Author Topic: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash  (Read 26051 times)

Timodeus

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 136
Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« on: April 06, 2017, 09:57:06 AM »
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/03/article-saying-you-can-build-wealth-on-minimum-wage-triggers-backlash.html

I thought the info-graphic was good, pointed to many personal choices a minimum wage earner can make to decrease expenses and increase savings. The full info-graphic can be found here: http://www.businessinsider.com/building-wealth-on-minimum-wage-infographic-2017-3

As expected though, it generated a lot of whining and gnashing of teeth by many who felt it was inappropriate to promote self reliance and empowerment. Turns out I've been living, sorry, I mean "surviving" what amounts to poverty.

I've never lived independently on a minimum wage, but I did on what would be considered a low wage. It's not easy but as I look back I learned many of the important lessons that are now carrying me toward financial independence. It would be a shame for someone to only be told they are a victim and never be encouraged to improve themselves. 

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3305
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2017, 10:49:14 AM »
Depends on where you live. I can't imagine doing living with a minimum wage job x2 in a HCOL coastal metro area.

We did fine in a flyover country location with two minimum wage jobs. The problem in my mind is that a person doesn't have much wiggle room for mistakes or health issues.

I have a feeling that any increases in minimum wages will get soaked up by inflation - artificial or real. Sort of like home prices in some markets. What the market will bear...

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2201
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2017, 01:19:33 PM »
I saw the infographic before it was removed and think that the advice was solid overall, even though it did contradict itself in places (driving for Uber is not compatible with selling the car). With advice infographics like this people tend to cherry pick some of the advice based on what can be made to work easily in their situation.

It looks like the snowflake contingent won out, though. The notion of (gasp!) cooperating with other people in order to live frugally was just too traumatic.

TheAnonOne

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1534
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 02:45:29 PM »
I hate to be THAT guy but, it's got to be easier to just make more money than it is to live on minimum wage. Especially, if living includes moving to a lcol area.



Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk


Hargrove

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 02:49:21 PM »
It's one thing for us to say a badass could live on that and make it work (especially with that second or third job "on the side," which completely change the scenario) - living with a roommate or more, without kids, in the right location where a used bike is practical, with a health plan of "exercise," with a pretty cheap 600 utils-included apartment as, what, a 1 bedroom? As personal planning, yes, this is feasible. But building wealth on it...? No. The point of MMM is buying your freedom. Spending decades to do it (if young) or your remaining full-working-life (if over 35) is not much of a plan if you're also sacrificing everything for it. One of the key components of building a 'stache is increasing your income. Working your full-time min-wage job and side gigs and rooming with someone in an apartment it took you a year to find is not really a sweet deal waiting to happen. Most of us are on here for a better reward than "after all these sacrifices, at 65, you can also stop working your two or three jobs!"

Rosesss

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2017, 03:11:01 PM »
I think the main problem with having very little money is living in a state of fear at all times. If you are sensible with money (like those tips given in that link) you can make it living very simply. However, if one little thing goes wrong you've got a BIG problem. An unexpected medical bill, it doesn't even have to be a high bill, can throw you into debt. Debt you cannot pay, making it snowball from a small problem to a big one. Don't even think about a second small financial problem on top of that. There is always a sense of nervousness about having no wiggle room financially at all and it feels quite frightening. In such a state, feeling this way, thinking long-term is very very difficult and for many people impossible.

Edited to say that living on very little is quite easy if its a choice you made while having a higher income or money in the bank. It is your safety net, a security and luxury you have. Living on minimum wage by choice and living on minimum wage because it is your only option and nowhere near the same.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 03:13:41 PM by Rosesss »

Norioch

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2017, 03:46:15 PM »
I saw the subject of this thread, and I expected to find a story about someone actually doing it (amassing significant savings from a minimum wage income) and facing resentment because of it. Turns out it's just backlash against an advice article saying hypothetically, it could be done. There's a big difference between actually doing it and just telling others they can do it.

LalsConstant

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2017, 05:46:59 AM »
There was a time in my mind twenties when the only work I could get was for about a dollar per hour above minimum wage.  I made something like 22k, 24k and 25k those years.

I was 45k or so in debt and managed to, after 4 years or so, get completely out of that hole on these wages.  Granted I settled away about 9k of this debt but that's still 9 grand a year I was shedding on minimum wage.  I just as easily could have saved it, in theory.

So I am here to tell you it is possible.  That said was this situation sustainable?  No.  I had very little, no health insurance, no emergency savings, nothing like that.  I did manage to save about 1200 for retirement.  But then again my plan wasn't to stay that way either.

Edit small lie I did have insurance after the third year.  I forgot.

If I had stayed in that situation my plans were to get a second job and to wait until I got a higher paying management job and save like crazy until I could figure out another escape route, but I did figure out I could save 10 to 20 percent or so in an IRA or 401k and not live like a complete animal. I was seriously investigating becoming a vandweller to achieve a 30+ percent rate.

I am not bad ass at all.  If I had to do that again I don't know if I could I think it would kill me.  I put on a lot of weight during this phase of my life.  I do not mean to present this as a rosy situation rather I mean to point out where there's a will, there's a way.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 05:51:53 AM by LalsConstant »

EricL

  • Guest
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2017, 06:24:22 AM »
It's a cute info graphic. But it works under a lot of weird assumptions. The first one being any minimum wage reader has the near superhuman discipline to adjust their life that way. Hell, for most it's easier to just get a better job.  Or just drive for Über.  Even if they could, as one poster already said, there's not much wriggle room at all. One health issue or financial miss step can throw the whole thing into a tailspin.  The overwhelming full frontal consumerist advertising assault must also be reckoned with.

I'm a big fan of bootstrapping and done some myself. But there are some odds you can't expect the less than average joe to beat straight out of the box.

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2017, 08:10:19 PM »
Multiple thoughts:

- I lived on minimum wage (without help from my parents) during college.  It wasn't fun, and I didn't really "get ahead", but I did survive in moderate comfort.  Having done it, I'd say it's a whole lot smarter to put your effort into qualifying for a better paying job than to figure out how to save on minimum wage.   

- The whiners who complain that people shouldn't have to move away from family to succeed aren't remembering their history; that is, they aren't thinking about people who immigrated from their own countries to come to America and literally never saw their families again ... they aren't thinking of the old slogan, "Go West, Young Man". 

- Okay, so the article both suggested selling your car AND driving for Uber.  Yeah, it was a list of suggestions to help you get by ... not a checklist. 

Inaya

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1621
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2017, 08:20:26 PM »
- The whiners who complain that people shouldn't have to move away from family to succeed aren't remembering their history; that is, they aren't thinking about people who immigrated from their own countries to come to America and literally never saw their families again ... they aren't thinking of the old slogan, "Go West, Young Man". 
I think there is some value to being close to friends and family. A support network can be a very important safety net, especially if something goes wrong. Especially if you have kids. Emergency childcare, emergency place to live, potential interest-free loans. And there are psychological benefits as well.

