Author Topic: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it  (Read 14098 times)

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #50 on: May 03, 2019, 09:48:19 AM »
Oh, and because I'm apparently unable to let stuff that really doesn't matter go :) I still don't think the title of this thread is cheering on Chase. Was the intent to shame? yes, but I don't think that equates to cheering for Chase.

Hahaha! No by all means hold me feet to the fire.

You're right. It was probably inaccurate of me to describe the intent of the thread as trying to cheer on Chase.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #51 on: May 03, 2019, 10:28:37 AM »
Trying to synthesize what everyone is saying to come up with a good response.

By listening to what the drug-dealer/Satan/politician/megabank, has to say, and responding with, "Yes, that is a good point. People should not do drugs/sin/lie/be financially irresponsible," we're allowing them to control the narrative. We're having the conversation that they want to have. It's extremely manipulative.

I'm gonna bold this next sentence because it is really important. Personal fiscal responsibility is incredibly important and I encourage everyone to practice it.

But now I'm going to put that on a list with other important things to talk about with regards to financial struggle on a macroeconomic scale.

-Personal finance (people buy too much coffee)
-Technology and globalization leading to the mass devaluation of human labor output in the West
-Companies paying low wages while their employees must lean on social safety nets to cover the difference
-Massive, corporate tax breaks that further stress social safety nets

If I'm Chase, I'm circling the top item on the list and enthusiastically saying, "Let's talk about that!", meanwhile I'm perpetuating and enriching myself off of the other items on the list because we're all too busy talking about how much coffee some vague, median consumer purchases.

People are right to push back against this kind of cynical agenda setting. On any other week, I'd be more inclined to chalk it up to a dorky brand trying to be hip on the internet. But in light of the Dimon stuff, people should get mad. They should push back.

It sounds like from your compolation that you've agreed that the advice they give is not a bad thing in isolation - that there are people who make themselves poorer in a non-trivial way through the accumulation of smaller iterative expenses of which Chase listed a few examples (correct me if I'm wrong). I would say that's good, because that is pretty irrefutable.

I'm glad you brought up the macro situation, because that's what it seems and, IMO, where these arguments always go towards. Macro vs. micro. Macro wise, goals of working towards people not getting screwed over as a whole is certainly a good thing. This can be done through policy decisions, taxation, etc.

This in no way negates the micro version of things. I have interacted with some extremely poor people on the verge of or having recently been homeless. Even in those people, it's easy to see obvious financial mistakes that they could correct to begin to get themselves out of their precarious situation. I don't go harass them about it without request because it's not going to help if it's not welcomed. However, it's real, and it's there. Moving up in the spectrum of income, I certainly know many people who are in precarious paycheck to paycheck situations where there is tremendous waste but who for whatever reason don't correct smaller errors that would make big impacts. Some have given up, saying, nothing they can do will make their situation better so why try. I'd say the vast, vast, vast majority of people can improve on a micro scale, and it's not a bad thing to encourage them to do so.

Both of these things, micro and macro, can occur simultaneously. Was Chase's tweet tone deaf in the face of some of their background situation? Of course. They're receiving the backlash from it. Am I going to pile on in blogs or talking with friends or whatnot? No, because their points are accurate. To pile on with the crowd against them does work to negate the validity of the statements they make in the minds of many. It just does. The arguing is never rationally against what's being said. They never do the math; there's just backlash. It's whataboutism - what about the CEO who had benefits growing up wealthy in private schools, etc. Well, yes, that's true. It doesn't make what he says incorrect.  Why can't we be nuanced in our approach and say, yep, those are good points about how we all have small leaks in our boats that we should at least be knowledgeable about even if we decide they are worth it for our happiness to continue. Also, Chase as a company benefits from their own situation, so let's talk about that too and make appropriate changes so it's easier for people to help themselves.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #52 on: May 03, 2019, 12:28:53 PM »
It sounds like from your compolation that you've agreed that the advice they give is not a bad thing in isolation - that there are people who make themselves poorer in a non-trivial way through the accumulation of smaller iterative expenses of which Chase listed a few examples (correct me if I'm wrong). I would say that's good, because that is pretty irrefutable.

I'm glad you brought up the macro situation, because that's what it seems and, IMO, where these arguments always go towards. Macro vs. micro. Macro wise, goals of working towards people not getting screwed over as a whole is certainly a good thing. This can be done through policy decisions, taxation, etc.

This in no way negates the micro version of things. I have interacted with some extremely poor people on the verge of or having recently been homeless. Even in those people, it's easy to see obvious financial mistakes that they could correct to begin to get themselves out of their precarious situation. I don't go harass them about it without request because it's not going to help if it's not welcomed. However, it's real, and it's there. Moving up in the spectrum of income, I certainly know many people who are in precarious paycheck to paycheck situations where there is tremendous waste but who for whatever reason don't correct smaller errors that would make big impacts. Some have given up, saying, nothing they can do will make their situation better so why try. I'd say the vast, vast, vast majority of people can improve on a micro scale, and it's not a bad thing to encourage them to do so.

Both of these things, micro and macro, can occur simultaneously. Was Chase's tweet tone deaf in the face of some of their background situation? Of course. They're receiving the backlash from it. Am I going to pile on in blogs or talking with friends or whatnot? No, because their points are accurate. To pile on with the crowd against them does work to negate the validity of the statements they make in the minds of many. It just does. The arguing is never rationally against what's being said. They never do the math; there's just backlash. It's whataboutism - what about the CEO who had benefits growing up wealthy in private schools, etc. Well, yes, that's true. It doesn't make what he says incorrect.  Why can't we be nuanced in our approach and say, yep, those are good points about how we all have small leaks in our boats that we should at least be knowledgeable about even if we decide they are worth it for our happiness to continue. Also, Chase as a company benefits from their own situation, so let's talk about that too and make appropriate changes so it's easier for people to help themselves.

Good stuff. I tend to think we can walk and chew gum at the same time though. In this context, "walking" is protesting cynical and self-serving rhetoric from power structures and "chewing gum" is practicing personal responsibility. I think it's really important that we do this. Here's why:

The meme that poor people are poor because they buy too much Starbucks, and rich people are rich because they're thrifty and they deserve it is so incredibly pervasive, that twice in the past two decades, ordinary, low and middle income Americans have voted to give extremely preferential tax treatment to rich people and corporations.

JP Morgan says in their own literature on the latest tax cuts that the economy doesn't need them, it probably won't stimulate GDP growth, most of the cuts benefit corporations and people making more than six figures, and most of the corporate savings will go to share buybacks (more money for rich people). While this analysis is publicly available, it gets drowned out by more public facing statements like Dimon's congressional testimony, or the silly tweet.

That's where I come in. I'm educated on this stuff. I know the score, and I've read the literature. It's my job as a citizen-advocate to shout this from the rooftops in order to try to steer the public discourse ever so slightly in the other direction .

Montecarlo

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #53 on: May 03, 2019, 03:49:48 PM »
The top tax bracket for individuals is 37% after 510k of income.  Plus FICA plus state and local.

If the top tax bracket was 50% and is cut to 37%, the narrative is that the poor are getting the shaft in favor of crony capitalism. 

