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bettyandbob

does this happen other places? Why would anyone do this?

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Texas has figured it out. I was on WIC when my youngest was a baby and it is a card. And you didn't even have to sort out your order. Just ring it all up, insert WIC card, and then pay the difference. It was so much easier than the checks I had to use in Alaska.

 

Nice! I don't know why all states don't do that if it's available.

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I agree.  The WIC thing is out of control with how long it takes these transactions to be done.  And around here it seems like the women save them up or something, because they'll do like a half dozen checks at a time.  For-ev-er.

 

Like ten years ago, there was a pilot program to use a chip on a card instead of those checks. They did it in several states, including Texas and it was SO MUCH EASIER. Easier to use, easier to ring up for the cashier...

 

why they haven't yet expanded it to all 50 states, I do not understand.

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Back when we were on food stamps because dh was unemployed, I had a cashier shout at me because I didn't announce I was using food stamps. She'd entered it in as a debit and I had to reswipe it. She made sure to yell loud enough so half the store heard, too.  :glare:  This was years ago, so maybe they have better systems now. Some cashiers really do want everyone to know if someone has the nerve to use an EBT card, though. 

 

More recently, I was at the grocery store and had a card come up declined because dh had forgotten to pay off one of the cards I normally use. The cashier started yelling (I am not even kidding) "Her CARD was DECLINED!" to everyone in line, while she glared at me like I'd done it on purpose to offend her. She seemed even more pissed off when I went ahead and paid with cash. I think she was hoping I'd have to leave my groceries behind in shame or something.

 

Holy crap.

 

My card will get turned off frequently when I make purchases through certain vendors online.

 

I have a high limit and pay it off every month but it still gets declined sometimes if I've shopped online.

 

I would definitely write a letter. How incredibly rude!

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Back when we were on food stamps because dh was unemployed, I had a cashier shout at me because I didn't announce I was using food stamps. She'd entered it in as a debit and I had to reswipe it. She made sure to yell loud enough so half the store heard, too. :glare: This was years ago, so maybe they have better systems now. Some cashiers really do want everyone to know if someone has the nerve to use an EBT card, though.

 

More recently, I was at the grocery store and had a card come up declined because dh had forgotten to pay off one of the cards I normally use. The cashier started yelling (I am not even kidding) "Her CARD was DECLINED!" to everyone in line, while she glared at me like I'd done it on purpose to offend her. She seemed even more pissed off when I went ahead and paid with cash. I think she was hoping I'd have to leave my groceries behind in shame or something.

I'm sorry that happened to you. I was yelled at one time for not "separating my items". I had no clue what the guy was talking about, so I just kinda stood there and stared at him. He finally realized that I wasn't paying with EBT or WIC or whatever makes you separate things out and mumbled an apology. I remember being so taken aback that I didn't do anything. If that happened to me today, I would talk to a manager. Not because he was rude to me, but because he obviously thought it was okay to be rude to people using assistance. I had run out late at night to pick up candy to bribe my potty training toddler and also grabbed some staples that we were low on, like bread and milk. There wasn't anyone behind me or anything, but I still remember feeling embarassed walking out to my car and also feeling mad at myself for feeling embarassed. Dang, emotions are complicated!

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I remember hearing that too. Years ago I met a woman whose dh was some sort of senior officer. I remember her talking about how her family always "adopted" a few enlisted families at Christmas. I was surprised that they made so little that they had to depend on someone else to get presents for their DC. It's kind of sad people volunteer to protect our rights and they don't get compensated enough to provide for a family

 

https://www.goarmy.com/benefits/money/basic-pay-active-duty-soldiers.m.html

 

The woman in the video is a real loser. I wish the guy would've just ignored her and let her embarrass herself.

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More recently, I was at the grocery store and had a card come up declined because dh had forgotten to pay off one of the cards I normally use. The cashier started yelling (I am not even kidding) "Her CARD was DECLINED!" to everyone in line, while she glared at me like I'd done it on purpose to offend her. She seemed even more pissed off when I went ahead and paid with cash. I think she was hoping I'd have to leave my groceries behind in shame or something.

 

Tsk, tsk, tsk. I would've complained right away. Here, if your card is declined, the cashiers go "Oh, honey, it happens to all of us". I've never heard anybody try to shame somebody for that. It's so easy for somebody to accidentally overdraw, especially at the end of the month.

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Tsk, tsk, tsk. I would've complained right away. Here, if your card is declined, the cashiers go "Oh, honey, it happens to all of us". I've never heard anybody try to shame somebody for that. It's so easy for somebody to accidentally overdraw, especially at the end of the month.

It was a tiny rural grocery store and the woman was older and probably very set in her ways, so I just don't give them my business anymore.

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It kills me how politically polarizing this issue is, when 

(a) it makes economic sense to feed hungry people (more $$ in the economy, more productive workforce, children more able to learn...)

(b) food assistance makes up SUCH A RIDICULOUSLY TINY PART OF ANY PERSONS TAX BURDEN. It is the fiscal equivalent of me screaming at my kids to pick up a doll on the sofa, while the entire floor is covered in teeny-tiny Legos. (All 1x1 bricks. The tiny parts.) 

© it is so inextricably tied up in class (which is then tied up on race) that people can't even think straight about it.

 

A few weeks ago I got caught in a slow line at the supermarket. The woman checking out was using WIC vouchers. The man in front of me grumbled, to me, as if he knew I would agree, "I wish someone paid for my groceries too." If my kids weren't there (little pitchers have big ears), I'd have used harsher words. 

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Back when we were on food stamps because dh was unemployed, I had a cashier shout at me because I didn't announce I was using food stamps. She'd entered it in as a debit and I had to reswipe it. She made sure to yell loud enough so half the store heard, too.  :glare:  This was years ago, so maybe they have better systems now. Some cashiers really do want everyone to know if someone has the nerve to use an EBT card, though. 

 

More recently, I was at the grocery store and had a card come up declined because dh had forgotten to pay off one of the cards I normally use. The cashier started yelling (I am not even kidding) "Her CARD was DECLINED!" to everyone in line, while she glared at me like I'd done it on purpose to offend her. She seemed even more pissed off when I went ahead and paid with cash. I think she was hoping I'd have to leave my groceries behind in shame or something.

 

When I worked in a grocery store in the early 90s, food stamps were the actual food stamp currency, and easy to work with.  The issue we had was the system for person checks.  Every time we took a check, we had to enter the account number in the register.  If that account had an outstanding bounced check, the register would lock up and we would need to call a manager.  I always was polite and would just make a call to the office and request the manager without saying why, but everyone in line would be waiting, the customer would be asking what the issue was, and I would be feeling awkward trying not to say anything about the situation another customer could here. 

