Author Topic: Overheard on Facebook  (Read 2097563 times)

lemanfan

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2200 on: May 14, 2015, 01:12:39 AM »
This wasn't on FB but follows the theme of replacing perfectly good cars.  A work colleague traded in her 2 years old Mazda that had only about 30,000 miles on it because her battery ran down one day and she had to call road service to "rescue" her.  I was shocked and told her the battery could be replaced and she said she knew that of course but that, "everyone knows once the battery dies, the rest of the car is starting to fall apart too"! 

2 years, 30k miles - falling apart?  Oh gee.  I'm sure the car dealer like her.  :)

CabinetGuy

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2201 on: May 14, 2015, 04:53:38 AM »
A doozy yesterday:

"Yesterday I had money.  Today, not so much" with a picture of this guys wife in front of Lululemon with full bags.  They were celebrating her 30th birthday by taking the day off and bringing her on a shopping spree.

This guy makes decent money (I think), but damn man, be more subtle about your spending habits.  You own a company that takes other people's money (a specific type of gym (box) and charges more than competitors, to boot).

Another from someone else:  "Can't wait for our bachelorrette cruise!"

All these girls just graduated with nursing degrees.  What better way to celebrate than by blowing a couple more grand.

MMM has made me a grumpy old man.  Getting tired of saving and not spending sometimes...

hdatontodo

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2202 on: May 14, 2015, 08:51:33 AM »
This wasn't on FB but follows the theme of replacing perfectly good cars.  A work colleague traded in her 2 years old Mazda that had only about 30,000 miles on it because her battery ran down one day and she had to call road service to "rescue" her.  I was shocked and told her the battery could be replaced ...

Knowledge is power. DIY saves a lot of money. I visited my sister in Utah a few years back, and her house needed a lot of handyman work. There were toilets that had been scavenged for parts for other toilets. The dryer duct in the crawlspace was full of water since the outside plate was missing. The best one was that she had to hold down the garage door button from inside since she couldn't tap it and have it work. I looked around and saw the electric eye bracket was out of alignment due to junk in her garage leaning on it. I took my foot and pressed on the bracket so the light went across the door opening again. Voila. She kicked herself, since it had been "broken" for years and she had made so many trips inside the house to open the door.

RFAAOATB

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2203 on: May 14, 2015, 10:31:52 AM »
Another from someone else:  "Can't wait for our bachelorrette cruise!"

All these girls just graduated with nursing degrees.  What better way to celebrate than by blowing a couple more grand.

RN?  Go on and enjoy a cruise, you've made it.  CNA?  Continue the streak of bad decision making.

SisterX

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2204 on: May 14, 2015, 10:57:44 AM »

MMM has made me a grumpy old man.  Getting tired of saving and not spending sometimes...

The thing that got to me the most about your post was your attitude.  Do you still see spending as a reward and not spending as a "sacrifice"?  Because I don't, and never have, so I'm honestly curious.  Seeing other people's spending splurges doesn't make me feel envious, or tired of saving, or anything like that.  It doesn't make me feel self-righteous about my own frugality, either, FWIW.  But I'm curious why you say that MMM has made you into a grumpy old man, tired of saving.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2205 on: May 14, 2015, 01:16:39 PM »
The thing that got to me the most about your post was your attitude.  Do you still see spending as a reward and not spending as a "sacrifice"?  Because I don't, and never have, so I'm honestly curious.  Seeing other people's spending splurges doesn't make me feel envious, or tired of saving, or anything like that.  It doesn't make me feel self-righteous about my own frugality, either, FWIW.  But I'm curious why you say that MMM has made you into a grumpy old man, tired of saving.
I wouldn't go quite that far myself but I do find myself stuck in a wannabe-spendypants mode. There's lots of shit I just ermahgerd, want, regardless of how stoked I am about investing and how happy it makes me to watch the exponential acceleration of earnings. I have wish lists. I try not to look at them too often, because in a factual sense, I totally get the point about hedonic adaptation and possessions not equating to higher happiness; I just haven't internalized it as fully as I'd like to.

I really think it has to do with my upbringing. We were never poor, but we were always below average for the places we lived (which is funny, because it has as much to do with my family stretching and sacrificing to get us into better schools, etc, as anything else). Anyway, I was very sensitive to comparisons and I always felt inferior to kids with cool shit, and part of me will always want to show them up.

The smart, adult part of me is trying to subvert that by convincing the deprived little kid that a million-dollar portfolio is the best kind of "better shit" ever, and they have this sort of compromise involving tricks to slide most free cash past me before I have time to waste it. And I still make good conscious decisions with the rest, at least some of the time; the main point is to stack the deck against spendypantsness so most decisions are preconfigured and the few left are of lower importance.
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MgoSam

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2206 on: May 14, 2015, 01:35:14 PM »
The thing that got to me the most about your post was your attitude.  Do you still see spending as a reward and not spending as a "sacrifice"?  Because I don't, and never have, so I'm honestly curious.  Seeing other people's spending splurges doesn't make me feel envious, or tired of saving, or anything like that.  It doesn't make me feel self-righteous about my own frugality, either, FWIW.  But I'm curious why you say that MMM has made you into a grumpy old man, tired of saving.
I wouldn't go quite that far myself but I do find myself stuck in a wannabe-spendypants mode. There's lots of shit I just ermahgerd, want, regardless of how stoked I am about investing and how happy it makes me to watch the exponential acceleration of earnings. I have wish lists. I try not to look at them too often, because in a factual sense, I totally get the point about hedonic adaptation and possessions not equating to higher happiness; I just haven't internalized it as fully as I'd like to.

