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Jade Cross

Money, the arm twister

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Jade Cross

As I get older, I have come to see the fallacies of many things in life that we taught are absolute and money is no exception. Success and monetary compesation are fiercely tied together and I have worked with people who, in order to earn $0.40 - $2.50 more in their lives, subject themselves to work and conditions that make them miserable. Two dollars and fifty fucking cents. Is that the value of life!?

 

I too have found myself in this situation. Yet when you look at the costs of living, of barely the essentials, theres not a chance in hell a simple part time job would sustain you. Even a full time job is not enough. You need the equivalent of 1.5 -2 full time jobs just to scrape by. And this makes me wonder, what the hell is the point of it? To scrape and live on struggling all the time. For what? To die a miserable end?

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LP1204

I hate that money rules not only the world but every single person's life. I too know people who are stuck in sucky jobs just for the money. And I told myself I'd never do that but the cost of living is way too high and I'm afraid I may be stuck in a job I hate. I wonder if we could ever go back to a time when we traded a loaf of bread for some help chopping down a tree.

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RosyIcepick

The current western western lifestyle/social requirements has a lot to do with why minimum wage no longer sustains anyone. Back in history, you could get by with gas or oil lamps, cook on wood stove (wood is cheap, esp. if you get it yourself), wash your clothes by hand and line dry them, have some chickens out back that give you eggs every day and can be killed for meat, grow fruits and vegetable crops (maybe you grow carrots and your neighbor grows potatoes, and you trade), use homemade cleaning supplies from soda or lime. If something broke, you had the skills to mend it, or you knew someone who could. For entertainment, people sang songs or made music, played board games or cards (a pack is still hella cheap), danced (in the town square = free!), or told stories. For communication, people called on each other (free and fun), wrote letters (hella cheap), or sent telegrams (not as cheap, but faster).

 

Today, everything in your abode has to be powered by electricity, including light. Stoves, microwaves, washers/dryers, etc. all have electronic parts that malfunction easily, because the machines are assembled cheaply and sold for high prices. Many urban/suburban code laws ban the ownership of farm animals, and there's not enough arable land in suburbia for people to garden without forking out the money for a soil bed. A lot of the ingredients for old-timey cleaning products are no longer around or expensive, we have to buy complex cleaning products that we can't make at home ourselves. If something breaks, it's likely electronic and manufacturer-specific, which means you have to pay a repair person or buy a new one. More and more, no one is taught skilled crafts, so people can't make clothes or furniture themselves anymore. They have to buy them, and them consists of "Made-in-Sweatshop will not last more than three months". For entertainment, you pretty much have to buy into the Internet or be socially ostracized, music has to be bought, instruments are way expensive because last vestiges of craftsmanship, dance in a club that charges admission, or buy a TV. For communication, you have to own a cell phone of some kind, and if you're young, you have to have a smartphone or you're socially ostracized. Social media costs money because you have to pay for the internet.

 

Also, owning a car is practically mandatory, because public transit (in the US, at least) is so bad it could cost you a job in some places. There are no more spaces that are tended by communities... green space has to be tended by cities, which costs money. And the every-consumer-for-themselves mentality... you want to try to outdo your neighbor, not cooperate or get help from them.

 

It's the same amount of physical labor (doing all those old chores in history vs. on your feet in a restaurant all day today), but today the labor today barely gets any work done for the one working. It doesn't get you clothes, or furniture, or food. It gets you money, which does nothing but purchase things, and from there you have to rely on whoever makes prices for those things to not screw you over. But this is profit mania... of course they're not going to be fair!

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uhtred

Money was invented as a proxy for a very wide variety of things, so its not at all surprising that its important - it represents basically everything that can be bought and sold.  I represents cars,  health care, college education, a home,  travel etc ect. 

 

Money doesn't make people happy but it can eliminate a lot of things that make people unhappy: hunger, lack of shelter, lack of transportation, etc.   It can provide experiences that under the right circumstances can make people happy: travel, sports,  etc. 

 

Money works the same way for pay. Someone has to believe that what you are doing for them is more valuable than other things that they could do with the money that they are paying you.   Its not a moral judgement, but a practical one - people pay for work what it is worth to them.   This means that is is important to learn skills that other people value, if you want to be paid better. 

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Anthracite_Impreza

Welcome to neoliberal capitalism. If there's one thing we can look forward to, it will end eventually, simply because you can't have infinite growth on a finite planet. Sadly, not until after it's killed literally billions of people, destroyed the planet and caused unfathomable harm to the entire biological sphere.

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The Dryad

We're at the end stages of Capitalism, and it's unsustainable to keep going like this when most people really don't need or want to work with our technology, that's why I really believe in Universal Basic Income subsidiaries(until the end of Capitalism as we know it), definitely more Socialist practices will save us, but we need to be more strict on the top 1% in order to actually get their taxes in order to fund more Socialist practices as well.

