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Just curious why the government


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never talks about underemployment? Isn't underemployment just as damaging as unemployment when it comes to how the economy is fairing? Shouldn't the government be trying to figure out a way to get American's incomes back up to the levels they had before the economy crashed instead of trying to get get people employed? Actually I don't believe it's the governments "job" to figure this out, but if they are going to try, I feel like the focus is all wrong. It is not about jobs, but income levels.

 

I read the gallop polls about how many were underemployed (their definition of under employment was working a part-time job when desiring full-time). It was +18% as of August 2010. Unemployment for August was 9.6%. Total this up and you have around 30% of Americans not able to pay their bills!

 

If you were working full-time but making 25%-50% less, is that not considered underemployed? I can't find any info that shows the amount of Americans that have had wage cuts.

 

I wonder what the % would be if you added people who work full-time, but have taken large pay cuts just to keep a job or took very low paying full-time jobs.

 

Why does the government TOTALLY avoid this subject. They act as if having a job, period, is the solutions to our economic crises. Economic recovery is dependent on people making enough money to pay their bills, not just "having a job".

 

I'm sorry to rant, but this really bothers me. The government paints a picture of only 9.6% of people struggling because they don't have a job. That doesn't look so bleak. But in reality, peoples income levels have plummeted so low they can't pay their bills, job or no job.

 

Why, why....WHY don't they just fess-up and let the people know what the situation really looks like as far as income levels and what can be done! Instead of hiding behind 9.6%.

 

OK....got if off my chest. I feel a little better now.:tongue_smilie:

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If an unemployment rate of 9% has people screaming - imagine an official govt. report stating 30% of the population is underemployed/unemployed. That would cause more than a few heads to roll (figuratively, of course). Besides, we've seen honestly is not the best policy for a politician. Who would vote for an honest politician? (snark intended)

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their definition of under employment was working a part-time job when desiring full-time

 

My definition of under-employed is a lot more inclusive: "working at a job that pays a lot less than the best paying job for which you are qualified." Like the engineer or teacher who is life-guarding (at $7/hr) full time. Or all the adults selling donuts and hamburgers where there used to be teens.

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My husband I were just talking about this the other day. I think it is harder to track and quantify. I also agree that those unemployment/underemployment numbers and the true picture of our economy and employment issues would enrage taxpayers/voters. This is something the government wants to avoid, especially so close to an election.

 

We own a small business and our numbers are down meaning all 5 employees (including DH and me) are making much less than we did even a year ago. DSS has been applying for jobs since May and hasn't had so much as a call-back. My father-in-law was making 6 figures four years ago and now makes $15/hr working at the only place that would hire a man in his 60s. My mother-in-law, a teacher, has cobbled together 2 part-time jobs at $10/hr because she can't find a teaching job here. We definitely fit into that "underemployed" arena.

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ETA: I am editing because CNN now says that is it *poverty* not unemployment that is at 14.3%. I guess someone jumped the gun in typing the banner I saw, and made part of my post incorrect.

 

Toss in the underemployment, and it's scary. I think the gov (in general, not targeting one side or the other) is purposely not counting/reporting underemployment so as not to anger the masses.

 

Someone dear to me is 'underemployed' and it makes me want to scream.... full time cut to fewer than 30 hours and changed from 'employee' to 'contractor' to avoid unemployment ins being paid by the employer (so no unemployment benefits in case of a lay off), and a 30% wage cut from an already dicey salary. Makes me ill.

Edited by Heather in AL
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Someone dear to me is 'underemployed' and it makes me want to scream.... full time cut to fewer than 30 hours and changed from 'employee' to 'contractor' to avoid unemployment ins being paid by the employer (so no unemployment benefits in case of a lay off), and a 30% wage cut from an already dicey salary. Makes me ill.

 

Additionally, by using the title of "contractor" the employer is not required to provide insurance under the new health care act.

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Additionally, by using the title of "contractor" the employer is not required to provide insurance under the new health care act.

 

Yup. Although this person has not had coverage for several years (various employers/same industry), it is now sure that there will *still* be no health care under the new act since the employer changed all 'employees' to 'contractors'.

