Getting ready for the New Normal

Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: jpete On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:54 am

What happens when you gave up all that stuff 10 years ago?!
jpete
 
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:04 am

jpete wrote:What happens when you gave up all that stuff 10 years ago?!


Then you would just have to give up more today. Real wages have been in decline since roughly the mid 70's. Only the governments artificially low tracking of real inflation can prove otherwise. But up until around the early to mid 70's most families could get by on one income, and now two or more are required, so the American people should intuitively know otherwise.
lsayre
 
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: jpete On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:15 am

Davian wrote:I completely agree. Its disgusting that we live in a country where over 60% of all bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses. Its disgusting that health insurance is a for-profit industry. Its disgusting that people lose everything and people die because they can't afford even basic medical care.


Why wouldn't it be "for profit"? Could it be any other way? Who will you find to volunteer to take on six figures of debt to go to medical school to turn around and give their services away for free?

Maybe some enterprising doctors will cut the government out of the equation and see what happens? Don't look now, but several already have.

jpete
 
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:45 am

freetown fred wrote:I hate to sound like the grumpy old guy that I actually am--no I don't--What I'm reading here(sorry Lisa) is people have come to the realization that the grandiosity with which we live our lives is in no way, shape or form "THRIFTY"...


Fred, you are not seeing the whole picture here. DK and I worked hard – we were not born with silver spoons in our mouths nor were our children. Like many on the Forum, we worked hard, sacrificed in order to provide our family with a stability and upward mobility not found in any other country. We contributed to the country through the spending of our limited wealth and purchases to the extent we could. That spending provided jobs for others. It meant that we were able to provide for the 800 number to insure our children’s safety and trips to the hair dresser. That meant that we would see our children build on the foundation we provided and through their own hard work gain even more. That’s why folks came to America in the first place and why they still die to come here.

That world is gone. The inability to spend on the little extras in life is going to destroy what’s left of the country. The non visit to the hair dresser you so causally dismiss is going to reduce the number of jobs available in that business and that reduction is going to affect the number of jobs needed in development and supplying the products they use and sell in the hair cut places. That reduction is going to reduce the transportation and logistical assets required to get to those markets. Now we are talking about real jobs and real people’s lives. When you look across the spectrum of everyday life nothing is going to remain untouched. I don’t know who said it but someone said “I never got a job from a poor man.” That’s the truth and that’s why we are seeing the citizens of this country becoming poorer with each passing day under Obama and his brand of socialism. It’s a domino effect that no one will escape.

So you can scoff at the first items I have to choose between in order to close the gap in my income forced upon us by the current administration; as I said and you agreed with those are the easy ones to make. The next ones are going to be more painful and much harder to give up. Make no mistake as more Americans reach the same conclusion it’s going to get painful for everyone up and down the income spectrum and no one is going to escape the impact on the overall economy.

By the way, you didn’t answer the question. :) Lisa
lowfog01
 
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: jpete On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:51 am

Fred won't be happy until we all live in sod huts.

But hey! At least we'll be "living within our means"! :D
jpete
 
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:00 am

freetown fred wrote:Ya know, all your numbers are real impressive on paper, but I think are just a bunch of crap that the over thinkers come up with to impress whoever with something or other--really--am I the only dumb ass that doesn't understand graphs & projections, but I damn sure understand my monthly bills


Time will tell. One thing that that no one can deny is that (despite our intuitive desire to see them as linear functions, based upon our tendency to observe trends only over very short periods, or just as likely, not to observe or care about trends at all) "interest" and "inflation" are both exponential functions. Thus this critically important quote from retired Nuclear Physicist Albert Allen Bartlett:

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function."

A profound and quite short quote by Ayn Rand that goes hand in hand with this is:

"Reality is real." (as opposed to the fantasy hope and desire of many that "Reality is what we (or somebody, or 'they', or something) make(s) it.")
Last edited by lsayre on Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
lsayre
 
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:13 am

Nothing's really changed here for us besides the obvious cuts in spending. I always did my own auto repair, and home maintenance. No more restoring old bikes, buying hi-tech tools, or planning for another shed or building - those things are not even a thought now. I'm glad to have what I've got, and glad I spent the money where needed when I did. The cost of parts just on motorcycles has gone through the stratosphere. Even once cheap auto parts have gone up a few bucks to double their former price. There are some things from China that are cheaper than before, but then there's the quality control issues. Currently dealing with that right now on the wife's 23 year old winter beater.