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It kills me how politically polarizing this issue is, when 

(a) it makes economic sense to feed hungry people (more $$ in the economy, more productive workforce, children more able to learn...)

(b) food assistance makes up SUCH A RIDICULOUSLY TINY PART OF ANY PERSONS TAX BURDEN. It is the fiscal equivalent of me screaming at my kids to pick up a doll on the sofa, while the entire floor is covered in teeny-tiny Legos. (All 1x1 bricks. The tiny parts.) 

© it is so inextricably tied up in class (which is then tied up on race) that people can't even think straight about it.

 

A few weeks ago I got caught in a slow line at the supermarket. The woman checking out was using WIC vouchers. The man in front of me grumbled, to me, as if he knew I would agree, "I wish someone paid for my groceries too." If my kids weren't there (little pitchers have big ears), I'd have used harsher words. 

 

I have heard such comments and glared, but never said anything.

DH on the other hand...not so much.

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I was in the military for almost a decade, no way would I have joined with a family on enlisted pay (I don't even think you can anymore). I wouldn't have started a family until I'd gotten promoted a couple times, but I knew E-4s who made it work with one or two kids. Usually people were keen on moving out of the barracks so they would marry their first serious relationship and then inevitably pregnancy followed. Then divorce. And being broke was not an uncommon problem, but if it was a dual military marriage the double housing allowance helped A LOT. In my day, for a dual military marriage one spouse got the housing allowance at the "with dependents" rate, and the other got a "without dependents". But you had to be married to live off post. As a single enlisted person required to live in the barracks and the ability to eat in the chow hall, I had plenty of money.

 

Don't most services limit the number of dependents to two if you're enlisting? Like you can't join the Army with three kids because they know they don't pay an E-1 enough for it to be sustainable.

 

But, a lot of servicemembers qualify for benefits based on their base pay -- when I had gotten out and my hubby was still in (so just his income) and we had our first kid we qualified for WIC, but in no way needed it. Or housing was paid for, health care, etc. And those numbers didn't count when they calculated our eligibility.

Edited by JodiSue

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Texas has figured it out. I was on WIC when my youngest was a baby and it is a card. And you didn't even have to sort out your order. Just ring it all up, insert WIC card, and then pay the difference. It was so much easier than the checks I had to use in Alaska.

 

They started rolling out the cards a few months ago, and phasing out the paper checks. Depending on your state, though, it may not have been implemented yet.

 

I remember using the checks, and *paper* food stamp books, 20 years ago. Mortified every.single.time I had to go to the store. Husband at the time (now long-divorced) made it easy on me - he found a local store that would sell him cigarettes for food stamps. That took care of me going to the grocery store as much. Damn, I was hungry a lot then...

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Ugh, I have to be unpopular in this thread.

 

Not going to quote anyone, just going to throw out some numbers and scenarios.

 

An 18 year old, Jim, fresh out of high school.  If he worked fast food, for $7.25 an hour and somehow managed to get 40 hours a week, he'd make $290 a week.  Assuming he worked all 52 weeks of the year, he'd make $15,080 per year.  He doesn't get paid vacation.  Let's say he shares an apartment with a friend, he pays $300 a month for rent and utilities, total $3,600 a year for shelter.  His job probably provides a shirt and hat, but he's got to provide shoes and pants, and maybe a belt.  Figure he needs 4 pair of pants at $20 each per year, and 2 pair of shoes at $30 each.  $140/year for work clothes.  We'll assume he goes commando and doesn't wear socks.  He's got to eat, let's assume he eats Ramen 4 times a day, that's about $1/day for food, so $365/year for food.  So he makes $15,080 before taxes, and his expenses are $4105.  He has almost $10,000 before taxes to provide for the rest of his wants and needs.  Before Obamacare, he has no medical, dental, or vision insurance.  (After Obamacare, he pays $20 a month for a well-care policy that covers a routine physical and immunizations....that's all.)

 

His best friend, Joe, also 18 and fresh out of high school, joined the Army.  He wasn't an Eagle Scout, doesn't have any college credits, and wasn't in JROTC, so he starts out at E-1.  He makes $1566.90 a month, $18,802.80 a year.  He gets 30 days vacation a year.  He lives in the barracks and thus has free* rent and utilities.  He eats at the chow hall, and thus has free* food.  The Army provides a uniform allowance for all his uniforms, to include underwear and socks, so he doesn't have to go commando or sockless.  He's also provided with numerous cheap or low cost entertainment opportunities and has $4,500 per year available to him to go to college free*.  He still has $18,802.80 before taxes for the rest of his wants and needs.  He receives free* health care, vision care (to include free* glasses and sometimes contacts...and eventually Lasik surgery when he is about 25), and dental care.  (But, unlike Jim, Joe works a lot more than 40 hours a week!)

 

In 6 months, Jim has maybe received a 10¢ an hour raise, bring his annual pay up to $15,288.  Joe made E-2 (automatic promotion) 6 months after he joined the Army, he's up to $21,078 annually.  After a year at his fast food job, Jim maybe worked his way up to shift leader, he's up to $7.50 an hour, $15,600 annual.  Joe made E-3 (another automatic promotion) after 12 months in the Army, he's making $22,165.20 annually now.  Jim and Joe are both 19 years old now.

 

Another year goes by, Jim is maybe up to $7.75 an hour, $16,120 annual.  Joe gets promoted to E-4 (automatic) and he's making $25,804.80 annually.  They are both 20 years old now.  Jim is still working fast food, and is uneducated.  Joe has a trade now, but he hasn't availed himself of the free* $9,000 in tuition assistance, so he doesn't have any college credits, which is probably going to slow his promotions down in the future.

 

Both Jim and Joe are dating very nice girls, and they practice safe sex, but the unthinkable happens, and each of them have a condom break.  They're good men, though, they love their girlfriends, and they want to be 100% in their babies' lives, so they both marry.

 

Because Jim's income is so low, his wife and unborn baby qualify for WIC, maybe food stamps, and Medicaid.  He's probably had to leave the roommate situation, and rent a tiny apartment for maybe only $500 a month that may or may not include utilities.