I really think it has to do with my upbringing. We were never poor, but we were always below average for the places we lived (which is funny, because it has as much to do with my family stretching and sacrificing to get us into better schools, etc, as anything else). Anyway, I was very sensitive to comparisons and I always felt inferior to kids with cool shit, and part of me will always want to show them up.

The smart, adult part of me is trying to subvert that by convincing the deprived little kid that a million-dollar portfolio is the best kind of "better shit" ever, and they have this sort of compromise involving tricks to slide most free cash past me before I have time to waste it. And I still make good conscious decisions with the rest, at least some of the time; the main point is to stack the deck against spendypantsness so most decisions are preconfigured and the few left are of lower importance.

+1

I will admit that I often want things, not to have them, but because I get jealous of seeing other people with them. A friend of mine's bf is looking at houses, and the ones that he is interested in are twice what I want to spend on mine, and of course, a lot nicer, and I do feel envious. When I see someone driving around in a nicer car I feel envious even though my car is perfectly fine, and I really enjoy it. These moments of envy aren't rational at all, it doesn't take long for me to snap back to reality, but I still do feel pangs of jealousy.

iowajes

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2207 on: May 14, 2015, 01:42:45 PM »
Everyone on facebook is bitching about gas prices... and I'm just sitting here riding my bike.
Have they gone up recently? I thought gas was kinda low again. (In a relative way, not in a 75 cents a gallon way.)

I only fill up less than once a month.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 01:44:33 PM by iowajes »

Gin1984

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2208 on: May 14, 2015, 02:00:59 PM »
Everyone on facebook is bitching about gas prices... and I'm just sitting here riding my bike.
Have they gone up recently? I thought gas was kinda low again. (In a relative way, not in a 75 cents a gallon way.)

I only fill up less than once a month.
It went under 2.50 in my area then back above. 

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2209 on: May 14, 2015, 02:03:40 PM »
Everyone on facebook is bitching about gas prices... and I'm just sitting here riding my bike.
Have they gone up recently? I thought gas was kinda low again. (In a relative way, not in a 75 cents a gallon way.)

I only fill up less than once a month.
It went under 2.50 in my area then back above.

Same here, I wonder if we live in the same area.

Hunny156

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2210 on: May 14, 2015, 02:12:44 PM »
The thing that got to me the most about your post was your attitude.  Do you still see spending as a reward and not spending as a "sacrifice"?  Because I don't, and never have, so I'm honestly curious.  Seeing other people's spending splurges doesn't make me feel envious, or tired of saving, or anything like that.  It doesn't make me feel self-righteous about my own frugality, either, FWIW.  But I'm curious why you say that MMM has made you into a grumpy old man, tired of saving.
I wouldn't go quite that far myself but I do find myself stuck in a wannabe-spendypants mode. There's lots of shit I just ermahgerd, want, regardless of how stoked I am about investing and how happy it makes me to watch the exponential acceleration of earnings. I have wish lists. I try not to look at them too often, because in a factual sense, I totally get the point about hedonic adaptation and possessions not equating to higher happiness; I just haven't internalized it as fully as I'd like to.

I really think it has to do with my upbringing. We were never poor, but we were always below average for the places we lived (which is funny, because it has as much to do with my family stretching and sacrificing to get us into better schools, etc, as anything else). Anyway, I was very sensitive to comparisons and I always felt inferior to kids with cool shit, and part of me will always want to show them up.

The smart, adult part of me is trying to subvert that by convincing the deprived little kid that a million-dollar portfolio is the best kind of "better shit" ever, and they have this sort of compromise involving tricks to slide most free cash past me before I have time to waste it. And I still make good conscious decisions with the rest, at least some of the time; the main point is to stack the deck against spendypantsness so most decisions are preconfigured and the few left are of lower importance.

+1

I will admit that I often want things, not to have them, but because I get jealous of seeing other people with them. A friend of mine's bf is looking at houses, and the ones that he is interested in are twice what I want to spend on mine, and of course, a lot nicer, and I do feel envious. When I see someone driving around in a nicer car I feel envious even though my car is perfectly fine, and I really enjoy it. These moments of envy aren't rational at all, it doesn't take long for me to snap back to reality, but I still do feel pangs of jealousy.

I sometimes think I've gone too far over the other side.  Even when I have an actual need, I try to push off the purchase for as long as possible.  Just spending money hurts, unless I'm spending it at Vanguard.

I need to find a happy medium; I'm just not thrilled with work lately and am in a bad cycle of wishing the week away, so every penny spent now is like a sentence extension for work.  I'm 3-5 years out, I think, and I'm trying to blow that goal out of the water, even though I know I should enjoy today as well.

On the new house note, I've had a few friends with similar reactions to yours.  If I see a new home community, I'll go check it out.  Our market is getting crazier, and I've noticed a few of the higher end communities acting more like timeshares - they have petting zoos, catered food, movie marathons, concerts, chocolate snack bars, cupcakes, food trailers, the works on the weekends!  So I've been checking out some of the model houses, and suggested some of my friends do the same, if for nothing else than the free lunch you can get out of it. 