It is very difficult to build a support network after you move.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2201
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2017, 08:41:00 AM »
- The whiners who complain that people shouldn't have to move away from family to succeed aren't remembering their history; that is, they aren't thinking about people who immigrated from their own countries to come to America and literally never saw their families again ... they aren't thinking of the old slogan, "Go West, Young Man". 
I think there is some value to being close to friends and family. A support network can be a very important safety net, especially if something goes wrong. Especially if you have kids. Emergency childcare, emergency place to live, potential interest-free loans. And there are psychological benefits as well.

It is very difficult to build a support network after you move.

We do tend to set up our society in a way that's hostile to newcomers and that's besotted with the fiction that the nuclear family is somehow the be-all and end-all that is (or should be) not only a sustainable way of living even in tough times but the only legitimate way to live.

It starts with the new kids in school being rejected by people who have known one another since conception, it continues with clique-oriented neighborhoods where everyone but you has gone full Stepford and is probably self-organizing by race at the same time. It culminates in the kind of activity where people choose to live behind locked gates in neighborhoods where you have to have an access code to get in, where people lock up their houses on Hallowe'en and send their tweens to trick or treat in other neighborhoods because they're terrified of having to give out even the tiniest scrap of candy to somebody else's kid, and where they shriek "NIMBY!!!" every time someone tries to build a retirement home, a rehab center, or an adult daycare so that people who are having a tough time can be near their families.

golden1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1544
  • Location: MA
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2017, 09:22:55 AM »
I giggle reading this because when I told my 14 year old daughter what the minimum wage was in MA, her eyes got wide and she was like "THAT IS SO MUCH MONEY".    So then I explained that she would be paying taxes, and pulled up what rents were for a studio apt in our town, etc... and she started to realize how fast that would disappear. 

StockBeard

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 638
  • Age: 37
    • How To Retire Early?
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2017, 06:50:41 PM »
- The whiners who complain that people shouldn't have to move away from family to succeed aren't remembering their history; that is, they aren't thinking about people who immigrated from their own countries to come to America and literally never saw their families again ... they aren't thinking of the old slogan, "Go West, Young Man". 
+1 on that.

America is a land of opportunity. If you choose to ignore these opportunities because you want to stay "close to your family", this is certainly a choice. You're not at gunpoint being asked to move to make ends meet, you're given the choice. That's very different. Some people in other countries do not have that choice at all. The alternative is to stay close to your family and be financially miserable your whole life?

I get that the infographic might be seen as patronizing, and almost sounds like it blames people for a situation which might not be the result of their actions/choices. I get that some people are earning minimum wage and don't deserve it, but at the end of the day, which is the path of least resistance: complaining for years and expect that the government is going to make a move, or look for solutions that are more directly under one's control?

kayvent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Location: Canada
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2017, 07:12:36 PM »
I think the main problem with having very little money is living in a state of fear at all times. If you are sensible with money (like those tips given in that link) you can make it living very simply. However, if one little thing goes wrong you've got a BIG problem. An unexpected medical bill, it doesn't even have to be a high bill, can throw you into debt. Debt you cannot pay, making it snowball from a small problem to a big one. Don't even think about a second small financial problem on top of that. There is always a sense of nervousness about having no wiggle room financially at all and it feels quite frightening. In such a state, feeling this way, thinking long-term is very very difficult and for many people impossible.

Edited to say that living on very little is quite easy if its a choice you made while having a higher income or money in the bank. It is your safety net, a security and luxury you have. Living on minimum wage by choice and living on minimum wage because it is your only option and nowhere near the same.

I concur. I live off of ~27K per year while grossing over double that. A few years back I was making ~26K gross (with less expenses). That was stressful. As you point out, an unexpected slippage caused debt to incur that was had to expunge due to the tight budget.

Related, I have a one-month buffer in my chequings account now. The other week I realized how tranquil it was to not notice it was my payday. The automated bills that trickle in over the month are met with a hearty reserve. When I was paycheque to paycheque or month to month, I never noticed how draining timing incoming and outgoing transactions was.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2201
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2017, 07:19:08 PM »
- The whiners who complain that people shouldn't have to move away from family to succeed aren't remembering their history; that is, they aren't thinking about people who immigrated from their own countries to come to America and literally never saw their families again ... they aren't thinking of the old slogan, "Go West, Young Man". 
+1 on that.

America is a land of opportunity. If you choose to ignore these opportunities because you want to stay "close to your family", this is certainly a choice. You're not at gunpoint being asked to move to make ends meet, you're given the choice. That's very different. Some people in other countries do not have that choice at all. The alternative is to stay close to your family and be financially miserable your whole life?

I get that the infographic might be seen as patronizing, and almost sounds like it blames people for a situation which might not be the result of their actions/choices. I get that some people are earning minimum wage and don't deserve it, but at the end of the day, which is the path of least resistance: complaining for years and expect that the government is going to make a move, or look for solutions that are more directly under one's control?

Waiting and complaining is the path of least resistance, which is why so many people choose it. Taking proactive action to improve one's options is the path of greatest probable success. But there's a lot of resistance along the way, and some of it might come in the form of having to compromise on a career choice or move to an area where you have no social network. It can take years or even decades to build one.

In small towns, there's not a lot of opportunity for financial success through specific professions such as the fine arts, athletics, or underwater macrame. However there are opportunities for doctors, teachers, dentists, nurses, ministers, vets, and other professions where you have to be present to win and where most people are regular or repeat customers. Work exists for plumbers, mechanics, hospital techs, water treatment plant workers, and morticians. Accountants and lawyers can pick up a little bit of work provided they're generalists, and there's generally at least one bank that requires a manager of some kind. Online work like freelance writing is an option and thanks to the Web rural dwellers have even more options to publish and distribute their content. So it's possible to have a career and stay in place, but-- and this is a big "but"-- for anyone who doesn't stand to inherit a business such as a farm or an auto repair shop, to have a middle-class income will require some kind of professional credential or trades certificate. Even law enforcement opportunities exist, although openings are generally reserved for people with some kind of education in it or else good connections. For a person with no advanced education, the local prison or the post office are the best bets for year-round employment, however entry is generally controlled by one family or another.

Too many people zero out their solution space by refusing to pursue credentials or skills past high school, by turning up their noses at the higher paying work that's available, or by insisting on a field of study that does not offer employment nearby and then refusing to leave to go where the opportunities are.

Squirrel away

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1042
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2017, 02:09:18 AM »
The advice was a bit hit and miss in places as others have said, but there were some good points in the infographic. Pay off debt, get an emergency fund, start a retirement account etc... I'm not in the US but I would have thought that the healthcare part was good advice as that is something you need to have as a priority if you need medical treatment. We had to move to a cheaper area as the one I grew up in was too expensive and I do cook from scratch, bulk buy, we don't eat meat or have a car and we enjoy low cost or free activities. I don't know why people go out of their way to be offended. If I was in that situation I hope I would see it as helpful advice.


MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2017, 02:24:47 PM »
My opinion:

If you're TRULY scraping the bottom of the barrel and barely surviving, move to a state with no state income tax (like TX), and find the lowest COL you can (like Amarillo, TX).

Either rent with a few others, or hell, homeless shelter is always an option. It's not pretty, but if you don't have much of a choice, that's too damn bad. No one is going to hold your hand.

Inaya

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1621
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2017, 02:33:22 PM »
My opinion:

If you're TRULY scraping the bottom of the barrel and barely surviving, move to a state with no state income tax (like TX), and find the lowest COL you can (like Amarillo, TX).

Either rent with a few others, or hell, homeless shelter is always an option. It's not pretty, but if you don't have much of a choice, that's too damn bad. No one is going to hold your hand.
Not asking this to be snarky, but how do you move to another state without any money? Especially if you have no vehicle or a vehicle that might not even make it to the next town over.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2201
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2017, 02:44:10 PM »
My opinion:

If you're TRULY scraping the bottom of the barrel and barely surviving, move to a state with no state income tax (like TX), and find the lowest COL you can (like Amarillo, TX).

Either rent with a few others, or hell, homeless shelter is always an option. It's not pretty, but if you don't have much of a choice, that's too damn bad. No one is going to hold your hand.
Not asking this to be snarky, but how do you move to another state without any money? Especially if you have no vehicle or a vehicle that might not even make it to the next town over.

That's one area where a person generally has to call in favors, ask for help, use a rideshare, liquidate various items, etc. However by the time that happens the individual seldom has much in the way of personal belongings.

Plenty of people accumulate lots of furniture and electronics but don't have the wherewithal to move them once they run out of capital. It happens to unemployed people or folks with big medical expenses all the time: a long enough dry spell can drain anyone's 'stache.

I'm not a fan of last-ditch moves out of state, myself. Too often the person or family doing the moving arrives with a pile of stuff to store but still has no job, and now he or she has no network of friends to couch-surf with. The exception is if the person doing the moving has a firm job offer or a support system of some kind in the new location, such as family or old friends. Belonging to a fraternal order or certain kinds of churches can help.

MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2017, 02:46:05 PM »
My opinion:

If you're TRULY scraping the bottom of the barrel and barely surviving, move to a state with no state income tax (like TX), and find the lowest COL you can (like Amarillo, TX).

Either rent with a few others, or hell, homeless shelter is always an option. It's not pretty, but if you don't have much of a choice, that's too damn bad. No one is going to hold your hand.
Not asking this to be snarky, but how do you move to another state without any money? Especially if you have no vehicle or a vehicle that might not even make it to the next town over.
Hell, if you really have to, beg for bus or train money. Or hitchhike.

Not ideal, but this is a person at their lowest and desperate. Don't really have a choice if they want anything to change.

MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2017, 02:49:51 PM »
The exception is if the person doing the moving has a firm job offer or a support system of some kind in the new location, such as family or old friends. Belonging to a fraternal order or certain kinds of churches can help.
Rent a PO Box in the area you're going to move to, and start applying for new jobs before you make the move. Make it known you already have established "residence".

Could live in a shelter until you have enough to buy a really crappy car to live in. Just temporary.

SEAKSR

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Rainy Alaska
  • Great day for water landings!
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2017, 04:23:01 PM »
It seems to me that there are a few folks here who are making logical light of a very serious issue. Having exprienced homelessness in a manner that was NOT voluntary I can say that without a support system survival is dificult at best.

And "just living in a shelter" isn't how it works.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2201
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2017, 05:02:42 PM »
The exception is if the person doing the moving has a firm job offer or a support system of some kind in the new location, such as family or old friends. Belonging to a fraternal order or certain kinds of churches can help.
Rent a PO Box in the area you're going to move to, and start applying for new jobs before you make the move. Make it known you already have established "residence".

Could live in a shelter until you have enough to buy a really crappy car to live in. Just temporary.

Of course. Furthermore, most job applications are online so there's no reason to not application-bomb the entire region prior to moving in, and carry a cheap cell phone to negotiate interviews. A person who's got a car can live out of it and also carry the lion's share of what they need to get by. A person without a car will need a different kind of shelter, but for a larger apartment complex it's possible to negotiate by phone or fax provided you've got that job offer in hand. In the interim renting a room or even couch surfing or free-cationing is something people have done.

None of it takes the place of an extra human who can watch your sick kid in an emergency when the kid's too sick to go to school but you still have to work.

rpr

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2017, 05:28:41 PM »
Spiraling down the path to poverty and homelessness can happen slowly and often leaves people with  mental health issues including depression. These can make it hard to stay focused and continue to be organized while trying to get out of it. In such circumstances, people do not have an effective support group comprising family and friends. And when you are in this state of mind, applying for a job and going for an interview can be very challenging.

MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2017, 06:27:24 PM »
It seems to me that there are a few folks here who are making logical light of a very serious issue. Having exprienced homelessness in a manner that was NOT voluntary I can say that without a support system survival is dificult at best.

And "just living in a shelter" isn't how it works.
Well, obviously it's difficult. Still very possible, though. My point is, there's always something people in a bad financial situation can do. Most just aren't willing to do it, which is why they'll remain in said situation.

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6042
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2017, 07:07:54 PM »
To say that anyone, in any situation, can make it out of poverty on a minimum wage income is a bald-faced lie at worst and a self-deluded idiocy at best.

To say that no one, regardless of how they try, can make it out of poverty on a minimum wage income is a bald-faced lie at worst and a self-deluded idiocy at best.

Will it be hard?  Yes?

Will it be harder if the person makes choices that increase their expenses, limit their employment opportunities, or restrict their earnings potential?  Damn sure it will be.

Will it be easier if the person makes good decisions that reduce their expenses and increase their income?   Probably.

Will it be harder, even impossible, if someone gets ill enough, has too much bad luck, or makes too many bad decisions?   Almost certainly.

I get really angry at my liberal friends who follow this (so-called) logic chain:

1) Joe was not able to succeed because of Situation X.
2) Therefore, no one can succeed.
3) Therefore, people should just wallow in their victimhood and should never, ever, EVER be taught a single useful thing that they could do for themselves that might improve their situation.
4) Therefore, anyone who proposes useful self-help information must be attacked without mercy.

Somehow they miss the fact that only 2% of all people are going to suffer from Situation X and therefore the other 98% still have a chance.  Or that Situation X is not necessarily a 100% failure reason.

I get really angry at my conservative friends who follow this (so-called) logic chain:

1) I had a tough time when I was younger and I made it.
2) Therefore, everyone, in every situation, can make it.
3) Therefore, anyone who doesn't make it has chosen not to.
4) Therefore, we should not provide any assistance to others because they don't really need it if they are determined to succeed.

Needless to say, I don't tend to be popular with anyone on this topic.

The reality is, as we should all know, that the more things one does to improve one's situation, the more likely the situation will improve.  And, conversely, the more one clings to a failing plan, the more likely the plan will fail, fully and completely.

I tell people that they have nothing to lose by trying to improve things in a reasonable, rational manner.  At worst, they get the novelty of failing in a new way.  At best, things get better.