 

Money is absolutely everything though, the ultimate equalizer, not education, and it sucks.

 

Apparently the average African American family will catch up to current white family income in 228 years and Hispanic and Latino families will catch up in 80-90 years.

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fuzzychomper

It makes me worry much for my future. Having to to sustain my self all

on my own, especially with the poor relationship I have with my family right now. I’m praying I’ll even be able to complete my college education...

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Anthracite_Impreza
3 hours ago, The Dryad said:

but we need to be more strict on the top 1% in order to actually get their taxes in order to fund more Socialist practices as well

We don't, taxes don't fund spending. This problem could literally be solved yesterday, which is why I'm so pissed off half the world's population is dying for "debt" that doesn't even exist (a government "debt" is the private sector's gain; it's literally the money the government has provided for the people). NO sovereign currency issuer can EVER get into debt.

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Perspektiv
19 hours ago, uhtred said:

This means that is is important to learn skills that other people value, if you want to be paid better. 

I always was puzzled, when I saw university students going for expensive yet useless degrees as a result. 

 

Worked with a guy who majored in philosophy, but would have been lucky to get a job at a McDonald's.

 

Essentially, spending the bulk of his life trying to pay off his debt. Making too little to stay afloat with his regular bills to begin with.

 

Considering job prospects, he would have been better off dropping out of high school and going straight to work.

 

I saw the highest paying jobs in my city, and took a college course that would get me in most of them. 

 

I worked with a painter who was miserable running his business.

 

He was making well over 100 - 200, 000$ a year. Hated his job.

 

Decided to get rid of all the useless material things that weighed him down, and live strictly by what he  needed.

 

Also sold his businesses, bought a yacht and retired young.

 

Understanding the system is key, to exploiting its loopholes. Especially money, the stock market, the economy, etc.

 

I have yet to remain in a job I hated, and never will. Life is too short.

 

Know way too many miserable people working shit jobs with high pay, giving them the facade of success.

 

I was in those shoes. 

 

Worked for a sought after cushy government job making top dollar.

 

I was a pencil pusher in a cubicle. My volume of work was next to nil. Felt zero purpose. We had meetings to discuss nothing. I felt my training was being wasted. 

 

People couldn't understand how I could be unhappy. I had become one of those mindless drones. 

 

I will take purpose and two jobs I am happy or okay doing, vs one and none.

 

That also became my philosophy after that. 

 

I also live a minimalist lifestyle. I could afford a luxury car, but chose a small one that is good on gas. I put it aside as often as possible in the warmer months. I still take the bus when I can.

 

I buy my clothes at consignment stores. Live on a budget and invest my money, to have it working for me.

 

I would lose my mind working for the next paycheque with no vision on how to break that cycle.

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Jade Cross

Ive thought of and discussed investing but the money pretty much gets sucked into every day needs and I live with less that a fairly large portion of coworkers who are talking about modifying cars while Im hoping mine doesnt break apart or buying the latest phone when Im scrapping to buy food. I dont go out or buy expensive things and Im always on the edge where a wrong move, a miscalculated spending can be a huge problem.

 

The biggest threat, aside from aging is my health which seems to be getting worse with time. I know people say eat right, excersice but I ask, eat what? Because if you want to live on healthy foods, you better farm them or have a huge load of cash to spend because 1 healthy food is equavalent to 5 unhealthy ones but since you can only afford 2-3 of the unhealthy ones, youre not going to be seeing any healthy foods anytime soon and I dont own land. 

 

I have the skills to do mumtiple jobs but only ever fall into ones that dont feel and are not good for me but again its the twisting of the arm. If I dont work, I dont eat so I got to knuckle down, swallow whatever I have to bear and pray it doesnt break me.

 

Im not sure what the trick is, but I sure havent found it. Hard work isnt the answer, not working hard isnt the answer, multiple, simultanous jobs isnt the answer, a moderate (and I say that with a pinch of salt) paying job isnt the answer, a low paying job isnt the answer. Trying to improve an overall enviroment isnt the answer and blindly following an enviroment isnt the answer. Not saving isnt the answer and neither is saving because I lost my savings in a few doctors visits just to be told that I would need to undergo surgery which is in the thousands. I cant afford it so again, i can only knuckle down and hope I dont break which is getting slowly but surely more diffocult to do.  Ive tried all of these and still am no better.

 

 

 

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chandrakirti

All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man... the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.

Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.

Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

 

Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realise that we can not eat money.

 

I'm 100% with this guy. Chief Seattle, anyone?

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uhtred
On 12/6/2018 at 3:57 PM, Perspektiv said:

I always was puzzled, when I saw university students going for expensive yet useless degrees as a result. 