If the top bracket was 24% and raised to to 37%, the narrative is that the rich are being soaked and America is turning socialist.

Both scenarios end with the same tax bracket.  Pointing out the most recent changes is a form of anchoring bias, and really isn’t all that useful.

Montecarlo

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #54 on: May 03, 2019, 03:59:02 PM »
FWIW, if someone hired me to design the tax bracket, it would probably be pretty progressive.  Something like 0% up to 20K, 20% up to 1 million, and 75% after that.  And it would include a 5k exemption for every dependent and also include capital gains, although maybe that gets a 5 or 10% discount.  #s are illustrative, not meant to be exact.  I’m more of the view that concentration of wealth = concentration of power = bad for the demos. I’m not particularly concerned about redistributing the wealth.  Burn the tax money for all I care.

I’d also support a big revenue tax on corporations with more than 100 billion in revenue.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #55 on: May 03, 2019, 07:59:13 PM »

Good stuff. I tend to think we can walk and chew gum at the same time though. In this context, "walking" is protesting cynical and self-serving rhetoric from power structures and "chewing gum" is practicing personal responsibility. I think it's really important that we do this. Here's why:

The meme that poor people are poor because they buy too much Starbucks, and rich people are rich because they're thrifty and they deserve it is so incredibly pervasive, that twice in the past two decades, ordinary, low and middle income Americans have voted to give extremely preferential tax treatment to rich people and corporations.

JP Morgan says in their own literature on the latest tax cuts that the economy doesn't need them, it probably won't stimulate GDP growth, most of the cuts benefit corporations and people making more than six figures, and most of the corporate savings will go to share buybacks (more money for rich people). While this analysis is publicly available, it gets drowned out by more public facing statements like Dimon's congressional testimony, or the silly tweet.

That's where I come in. I'm educated on this stuff. I know the score, and I've read the literature. It's my job as a citizen-advocate to shout this from the rooftops in order to try to steer the public discourse ever so slightly in the other direction .

No offense, but just an observation that we need to look no further than your comments on this thread to see that there apparently is a lot of trouble "walking and chewing gum" at the same time. Your comments included:

"The funny thing is that I thought this was going to be an advertisement for something helpful."

"What people are we talking about here though? The imaginary people that Chase concocted who wonder why they're poor when they don't make their own coffee? I think it's a misstep to start a good faith discussion on personal responsibility that is based around a conjured up image that doesn't match reality."

Both of these comments show that you are not truly embracing both. Chase's advice is actually helpful. Sure, it's not a comprehensive list or even the lowest hanging most important fruit, but the concept of reducing iterative expenses that add up is highly important for people of all income groups and has the power to make an actual impact on big picture financial situations for a huge swath of people in America. So yes, it is helpful. And no, these are not "imaginary people." They may not literally be confused as to why they're poor (although I would speculate many are), but they are at least apathetic about it or unwilling to change despite the facts.

I've read hundreds of comments related to this tweet and some similar situations. I have seen literally no one on the progressive side of thing ever say, Chase (or fill in big corp that applies) is in the wrong, and we should address that, but also, we should give serious encouragement to people to listen to advice that can literally change their lives including breaking out of poverty and certainly out of living paycheck to paycheck at many, many income levels. Instead, it's trashing the CEO's and if more than CEOs' income is ever brought up, it's I deserve my coffees, my treats, my vacations, my nicer cars, ...; how dare anyone say I should be deprived.

People in general are like that, and, to be frank, I expect better from you. If even a long time MMM'er defaults to disregarding true statements that are at the heart of MMM philosophy on the MMM forum of all places, then no, I don't think people can do a good job of emphasis on both improving the macro and micro situation when the topic actually includes decent micro advice (and sorry, a bolded caveat after those statements that you support personal fiscal responsibility doesn't change the emphasis of your overall posts on this thread and the incorrect statements). There's a crap ton of situations where these big banks do bad things. Let's jump on that. Let's jump on the news articles where they foreclose too quickly on mortgages for instance, of their corruption, of things like that. Let's use those to push back, because when we push back on items that are definitively true and can actually help by saying, oh, but big picture items need to be changed too, the smaller personal responsibility items are inevitably lost.

Finally, if we're going to emphasize something, I would like to point back to MMM's circles of control. While there's some fair critique of it, it's got a good overall point. We can control some things much more than we can others. Yes, we can vote to make macro changes and have some impact that way. The fact of the matter is, though, we have the most influence over improving our own circumstances with our own life changes. It has the most impact for us and it is the one we can actually exert the most direct control over. It's literally a win win. If I'm going to be forced to emphasize one or the other, I'm going to emphasize that one.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 08:10:32 PM by Wolfpack Mustachian »

The_Big_H

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #56 on: May 03, 2019, 11:16:37 PM »
My conspiracy theory hat:

Chase puts out a snarky “do better with your money” tweet
People are like F you chase I’ll show you how to spend money
Chase profits go up as people overdraw or run up interest

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #57 on: May 04, 2019, 02:30:24 AM »
+1 to Wolfpack's post.

It's like in my home country how poor millennials complain they can't afford houses, then complain again when richer people tell them to stop buying extremely expensive brunches.

The thing is, there's a good point to the 'stop having smashed avo' dialogue. One less brunch a week, one less pub night a week, one less football game a month, and soon you're talking about real, compounding savings.

Or just add it to other iterative things in life - maybe one less gram of sodium per day, so you can be a bit healthier. One more chapter of reading to your kids a night, so that they grow up more enriched.

All these tiny daily decisions add up over time. The fact that people want to ignore it is a bit sad, if you ask me. If you have organism A and organism B in a cell culture, and organism B does everything just 1% better, pretty soon organism B is going to absolutely dominate organism A.

JTColton

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #58 on: May 04, 2019, 05:13:32 AM »
All these tiny daily decisions add up over time. The fact that people want to ignore it is a bit sad, if you ask me. If you have organism A and organism B in a cell culture, and organism B does everything just 1% better, pretty soon organism B is going to absolutely dominate organism A.

Then people will conflate equal opportunity with equal outcome and say that organism B obviously has organism privilege. 

Montecarlo

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #59 on: May 04, 2019, 05:38:20 AM »
All these tiny daily decisions add up over time. The fact that people want to ignore it is a bit sad, if you ask me. If you have organism A and organism B in a cell culture, and organism B does everything just 1% better, pretty soon organism B is going to absolutely dominate organism A.

Then people will conflate equal opportunity with equal outcome and say that organism B obviously has organism privilege.

When reading these sentences my mind removes any instance of “ni”

Indexer

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #60 on: May 04, 2019, 07:09:44 AM »
I don't really see a problem with what Chase did. Could they have done it better to get the point across without appearing as dickish, sure.

1. I worked in a bank for a few years.

You: why is my balance so low
Bank account: make coffee at home
Bank account: eat the food that’s already in the fridge
Bank account: you don’t need a cab, it’s only three blocks
You: I guess we’ll never know
Bank account: seriously?