Just the fact that I HAVE to burn coal to heat this place shows that we've taken a few steps backward as a nation. Things haven't got real bad yet either - just wait until all these city people in MA wake up one day to find they can't afford to heat their mansions. They can't burn wood .. because there ain't any in the city - they won't know what to do! I used to smell trash burning in the city during good times - imagine what'll happen when things get real bad! You'll choke on the plastic & styrofoam smoke.

Buying a new vehicle in '07 was one of the DUMBEST things I've done in my life. I pissed away sooooo much cash on that thing it's not even funny. Could've put that into food storage, ammo, another shed ... could've done the barn roof 5 years ago ... but, at least I can sell or barter it for things I need in the future if need be. That was my "asleep" point in life. Never again!

The way I look at it is, since we bought this house, my personal standard of living went up 100 fold. I consider everything I have a luxury. I did without all of it my entire life, and can again if need be.
SMITTY
 
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: rberq On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:35 am

Lisa, my vow this forum-year was not to argue with you any more. :lol:
But damn, I have to side with Fred on this. Too few people live below their means, too many live above, and those living right at their means have no margin of error. The insecurity and the decline of the American middle class has been visible for decades, primarily due to outsourcing of manufacturing and of jobs to the developing world. There is an imbalance now of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, but that is not because the rich and powerful are any more greedy than they ever have been. It is because the balance of power has shifted immensely from worker toward owner, since somebody in India will work for a fraction of your wage and be happy to get it. You want to blame President Obama, and I'm not going to defend or attack his policies here. But what you are complaining about is partly self-inflicted on the personal level, has been in the works for a long long time, and has been accelerating and becoming more apparent in the last 10 years.
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: jpete On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:57 am

rberq wrote: and has been accelerating and becoming more apparent in the last 10 years.


*COUGH*Nixon closed the gold window*COUGH*
jpete
 
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:39 pm

Lisa, you seem to see you & DH as being unique in this current situation--Whoops, me bad--you & DH are the only ones that have worked hard all their lives--Lisa, I respect a lot of what you post on here. Grandiosity has run rampant in this Country & if one would deny that, then I see them as a big part of the problem. I think the answer to the question would in my thoughts be--I have lived within my means all my life--comfortably I might add--I've helped 3 kids with house purchases, put 2 through college--3 through training programs-- all but one are hard workers--the other stays in jail most of the time--takes after his mom I suspect.Point being, I don't, as SMITTY referred to,I don't & won't be all that affected by what is going on while this Country takes a real hard look & regroups itself--someone posted about the negativity of the gloom & doomers & stated it is not needed here in this great Country-- oh that's right, you believe our way of life is gone--I don't think so--It's not about who's POTUS, it's about people getting over themselves. PS--I'm not even going to speak on your stated need for that 800 number--I worked my Dads farm, washed dishes & got my Associate Degree in Human Services all at the same time--I usually had money for a phone call--your right THAT is inconsequential--but, you posted it. I will do what I have to do & be grateful for every day & every thing the Creator has given me. jpete--sorry, whenever I read your posts anymore, I just consider the source as I'm sure other people do :( PS--for the record--at 67 I can & will if neccesary dig a ditch or wash dishes. There are plenty of jobs out here & I for one am not above doing them.
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: samhill On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:59 pm

Jpete, one of the reasons Cleveland Clinic & several other hospitals are doing so well in providing lower cost excellent care is because those docs work on a salary rather than being independent as the norm, that's why you end up getting so many different billings for a hospital stay, everything from anesthesia to x-ray gets farmed out. The hospital itself is non-profit but the others aren't, then there are Ins. Co.s like mine UPMC that own non-profit hospitals & doctors, the doctors charge for things that weren't even done so the Ins. can send a payment to the non-profit & write it off as a loss on the for profit. It's all a big game & the lobbyist had the rules put in their favor.
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: jpete On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:19 pm

samhill wrote:Jpete, one of the reasons Cleveland Clinic & several other hospitals are doing so well in providing lower cost excellent care is because those docs work on a salary rather than being independent as the norm, that's why you end up getting so many different billings for a hospital stay, everything from anesthesia to x-ray gets farmed out. The hospital itself is non-profit but the others aren't, then there are Ins. Co.s like mine UPMC that own non-profit hospitals & doctors, the doctors charge for things that weren't even done so the Ins. can send a payment to the non-profit & write it off as a loss on the for profit. It's all a big game & the lobbyist had the rules put in their favor.


