 4:00 and walk 18 miles to work because he can't afford a tire

I've had this conversation several times, and I don't think I've ever gotten through to someone who didn't already get it. When I talk about being broke, I'm thinking of the time I was relieved to find some change under the floor mat in the car because it meant I could get some salt to flavor my rice. They're talking about giving up cable TV. Two different languages.

I'm not complaining either, by the way, though it probably sounds like I am. I brought poverty on myself through some bad choices. But like most people here, I'm not the norm, so that's irrelevant.

All the advice here for pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is great, if tone-deaf. We could stipulate that it'll work for everyone who follows it, but that's missing the point. Everyone here knows (or should know) that there's a middle and left side of the bell curve, not just on intelligence, but on things like self-discipline, health, social skills, family support, and even luck. A healthy society needs to be reasonably workable for those people, not just for the ones with the smarts and willpower to do everything right. I'm not talking about handouts, but maybe utility companies shouldn't be able to charge higher interest rates for overdue bills than loan sharks can get away with, for instance. (Essential utilities, I mean; the cable company can charge whatever it wants.) Some limits on how hard corporations can squeeze their poor customers don't seem out of line to me.

Of course, that probably makes me a collectivist.

Blogger S1AL July 15, 2017 10:36 AM  

"When I talk about being broke, I'm thinking of the time I was relieved to find some change under the floor mat in the car because it meant I could get some salt to flavor my rice. They're talking about giving up cable TV. Two different languages."

The "not a typical situation" motif goes both ways. I've known a fair number of "poor" people, or at least those who are "below the poverty line". The more I meet and talk to, the less sympathy I have. The "trying to get out of a bad run of luck" situation is a lot rarer than "I make $12 an hour and spend $300 a month on entertainment or alcohol and can't even be bothered to learn how to change my own oil".

Anonymous Who Rescued Whom? July 15, 2017 10:52 AM  

Excellent article that can be summarized as "no skin in the game."

Blogger Ingot9455 July 15, 2017 10:55 AM  

There are many good charities out there that can help with a hand up for people who are honestly trying to properly work themselves out of a difficult situation.

There are plenty of people scamming charities, and plenty of charities that scam their customers and the government.

There is plenty of government help out there for those willing to play that game. But you have to learn to play it.

Blogger Yarnwinder July 15, 2017 11:33 AM  

Discussions like this are the reason I keep returning to this blog.

Blogger Cail Corishev July 15, 2017 11:41 AM  

The "trying to get out of a bad run of luck" situation is a lot rarer than "I make $12 an hour and spend $300 a month on entertainment or alcohol and can't even be bothered to learn how to change my own oil".

Absolutely. That's why socialism certainly isn't the answer; it encourages worse behavior from far more people than it helps.

One problem is that the kind of working poor who really do just need "a hand up" are the least likely to go get it. People I've known in the welfare system tend to be in it deep. They're on a first-name basis with their social worker, who makes sure they're enrolled in every public and private assistance program they can possibly qualify for. But the car mechanic who gets laid off doesn't do that because he doesn't think in those terms; so he struggles, borrows from family, runs up credit, gets title loans, etc. -- things which tend to dig him in further -- before going to an actual charity or the welfare office.

Blogger S1AL July 15, 2017 11:49 AM  

"One problem is that the kind of working poor who really do just need "a hand up" are the least likely to go get it."

I almost mentioned that part. There are a couple issues, of which pride is certainly one. Lack of knowledge is another. If I hadn't done my own taxes from when I was 17, I'd certainly have no idea just how deep the welfare state runs.

The other problem, of course, is that charity has largely been considered the purview of the Church, so declining Christianity and overtaxation have rendered that much weaker than it was.

I don't know what the solution is in any immediate sense, but we've proven that increasing socialism leads to either poverty or demographic collapse. Tearing that system down has to be a part of it.

Blogger Asok Asus July 15, 2017 12:15 PM  

"Polly Poor doesn't have insurance"

But Polly Poor apparently isn't SO poor that she can't afford an automobile, which in most of the rest of the world actually makes her quite wealthy.

Nonetheless, Polly is driving without insurance, and that's both illegal AND stupid, not to mention extremely anti-social since in a different accident Polly could have killed an entire family even more poor than herself, leaving behind an even greater tragedy than a driver who simply wrecks her own car without insurance.

So are we to infer from that situation that poor people are stupid, criminal and anti-social?




Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 12:22 PM  

Asok Asus wrote:So are we to infer from that situation that poor people are stupid, criminal and anti-social?