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Count us in the underemployed, but we're not counted officially I'm sure. Hubby owns his own business and business is just plain down. A few competitors have gone out of business, but we're still chugging along and have tightened our belts a TON. We don't even hire part time help anymore.

 

Then add in our investments which took quite a hit and I find myself being super thankful that our educational process has provided decent merit aid (or the possibility of such) for our boys as they head to college. We've gone from having plans to pay to accepting even need based aid. In our dreams our investments recover and we'll repay the boys colleges with donations of some sort to help others. In reality? Who knows? I'm thankful we have a decent sized garden, lots of deer on our property, and a meal planned for this evening. So far, money has been coming in to meet most bills. I know many are in worse shape so I'm not in the least bit complaining. I'm thankful.

 

And we're not alone. Many in our circle are right there with us. We're working, but life isn't what it used to be. I think positive numbers on the news (when they happen) are often misleading if not outright lies.

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I think situations like my family's, where dh had to accept the only job he could get which then put us under the poverty level, would make for some interesting statistics and should be considered in the larger picture. We are on govt. assistance *because* he could not find a single job of any kind to pay what he was making before he lost his. This "pay cut" has devastated our family, quite honestly. And part of the "pay cut" was that dh worked part-time for his current employer, a children's hospital, and when it came time to create a full-time position for him, the hospital had to think about all of the financial constraints that THEY now had and came up with a very low (for the industry) salary to offer. We had no choice but to take it and hope that something better would come along. Nothing has. In our state, too, the governor passed legislation to tax and take from hospitals to make up for the state deficit. After all, the health industry is usually solid so why not make them pay for his mistake? I think if the economy were better the hospital would have been able to offer my dh something competitive. The HR person actually apologized to dh when they offered the salary. LOL!

 

UGH. rant. rant. LOL!!

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Part of the issue, no doubt is that for every 'underemployed' person, there are many ppl willing to take their job waiting in the wings. $10/hr is better than none.

 

I agree that $10/hr is better than nothing, but if the person has bills that take a $40k income, he is still going to loose everything just as if he were unemployed. It won't help the foreclosure rate or allow people to put money BACK into the economy to keep it going.

 

Economically, the difference between an unemployed person and a person that takes a $10/hr job that results in a $30k income cut is nothing. In no way will it help or boost the economy.

 

I do commend all the people who are willing to take huge pay cuts and work $10/hr jobs. It shows integrity!!!!! Many people would have too much apathy to do such a thing.

 

I'm not sure how the government is going to be able to fund all the welfare programs if people who used to make $40k a year start to need government subsidy.

 

I know the government is putting lots of funds in college education, but won't help income levels if there are no jobs for the new graduate to accept.

Edited by Tabrett
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I agree that $10/hr is better than nothing, but if the person has bills that take a $40k income, he is still going to loose everything just as if he were unemployed. It won't help the foreclosure rate or allow people to put money BACK into the economy to keep it going.

 

Economically, the difference between an unemployed person and a person that takes a $10/hr job that results in a $30k income cut is nothing. In no way will it help or boost the economy.

 

I do commend all the people who are willing to take huge pay cuts and work $10/hr jobs. It show integrity!!!!! Many people would have too much apathy to do such a thing.

 

I'm not sure how the government is going to be able to fund all the welfare programs if people who used to make $40k a year start to need government subsidy.

 

I know the government is putting lots of funds in college education, but won't help income levels if there are no jobs for the new graduate to accept.

I agree with you. I'm saying from the government's perspective, UNemployment is more a focus than underemployment. Not saying its right.

 

Its not all the government. Companies are preying on being in a position of power, the ability to get employees for far less than they used to, because of the sheer number of applicants hungry for a job.

 

The same company then bemoans a drop in sales, never correlating that what they're doing, preying on employees is happening all over, and resulting in less disposable income, and its wash, rinse, repeat.

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My husband came home yesterday and told me that his employer just cut everyone's hours/pay 25%. :crying: Add us to the ranks of the underemployed.