When you're standing nose-deep in a pile of shit, getting to neck deep (a mere 5% improvement) is an awesome quality of life enhancement.

human

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 791
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2017, 07:18:16 PM »
It's painfully obvious that many of the visitors to this forum are clueless as to what poverty really is. Just live in yer car or a bus shelter derp derrr!!! You'll quickly be on yer way to FIRE!!!!

When you get to this magical new town of opportunity you can always give blowies at the local glory hole until you get back on your feet!


MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2017, 07:57:05 PM »
It's painfully obvious that many of the visitors to this forum are clueless as to what poverty really is. Just live in yer car or a bus shelter derp derrr!!! You'll quickly be on yer way to FIRE!!!!

When you get to this magical new town of opportunity you can always give blowies at the local glory hole until you get back on your feet!
I'm not sure where you live, but in my city, the cost of living is low, there's plenty of shelters, and just about every place is hiring anybody they can find.

I used to be one of the self-wallowing people that thought it was SO hard to get even a minimum wage job. Until I actually started applying in person, and realizing how easy it is.

I mean, I lost my job just a couple of weeks ago. A day later, I had a better-paying job, with numerous other options.

Almost every gas station is hiring, hospitals are always hiring, fast food restaurants are always hiring. I sympathize with people that are poor, but I do NOT sympathize with able-bodied people that claim they can't find ANY work. It's simply not true.

All of these spoiled kids in Commiefornia that claim they can't find even a minimum wage job. Come here to WV (statistically one of the worst job markets), and I can get you a $12/hr. job in a few days at most. Don't even get me started on the skills gap. I think it's such a disservice to millennials that we were taught that college is the only way. I know more wealthy pipe welders and plumbers than I do biology majors.

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6042
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2017, 08:14:48 PM »
It's painfully obvious that many of the visitors to this forum are clueless as to what poverty really is. Just live in yer car or a bus shelter derp derrr!!! You'll quickly be on yer way to FIRE!!!!

I have a friend who lived in his car for a year or so.   It's what he had to do.   He would park under bridges on the interstate overnight.   It helped him cut costs until he could get back on his feet.   So, yes, it actually can help.

My wife and I lived together for 5 years on 1/3 median family income.  And paid child support.  And raised a mentally handicapped child for part of those years.   We followed much of the advice that you'll find - minimize fixed expenses, set aside what you can, work a side job, increase your skills and employability.  We knew what to do and we went and did it.  It was long, hard work.  And we still had time for fun.  (Not as much fun as we would have liked!)

We were also lucky.  We had good educations.  We understood middle-class life even if we couldn't afford it.   We had parents how did a decent job of not screwing us up whilst raising us.  We didn't get horribly ill or get in a terrible accident.

Had we been foolish enough to believe folks who told us we couldn't get ahead, we would still be poor instead of millionaires.



human

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 791
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2017, 10:04:10 PM »
Wow looks like the ol downtown bus station glory hole does pay pretty well. I mean if two people on mmm made it work I'm sure everyone can!!

MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2017, 10:24:39 PM »
Wow looks like the ol downtown bus station glory hole does pay pretty well. I mean if two people on mmm made it work I'm sure everyone can!!
All I'll hearing is excuses. Why is it so crazy to suggest that people can temporarily survive being homeless until they save enough for a place?

human

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 791
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2017, 10:34:33 PM »
Wow looks like the ol downtown bus station glory hole does pay pretty well. I mean if two people on mmm made it work I'm sure everyone can!!
All I'll hearing is excuses. Why is it so crazy to suggest that people can temporarily survive being homeless until they save enough for a place?
I've never been homeless but my experience with employment centres, employment agencies and prospective minimum wage employers is that they want a fixed address on a cv not "salvation army" or "homeless shelter". There's a stigma that is hard to shake.

Where I do have experience is trying to find a first job. Without connections a young person may have difficulties. However maybe that was a mid-90s thing. Maybe everyone here is right, you can just wave you're hand in the air a couple of times and get a job but it sure wasn't my experience. If you don't have parental support it can be pretty scary. I call bs on people saying "awww shucks I'd just shrug my shoulders and tie my shoes around my waist and sleep in a shelter for a few days". You look for handouts first, I took ei and even tried to get on welfare before going to live in a shelter.

SEAKSR

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Rainy Alaska
  • Great day for water landings!
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2017, 11:02:11 PM »
It isn't completely crazy, if and only if the move is a strategic calculated move. Moving from having a home, loosely defined as a working toilet, a place to sleep a full eight hours without being told to move along, a place to safely prepare and store healthy foods, and to bathe, to litterally having none of those options available anymore requires a certain mindset, and support system of it is to go well.

A former poster strategically lived in his Volt,  seemed to work out ok for him, but he's not on the boards anymore.

My SO is about to embark again on the challenge of moving to a new town a few months before I can join her. She will be taking my ultra light 1 person tent and camping in a friend's backyard, with access to a shower and laundry. She has locked in a full-time  better paying job, in a cheaper rent city, and I will be following as soon as my seasonal gig is up.

Hopefully in that time she will be sucessful in her second full time job, lining up housing for us and the dogs. And no, getting rid of the dogs isn't an option. They are family and important to both of our mental health. But we are going into this eyes wide open, with no illusions about what we are walking into.

The first time I found myself in such a situation I was not prepared, hadn't had time to plan, and was in the midst of a bad relationship. It was a recipe for the disaster it became. And where I was living, there were only about 200 shelter beds for an average transient population of around 400. "Just staying in a shelter" wasn't an option that was an easy feat. We had no car, and until a friend of a friend took pity on us, we were unable to sleep or eat consistently.

Half way through that six month period he was working, and I searched for work. His 300 weekly pay check went to food, a hotel room twice a week, and a membership to the aquatic center.  I ended up leaving him and moving back to my parents house to get back on my feet. There are far more details, but the truth is I got lucky and got out.

I wasn't ever able to find work where we were living. Probably the fact that i litterally had 2 pair pants, 1 bra and 3 shirts, all worn threadbare is why. Like I said, it wasn't a stratigic move, and I didn't have a support system in plalce there.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2201
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2017, 11:13:36 PM »
Let's consider for a moment the kind of people who work minimum wage jobs. There's more than one type of person who holds down that sort of job, so making sweeping statements about what's viable isn't a sensible thing to do.

Moving to a new location requires a lot of duck-in-a-row-getting to avoid total disaster. Not everyone can align the ducks. Not everyone has their own ducks in the first place.

A person whose level of educability maxes out at a minimum wage job (unskilled labor) is not capable of advancing beyond that point. He or she will seldom get off the treadmill unless he or she is trained to be extremely frugal from an early age, and unless he or she enjoys better than average health and a reasonably healthy family or support network. If this individual does not have the intellectual, emotional, or social development to defer gratification or to cooperate with others, saving or moving isn't going to happen and they're pretty much stuck where they are. If they do have the social and emotional skills to cooperate and to defer gratification, moving to a LCOL area becomes an option even if personal advancement beyond unskilled labor is not. Whether they can make such a move depends a lot on social skills and connections. I'm acquainted with a few families that pulled it off, pulled up stakes, and took off for another state or even another continent. They moved as a group, aunties and all, and made a go of it.

