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Economy 101

Posted by imamommy (imamommy21@yahoo.com) on
Fri, Jul 31, 09 at 12:16

Well, I'm sorry another thread got hijacked... so this thread is to discuss current economic conditions and how it's affecting our families... so, it's semi step related since most of us are in stepfamilies.

I disagree with unemployment being at 10%. That may be the national average based on unemployment applications or open claims, but that does NOT take into consideration the vast population that do not qualify for unemployment because they were self employed or are ineligible for benefits for other reasons. I think 10% is conservative... in my county, it's 18% and there are more vacant offices/buildings than thriving businesses. Our family business is hanging on, only because we don't have much debt... others aren't so lucky.

Not long ago, a man our family has known for years, came into the office. Just a couple of years ago, he was living in a multimillion dollar estate. His business was booming. Well, he came in to talk to my dad. He has lost his home and is living with his daughter. She lives in an apartment so it's crowded with her family and he wants to leave but cannot afford to. He was discussing an arrangement where he could park his RV and live in it on one of my dad's properties. It is hard to see how much some people are being affected.

Is there anyone out there that has NOT been affected?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Economy 101

Ima, the Department of Labor considers someone as unemployed if they are not employed and say they are looking for work. They do not have to be collecting unemployment. It is based on sampling.

If your business did not have debt, it wasnt becasue they were lucky -- it was becasue someone was fiscally conservative. Kudos to them. Similiar to having an emergency fund.

I have always been conservative with my money and have not really been affected.


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RE: Economy 101

FDH and myself still have our jobs, but what's really hit us is the dirty tricks the credit card companies started pulling last spring and summer. Amex lowered FDH's limit PAST his balance and charged outrageous fees. He was paying it off every month, but did this between pay cycles and with no warning. This was right as things started getting bad and credit was drying up.

We also found out we had a leak in our pool under the concrete and something like 600-800 gallons/day was leaving the pool and going somewhere (still don't know where). Our credit cards that were paid off or had a low balance were no longer useable to fix this because of the credit card companies trying to save their a*ses. AND WE HAVE DECENT CREDIT.

This is when our finances got so bad we had to cancel all wedding plans.


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RE: Economy 101

It's hit us HARD.

We're currently trying to sell our house and climb our way out of debt, but it's a long road. Our credit is in tatters since DH didn't work for 2+ years (don't even get me started on that....) so if we do sell, we won't be able to buy again right away. That's okay. I really just want to rent for awhile and let someone else do all the worrying!

Hopefully the house will sell soon (It's been on the market a year!) and we'll be able to get some traction...

Unemployment in our county is around 15% but trending up. We're a factory town that has lost a LOT of jobs recently. Hopefully we're seeing the bottom.


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RE: Economy 101

I know what you mean... the credit card companies are jacking people around. DH has excellent credit, near an 800 score (which scores are another of my pet peeve.. they mean nothing) But, he has a lot of debt (at low interest rates because of his good credit) and has so far, closed out two accounts because they raised the rates... not just for him, they have no reason to... he hasn't gone over limit or late, they are jacking EVERYONE that has their card and if you want to 'opt out', you can pay off the card. That's unrealistic when the balance is several thousand dollars! So, unless you have the money laying around to pay it off, the choice is pay off or take the hit or close the card... then it gets reported as a closed card with a balance until it's paid off. Wonder what THAT does to the 'score'? We'll find out.

And who owns the credit card companies??? BANKS. We, the taxpayers, bail out the banks and this is how they repay the country and our economy... lower limits; raise rates; and deny new credit. When DH sold his truck, we tried to borrow $2500 to pay off the balance because it was worth less than he sold it for... they denied him and he offered collateral. There's no reason for that. The banks are a joke! Fortunately, I borrowed it from our business but not everyone can do that... like you have a pool that is leaking somewhere and eventually, may cause erosion and other problems or could be damaging something and there's nothing you can do about it.

and if I get started on weddings... that's our family business and while this is normally 'wedding season', we are doing very small orders, where normally it would be lots of stuff. People are borrowing from churches or having weddings at parks where there are shelters & picnic tables instead of getting tents & tables. Linens seem to be consistent because they are still needed but yesterday I rented out the fake flowers from our display because the bride can't afford a florist and was going to go without flowers. and are people using paper plates now? Even with all the weddings we have done, very few orders have had china included. Usually, it's the caterers that provide the China and we have not had many orders from caterers this year... wonder if people are doing their own or not serving a meal? I just can't imagine people are not getting married but I guess I'd believe it. I also heard more couples are staying married because it's too expensive to get divorced... when you consider setting up two households and then paying out support... it makes sense to stick it out for a while if you can.

LOL, anyone that owns a home or stock has been affected... if you have not been affected, must not have stocks or real estate.


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RE: Economy 101

Ima, I own a house and stocks, but was not and am not planning on selling them today, tomorrow or the next few years. So I guess we mean different things when we say affected. I get up, go to work, same old same old. I have a relatively big parties twice a year, and it will be same old same old.


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RE: Economy 101

Unemployment is about 15% I think where I live, we were hit very hard because of the auto indistry. I know very many unemployed people in my area, by unemployed I mean ones who were laid off due to downsizing or simple closing businesses.

I personally was not hit because i have a job and always had a job (at times 2-3 jobs but no more). My mother was laid off (someone, who was offered 20,000K less salary than she had, was hired instead) but she was unemployed only 3 weeks and was quickly hired elsewhere because she is well known in her field.

It was strange that when everyone was laid off, my brother and SO (both work in the same capacity) were offered promotions but they do not relax too much, one can never know.

I am not conservative and not very good with finances, I have decent credit history because i always pay all my bills on time but I almost have no savings, I have a lot of debt, some of it from medical expenses when i had no insurance, i also owe almost 45K in graduate student loan.

If i would to lose my job, I would be very much affected and in a big financial hole, but I hope for the best.


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RE: Economy 101

Some people are just lucky... oops, I mean perfect, with their fiscally conservative decisions and all. I just hope an ex husband is equally unaffected and perfect in making equally conservative decisions so he can afford to pay for college tuition, which just went up again by the way. It might sting a little to wake up one day and find out that everything you expected and relied on, just isn't feasible.

The rest of us live in the REAL world.


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RE: Economy 101

FD, I agree losing job would be a problem. My company laid off 3% of the people in my group, all with much less experience -- so I hope for the best.


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Tuition

Ima, if you're talking about my X, yes he is doing fine, and worse case, he retires (with a substantial pension), yes Ds tuition is under control, thanks for asking.


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really?

I didn't ask about anyone. Maybe some people see things that are not really there... like a delusion.


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Too funny

Your right, Ima, in your not too thinly veiled references to me (lucky v. "perfect" for controlling debt), comment re college tuition, you didn't ask. It's left to the reader to draw an inference.


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RE: Economy 101

kkny, there are people with less seniority than me, I don't wish them get fired but I know they will go before me if something happens.

I know it is difficult in the US to pay for college much ahead of time but in UK one can pay much ahead of time, that locks the tuition and also provides certain discount if one pays ahead.

DD is obtaining her BA in 3 years instead of 4(substantial saving!) Also when one enrolls in college in UK, it locks the tuition for the whole duration of the time there. so if tuition goes up it only effects new students, everyone else pays the same as the 1st year.

why is it a delusion if some people have money? All of DD's friends parents paid their tuition and they attend much more expensive colleges than DD, including Harvard etc. We are not rich by no means, not at all, but most of DDs' friends are and believe me everyone's college is paid in full. what is so extraordinary about it?

Like if i cannot afford somehting, it does not mean no one can. i drive old dinky car with 120 000 milleage but other people can afford nice new cars, so what is so extraordinary?

My SO paid for both DDs education (still has one more year for DD20). why is it a delusion, very common thing if there are two incomes in the household, people saved or simply had good salary. not that unusual.


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Fine

FD, I agree I dont want to see anyone let go. From a business decision, it will be harder to replace more experienced people when the economy comes back.

There are some states you can lock in tuition -- not mine.

FD, it is more common for kids in intact families to have their college paid for, but in my D's HS graduating class, most kids are going to 4 year schools, and family will pay.


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RE: Economy 101

Its not lucky or perfect..You spend less than you earn..You save..You plan for contingencies such as job loss and health emergencies..Dont invest in the market any money you cant afford to lose.Live with in your means.Dont say to yourself, I deserve it.Dont try to keep up with the Jones......You ve heard them all a million times and they are all true......As a young mom, went thru a recession with a baby with diapers, formula and a depressed husband that would not get off his dead butt to change the situation, so with a one week old baby and no help with said babies care 100% up to me, took a job for 45 hours a week to provide diapers food and formula. And learned a valuable lesson, like Scarlett Ohara, I never wanted to be poor again......And I got laid off this spring from my job that I really didnt need, because I follow the above lessons, am not effected and want for nothing for adhering to the advice..As far as your fathers friend, heres a little free advice..He was an idiot..When business was booming, he should have bought a 500,000 estate instead of the multimillion dollar one which he obviously couldnt afford, and maybe he could have hung on to a little something instead of losing it all... I m not perfect, but finacially life is.......