 

Joe, though, Joe gets to move out of the barracks into free* housing, and if it isn't available, he'll get BAH.  For the purposes of this little story, we're going to assume Joe is stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  BAH for him is $1350.00 a month, $16,200 a year.  Now, Joe's really lucky he's stationed at Fort Campbell, turns out, Fort Campbell charges LESS rent for housing than he gets for BAH!  So he's going to get a nice 2 bedroom apartment for $900 a month (he could get it for $875 a month, but his wife can't imagine having to climb the stairs to the 2nd floor apartments 9 months pregnant or carrying a newborn, so they decide to pay the $25/mo more for a first floor apt) on Fort Campbell (so a safe neighborhood, *usually*) and he gets to put that other $450 from his BAH right into his pocket.  Joe is up to $42,004.80 a year with his BAH.  BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!  Because Joe is MARRIED, he gets a FOOD ALLOWANCE and doesn't have to eat in the chow hall anymore!!!  His BAS (food allowance) is $367.92/month, $4,415.04/year.  Joe, TWENTY YEARS OLD, is making $46,419.84 a year!  In addition, his wife and child will receive free* healthcare/insurance, he will pay NOTHING to the hospital for his baby being born, and dental insurance will be less than $30/month.

 

I could continue this scenario for many more years, through a 30 or more year career for Joe if needed, but hopefully you get the gist.  Before the Clinton years, the late 90s and early 00s, the military was horribly underpaid compared to their civilian counterparts.  By 2003, pay was more equal, and has *somewhat* stayed on par.  Also during those years, due to negative press, a special pay was implemented, called Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA), to combat servicemembers being able to qualify for food stamps, because that embarrassed the military.  Basically, it gives soldiers who have enough dependents to qualify for food stamps an extra amount of pay to bump them over the eligibility.

 

There are always a few exceptions, certain MOS' (jobs) that get locked up and can't promote, but by and large, the only reason military personnel qualify for food stamps is having too many kids too soon.  The enlisted military pay wasn't ever intended to support 30 year olds joining with 2 to 4 kids.  If a soldier joins the Army at 18, works hard, does military education and avails himself of even some of the tuition assistance to get civilian (college) education, stays in good physical shape...there isn't any reason that by age 22 (3+ years in the Army) he couldn't be an E-5 ($28,576.80 salary, not including housing and food) and by age 26, he could be an E-6 ($36,403.20 salary not including housing and food).

 

So to recap, by age 26, Joe could be making $36,403.20 in base pay (salary).  If he's married, he also receives $18,468 for BAH (at Fort Campbell) and $4,415.04 for food annually.  So by age 26, he *could* be making $59,286.24 annually (before taxes).

 

Still think his pay is disgraceful and that he needs food stamps to survive?

 

(*free...just for the record, these things are NOT FREE.  They are part of the pay package and are EARNED, they are not just given to military.)

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I agree. The WIC thing is out of control with how long it takes these transactions to be done. And around here it seems like the women save them up or something, because they'll do like a half dozen checks at a time. For-ev-er.

Here WIC issues a check for each child. It's 3 or 4 checks a month and they expire each month so no one can save them up. Most likely they are using checks for more than one child and/or using up the entire months checks at once if you see someone using a few checks at once.

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Erm, catalytic- I couldn't rent a room for $300 a month in my area nearly 20 years ago. I paid $550 for a studio back then. I'm having a hard time conceptualizing a $600 apartment that will take a family of 3. Try $1000 and that's dirt cheap and comes with a helluva commute.

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I've never witnessed this IRL, though I've certainly seen enough online whining about people using SNAP or welfare.

 

I tell all those people the same things - your taxes aren't paying for this dude's groceries, mine are. Your taxes went towards fixing the potholes. (Money being fungible, this isn't really true, but they're usually at a loss for how to reply so I call that a win.)

I LOVE this and would like to use it at my next extended family gathering, or when I go visit my mom. I was a single mom for awhile and had to use SNAP, DH got laid off for a few months we used it then too. I only ever had one altercation at the store and she backed down really quick when she realized I wasn't going to be embarrassed or act ashamed, plus I was much louder than she was :001_tt2: . 

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Erm, catalytic- I couldn't rent a room for $300 a month in my area nearly 20 years ago. I paid $550 for a studio back then. I'm having a hard time conceptualizing a $600 apartment that will take a family of 3. Try $1000 and that's dirt cheap and comes with a helluva commute.

 

I based the 18 year old off my son, who rents a room for $300/mo (includes a bedroom, shared bathroom, shared living areas, a parking space, and a drawer in the fridge, along with water/elec/gas/internet) and his "health" insurance that he pays $20 a month for (so he doesn't have to pay the tax penalty) covers ONLY a routine annual physical and any immunizations he may need during the year.  He is older than 18, though, has some job skills, and makes about $10 an hour.  He's also a trained EMT and FF (though he only does those on a volunteer basis).  He lives in a city with 450k people.  I found (probably studios) apartments in a terrible area of his town starting at $500/mo about 10 months ago.

 

But, really my little scenario was about military pay, so I could be very off on the civilian stuff.  (JFTR, I'm opposed to $15/hour minimum wage for fast food workers, and I *was* a fast food worker, single (divorced), with 2 children to support at one point in my life.)

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Erm, catalytic- I couldn't rent a room for $300 a month in my area nearly 20 years ago. I paid $550 for a studio back then. I'm having a hard time conceptualizing a $600 apartment that will take a family of 3. Try $1000 and that's dirt cheap and comes with a helluva commute.

Yes, a service member's housing allowance is based on their rank and where they are stationed and if they have dependents or not. You get a lot more if you're stationed in, say, D.C. vs catalytic's example of Kentucky.

 

ETA, sorry, I missed what you were trying to say. But renting a room. In a shared house? My brother did it for a long time in one of the highest COL areas in the country and he never paid more than $400/month (I don't think). Meanwhile a studio apartment would go for $1k or more. It is crazy!

Edited by JodiSue

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I have never been asked that and I use debit 98% of the time. That part must be a location thing. But seriously, I realize that I am not the most observant person in the world- I have numerous examples of things I should have noticed and didn't. But still. I just can't imagine noticing how someone was paying. I can't imagine knowing someone was paying attention to how I was paying. Sure, I have been irritated when things are taking forever- but it is usually because something doesn't have a tag or whatever or there's some issue that takes two cashiers to figure out. I would never be rude to someone about it, but that I can understand people's irritation about that.

 

I was involved in a Facebook discussion not too long ago where people were talking about this. I mentioned there that I couldn't imagine people noticing other payment methods and someone seriously responded with "I always notice, banks use different colors" and she seriously started telling me which bank used which color. My mind was blown that someone could seriously care that much about it. I thought she needed to get a life.

