Author Topic: American Dream = $130k  (Read 16214 times)

Jack

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #50 on: July 11, 2014, 01:26:32 PM »
DC metro...high real estate, terrible commutes.  Is it the most anti-mustachian place in America?

Between that and the fact that most of the economy is based on political waste instead of work that produces genuine value, it certainly is!

greaper007

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #51 on: July 11, 2014, 02:10:43 PM »
Yeah, I guess if you're buying organic cruelty-free free-range wild pink fluffy unicorn eggs, you'll spend $800. For us normals, it's $2 for a dozen.

My point being, you spend on what's important for you, but don't doubt others' ability to spend far less. $250 for four is easy.

Hmmm, if you're ok with the environmental impact of factory farms along with the health issues of hormone laden meat....have at it.    $4 or so a dozen is worth negating that junk to me.
Okay, I'm an environmental engineer, but I'm not a chicken expert, so I'll bite on this.

How, in your mind, does an "organic" (presumably free range and with full Constitutional rights) chicken make less waste, per capita, than a "factory farmed" chicken?  Chickens eat, Chickens sh*t, Chickens lay eggs.  I've never heard that a factory farmed chicken produces more sh*t per egg produced than a free range, self actualized, vegan, chicken.

You might think there is some health benefit to an organic chicken egg, but I'm not sure how you figure "organic" chickens create less waste than factory farmed chickens. The waste from those factory chickens is probably more easily collected and treated than the waste from a free range, fully empowered chicken.

You're right, the devil's in the details.    The simple monikers of free range and organic don't necessarily mean that the product is healthier for you or produces less waste.   Rather, a chicken that lives on a traditional farm where there's a symbiosis between the crops and the animals means that there really isn't any waste in the traditional sense.    Chickens that actually walk through fields and scratch and eat bugs, poop in dispersed areas where the soil and plants can actually process the nitrogen and provide it for plants grown in the field.    That negates the need for things  like artificial fertilizers.

So when possible I buy my eggs from an actual farmer that I can talk to at the local farmers market.   If I wasn't so busy with young children I'd probably raise backyard chickens.

The waste produced by factory farms is a major problem.     I'm sure you're driven through areas with cattle lots and areas where cattle are grazing free range, what's the big difference?   The smell.    From my research, factory farm waste creates huge environmental problems when it comes to disposal.    Whereas free range animal waste is pretty much a non issue, except for the poor souls that step in a fresh cow patty.

The Omnivores Dilemma has an entire section devoted to this subject.   I remember an environmental science class in college where the professor showed us pictures of himself at a factory chicken farm, he was standing in waders where the chicken waste rose to his waist.     That's not easy to get rid of.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 02:24:28 PM by greaper007 »

greaper007

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #52 on: July 11, 2014, 02:20:52 PM »
Where in Ohio?    I grew up on the east side of Cleveland and median home prices in my burb were probably $150-200k.

Must have been Mentor or Painesville or the like...Euclid, Wickliffe, Willoughby and Eastlake all still have houses for ~$100k with pretty decent schools to boot!

Interesting, I haven't lived in Cleveland in 12 or so years but I lived in Highland Hts.    Mayfield used to be one of the better school districts in the state, from what I understand it's really gone downhill in the past few years.    IIRC, Euclid and Wickliffe were populated by a lower ses population and had marginal schools compared to Beechwood or Mayfield.     I remember a wrestling meet in Euclid in middle school where we had to be escorted out by a police officer because there was a phalanx of tough guys yelling and throwing things at us as we tried to get back on the bus.

I don't really think I'd be comfortable sending my kids to a school that had that sort of violent element.    The Jersey Shore wanna-bes in the Mayfield area were bad enough to deal with.     

Like I said, I pay more for a quiet neighborhood in a great school district where I don't have to deal with domestic issues, wild teens, or theft from my neighbors.     I've always found lower ses neighborhoods to be too stressful to deal with on a long term basis and the housing gains never seemed very good.

The Hamster

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #53 on: July 11, 2014, 08:05:33 PM »
Wow, totally jealous of the cheap housing you guys have.  In Perth, even the crappiest house in a war zone suburb will cost at least $350,000 and that's no where near the city.