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RE: Economy 101

Dotz, exactly. "You spend less than you earn" -- some people do it by earning more, some by spending less, some by a combination. In flush times, you put away more. Then in times like this, if you have to, you can cut back your savings. Not spend your savings, but decrease savings rate.


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RE: Economy 101

It's a nice thought... but I serve foreclosures and that was just one example of one person's downfall. Considering he has been living with his daughter and cannot afford to rent his own place, it likely wouldn't have mattered if it was multi million dollar house or half a million... he's broke.

The problem is my dear... when you are self employed or own your own business as he did, as opposed to working for someone else... you rely on customers to earn a profit and live. I worked in social services for a decade and yes, I had job security... my former union was in front of the state capital picketing the furloughing of workers a week or two ago. Well, there is no money... state & county employees are being furloughed.. or getting pink slips (layoff notices). Tough cookies... there's no money! Our state was paying in IOU's not long ago... maybe they still are. Can't feed the kiddies with IOU's. Can't stay in business if you rely on a state contract that is now paying you in IOU's. PG&E (or whatever utility company) does not want your IOU. Small businesses are now shutting down and big businesses have collapsed. If your in business for yourself and your customers have no job, no money and can't buy your product or service... then you have no income to pay your bills. It's a domino effect.

I'm glad you are not personally affected... but then again, there is more than one way to be affected. If you have family that calls to borrow money because they have none, or need a place to stay because they lost theirs or if you have a good friend that has been hit hard and they use your shoulder to cry on... those are examples of being affected. It would affect me to see others suffering and at the moment, most of the US is feeling the effect, if not only at the grocery store and gas pump with the higher prices... We'll likely all feel it more next tax season too.


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RE: Economy 101

Saskatchewan hasn't been hit too hard.
But hard enough. People here seem to be scaling back, doing things for less money, being cautious.
Our unemployment rate isn't too bad - better than Alberta or BC, last I heard - but there's been job losses.
Most of my friends and family are just trying to spend a little less where we can, and not accumulate any new debt or big expenses if we can help it.


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RE: Economy 101

My neighborhood happens to be drowning in foreclosures Ima, but my point is they did not happen overnight...Immediately downscaling would be the answer, not trying to hang on on the off chance the market would rebound..Where as I do feel sorry for a family losing their home,of course some people do not want to let go of the dream which I see as unrealistic...Dead butt Ex did finally get off his duff after 2 years and start his own company, which became quite sucessful( I guess he didnt like being poor either)He did sock away every spare dime in lean times and in good,following above rules to get into a good position...Read the book The Millionaire next door..Might be the guy with 2 beater cars in the drive, instead of the unprepared family with the 2 SUVs in the drive..


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RE: Economy 101

Well, I'm not sure if I'm unlucky, or imperfect but Ex #1 was laid off from a job he's held the last 5 years. The state collects his child support...overlooked his severence check, of course he spent that. I haven't seen a dime of support from him since March. Ex #2 works sales in a field related to automotive..sales go down, commision goes down, less child support for our son. While DH and I are lucky enough to keep our jobs, the monthly income that benefits our children has decreased. See, economics is Step related :) Back to school will certainly be light this year. Can't even think about college!

The value of the home we bought 2 years ago has decreased $30,000. We've never been late on a credit card payment, DH just had 1 company close his account, the other doubled his interest rate. Last year I changed jobs to be closer to home (remember gas at $4.50 gal?) With my new job came a decrease in my paycheck (I did gain schedule flexibility that benefits the kids though).

We're certainly feeling the squeeze. We have friends who've filed bankruptcy. I'm furious that the government handed banks a bajillion dollars and the bank is turning around and punishing us, doubling our interest rates, cutting credit limits and doubling our monthly payments. If I ran the world....the stimulus money to the banks would have been applied directly to account holders balances.


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Recession

Mom2.5, There will probably be many more stories from young families like yourself, but the important thing to remember, is it will be over.The economy will get better and things will ease up for you...I know its hard, I can well remember the despair about having one dollar to spend on a plastic toy for babys first Christmas, sick with worry, couldnt eat or sleep ..When things start to look up, just plan, prepare, save..I know young families say there is nothing left to save,but you have to be willing to sacrifice to gain some security...


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dotz

well, I agree that if you are able to downsize.. it's a good plan. My husband was paying a significant chunk of money on a truck he drove two or three times a year to pull a trailer. We can't afford to use the trailer so we haven't used it in over a year so we decided to get rid of the truck. The trailer, while not necessary, does not cost much per month and may come in handy if anyone we know needs a place to live. But, to get rid of the truck he had to pay off the negative equity... which we didn't have sitting around. Most people that have lost homes didn't have time to downsize.. my dad has also had a second home on the market for over a year. Fortunately, he has it leased out so that helps but it's still not as much as the payment so it still costs each month to have it and it has lost it's equity... he's now upside down and I guess it's not a big deal if he can afford the shortfall every month to keep it. So far, he's hanging on. But, for how long?

Wait, did you vote FOR Obama?


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RE: Economy 101

Oh, I hope I didn't sound whiney. I am very well aware that what my family is experiencing is nothing compared to the times my Grandparents and Great Grandparents faced. I don't stress about it...it's only money, there'll be more.
I had a harder time as a single mom than we're having now for sure.
I just have to slightly disagree with the reports the recession is over and things are better now.. I'm not seeing that yet. I'm thankful for everything we have, even our debt. We have a house to live in, a car to drive, and food to eat. I know so many people have so much less than us.


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Mom2.5

LOLOLOL Was referring to early 80s, huge slow down in construction and economy, none of my friends husbands were working. Not the BIG one, altho I didnt miss THAT one by too much LOL...I voted for McCain, but did you ever see the movie White Palace with Susan Sarandon? She s answers at a dinner party when asked who she voted for, with...Dont really matter.We re all livin in S*** City anyway...Pretty well sums up my views these days.....


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RE: Economy 101

Yes, my dad went bankrupt in the early 80's. He owned an equipment rental company that relies on contractors & construction companies to survive... homeowners help but are usually cheap... they wanna do it themselves to save money. So, it isn't just lack of planning that cause downfall. He certainly learned his lesson because he saw this coming and did not buy any new equipment a couple of years ago like he usually does... now he doesn't have the payments he would normally have, but I don't think everyone could be prepared for this. Are you kidding? Even my dad is shocked by the magnitude of what has happened. To see major businesses like Mervyns, Circuit City, and I'm sure there are other major stores closing. To see dealership after dealership close and the manufacturers filing bankruptcy.. and the banks failing. This is WAY worse than the 80's and it's not likely to pass quickly enough to just 'stick it out for a while' and plan better after. It will be a LONG time to recover from this. Especially if the government takes over more than GM and healthcare.

I'd advise everyone to buckle down... MAYBE the worse is over but I'm not yet convinced.

They keep reporting that the economy is stalled because we are not spending... um, we all were spending... some of it on credit. Yeah, that stopped because of the way credit companies are jerking us around... credit companies owned by the banks... the banks that got handouts... err I mean bailouts.

If I hear one more person say spending is the only way out of this mess, I'll scream! It may be true... we need to put money back into circulation... but bailing out large companies... or even small ones is NOT the answer. You have to help consumers consume... then they can rent tables for their wedding so I can stay in business... so I can keep my suppliers in business. It does NO good to give my business a bailout if I'm gonna be in the same boat when it runs out... because I still have no customers. What do you think is going to happen when the banks aren't loaning money and they are cutting good customer's credit down and charging high interest and everyone decides to go to paying cash for everything?


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RE: Economy 101

LOL! Dotz, I was in preschool in the early 80's. I had no idea. That is so funny.


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RE: Economy 101

Ima, I agree with you.

The economy may have stopped falling, but I predict, at best a very very slow recovery.

I agree with hunkering down.

And I agree that the bailout money has been poorly spent. For example, while much of the bailout money to banks directly has been paid out, the billions that went to AIG was used to pay conterparties like Goldman Sachs and foreing banks 100 cents on the dollar. Disgraceful. I can understand loans to banks --even if they arent making loans, we do want them to stay in business and most of the big ones have repaid the loans. But the payments to AIG conterparties (a fancy word for unsecured creditors) was totatlly outrageous. GM creditors didnt get paid 100cents on the dollar. And I dont even understand why the dealerships were closed. Someone needs to explain to me why they cost the car companies anything.

And to think that the goverment might take over healthcare? When they couldnt even run cash for clunkers? A much simpler program? Give me a break.