 

Tara

:grouphug:

Us too. Dh's employer "eliminated" his position this week and offered him the same job he was doing, at 2/3 of his previous salary. Yeah, now seriously underemployed here :glare:.

:grouphug:

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The same company then bemoans a drop in sales, never correlating that what they're doing, preying on employees is happening all over, and resulting in less disposable income, and its wash, rinse, repeat.

 

YEP! Wash, rinse, repeat. How do these companies expect us to buy their product if they don't pay employees enough to have any purchasing power.

 

Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

 

Keep digging your OWN grave!

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I agree that $10/hr is better than nothing, but if the person has bills that take a $40k income, he is still going to loose everything just as if he were unemployed. It won't help the foreclosure rate or allow people to put money BACK into the economy to keep it going.

 

But that person made choices to have bills that require a $40K income. IE the bills that require a $40K income are a lifestyle choice and sometimes lifestyles have to change. Even if they are credit, it was someone choosing to bet against their future income, which is not guaranteed.

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That's been us for the last 20 months.

Unemployment for nearly a year, then a low paying contract job, then the last of unemployment, then this current contract job. He is actually out of town right now on a job interview/presentation, but it would require a job move out of state.

 

Lower wages, no benefits is starting to be a way of life here.

 

I do think that us living debt free except for utilities and a low mortgage is the only thing that kept us from being far worse off. We were able to stretch by with food stamps.

 

I think that most people are going to have to just accept that they cannot afford to live as they used to and make the best of where they are at.

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But that person made choices to have bills that require a $40K income. IE the bills that require a $40K income are a lifestyle choice and sometimes lifestyles have to change. Even if they are credit, it was someone choosing to bet against their future income, which is not guaranteed.

 

Your family can have a bare bones standard of living for $20K per year? I live in a 30 year old trailer in a neighborhood full of 30 year old trailers. I have no bills other than utilities, insurance, and basic necessities. It isn't enough.

Even if I only had *2* children, it wouldn't be enough.

 

Choices? There aren't many left. You take the $10 an hour job or you don't. That's your choice.

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My husband works at our states unemployment office. We both understand how bad the economy is and because of his employment understands well the number of people being underemployed or no longer looking for work. Sometimes it is easier to live off your unemployment checks but the facts are they don't last forever. Our big pet peeve is that there are many times when someone comes into his office and begs to find a job. They say they will do anything to get a job. My husband works hard to find job openings, granted they aren't always high paying but when my husband tells them about a job they will tell him no I don't want to do that one. So he keeps looking. He'll tell them about 3 -4 openings and everyone they turn down. They usually have some reason and they sometimes are lame and show that they really didn't mean they'd take any job. These people come in and say they'll do anything, my husband tries hard to find them a job and they turn down everyone of them. There are some jobs out there but people still expect to find them the way they are used to. As another poster said, businesses are using this against giving good salaries but sometimes you just need to be willing to take what you can get. My husband is also one of those who have taken a paycut and now they are talking about laying a bunch of state employees off next year. His salary is below the poverty line and he's been working at this job for almost 13 years. If it weren't for my disability pay we would not be surviving very well either. The thing that makes us angry is that during times the state is having budget problems they will not give raises but they will increase health insurance 10% and then they tell everyone that when the economy gets better they'll give them a big raise. When the economy was booming the best we got was a 3% raise after going 2-3 years with no raise. This has been going on since my husband got hired so if you're a state worker here you've sort of gotten use to living month to month with little extra left.

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My husband works at our states unemployment office. We both understand how bad the economy is and because of his employment understands well the number of people being underemployed or no longer looking for work. Sometimes it is easier to live off your unemployment checks but the facts are they don't last forever. Our big pet peeve is that there are many times when someone comes into his office and begs to find a job. They say they will do anything to get a job. My husband works hard to find job openings, granted they aren't always high paying but when my husband tells them about a job they will tell him no I don't want to do that one. So he keeps looking. He'll tell them about 3 -4 openings and everyone they turn down. They usually have some reason and they sometimes are lame and show that they really didn't mean they'd take any job. These people come in and say they'll do anything, my husband tries hard to find them a job and they turn down everyone of them. There are some jobs out there but people still expect to find them the way they are used to. As another poster said, businesses are using this against giving good salaries but sometimes you just need to be willing to take what you can get. My husband is also one of those who have taken a paycut and now they are talking about laying a bunch of state employees off next year. His salary is below the poverty line and he's been working at this job for almost 13 years. If it weren't for my disability pay we would not be surviving very well either. The thing that makes us angry is that during times the state is having budget problems they will not give raises but they will increase health insurance 10% and then they tell everyone that when the economy gets better they'll give them a big raise. When the economy was booming the best we got was a 3% raise after going 2-3 years with no raise. This has been going on since my husband got hired so if you're a state worker here you've sort of gotten use to living month to month with little extra left.