A person who is well educated beyond the unskilled labor level, who in fact has other marketable skills but is in a location that lacks opportunity, has demonstrated the ability to learn and to delay gratification. He or she is also capable of learning frugal behavior patterns and planning skills. Should they limit their consumption while maxing out the education and job opportunities that come their way, and should they be willing to train for and accept jobs that don't line up with their "dream" career, they can get a higher-paying job where they are or else set a little bit of money aside to finance a move somewhere else while systematically preparing as much of a support system as they can in the new location.

A person who is working a minimum wage job to get through advanced schooling or as a first job is using that job as a stepping stone to bigger or better things. Same goes for someone who loses a job suddenly and flips burgers to cover expenses while lining up a replacement job in their field. It's not their career high point and it's intended to be temporary. If they can save money by, say, living with relatives on a work-in-lieu-of-rent basis it is indeed possible to save money provided they cultivate the right habits early and stay out of debt.

There are some retirees or people with disabilities who work minimum wage jobs for a bit of extra money. They aren't allowed to earn much before their benefits are reduced, which would hamper their ability to get the medical care they need when they need it. Some of them will take a part-time job that pays very little, just to get out a bit. Folks like this seldom need to move, and if they're set up with housing or food subsidies it might be a bad idea.

The major difficulty will be for people who are educable beyond the unskilled labor and minimum wage level, but who do not pursue that education. Not having credentials or transferable, marketable skills really paints a person into a corner income-wise and it also correlates with the inability to defer gratification and the inability to cooperate well with others. Folks in this category are pretty much screwed until they learn better budgeting, social, and education skills and develop the willingness to use them.

farfromfire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2017, 05:24:44 AM »
...
Needless to say, I don't tend to be popular with anyone on this topic.
...
That's the price of being a centrist. Bravo on a balanced and well-worded post.

Wow looks like the ol downtown bus station glory hole does pay pretty well. I mean if two people on mmm made it work I'm sure everyone can!!
All I'll hearing is excuses. Why is it so crazy to suggest that people can temporarily survive being homeless until they save enough for a place?
Homelessness, whether in a shelter or 'on the streets', can lead to a downward spiral of drug abuse and disease - both mental and physical. As another poster said, you cannot apply or interview for a job and be truthful about being homeless. Most MMMers* probably wouldn't hire a homeless person either, given some of the responses I see here. Also, shelter hours can preclude you from working while staying there. There are reasons at least 25% of the homeless are chronically so. These are facts, not excuses.

In most cities, shelters turn people away because they're filled to capacity. Fun fact: if you search for statistics on homelessness, particularly longterm, you will often find estimates based on shelter occupancy and/or other sources of assistance which cannot be precise since they turn people away.

Women and children are at very high risk of rape or sexual abuse at shelters, by staff and/or other occupants, so much so that many will prefer to live outside in the wet cold over getting attacked again in a shelter. And good luck reporting such attacks to the police - who do you think they'll believe, the "crazy homeless" or the "selfless volunteer"? Telling someone "Still very possible" or "people can temporarily survive being homeless until they save enough for a place" is dumb and uninformed on so many levels. This is willful ignorance, as it is pretty easy to find this information online, and it reeks of privilege and never encountering any hardship in life.

SEAKSR, it is good to hear that you made it out.

* That being said, IMO MMMers are more attentive than others in the online realm of personal finance to the difficulties of poverty.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 05:26:32 AM by farfromfire »

MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2017, 06:01:22 AM »

Homelessness, whether in a shelter or 'on the streets', can lead to a downward spiral of drug abuse and disease - both mental and physical.
Agreed. Don't see your point. People can choose not to do drugs.

Quote
As another poster said, you cannot apply or interview for a job and be truthful about being homeless. Most MMMers* probably wouldn't hire a homeless person either, given some of the responses I see here.
Agreed. So lie about it.

Quote
Also, shelter hours can preclude you from working while staying there. There are reasons at least 25% of the homeless are chronically so. These are facts, not excuses.
Agreed. But even then, it's not so hard to get a minimum wage job on just about any shift.

Quote
In most cities, shelters turn people away because they're filled to capacity. Fun fact: if you search for statistics on homelessness, particularly longterm, you will often find estimates based on shelter occupancy and/or other sources of assistance which cannot be precise since they turn people away.
Again, agreed. Doesn't mean you can't try, or that it's not a viable option.

Quote
Women and children are at very high risk of rape or sexual abuse at shelters, by staff and/or other occupants, so much so that many will prefer to live outside in the wet cold over getting attacked again in a shelter. And good luck reporting such attacks to the police - who do you think they'll believe, the "crazy homeless" or the "selfless volunteer"?
Agreed. Again, though, there are still always other options. Hell, use your first paycheck and buy a really crappy car. You don't even have to drive it, just use it as a roof over your head at night.

Quote
Telling someone "Still very possible" or "people can temporarily survive being homeless until they save enough for a place" is dumb and uninformed on so many levels. This is willful ignorance, as it is pretty easy to find this information online
It's not uninformed. They CAN survive. It's tough, and far from fun, but it's possible. It's ignorant to suggest otherwise. They CAN find a job. They CAN find shelter (whether it's a car, homeless shelter, back corner of a library, etc.). They CAN resist the urge to drink and do drugs. No one said it would be easy. But telling people that they CAN'T make it out only ensures it. It's a cowardly notion.

 
Quote
and it reeks of privilege and never encountering any hardship in life.
Not even going to address this SJW nonsense.

Hargrove

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2017, 06:35:12 AM »
Women and children are at very high risk of rape or sexual abuse at shelters, by staff and/or other occupants, so much so that many will prefer to live outside in the wet cold over getting attacked again in a shelter. And good luck reporting such attacks to the police - who do you think they'll believe, the "crazy homeless" or the "selfless volunteer"? Telling someone "Still very possible" or "people can temporarily survive being homeless until they save enough for a place" is dumb and uninformed on so many levels. This is willful ignorance, as it is pretty easy to find this information online, and it reeks of privilege and never encountering any hardship in life.

I remember reading once about a few Yale kids who played janitor for a day and congratulated each other on the determination that it wasn't such a bad job after all, and could even be fun if, you know, you did it their fun way. Sure, if your exposure to it is an intellectual exercize, in a fantasy scenario, limited to a single-shift visit, with a temporary supervisor, and engaged in with several of your highly-educated friends.

I am fascinated by the race to determine who "deserves" to suffer.
"Ow, I cut myself!"
"Well Billy, you WERE riding a bike over 5 mph. Be less bad at it in the future. I can ride this bike very well."

Not quite comfortable saying "I really don't care about this person," some need to ridicule them, too.