I've had that conversation. I never had it with someone in poverty. People in actual poverty already make coffee at home, struggle to keep anything in the fridge, and NEVER even considering getting a cab because they ride the bus. The above tweet is targeted to lower-middle and middle class who want to pretend they are upper-middle/rich. In three years at a bank I talked to 1 person who overdrafted their account on purpose for a good reason. 99.9% of the time overdrafts were caused by carelessness and stupid purchases. Coffee= check. Eating out=check. Cab rides=check. I once had an individual get mad at me because I suggested that if she skipped her weekly massage just one week she could get caught up and stop overdrafting her account multiple times every week.

We Mustachians are in the top 10% for financial responsibility. That tweet was targeting the bottom 10% for financial responsibility, and they need to hear it. Chase could have got the point across with more finesse, no arguments there.

2. I've been trying to understand why many people hate banks but love tech companies. Chase makes a lot of money because they provide banking, loans, credit cards, etc. for millions of Americans. Jamie Dimon is one of the best paid CEOs because he is one of the best CEOs. Shareholders are happy to pay him more to keep him around.

Example: The same people who hate Jamie for being great at his job LOVE... ADORE... WORSHIP... dress like... Steve Jobs for being great at his job. Is Chase perfect, no, but are they worse than Apple in terms of corporate greed, no. Apple is one of the most profitable companies because they have some of the largest margins, because they overcharge for their product compared to their peers, and they created an ecosystem that locks people in. The plant that built the iPad had to put nets on the roof, because the employees were treated so terrible they were committing suicide at work. Imagine the outrage if the same things were said about a bank. I'm not trying to start a Chase VS Apple, who's more evil contest, just trying to understand why tech CEOS are sacred but bank CEOs are evil.

My issue with the comparison is that MMM wasn't bailed out by the American people for poor financial decisions while chastising others for the same thing. 


Chase's poor financial decision in the 07-09 crisis was bailing out Bear Sterns. The Government begged them to do in order to prevent an economic meltdown, and the Government guaranteed to protect Chase from some of the losses to make the deal acceptable. Chase, for good or bad in other regards, contributed to getting us out of that crisis.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 01:26:54 PM by Indexer »

SwordGuy

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #61 on: May 04, 2019, 11:21:59 AM »
Both of these comments show that you are not truly embracing both. Chase's advice is actually helpful. Sure, it's not a comprehensive list or even the lowest hanging most important fruit, but the concept of reducing iterative expenses that add up is highly important for people of all income groups and has the power to make an actual impact on big picture financial situations for a huge swath of people in America. So yes, it is helpful. And no, these are not "imaginary people." They may not literally be confused as to why they're poor (although I would speculate many are), but they are at least apathetic about it or unwilling to change despite the facts.

I've read hundreds of comments related to this tweet and some similar situations. I have seen literally no one on the progressive side of thing ever say, Chase (or fill in big corp that applies) is in the wrong, and we should address that, but also, we should give serious encouragement to people to listen to advice that can literally change their lives including breaking out of poverty and certainly out of living paycheck to paycheck at many, many income levels. Instead, it's trashing the CEO's and if more than CEOs' income is ever brought up, it's I deserve my coffees, my treats, my vacations, my nicer cars, ...; how dare anyone say I should be deprived.



I'm very progressive in my politics and I make the points about personal responsibility and incremental improvement of one's situation because it's in one's personal control all the damn time.

Pigs being killed squeal less than many of my fellow liberals when those concepts are laid out for their review.   Those folks can't abide the very idea of anyone ever being expected to exert themselves to improve their own situation.

Lay out a plan that will work for 99.999999999999% of the population to fix the problem for themselves and then offer to assist those who honestly can't do it, and they'll say, "But a 12-toed 9-year old boy with spinal bifuda and diabetes who was blinded by solar flares whilst masturbating to La Vida Loca can't make that work, so NO ONE ELSE should EVER try that plan."   It makes me mad as hell.   I TOTALLY get it that no plan will work for everyone.  But if a plan will work for someone, they should use the damn plan and make things better for themselves.   Then there would be more resources available to actually help those who can't improve their own situation on their own.   


I guess I'm the exception that proves your rule.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #62 on: May 05, 2019, 06:53:55 AM »

I'm very progressive in my politics and I make the points about personal responsibility and incremental improvement of one's situation because it's in one's personal control all the damn time.

Pigs being killed squeal less than many of my fellow liberals when those concepts are laid out for their review.   Those folks can't abide the very idea of anyone ever being expected to exert themselves to improve their own situation.

Lay out a plan that will work for 99.999999999999% of the population to fix the problem for themselves and then offer to assist those who honestly can't do it, and they'll say, "But a 12-toed 9-year old boy with spinal bifuda and diabetes who was blinded by solar flares whilst masturbating to La Vida Loca can't make that work, so NO ONE ELSE should EVER try that plan."   It makes me mad as hell.   I TOTALLY get it that no plan will work for everyone.  But if a plan will work for someone, they should use the damn plan and make things better for themselves.   Then there would be more resources available to actually help those who can't improve their own situation on their own.   


I guess I'm the exception that proves your rule.

Thanks for the comment! It's nice to know that there are exceptions like you. That is a very frustrating perspective to me as well - if this one person can't make it, then we shouldn't even try....really? As you said, improve your own situation so that more resources can go to people who need it, because there will always be people that need it.

The bigger picture thing that gets me is we can UBI or whatever income up to a higher level, but if people just lifestyle creep up to wherever their income is at, they will still be struggling. Given the current situation, I have no doubt this would happen. Otherwise, living paycheck to paycheck on decent salaries would be the far and away exception rather than what it is today. The underlying issue of living within means and not wasting money has to be addressed and, IMO, should be the priority.

FireLane

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #63 on: May 05, 2019, 07:58:53 AM »
In three years at a bank I talked to 1 person who overdrafted their account on purpose for a good reason. 99.9% of the time overdrafts were caused by carelessness and stupid purchases. Coffee= check. Eating out=check. Cab rides=check. I once had an individual get mad at me because I suggested that if she skipped her weekly massage just one week she could get caught up and stop overdrafting her account multiple times every week.

We Mustachians are in the top 10% for financial responsibility. That tweet was targeting the bottom 10% for financial responsibility, and they need to hear it. Chase could have got the point across with more finesse, no arguments there.

The question is, though, why do Chase and other banks allow the purchase to go through and then charge an overdraft fee? Why not just block the purchase if you don't have the money in your account? As you said, it's incredibly rare that anyone would have a good reason for wanting the former rather than the latter.

I think that's part of the blowback Chase received. It's not that they were giving financial advice which might be good in isolation. It's the hypocrisy of doing so while cynically creating policies which encourage people to make bad decisions that are profitable for the bank. ATM fees, cash advances, absurd credit card interest rates, giving people ridiculous mortgages for houses they had no business buying and then securitizing and selling those mortgages so the bank had no incentive to care what happened afterwards... the list goes on.

JTColton

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #64 on: May 05, 2019, 09:15:06 AM »
The question is, though, why do Chase and other banks allow the purchase to go through and then charge an overdraft fee? Why not just block the purchase if you don't have the money in your account? As you said, it's incredibly rare that anyone would have a good reason for wanting the former rather than the latter.

I think that's part of the blowback Chase received. It's not that they were giving financial advice which might be good in isolation. It's the hypocrisy of doing so while cynically creating policies which encourage people to make bad decisions that are profitable for the bank. ATM fees, cash advances, absurd credit card interest rates, giving people ridiculous mortgages for houses they had no business buying and then securitizing and selling those mortgages so the bank had no incentive to care what happened afterwards... the list goes on.