 

I would think that most people don't want a job that pays less than unemployment. I don't think FL has this problem - max. weekly for unemplyment is $245!:lol: Even $8 an hour pays better than that!

 

Trust me, dh doesn't want to be doing what he is doing. While he was excited by *where* he was going to be working, the job he ended up with was not the job he was hired for. (Another employee had a fit and got the job he was hired for and he got that employee's job.)

 

He does, thankfully, make more than $245 a week, though!:tongue_smilie:

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I didn't mean to imply that everyone is like that but there are many who are. My husband sees them all the time. Some people say they won't something when they really don't. In our state if you want unemployment you must prove you've been looking for a job but unfortunately a lot of things count toward that including talking with a friend about finding a job. A lot of people just live off the system. He has even been told to his face that the only reason they are there is to do what they have to do to keep unemployment check coming in and they have no intentions of seeking a job. Even when they say this to him openly there is nothing he can do because the law is lax in what it means "looking for employment". some people are actively seeking employment but you would be surprised how many people are just "living off the check". You don't hear this in the press because the federal and state governments don't want to be seen as the bad guys if they make the regulations tougher so that these things don't happen. People live off unemployment just as they live of social services. Before the economic downturn the only problem was you could only get your check for so long but now things have changed. Some People have been recieving unemployment for 1 1/2 years of more now. Many are beginning to feel they are owed it. What they don't understand is it's not all the federal government. Small and large businesses have to set aside part of their profit to pay for unemployment for their employees if they are let go, so this is also affecting how businesses are hiring esp the small businesses.

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My dh used 14 months of unemployment and no, he doesn't feel the slightest guilt for it either. He worked for 14 years before he needed it. Using unemployment kept us from losing our home while he mostly certainly did try very hard to find a job during that time, even $10 an hour jobs with insane turn over rates that wouldn't have paid the mortgage. Even when under contract, he is still looking for work.

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But that person made choices to have bills that require a $40K income. IE the bills that require a $40K income are a lifestyle choice and sometimes lifestyles have to change. Even if they are credit, it was someone choosing to bet against their future income, which is not guaranteed.

 

Really? Let see...that is $1600 a month BEFORE social security and taxes. Health insurance alone is going to cost $500 (if you are on some sort of Christian med-share program) to $1000. I really doubt an employer paying you $10/hr is going to provide your family with insurance, but maybe I'm wrong.

 

Lets say you own your home and cars......

 

Lets remove health insurance, extremely cheep Christian Med-Share. 1600-500= 1100.

 

Ok lets say you have only one car and it is paid for, you have to have insurance. Cheep insurance would be what $80 a month.

 

down to 1020. A phone-just a land line is around $25 month.

 

$995 left so far. Gas for car to only drive to work and grocery store and maybe church? One tank a week at $30=120

 

$875......Power if you have it really, really cheep $100

 

$775......Water for family of four (again cheap at least for where I live) $30

 

$745.....Food...you are an awesome shopper and can feed you family of four for $150 week= $600

 

$145....left to save....(please remember you haven't paid social security and taxes)hum....what happens if you have a medical emergency and how are you ever to save enough money to pay the $5000 deductable.

How are you going to retire.

What about the dentist, eye doctor......

 

This is below poverty level. And government assistance will be needed. How is the government going to fund so many people who have tremendous wage cuts? There will be no tax revenue to help people.

 

I honestly don't think living at a $40k life style for a family of 4 is extravagant. Are we all to live like we are impoverished?