A couple of them are staying away on purpose, b/c my descriptions of the home features would make them want to upgrade.  That surprised me.  I mean, these houses are 2-3x the cost of our very nice homes, & I look at them and just see the years of being a work slave and never getting to actually enjoy the house.  I enjoy looking and seeing what the latest trends are, but I never walk away thinking, "I want that".  I guess in that regard, it makes it much easier for me to be mustachian.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2211 on: May 14, 2015, 02:14:43 PM »
If I hear one more person bitching about gas prices after voluntarily purchasing a 15mpg utility vehicle to commute solo from the 'burbs, and demanding the gubmint do something about it while mourning the rampant socialism in America these days... workplace shooting in Alabama. ;)
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MgoSam

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2212 on: May 14, 2015, 02:18:53 PM »
If I hear one more person bitching about gas prices after voluntarily purchasing a 15mpg utility vehicle to commute solo from the 'burbs, and demanding the gubmint do something about it while mourning the rampant socialism in America these days... workplace shooting in Alabama. ;)

I remember a guy in Alabama complaining about how high gas prices are and how this was socialism. I commented that he drives a truck when he works in an office and the guy got all hissy and in my face about freedom and how he wanted to 'kick my ass.'

"Is this the freedom that you're referring to?" Then my marine friend got between us and told him to 'get the $@( back unless he wanted to drink his next few meals." He backed off.

infogoon

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2213 on: May 14, 2015, 02:21:17 PM »
If I hear one more person bitching about gas prices after voluntarily purchasing a 15mpg utility vehicle to commute solo from the 'burbs, and demanding the gubmint do something about it while mourning the rampant socialism in America these days... workplace shooting in Alabama. ;)

It's usually the same guy complaining about unions and incompetent government employees, while living off his wife's salary as a (unionized) public school teacher.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2214 on: May 14, 2015, 02:22:58 PM »
If I hear one more person bitching about gas prices after voluntarily purchasing a 15mpg utility vehicle to commute solo from the 'burbs, and demanding the gubmint do something about it while mourning the rampant socialism in America these days... workplace shooting in Alabama. ;)

It's usually the same guy complaining about unions and incompetent government employees, while living off his wife's salary as a (unionized) public school teacher.

I usually find it funny when someone does this, but that said, at least they have first hand experience at the incompetence of government employees....

CabinetGuy

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2215 on: May 14, 2015, 05:47:27 PM »

MMM has made me a grumpy old man.  Getting tired of saving and not spending sometimes...

The thing that got to me the most about your post was your attitude.  Do you still see spending as a reward and not spending as a "sacrifice"?  Because I don't, and never have, so I'm honestly curious.  Seeing other people's spending splurges doesn't make me feel envious, or tired of saving, or anything like that.  It doesn't make me feel self-righteous about my own frugality, either, FWIW.  But I'm curious why you say that MMM has made you into a grumpy old man, tired of saving.

I spent way too many years not saving my money that I've now possibly over-corrected by saving almost everything I bring in.  At this point, seeing other people having fun and spending money is making me feel envious.  Maybe it's FOMO, I don't know.  I kind of feel like that guy in the Matrix lamenting the fact that he took the wrong pill.  So I feel like a grumpy old man in the sense that I want to smack sense into people so they don't make the mistakes I made when I was younger, mixed in with some jealousy that I'm not blowing through my money as well. Make sense?

Jon


Kris

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2216 on: May 14, 2015, 05:52:58 PM »
If I hear one more person bitching about gas prices after voluntarily purchasing a 15mpg utility vehicle to commute solo from the 'burbs, and demanding the gubmint do something about it while mourning the rampant socialism in America these days... workplace shooting in Alabama. ;)

LOL yeah, and probably taking some pot shots at "socialist" Europe and crowing about our free-market capitalist system, while taking advantage of our heavily subsidized gasoline. 
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

gimp

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2217 on: May 14, 2015, 06:36:05 PM »
I remember when (a couple months ago) Obama told people that super low gas prices wouldn't last and not to run out and buy SUVs and blame him for gas prices when they went up.

It's almost like he's prescient or something.

Kris

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2218 on: May 14, 2015, 06:42:22 PM »
I remember when (a couple months ago) Obama told people that super low gas prices wouldn't last and not to run out and buy SUVs and blame him for gas prices when they went up.

It's almost like he's prescient or something.

Lol yeah, well, six years of being blamed for everything from the Holocaust to  crop circles will do that to a person.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

gimp

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2219 on: May 14, 2015, 07:24:25 PM »
To be fair, I heard he actually does sneak onto farms at night and silently scythes patterns into their wheat.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2220 on: May 14, 2015, 08:51:10 PM »
If I hear one more person bitching about gas prices after voluntarily purchasing a 15mpg utility vehicle to commute solo from the 'burbs, and demanding the gubmint do something about it while mourning the rampant socialism in America these days... workplace shooting in Alabama. ;)

LOL yeah, and probably taking some pot shots at "socialist" Europe and crowing about our free-market capitalist system, while taking advantage of our heavily subsidized gasoline.
At the risk of getting foamy, I'm curious as to these gasoline subsidies.  I know that in the EU gasoline is taxed pretty heavily, but other than ethanol, how is gasoline subsidized in the US?

SisterX

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2221 on: May 15, 2015, 12:55:36 AM »
+1

I will admit that I often want things, not to have them, but because I get jealous of seeing other people with them. A friend of mine's bf is looking at houses, and the ones that he is interested in are twice what I want to spend on mine, and of course, a lot nicer, and I do feel envious. When I see someone driving around in a nicer car I feel envious even though my car is perfectly fine, and I really enjoy it. These moments of envy aren't rational at all, it doesn't take long for me to snap back to reality, but I still do feel pangs of jealousy.