Or you could take from it that people do the best they can, that jobs are, often thanks to zoning regulations, not within walking distance of homes, that in most of the country getting to your 20-hour-a-week minimum wage no benefits job is not practical without a car, and that Polly's other choice is not nutting up an buying insurance, but rather popping out a kid and getting on welfare.

Anonymous roughcoat July 15, 2017 12:25 PM  

But Polly Poor apparently isn't SO poor that she can't afford an automobile, which in most of the rest of the world actually makes her quite wealthy.

Polly Poor doesn't live in the rest of the world, genius.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 12:54 PM  

Polly Poor has enough food to eat, which makes her quite wealthy in North Korea or Somalia.

Blogger Lance E July 15, 2017 12:55 PM  

I'll admit that I've never been dirt-poor. I can't relate to the excitement of finding spare change between the sofa cushions. If I had these people in my circles, AND I knew that they were reasonably intelligent and willing to work hard, I would be doing everything in my power to help them out.

On the other hand, most very poor and working-class people have no idea what it means to own a business, or be responsible for people outside themselves or their immediate family. What do you do when you're the owner of that factory or retail store paying poverty wages, losing business to competition, getting reamed on taxes and regulations, and facing employees demanding more money that you don't have?

Most business owners are not rich. They are barely middle-class, and often spend many years deep in debt. They are not only risking their own livelihood, they are subsidizing the risk of their employees.

I hope some of you understand that class-baiting is what causes the entrepreneurs and somewhat-rich to turn against the working class. When they hear these stories about how people working standard 40-hour weeks and making $20 an hour just can't make ends meet, they first look at their own 120-hour week and feel a little resentful. Then they look at all the illegal (and some legal) immigrants who are somehow getting by on gig work worth half that pay or even less. They see the apparatus of the state being weaponized against them, so they do what comes naturally and try to return fire, e.g. through immigration and trade (outsourcing) policy.

I'm not defending, for example, Comcast. I'm not even against collective action. But the moment you transition from defending and building up the poor to hating and tearing down the rich, you become a Marxist. Economic Marxism does not end any better than the cultural Marxism we're experiencing right now.

I find it especially ridiculous to see complaints about how $30/hr is basically a poverty wage in San Francisco. Yes, it is. So move. You can't un-shithole San Francisco by sheer force of will. It's destined to become either a third-world hellhole or a gated community for Chinese millionaires and billionaires. Why the hell would you want to stay there? Let the elites reap what they've sown; don't help prop them up with your labor, move somewhere with a reasonable cost of living.

Gentry liberals like Clooney are parasites and I'm right with all of you in believing that putting them before the firing squad would be a great service to western civilization. But if you turn it into a full-on class war, you'll lose. The working class always loses; it just loses a little less in free markets.

Anonymous glosoli July 15, 2017 1:14 PM  

'Polly Poor doesn't live in the rest of the world, genius.'

Poor Polly should, however, count herself lucky that she lives in a (currently) first world nation, with all of the comforts that brings.

Poor Polly (and the writer of the original blog piece) would do well to spend less time coveting what others have, and instead spend more time trying to love their neighbours.

A collapse of the welfare state will be brutal for the privileged West accustomed to the mirage of a c.$100,000,000,000,000 debt bubble, but it will create the conditions where Christian faith re-builds, and with it will come increased local charity.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 2:15 PM  

glosoli wrote:Poor Polly (and the writer of the original blog piece) would do well to spend less time coveting what others have, and instead spend more time trying to love their neighbours.


Where do you see evidence of covetousness? Because you brought that in yourself.

Blogger S1AL July 15, 2017 2:47 PM  

The biggest issue with the piece is the raging apex fallacy. The "10%" cannot do most of these things. Even the 1% cannot do more than one or two simultaneously. The "truly wealthy" are at least .5%, and the ones he's discussing are .1% at minimum.

This is part of why I the phrase "tax breaks for the rich".

Anonymous glosoli July 15, 2017 3:37 PM  

'If I Were A Rich Man ...'

The opening line, plus the tone of the whole piece.
I may however be wrong on this point, but that was my impression.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 3:49 PM  

The song "If I were a rich man" is not covetousness. It is daydreaming, which is sometimes the first step in goal setting. The song itself starts as a prayer.

The tone of the piece is that it's infuriating to have entitled shits walk away from the disasters they create, leaving those with fewer means to suffer the consequences.

But, like me, like everybody, you see what you expect to see, hear what you expect to hear.

Anonymous glosoli July 15, 2017 4:02 PM  

The last thing I would want is to be a billionaire, despite the supposed benefits listed in the article.

The first thing I would want is a small-holding, self-sufficiency, a family and a small tribe of Christian brothers nearby. The writer seems overly obsessed about the benefits of great wealth.