Because consumers want/use it. Overdraft protection can be disabled, I don't have it on any of my accounts.

Overdrafting and the fees associated amount to nothing more than an unregulated loan. Banks are scumbags for doing it, consumers are idiots for allowing it.

Poundwise

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #65 on: May 05, 2019, 09:15:16 PM »
I have no problem with the original advice, but:

You: why is my balance so low
Bank account: Chase financed GEO Group and CoreCivic
Bank account: GEO Group received $470 million in federal contracts to run detention centers in 2017
Bank account: you paid the taxes!
You: I guess we’ll never know
Bank account: seriously?

On the other hand Chase has said it will no longer finance the private prison industry, so there is that...
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 08:39:44 AM by Poundwise »

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #66 on: May 06, 2019, 10:53:26 AM »
No offense, but just an observation that we need to look no further than your comments on this thread to see that there apparently is a lot of trouble "walking and chewing gum" at the same time. Your comments included:

"The funny thing is that I thought this was going to be an advertisement for something helpful."

You cut out the part where I specifically referenced a bank doing something on a similar dimension that I consider to be helpful.

The full context was:

Quote
The funny thing is that I thought this was going to be an advertisement for something helpful. I saw a commercial for a bank (Wells Fargo maybe?) that will aggregate your monthly subscriptions and present them to you. i.e., "Hey, you subscribe to Hulu, Prime, and Netflix, do you really need all three?"

But no, it's just some social media employee being a dick.

Chase's tweet was unhelpful. The other bank's program is helpful. I think some people often think this kind of rhetoric is "tough love" helpful, but really, they can't see past their own feel-goods that come from lording their fiscal responsibility over less responsible people.


"What people are we talking about here though? The imaginary people that Chase concocted who wonder why they're poor when they don't make their own coffee? I think it's a misstep to start a good faith discussion on personal responsibility that is based around a conjured up image that doesn't match reality."


This comment means exactly what it says. I can believe in the fiscal irresponsibility of spending too much money on coffee while not jumping to join in a conversation that has zero basis and was started apropos of nothing just because Chase wants me too. I'm not manipulated that easily.

Both of these comments show that you are not truly embracing both. Chase's advice is actually helpful.

No it's not. It's condescension from out of no where that makes personal finance geeks feel good because they're superior to someone else. Even if this someone else is completely hypothetical. We do this all the fucking time. We're in a sub-forum dedicated to doing exactly this.


I've read hundreds of comments related to this tweet and some similar situations. I have seen literally no one on the progressive side of thing ever say, Chase (or fill in big corp that applies) is in the wrong, and we should address that, but also, we should give serious encouragement to people to listen to advice that can literally change their lives including breaking out of poverty and certainly out of living paycheck to paycheck at many, many income levels. Instead, it's trashing the CEO's and if more than CEOs' income is ever brought up, it's I deserve my coffees, my treats, my vacations, my nicer cars, ...; how dare anyone say I should be deprived.

Maybe that's because everyone already agrees that spending money to take a cab for just a few blocks is a bad financial decision, and wasting breath acknowledging this is one step towards having the conversation Chase wants us to be having, rather than the bigger conversation.

People in general are like that, and, to be frank, I expect better from you. If even a long time MMM'er defaults to disregarding true statements that are at the heart of MMM philosophy on the MMM forum of all places, then no, I don't think people can do a good job of emphasis on both improving the macro and micro situation when the topic actually includes decent micro advice (and sorry, a bolded caveat after those statements that you support personal fiscal responsibility doesn't change the emphasis of your overall posts on this thread and the incorrect statements). There's a crap ton of situations where these big banks do bad things. Let's jump on that. Let's jump on the news articles where they foreclose too quickly on mortgages for instance, of their corruption, of things like that. Let's use those to push back, because when we push back on items that are definitively true and can actually help by saying, oh, but big picture items need to be changed too, the smaller personal responsibility items are inevitably lost.

Finally, if we're going to emphasize something, I would like to point back to MMM's circles of control. While there's some fair critique of it, it's got a good overall point. We can control some things much more than we can others. Yes, we can vote to make macro changes and have some impact that way. The fact of the matter is, though, we have the most influence over improving our own circumstances with our own life changes. It has the most impact for us and it is the one we can actually exert the most direct control over. It's literally a win win. If I'm going to be forced to emphasize one or the other, I'm going to emphasize that one.

What Chase, and more specifically, the Chase defenders are doing is an extremely common argumentative tactic. It's called concern trolling.

mm1970

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #67 on: May 06, 2019, 02:50:53 PM »
Both of these comments show that you are not truly embracing both. Chase's advice is actually helpful. Sure, it's not a comprehensive list or even the lowest hanging most important fruit, but the concept of reducing iterative expenses that add up is highly important for people of all income groups and has the power to make an actual impact on big picture financial situations for a huge swath of people in America. So yes, it is helpful. And no, these are not "imaginary people." They may not literally be confused as to why they're poor (although I would speculate many are), but they are at least apathetic about it or unwilling to change despite the facts.

I've read hundreds of comments related to this tweet and some similar situations. I have seen literally no one on the progressive side of thing ever say, Chase (or fill in big corp that applies) is in the wrong, and we should address that, but also, we should give serious encouragement to people to listen to advice that can literally change their lives including breaking out of poverty and certainly out of living paycheck to paycheck at many, many income levels. Instead, it's trashing the CEO's and if more than CEOs' income is ever brought up, it's I deserve my coffees, my treats, my vacations, my nicer cars, ...; how dare anyone say I should be deprived.



I'm very progressive in my politics and I make the points about personal responsibility and incremental improvement of one's situation because it's in one's personal control all the damn time.

Pigs being killed squeal less than many of my fellow liberals when those concepts are laid out for their review.   Those folks can't abide the very idea of anyone ever being expected to exert themselves to improve their own situation.

Lay out a plan that will work for 99.999999999999% of the population to fix the problem for themselves and then offer to assist those who honestly can't do it, and they'll say, "But a 12-toed 9-year old boy with spinal bifuda and diabetes who was blinded by solar flares whilst masturbating to La Vida Loca can't make that work, so NO ONE ELSE should EVER try that plan."   It makes me mad as hell.   I TOTALLY get it that no plan will work for everyone.  But if a plan will work for someone, they should use the damn plan and make things better for themselves.   Then there would be more resources available to actually help those who can't improve their own situation on their own.   


I guess I'm the exception that proves your rule.

See, I'm a relatively progressive person living in a sea of them.  A sea of them!   I live in Southern California, for crying out loud.

Quite literally nearly every single progressive person I know is the same way.  Believe in personal responsibility AND incremental improvement.  I don't know where these magical anti- personal responsibility progressives are, because I don't know that I've ever met one.

We aren't rare.

MoseyingAlong

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #68 on: May 06, 2019, 03:13:54 PM »

I'm very progressive in my politics and I make the points about personal responsibility and incremental improvement of one's situation because it's in one's personal control all the damn time.