Huh.  I'm at a point in my life where owning most things isn't very meaningful to me.  Being in the process of decluttering and packing for a major move that we've had planned for over a year, it's really forced me to see what's important to me.  I would like to own a house, but I'm not envious of people who do.  Many of them bought too much house, whereas waiting this long to buy a house has shown me exactly how little space my family needs to be happy, so I won't make the mistake of buying too much.  I hate waiting, and I'm not a patient person, but I am coming around to the idea that waiting for what I really want both makes me understand myself better, and ensures that I truly do want something.  Those are far too introspective to allow envy to worm its way into the mix, I think.


I spent way too many years not saving my money that I've now possibly over-corrected by saving almost everything I bring in.  At this point, seeing other people having fun and spending money is making me feel envious.  Maybe it's FOMO, I don't know.  I kind of feel like that guy in the Matrix lamenting the fact that he took the wrong pill.  So I feel like a grumpy old man in the sense that I want to smack sense into people so they don't make the mistakes I made when I was younger, mixed in with some jealousy that I'm not blowing through my money as well. Make sense?

Jon

I definitely understand about wanting to help others avoid the same mistakes, but in the end there's only so much a person can do.  Some lessons need to be learned the hard way.  I've learned plenty of my own, and am surely still making quite a few, but those lessons will stick.
I also don't hold onto every penny so hard now that I forget the good things in life.  Maybe work on forgiving yourself for past mistakes, so that you can spend at a reasonable level to enjoy some things now?

I wouldn't go quite that far myself but I do find myself stuck in a wannabe-spendypants mode. There's lots of shit I just ermahgerd, want, regardless of how stoked I am about investing and how happy it makes me to watch the exponential acceleration of earnings. I have wish lists. I try not to look at them too often, because in a factual sense, I totally get the point about hedonic adaptation and possessions not equating to higher happiness; I just haven't internalized it as fully as I'd like to.

I really think it has to do with my upbringing. We were never poor, but we were always below average for the places we lived (which is funny, because it has as much to do with my family stretching and sacrificing to get us into better schools, etc, as anything else). Anyway, I was very sensitive to comparisons and I always felt inferior to kids with cool shit, and part of me will always want to show them up.

The smart, adult part of me is trying to subvert that by convincing the deprived little kid that a million-dollar portfolio is the best kind of "better shit" ever, and they have this sort of compromise involving tricks to slide most free cash past me before I have time to waste it. And I still make good conscious decisions with the rest, at least some of the time; the main point is to stack the deck against spendypantsness so most decisions are preconfigured and the few left are of lower importance.

I used to work as a nanny, for families who were quite wealthy.  My family was not poor, but by comparison....  Anyway, one of the families bought a new house while I worked for them.  It was gorgeous, right on the water with a fabulous view, private boat launch, etc.  Enormous house, three-car garage.  At first I was overwhelmed with the grandeur.  I mean, this house was nice.  But after a year or so of going there every day, not only did it become commonplace for me, but I also had a good chance to see the living patterns of the family.  There were rooms which I'm not even sure they've ever actually used for the intended purpose, such as the formal dining room.  It's beautifully decorated, but no one ever goes in there because the breakfast nook in the kitchen is both plenty large for family meals and the parties they throw, and has the better view. 
That was my first, biggest, lesson on the fact that money can buy a lot of things, but just because you can buy them doesn't mean they're necessary or that you'll be any happier for having them.  What a freaking waste, to have a room with beautiful things but which no one ever notices.  The whole room is passed by because it's useless to the life the family actually leads. 
Over the intervening years, I've been able to apply that to pretty much every other "thing" I could spend my money on.  The urge to be a spendypants is considerably quelled when you realize just what a waste it would be, in so many different ways.  I hope you reach that point soon, because it's so freeing.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2222 on: May 15, 2015, 06:55:43 AM »
At the risk of getting foamy, I'm curious as to these gasoline subsidies.  I know that in the EU gasoline is taxed pretty heavily, but other than ethanol, how is gasoline subsidized in the US?
Primarily via credits for exploration and production. Additionally, our low gasoline tax - a flat amount vs a percentage, which has not risen in many years - covers only a fraction of the the external costs of using gasoline, such as maintaining roads, pollution-related public health issues, etc. This is effectively an additional subsidy, whose value probably exceeds all others combined.

Here's an interesting rundown of various types and estimated quantities:
http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/
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zolotiyeruki

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2223 on: May 15, 2015, 08:51:11 AM »
Primarily via credits for exploration and production. Additionally, our low gasoline tax - a flat amount vs a percentage, which has not risen in many years - covers only a fraction of the the external costs of using gasoline, such as maintaining roads, pollution-related public health issues, etc. This is effectively an additional subsidy, whose value probably exceeds all others combined.

Here's an interesting rundown of various types and estimated quantities:
http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/
First of all, they're deductions, not tax credits.  Secondly, it applies to exploration, not production.  Thirdly, that deduction is no different than the deductions taken in pretty much any industry for capital improvements, R&D, etc, including renewable energy.  Fourthly, since when has the federal government been giving out subsidized loans to oil & gas companies?  Fifthly, the amount of the deductions is positively dwarfed by the subsidies, tax credits, and taxpayer-backed loans1 (by an order of magnitude2), not to mention regulatory favoritism3 showered upon alternative energy.

I don't know enough about the actual DOT costs, health-related costs to respond to those points, but I'm afraid you've been dreadfully misinformed on the subsidy issue.