Not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing but I think it shows that medicine can be "for profit" and cheaper than the current system with equal or better outcomes.
jpete
 
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:07 pm

freetown fred wrote:Lisa, you seem to see you & DH as being unique in this current situation--Whoops, me bad--you & DH are the only ones that have worked hard all their lives--Lisa, I respect a lot of what you post on here. Grandiosity has run rampant in this Country & if one would deny that, then I see them as a big part of the problem. I think the answer to the question would in my thoughts be--I have lived within my means all my life--comfortably I might add--I've helped 3 kids with house purchases, put 2 through college--3 through training programs-- all but one are hard workers--the other stays in jail most of the time--takes after his mom I suspect.Point being, I don't, as SMITTY referred to,I don't & won't be all that affected by what is going on while this Country takes a real hard look & regroups itself--someone posted about the negativity of the gloom & doomers & stated it is not needed here in this great Country-- oh that's right, you believe our way of life is gone--I don't think so--It's not about who's POTUS, it's about people getting over themselves. PS--I'm not even going to speak on your stated need for that 800 number--I worked my Dads farm, washed dishes & got my Associate Degree in Human Services all at the same time--I usually had money for a phone call--your right THAT is inconsequential--but, you posted it. I will do what I have to do & be grateful for every day & every thing the Creator has given me. jpete--sorry, whenever I read your posts anymore, I just consider the source as I'm sure other people do :( PS--for the record--at 67 I can & will if neccesary dig a ditch or wash dishes. There are plenty of jobs out here & I for one am not above doing them.


Fred, boy are you all over the place in your response.

On the contrary, DK and I don’t think we are unique in this situation. That’s the whole point. Come Jan 1 virtually every American family who has worked hard and lived within their means and are following the American Dream will wake up to a 13% increase in taxes without doing anything different other than watching the calendar flip. That's 13% less in their take home pay. How many of that number will go from making ends meet to falling behind? You don’t know if DK and I are in that bunch or not, you only know that we have a personal 800 number because at one time we felt it was a sound expense for our family. You only know that we are considering eliminating several other expenses that we no longer feel are not worth the return we once got. You seem to have a problem with that and me personally despite not knowing anything about me except the little I've revealed here.

“sorry, whenever I read your posts anymore, I just consider the source as I'm sure other people do :(“ No duh… tell me something I don’t know. What a boring place this would be if we all agreed all the time.


The whole point of my post was to see if anyone else was feeling the same concerns I have about the immediate future. Several did, others, not so much. Since this is the second or third response to this post that you haven’t addressed the question, I’ll assume you have no concerns about the future and the coming fiscal cliff. I’m glad for you. Take care, Lisa
lowfog01
 
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:06 pm

Sorry, I thought I was pretty clear in my post--I guess one persons concept of living within their means is different then others--Not that I believe all the gloom & doom you're projecting--but if it all were to go to hell in a hand basket--yeah, I'd be OK-In case anybody missed it--all this has been coming to a head since Eisenhower was Pres. and people that are prepared will do fine--that's where the grandiosity part comes in. And--NO Lisa, you're just takin it real,scarely personal. :?:
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Re: Getting ready for the New Normal

PostBy: SteveZee On: Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:24 pm

freetown fred wrote:Sorry, I thought I was pretty clear in my post--I guess one persons concept of living within their means is different then others--Not that I believe all the gloom & doom you're projecting--but if it all were to go to hell in a hand basket--yeah, I'd be OK-In case anybody missed it--all this has been coming to a head since Eisenhower was Pres. and people that are prepared will do fine--that's where the grandiosity part comes in. And--NO Lisa, you're just takin it real,scarely personal. :?:


That's right you old farmer. I'm with you on this and I think that most of the halcyon days we were lucky enough to experience were never sustainable anyways. Bit like the days of under a dollar gas. That isn't ever coming back but I'm glad I experienced it. I have credit cards but I don't owe and only use them to maintain a credit line or an emergency. My parents grew up in the great depression and that rubbed off. I've worked/ saved for things I wanted and my cars been paid for, for about 10 years now ;) . I'm not the least bit worried and honestly don't need all that much to be happy anyways. We'll be fine and economies tend to run in cycles anyways. Like Smitty I feel fortunate for the gains I've made ( My house was paid off in April). I live and eat as good as anyone I know and could easily cut back if I needed to. Probably do need to after looking at the scale lately! :lol:
SteveZee
 
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