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RE: Economy 101

It's called breaking down the free market..... The government took over GM and from what I understand, they are going to have big regional dealerships where you can buy a car and there are going to be satellite service centers so people can get service within a reasonable distance. That means that cars will eventually cost more because there will be no competition. If anyone else has hear that or a different reason, enlighten us...

DH said his dealership just got their banners in for the clunkers program when they announced it was done. Now, not only did they not get a piece of the pie, they are out the expense of the banners they have no use for. The Obama administration is a JOKE!


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RE: Economy 101

Ima, I can't imagine a quicker way to drive people into Honda's. Sorry about DH's dealerships.


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RE: Economy 101

The whole bailout mess makes me so mad I can't even speak about it...

Oh, and it looks like the dealerships will be able to use those banners since the program got a second wind last night.


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RE: Economy 101

Yes, vivian, but the program death and revival shows to me a lack of planning by our govt. Bad.


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RE: Economy 101

What is that second wind going to cost US?

What boggles my mind is how many commercials I have heard in the past few weeks that say... "Banks got their bailouts... now get yours!" and suggesting everyone put their hand out for some government program. I got a call about a grant program for small businesses... I see ads about mothers going back to school and getting grant money... turning your old car in for more than it's worth... there's this push for taking money from the government.

Does anyone out there think all these government sponsored programs are a good thing? I agree with the clunker program demonstrates the government's lack of planning.. or lack of understanding the value of a dollar. But, is it really the government's place to get involved in every aspect of our lives? There used to be a stigma about taking money from the government... but now I am seeing a trend where we are being asked to 'get ours' and take from the government... but what is the government? Taxpayers ~ OUR money!!! Now, they are dipping into future generations to pay for stupidity! That gives me an idea about how long it's going to take to recover from this mess... probably not in my lifetime.

Not to mention, scams are rising.. as if we don't have enough of that already. I get tons of daily emails about the various... supposedly real government money that is available to me. That's in addition to the scams that have become usual... asking me to claim an inheritance from a wealthy person that died, leaving no family.. and just happens to have my last name.

LMAO! If the government takes over healthcare... I'm just going to start planning & paying for my funeral.


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RE: Economy 101

Ok great the gov. is giving 4500 to get a car great ... now if people only had income to pay for cars ... or credit rating to finance a car ...

People who do have "secure" jobs and a great credit rating are not spending.


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RE: Economy 101

Actually, the cash for clunker is getting me into the dealership today, to see if I can let go of my 12 year old van...


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RE: Economy 101

We have not been affected at all by the economy, a combination of us being retired, having planned well for it and some good luck. We own 4 houses with no mortgage, 3 that are rentals with good paying tenants, draw S.S., and DH has a couple of retirements. I had one but the Raymond James Corp. bilked me (and a lot of others) out of it even though it was supposedly a guaranteed 6.5% return. They even took part of the principal. All 6 of our kids own homes, are doing well and don't live beyond their means. I can't see where the economy has affected this city (South AL). There are new businesses coming in constantly and although Circuit City closed another electronics store took its place. The many restaurants seem to all be crowded and traffic is congested. A music venue is being built that will have electronic bingo and that is expected to bring many people here which will boost the economy even more. My DD has a home in Pensacola FL and she says it has just dried up, no jobs, no houses selling, businesses closing.

My neighbors next door are in an entirely different situation than we are. They are retirement age and draw S.S. but have no retirement income and no savings. They had high paying jobs and liked to flaunt it, kept 5 new cars all the time, talked about their wealth, etc. They worked for the same company and when they lost their jobs everything went south. Now they have one car, filed bankruptcy and borrow money from us. They still don't manage what they have well. After just borrowing money they got a personalized tag. We don't consider something like that necessary if you're in a financial bind. One of my renters told me "it's not where you live, it's how you live". I think that's very true.

Good luck to any of you that are going through rough times. I hope things get better real soon.


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RE: Economy 101

"Yes, vivian, but the program death and revival shows to me a lack of planning by our govt. Bad."

I TOTALLY agree with you.


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RE: Economy 101

" "it's not where you live, it's how you live". I think that's very true."

I agree that's true... and those that have lived beyond their means are definitely taking the biggest hit when they were struggling to live paycheck to paycheck and were not prepared for what's happening.

But, it's shortsighted for anyone that owns real estate or stocks, to say they are unaffected. Even if your real estate is paid off... it has lost significant value. If your net worth had dropped significantly, you have been affected by the housing and stock markets. I don't think people realize unless they feel they HAVE to change their lifestyle, that they have been impacted. You may not care that your stocks went down (like kkny) because you are not relying on them for years... if ever. You may not care that your real estate lost value (like gajopa) because it is paid off and generating income.... and maybe those things will rebound... maybe. Hopefully it will in your lifetime, especially if you're counting on it for your own retirement or to leave as inheritance to your children. But, for anyone to say they have not been affected, I don't believe it. Being affected does not mean you have or are at risk of losing anything or everything. I'm sure there are some areas that feel it less than others... but overall, we are paying more in taxes, groceries, & fuel. And we will all be impacted one way or another if the government takes over our healthcare.

I got an email from SD's school a few weeks ago that due to budget cuts, the PE teacher would no longer be able to do PE with the elementary kids. A parent's group has formed and doing fundraisers to come up with enough money to pay for the PE teacher to stay on. The Sheriff's department in a nearby city cut 322 sworn positions and announced that if you are the victim of a property crime, they will probably not be able to investigate it. That means, you come home and your house has been ransacked, they will take a report for your insurance but not investigate to prosecute who did it. State employees have been furloughed. Yet, they are paying, with our tax money, $4500 to turn in a clunker. They have an extra 2 billion dollars for THAT, but the kids in SD's school district won't have a PE teacher. The school is having the regular classroom teachers rotate to do PE with the kids, unless the parents can raise the money to keep him on.

I'm just so sick of hearing of a budget crisis and in their next breath... here's a new government program! What's next?


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IMA - total tangent

In our district the PTA can't pay any part of a salary for a teacher, even if we fund raise and then give the funds to the school and they pay the teacher. Hoping your district is different, but just something you may want to check out before you get going. Good luck!


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RE: Economy 101

"Is there anyone out there that has NOT been affected?"

You asked the question, we answered. At least 3 of us say we haven't.

"But, it's shortsighted for anyone that owns real estate or stocks, to say they are unaffected. Even if your real estate is paid off... it has lost significant value."

That's a bit rude to call me shortsighted. I happen to know what real estate is doing here and my property value has actually gone up. Three homes close by mine have recently sold for a good bit more than similar ones did @ 3 years ago. There are new houses being built constantly all over the city and I don't think they would keep building if they weren't selling.

"If your net worth had dropped significantly, you have been affected by the housing and stock markets."

It hasn't, it's actually gone up, and no I'm not rich by any means, just an ordinary previously working person.

"...in my county, it's 18% and there are more vacant offices/buildings than thriving businesses."

It's 8.7% here and with the entertainment venue starting a lot of jobs will be added so it should drop. I know it's not like this everywhere but here businesses are being opened quite rapidly.

"Does anyone out there think all these government sponsored programs are a good thing?"

Absolutely not. When they started that I figured there would be a line waiting for theirs. I see no reason why there should be bailouts. I don't agree with much of anything the people in power are doing. It seems that way too many people expect the government to support the raising of their children. It never occured to me to expect help with mine. I had them and it was my responsibility. And then there's all the adults that would rather have a handout than work. My grandson's ex-wife has lived off free money from the feds for years. She has been reported for fraud but nothing was done, she's still getting it. She lives in an upscale community on the water, eats at fancy restaurants, lives with a guy that is also getting federal money. She wouldn't even think about working. That's just 2 of the many people I know of that does this.


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The problem

Gajopa, with you and me are we are just plain OLD, and Generation X and Duh and Y are expecting the Government to do for the kids today which we never would have expected...Culture them!! Take them to musuems, get art teachers(parents job) PE, oh seriously....Rich people, buy them a bike, middle class people, but them a jump rope(3 bucks) poor people, take them jogging in the park (FREE)Not crying for PE classes cut out, I went to a private school where PE was run around at the playground at lunch was PE, we had no gym...Not the governments job to give obese kids a workout in school when they are laying around on the computer eating junk food...Its wake up parent time...


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RE: Economy 101

I have never heard of PTA collecting any money fot the teachers. i don't even think it is legal. PTAs cannot pay teachers salaries.

our PTA sometimes buys pop or donuts to pass around at parent-teachers conferences. That's about it. I work for a very poor district, parents don't buy any school supplies and 99% of the kids are on free lunch, everyone is on welfare, most parents drink and do drugs on the weekends, so who is going to collect what.

But I worked previously for afluent districts and my DD attended a very afluent school, there was no collection for teachers either, if programs get cut, they get cut, parents can protest but they absolutelly cannot pay the teachers (in public schools I mean)!