1From the (presumably unbiased) source: http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/
2The US oil & gas industry has revenues of $1.1 trillion per year.  Alternative energy in the US is one tenth that size.  So, even if you want to (erroneously) claim that US oil & gas companies get a unique subsidy, the point stands that renewables get 100x the subsidy per amount of energy generated.
3http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2013/09/22/wind-energy-gets-away-with-murder/

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2224 on: May 15, 2015, 09:39:47 AM »
Primarily via credits for exploration and production. Additionally, our low gasoline tax - a flat amount vs a percentage, which has not risen in many years - covers only a fraction of the the external costs of using gasoline, such as maintaining roads, pollution-related public health issues, etc. This is effectively an additional subsidy, whose value probably exceeds all others combined.

Here's an interesting rundown of various types and estimated quantities:
http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/
First of all, they're deductions, not tax credits.  Secondly, it applies to exploration, not production.  Thirdly, that deduction is no different than the deductions taken in pretty much any industry for capital improvements, R&D, etc, including renewable energy.  Fourthly, since when has the federal government been giving out subsidized loans to oil & gas companies?  Fifthly, the amount of the deductions is positively dwarfed by the subsidies, tax credits, and taxpayer-backed loans1 (by an order of magnitude2), not to mention regulatory favoritism3 showered upon alternative energy.

I don't know enough about the actual DOT costs, health-related costs to respond to those points, but I'm afraid you've been dreadfully misinformed on the subsidy issue.

1From the (presumably unbiased) source: http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/
2The US oil & gas industry has revenues of $1.1 trillion per year.  Alternative energy in the US is one tenth that size.  So, even if you want to (erroneously) claim that US oil & gas companies get a unique subsidy, the point stands that renewables get 100x the subsidy per amount of energy generated.
3http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2013/09/22/wind-energy-gets-away-with-murder/
Dreadfully misinformed, because of some linguistic imprecision? That's a bit harsh.
I wasn't really trying to make a comparison between FF and renewable energy, but since we're doing that now: it is reasonable and appropriate for renewables (an emerging technology with initially high costs and great potential to benefit the nation as a whole when broadly deployed) to receive government support that draws down as their profitability increases. This happened with many forms of technology and infrastructure that we now take for granted, and it played a large role in the success of many, of today's established industries (including oil producers and automakers).
It is neither reasonable nor appropriate for any established, profitable industry to receive unique tax benefits that do not come with a corresponding public benefit, and while you rightly point out many of the deductions available to fossil fuel producers are not unique, there are counterexamples. The depletion allowance is a good one - it was arbitrarily derived, represents no actual cost, and inflates profits (and therefore, share prices) at taxpayer expense.
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dandarc

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2225 on: May 15, 2015, 10:12:01 AM »
The depletion allowance is a good one - it was arbitrarily derived, represents no actual cost, and inflates profits (and therefore, share prices) at taxpayer expense.
You must mean percentage depletion method?  Because reading on the cost depletion method, that sounds just like depreciation - you paid for some assets (oil reserves), we don't let you deduct that immediately because it clearly has value, so you deduct it as you "use up" the

When I read on the percentage depletion method, it sounds a lot like the standard mileage rates for vehicles.  Shorthand way of recognizing a cost that might otherwise be overly difficult to track.  On the whole it could be accurate, but clearly presents an opportunity for a smart producer to take advantage.  Similar to a business owner making deliveries in an old economy car but able to deduct $0.565 / mile.

And similar to the standard mileage deduction, the percentage depletion method only applies to small, independent owners - less than $5 million in sales and no more than 1,000 barrels / day produced. 

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p535/ch09.html#en_US_2014_publink1000209050
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-mssp/oilgas.pdf (page 1-3 for definition of independent producer)
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Beaker

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2226 on: May 15, 2015, 10:45:33 AM »
The depletion allowance is a good one - it was arbitrarily derived, represents no actual cost, and inflates profits (and therefore, share prices) at taxpayer expense.
You must mean percentage depletion method?  Because reading on the cost depletion method, that sounds just like depreciation - you paid for some assets (oil reserves), we don't let you deduct that immediately because it clearly has value, so you deduct it as you "use up" the

When I read on the percentage depletion method, it sounds a lot like the standard mileage rates for vehicles.  Shorthand way of recognizing a cost that might otherwise be overly difficult to track.  On the whole it could be accurate, but clearly presents an opportunity for a smart producer to take advantage.  Similar to a business owner making deliveries in an old economy car but able to deduct $0.565 / mile.

And similar to the standard mileage deduction, the percentage depletion method only applies to small, independent owners - less than $5 million in sales and no more than 1,000 barrels / day produced. 

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p535/ch09.html#en_US_2014_publink1000209050
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-mssp/oilgas.pdf (page 1-3 for definition of independent producer)

To add a bit to your point, note that the depletion allowance applies to any extractive industry, including mining and timber cutting. But oil & gas extraction is specifically singled out to get *less favorable* treatment than other industries do.

One could make a case that depletion shouldn't be allowed in general, but it's hard to argue that O&G is getting especially good treatment.

@dandarc, I bet you're in the industry - it seems like you've argued this point before. :) DW works for an O&G company so I've had a similar discussion more than once.

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2227 on: May 15, 2015, 10:55:51 AM »
@Beaker - Not at all - I'm an IT contractor who works for a gov't welfare program.  Have a bachelor's in accounting though, so I have interest in tax-related topics.
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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2228 on: May 15, 2015, 11:02:52 AM »
I think the case that oil/gas production in the US is subsidized is an uphill effort.