Pigs being killed squeal less than many of my fellow liberals when those concepts are laid out for their review.   Those folks can't abide the very idea of anyone ever being expected to exert themselves to improve their own situation.

Lay out a plan that will work for 99.999999999999% of the population to fix the problem for themselves and then offer to assist those who honestly can't do it, and they'll say, "But a 12-toed 9-year old boy with spinal bifuda and diabetes who was blinded by solar flares whilst masturbating to La Vida Loca can't make that work, so NO ONE ELSE should EVER try that plan."   It makes me mad as hell.   I TOTALLY get it that no plan will work for everyone.  But if a plan will work for someone, they should use the damn plan and make things better for themselves.   Then there would be more resources available to actually help those who can't improve their own situation on their own.   


I guess I'm the exception that proves your rule.

See, I'm a relatively progressive person living in a sea of them.  A sea of them!   I live in Southern California, for crying out loud.

Quite literally nearly every single progressive person I know is the same way.  Believe in personal responsibility AND incremental improvement.  I don't know where these magical anti- personal responsibility progressives are, because I don't know that I've ever met one.

We aren't rare.

Go north, mm1970.
The SF Bay Area is awash in them. Even some of my loved ones whom I know are smart and good-hearted. There's this huge gap in our view of personal responsibility and it honestly bewilders me.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #69 on: May 06, 2019, 03:15:23 PM »
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that personal responsibility knows no political affiliation.

I'm gonna go out on a second limb and say that any degree of fiscal irresponsibility is hyper obvious to people who do personal finance as a hobby.

Indexer

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #70 on: May 06, 2019, 04:15:10 PM »
In three years at a bank I talked to 1 person who overdrafted their account on purpose for a good reason. 99.9% of the time overdrafts were caused by carelessness and stupid purchases. Coffee= check. Eating out=check. Cab rides=check. I once had an individual get mad at me because I suggested that if she skipped her weekly massage just one week she could get caught up and stop overdrafting her account multiple times every week.

We Mustachians are in the top 10% for financial responsibility. That tweet was targeting the bottom 10% for financial responsibility, and they need to hear it. Chase could have got the point across with more finesse, no arguments there.

The question is, though, why do Chase and other banks allow the purchase to go through and then charge an overdraft fee? Why not just block the purchase if you don't have the money in your account? As you said, it's incredibly rare that anyone would have a good reason for wanting the former rather than the latter.

I think that's part of the blowback Chase received. It's not that they were giving financial advice which might be good in isolation. It's the hypocrisy of doing so while cynically creating policies which encourage people to make bad decisions that are profitable for the bank. ATM fees, cash advances, absurd credit card interest rates, giving people ridiculous mortgages for houses they had no business buying and then securitizing and selling those mortgages so the bank had no incentive to care what happened afterwards... the list goes on.

They offer overdraft because their customers want it. It is optional, customers have to opt-in to overdraft protection. Otherwise, the bank will reject transactions if the customer doesn't have the money.

Like the overdraft fees, did they encourage these activities or did they just fill demand for the services people want? Anyone can avoid ATM fees, anyone can avoid credit card interest, anyone can avoid overdraft fees, etc. In all of these cases people wanted the services and paid for them. To us it's crazy, but most Americans are in debt. People want credit, Chase provides credit, profit.

Credit card interest rates are high because the risk is high. At what rate will you loan money to people who spend more than they earn every single month, with no collateral, and assuming your bill is the first bill they will stop paying if times get tough? 15-20% sounds about right to me. I assume they are spending more than they earn, because if it was the other way around the balance would be $0 at the end of every month and they wouldn't be paying interest. ;-)

The mortgage securitization that lead to lawsuits and Chase paying settlements... primarily originated with companies that Chase bought. Remember, in an effort to save the economy they bought Bear Sterns and Washington Mutual.
source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/10/21/everything-you-need-to-know-about-jpmorgans-13-billion-settlement/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.9079293a99f6


Before trashing Dimon or Chase, I highly recommend reading: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/economy/2018/09/14/jamie-dimon-jp-morgan-memo-actions-financial-crisis/1304253002/


Are they perfect, no, no company is. Should they be vilified? I don't see a reason to. They helped regulators and the Government get us out of the Financial Crisis.

What do we want from our index funds?  We want the companies in them to be profitable and share those profits.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #71 on: May 06, 2019, 04:51:22 PM »
One could write a similar memo about Chase and the financial crisis that sounds a lot more self-serving. The FDIC took over Bear and WaMu, and then Chase bought the banking operations for pennies on the dollar. Bear Stearns probably didn't work out too well, but WaMu sure did. They gained a massive number of depositors that they still market financial services to to this day. Myself include.

FWIW, I don't think Dimon is a bad person and I don't think Chase is an evil company. I thought they handled the WaMu transition fantastically. But they were handsomely rewarded. They're the biggest bank in the US now, and firmly entrenched in "too big to fail" territory.

Whenever they feel like getting cute, and pondering what impact unnecessary Starbucks purchases have on financial struggle, they should expect other people to loudly ponder about the impact of big banks bathing in tax cut money and reporting $40 billion in NOI because they... move numbers around on spreadsheets.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #72 on: May 06, 2019, 05:10:22 PM »
Some people have an issue with a bank that takes an exploitative stance towards the fiscally irresponsible. Some people don't.

It's just like gambling. Some see it as a handy source of tax revenue from people who make bad, unforced life decisions. Some see it as a shameful enterprise for society to condone.

Everyone sees things differently.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #73 on: May 06, 2019, 07:52:23 PM »
No offense, but just an observation that we need to look no further than your comments on this thread to see that there apparently is a lot of trouble "walking and chewing gum" at the same time. Your comments included:

"The funny thing is that I thought this was going to be an advertisement for something helpful."

You cut out the part where I specifically referenced a bank doing something on a similar dimension that I consider to be helpful.

The full context was:

Quote
The funny thing is that I thought this was going to be an advertisement for something helpful. I saw a commercial for a bank (Wells Fargo maybe?) that will aggregate your monthly subscriptions and present them to you. i.e., "Hey, you subscribe to Hulu, Prime, and Netflix, do you really need all three?"

But no, it's just some social media employee being a dick.

Chase's tweet was unhelpful. The other bank's program is helpful. I think some people often think this kind of rhetoric is "tough love" helpful, but really, they can't see past their own feel-goods that come from lording their fiscal responsibility over less responsible people.


That's great that you mentioned another bank that did something different, something I could even agree that was probably better. You're disregarding the solid advice from Chase because they're kind of being jerks about it. Just because someone's kind of being jerks about something doesn't on the face of it make them wrong or their advice bad.


"What people are we talking about here though? The imaginary people that Chase concocted who wonder why they're poor when they don't make their own coffee? I think it's a misstep to start a good faith discussion on personal responsibility that is based around a conjured up image that doesn't match reality."



This comment means exactly what it says. I can believe in the fiscal irresponsibility of spending too much money on coffee while not jumping to join in a conversation that has zero basis and was started apropos of nothing just because Chase wants me too. I'm not manipulated that easily.