DD attended high school with no PE by the way, you want physical activity for your kids you take your kid elsewhere after school.

But i did have students who believed that their parents (who mind you are on welfare and do not even work) collect money monthly, put it in envelope and pay us. when you ask them who told you that, they say my mom or dad told them. Those are the same mom and dad who show up drunk at parent-teachers conferences and embarass their kids. And those are the same kids who only eat free breakfast and lunch at school and eat nothing else the rest of the day, and we feed then when they hungry (buy them food) and collect clothing for them. But those are the same parents who tell their kids how they collect money for our salary. what a joke.


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dotz

"Rich people, buy them a bike, middle class people, but them a jump rope(3 bucks) poor people, take them jogging in the park (FREE)" LOL LOL your post made me laugh.

hahahahah hillarious.

I have a friend who complained that schools do not take kids to theaters and museums as much anymore. When I asked her why can't she buy tickets and take her own kid to a theater or to a museum, she almost fell of the chair. "ME???" hahahahah


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RE: Economy 101

Dotz, you are so right. The demands are way beyond reasonable.

Finedreams, I wish I could understand why someone, somewhere thinks the taxpayers should feed certain kids breakfast and lunch at school so the parents can use their welfare check to buy booze and drugs. And then there's free daycare after school to those same kids.


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RE: Economy 101

yes, that's how it works. I feel bad for the kids, but what is the finniest is that those same parents tell their poor confused children how they pay teachers salaries. this one mom has 8 or 9 kids and none of them lives with her (the address shows as hers but they don't live there), they all live with older siblings or aunts. I don't think she is drinking but she certainly never worked yet she is the one always telling her kids how teachers live so well because of her paying them.

On the subject how people can live so well on welfare, they all work for cash in family owned businesses, it is unregistered job and they pay no taxes. so it shows up that they have no income. In fact they certainly do have one.


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RE: Economy 101

Well I have read enough of the ignorance about the poor.
If some of you honestly think that the poor have a "better quality" of life than you, then whatever....go on ranting and raving.
But I do know that their quality of life if a far cry from the majority of the population. So I don't need to go around complaining about those children who have no choice in the matter. It doesn't make me a better person in any way shape or form. It also doesn't mean I know more about politics then the next person, so I have nothing to gain or lose.

Now...have we (my family) been affected by the economy?
Yes.
I already spoke about my ex getting laid off and starting his own business and how he had not paid CS for months. He is caught up now. Still hurt us in the months he did not pay. Why? Because we also have my SD whose mother does not pay us CS.
Also because my dh works for a metals recycling business and when the economy took a dump, it affected the world market as well. Over seas buyers quit buying metals. That meant the loss of quite a few jobs for the company my dh works for. Five at the branch he works. They started with the most recent hires and went from their. They stopped just short of my dh.
With the layoffs also went any overtime hours. Which was a very large chunk of my dh's paychecks. He gets at least 20 hours of overtime pay.
It hurt. Four six months it hurt...it still does, we are just now trying to get things straightened out. He has overtime back, and it is helping but with that many months without out it, we are so behind on bills.
We want to refinance our house, but we had some bills that had to be taken care of first....my parents were gracious enough to help us out there, and hopefully a refinance will go through. We don't qualify for the government program, so we are just hoping that it gets refinanced. The value of our house is over double what we paid for it, so that may be our saving grace. We hope.
The kids have gone without new things for awhile now. Not sure how the school supplies issue will go yet. My parents also helped out and bought some back to school clothing essentials for the kids. Which helped tremendously as my dd grew so much that nothing from last year will fit her at all.
Instead of the pool, we have a sprinkler (run off a well so we don't have to pay the extra water). No extras at all this year. I don't even think we will be taking them to the fair this year which starts next week. We just do not have that extra money right now.
The reason we keep the internet, is because it is a package deal and I also sell on ebay, and etsy, so I need to have access to my accounts. Although I have noticed a big decline in sales on both, but especially ebay since all this started. Now I only see sales at the start of each month, because everyone is tightening their belts. I will be selling my dd's small clothing on ebay this week and the profit from that will help me get her some new clothes that fit her. But that is what I normally do each season with her clothes anyway.
But that is our story.


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RE: Economy 7 more

Oh yeah, and we used to have extra money to have our vehicles maintained, but not so much any more. Our van was broke down for a week before we could get it running again. Dh did all the work and we bought some of the parts used, like the fuel pump, but we bought the fuel filter new. That was real fun for him to repair. Thank goodness for the long days of summer.
Plus theft has increased, because in two weeks we had two lawn mowers and one of the kids bicycles stolen out of our fenced lit up yard. It is craziness.


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RE: Economy 101

Yes. With business slowing down and legal work more scarce, my firm was forced to cut salaries. In the grand scheme of things, the decrease didn't need to necessarily make a dent in our lifestyle, but we've chosen to downsize anyhow so that our level of savings will remain the same despite the pay decrease --> fewer meals out, more movies at home, no large vacations for awhile, put a halt to decorating our new house, etc. CS is coming more irregularly but I think that's just because the ex puts (and has always put) his family expenses above CS because he feels its ok since I make a decent living.


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RE: Economy 101

Wild thing, Just to clarify, was not trying to be flip and poor bash...I just think a school day would be better off not wasting time on PE or art class,these are things that were done after school back in the day...When so many kids today cant find anything on a map, read, write, spell, I think instruction should be increased....( BTW my DS is an artist ;))and I still think these classes should be cut..I took him to Art class at the library after school and on Saturdays at no cost.....Hope things pick up for you economy wise...


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RE: Economy 101

The point I was trying to make regarding the school budget cutting PE out... well, the point was missed. Or maybe it was intentionally misdirected because the point is that just about every night on the news, there are talks about the budget crisis, loss of school funding, raising college tuition, cutting police & firefighters, closing DMV, furloughing workers, etc. on and on... and then they announce a program to give $4500 to people for turning in a clunker with a million strings attached. If people could afford to or really wanted to drive a better car, they would. $4500 of taxpayer money, when they are cutting out police, fire and school programs?

There is no reason to cut ANYTHING out from schools. For the last ten years at least, I have been given a long list of school supplies to buy the kids for back to school... most of which SD didn't even use last year. They want the parents to buy supplies that the schools provided when I was a kid... fine. It is the parent's job to buy the supplies.. I agree with that. (but they did give me a notebook, pencil & crayons on the first day of school every year during elementary school... not anymore) Then we go to back to school night and are given another list of items the teacher would like donated to the classroom... a teacher's wish list. Again, the school budget cuts are mentioned... it was one of my pet peeves, teachers complaining that they are underpaid... schools complaining that there is no money in the budget for anything.. cutting programs & field trips. I am not going to argue whether those are things kids should be entitled to or not.. I take my kids to the missions, the museums, art center, concerts, and historical sites. My kids played little league, went to dance class and we went to the park nearly every weekend. We had a pool & they swam all the time. They didn't rely on school for exercise but I thought PE was more than exercise.. it's physical education. They wouldn't have to cut anything if the teachers weren't constantly demanding raises. I know teachers don't make a lot for the amount of education they had to get or for spending all day in classes with 20+ kids. It's stressful and it's one reason I never even dreamed of wanting to be a teacher... NO WAY! But if you research careers and you know those are the hours (they have excellent work hours) nights/weekends and all summer off.. you know what they earn.. and if you still choose to make that your career, why would you complain about the pay or working conditions? I've seen the same thing in other careers, so I'm not picking on teachers, but I chose my career and with it comes good and bad. I choose to stay until the bad is not worth it and I'll do something else. But, I do get sick of hearing about things being cut and then the government is going to dole out money on something I don't see is beneficial.

and dotz, if the kids cannot find anything on a map, read, write or spell... don't you think the parents have the responsibility to work on those things at home too? School is a place for instruction, and PE is just 30 minutes of instruction where the kids are able to get a taste of things they would not otherwise have a chance to do. We played each sport for a week or two... then we would know if it's something we want to sign up for in a league. Just as we spent a small amount of time doing art or music... enough to see if there is an interest or talent. Hopefully nobody expects schools to teach kids every little thing and understand they learn mostly from their parents/role models at home. As a kid, I had every subject every day... my kids were put on block scheduling so they had some subjects one day.. others the next... and eventually, they didn't have this subject or that subject and there is something wrong with that system. Teachers, back in the day, could teach all subjects in a day and we'd go home and work on our homework, not play video games... then we'd go play outside. There is something wrong with the system when they are collecting more taxes but schools cannot afford to provide quality instruction.. and they drop programs.

And it was insulting to single out obese children because all children benefit from PE... being thin does not make someone fit. and I don't know where the poor bashing began but the school SD goes to is not welfare families wanting free anything... we live in a fairly affluent community and no, the PTA is not raising money to fund this... some parents have formed a community group that is not associated with the school district or PTA. Not sure if it's a valid organization or if they are allowed to contribute to a teachers salary... um, speaking of that, he is a teacher... if PE is just running around... why do PE teachers need a college degree?