 

Yeah I don't know.  I'm asked regularly.

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I LOVE this and would like to use it at my next extended family gathering, or when I go visit my mom.

 

Well, I certainly don't own a copyright on it! Fair use is fair play in my book.

 

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Erm, catalytic- I couldn't rent a room for $300 a month in my area nearly 20 years ago. I paid $550 for a studio back then. I'm having a hard time conceptualizing a $600 apartment that will take a family of 3. Try $1000 and that's dirt cheap and comes with a helluva commute.

 

Uh yeah.  My first mega dirt cheap apartment was $550 (16 years ago).  It was a one bedroom.

 

 

Edited by SparklyUnicorn
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People need to worry about their own life. 

Drives me insane when people judge others because they are using SNAP or WIC.  We don't know their life story.  I know there are a lot of people that abuse the system but there are a lot of people who need these to survive.  I have used WIC but never SNAP, came close to needing SNAP though.

 

 

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Catalytic, I can assure you that the money paid to dh while married, living on base, and stationed in San Diego, CA didn't go far. I don't think $300 / month would have rented us a bathroom. We probably should have reached out for public assistance while I was pregnant and on bedrest but we just ran up CC debt instead. We're way out of that now, but it was tough for a long time. 

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I was in the military for almost a decade, no way would I have joined with a family on enlisted pay (I don't even think you can anymore). I wouldn't have started a family until I'd gotten promoted a couple times, but I knew E-4s who made it work with one or two kids. 

 

During the recession, I knew four or five families who enlisted with families. It was also the war on terror. If you were quick enough like my ex-husband, you got in before they were full and they were still taking family men. Many of those men had degrees but not citizenship or citizenship but no degree. Most of my friends when we were military were in a similar position.

 

We had NO idea we'd qualify for WIC! But anyway we were in no position to choose at that point. I got pregnant, the economy started teetering and by the time she was born it was crashing. We were very, very lucky we saw the teetering and sold property before that moment so he could make it through basic. Health insurance the whole time, WIC, the whole nine yards.

 

It sounds absurd given that both of us had degrees but what could we do? During that time lots of people completely lost everything INCLUDING credit.

 

That's how we found out that if you're an E-4 with a family you get WIC. 2008-2011, the war on terror and all, overseas, low salary, growing our own food and baking our own bread inside a German apartment block LOL. Good times, good times, thanks America for the WIC checks while my (now ex) husband served in Afghanistan.

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I based the 18 year old off my son, who rents a room for $300/mo (includes a bedroom, shared bathroom, shared living areas, a parking space, and a drawer in the fridge, along with water/elec/gas/internet) and his "health" insurance that he pays $20 a month for (so he doesn't have to pay the tax penalty) covers ONLY a routine annual physical and any immunizations he may need during the year.  He is older than 18, though, has some job skills, and makes about $10 an hour.  He's also a trained EMT and FF (though he only does those on a volunteer basis).  He lives in a city with 450k people.  I found (probably studios) apartments in a terrible area of his town starting at $500/mo about 10 months ago.

 

But, really my little scenario was about military pay, so I could be very off on the civilian stuff.  (JFTR, I'm opposed to $15/hour minimum wage for fast food workers, and I *was* a fast food worker, single (divorced), with 2 children to support at one point in my life.)

 

 

When were you a fast food worker? Because there was a time when the minimum wage was $10/hr in 2015 dollars. 1968. Adorable: when the peak number of Baby Boomers were actually earning that wage (aged about 0 - 22 that year). So if you are a boomer, the chances that you were earning more than ANYONE ELSE EVER EARNED FOR MINIMUM WAGE is pretty high and I just don't want to hear it. Those people entered at the peak of minimum wage.

 

The adjusted minimum wage when I graduated high school was the same as the minimum wage when my mom was born!

 

http://money.cnn.com/interactive/economy/minimum-wage-since-1938/

 

 

 

I get it, you suffered, you didn't die. So what? You did turn into the type of person who will begrudge a working person the right to earn a living wage, so obviously you lost something in there.

 

Think about it this way: if I beat the crap out of you, but you didn't die, would you then say "actually I support people's right to beat the crap out of others, after all I suffered it when I was young so they should, too!"

 

Actually that is the argument that a lot of people use for beating kids with a belt so you know what?

 

Don't answer that.

 

 

Just because you were cheated out of your wages, your hours of life, doesn't mean that we therefore have to cheat other people out of their earned wages.

 

I support a living wage because (a) I don't like to save money on other people's suffering, including the inability to provide their kids with food and clothing, and (b) I don't think that using desperation as a negotiating tactic should be allowed in a civilized society.

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Uh yeah. My first mega dirt cheap apartment was $550 (16 years ago). It was a one bedroom.

I'm not in what anyone considers a HCOL city/state and our first dirt cheap up three rickety flights of outdoor stairs studio apt was $409 a month not including utilities.

 

You can't find a one bedroom anything for that now.

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I know there are a lot of people that abuse the system but there are a lot of people who need these to survive.

 

The way you phrased that makes it sound like you think the number of people who "abuse the system" is about equal to the number who "need these to survive". Is that what you meant?

 

For the record, the data shows there is very little abuse or fraud going on.

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Catalytic, I can assure you that the money paid to dh while married, living on base, and stationed in San Diego, CA didn't go far. I don't think $300 / month would have rented us a bathroom. We probably should have reached out for public assistance while I was pregnant and on bedrest but we just ran up CC debt instead. We're way out of that now, but it was tough for a long time. 

 

Please reread what I wrote.  I never wrote about a service member renting anything for $300 a month.  Maybe I should mention I was married to an E-5, with 4 kids, stationed in Hawaii, from 1997 to 2000...before the major (6+%) pay raises.  It wasn't the military's fault we were poor.

 

During the recession, I knew four or five families who enlisted with families. It was also the war on terror. If you were quick enough like my ex-husband, you got in before they were full and they were still taking family men. Many of those men had degrees but not citizenship or citizenship but no degree. Most of my friends when we were military were in a similar position.

 

We had NO idea we'd qualify for WIC! But anyway we were in no position to choose at that point. I got pregnant, the economy started teetering and by the time she was born it was crashing. We were very, very lucky we saw the teetering and sold property before that moment so he could make it through basic. Health insurance the whole time, WIC, the whole nine yards.

 

It sounds absurd given that both of us had degrees but what could we do? During that time lots of people completely lost everything INCLUDING credit.