 

This is ONLY doable IF you believe it is for just a short period of time before incomes go back up and you have followed Dave Ramsey and have a good 6 months of savings....

 

What happens if incomes don't go up and your saving run out?

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But that person made choices to have bills that require a $40K income. IE the bills that require a $40K income are a lifestyle choice and sometimes lifestyles have to change. Even if they are credit, it was someone choosing to bet against their future income, which is not guaranteed.

 

I think this is a broad generalization. Not everyone who has debt has it because of lifestyle choices. What about those who have lost jobs, but they have school loans that were needed to fund the job they just lost? Or what about those who were hit with a medical emergency, or they have just plain terrible medical insurance because it's all their company offers (yet it's still cheaper than an individual plan)?

 

You cannot assume that those who need a $40K lifestyle is a matter of personal choice because in this economy, a lot of people have lost their choice to even have a lifestyle in the first place.

 

Yes, some have made terrible financial choices, but there are those out there who did all they can and life just threw them a bad set of cards.

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I don't know, it depends on where you live?

 

We have never made more than $56k. Very tight budgeting indeed. No food stamps most of the time. Even when we did get food stamps, it was never more than $450 a month. So I certainly didn't feel like I was living off the govt by any stretch.

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Actually, my dh makes $10 an hour and his employer has GREAT benefits! :lol: After SS/Medicare and health insurance, he brings home $1450 a month. Advanced EIC is about $70 every two weeks at that level, so the taxes are a wash.

 

ETA: Right now, $40K seems like a MILLION!:D

 

Are you able to live on that amount without assistance?

 

If so, could you share your expenses?

 

Are you able to save for retirement or medical emergencies?

 

Please don't take this in a snarky manner. I would really just like to see what your budget looks like and how you are able to live on this amount.

 

Do you have 2 cars or one. I know you have internet connection.:D Do you have any cell phones?

 

Do you consider this a short term wage?

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I think this is a broad generalization. Not everyone who has debt has it because of lifestyle choices. What about those who have lost jobs, but they have school loans that were needed to fund the job they just lost? Or what about those who were hit with a medical emergency, or they have just plain terrible medical insurance because it's all their company offers (yet it's still cheaper than an individual plan)?

 

You cannot assume that those who need a $40K lifestyle is a matter of personal choice because in this economy, a lot of people have lost their choice to even have a lifestyle in the first place.

 

Yes, some have made terrible financial choices, but there are those out there who did all they can and life just threw them a bad set of cards.

 

:iagree: tho I think it was like that before the economy tanked too. People just didn't talk about it much.

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I don't know, it depends on where you live?

 

 

:iagree:There's a big difference in the cost of living in various areas of the country. In some, $20k may be enough to get by if you don't have a lot of debt and live carefully. In others, $40k requires no debt and tight living.

 

Here in NJ, the maximum unemployment is $600/week - works out to $15/hour - but we are a high cost of living state. My oldest was just hired for her first job making minimum wage - $7.25/hour. Some retailers/temp agencies are still hiring for $10/hour. If you had a job that qualified you for the maximum unemployement, the pay cut for accepting a job could put you in worse shape.

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But that person made choices to have bills that require a $40K income. IE the bills that require a $40K income are a lifestyle choice and sometimes lifestyles have to change. Even if they are credit, it was someone choosing to bet against their future income, which is not guaranteed.

 

I agree that sometimes lifestyles have to change, but for many of us, we were living responsibly, we were not betting on future income. We did not have mortgages we couldn't afford and didn't borrow against growing equity.

 

My DH is well educated and had a great paying job with excellent benefits. His company closed a division 2 years ago and he lost his job. He is working a construction job to bring in some income, but that was never his field. We are so thankful for the job but he is way underemployed. We are willing to move if we need to, we have cut discretionary spending, I am babysitting, we are doing what we need to do. But he is 51 and no one wants to hire him. That we have kept our house this long and kept food on our table is a testimony to God's provision and DH's hard work.