But, then again the point of my post was not about the school losing a PE teacher, I'm more upset about the sworn officers let go and the firefighters & firehouses closing. We live in a rural community where if there is a fire, there is brush and forest that burns rapidly... I'm a bit more concerned about that, than PE. Oh yeah... and to add insult to injury... they are going to refer to your older car as a clunker... gotta love it!


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RE: Economy 101

"I work for a very poor district, parents don't buy any school supplies and 99% of the kids are on free lunch, everyone is on welfare, most parents drink and do drugs on the weekends, so who is going to collect what."

Amazing .... good thing for poor people or you would be out of a job too.

Poverty level in america family of 4 is $22,050

So if you are making federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour working 40 hours a weeks gross earnings is $15,080 Two wage earners in the household household wouldn't be able to get any help.

So lets say a single mom with one kid ... she should qualify for a boat load of free programs right? guess again

Making $7.25 an hour she earns the same $15,080
Family of 2 ...$14,570 guess what she doesn't qualify for any help she is SOL.


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RE: Economy 101

"There is no reason to cut ANYTHING out from schools."

ima, I agree with that totally, very important programs are cut and neither teachers nor students can do anything about it. I teach high school so it is a bit different because we have to provide courses for graduation, but everything else gets cut.

pseudo these people do not work, and if they do it is for cash only in family owned businesses (so they can receive assistance as unemployed), most women have multiple children with different men. some have as many as 5-6 children with no men in sight. or they have many children wiht that same man but they are not married and supposedly he lives elsewhere. majority are on drugs and drink heavily. i do know that people who work even for minimum wages (legally work not for cash) do not qualify for anything. but if you keep giving birth every year-two and have no income you'll get stuff. and if children have disabilities you'll get SS for them and live off that.

no, single people wiht one child do not qualify for anything. But I am not talking about working single mother with one child.

in a long run who suffers? of course children. but do these parents care, no, they think it is OK to send kids to school with no coat and hungry. nice. luckily we have clothes drive regurarly etc The biggest dream most of our students have is to get out of the community and move on with their lives and never live as they parents do, some will, but some won't. some get pregnant in 9th grade and so it continues. painful.


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wild thing

"If some of you honestly think that the poor have a "better quality" of life than you, then whatever....go on ranting and raving."

of course they don't. how could they possibly have better quality of life? my concern is for suffering children because they certainly have very low quality of life, half hungry etc


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imamommy

"For the last ten years at least, I have been given a long list of school supplies to buy the kids for back to school... most of which SD didn't even use last year. They want the parents to buy supplies that the schools provided when I was a kid... fine. It is the parent's job to buy the supplies.. I agree with that. (but they did give me a notebook, pencil & crayons on the first day of school every year during elementary school... not anymore) Then we go to back to school night and are given another list of items the teacher would like donated to the classroom... a teacher's wish list. "

imamommy, I think your SD probably attends afluent school district. i always bought everything for DD, never ever school provided anything. also at a high school level i had to pay Internet usage fee, library usage fee and other stuff. she never got anything from school district, and I never knew she was supposed to. she attended two different districts and both were the same way.

where i work though we don't ask for anything and provide all of the supplies. at the beginning of the year school provides it but during the year school gives us nothing, so we buy with our own money. if we don't buy, students would not have anything to write on or with. some kids buy their own stuff but not too many.

My point is there is a HUGE difference in different districts. If you would move SD to a low social-economic area (I don't suggest you do) you would see a different picture. maybe they ask for all that in SD's school because they know parents can afford it?


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RE: Economy 101

"maybe they ask for all that in SD's school because they know parents can afford it?"

Maybe that is true, I don't know why they ask for it. But, we also are expected to pay for bus passes, which cost around $150 a year per student. Thank goodness we only have one but when my kids were all in high school when I moved here, it was 3 of them and I was a single parent. And it's rural foothills so it's very difficult to just drive them to school. I grew up in this area. I went to elementary school and middle school here... and I always got basic supplies given to me by my teacher and bus service was not charged. Aren't schools funded from property taxes? In our county, good luck finding a run down fixer upper for under $250k. A decent basic home is around $250-300k. Most homes are $500k to million dollar ones (and they are not mansions) but property values are very high here. (During the boom, those $250k homes were going for $350-400k, so those are the current values) and if they are collecting property taxes on mostly million dollar homes, I would think that money goes directly into the schools in THAT community and therefore, they would have more local money than poorer areas that get more state and federal government funding. Maybe I am not understanding how schools are funded, but I think it penalizes parents that work hard if they only make affluent families pay for those things.

I'm not bashing the poor. I know their quality of life for the most part is not great... but I have to say that some do have it better. I don't think it's fair to generalize and say they all work under the table or cheat the system though. Personally, I'd like to see them abolish welfare. I saw a lot of fraud being committed and abuse of 'disability' status... lots people claiming to be disabled, yet having more children. I also saw parents have their children diagnosed ADD/ADHD to get them on SSI because that gave them more money than welfare. I had one client that made more than my BF & I combined (He was a deputy & I was a social service worker) and she had three kids on SSI, she got welfare for herself.. food stamps, housing and other benefits. She claimed she could not work because she was needed at home to care for her ADHD kids that were in school. She could have worked while they were in school, even if it were part time, but she got a pass because of liberal rules. But, there were truly needy people that hit hard times... lost jobs, house burned down, death of a partner, divorce, etc. The difference is that the ones that I feel deserve help the most are the ones that are trying to help themselves. If they are going to school, working min. wage jobs, and trying to get ahead, it doesn't bother me to pay their daycare, help with transportation, feed kids at school, or even pay their rent. If they are working to better their lives, give them help to become independent members of society... they become taxpayers. If they got rid of the welfare system and put all that money into improving the unemployment and disability systems... only those that were truly disabled should get help and only those that work and pay into it would get help when they are between jobs. If you are healthy enough to have a baby... you are healthy enough to work, even if it's just answering phones. I don't begrudge someone that hit's hard times and needs temporary help but they need to do something to help themselves too.


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why penalize working families?

"maybe they ask for all that in SD's school because they know parents can afford it?"

Maybe that is true, I don't know why they ask for it. But, we also are expected to pay for bus passes, which cost around $150 a year per student. Thank goodness we only have one but when my kids were all in high school when I moved here, it was 3 of them and I was a single parent. And it's rural foothills so it's very difficult to just drive them to school. I grew up in this area. I went to elementary school and middle school here... and I always got basic supplies given to me by my teacher and bus service was not charged. Aren't schools funded from property taxes? In our county, good luck finding a run down fixer upper for under $250k. A decent basic home is around $250-300k. Most homes are $500k to million dollar ones (and they are not mansions) but property values are very high here. (During the boom, those $250k homes were going for $350-400k, so those are the current values) and if they are collecting property taxes on mostly million dollar homes, I would think that money goes directly into the schools in THAT community and therefore, they would have more local money than poorer areas that get more state and federal government funding. Maybe I am not understanding how schools are funded, but I think it penalizes parents that work hard if they only make affluent families pay for those things.

I'm not bashing the poor. I know their quality of life for the most part is not great... but I have to say that some do have it better. I don't think it's fair to generalize and say they all work under the table or cheat the system though. Personally, I'd like to see them abolish welfare. I saw a lot of fraud being committed and abuse of 'disability' status... lots people claiming to be disabled, yet having more children. I also saw parents have their children diagnosed ADD/ADHD to get them on SSI because that gave them more money than welfare. I had one client that made more than my BF & I combined (He was a deputy & I was a social service worker) and she had three kids on SSI, she got welfare for herself.. food stamps, housing and other benefits. She claimed she could not work because she was needed at home to care for her ADHD kids that were in school. She could have worked while they were in school, even if it were part time, but she got a pass because of liberal rules. But, there were truly needy people that hit hard times... lost jobs, house burned down, death of a partner, divorce, etc. The difference is that the ones that I feel deserve help the most are the ones that are trying to help themselves. If they are going to school, working min. wage jobs, and trying to get ahead, it doesn't bother me to pay their daycare, help with transportation, feed kids at school, or even pay their rent. If they are working to better their lives, give them help to become independent members of society... they become taxpayers. If they got rid of the welfare system and put all that money into improving the unemployment and disability systems... only those that were truly disabled should get help and only those that work and pay into it would get help when they are between jobs. If you are healthy enough to have a baby... you are healthy enough to work, even if it's just answering phones. I don't begrudge someone that hit's hard times and needs temporary help but they need to do something to help themselves too.


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RE: Economy 101

We have also been affected by the economy, not terribly, but somewhat. I would agree with both sides of the luck vs. planning argument. When it comes to our circumstances.