 

That's how we found out that if you're an E-4 with a family you get WIC. 2008-2011, the war on terror and all, overseas, low salary, growing our own food and baking our own bread inside a German apartment block LOL. Good times, good times, thanks America for the WIC checks while my (now ex) husband served in Afghanistan.

 

Yes, lots of people in your shoes joined during the bad economy.  But, does that mean the military is underpaid?  If so, why did your family join?  Could you do better on the civilian side?

 

When were you a fast food worker? Because there was a time when the minimum wage was $10/hr in 2015 dollars. 1968. Adorable: when the peak number of Baby Boomers were actually earning that wage (aged about 0 - 22 that year). So if you are a boomer, the chances that you were earning more than ANYONE ELSE EVER EARNED FOR MINIMUM WAGE is pretty high and I just don't want to hear it. Those people entered at the peak of minimum wage.

 

The adjusted minimum wage when I graduated high school was the same as the minimum wage when my mom was born!

 

http://money.cnn.com/interactive/economy/minimum-wage-since-1938/

 

 

 

I get it, you suffered, you didn't die. So what? You did turn into the type of person who will begrudge a working person the right to earn a living wage, so obviously you lost something in there.

 

Think about it this way: if I beat the crap out of you, but you didn't die, would you then say "actually I support people's right to beat the crap out of others, after all I suffered it when I was young so they should, too!"

 

Actually that is the argument that a lot of people use for beating kids with a belt so you know what?

 

Don't answer that.

 

 

Just because you were cheated out of your wages, your hours of life, doesn't mean that we therefore have to cheat other people out of their earned wages.

 

I support a living wage because (a) I don't like to save money on other people's suffering, including the inability to provide their kids with food and clothing, and (b) I don't think that using desperation as a negotiating tactic should be allowed in a civilized society.

 

Awful lot of assumptions in your post about me.  I'm not a boomer.  The adjusted pay for when I worked for minimum wage ranges from $6.97 to $7.15, sorry to burst your bubble.  Did I turn into the type of person who would begrudge someone a living wage?  Or did I turn into the type of person that believes there are starter wages meant for unskilled workers and then there are better wages for those who work for them/have skills?  Even in fast food, there is room to move up from minimum wage.

 

Do I feel for people trying to support a family on minimum wage?  Absolutely.  I think we, as a country, DO need to help them.  (I'm not sure I consider Obamacare a step in the right direction, however, ime it seems to have screwed over as many as it helped.)  I have no grief with people using food stamps or WIC if they are trying to better their situation.  (And if someone is working, then I consider them trying to better their situation.)  I certainly don't judge people in the checkout line how they pay for what's in their carts.

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Texas has figured it out. I was on WIC when my youngest was a baby and it is a card. And you didn't even have to sort out your order. Just ring it all up, insert WIC card, and then pay the difference. It was so much easier than the checks I had to use in Alaska.

 

I did learn to go to HEB with WIC, though. It seemed, EVERY TIME, at Walmart something would go wrong. it just worked at HEB.

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Or did I turn into the type of person that believes there are starter wages meant for unskilled workers and then there are better wages for those who work for them/have skills?

 

The whole point of the minimum wage was to be a LIVING wage. You can ask FDR, it was his plan.

 

It'll be a heck of a lot cheaper to cut corporate welfare and raise the minimum wage than to keep allowing Walmart and McDonald's to get rich off of the fact that their employees make ends meet (or don't) using SNAP and taking out payroll loans.

 

Edit:

 

It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By "business" I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.

 

Thank you, FDR, for your eloquent contribution to the minimum wage argument. As presidents go, truly, you're one of the greats.

Edited by Tanaqui
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The whole point of the minimum wage was to be a LIVING wage. You can ask FDR, it was his plan.

 

It'll be a heck of a lot cheaper to cut corporate welfare and raise the minimum wage than to keep allowing Walmart and McDonald's to get rich off of the fact that their employees make ends meet (or don't) using SNAP and taking out payroll loans.

 

Edit:

 

 

Thank you, FDR, for your eloquent contribution to the minimum wage argument. As presidents go, truly, you're one of the greats.

 

(I'm DEFINITELY not opposed to cutting corporate welfare)

 

I've seen the chart Tsuga posted several times, and I've seen the argument that minimum wage was intended to be a living wage, but yet that 25¢ only equals $4.19 today.  I'm not real good with inflation and all that jazz, and I realize things are way more expensive in today's dollars, but then that almost makes that chart irrelevant it seems to me.  The closest comparison I can find for 1938 dollars today is here, and it's an interesting read.  Even more interesting would be to compare what were necessities then vs now, gardening then vs now, cooking then vs now, etc.  We've become a lazy(? not sure that's exactly the word I want) society, we could all help ourselves a lot more than we do.

 

The one thing I wish is that classes were offered (maybe required...not completely sure how I feel about that, perhaps online if required) in how to save money on groceries, how to shop healthier, and how to cook for WIC and FS recipients.  One thing that my husband regularly comments on is how many young soldiers have NO CLUE how to cook a meal.  Several years ago, we encountered a young-ish soldier, single mom with 2 kids, always broke.  I think she was an E-5 but I don't really remember.  When she was required to do a budget, most of her budget was for groceries.  Turned out, she fed her family microwave meals and prepared foods from delis because she didn't even know how to make a box of macaroni.  (Please note, I'm not saying all people on food stamps are poor shoppers, unhealthy, or don't know how to cook)  I *think* if perhaps those who don't know were taught, or had the option to learn, they could make their food $$ (and maybe other $$ as well) go further.

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has anyone seen this. I don't shop at Walmart. I think they've improved some of the policies that made me stop shopping there years ago (maybe they haven't), but my habit of never going there is ingrained. 

 

Does this crap really happen. Verbally attacking food stamp users. Does it happen in other stores. Why would anyone be so ignorant? 

 

http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/05/03/woman-scolds-man-using-food-stamps-walmart-viral-video

 

I'm sure it happens at many places.

 

I'm not fond of wal-mart - and the vibe of the stores in urban areas - especially one in particular - is downright creepy.  (I didn't get that vibe  in rural areas.) I was in one recently (a preferred store is currently closed for a major remodel).   I did smh at the clerk because I wouldn't donate $1 to whatever "charity" they're collecting for at the register. she was very "cold". (she was very friendly and chatty to the man ahead of me because he donated.)

 

I've dealt with rude clerks at other stores  too, so they hardly have a monopoly on that.