"Why not just use your bandaids, Billy? How ridiculous is it that you're crying instead of using one of your bandaids?"
"I, I don't have any bandaids..."
"Billy, ugh... idiot! Everyone has bandaids. And parents."

A society's response to suffering reflects on that society. This response, which would get someone shunned hard from most polite gatherings, is deployed frequently against strangers in poverty. Only for the suffering of the poor and for victims of sexual assault do large numbers of people stop and ask if they deserved it before saying it sucks, and this only works because the victims don't have power to fight back - their indignation has no leverage. Which they are also blamed for.

MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2017, 07:06:39 AM »
Being a janitor isn't such a tough job. I can think of far worse jobs. The idea that people need to be coddled and pitied doesn't go over well with me. Of course not all, but most people in poverty have the ability to get out of it, they're just not willing to make the sacrifices it would take.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2201
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2017, 11:03:26 AM »
Being a janitor isn't such a tough job. I can think of far worse jobs. The idea that people need to be coddled and pitied doesn't go over well with me. Of course not all, but most people in poverty have the ability to get out of it, they're just not willing to make the sacrifices it would take.

Getting out of poverty is easiest if you can pass a drug test and a criminal background check; a person who can't do that is seldom hired as a janitor. Finding a job that pays more than minimum wage is far easier if you have a high school diploma and ideally some credentials beyond it, plus some marketable skills such as cleaning, painting, or driving. A person who reaches adulthood without these things will have a much rougher time, and eventually it does reach the point where it's no longer possible no matter what sacrifices the person makes. The work they're capable of doing for an employer just doesn't justify the pay.

There's also some stuff many of us take for granted. I call them "pre-employment" skills. They include the ability to show up on time and ready to work, the ability to keep commitments, the ability to work unsupervised instead of wandering off, napping, or playing on a phone, and overall coachability or teachability. A person who can't receive instruction or correction graciously is very difficult to train.

Hargrove

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2017, 11:07:15 AM »
I can think of far worse jobs.

A nickel isn't a lot just because I can think of a penny.

Quote
The idea that people need to be coddled and pitied doesn't go over well with me. Of course not all, but most people in poverty have the ability to get out of it, they're just not willing to make the sacrifices it would take.

"People need to be coddled" doesn't go over well with anyone I've ever met. It's just ever so slightly odd that you're saying those who have the least are not willing to give up enough. May you never have a problem bigger than your capabilities.

fredbear

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2017, 01:34:22 PM »

Being a janitor isn't such a tough job. I can think of far worse jobs. The idea that people need to be coddled and pitied doesn't go over well with me. Of course not all, but most people in poverty have the ability to get out of it, they're just not willing to make the sacrifices it would take.

It's a classic story; you can probably find it once a year somewhere in the US, certainly once every 5 years.  The one I am thinking of was a janitor for the physics department at the University of Colorado.  Some reporter found out how he was fixed financially and wrote it up.  He was friendly, had sharp ears, and investigated what he heard from the professors.  He also had his own judgement.  Mostly he did conventional investments; sometimes he took a flyer when the professors discussed something he thought would be a world-changer.  When he died, he left $3 million to the university, derived solely from his habit of saving, and his shrewdness at investment.

MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2017, 04:19:27 PM »


A nickel isn't a lot just because I can think of a penny.
I wouldn't call it a nickel. It's not even close to the bottom. Better than working fast food. I have little sympathy for janitors. They can make a fine living, and many do.

Quote
"People need to be coddled" doesn't go over well with anyone I've ever met. It's just ever so slightly odd that you're saying those who have the least are not willing to give up enough. May you never have a problem bigger than your capabilities.
Maybe I should rephrase what I said. They're not willing to put in the hard work to make it out of their situation. Hell, 90% of the unemployed people I know only apply for jobs online, and it's maybe 1-2 per week.

Someone motivated enough to find a job could find a minimum wage one in a few hours. No, not exaggerating. It'll suck, and you'll probably hate the hours/schedule/environment, but beggars can't be choosers.

Most unemployed people I know have too much pride to apply at places that would gladly hire them, like McDonald's. Instead of making $1k+/month, they make $0/month.

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6042
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2017, 09:26:09 PM »
Why do so many people making FIRE plans based on stock and bond investments plan to follow the 4% rule?

The 4% rule fails about 3% to 5% of the time.

Yeah, but 95% to 97% of the time it works, so they plan to play the odds.

But not just play the odds, they intend to make the odds even more in their favor.   They aren't going to spend 4% like an automaton like the original Trinity study assumed.  They are going to minimize their expenses when the market is down, or make a bit of extra income.

They know that the choices they make can increase or decrease the odds of success.  And there are no guarantees.  We know that we need to be adaptable to whatever the future throws at us.  No single plan will work for all people in all circumstances.

And it all seems perfectly reasonable to all of us.

Because it **IS** perfectly reasonable.   

Getting out of poverty is the same.

There are choices people can make that will increase or decrease the chance of getting out of poverty.    The more good choices that people make and the fewer bad choices they make, the greater the odds they get out of poverty.  The more bad choices and the fewer good choices, the less likely they will get out of poverty.

No single plan can work for every single person in all circumstances.   They have to be adaptable to what life throws at them.

And there are no guarantees.

Why so many people cannot see this is simply beyond me.  It really is that simple.

Now, should it be so hard to get out of poverty?  Hell no.  It shouldn't.   We should do more as a society and as an individual to help people get out of poverty.   But that's also hard because if we do it wrong, we just create a bunch of leeches on society.

Ever read those threads about family members who are leeching off other family members?   If you raise them wrong that's what you get.  And sometimes, even if you raise them right, that's what you still get.    Poor people are just like everyone else, just with less money.   Some of them will be great people and others will be scum - just like the people in the middle or upper classes.

But the first thing to do as a society is to stop making excuses for bad choices.  A bad choice is a bad choice.   Don't make it unless you want to make your life harder for yourself.   Teach people what the good choices are (and help them follow those options).   Teach them what the bad choices are (and don't help them follow those options).

Don't pretend that there are no good choices simply because good choices are hard or impossible for some folks to implement.
Personally, I think that telling someone they have no hope and nothing they can do will improve things (when that's not true) is pure evil.

And telling people who are just speaking the truth that they must be clueless about poverty because they disagree with you is wrong.   Some of us have been poor.  That's why we know things that helped us get out of poverty from first hand knowledge.

I give advice that works to people and those who decide to stop wallowing in self pity and follow a self-tailored plan based onteh principles I teach them generally find that they are better off for doing so.

I happen to put my money where my mouth is.  I try to find good people who are willing to work to improve their situation and give them an opportunity to do so. 

The son of a good friend needed some direction and some cash, so I got him to help us fix up rental #2.   He ended being able to pay off some debts and get a new vehicle when his old one died, plus he learned new skills (both construction and financial) that will help him earn or save money in the future.  That's a set of good choices he made.  Had he worked harder at it, he would have made 25% more.