First, I started working at my company right before things started getting bad. My job is in Commercial Real Estate, so my Company has been very affected by the downturn (which I guess you could see as unlucky for me to have chosen this field). I make a pretty decent salary, but not great. I have quite a bit of experience in my field, but did not have experience with my particular job, so I started out as somewhat of an assistant to someone with a more senior position than mine in order to learn the ropes. Since I started, my responsibility has increased exponentially, however, because of hiring/raise freezes, my salary has not increased. However, I am in a position now where I'm able to earn monthly bonuses based on the profit our office brings in and that has helped to increase my pay somewhat, despite the salary freeze. I have been able to maintain a position with my company even though we have had several rounds of lay-offs within our company and my office, in particular has decreased by 1/3. I attribute that to planning and hard work. I did not have seniority over most of those who were let go, but I think that my work ethic saved me. My husband has been very lucky with respect to his job. He works for a union (of which neither of us are a fan because jobs are strictly seniority based rather than merit based). He has been lucky to just barely have missed being furloughed a few times and he has actually been able to get a couple of pay increases since the downturn.

I also think it is hard, as a young person these days because if you are just starting out, the market is saturated with experienced workers and there is so much competition that it is difficult to get a leg-up. There are so many Baby-Boomers that are putting off retirement. Even more so since the market took a downturn. Add to that, the fact that if you do well at all, you pay at least 1/3 of your income to Uncle Sam. It really is hard to get ahead and to find anything extra to put into savings. On top of that, as young people we are paying into Social Security and we will most likely not ever see any return on that as the system is scheduled to go broke within the next 5-10 years. So I guess if you are just getting started right now, that is unlucky. However, if you work hard and are motivated, I think you can overcome any obstacles in your path.


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ima

I think that the reason that taxes are going up, meanwhile services are declining is because there are fewer people paying taxes right now. If your home has been foreclosed on, you are not going to be paying your property taxes, although generally, the bank would then become responsible for payment of those taxes. Also, in many areas, those services are supplemented by sales taxes, which have declined since consumption has declined. Many States also help to fund those services with State Income Tax. If there is no income, taxes won't be paid. So the burden falls to those of us who are still paying and taxes are increased. I think there are several programs in need of reform and government should be forced to make difficult cuts in hard times just as business are forced to do the same. I think there are far more areas that could be cut/reduced rather than focusing on schools, police and firefighters, because those areas are more legitimate functions of government than many of the other programs, such as welfare, that are being funded with our tax dollars. There are far too many people who take advantage of the welfare program as it stands now and the fraud and waste needs to be reigned in.

I completely agree with you about all of these government programs. I believe if the government allowed us to keep a larger portion of the money we earn, that we would be able to consume more and fuel the economy. The government, however, does not think we are capable of spending our money the way that they think we should, therefore they start these ridiculous programs that squander our hard earned money.


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RE: Economy 101

blah blah blah...blah blah


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RE: Economy 101

Nice, really nice. I bet you are a real joy to have as a stepmother.


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RE: Economy 101

Raek, I agree with you as to govt waste. The problem I see is how do we take care of all the 1-5 YOs, who clearly have done nothing wrong to justify going without food or shelter, without rewarding irresponsible parents.


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kkny...

I absolutely agree. It is terrible that the deadbeat parents of those children benefit when they continue to have children they cannot and will not support. What's even worse is when the parents get the money/support, but they still don't properly care for those children. I think the system is terribly flawed and it would be nice if some of the politicians would acknowledge that and do something about it.


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Ashley....

I meant to mention this in my prior post. My credit cards also raised my interest rates to an ungodly high amount. I gave them the a call the other day and asked that the rate be lowered. They did it with no questions asked. You may want to suggest that FDH does the same. Also, they usually won't work with you if you close the account and then ask them to lower it, plus it's better for your credit if you do not close them, especially if you are not paying an annual fee for keeping it open. Just some food for thought.


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RE: Economy 101

I honestly think that most of those people would not have more children if there was no welfare, if there were no programs that reward them. They would think twice before having a baby if they actually had to get off their butt and get a job to take care of them.

In CA, they implemented welfare reform several years ago. They sent out notices.. to be fair, they sent the notices 10 months prior to the start date, letting welfare recipients know that they would not get more money for additional children if they received welfare during the 9 months prior to the child's birth... which would presumably mean the child was conceived while the parents were on welfare. The number of pregnancies instantly spiked. I mean we started getting several calls a day to report new pregnancies... welfare mothers were hurrying up to get pregnant so they would have their child before the cutoff.. one more kid. )obviously, it wasn't all welfare moms, but many did)

RE: deadbeat parents. Perhaps some of these guys that have babies all over, would not procreate all over if they were held responsible.. put in jail. I sit in court and see father after father get slaps on the wrist, giving excuses and getting chance after chance... and those are only the ones that get caught/found/or show up. Maybe mothers would also think twice about making kids they dump off on the father or their parents to raise... make them work for a welfare check (including NCP that doesn't pay support) if they are not going to get a job and support the child...


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RE: Economy 101

Ima, I can top you. In my state, years ago, the state medical plan paid for invitro fertilizaiton for women on welfare. They stopped when people complained.


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RE: Economy 101

wild_thing, I'm with you. The nonsensical rants on this thread regarding the poor and government programs requires no further response than a "blah blah blah" or "whatever" with a capital W. My only further response would be a reminder that the world is not black and white like those ranting seem to think it is.


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RE: Economy 101

wild_thing, I'm with you. The nonsensical rants on this thread regarding the poor and government programs requires no further response than a "blah blah blah" or "whatever" with a capital W.

Indeed. I don't come here for political views. I could give a sh*t what you all think about those things. Go tell it to your congressmen! You aren't going to accomplish anything ranting here.
So kiss my sweet A$$ raek. what does any of this garbage have to do with me being a stepmom????????? Yeah, thats what I thought!


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Wild Thing

Then go to another post. Like I said, I'll bet your SD thinks you are just sunshine and roses to be around everyday. Poor thing. You think she should exercise every bit of personal responsibility in her life, but tax payers should just throw money out the window for dead-beats who take no personal responsibility for themselves or the children they create. And I doubt your A$$ is very sweet, so I think I'll pass, but thanks a bunch for the offer. It's about attitude, your little "blah, blah, blah" post along with your latest rants about your SD shows it all.


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RE: Economy 101

"Then go to another post"

Ditto!

Nobody is forced to read anything. The original post stated: "this thread is to discuss current economic conditions and how it's affecting our families... so, it's semi step related since most of us are in stepfamilies."

"Indeed. I don't come here for political views."

There is a thread on annulments & religion, you didn't go yell at them for sharing their religious views?


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RE: Economy 101

"In my state, years ago, the state medical plan paid for invitro fertilizaiton for women on welfare."

Is that true?!

GRRRRR. That makes me MAD. I have GOOD private health insurance through Blue Cross--have had the same policy for me and DD for 7 years now. I've never had a problem with it.

BUT I have no infertility coverage. Private health insurance plans never cover infertility. Large group plans usually cover something, but often not much. My policy covered diagnostic procedures, but that was it---we did three medicated IUI cycles and they cost about $700-800/per cycle. All out of pocket. We will not be able to conceive without IVF and that's around 10-12K for ONE cycle. Given the court expenses we've had, we had to put IVF off until this fall, and even that is not for sure, not for monetary reasons now, but I just want to get things straight with DH and how we plan to *handle* BM before we add another child. I think we need some time in counseling and some changes before....it sucks, though, because I hear "tick tock" and I keep looking at DD and thinking I never wanted such a huge age gap between my children. Oh well. It is what it is at this point.

I am appalled that the state would actually finance IVF for someone receiving welfare! wow.


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RE: Economy 101

Raek you can still kiss my A$$. Are you a perfect step mother? Bet you have not been doing it for as long as I have, or have the issues that I have to deal with. So we can go round and round if you wish. No skin off my back. I posted my opinion, if you don't like it. then move along and go bash someone else, you aren't anything but a hater in my opinion.

There is a thread on annulments & religion, you didn't go yell at them for sharing their religious views?

No, but I could if it would make you happy to think that I am an equal opportunity kind of person. I think that thread is just as ridiculous as some of the garbage in this one, but hey that is just my opinion. Take it or leave it. Or kiss it lol.


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RE: Economy 101

Love, they stopped, when people not on Welfare found out. Unbeleivable. You have famlies who cant take care of the kids they have, and they want more??


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RE: Economy 101

"Take it or leave it. Or kiss it lol."

Exactly! Take it or leave it or kiss it! Why not take your own advice?