'you see what you expect to see, hear what you expect to hear.'

You do maybe. I was an atheist for 49 years, wasn't looking for God, but somehow He arrived in my life. My mind is very open. I have done 180 degree turns on my views on the euro currency three times, currently anti, as it's a tool of satan.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 15, 2017 4:20 PM  

glosoli wrote:The first thing I would want is a small-holding, self-sufficiency, a family and a small tribe of Christian brothers nearby. The writer seems overly obsessed about the benefits of great wealth.
Yeomanry for the win!
glosoli wrote:You do maybe. I was an atheist for 49 years, wasn't looking for God, but somehow He arrived in my life. My mind is very open. I have done 180 degree turns on my views on the euro currency three times, currently anti, as it's a tool of satan.
You were ready to see those things because you had finally come to the conclusion that what you believed before was not sustainable, not in accord to reality. That's better than most people ever achieve. Still, the generalization is true even for those of open mind, well north of 99% of the time.

Anonymous BBGKB July 15, 2017 4:30 PM  

Then they look at all the illegal (and some legal) immigrants who are somehow getting by on gig work worth half that pay or even less.

Illegals cheat on child tax credits to get more than most current full time EMTs earn after taxes, plus what they earn on gigs.

Blogger rycamor July 15, 2017 11:57 PM  

I know it's hard to be poor. I spent my early 20s that way. I know about those days when you're happy to find that extra $1.35 in change so you can afford to drive to work. But a single man with half a brain still has a ridiculous array of ways to get around the stupid system.

I love how some of you mocked Artisanal Toad for suggesting some of them.

"If you don't have an address you can't have a job" and "what, am I supposed to go WITHOUT something?"

YES

If you are behind, then go without something and get working. Work one job and learn another skill in the evenings, or work 2 part-time jobs. There are plenty of jobs where they don't give a damn what your address is. If you don't have a job, then your job is to get a job. Work full time at that until you get one. Sales jobs are almost always available if you're willing to take a risk. Or, just take a lawn mower and start walking from house to house in a middle-class neighborhood offering to mow lawns. Or any of a number of things. When I was out of work I printed up flyers for house painting and distributed around the neighborhood.

Telling yourself things are hopeless is stupid. Save hopeless for the people who truly are hopeless (in regards to jobs and money): I'm talking about those with serious injuries, illness, or born with such a low I.Q. they can't really learn.

There is *always* something you can do, if you will just stop expecting the world to do it for you. Being officially homeless is even less of a problem nowadays than it used to be. All you need to apply for most jobs is an e-mail address. You can get a FREE Gmail account and use FREE internet at the library. Yeah, if where you live won't allow people to sleep in a van at night--guess what: YOU'RE IN A VAN, so you can go somewhere less stupid.

Can't afford decent food? How hard is it to scoop some soil into a container and grow your own tomatoes? You could even get the seeds for free in a restaurant dumpster. Oh yes, a dumpster. I know you're far too good for that. But I'm not. If I had to do it, I would.

In fact, America throws away something like 30% of its edible food. Quite a lot of it perfectly wrapped and clean. I have a friend who knew someone who dumpster-dived as a hobby. He kept it a secret, because he was a normal dude with a job and a family, but he was just fascinated by how much was available for free, and perfectly good.

Truly, whole books could be written (and are, in fact) about the number of ways you can scrounge if you really have the balls to. Euell Gibbons wrote decades ago about the number of edible plants that grow everywhere. You could find all the vitamins you need just by walking around a public park. Did you know that dandelions are more nutritious than spinach? That you can chew on pine needles for Vitamin C? The possibilities in God's green earth are endless, and yet I see people here whining about eating ramen noodles. Tell you what: learn how to kill a squirrel and eat it. People will thank you all day long for ridding them of pests, and the meat is almost as good as venison.

I'm talking to you young men. It's idiotic for any able-bodied man with an I.Q. over 110 to give in to despair and let the system just sweep him along. Look around you, and actually see.

Blogger rycamor July 16, 2017 12:07 AM  

map wrote:Artisanal Toad,

Yeah...

Don't go out; don't date women; don't waste money. Live in a Marina or on the street; don't have tv or internet. Work any shitty job just to make ends meet.

This is simply checking out of life...only grinding yourself into a nub to do it.

It's ridiculous...you know why?

Because the people you will be dealing with will be wildly dysfunctional or dangerous...making it hard for you to work around them. Or...they will be so much better off than you are that they will largely reject on any level...making it hard to work around them.