A poorly paid co-worker with way too many kids was hurting financially.   I hired him to tear out the carpet in rental #3 at $20 an hour.  He was unskilled labor.  I hired his wife to clean the place up (that was her business).   She showed up with all the kids (I was ok with that) but had taken them all to McDonalds for breakfast.   He showed up an hour and a half late after deciding *THAT MORNING* that he wanted to sleep in instead of start with me at the agreed upon time.   When I got back from an errand I found him on the phone (he and his wife both had expensive smart phones) trying to hire someone to do some of the work.   And then his wife asked to be paid that same day for the **PART** of the work they had gotten done so they could pay their rent that night.

The guy can't f*n pay his rent, he's got a $20 an hour side gig, and he's trying to hire someone else to do some of the work!   WTF!!!
I told him afterwards that I was mad as hell.  I told him I was paying him to learn skills so I could hire him in the future.  Now some random stranger I don't know learned those skills instead of him.   The guy was being paid $20 an hour to interview for more jobs from me and he flubbed it.   That's a set of bad choices they made.  No wonder they were having money troubles.

A coworker got fired after psycho boss screwed him over with upper management.  I hired him to do a French drain for me for $1000.   That was one happy professional IT guy.  Took him 2 or 3 days .   That $1000 went a long way towards paying the bills until a new job was found.

Everyone I hired got new skills and made money they needed.   All of it was work my wife and I could have done ourselves, but we chose to help other people instead.   

I'm such a heartless SOB.   The personification of the evil, uncaring rich.  Yep, that's me. 

MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2017, 09:43:39 PM »
Why do so many people making FIRE plans based on stock and bond investments plan to follow the 4% rule?

The 4% rule fails about 3% to 5% of the time.

Yeah, but 95% to 97% of the time it works, so they plan to play the odds.

But not just play the odds, they intend to make the odds even more in their favor.   They aren't going to spend 4% like an automaton like the original Trinity study assumed.  They are going to minimize their expenses when the market is down, or make a bit of extra income.

They know that the choices they make can increase or decrease the odds of success.  And there are no guarantees.  We know that we need to be adaptable to whatever the future throws at us.  No single plan will work for all people in all circumstances.

And it all seems perfectly reasonable to all of us.

Because it **IS** perfectly reasonable.   

Getting out of poverty is the same.

There are choices people can make that will increase or decrease the chance of getting out of poverty.    The more good choices that people make and the fewer bad choices they make, the greater the odds they get out of poverty.  The more bad choices and the fewer good choices, the less likely they will get out of poverty.

No single plan can work for every single person in all circumstances.   They have to be adaptable to what life throws at them.

And there are no guarantees.

Why so many people cannot see this is simply beyond me.  It really is that simple.

Now, should it be so hard to get out of poverty?  Hell no.  It shouldn't.   We should do more as a society and as an individual to help people get out of poverty.   But that's also hard because if we do it wrong, we just create a bunch of leeches on society.

Ever read those threads about family members who are leeching off other family members?   If you raise them wrong that's what you get.  And sometimes, even if you raise them right, that's what you still get.    Poor people are just like everyone else, just with less money.   Some of them will be great people and others will be scum - just like the people in the middle or upper classes.

But the first thing to do as a society is to stop making excuses for bad choices.  A bad choice is a bad choice.   Don't make it unless you want to make your life harder for yourself.   Teach people what the good choices are (and help them follow those options).   Teach them what the bad choices are (and don't help them follow those options).

Don't pretend that there are no good choices simply because good choices are hard or impossible for some folks to implement.
Personally, I think that telling someone they have no hope and nothing they can do will improve things (when that's not true) is pure evil.

And telling people who are just speaking the truth that they must be clueless about poverty because they disagree with you is wrong.   Some of us have been poor.  That's why we know things that helped us get out of poverty from first hand knowledge.

I give advice that works to people and those who decide to stop wallowing in self pity and follow a self-tailored plan based onteh principles I teach them generally find that they are better off for doing so.

I happen to put my money where my mouth is.  I try to find good people who are willing to work to improve their situation and give them an opportunity to do so. 

The son of a good friend needed some direction and some cash, so I got him to help us fix up rental #2.   He ended being able to pay off some debts and get a new vehicle when his old one died, plus he learned new skills (both construction and financial) that will help him earn or save money in the future.  That's a set of good choices he made.  Had he worked harder at it, he would have made 25% more.

A poorly paid co-worker with way too many kids was hurting financially.   I hired him to tear out the carpet in rental #3 at $20 an hour.  He was unskilled labor.  I hired his wife to clean the place up (that was her business).   She showed up with all the kids (I was ok with that) but had taken them all to McDonalds for breakfast.   He showed up an hour and a half late after deciding *THAT MORNING* that he wanted to sleep in instead of start with me at the agreed upon time.   When I got back from an errand I found him on the phone (he and his wife both had expensive smart phones) trying to hire someone to do some of the work.   And then his wife asked to be paid that same day for the **PART** of the work they had gotten done so they could pay their rent that night.

The guy can't f*n pay his rent, he's got a $20 an hour side gig, and he's trying to hire someone else to do some of the work!   WTF!!!
I told him afterwards that I was mad as hell.  I told him I was paying him to learn skills so I could hire him in the future.  Now some random stranger I don't know learned those skills instead of him.   The guy was being paid $20 an hour to interview for more jobs from me and he flubbed it.   That's a set of bad choices they made.  No wonder they were having money troubles.

A coworker got fired after psycho boss screwed him over with upper management.  I hired him to do a French drain for me for $1000.   That was one happy professional IT guy.  Took him 2 or 3 days .   That $1000 went a long way towards paying the bills until a new job was found.

Everyone I hired got new skills and made money they needed.   All of it was work my wife and I could have done ourselves, but we chose to help other people instead.   

I'm such a heartless SOB.   The personification of the evil, uncaring rich.  Yep, that's me.
Put it in better words than I ever could. Best post I've seen on MMM. +1

SEAKSR

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Rainy Alaska
  • Great day for water landings!
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2017, 12:41:08 AM »
Why do so many people making FIRE plans based on stock and bond investments plan to follow the 4% rule?

The 4% rule fails about 3% to 5% of the time.

Yeah, but 95% to 97% of the time it works, so they plan to play the odds.

But not just play the odds, they intend to make the odds even more in their favor.   They aren't going to spend 4% like an automaton like the original Trinity study assumed.  They are going to minimize their expenses when the market is down, or make a bit of extra income.

They know that the choices they make can increase or decrease the odds of success.  And there are no guarantees.  We know that we need to be adaptable to whatever the future throws at us.  No single plan will work for all people in all circumstances.

And it all seems perfectly reasonable to all of us.

Because it **IS** perfectly reasonable.   

Getting out of poverty is the same.

There are choices people can make that will increase or decrease the chance of getting out of poverty.    The more good choices that people make and the fewer bad choices they make, the greater the odds they get out of poverty.  The more bad choices and the fewer good choices, the less likely they will get out of poverty.

No single plan can work for every single person in all circumstances.   They have to be adaptable to what life throws at them.

And there are no guarantees.