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Wild Thing

I am not a step mother. I'm a step daughter. I came to this site to talk about my relationship with her and the hardships she caused on me and my relationship with my dad. So although I have no experience as a step parent, I do see things from your SD's perspective. So, even though I'm not a Step Mother, I know all about Step Mothers who are full of venom, who can never admit when they are in the wrong, and who are hateful just for the sake of being hateful. By the way, I'm not saying all Step Mothers are that way, and most I find in this forum are not, but that is my impression of you, based on your attitude and the things you have posted about your SD.

My point is that if you don't want to read the opinion of other people about politics, step relations, or anything else, then don't read them. If you have a constructive argument about what they say, then by all means, voice your opinion, but the "blah, blah, blah", that is disrespectful and equivalent to a little kid putting their fingers in their ears and saying "I'm not listening, I'm not listening, La La La".

If you don't want to read about politics, I strongly suggest that you stay away from threads titled Economy, Health Care, Taxes, or Welfare. I also suggest that you stay away from watching the news or reading the paper. That way you can stay blissfully unaware and continue to vote based on your emotions rather than on logic or knowledge about the political issues at hand. You can continue to think that all wealthy people are evil and all poor people are victims.

Again, I respectfully decline your offer of kissing your A$$. But thanks, again, for the offer. Take care now.


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RE: Economy 101

I'm not going to comment on w_t as a step-parent, but raek, your entire paragraph re: politics, etc. is not based in logic and entirely contradictory. Because she disagrees with a lot of what is being said on this thread she is "vot[ing] based on [her] emotions rather than on logic or knowledge?" So the opinions expressed on here are the end all and be all on all these topics you mentioned? And I have not seen anything by w_t on this thread that would suggest that she believes that "all wealthy people are evil and all poor people are victims." In fact, I would argue that this thread is full of irrational emotional rank generalizations and speculation, which is why I agree with w_t that it does not warrant a serious response. There is nothing rational about saying (1) that because some people abuse government programs that we should get rid of all such programs, (2) that some poor people have it good, and (3) something to the effect that any self-respecting person should pick themselves up by the bootstraps and manage without government assistance regardless of the circumstances. But that is what I have been reading on here and quite frankly, I find much of what has been said on this thread to be downright appalling. (I am well-educated, financially well-off and fairly liberal-leaning).


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RE: Economy 101

I do not oppose government assistance, i am very much for government assisatnce for those in need and I am in support of national health coverage (yes, i am) but I oppose people having babies every year so they can stay on welfare. i don't think making babies nonstop and perpetuate poverty is liberal, it is just stupid and selfish.

overall i think we do not have to agree, we all come from different walks of life, why do we have to agree? we can all have different opinions on economy and politics. I don't see anyone saying anything appaling, just different views.


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Marie

If it does not warrant a serious response, nobody is forcing anybody to respond at all. It's rude to respond the way she did.

I believe, based on her response that she doesn't care to hear anybody's opinion but her own on any issues, that leads me to believe that she is not open to discussion about anything. I might be opinionated, but I'm also open to learning and hearing what other people have to say about things and I believe that is the only way you can truly grow in your knowledge of the topics. Labeling me a "hater" because she doesn't like what she hears is typical of people who can't make a logical argument as to their beliefs and so they try to label any opposing opinions as "hate speech".

I think you are putting words in peoples mouths. Nobody said the programs should be illuminated, just reformed. I also don't believe that anybody said anything about circumstances not warranting assistance sometimes. I'll admit that sometimes it does. It should not be a permanent solution for a healthy person to rely on the tax-payers indefinitely.

I think some poor people do have it good. I think you would be hard pressed to find many poor people in this country who do not own a cell phone or a television. I personally know somebody who is on welfare and who continues to have children (pregnant with No. 5 now, by 3 different looser fathers), does drugs, smokes and takes no responsibility for herself or her children. Her 4 year old child is still not potty trained. Do I think she has a wonderful lifestyle? No. Would I trade places with her? No. Did she choose her life? Yes. Could she change it if she wanted to? Yes. Would she even think of lifting a finger to change her circumstances? No. Is she too lazy and selfish? Absolutely. So, you are wrong when you say that it is not rational to say that some poor people have it good. If they didn't enjoy their life style, they would work to change it. Nobody said all poor people in this country have it good. I would argue that most of the poor people in this country have far better quality of life than many middle-class people in other countries.


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RE: Economy 101

well, I did say welfare should be abolished...

but I also worked in the welfare department for ten years and saw first hand, the abuse that goes on while the agency turns a blind eye... there aren't enough investigators or money to prosecute all the fraud cases.. so they pick & choose who to make an example of or do nothing. People that committed fraud but are not prosecuted continue to collect welfare. When workers have 300 cases/families to oversee, they can't possibly verify that every family is playing by the rules, so they rely on honesty. Even when they know the family is defrauding the government, there is not enough resources to stop it or prosecute. Every case I ever closed because they were ineligible or committing fraud was reopened after the defrauder filed an appeal. We were instructed to write up over payments and deduct it from future benefits, but that's it... very few cases were actually filed in criminal court. None of mine ever were and I had lots of fraud referrals that should have been prosecuted. Some wrote confessions and still, were never prosecuted. As a taxpayer, I have a right to opinion how I would like my tax money spent. I'd rather see hard working people get help when they hit a bump, not give it to someone that wants to have a baby every five years so they can stay on the dole. Not only are those people being lazy & selfish, they teach their kids to be that way and then you get generational welfare families.

But, this thread is about a specific subject and if you think it's a stupid subject and the posts here do not deserve a serious response, then why is someone bothering to come here with an immature response? It only reinforces the idea that WT is rude and immature. How do you respect someone that can only respond with 'blah blah blah'? I can only imagine what her SD has to deal with.


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raek

"I personally know somebody who is on welfare and who continues to have children (pregnant with No. 5 now, by 3 different looser fathers), does drugs, smokes and takes no responsibility for herself or her children."

I know very very many. You describe parents of my students. Almost all of them. And yes of course they have TV, cell phone, and other stuff...I wish welfare was for people who trully needs it. But what is the solution? I don't know. It bugs me when trully ill people cannot obtain SSI yet someone can get everything, how do they do it...

as about blah blah blah, it is childish, don't like it debate it or say nothing.


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finedreams...

I think drug testing for welfare recipients would be a step in the right direction. Also, I think a system more like WIC, where the parents are given coupons they can use for specific items such as healthy food, milk, etc. along with regular monitoring of the health and well being of the children would be a step in the right direction. I agree that the solution would not be easy, but something needs to be done.


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RE: Economy 101

I agree, something needs to be done. I keep thinking that in order to receive welfare long term (not in dire need, quick situations), on top of drug testing etc, that recipients should be working for the county/state to pay off. The county should be keeping a tab. Clean up roads, mow govt property etc This would motivate the people who stay on welfare for years to get off of it.


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RE: Economy 101

nivea, in CA they began fingerprinting welfare recipients a few years ago.. ok, several years ago and the number of people on aid went down. One of the reasons: People were applying in more than one county and had cases in several counties and when they started fingerprinting, they were told that it was going into a statewide system to verify if they are aided in another county... so, they did not want to risk getting caught and many closed their cases.. and new applications went down. The federal government has rules that make certain felons ineligible for federally funded programs, like food stamps. Drug offenders cannot get food stamps or student financial aid.

It sickens me to think of how much money is spent to deter fraud (fingerprinting system, income verification systems, and even though it isn't nearly enough, they have a fraud unit and overpayment workers that do nothing but spend all day writing up over paid benefits and sending it to a collections department!)... that money that could be used for truly needy families.

At least in CA, they are requiring recipients to work or do unpaid work hours to get their benefits. But, then many still claim to be disabled, etc.


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RE: Economy 101

I'm not going to comment on w_t as a step-parent, but raek, your entire paragraph re: politics, etc. is not based in logic and entirely contradictory. Because she disagrees with a lot of what is being said on this thread she is "vot[ing] based on [her] emotions rather than on logic or knowledge?" So the opinions expressed on here are the end all and be all on all these topics you mentioned? And I have not seen anything by w_t on this thread that would suggest that she believes that "all wealthy people are evil and all poor people are victims." In fact, I would argue that this thread is full of irrational emotional rank generalizations and speculation, which is why I agree with w_t that it does not warrant a serious response. There is nothing rational about saying (1) that because some people abuse government programs that we should get rid of all such programs, (2) that some poor people have it good, and (3) something to the effect that any self-respecting person should pick themselves up by the bootstraps and manage without government assistance regardless of the circumstances. But that is what I have been reading on here and quite frankly, I find much of what has been said on this thread to be downright appalling. (I am well-educated, financially well-off and fairly liberal-leaning).

I thought it needed repeating :)


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RE: Economy 101

Please see above for my prior response. No need to repeat what I already said.


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RE: Economy 101 & 102

Since you all either want me in the fray or out, here is my opinion on it then. It is just that, an opinion, that will do not good here at all. Just another post in a long ranting thread about our economy. A post that has nothing to do with the original topic, but my first post did however so if anyone wants to know how the economy affected our family then you can refer to that one....otherwise you probably will want to just skip the rest because it is just a long rambling opinion.