 

Worked with a guy who majored in philosophy, but would have been lucky to get a job at a McDonald's.

 

Essentially, spending the bulk of his life trying to pay off his debt. Making too little to stay afloat with his regular bills to begin with.

 

Considering job prospects, he would have been better off dropping out of high school and going straight to work.

 

I saw the highest paying jobs in my city, and took a college course that would get me in most of them. 

 

I worked with a painter who was miserable running his business.

 

He was making well over 100 - 200, 000$ a year. Hated his job.

 

Decided to get rid of all the useless material things that weighed him down, and live strictly by what he  needed.

 

Also sold his businesses, bought a yacht and retired young.

 

Understanding the system is key, to exploiting its loopholes. Especially money, the stock market, the economy, etc.

 

I have yet to remain in a job I hated, and never will. Life is too short.

 

Know way too many miserable people working shit jobs with high pay, giving them the facade of success.

 

I was in those shoes. 

 

Worked for a sought after cushy government job making top dollar.

 

I was a pencil pusher in a cubicle. My volume of work was next to nil. Felt zero purpose. We had meetings to discuss nothing. I felt my training was being wasted. 

 

People couldn't understand how I could be unhappy. I had become one of those mindless drones. 

 

I will take purpose and two jobs I am happy or okay doing, vs one and none.

 

That also became my philosophy after that. 

 

I also live a minimalist lifestyle. I could afford a luxury car, but chose a small one that is good on gas. I put it aside as often as possible in the warmer months. I still take the bus when I can.

 

I buy my clothes at consignment stores. Live on a budget and invest my money, to have it working for me.

 

I would lose my mind working for the next paycheque with no vision on how to break that cycle.

Sometimes though people find jobs that they enjoy and that pay well enough to support a lifestyle that makes them happy. 

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Still

The truth is that the writing is on the wall for the Western job market under neoliberalism.

 

We already live in an era where companies can get any just about any job done on the other side of the world done at a percent of the cost, and it's only going to get worse with time; as well as outsourcing, there are methods/loopholes like crowdsourcing and Uberization that employers will use to avoid paying anyone a Western living wage.

 

 I see only two choices in the future: either everyone gets paid a universal basic income, or we finally get rid of neoliberalism. I'd prefer the latter, but am a realist and know that we’re getting the former, at best.

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Perspektiv
13 hours ago, uhtred said:

Sometimes though people find jobs that they enjoy and that pay well enough to support a lifestyle that makes them happy. 

Of course. I know tons of people like this. I make a salary where I am comfortable enough to save up money. 

 

However, do appreciate my luck too. I live in a country where our health care is paid for by our taxes. 

 

I get a medical scare as a result, and surgery costs me nothing. 

 

My jobs have always has benefits.

 

I.E dental surgery or any surgery not covered potentially. 

 

My work covers up to 100% of those costs.

 

So I can understand looking at my relatives in the US, on how one bad month medically can fuck you over for years.

 

I remember an aunt in Canada visiting us shattering her hip in our apartment (she missed a step and fell hard).

 

She forgot to get medical insurance, since a US citizen.

 

I almost fainted at the hospital bill. Over 9, 000$.

 

My family over there refused to pay a penny. I ended up having to pay thousands out of pocket. 

 

This at a certain age, is unexpected. 

 

Without insurance you're screwed. However, at a certain age, nobody will insure you for a non extortionate amount. 

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Jade Cross
2 hours ago, Perspektiv said:

Of course. I know tons of people like this. I make a salary where I am comfortable enough to save up money. 

 

However, do appreciate my luck too. I live in a country where our health care is paid for by our taxes. 

 

I get a medical scare as a result, and surgery costs me nothing. 

 

My jobs have always has benefits.

 

I.E dental surgery or any surgery not covered potentially. 

 

My work covers up to 100% of those costs.

 

So I can understand looking at my relatives in the US, on how one bad month medically can fuck you over for years.

 

I remember an aunt in Canada visiting us shattering her hip in our apartment (she missed a step and fell hard).

 

She forgot to get medical insurance, since a US citizen.

 

I almost fainted at the hospital bill. Over 9, 000$.

 

My family over there refused to pay a penny. I ended up having to pay thousands out of pocket. 

 

This at a certain age, is unexpected. 

 

Without insurance you're screwed. However, at a certain age, nobody will insure you for a non extortionate amount. 

The problem is that around here like most of the US, your job is just for money, strictly. If you want to have medical insurance, you have to pay it separately and in the best of cases, your paycheck gets a chunk taken out for basic coverage. Anything other than a regualr doctor visit for cold medicine and youre screwed. 