Why so many people cannot see this is simply beyond me.  It really is that simple.

Now, should it be so hard to get out of poverty?  Hell no.  It shouldn't.   We should do more as a society and as an individual to help people get out of poverty.   But that's also hard because if we do it wrong, we just create a bunch of leeches on society.

Ever read those threads about family members who are leeching off other family members?   If you raise them wrong that's what you get.  And sometimes, even if you raise them right, that's what you still get.    Poor people are just like everyone else, just with less money.   Some of them will be great people and others will be scum - just like the people in the middle or upper classes.

But the first thing to do as a society is to stop making excuses for bad choices.  A bad choice is a bad choice.   Don't make it unless you want to make your life harder for yourself.   Teach people what the good choices are (and help them follow those options).   Teach them what the bad choices are (and don't help them follow those options).

Don't pretend that there are no good choices simply because good choices are hard or impossible for some folks to implement.
Personally, I think that telling someone they have no hope and nothing they can do will improve things (when that's not true) is pure evil.

And telling people who are just speaking the truth that they must be clueless about poverty because they disagree with you is wrong.   Some of us have been poor.  That's why we know things that helped us get out of poverty from first hand knowledge.

I give advice that works to people and those who decide to stop wallowing in self pity and follow a self-tailored plan based onteh principles I teach them generally find that they are better off for doing so.

I happen to put my money where my mouth is.  I try to find good people who are willing to work to improve their situation and give them an opportunity to do so. 

The son of a good friend needed some direction and some cash, so I got him to help us fix up rental #2.   He ended being able to pay off some debts and get a new vehicle when his old one died, plus he learned new skills (both construction and financial) that will help him earn or save money in the future.  That's a set of good choices he made.  Had he worked harder at it, he would have made 25% more.

A poorly paid co-worker with way too many kids was hurting financially.   I hired him to tear out the carpet in rental #3 at $20 an hour.  He was unskilled labor.  I hired his wife to clean the place up (that was her business).   She showed up with all the kids (I was ok with that) but had taken them all to McDonalds for breakfast.   He showed up an hour and a half late after deciding *THAT MORNING* that he wanted to sleep in instead of start with me at the agreed upon time.   When I got back from an errand I found him on the phone (he and his wife both had expensive smart phones) trying to hire someone to do some of the work.   And then his wife asked to be paid that same day for the **PART** of the work they had gotten done so they could pay their rent that night.

The guy can't f*n pay his rent, he's got a $20 an hour side gig, and he's trying to hire someone else to do some of the work!   WTF!!!
I told him afterwards that I was mad as hell.  I told him I was paying him to learn skills so I could hire him in the future.  Now some random stranger I don't know learned those skills instead of him.   The guy was being paid $20 an hour to interview for more jobs from me and he flubbed it.   That's a set of bad choices they made.  No wonder they were having money troubles.

A coworker got fired after psycho boss screwed him over with upper management.  I hired him to do a French drain for me for $1000.   That was one happy professional IT guy.  Took him 2 or 3 days .   That $1000 went a long way towards paying the bills until a new job was found.

Everyone I hired got new skills and made money they needed.   All of it was work my wife and I could have done ourselves, but we chose to help other people instead.   

I'm such a heartless SOB.   The personification of the evil, uncaring rich.  Yep, that's me.
Put it in better words than I ever could. Best post I've seen on MMM. +1
+1 and a heartfelt thank you for trying. Some folks can't be taught, or won't be.

Mezzie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 818
    • Mezzie Learns
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2017, 07:11:52 AM »
Seaksr -- Well done. I've hired out-of-work friends and acquaintances for around the house chores, but I have no marketable skills to teach. You've done a great service.

Regarding poverty: I work with families in poverty ranging from homelessness to those living on government assistance. In most cases, the poverty is generational, so I come in as one of the many teaching the young generation that there are choices. The teenagers I work with are not at fault for their poverty: it's the parents' mental illness, debilitating health problems, sudden death, incarceration, abandonment, or deportation that have made things harder. A large percentage get jobs while in high school, not to save for school as I had the luxury to do, but to help pay for rent, groceries, and other necessities for the family.

If I didn't believe there was a way out, I wouldn't work with this population. But blame does zero good. Neither does judging from a distance.

Spend some time with the very poor and listen. From your relative comfort, think calmly about the choices those individuals can make and the resources they can take advantage of. Then be a compassionate guide and sounding board once that relationship of trust has been built.

MrMonkeyMoustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #47 on: April 15, 2017, 10:59:02 AM »
Funny coincidence. I just saw an old beggar that I hadn't seen in about a year or so. Back at it again, same spot. Sign was saying he needed the money for Easter. Made eye contact, felt zero sympathy.

I should've asked him what how he'd spend $50 if I gave it to him. This would have been a pretty damn good answer:

-Go the the haircut place just down the road, and spend $20 on a good haircut and shaving
-Go to Goodwill (just down the road as well), and buy some low-end clothes for $20.
-Go to Planet Fitness (also just down the road), and buy a membership for $10. Take a shower
-Go to McDonald's, IHOP, the 2 gas stations, and Shop n' Save, and apply (all right down the road, all hiring right now)

But, we know damn well he wouldn't have done any of those things, so I kept my mouth shut.

rpr

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2017, 11:17:40 AM »
Seaksr -- Well done. I've hired out-of-work friends and acquaintances for around the house chores, but I have no marketable skills to teach. You've done a great service.

Regarding poverty: I work with families in poverty ranging from homelessness to those living on government assistance. In most cases, the poverty is generational, so I come in as one of the many teaching the young generation that there are choices. The teenagers I work with are not at fault for their poverty: it's the parents' mental illness, debilitating health problems, sudden death, incarceration, abandonment, or deportation that have made things harder. A large percentage get jobs while in high school, not to save for school as I had the luxury to do, but to help pay for rent, groceries, and other necessities for the family.

If I didn't believe there was a way out, I wouldn't work with this population. But blame does zero good. Neither does judging from a distance.

Spend some time with the very poor and listen. From your relative comfort, think calmly about the choices those individuals can make and the resources they can take advantage of. Then be a compassionate guide and sounding board once that relationship of trust has been built.

Thank you for this post.

Squirrel away

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1042
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Building Wealth On Minimum Wage Triggers Backlash
« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2017, 11:34:22 AM »

Regarding poverty: I work with families in poverty ranging from homelessness to those living on government assistance. In most cases, the poverty is generational, so I come in as one of the many teaching the young generation that there are choices. The teenagers I work with are not at fault for their poverty: it's the parents' mental illness, debilitating health problems, sudden death, incarceration, abandonment, or deportation that have made things harder. A large percentage get jobs while in high school, not to save for school as I had the luxury to do, but to help pay for rent, groceries, and other necessities for the family.


That is true for some people on minimum wages.

I came from a home where there was mental illness, drug taking in the home and a very chaotic lifestyle with a single mother during my teen years. I still say that I would have found the message in that infographic helpful. I have found that knowing what poverty is like has made me more determined not to be in that position as an adult.