That's great that you meant what you said. It's still incorrect. The admittedly hypothetical people (because no one was specifically mentioned) aren't however imaginary. People do waste lots of money on coffee, eating out, etc. to the point that they seriously impact their ability to save and thus their bank account. You can certainly believe in fiscal irresponsibility of spending too much money on coffee and not jump into a conversation because Chase wants you too. The issue is though, you did. You jumped into this conversation to not just deride Chase but to deride their advice as you did in your first comment I quoted where you said "The funny thing is that I thought this was going to be an advertisement for something helpful." Through this whole conversation, as I can see it, you have planted yourself squarely on the side not just that Chase as a company is awful but that their advice is unsound. I'm having a hard time seeing this as anything other than proving the point that it's probably better to jump into conversations against banks when they're actually doing something bad rather than when they're giving decent advice packaged with snark.....because the decent advice gets lost in the shuffle.

Both of these comments show that you are not truly embracing both. Chase's advice is actually helpful.

No it's not. It's condescension from out of no where that makes personal finance geeks feel good because they're superior to someone else. Even if this someone else is completely hypothetical. We do this all the fucking time. We're in a sub-forum dedicated to doing exactly this.


I don't get super excited about picking on other people, and I agree with you that I'm not a big fan of this whole sub-forum, not because I don't enjoy it at times but because I don't usually like when I enjoy it. I don't believe I've ever posted in this sub-forum before. That being said, people feeling they are superior to someone else doesn't change the objective situation that people empty their bank accounts by huge amounts over time with iterative charges, which is what I have been saying all along.


I've read hundreds of comments related to this tweet and some similar situations. I have seen literally no one on the progressive side of thing ever say, Chase (or fill in big corp that applies) is in the wrong, and we should address that, but also, we should give serious encouragement to people to listen to advice that can literally change their lives including breaking out of poverty and certainly out of living paycheck to paycheck at many, many income levels. Instead, it's trashing the CEO's and if more than CEOs' income is ever brought up, it's I deserve my coffees, my treats, my vacations, my nicer cars, ...; how dare anyone say I should be deprived.

Maybe that's because everyone already agrees that spending money to take a cab for just a few blocks is a bad financial decision, and wasting breath acknowledging this is one step towards having the conversation Chase wants us to be having, rather than the bigger conversation.


There's no maybe about it. Everyone does not agree with that. I'm having a hard time understanding how you can truly think that everyone agrees with that idea. Do you talk to people outside this forum? People can and do argue that it's not a "bad financial" choice but that instead it's something they deserve, something that shouldn't be a big deal, or a million other turns of phrase that mean the same thing. It's a perfectly OK decision for me to take the cab a couple of blocks and have coffee several times a week and grab McDonald's 2 or 3 nights a week etc. And even if it's only a small minority that would admit to disagreeing with it (it's more than that), there's a sizable majority who agree with it implicitly by their actions.

People in general are like that, and, to be frank, I expect better from you. If even a long time MMM'er defaults to disregarding true statements that are at the heart of MMM philosophy on the MMM forum of all places, then no, I don't think people can do a good job of emphasis on both improving the macro and micro situation when the topic actually includes decent micro advice (and sorry, a bolded caveat after those statements that you support personal fiscal responsibility doesn't change the emphasis of your overall posts on this thread and the incorrect statements). There's a crap ton of situations where these big banks do bad things. Let's jump on that. Let's jump on the news articles where they foreclose too quickly on mortgages for instance, of their corruption, of things like that. Let's use those to push back, because when we push back on items that are definitively true and can actually help by saying, oh, but big picture items need to be changed too, the smaller personal responsibility items are inevitably lost.

Finally, if we're going to emphasize something, I would like to point back to MMM's circles of control. While there's some fair critique of it, it's got a good overall point. We can control some things much more than we can others. Yes, we can vote to make macro changes and have some impact that way. The fact of the matter is, though, we have the most influence over improving our own circumstances with our own life changes. It has the most impact for us and it is the one we can actually exert the most direct control over. It's literally a win win. If I'm going to be forced to emphasize one or the other, I'm going to emphasize that one.

What Chase, and more specifically, the Chase defenders are doing is an extremely common argumentative tactic. It's called concern trolling.

Chase may be concern trolling or what have you, but you are putting yourself firmly on the side of fiscal irresponsibility when you do not say "They could have been less condescending but there is some truth there and BTW, let's also talk about their tax breaks, unfair practices, etc." and instead in multiple messages act like the advice itself irrespective of the messenger is pointless.

We are bombarded every day with countless ads, Facebook posts, etc. that say, buy more, YOLO, it's not that big of a deal, I'm celebrating myself, congratulations on that brand new car (there's a whole thread about this one :) ), and so on. This must be combated and combated often because there's not enough people arguing against it. We can spend our time knocking advice that supports fiscal responsibility because it's not perfect or it's by someone we don't like, or we can spend our time focusing on what helped us on this board get our own finances in order. It's not going to affect me one way or the other. It might actually help someone else who comes here and reads this and realizes there's another way.

I'll re-emphasize what I said above. If we of all people can't say, yes, these are valid points that money is wasted all the time and yes, no excuses, no complaints, there are legitimate people out there who are barely hanging on with household incomes from 30k to 100k and beyond because they spend too much money on crap they don't need even if it costs small amounts because they do it all the time, then I'm lost as to what the purpose of this forum is. I'll say it again because you didn't address it: circle of control. I get that you want to keep the conversation solely or vast majority on the bigger picture of things that can be done as a society. That is certainly part of the problem. The bigger part because it's more in our circle of control is putting the message out there time and time and time and time and time again that the vast majority of people do have control over their finances. They can increase their savings rate and not be broke all the time, on a wide range of incomes. They can also exclusively complain about the overall societal problems (of which I agree there are many) and ignore advice ranging from decent to great under the guise of well, the deck's stacked against me anyway. And they can continue to have miserable financial lives increasing stresses in their marriages, worrying how they are ever going to pay off their credit card debt. Please let's put some focus on that.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #74 on: May 06, 2019, 07:58:22 PM »

See, I'm a relatively progressive person living in a sea of them.  A sea of them!   I live in Southern California, for crying out loud.

Quite literally nearly every single progressive person I know is the same way.  Believe in personal responsibility AND incremental improvement.  I don't know where these magical anti- personal responsibility progressives are, because I don't know that I've ever met one.

We aren't rare.

I'm sincerely glad that you aren't rare, and I freely admit that I am but one person who talks to some progressive people in person and interacts with some online. Literally no progressive I have ever talked to in person or online outside of this forum has ever espoused personal responsibility. They don't necessarily deride it. I'm not saying they don't believe it or practice it in their own lives. I'm certainly not saying I've talked to everyone. It just never seems to come up and more resembles my conversation with mathlete - it really seems there's no time to talk about it amidst the sea of societal things that need to be changed. They may believe it, but it's never brought up. Now the conservatives on the other hand often talk about it but don't necessarily practice it themselves :) or disregard that there are certainly segments of society that fiscal responsibility simply won't help.

Montecarlo

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #75 on: May 06, 2019, 09:33:03 PM »
Conservatives are likely not any better than progressives on the personal responsibility scope.