 

I think it's just another take on the people feeling a need to 'correct' others when out in public.  that happens everywhere.  even Nordstrom!  lol. years ago, I was in the downtown seattle brass plum shoes (I said it was years ago) having a pair stretched. while I'm sitting there waiting, they get a phone call from women's shoes that a woman is coming upstairs with her daughter.   literally every single clerk stopped helping  their customers to wait on this  woman (I think she was Canadian).  she was a piece of work and the clerks were bending over backwards to make her happy.  I was minding my own  business - my clerk was one of those helping her- and just sitting there and she looks over at me and demands to know what I was doing there. I wasn't as quick or witty at comebacks then . . . . what I wish I'd said was "I'm trying on hats."

Edited by gardenmom5

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(I'm DEFINITELY not opposed to cutting corporate welfare)

 

I've seen the chart Tsuga posted several times, and I've seen the argument that minimum wage was intended to be a living wage, but yet that 25¢ only equals $4.19 today.  I'm not real good with inflation and all that jazz, and I realize things are way more expensive in today's dollars, but then that almost makes that chart irrelevant it seems to me.  The closest comparison I can find for 1938 dollars today is here, and it's an interesting read.  Even more interesting would be to compare what were necessities then vs now, gardening then vs now, cooking then vs now, etc.  We've become a lazy(? not sure that's exactly the word I want) society, we could all help ourselves a lot more than we do.

 

The one thing I wish is that classes were offered (maybe required...not completely sure how I feel about that, perhaps online if required) in how to save money on groceries, how to shop healthier, and how to cook for WIC and FS recipients.  One thing that my husband regularly comments on is how many young soldiers have NO CLUE how to cook a meal.  Several years ago, we encountered a young-ish soldier, single mom with 2 kids, always broke.  I think she was an E-5 but I don't really remember.  When she was required to do a budget, most of her budget was for groceries.  Turned out, she fed her family microwave meals and prepared foods from delis because she didn't even know how to make a box of macaroni.  (Please note, I'm not saying all people on food stamps are poor shoppers, unhealthy, or don't know how to cook)  I *think* if perhaps those who don't know were taught, or had the option to learn, they could make their food $$ (and maybe other $$ as well) go further.

there are a lot of corporations that get "welfare" in some form or another.  subsidies, tax breaks, price supports, the gov' buying  excess product, etc.

 

I recently did jury duty - that $10 was set in the 50s. that is  about $88 today.  elsehwere someone posted a memory of paying $8 admission to disneyland back in the 60's.  current admission is FAR above the inflation rate.

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I'm not in what anyone considers a HCOL city/state and our first dirt cheap up three rickety flights of outdoor stairs studio apt was $409 a month not including utilities.

 

You can't find a one bedroom anything for that now.

 

In Seattle, you could get a room (room only) for $400/month 20 years ago near the UW. Right now the going rate for a studio is around $1500, cheap student ones for $1000. You can definitely find better deals, yes, but they are few and far between.

 

 

 

I'm not real good with inflation and all that jazz, and I realize things are way more expensive in today's dollars, but then that almost makes that chart irrelevant it seems to me.  

 

Well, I am real good with inflation and all that jazz, and I can tell you that that chart explains to you basically how much you should be paid in 2015 dollars (so, a dollar) to be able to get what you would have gotten in 1955, 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, and 2005 (among other years).

 

The chart is NOT irrelevant. It is precisely the information you need to make a better decision when you vote.

 

 

I find it depressing that a homeschooling parent would not be immediately remedying their lack of knowledge in this area (this is high-school level social science) and applying it to their beliefs about public policy.

 

You don't have to agree with me but absolutely NOBODY (from Krugman to Sowell to Friedman, look them up) would say that inflation is not critical to public policy. You must understand it and you must use economic theory to make policy. From the debt to the gold standard to silver to spending to the minimum wage, we use inflation in that.

 

Backtrack if you wish but I personally will not discuss this any further with someone who starts out with stating that they don't understand what they are talking about.

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The guy says he just put in a 60 hr work week and she's still going off about moochers. The numbers of people who get various forms of assistance and who are employed is ridiculous. She doesn't know him. Those could be foster kids. He could have a serious illness that makes it difficult to hold a job, much less a good paying one.

 

I haven't been following this recently, but the last I read there is actually a very large percentage of folks who work at Walmart who are also on food stamps, because the salaries are low enough that even those who work full time there qualify for the program. 

 

I did a quick noodle around on Google and found the following. I haven't read each of them in depth, so I'm not prepared to argue the information in detail, but I figured I'd include them as a starting point for anyone interested in reading more:

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/04/15/report-walmart-workers-cost-taxpayers-6-2-billion-in-public-assistance/#7e72f66b7cd8

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/04/walmart_employees_on_food_stamps_their_wages_aren_t_enough_to_get_by.html

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/24/walmart-fact-check-new-york-times_n_5525588.html

 

So, the irony of this awful woman's tirade is two-fold:

 

1. It's entirely possible that the man she's attacking actually works for the company she's currently patronizing or another one with very similar employment policies.

2. If she chose to spend her money at a business that paid its employees better, she might actually improve the situation for people like that father without seeing another dime come out of her taxes.

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The way you phrased that makes it sound like you think the number of people who "abuse the system" is about equal to the number who "need these to survive". Is that what you meant?

 

For the record, the data shows there is very little abuse or fraud going on.

 

No no no.  I promise I did not mean it that way!  

 

I was just saying that there are people that abuse the system and that isn't right.  But I am glad for the ones that need the assistance and can get the assistance.   

 

In no way was I trying to be judgmental. 

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I was just saying that there are people that abuse the system and that isn't right.  But I am glad for the ones that need the assistance and can get the assistance. 

 

Good thing I asked :)

 

I agree, those few people who abuse the system are doing wrong. However, they're so very few in number that I believe official policy is that it'd actually cost more to root them out than to ignore them.

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More likely she didn't notice how he paid so much that he separated out his groceries from his non groceries to make it easier on the cashier. Some times the system auto sorts but some don't and you have to pay for the food stamps items and then they ring up the other items to pay what ever other way.

 

But yeah. Usually I'm too busy keeping track of my own monkeys to notice other people's circus.

 

I've shopped at Walmart while on Food Stamps and WIC.   I don't remember how WIC worked, but I do remember that the food stamp money was loaded on a card.   You scanned the food stamp just like a credit card and it took off the allowed amount.   Then you used another method to pay for the remaining.  The process was precisely the same as if you used a gift card that didn't cover the entire amount.  I don't know why anyone would know unless the purchaser said something, or flashed the card.  