What kind of a fragile lily are you? Hell, I was barely one level above homeless for half my 20s. I rented a single room from a friend, and worked alongside drunks and drifters sanding boat hulls at the marina. They didn't "damage" me. In fact, it was a lot of fun. And I still had a social life, played guitar in a band, and still had time in the evening to study the things that would eventually make me better off. It isn't that hard to go without something.

Anonymous AB.Prosper July 16, 2017 12:20 AM  

rycamor wrote:map wrote:Artisanal Toad,

Yeah...

Don't go out; don't date women; don't waste money. Live in a Marina or on the street; don't have tv or internet. Work any shitty job just to make ends meet.

This is simply checking out of life...only grinding yourself into a nub to do it.

It's ridiculous...you know why?

Because the people you will be dealing with will be wildly dysfunctional or dangerous...making it hard for you to work around them. Or...they will be so much better off than you are that they will largely reject on any level...making it hard to work around them.



What kind of a fragile lily are you? Hell, I was barely one level above homeless for half my 20s. I rented a single room from a friend, and worked alongside drunks and drifters sanding boat hulls at the marina. They didn't "damage" me. In fact, it was a lot of fun. And I still had a social life, played guitar in a band, and still had time in the evening to study the things that would eventually make me better off. It isn't that hard to go without something.


The last time you could do this 1980's (to maybe early 90's) are long over. The America that allowed this kind of life is dead with its economy and its demography.

Like or not the former land of opportunity is fully developed and its economy is moribund and there is no amount of economic liberalism as policy that can change that

Its mostly automation and computers though immigration comes in a close second and mass female entry into the work force a close 3rd.

You don't have to like it but the halcyon days of fast growth, easy money and opportunity for everyone is gone never to return.

Future USA is going to either be 3rd world , have a European style heavily regulated economy or be distributive and nationalist.

And yes there will still be a few people who pull off the kind of things you did, increasingly few of them but they are there and will be. It doesn't matter, policy is for the greater good and for the bulk of people, not the outliers

That means more State. more regulation and an economy that no matter how many boots it takes will allow average Joe and Jane to have a stable enough income to have a family despite computers/automation and everything else.


Blogger rycamor July 16, 2017 12:29 AM  

Doom doom blah blah... I pulled off nothing. I could have been far cleverer than I was. And it was the mid-90s. It wasn't "easy money". It was barely above minimum wage, and I drove a beat-up old car. I lived without, and scrounged, and dedicated myself to finding other ways to succeed.

Blogger rycamor July 16, 2017 12:32 AM  

A.B. Prosper, all your blathering about policy and regulated economy... you realize that there are cash-only, under-the-table jobs in every single socialized country? That's how the resourceful poor get ahead.

Blogger rycamor July 16, 2017 12:35 AM  

The point of the original post wasn't about how being poor is hopeless. It was about how rich people often have a somewhat broken cause-effect detector, because they are so shielded from consequences of bad choices or risk.

Anonymous AB.Prosper July 16, 2017 1:30 AM  

rycamor wrote:A.B. Prosper, all your blathering about policy and regulated economy... you realize that there are cash-only, under-the-table jobs in every single socialized country? That's how the resourceful poor get ahead.

However my basic points are still the same, your time of hijacks was a long time ago, around two decades or so near the end of when that was even possible for many people.

And policy is set to help the majority of people. Some people are going to find an angle, some employers are going to screw people out of retirement contributions in exchange for tax fraud,

Common sense. Happens everywhere. Its not a major problem till it is.

That changes exactly zero. Policy need to serve the vast majority of people who can't and shouldn't hustle. Obeying the law is a good thing and encouraging cheating to get ahead is a quick trip to the third world

if you want civilization you pay for it. As technology gets more complex, costs go up and when the costs can no longer be paid, society collapses to an order it can sustain


Its not hard to grasp

There are choices you can take to reduce the complexity, repatriation is the main one of them, non intervention there are others even some degree of deregulation.

The ones you can't take are wage arbitrage , excess mobility of labor and capital and encouraging criminal behavior

Blogger Aeoli Pera July 16, 2017 11:59 AM  

>possible for resourceful people to get a slice of the pie
>pie is shrinking
>policy is central distribution of pie
>>hundreds of retarded comments

This really isn't hard.

>go in the woods and make your own pie

Nigger please.