 

We don't consider a great job a right and are contemplating our next choices. We don't expect to be taken care of by others, but please understand when you make broad generalizations in threads like this that there are real people like us with real stories behind all of these statistics. There are real families hurting in this mess of economy. There are real Moms and Dads that cry when their kids are in bed wondering what choices to make. It is easy to look at statistics and feel immune to what is going on, but these statistics are people, and one day you could be the statistics - we currently are.

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But that person made choices to have bills that require a $40K income. IE the bills that require a $40K income are a lifestyle choice and sometimes lifestyles have to change.

 

Absolutely. I mean, we CHOSE to adopt our kids, right? So the fact that we're now in dire straights because the economy tanked ... well, it could have been avoided had we just stayed single and never had kids! The responsible thing to do would be to live in fear and never take a single d*mn risk. Maybe we could send the kids back ... ??? :(

 

Tara

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Add us to the list of the "underemployed". Dh was laid off just this past Feb and thanfully God blessed us and provided another job within a couple days. But it meant taking a 30% pay cut and boy did that hurt. We weren't in the greatest shape before, but now we really struggle. On top of that, dh had to have 2 major surgeries back to back the first 2 weeks of June and now we've got lovely medical bills. Yes, we do have some debt, but even if we didn't have it there would be no way we could save up for emergencies and save for retirement. We've cut to the bare bones, we only have internet service because our jobs require it.

 

I do independant contract work for a local company but the owner has become a major tightwad to keep up her own extravagant lifestyle and is cutting the work I get to the point where all I make is the money it cost me in gas to drive back and forth to make deliveries and pick up supplies/inventory. It's really not worth it, to be honest but sometimes we get an order she can't do herself and I pick up some extra.

 

We've been forced to accept my parents help to buy groceries and gas money for dh for work and I HATE IT!!! I cry all the time, I feel like we've failed our kids. :(

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I guess that we are underemployed, but we are in better straits than most.

 

Loverboy has a PhD in a science field. He is very competent at things like PCR and all things molecular, etc.

 

He JUST got a promotion, and is now making $48K...which is not a lot for a PhD who did two postdocs. It's the most he's ever made. The position he has just filled was previously held by an individual with a Bachelor's degree.

 

BUT

 

Our housing is paid for. We live in a 10yo trailer that we were able to buy outright thanks to Loverboy's savings and help from his folks. We just pay lot rent, which is less than even my cheap apartment was.

 

We live in an affordable part of the country, with a good standard of living: good schools, comparably low crime, nice parks, fabulous library, lots of free or low cost events for kids. It is a small college town of ~50K people, so no long commutes to get anywhere. Loverboy works 3mi from home, up from 1.6mi when he worked at the university.

 

We have no debt because we are lucky AND careful. My grandmother paid off my school loans when my father realized how sick I was. Loverboy had no school loans. We are boring people who don't go out to the movies, don't eat out much, and don't do a lot of entertaining.

 

Because I never finished school, and I have been so sick, it would make no sense financially for us to put Dd into daycare for me to take a minimum wage job. This would be true even if Loverboy made half as much! My time is better spent raising dd, washing laundry, and cooking from scratch. I know in many households it is a luxury to have one parent stay home. I feel lucky that I am able to do this.

 

And this is big:

 

Loverboy works for the federal government. When he was hired, there was a delay in his hiring because, among other things, we had to wait for the governor to approve that there would be funding for his job for 25years.

 

Yes, we are in much better straits than many people, in spite of the "underemployment."

 

Our hearts go out to those who are struggling in our country right now, and we hope that they, and our country, can find their way through these tough times.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by vonfirmath viewpost.gif

But that person made choices to have bills that require a $40K income. IE the bills that require a $40K income are a lifestyle choice and sometimes lifestyles have to change. Even if they are credit, it was someone choosing to bet against their future income, which is not guaranteed.

 

Really? Let see...that is $1600 a month BEFORE social security and taxes. Health insurance alone is going to cost $500 (if you are on some sort of Christian med-share program) to $1000. I really doubt an employer paying you $10/hr is going to provide your family with insurance, but maybe I'm wrong.

 

Lets say you own your home and cars......