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During the recession, I knew four or five families who enlisted with families. It was also the war on terror. If you were quick enough like my ex-husband, you got in before they were full and they were still taking family men. Many of those men had degrees but not citizenship or citizenship but no degree. Most of my friends when we were military were in a similar position.

I can see it IF one could enlist as an E-4 (only possible in the Army as far as I know), maaaaybe E-3. There's just no way a single-income family with a couple kids is going to make it work most places in an E-1/2 salary.

 

But, the thing is that the pay charts, BAH, etc are there for everyone to see when they sign up. It's very easy to figure out how much you'll be making, even after taxes. If you are 23 and have a lot of bills to pay, you can look and see if the salary will cover them if you join. At 18 with no bills? Living in the barracks and eating at the chow hall? There's no reason to be broke. My regret is that I wasn't socking that money away because I had no real expenses to speak of.

 

As a single soldier the people I knew who were cash strapped were other single people who bought too much car, sound systems, ate out a lot, DRANK out a lot, used credit cards...the stereotypes are real.

 

The young families were living on base, not going out as much, had less fancy cars, but still doing alright. I used to babysit for my co workers for free to give them a break. They had normal furniture, pantries, lives, etc. Did they use WIC? Some did. The families I was close with didn't use or need food stamps. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, but it wasn't an epidemic among my peers.

 

That's how we found out that if you're an E-4 with a family you get WIC.

In our state, this was true at O-1 as well. I found out because the social worker at the hospital tried very hard to get me to enroll, even though I told her we didn't need assistance. Which is why I think eligibility is not the same thing as someone needing assistance, so the numbers and stats may be a bit skewed.

Edited by JodiSue
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In Seattle, you could get a room (room only) for $400/month 20 years ago near the UW. Right now the going rate for a studio is around $1500, cheap student ones for $1000. You can definitely find better deals, yes, but they are few and far between.

 

 

Well, I am real good with inflation and all that jazz, and I can tell you that that chart explains to you basically how much you should be paid in 2015 dollars (so, a dollar) to be able to get what you would have gotten in 1955, 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, and 2005 (among other years).

 

The chart is NOT irrelevant. It is precisely the information you need to make a better decision when you vote.

 

 

I find it depressing that a homeschooling parent would not be immediately remedying their lack of knowledge in this area (this is high-school level social science) and applying it to their beliefs about public policy.

 

You don't have to agree with me but absolutely NOBODY (from Krugman to Sowell to Friedman, look them up) would say that inflation is not critical to public policy. You must understand it and you must use economic theory to make policy. From the debt to the gold standard to silver to spending to the minimum wage, we use inflation in that.

 

Backtrack if you wish but I personally will not discuss this any further with someone who starts out with stating that they don't understand what they are talking about.

 

OK, about my first post in this thread...what Jim pays in rent is irrelevant.  My post was in regards to the sentiment about how terrible it is that military members qualify for food stamps.  Fact is, military members are compensated mostly on par with other public servants.  (I'm not saying that they (all public servants) shouldn't be paid more, but in general, someone with no college and only 7 years' experience is doing pretty well to be making almost $60k a year)  In my post, of course Jim should get food stamps once he has a child, regardless of whether his rent is free or $1000 a month.

 

My comment in regards to inflation directly corresponds to your chart.  As Tanaqui posted (and which I've already read/seen in regards to this $15/hour debate), minimum wage was meant to be a living wage.  According to your chart, the 25¢ minimum wage in 1938 is equal to $4.19 in last year's dollars.  1950 (75¢ = $7.35) is the first time it rose to be above today's minimum wage on the chart.  From there it fell in 1951 and stayed below today's minimum wage until 1956 ($1.00 = $8.69).  From 1956 until 1985 ($3.35 = $7.36) it stayed above today's minimum wage...and you assumed that because of how I feel, that I obviously worked for minimum wage in 1968.  There's "minor" fluctuation after that.

 

How is $4.19 today a living wage?  THAT is what makes no sense to me about the chart.  The chart says it's adjusted for inflation, but there is no way $4.19 would even keep a teenager in gas/car insurance imo.  I linked a comparison of 1938's prices compared to now in a previous post.  HOW can $4.19/25¢ possibly be considered a living wage?  Does inflation in your chart not account for inflation of prices for goods?

 

I find it depressing that someone would make a comment such as "I find it depressing that a homeschooling parent would not be immediately remedying their lack of knowledge in this area (this is high-school level social science) and applying it to their beliefs about public policy" and choose to be condescending when someone questions something.  I assure you, however, I will not miss your "discussion" (derision)...it is attitudes like that that cement people against a point of view.  A reasonable, amicable discussion would get you a lot further.

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I can see it IF one could enlist as an E-4 (only possible in the Army as far as I know), maaaaybe E-3. There's just no way a single-income family with a couple kids is going to make it work most places in an E-1/2 salary.

 

But, the thing is that the pay charts, BAH, etc are there for everyone to see when they sign up. It's very easy to figure out how much you'll be making, even after taxes. If you are 23 and have a lot of bills to pay, you can look and see if the salary will cover them if you join. At 18 with no bills? Living in the barracks and eating at the chow hall? There's no reason to be broke. My regret is that I wasn't socking that money away because I had no real expenses to speak of.

 

As a single soldier the people I knew who were cash strapped were other single people who bought too much car, sound systems, ate out a lot, DRANK out a lot, used credit cards...the stereotypes are real.

 

The young families were living on base, not going out as much, had less fancy cars, but still doing alright. I used to babysit for my co workers for free to give them a break. They had normal furniture, pantries, lives, etc. Did they use WIC? Some did. The families I was close with didn't use or need food stamps. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, but it wasn't an epidemic among my peers.

 

 

In our state, this was true at O-1 as well. I found out because the social worker at the hospital tried very hard to get me to enroll, even though I told her we didn't need assistance. Which is why I think eligibility is not the same thing as someone needing assistance, so the numbers and stats may be a bit skewed.

 

Yes, yes, yes.  This was the point I was trying to make (not how much rent a fast food worker has to pay lol)

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No, but I've intervened in Facebook rants about how someone could afford a coach purse and still be on food stamps multiple times.  It never occurs to them that you can be hardworking and get laid off, or be hardworking and get disabled, or be hardworking and still make plenty of money but be supporting someone who does qualify (disabled family member, foster care, etc).  People are self-righteous morons a lot of the time.