As for the organic/non-organic debate, well I'm firmly on the organic, non GMO side.  The amount of hormones, drugs and chemicals they pump into factory farmed chickens, pigs and beef is scary, and I don't want to be eating it, nor do I appreciate it running off into our rivers and oceans, poisoning our fish stocks.  I firmly believe that a lot of today's illnesses stem from factory farming and the use of various poisons and chemicals.  I am willing to pay a bit extra to support organic farming and am definitely planning to be more self sufficient in my retirement.

odput

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #54 on: July 14, 2014, 07:37:12 AM »
Interesting, I haven't lived in Cleveland in 12 or so years but I lived in Highland Hts.    Mayfield used to be one of the better school districts in the state, from what I understand it's really gone downhill in the past few years.    IIRC, Euclid and Wickliffe were populated by a lower ses population and had marginal schools compared to Beechwood or Mayfield.     I remember a wrestling meet in Euclid in middle school where we had to be escorted out by a police officer because there was a phalanx of tough guys yelling and throwing things at us as we tried to get back on the bus.

Ok...perhaps Euclid was a bad example to throw into the mix, but I have a friend who just bought a place in Wickliffe and a cousin who bought a house in Willoughby, both nice places in decent neighborhoods.  Obviously there are nicer places/schools like Pepper Pike, Solon, or Orange in the area, but for LCOL and reasonable public schools, not bad.  YMMV of course

I can't really comment on the school situation in Mayfield, but it going downhill isn't that far-fetched.  Highland Hts. is indeed one of those "nicer suburbs" I was alluding to, although I didn't call it out specifically.

infogoon

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #55 on: July 14, 2014, 08:23:16 AM »
$833 a month for a mortgage, do you live in a warzone?    I've never had a crazy sized house and my mortgage is currently the lowest it's ever been at $1650 and that includes an entrance into the best school in the state.

I live in in-town Atlanta in a "gentrifying" neighborhood and my mortgage is less than $800/month for 1500 ft^2. Admittedly, I'm not in the best school district (although there are some highly-rated charter schools nearby).

I would expect St. Louis, where Cheddar Stacker lives, to be even cheaper than that.

$1650/month for a mortgage is completely insane, unless you live in NYC, the SF Bay Area, or maybe DC.

I'm paying about $650/mo for a three bedroom house here in Buffalo. I live in a nice, quiet neighborhood (near the zoo, for anyone who knows the city).

Smaller cities are cheap.

engineerjourney

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #56 on: July 14, 2014, 09:35:47 AM »

HSA ~ $7,200 family contribution
....
There, fixed. Any adjustments from anyone else?

I thought the limit was $6550? I would love to put some more in!

Rezdent

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #57 on: July 14, 2014, 09:48:33 AM »
Yeah, I guess if you're buying organic cruelty-free free-range wild pink fluffy unicorn eggs, you'll spend $800. For us normals, it's $2 for a dozen.

My point being, you spend on what's important for you, but don't doubt others' ability to spend far less. $250 for four is easy.

Hmmm, if you're ok with the environmental impact of factory farms along with the health issues of hormone laden meat....have at it.    $4 or so a dozen is worth negating that junk to me.
Okay, I'm an environmental engineer, but I'm not a chicken expert, so I'll bite on this.

How, in your mind, does an "organic" (presumably free range and with full Constitutional rights) chicken make less waste, per capita, than a "factory farmed" chicken?  Chickens eat, Chickens sh*t, Chickens lay eggs.  I've never heard that a factory farmed chicken produces more sh*t per egg produced than a free range, self actualized, vegan, chicken.

You might think there is some health benefit to an organic chicken egg, but I'm not sure how you figure "organic" chickens create less waste than factory farmed chickens. The waste from those factory chickens is probably more easily collected and treated than the waste from a free range, fully empowered chicken.
(jumps on soapbox)...
 I can't see how a truly free range chicken could be vegan. I've actually seen eggs being marketed as such and wanted to point out that it would be impossible under the conditions that most people believe to be free range. Chickens eat bugs. But industry standard defines free range as giving a lot of chickens access to one small fenced run that is devoid of nature - that's not what I consider free.

Agree with you that a chicken produces the same amount of waste in any setting.
Waste issues  are a side effect of overcrowding.  FWIW, the "humane" producers are just as likely to be overcrowded too. The market supports this. It's difficult for any commercial producer to avoid it because chickens are cheap but land is expensive..  Fancy buzzwords like "cage free" do not tell consumers about overcrowding.  Don't fall for marketing gimmicks and pay more for eggs that are not better than cheap ones.
If you eat eggs and care about conditions then a backyard set up might be better but talk to the owner.  Lots of small hobby set ups fall into the same trap as the bigger ones ( too many chickens in too little space).