“Taxes are too high”
“Socialism is ruining the economy”
“Crowding out because of big government”
“Free trade moving jobs overseas”
“Immigrants taking our jobs”

Forget the F250s on raised suspensions and oversized tires they drive around in blaring Toby Keith.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #76 on: May 07, 2019, 05:04:45 AM »
Conservatives are likely not any better than progressives on the personal responsibility scope.

“Taxes are too high”
“Socialism is ruining the economy”
“Crowding out because of big government”
“Free trade moving jobs overseas”
“Immigrants taking our jobs”

Forget the F250s on raised suspensions and oversized tires they drive around in blaring Toby Keith.

Oh I don't disagree with the fact that conservatives have their own issues on fiscal responsibility, and some of your comments, especially the "immigrants taking jobs" one was something I hadn't really thought of in this context but that has interesting applications. I also agree and even mentioned that they're not living it out as pretty much no group as a group lives it out very well.

Conservatives are talking about it, though, whereas it seems a topic that progressives in general shy away from, and the comments from SwordGuy made a lot of sense to me. Although it's all speculation as to why, it seems that progressives either feel that the big picture is so important let's not talk about much at all or emphasize individual fiscal responsibility or since not literally everyone can actually make it work in society today with fiscal responsibility it's bad form to emphasize it too much because it can't make a huge impact for everyone. Conservatives on the other hand at least verbally emphasize it often but tend to emphasize it to the point where they don't often talk about or emphasize the people that fiscal responsibility can't help because of disability, because a healthcare crisis literally wipes someone out regardless of how responsible they were, etc.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #77 on: May 07, 2019, 07:49:12 AM »
I'll re-emphasize what I said above. If we of all people can't say, yes, these are valid points that money is wasted all the time and yes, no excuses, no complaints, there are legitimate people out there who are barely hanging on with household incomes from 30k to 100k and beyond because they spend too much money on crap they don't need even if it costs small amounts because they do it all the time, then I'm lost as to what the purpose of this forum is. I'll say it again because you didn't address it: circle of control. I get that you want to keep the conversation solely or vast majority on the bigger picture of things that can be done as a society. That is certainly part of the problem. The bigger part because it's more in our circle of control is putting the message out there time and time and time and time and time again that the vast majority of people do have control over their finances. They can increase their savings rate and not be broke all the time, on a wide range of incomes. They can also exclusively complain about the overall societal problems (of which I agree there are many) and ignore advice ranging from decent to great under the guise of well, the deck's stacked against me anyway. And they can continue to have miserable financial lives increasing stresses in their marriages, worrying how they are ever going to pay off their credit card debt. Please let's put some focus on that.

Thank you for your thorough responses. I promise that I did read them all. I'm just not sure how to go point-by-point again at this stage because it would get so messy. I'll try my best to boil it down to two key points.

1.) About debate, bad faith, and concern trolling - I've been in and been witness to a lot of debates in my time. It's very common to begin with a truism (people shouldn't spend money they don't have) and then gish-gallop into a whole bunch of other, much more refutable or debatable points. Then your opponent has to either spend a whole lot of time agreeing with the trite and obvious thing you said (leaving less time to refute the substantive stuff), or your can call them out for "not even being able to agree that XYZ". It's a trap. And one that I refuse to fall into.

I know this isn't a "debate" per se, but I get the same kind of vibes. Chase and others are putting this meme out into the public discourse. While some people struggle with impulse control, I think you'll be hard pressed to find someone who thinks you should spend money on Starbucks if you have a $0 bank balance. Having to say, "Yes, you're right, but..." before any criticism of Chase here is a waste of time and plays into bad faith in my opinion.

2.) While I believe that the "circle of control" is the best course of action for any individual seeking to better their financial situation, I disagree that "treat-yo-self" culture is a more significant topic of discussion than crony capitalism when it comes to income and wealth inequality.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #78 on: May 07, 2019, 08:10:58 AM »
I don't find the occasion to talk about personal responsibility very often. I guess this Chase tweet is an opportunity to talk about it, but I've already discussed my reasons for not engaging with it in good faith.

But most of my time spent talking about personal responsibility is lecturing my nieces and nephews. Because they're children. If you make a mess, it's your responsibility to clean it up. Here's five dollars in arcade tokens. It's your responsibility to keep track of it, and to make sure it lasts the entire time we're here. If you behave responsibly, you can play an hour of video games before bed.

Occasionally, I'll talk about personal responsibility with adults when the situation merits it. Dude, be responsible, take an uber if you're going to drink. I have very fiscally irresponsible family members who ask me for money help/advice all the time. I'll talk about it then too. But I think it's a mistake for me to assume the entire country is my fiscally irresponsible cousin.

I think most progressives are probably the same as me. We talk about personal responsibility when there is good reason to. I see constant belaboring of personal responsibility in the public discourse as virtue signalling. Maybe conservatives talk about it more than progressives, but I don't think they're any more responsible than progressives are.

kingxiaodi

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #79 on: May 07, 2019, 08:55:26 AM »
I don't get super excited about picking on other people, and I agree with you that I'm not a big fan of this whole sub-forum, not because I don't enjoy it at times but because I don't usually like when I enjoy it. I don't believe I've ever posted in this sub-forum before. That being said, people feeling they are superior to someone else doesn't change the objective situation that people empty their bank accounts by huge amounts over time with iterative charges, which is what I have been saying all along.

(You've posted one other time btw. 7 of your 117 posts have come in this sub-forum, 6 of which are in this thread (source). It's your account's 3rd most active board by posts, and 4th by activity (which I assume means a combination of views/posts, but those numbers are very weird so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).)

MoseyingAlong

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #80 on: May 07, 2019, 01:47:52 PM »
I don't find the occasion to talk about personal responsibility very often. I guess this Chase tweet is an opportunity to talk about it, but I've already discussed my reasons for not engaging with it in good faith.

But most of my time spent talking about personal responsibility is lecturing my nieces and nephews. Because they're children. If you make a mess, it's your responsibility to clean it up. Here's five dollars in arcade tokens. It's your responsibility to keep track of it, and to make sure it lasts the entire time we're here. If you behave responsibly, you can play an hour of video games before bed.

Occasionally, I'll talk about personal responsibility with adults when the situation merits it. Dude, be responsible, take an uber if you're going to drink. I have very fiscally irresponsible family members who ask me for money help/advice all the time. I'll talk about it then too. But I think it's a mistake for me to assume the entire country is my fiscally irresponsible cousin.

I think most progressives are probably the same as me. We talk about personal responsibility when there is good reason to. I see constant belaboring of personal responsibility in the public discourse as virtue signalling. Maybe conservatives talk about it more than progressives, but I don't think they're any more responsible than progressives are.

And this is one of the things I wish we could change about our culture. I'm not a spring chicken and have met many, many people who do not think about their personal responsibility for their situation. This was particularly evident due to my work and how we were working together. They are not unintelligent, it's just not in their regular thought process. Like financial literacy, it's not something everyone learns growing up.
I wish personal responsibility was a less touchy subject and we could discuss it without taking offense. And I'm not talking about the safety nets, etc. I'm talking about discretionary spending habits, all the MMM stuff.