 

Or maybe have great luck shopping at Goodwill. Or were gifted a used Coach bag by someone (maybe family saved up a long time to give Mom a nice used purse).  You never know.

Edited by JFSinIL
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I can see it IF one could enlist as an E-4 (only possible in the Army as far as I know), maaaaybe E-3. There's just no way a single-income family with a couple kids is going to make it work most places in an E-1/2 salary.

 

But, the thing is that the pay charts, BAH, etc are there for everyone to see when they sign up. It's very easy to figure out how much you'll be making, even after taxes. If you are 23 and have a lot of bills to pay, you can look and see if the salary will cover them if you join. At 18 with no bills? Living in the barracks and eating at the chow hall? There's no reason to be broke. My regret is that I wasn't socking that money away because I had no real expenses to speak of.

 

As a single soldier the people I knew who were cash strapped were other single people who bought too much car, sound systems, ate out a lot, DRANK out a lot, used credit cards...the stereotypes are real.

 

The young families were living on base, not going out as much, had less fancy cars, but still doing alright. I used to babysit for my co workers for free to give them a break. They had normal furniture, pantries, lives, etc. Did they use WIC? Some did. The families I was close with didn't use or need food stamps. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, but it wasn't an epidemic among my peers.

 

 

In our state, this was true at O-1 as well. I found out because the social worker at the hospital tried very hard to get me to enroll, even though I told her we didn't need assistance. Which is why I think eligibility is not the same thing as someone needing assistance, so the numbers and stats may be a bit skewed.

 

When I enlisted, the recruiter told me I'd be starting as an E-3. Nope. E-1. I wasn't the only one who was lied to, either. My starting pay was right around $1000 a month gross. By the time all the taxes and deductions came out (including deductions for food, iirc) and I paid my few bills and bought things like toiletries, there wasn't much left. Going out for dinner once or twice a month with friends wiped it out. I didn't have a car, and I didn't drink because I wasn't yet twenty-one. 

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Or maybe have great luck shopping at Goodwill. Or were gifted a used Coach bag by someone (maybe family saved up a long time to give Mom a nice used purse).  You never know.

 

:iagree:  I have a leather Coach purse that retails for around $350. I bought it at Goodwill for <$10. I can only imagine what kind of rude comments I'd get if we were using food stamps. 

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WIC does have a higher income limit (we qualify for WIC but not foodstamps and we just barely make over income for Medicaid for the girls). I like Michigan's WIC system much better than Georgia (though it may have changed in the last 5 yrs). In Michigan we have cards so that we don't have to get everything at once (if you need milk you can just get milk and not worry about "wasting" a voucher). In Georgia they had the vouchers where there was multiple items on one and if you didn't get all the items then you forfeited them. Though Michigan WIC cards look like the food stamp cards so you get groans sometimes but at Walmart there is no need to separate (at the smaller stores you need to). I hate when WIC decides to change something and doesn't tell the users about it. There have been times when I've grabbed something that was previously covered by WIC and get to check out only to discover it's no longer covered.

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When I enlisted, the recruiter told me I'd be starting as an E-3. Nope. E-1. I wasn't the only one who was lied to, either. My starting pay was right around $1000 a month gross. By the time all the taxes and deductions came out (including deductions for food, iirc) and I paid my few bills and bought things like toiletries, there wasn't much left. Going out for dinner once or twice a month with friends wiped it out. I didn't have a car, and I didn't drink because I wasn't yet twenty-one.

I also started as an E-1. I was not lied to about this, but it was also in the contract I signed because I was promoted to E-3 early because of the job I signed up for. Everything I had was in writing when I enlisted, so there was no way they could lie about it. My first time at MEPS they told us specifically that whatever our recruiter promised was bunk unless it was in the contract we were about to sign.

 

I paid a phone bill, cable, and a car payment for a new Nissan Sentra. Plus clothes and fast food when I didn't want the chow hall. I mean, I wasn't rolling in it, but I didn't budget and I had plenty. My food and housing was paid for. The $1000/ month (mine was less when I joined pre 9/11, especially when the G.I. Bill was being taken out for my first year at $100/month) was almost totally for non-necessities except soap and toilet paper.

 

I don't know, I just never felt lacking for anything. I could have cancelled cable, bought a cheaper car, ate out WAY less...But I didn't need to at the time. For an 18yo with no job experience there was no way I was going to beat the total compensation package and I was in no way close to starving.

 

Eta: should clarify I bought my car when I was an E-3.

Edited by JodiSue

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When I enlisted, the recruiter told me I'd be starting as an E-3. Nope. E-1. I wasn't the only one who was lied to, either. My starting pay was right around $1000 a month gross. By the time all the taxes and deductions came out (including deductions for food, iirc) and I paid my few bills and bought things like toiletries, there wasn't much left. Going out for dinner once or twice a month with friends wiped it out. I didn't have a car, and I didn't drink because I wasn't yet twenty-one. 

 

My husband's starting pay was either $933.30 (E-2) or $770.10 (E-1).  I'm pretty sure he came in as an E-2, but he was a bit older than most new recruits (25).  If you had deductions for food, it wouldn't have been from the base pay, likely they paid you BAS and then took it back.  You probably did have $100 a month taken for the GI Bill and 50¢ a month for the retirement home.

 

My daughter joined in 2014, I was quite surprised at how screwy her first LES' were.  I *thought* initial issue uniforms were just issued, but no, they paid her all this uniform allowance and then took it back in spurts and chunks...her pay didn't settle into a reliable figure for about 5 months.  Her starting pay as an E-1 was $1,531.50.

 

I made DH go with DD to the recruiter so there wouldn't be any funny business :-/

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When we lived in NY, I was on WIC and I would get some comments, eye rolls, etc.  Not sure about now, but back then you had these actual coupons...and they would list exactly what you could buy.  Sometimes it would be really strange like 1 gallon plus 1 quart plus 1 pint of milk.  You had to get everything on that coupon, even if you didn't want it.  DH was mortified that we even needed it, but I was more practical.  We qualified and it made a gigantic difference in our being able to feed the kids.  I was so gosh darn grateful for those WIC checks each month... especially the checks for the farmer's market, too. 

 

The cashiers were often very kind, but new ones didn't always know what was allowed or not...and sometimes I'd have to bring out my little booklet. 

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I just looked, my base pay when I joined was less than $900/month. Out of that was taken ss and FICA, SGLI, G.I. Bill. I think my initial paychecks were in the realm of $300? But at first I had no bills, then just a phone bill for quite awhile. Man, that is funny to think about now!

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