Blogger Aeoli Pera July 16, 2017 12:00 PM  

Xers should be less worried about teaching and more worried about ovens.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy July 16, 2017 1:19 PM  

rycamor wrote:And I still had a social life, played guitar in a band, and still had time in the evening to study the things that would eventually make me better off.
rycamor wrote:A.B. Prosper, all your blathering about policy and regulated economy... you realize that there are cash-only, under-the-table jobs in every single socialized country?
Another Alpha Rabbit who thinks everyone who lacks his innate charisma or isn't willing to break the law to get ahead deserves to die.

rycamor wrote:The point of the original post wasn't about how being poor is hopeless. It was about how rich people often have a somewhat broken cause-effect detector, because they are so shielded from consequences of bad choices or risk.
So do Alphas. And it was an Alpha Rabbit who started chittering on this thread that all his white neighbors need to do is be willing to work like dogs and live like Africans, and if we're very lucky we might eventually claw our way up to a lower standard of living than Rabbits like you vote to give to foreigners for free.

Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind July 16, 2017 3:25 PM  

My wife came here to pursue her science PHd from a foreign country. Had a stipend of 19k a year with no housing allowance, yet was able to save half of it (the same university's stipend is now about 25k per year).

She found a lonely older lady who rented a room for $200 who just wanted company living outside of Washington DC in a run down area. Other than that, she lived the same lifestyle that she lived in her much poorer country of origin. She was able to save half of her income. By the end of her PHd program, she had a degree and 50k in the bank along with a 20 year old toyota camry.

How else do people think that all the illegals are able to send cash home to their families? You live very inexpensively if you aren't making much money and don't have access social services other than emergency care. If illegal immigrants who don't speak english are able to do it, there's no reason spoiled americans can't do the same with the advantages of higher (legal) wages and "free" catostrophic healthcare.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy July 16, 2017 4:46 PM  

Raptor disrespect from behind wrote:If illegal immigrants who don't speak english are able to do it, there's no reason spoiled americans can't do the same with the advantages of higher (legal) wages and "free" catostrophic healthcare.
Affirmative Action and H-1B visas are a reason.

My wife came here
Every Single Time someone bashes their fellow Americans, it's because they married a wog. Your wife and her sons have to go back. You have to go with her.

Blogger Cail Corishev July 16, 2017 5:14 PM  

If illegal immigrants who don't speak english are able to do it, there's no reason spoiled americans can't do the same

Yeah, we've heard it before. Every time someone says it's too hard to find work in America today, or thinks maybe Americans shouldn't have to live like starving third worlders as the default way to get by, we hear "spoiled Americans." Thanks for not disappointing us.

We talk past each other a lot on this because of the difference between personal advice and policy prescriptions. If you say it's too hard to find work -- not necessarily for you, but in general -- people start offering personal advice. The advice is fine, and hopefully anyone here who's in need of it will take it to heart. But it's not a solution to the overall problem of high unemployment, low wages, and closed-off fields that's been caused by feminism and mass migration.

There are millions of people who are not going to follow that advice. We can argue about whether they can't or won't, but it doesn't matter -- they're not going to. And Americans, for the most part, aren't going to let those people starve or die of minor medical issues, so they're going to go on welfare, and we're all going to have to support them. Calling them "spoiled Americans" might make us feel better about it, but we'll still be paying for them.

The American Dream was that a regular Joe, without particular smarts or connections, could have a good life if he stayed in school, worked hard, wasn't wasteful, and stayed out of trouble. No, it wasn't perfect and didn't always work out that way, but it pretty much did in some previous generations. It wasn't, "cut ties, move across the country to where there's some kind of boom going on, live in a box, and eat ramen for years, and you'll manage." The people who went to that extreme did it in hopes of getting rich, not just getting by.

If we don't want 100M people on the dole, we need a better answer than, "Let them eat ramen," because most of them will answer, "Nah, I'll just get Doritos and Coke with my EBT card." (Also, it makes us sound like open-borders libertardians, and one should always avoid that.) One better answer is closing the borders and deporting illegals and "guest workers," for starters, to open up jobs and improve wages. That's not a panacea; there's still the problem of too many women in the workforce, and the issue of increasing automation. But it is something we can do, and will be more effective than giving "tough love" advice to millions of people who won't use it.

Anonymous Mr. Rational July 16, 2017 6:45 PM  

Amen to that, Cail.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy July 16, 2017 7:53 PM  

Cail Corishev wrote:If we don't want 100M people on the dole, we need a better answer than, "Let them eat ramen," because most of them will answer, "Nah, I'll just get Doritos and Coke with my EBT card."
Good point. Doritos are healthier. (About twice the fat, roughly the same or less carbs, not much less protein, and 1/3 to 1/2 the sodium. And no wheat.)

Blogger Patrikbc July 17, 2017 9:51 AM  

I thought the key to success was, drop out of high school, manage a strip club, and marry a rich chick.

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