 

Lets remove health insurance, extremely cheep Christian Med-Share. 1600-500= 1100.

 

Ok lets say you have only one car and it is paid for, you have to have insurance. Cheep insurance would be what $80 a month.

 

down to 1020. A phone-just a land line is around $25 month.

 

$995 left so far. Gas for car to only drive to work and grocery store and maybe church? One tank a week at $30=120

 

$875......Power if you have it really, really cheep $100

 

$775......Water for family of four (again cheap at least for where I live) $30

 

$745.....Food...you are an awesome shopper and can feed you family of four for $150 week= $600

 

$145....left to save....(please remember you haven't paid social security and taxes)hum....what happens if you have a medical emergency and how are you ever to save enough money to pay the $5000 deductable.

How are you going to retire.

What about the dentist, eye doctor......

 

This is below poverty level. And government assistance will be needed. How is the government going to fund so many people who have tremendous wage cuts? There will be no tax revenue to help people.

 

I honestly don't think living at a $40k life style for a family of 4 is extravagant. Are we all to live like we are impoverished?

 

This is ONLY doable IF you believe it is for just a short period of time before incomes go back up and you have followed Dave Ramsey and have a good 6 months of savings....

 

What happens if incomes don't go up and your saving run out?

__________________

 

Add in oil (heat) and clothes (or that job won't last very long) and you're in debt before any emergencies.

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My dh used 14 months of unemployment and no, he doesn't feel the slightest guilt for it either. He worked for 14 years before he needed it. Using unemployment kept us from losing our home while he mostly certainly did try very hard to find a job during that time, even $10 an hour jobs with insane turn over rates that wouldn't have paid the mortgage. Even when under contract, he is still looking for work.

 

:iagree: My dh has been on unemployment since May of 2009 with the exception of a three month contract he had. Prior to that he had worked for 28 years at the same company plus another 3 years with the outsourcer. We feel no guilt whatsoever over taking that unemployment check; it's feeding our family. If he was offered a job, he would take it. Everyday he is looking. Believe me, unemployment is sure appreciated, but we would jump at real employment.

 

We think he has a six week contract coming up. After that, it's back to searching again. Right now, temporary contract work seems to be the best we can get.

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The only reason they don't count is because they won't everybody to see how bad the economy is. What I think is most troubling is that it looks like many of the unemployed and underemployed will never have their former salaries back ( or the inflated salary in the same level). Apparently a lot of jobs aren't coming back. I was reading an article today in the Washington Post. It was about a lighting company in the town I lived in prior to moving up here. THe company is doing very well. They would like to stay in the US. However, the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. They may soon be moving production overseas. They are currently employing over a hundred people.

Past of the very big problem is that there is great uncertainty about future costs for business. No one knows how much the health care bill will cost. Right now, the Congress hasn't even extended the tax cuts so unless they do, everyone's taxes are going up in January and the business taxes are going up the most.

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Absolutely. I mean, we CHOSE to adopt our kids, right? So the fact that we're now in dire straights because the economy tanked ... well, it could have been avoided had we just stayed single and never had kids! The responsible thing to do would be to live in fear and never take a single d*mn risk. Maybe we could send the kids back ... ??? :(

 

Tara

 

Yeah. I choose to be a Catholic that doesn't use birth control. I choose to marry a type 1 diabetic. I choose to have children instead of a degree. (Nevermind that a degree might have netted a ton MORE debt and zero return in comparison to the hoped investment of my children. That is another topic altogether.;)) I choose to be here for my kids day in and day out, of which home schooling is just as extention of that mindset.

 

I KNOW there are lots of folks out there living frivolous lifestyles with unnecessary credit card and loan debt, but IME, people like that don't have kids (or more than 1 or 2) or stay married long after the money runs out.

 

Do they exist? No one is arguing that they don't.

 

To suggest that the majority of families who were/are living on $40K-ish were like that seems a bit of a stretch to believe to me though. Most were likely living paycheck to paycheck and their debts, credit or otherwise, are loaded with living expenses such as medical, car repairs, and such. And what else should they have done? The only answer our society gives the low income families who can't afford a major expense such as a furnace repair or a car repair or medical bill is to put it on credit. Heck, our hospitals here have instant credit applications right there at the billing desk in admissions. I imagine many people use them knowing they probably can't afford it. Best case is they might later qualify for a medical assistance that will reimburse it, but I sure wouldn't hold my breath for that to happen.