Saying that the negative externalities of their processing/use of their end products aren't being accounted for is about as good as you might do.

I'd point out that road use/wear and tear isn't a negative externality of gasoline.  It is an externality of road use.  Electric vehicles damage the road as they use it and cause just as much congestion as a gasoline powered vehicle.

You could indeed argue that electric vehicles have very clear negative externalities that they are not covering at all since they pay nothing into most highway/road funds.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2229 on: May 15, 2015, 11:22:13 AM »
Dreadfully misinformed, because of some linguistic imprecision? That's a bit harsh.
I wasn't really trying to make a comparison between FF and renewable energy, but since we're doing that now: it is reasonable and appropriate for renewables (an emerging technology with initially high costs and great potential to benefit the nation as a whole when broadly deployed) to receive government support that draws down as their profitability increases. This happened with many forms of technology and infrastructure that we now take for granted, and it played a large role in the success of many, of today's established industries (including oil producers and automakers).
It is neither reasonable nor appropriate for any established, profitable industry to receive unique tax benefits that do not come with a corresponding public benefit, and while you rightly point out many of the deductions available to fossil fuel producers are not unique, there are counterexamples. The depletion allowance is a good one - it was arbitrarily derived, represents no actual cost, and inflates profits (and therefore, share prices) at taxpayer expense.
I brought up renewable energy, because it's the natural counterpoint to fossil fuels.

dandarc has done a good job of deconstructing the financial arguments, and dplasters has addressed the whole "road use" thing.

Which leaves me with the whole "it's worth it to subsidize emerging [transformative] technologies" issue.  Wind energy is *not* an emerging technology.  It has been around for centuries.  Ethanol has been subsidized through specific tax credits since 1978--nearly four decades.  Photovoltaics have been around for a similar time frame.  Research is one thing.  But subsidies for production are something else entirely.    Heck, wind turbines don't make economic sense even if you eliminate the capital costs, i.e. they can't even cover their own operating costs.  How long do you subsidize an "emerging" technology that has yet to prove economic before throwing in the towel?

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2230 on: May 15, 2015, 12:05:24 PM »
I brought up renewable energy, because it's the natural counterpoint to fossil fuels.

dandarc has done a good job of deconstructing the financial arguments, and dplasters has addressed the whole "road use" thing.

Which leaves me with the whole "it's worth it to subsidize emerging [transformative] technologies" issue.  Wind energy is *not* an emerging technology.  It has been around for centuries.  Ethanol has been subsidized through specific tax credits since 1978--nearly four decades.  Photovoltaics have been around for a similar time frame.  Research is one thing.  But subsidies for production are something else entirely.    Heck, wind turbines don't make economic sense even if you eliminate the capital costs, i.e. they can't even cover their own operating costs.  How long do you subsidize an "emerging" technology that has yet to prove economic before throwing in the towel?
Ethanol subsidies are a shameless handout to the corn distribution industry. I can't support them.
Wind and PV on the other hand, stand to displace substantial portions of our legacy systems as costs fall and reliability issues are mitigated. They have achieved unsubsidized cost parity with coal and even natural gas in some locations and applications. I don't define "emerging" by absolute age but by pace of progress and the relative remaining potential for advancements, and by both of those measures wind and PV are still emerging. Theoretical limits to efficiency and cost-effectiveness are well beyond today's systems.

http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/blog/earth_to_power/2013/09/xcel-energy-proposes-to-triple-solar.html?page=all

Quote
“This is the first time that we’ve seen, purely on a price basis, that the solar projects made the cut -- without considering carbon costs or the need to comply with a renewable energy standard -- strictly on an economic basis,” David Eves, CEO of an Xcel subsidiary, told the Denver Business Journal.
The intent of subsidies is to sustain the industry until scaling and efficiency advances allow the tech to stand on its own feet. If that fails to happen, then I'm all for pulling the plug. But that is unlikely, given current trends.
Here's another reference point from around this time last year:

http://www.businessinsider.com/barclays-downgrades-utilities-on-solar-threat-2014-5

It is likely that we will all eventually get most of our power from these sources for less than we would pay otherwise, and decision-makers at both utility companies and international financial institutions agree on that. But they would never have reached that point in a pure free market, which is a good example of why mixed systems work so well.
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Making Cookies

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2231 on: May 15, 2015, 12:12:40 PM »
God people are stupid. These are all college-educated guys, one is even a teacher doing his PH.D on social injustices. LOL. Morons. These are the same people who constantly blame the government and the corporations for all the ills of the world while wasting MASSIVE, MASSIVE sums of money and being defensive when told. Just absolute idiots and they fancy themselves intellectuals.

I'm really surprised that anyone would get defensive when you state your case so calmly and rationally like that.  Amazing!

Those guys are just looking for some one to shift the blame of their econmic shortcomings onto.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2232 on: May 15, 2015, 02:51:11 PM »
Wind and PV on the other hand, stand to displace substantial portions of our legacy systems as costs fall and reliability issues are mitigated. They have achieved unsubsidized cost parity with coal and even natural gas in some locations and applications. I don't define "emerging" by absolute age but by pace of progress and the relative remaining potential for advancements, and by both of those measures wind and PV are still emerging. Theoretical limits to efficiency and cost-effectiveness are well beyond today's systems.

...
The intent of subsidies is to sustain the industry until scaling and efficiency advances allow the tech to stand on its own feet. If that fails to happen, then I'm all for pulling the plug. But that is unlikely, given current trends.
...