The state of today's economy in my own opinion is sh*t. You won't learn anything new from me, it won't change your life or your view etc.
I think the govt should have stopped giving hand outs to big business. Stop bailing out banks and auto industries. Should have put that money back into the people's pockets and watch them spend it. That would have boosted our economy. I love that the CEO's of the auto industries arrived in their big new jets to get their hand outs. Ooops, was everyone watching?? I think the housing market is a shambles. I think they screwed a lot of families with the ARM's and it shouldn't have been like that. They should have worked with the families, and not waited until it was too late. I think that our stock market is still sh*t and it had an effect on the global economy as well not just our own. I think they should quit sending our jobs overseas. I think they should close the borders. I think they should deport illegal citizens. I think we should have affordable healthcare . I think that welfare reform doesn't work as well as they thought it should.
What can I do about it? I will keep on voting.


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RE: Economy 101

Raek, I agree with you on drug testing. The point of welfare is to make life better for children. The persons takind care of kids should be subject to this.

If you have infants, I am not certain what work you can do, but I would require regular medical and dental checkups and school attendance for all children under 10. After that age, is it harder to put it all on the parents. JMO.


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Wow, Wild Thing

Much of what you said I agree with. I also think that the money is better off in the pockets of the people who earned it and not with the Banks, Auto Industries, etc. I think the Banks are causing their own problems when they refuse to work with anybody until they are at least 3 months behind on their mortgages. They also don't seem to have a clue what properties they currently own and which they do not. It's a mess all around.

I also think we should have affordable health care and I think that there are ways to do that without nationalizing it.


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RE: Economy 101

"I also think we should have affordable health care and I think that there are ways to do that without nationalizing it"

I wholeheartedly agree.

What scares me is that this socialized healthcare program will put all the big insurance companies out of business---maybe not initially, but certainly within 10-20 years. That is a frightening thought. I personally don't want the government running my health care because anytime the government runs anything, it is a total bureaucratic nightmare.

I think one thing that would help the cost of healthcare is to put caps on all medical malpractice lawsuits. That is one thing that's really driving up costs. Another idea would be to set up some sort of free/low cost clinics and doctor's offices for people on a govt. plan.

One thing that really has heightened the health care crisis is emergency room visits. People who do not have insurance can still always be seen and treated at an ER. So then they skip out on the bill and who winds up paying---we do.

If there were clinics and doctor's offices for people with no or govt. insurance, this would cut down on unneccessary (and expensive!) ER visits.

I don't profess to know much about any of this, so I don't know if any of these ideas make sense...but it certainly seems to me we should at least something before going straight to socialized medicine.


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RE: Economy 101

I don't know...

DD can go and see any doctor for free, no lines, no commotion, paying nothing. Not dental care though (it is really bad in UK by the way) but any other care is free and is always there and medication is cheap. i feel good that any time DD is sick, and she does get sick quiet a lot, she has no problem to get free care immidiatelly. Her GF had to go to emergency recently, they were taken care of immidiatelly, no endless waiting or commotion wiht insurance, she stayed in the hospital for free for as much as she needed, and care was good, and everything was done what needed to be done etc i suspect it is not perfect but better than not having health care.


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RE: Economy 101

Finedreams...

I understand what you are saying, but it wasn't really free when your DD went to the doctor. It may not have cost her at the time of her visit, but somebody paid for it. Maybe it was her dad, out of his income by way of taxes. Maybe it was some stranger who paid for it.

I just had surgery for cervical cancer and I am thankful that I live in this country. I didn't have to pay anything for my surgery because I have insurance and only payed minimal co-pays for the original doctor visits for the diagnosis. I also didn't have to wait very long from the time of diagnosis to the time of treatment. I'm not sure that would be true if I lived elsewhere and if I were relying on government to take care of me.

Canadian and British patients wait about twice as longsometimes more than a yearto see a specialist, have elective surgery such as hip replacements, or get radiation treatment for cancer. All told, 827,429 people are waiting for some type of procedure in Canada. In Britain, nearly 1.8 million people are waiting for a hospital admission or outpatient treatment.

Statistics show that Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the United Kingdom and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher. Breast cancer mortality in Canada is 9 percent higher than in the United States, prostate cancer is 184 percent higher, and colon cancer among men is about 10 percent higher.

Lovehadley...I think you are right. I think the high costs of malpractice insurance adds significantly to health care costs.

I also think that if the state governments eased mandates on insurance, it would help. What I mean is that if I did not plan on ever having children, or if I could not get pregnant, I couldn't buy an insurance policy that did not cover me for pregnancy in my state. If I didn't drink or do drugs, and did not want to be covered for addiction treatment, I could not buy a policy in my state without that coverage. These mandates increase the cost of health insurance.

I also think that individuals should be allowed to deduct the cost of their health insurance. As it stands now, only employers can do that now.


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RE: Economy 101

Raek, I agree with you re state mandates. It burns me up when the Obama crowd talk about how employer provided health care encourages employees to go for "Cadillac" plans. THEY KNOW BETTER -- THEY KNOW THE REASON IS STATE MANDATES. My employer would rather not cover a number of things -- but has no choice.


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RE: Economy 101

I would just like to add, state mandates effect mostly small businesses and individuals. Large busisneses self-insure under federal law and Erisa pre-empts state mandates. So the businesses least able to bear the burden are the ones that pay it.


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raek

My DD's dad never lived in UK and pays no taxes there. DD lives in UK, not her dad. She works and pays taxes, but it is besides the point. Of course health care there is paid by taxes, but people work in the US and pay taxes too yet have no health care. You got your cervical problems treated and I got mine treated but people who were laid off and lost their jobs don't get treated. That's my point. When I lost my insurance i immidiatelly got sick and now have astronomical debt because I had to charge my health needs. Those who didn't want their credit history screwed, ended up not going to doctor at all and are possibly dead already. i am glad you have insurance but you do not represent the entire population.

Nobody waits over a year to see a specialist in UK, who told you that. i know very many people in UK, no one waits for anything beyond reasonable appointment time or no time at all.

US has good health care and the most expensive one but it ranks very low in the world in overall performance, US has high infant mortality rate, low life expectancy, overall health condition of Americans is one of the lowest among industrialized nations.

I totally agree that some serious conditions including cancer are treated well in the US, but overall populations' health is bad for one major reason: people do not take care of their health because it is not affordable and not attainable. For such a wealthy country such a poor health care is a shame.

You are either very naive or read too much right wing press, you are being misinformed. You have to open your eyes.


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RE: Economy 101

Sorry, I wasn't aware of the age of you DD or if she was with a parent in the U.K.

"Of course health care there is paid by taxes, but people work in the US and pay taxes too yet have no health care."

You are right, but we also have no extra money in the system to pay for it. Therefore, taxes will increase if health care is nationalized. We can hardly afford to pay more taxes than we already do when we are struggling economically right now.

"For such a wealthy country such a poor health care is a shame. "

The U.S. has wonderful health care. Some people don't because they are not covered, but we have the most innovative health care facilities in the world. I'd also like to point out that some people are not covered because they choose not to be. Most of the poor are covered by Medicare.

I would be in favor of some type of unemployment type of coverage that would cover the costs of Cobra Insurance or something along those lines for people who are temporarily unemployed. I just feel that when the government gets involved, things tend to take a downward turn. I think there is very little that government does well.

"US has good health care and the most expensive one but it ranks very low in the world in overall performance, US has high infant mortality rate, low life expectancy, overall health condition of Americans is one of the lowest among industrialized nations. "

I think that you are right about the infant mortality, however I'd be interested to find out exactly how that is tracked in each country. I've heard, that in some countries, the infant must have been alive for at least X amount of time (I think it was 1 month, but may be wrong about that) before they are considered in that statistic. Also, I would like to know what the correlation between obesity and drug use is with those numbers as well. I think the life expectancy rate can be attributed to more crime, gang activity, drug use, etc. and really doesn't speak to the health care system. Also, overall health...this country has a very high obesity rate. I believe there are so many health problems associated with that and would also contribute to that statistic.

My source of information: http://www.hoover.org/publications/digest/49525427.html

Another related article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8148116.stm


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RE: Economy 101

" I'd also like to point out that some people are not covered because they choose not to be. Most of the poor are covered by Medicare. "

But this is the crux of the problem. It's the middle-class that is most affected. If you are very wealthy, healthcare is not an issue, and if you are very poor, it is again not an issue.

It's the people in the middle who lose their insurance for whatever reason and cannot afford to pay for either a private policy, or cannot afford to pay medical bills without insurance.

Again, I really don't know what the solution is.


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Love...

I think the costs would come into the more affordable range if they make some changes.


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