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Absolutely. I mean, we CHOSE to adopt our kids, right? So the fact that we're now in dire straights because the economy tanked ... well, it could have been avoided had we just stayed single and never had kids! The responsible thing to do would be to live in fear and never take a single d*mn risk. Maybe we could send the kids back ... ??? :(

 

Tara

 

Seriously!:glare: I mean maybe dh and I should have chosen to let our oldest son lose his sight last year to pediatric glaucoma! Think how much we would save if we hadn't had to pay for those pesky surgeries and all those eye drops and eye appointments! :001_huh:

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Are you able to live on that amount without assistance?

 

If so, could you share your expenses?

 

Are you able to save for retirement or medical emergencies?

 

Please don't take this in a snarky manner. I would really just like to see what your budget looks like and how you are able to live on this amount.

 

Do you have 2 cars or one. I know you have internet connection.:D Do you have any cell phones?

 

Do you consider this a short term wage?

 

No, we cannot live on it without assistance. It *is* short-term, but my dh isn't going to make anymore than that without training for something else. Next fall he is going back to college and I will go back to work. Wages in the construction/blue collar industries have fallen so badly that I don't know that they will ever recover. He makes $2 less an hour now than he did 10 years ago, doing basically the same thing.

 

We do not pay for our internet - if my FIL wasn't paying for it, we wouldn't have it.

 

We do have cell phones, but we share a plan with my Dad - he has 2 phones, we have 2, and my oldest ds has 1 (he pays for his.) We do not have a landline.

 

We do have 2 cars, but one is an old minivan that belongs to my FIL. We do pay insurance on 2 vehicles, but it is a complicated situation with a truck that we own that someone else is buying/paying off (it was my dh's truck that we had to sell when we lost our business.)

 

We pay rent, electric, phone, insurance, and 1 debt from before. We have a small amount for household and pets. Technically we *don't* have enough to get by, but I sell stuff, or do some tax work, or other things. Last month a cousin sent me a gift card for WalMart that bought diapers, wipes, toilet paper, dog food, etc.

 

We have no emergency fund, no retirement. There is no way we can live on this amount of money and we are not willing to be on food stamps forever. This is why we have put our dc in school - something I never thought I would do. I am studying for the CPA exam and clearing out the house to prepare to move to dh's college next summer.

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No, we cannot live on it without assistance. It *is* short-term, but my dh isn't going to make anymore than that without training for something else. Next fall he is going back to college and I will go back to work. Wages in the construction/blue collar industries have fallen so badly that I don't know that they will ever recover. He makes $2 less an hour now than he did 10 years ago, doing basically the same thing.

 

We do not pay for our internet - if my FIL wasn't paying for it, we wouldn't have it.

 

We do have cell phones, but we share a plan with my Dad - he has 2 phones, we have 2, and my oldest ds has 1 (he pays for his.) We do not have a landline.

 

We do have 2 cars, but one is an old minivan that belongs to my FIL. We do pay insurance on 2 vehicles, but it is a complicated situation with a truck that we own that someone else is buying/paying off (it was my dh's truck that we had to sell when we lost our business.)

 

We pay rent, electric, phone, insurance, and 1 debt from before. We have a small amount for household and pets. Technically we *don't* have enough to get by, but I sell stuff, or do some tax work, or other things. Last month a cousin sent me a gift card for WalMart that bought diapers, wipes, toilet paper, dog food, etc.

 

We have no emergency fund, no retirement. There is no way we can live on this amount of money and we are not willing to be on food stamps forever. This is why we have put our dc in school - something I never thought I would do. I am studying for the CPA exam and clearing out the house to prepare to move to dh's college next summer.

 

Thank you for answering the question. If it were not for my in-laws, my dh, dc and I would not be making it as well as we are. They help us tremendously financially and I am very grateful.

 

I don't know how people survive without help.

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