It is likely that we will all eventually get most of our power from these sources for less than we would pay otherwise, and decision-makers at both utility companies and international financial institutions agree on that. But they would never have reached that point in a pure free market, which is a good example of why mixed systems work so well.
As for scaling, we already have a rather well-developed wind industry--just take a drive across the plains states.  Efficiency advances?  Airfoil design is a 100-year-old technology.  It's not gonna get much better for wind--we're already pretty near the theoretical limit.  As for solar, I keep hearing announcements of improved efficiencies, but they never seem to make their way to market.

I actually priced out a solar system for our home a week or two ago.  I won't run through the numbers (if you *really* want me to, I suppose I could), but it turned out that the ROI was about 6%, after a 30% federal tax credit and an additional 25% tax credit from Illinois. Now, I'm sure the economics are better further south, or in areas with more expensive electricity, or on a larger scale.  But when you're only getting a 6% ROI before  inflation, after a 55% discount, it's a hard case to make.

With regard to the net metering thing (the threat to utilities discussed in the business insider article), here's an aspect of that issue you may not be familiar with:  Solar and wind are inherently unreliable--it's not a problem with the technology, it's just the nature of...well, nature.  So with many people installing solar panels, the utilities still have to invest the capital to meet peak generation demand, but will be selling less electricity on average.  So their cost basis per kWh generated will increase.

Now, if we can solve the energy storage problem, a lot of these issues go away.  Don't get me wrong--I have no objection to alternative energy.  I love the idea of distributed generation, of energy independence, and reduced pollution.  But I *do* object to seeing a portion of my paycheck go to an industry that for decades has proven itself incapable of standing on its own, and shows little prospect for changing that.

Krolik

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2233 on: May 15, 2015, 02:52:03 PM »
Not FB but posted on a different message board

"We took some money out of our son's college fund to buy a very extravagant and expensive bottle of bourbon. And then we drank over half of the bottle while playing video games. No regrets. "
Born and raised in Poland. Living in US. Planning to retire somewhere.

justajane

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2234 on: May 15, 2015, 03:50:57 PM »
Not FB but posted on a different message board

"We took some money out of our son's college fund to buy a very extravagant and expensive bottle of bourbon. And then we drank over half of the bottle while playing video games. No regrets. "

Hahaha. This! FTW!

Poor kid, though.

SteveR

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2235 on: May 15, 2015, 04:21:11 PM »
I sometimes think I've gone too far over the other side.  Even when I have an actual need, I try to push off the purchase for as long as possible.  Just spending money hurts, unless I'm spending it at Vanguard.

I need to find a happy medium; I'm just not thrilled with work lately and am in a bad cycle of wishing the week away, so every penny spent now is like a sentence extension for work.  I'm 3-5 years out, I think, and I'm trying to blow that goal out of the water, even though I know I should enjoy today as well.

This is almost exactly where I am right now, even down to the time to FI. I don't have an answer, I just wanted to say thanks for showing me it's not just me. Metaphorically, it's like my car - sorry, bike :-) - broke down 20 miles from home. It's a nice day, I have a bottle of water, I just need to suck it down and walk the 20 miles home. I can totally do it. I'm doing it. But it would make more sense to be enjoying the walk, and yet I can't stop myself counting every sodding step of the way. "Only 19.5 miles to go now. 19.6 at the outside. You can do this. It's gonna be worth it." Not the right attitude, but I'm struggling to change it.

ms

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2236 on: May 15, 2015, 11:00:11 PM »
Fellow mom venting:

Ugh. I feel your pain. DH is a lifelong comic and autograph collector. He spends $30 minimum each week on comics. It's always been a non-negotiable in our relationship but it especially pisses me off when I'm on mat leave. And he won't tell me what he spent at the Calgary Comic Show. Oh, and he's 40.

I've suggested to him that if he sold, the money would cover our daughter's education. But he sees them as his legacy that he needs to pass down. Because, you know, every young woman wants to inherit about 35,000 comic books.‎

Yup. 12 years with the man and I still don't get it. And not only do they just sit there. I pay for them to sit there in a storage locker in Kingston.

The kicker: it's ‎2886 km | 1789 miles from Calgary to Kingston so that locker is not getting cleared out any time soon.‎

TheBuddha

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2237 on: May 16, 2015, 02:47:47 AM »
Debt-free as of 9/11/15. Paid off $50k in 3.5 years.




Travis

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2238 on: May 16, 2015, 02:06:39 PM »
Fellow mom venting:

Ugh. I feel your pain. DH is a lifelong comic and autograph collector. He spends $30 minimum each week on comics. It's always been a non-negotiable in our relationship but it especially pisses me off when I'm on mat leave. And he won't tell me what he spent at the Calgary Comic Show. Oh, and he's 40.

I've suggested to him that if he sold, the money would cover our daughter's education. But he sees them as his legacy that he needs to pass down. Because, you know, every young woman wants to inherit about 35,000 comic books.‎

Yup. 12 years with the man and I still don't get it. And not only do they just sit there. I pay for them to sit there in a storage locker in Kingston.

The kicker: it's ‎2886 km | 1789 miles from Calgary to Kingston so that locker is not getting cleared out any time soon.‎


The vast majority of comics books are barely worth their initial sale price.  I'm trying to sell my collection, and amongst 200 comics I found just a few worth more than $10.  I got $300 for one on Ebay, but I'll be lucky to get $2 each for the rest.  I have comics that are 40 years old, and even in perfect condition most of them max out at $5 each.  In hindsight, the money would have been better put in a CD and just let sit for all those years.