True free range eggs from healthy chickens are very different from mass production eggs and worth the price.  I have YET to see any egg from any chain store that resembled natural eggs.

I am all for paying more for better food except when it's not really better.
OK,  I'll get off the soap box now.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2014, 09:54:23 AM »

HSA ~ $7,200 family contribution
....
There, fixed. Any adjustments from anyone else?

I thought the limit was $6550? I would love to put some more in!

It is, which I noticed a few days after posting while looking into something else. I did that whole thing quickly off the top of my head with a little back of the envelope math. It was more as an example of what you can do. There is a $1K catch-up contribution but I'll assume you're under 55 years old.

engineerjourney

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #59 on: July 14, 2014, 10:44:07 AM »

HSA ~ $7,200 family contribution
....
There, fixed. Any adjustments from anyone else?

I thought the limit was $6550? I would love to put some more in!

It is, which I noticed a few days after posting while looking into something else. I did that whole thing quickly off the top of my head with a little back of the envelope math. It was more as an example of what you can do. There is a $1K catch-up contribution but I'll assume you're under 55 years old.

Thanks for the clarification!  I was hoping you found some secret loop-hole :-)

Jags4186

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2014, 05:16:08 PM »
If any of you watch real time with bill maher this article was brought up on Fridays episode. The general consensus with the panel was that this article described a pretty "plain" lifestyle and it's sad that the average American household makes less than half of this.  All depends on how you read it I guess!

EricL

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Re: American Dream = $130k
« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2014, 06:29:35 PM »
Yeah, I guess if you're buying organic cruelty-free free-range wild pink fluffy unicorn eggs, you'll spend $800. For us normals, it's $2 for a dozen.

My point being, you spend on what's important for you, but don't doubt others' ability to spend far less. $250 for four is easy.

Hmmm, if you're ok with the environmental impact of factory farms along with the health issues of hormone laden meat....have at it.    $4 or so a dozen is worth negating that junk to me.
Okay, I'm an environmental engineer, but I'm not a chicken expert, so I'll bite on this.

How, in your mind, does an "organic" (presumably free range and with full Constitutional rights) chicken make less waste, per capita, than a "factory farmed" chicken?  Chickens eat, Chickens sh*t, Chickens lay eggs.  I've never heard that a factory farmed chicken produces more sh*t per egg produced than a free range, self actualized, vegan, chicken.

You might think there is some health benefit to an organic chicken egg, but I'm not sure how you figure "organic" chickens create less waste than factory farmed chickens. The waste from those factory chickens is probably more easily collected and treated than the waste from a free range, fully empowered chicken.

You're right, the devil's in the details.    The simple monikers of free range and organic don't necessarily mean that the product is healthier for you or produces less waste.   Rather, a chicken that lives on a traditional farm where there's a symbiosis between the crops and the animals means that there really isn't any waste in the traditional sense.    Chickens that actually walk through fields and scratch and eat bugs, poop in dispersed areas where the soil and plants can actually process the nitrogen and provide it for plants grown in the field.    That negates the need for things  like artificial fertilizers.

So when possible I buy my eggs from an actual farmer that I can talk to at the local farmers market.   If I wasn't so busy with young children I'd probably raise backyard chickens.

The waste produced by factory farms is a major problem.     I'm sure you're driven through areas with cattle lots and areas where cattle are grazing free range, what's the big difference?   The smell.    From my research, factory farm waste creates huge environmental problems when it comes to disposal.    Whereas free range animal waste is pretty much a non issue, except for the poor souls that step in a fresh cow patty.

The Omnivores Dilemma has an entire section devoted to this subject.   I remember an environmental science class in college where the professor showed us pictures of himself at a factory chicken farm, he was standing in waders where the chicken waste rose to his waist.     That's not easy to get rid of.

I used to work in a gourmet restaurant that served free range chickens.  I don't know about the pros and cons of the hormones but it was nice to think they lived reasonably decent farmyard lives instead of in an industrial cage.  But the big difference was they tasted somewhat better and were somewhat more expensive.  But not fabulously so in either case.  If the cost is so much now they merit their own line in the grocery budget it's better to either buy industrial chickens or go without.