 

The only mentality politicians have with taxes and prices is "hmm you know what, we arent screweing people enough. Lets get another tax approved." While at the same time limitting salary and putting insane requirements for getting a decent paying job. 

 

If we talk rent, well you better hope you have 1 full time and 1 part time to at least make minimum rent without including electric service and water. And food, well it basically follows the same principle as fast foods. Want a salad or other nutricious food? That'll be literally triple the cost of the cheap burger that wil kill you faster.  

 

Alot of people, work their butts off for cheap compe sation but you better hope you subject yourself for all the crap they put you through because theres 300 more people at the door waiting to take your job. (I spent over 6 hours in a line of by news count 700 people waiting for a job at a fair at an airport wing that said to have 200 positions open)

 

Its really a battlefield. People will push you under the bus at a moments notice (Ive had this happen multiple times by anyone from a coworker to a VP, just for doimg my job, even before I openly defied them) , so you better be careful of what you say and who you trust because you can have a dagger on your back in am instance

 

 

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Perspektiv
16 minutes ago, Jade Cross said:

Its really a battlefield. 

Crazy what perspective does. I hear from business partners who have moved to the US for greener pastures, and they absolutely love it. 

 

Obviously will heavily depend on the opportunities at hand.

 

I strongly believe that there is a magic number. 

 

I believe it was from 50 - 75, 000$ a year, where you would hear most reporting a certain life satisfaction. 

 

At that amount, you are capable to put cash aside. Of course, with more this is done faster. 

 

I find those who invest wisely and are looking at 40 - 100, 000$ or more saved when they hit 40, will be in a better position. Most just don't know how to make their money work for them and waste it on wants vs needs.

 

If you are making so little you make money in one hand, only to have it take from the other, then yeah. It's a grim outlook for sure. 

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Jade Cross
18 minutes ago, Perspektiv said:

Crazy what perspective does. 

Rather than compare semantics, lets crunch it with numbers. You have an income of $1200 per month. $700 is on rent, $120 - $160 on electorcity and water, if you have a car its $300 more or less, the rest you have for food and basoc needs for the month. What do you do?

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Perspektiv

Personally?

 

Sell my car. Bike to work. I clearly can't afford one at that salary. 

 

Sell my art on the side. 

 

Get a roommate. 

 

I would look at options to make it work, where I could still financially grow.

 

You're asking the wrong person. I'm an eternal optimist. Things only look up for me. 

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Jade Cross
7 minutes ago, Perspektiv said:

You're asking the wrong person. I'm an eternal optimist. Things only look up for me. 

Its  preciesly why Im asking.

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Sally
On 12/5/2018 at 9:27 PM, LP1204 said:

 I wonder if we could ever go back to a time when we traded a loaf of bread for some help chopping down a tree.

Truly, there never was that time.  Just about every civilization since we left the cave has had some common means of "buying" things.   Otherwise, there would be constant battles about what this or that was worth.  

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Gloomy

I bring home around $1800 per month after taxes with my one full time job, and $1280 of it goes towards my rent for my one bedroom apartment, but that's expensive California for you. I try my best to play my cards right and be opportunistic when I can. I take a few napkins from the break room at my work so I don't have to buy paper towels anymore, fill up my one gallon water jug at work for free instead of buying water(I don't know how many employers would be okay with those two things but mine doesn't care), the electric company allows people who make below a certain income to lower their electric bill so I took advantage, sometimes I'll use coupons(for example a couple of weeks ago I got a pizza that provided me with dinner for 4 or 5 days for only $1 because I used a coupon), hang up my clothes above my bathtub to dry so I don't have to pay to use the dryer in the laundry room. In my experience buying food from the grocery store is actually cheaper than buying fast food. A pack of chicken legs for $2-$4 and a couple bags of frozen vegetables that each cost $1 provides me with lunch for a week, whereas when I go to a fast food place it costs me $2-$4 just for one meal.

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Perspektiv
10 hours ago, Jade Cross said:

Its  preciesly why Im asking.

Fair enough. I had to make tons of sacrifices to maintain a lifestyle, while still putting money aside. 

 

Keep I'm mind I live in a country where I pay zero for a hospital stay and next to nothing for medication as am covered by my employer. 

 

A lot of canadians take that for granted but I have traveled enough to realize how lucky we are.

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Mysticus Insanus
14 hours ago, Sally said:

Truly, there never was that time.  Just about every civilization since we left the cave has had some common means of "buying" things.   Otherwise, there would be constant battles about what this or that was worth.  

Huh. I checked Wikipedia... turns out you're right. Pure barter-based societies are no longer assumed to have existed anywhere, any time in human history.

 

Thanks for giving me a chance to correct a misconception I had... I still thought that so-called "primitive" societies did run on pure barter more often than not, but apparently, that's an outdated view, nowadays disproven by ethnographic studies.

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