Elderwood17

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2239 on: May 16, 2015, 08:34:16 PM »
Fellow mom venting:

The kicker: it's ‎2886 km | 1789 miles from Calgary to Kingston so that locker is not getting cleared out any time soon.‎

How does that even work???  You take a major vacation periodically to visit your comic collection?

ms

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2240 on: May 17, 2015, 04:30:16 AM »
They moved to Calgary. Not sure how long ago. Definitely not in the last four months.

Squirrel away

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2241 on: May 17, 2015, 05:19:06 AM »
Not FB but on a forum I'm on, a person complaining about working all hours and not having any money. Then she comments on her new car payment and new upgraded phone.

Not FB but posted on a different message board

"We took some money out of our son's college fund to buy a very extravagant and expensive bottle of bourbon. And then we drank over half of the bottle while playing video games. No regrets. "

Wow!

401Killer

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2242 on: May 17, 2015, 09:29:17 AM »
Friends little girl, post on FB that she save up and spent a few hundred dollars on her first Coach purse. Picture of her hold it. At least it's not credit card debt, but I'm sure it will turn eventually into that.


Joggernot

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2243 on: May 17, 2015, 12:31:44 PM »

Sale Ad: "Dryer works just fine. Heats great. We had to buy matching set when washer went out. Not very pretty but it does the job."

I just don't understand this.  Is the laundry room now a place where your friends judge your adequacy?

Kris

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2244 on: May 17, 2015, 01:24:56 PM »
FB post from my fitness instructor (who is a kick-ass instructor, but wow, is he materialistic and shallow):

"The time has come to get a new car! Do I get the BMW 328i X-drive or the Audi A4 or the Volvo S60? (All models 2015) Please comment below! Thanks!"

Most of the comments are from people weighing in on the cars (many of whom have BMWs or Audis).  A few of them are saying cautionary things, like: "You already have a car," or "If you are up to date on saving for retirement.  If not, pinch yourself and remember that you just want the car, you don't need it," or "Wow, being a fitness instructor must pay better than I thought."  All of those comments are completely ignored.   

Literally ONE DAY after this post, he posts a status update from a BMW dealership: "Picking up my new car!!!"  With a shiny new photo of said car.


Aaaannnndddd update:

This same fitness instructor, who bought this new BMW on MAY 8, just posted this status on FB:

"Apple Watch -- GO! Any of you who have one, would love to hear what you think of it. Thinking of getting one!"

SMDH.  Already two cheerleaders are telling him to "go for it!"  What do you think the odds are that there will be a follow-up post tomorrow with a pic of his new Apple Watch?
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

gimp

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2245 on: May 17, 2015, 02:22:22 PM »
What do you think the odds are that there will be a follow-up post tomorrow with a pic of his new Apple Watch?

0%. You can't walk into the store to buy one. They're still fulfilling pre-orders.

Kris

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2246 on: May 17, 2015, 02:34:52 PM »
What do you think the odds are that there will be a follow-up post tomorrow with a pic of his new Apple Watch?

0%. You can't walk into the store to buy one. They're still fulfilling pre-orders.

Ha!  I stand corrected.  :)
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iowajes

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2247 on: May 17, 2015, 03:23:42 PM »

Sale Ad: "Dryer works just fine. Heats great. We had to buy matching set when washer went out. Not very pretty but it does the job."

I just don't understand this.  Is the laundry room now a place where your friends judge your adequacy?

Yes, it absolutely is.  This was actually really hard for me to resist when we moved and I got a washer/dryer set.  I just got plain white so that I could replace easily if one broke; but man, those pretty red ones were calling for me... at double the price.

Zikoris

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2248 on: May 17, 2015, 04:49:44 PM »

Sale Ad: "Dryer works just fine. Heats great. We had to buy matching set when washer went out. Not very pretty but it does the job."

I just don't understand this.  Is the laundry room now a place where your friends judge your adequacy?

Yes, it absolutely is.  This was actually really hard for me to resist when we moved and I got a washer/dryer set.  I just got plain white so that I could replace easily if one broke; but man, those pretty red ones were calling for me... at double the price.

I suddenly want wildly clashing appliances. Red and purple or something
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ender

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2249 on: May 17, 2015, 07:11:11 PM »
FB post from my fitness instructor (who is a kick-ass instructor, but wow, is he materialistic and shallow):

"The time has come to get a new car! Do I get the BMW 328i X-drive or the Audi A4 or the Volvo S60? (All models 2015) Please comment below! Thanks!"

Most of the comments are from people weighing in on the cars (many of whom have BMWs or Audis).  A few of them are saying cautionary things, like: "You already have a car," or "If you are up to date on saving for retirement.  If not, pinch yourself and remember that you just want the car, you don't need it," or "Wow, being a fitness instructor must pay better than I thought."  All of those comments are completely ignored.   

Literally ONE DAY after this post, he posts a status update from a BMW dealership: "Picking up my new car!!!"  With a shiny new photo of said car.


Aaaannnndddd update:

This same fitness instructor, who bought this new BMW on MAY 8, just posted this status on FB:

"Apple Watch -- GO! Any of you who have one, would love to hear what you think of it. Thinking of getting one!"

SMDH.  Already two cheerleaders are telling him to "go for it!"  What do you think the odds are that there will be a follow-up post tomorrow with a pic of his new Apple Watch?

Hey at least that is tangentially related to his work. It could be beneficial to help others he works with and instructs?

... thinking on the bright side :)