I'm talking about the stress people feel about their work hours and not connecting it to the daily stop at Starbucks. (Trite but true for one particular person I'm talking about.)
Or the huge new SUV for a mom and her young daughter who rent and live in a big city and who's stressed about how much she works. (~$200K/year as an hourly worker, not minimum wage)
Maybe someone could suggest a script for me that might make them think about the trade-off they are making? This is for coworkers, etc., not people I'm interacting with in my professional role.

It's a touchy subject but also one of the reasons I'm very out about my financial situation. I want people to see it's possible, another option.

Kazyan

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #81 on: May 07, 2019, 02:03:50 PM »
Although it's all speculation as to why, it seems that progressives either feel that the big picture is so important let's not talk about much at all or emphasize individual fiscal responsibility or since not literally everyone can actually make it work in society today with fiscal responsibility it's bad form to emphasize it too much because it can't make a huge impact for everyone. Conservatives on the other hand at least verbally emphasize it often but tend to emphasize it to the point where they don't often talk about or emphasize the people that fiscal responsibility can't help because of disability, because a healthcare crisis literally wipes someone out regardless of how responsible they were, etc.

I'm one of those progressives* who doesn't talk about personal responsibility much, so perhaps I can give some insight as to why we do that: we don't see how it could be implemented as a solution to large-scale economic problems. Sure, it's self-evidently the #1 thing you need to be aware of for your individual situation, but how exactly do you instill financial responsibility in enough people to put a dent in the problem? You probably have an answer, which is great. The thing is, we don't commonly get an answer in those discussions, be it yours or mine or MMM's. "People should be more responsible" becomes the end of the conversation. When that happens enough times, Politics kicks in. We come to see any mention of personal responsibility as not an attempt at a solution, but a reason to write people off--to declare that nothing needs to be done about the problem because the people affected are Bad (irresponsible). Then we come to shy away from talking about personal responsibility even when the discussion isn't about fixing poverty, including the discussion surrounding a throwaway tweet from an intern running a bank's Twitter account.

*Further left than that, but close enough.

And this is one of the things I wish we could change about our culture. I'm not a spring chicken and have met many, many people who do not think about their personal responsibility for their situation. This was particularly evident due to my work and how we were working together. They are not unintelligent, it's just not in their regular thought process. Like financial literacy, it's not something everyone learns growing up.

At least in America, we're drilled so much on Hard Work that I hear or read that specific two-word combo more likely than not on any given day, so it's pretty weird that the same culture doesn't give anywhere near as equal time to using the fruits of Hard Work in a way that makes sense. But I suppose the economists would cry crocodile tears about consumer spending if we did.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #82 on: May 07, 2019, 02:12:18 PM »
I wish personal responsibility was a less touchy subject and we could discuss it without taking offense. And I'm not talking about the safety nets, etc. I'm talking about discretionary spending habits, all the MMM stuff.

I'm talking about the stress people feel about their work hours and not connecting it to the daily stop at Starbucks. (Trite but true for one particular person I'm talking about.)
Or the huge new SUV for a mom and her young daughter who rent and live in a big city and who's stressed about how much she works. (~$200K/year as an hourly worker, not minimum wage)
Maybe someone could suggest a script for me that might make them think about the trade-off they are making? This is for coworkers, etc., not people I'm interacting with in my professional role.

I think the bold is a delightfully noble thing. And I think it's great when done by people like MMM himself. I disagree with a lot of what he writes, but I don't doubt his sincerity at all. And he's helped so many people.

I just doubt the sincerity of such "advice" when it is scattershot, from a megabank, and done primarily for PR reasons. I don't think that helps anyone.

But I think it'd be great if, for example, financial literacy was a mandatory part of public education. Just as along as it's not sold as a solve-all for poverty/inequality,  etc.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #83 on: May 07, 2019, 02:23:06 PM »
I'm one of those progressives* who doesn't talk about personal responsibility much, so perhaps I can give some insight as to why we do that: we don't see how it could be implemented as a solution to large-scale economic problems. Sure, it's self-evidently the #1 thing you need to be aware of for your individual situation, but how exactly do you instill financial responsibility in enough people to put a dent in the problem? You probably have an answer, which is great. The thing is, we don't commonly get an answer in those discussions, be it yours or mine or MMM's. "People should be more responsible" becomes the end of the conversation. When that happens enough times, Politics kicks in. We come to see any mention of personal responsibility as not an attempt at a solution, but a reason to write people off--to declare that nothing needs to be done about the problem because the people affected are Bad (irresponsible). Then we come to shy away from talking about personal responsibility even when the discussion isn't about fixing poverty, including the discussion surrounding a throwaway tweet from an intern running a bank's Twitter account.

Yep. Yep. Yep. 100%. A++!

Everyone would be helped by exercising more personal responsibility. But I cannot, for example, look at so many people struggling to afford healthcare and think that we have an epidemic of irresponsibility. I just don't have that low an opinion of my fellow man. When I see people struggling in such large numbers, I don't think, "Why aren't they more responsible?", I think, "What can we change about our economic system to better accommodate these people?"

At least in America, we're drilled so much on Hard Work that I hear or read that specific two-word combo more likely than not on any given day, so it's pretty weird that the same culture doesn't give anywhere near as equal time to using the fruits of Hard Work in a way that makes sense. But I suppose the economists would cry crocodile tears about consumer spending if we did.

Hard work is great because it's something that you're in control of. But we emphasize the Puritan work ethic to an obnoxious degree in the States, and doing so ironically devalues labor.

Montecarlo

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #84 on: May 07, 2019, 05:28:28 PM »
I think this is a really interesting discussion and I've enjoyed reading the different points of view.  In fact, I've altered my views slightly based on what some of you wrote.

This is a hugely complex issue that has a lot subissues:
  • Income and wealth inequality - how much, if any, is unhealthy?
  • Personal responsibility
  • Message vs messenger
  • Red herrings
  • Political archetypes
  • Effectiveness of the message
  • a lot more I am glossing over

I figure one's views of this narrow issue at hand - if Chase's message was appropriate, and if the response to the message is appropriate - really relies on their views of everything in the above list.  And since those topics are so expansive and defy definitive conclusions, I don't think it's surprising there is little consensus on the Chase discussion.

I would like to make a case for a few of the topics.
  • Red Herring - I will argue that companies using personal responsibility as misdirection from larger issues is really not a problem.
  • Effectiveness of the message - I will argue that Chase's message wasn't helpful at all


Red Herring
I hope I am not building a strawman, but this is my understanding of the Red Herring argument.  First, that income and wealth inequality is bad, at least to the levels present in the States.  Second, big companies and top businessmen benefit disproportionately from certain policies, like the tax code, regulatory environment, and wage and labor laws; these substandard policies drive income and wealth inequality.  Third, that people have limited mental capacity and time to debate everything that is important.  Fourth, that those who benefit from inequality engage in other topics - in this case personal responsibility as a form of misdirection to limit mental capacity and time spent debating policies that are currently in their favor.

It's a coherent argument, but it certainly rests on several premises (see begging the question fallacy).  Assuming premises are valid and then making a conclusion is fine (and ultimately unavoidable, how else are arguments really constructed), but it is useful to consider the premises when making an argument.  Often times I think people think they are disagreeing on a conclusion, when in reality they disagree on the premises.  I digress.

The particular premise I want to poke holes at is #4.  That those who benefit from inequality deliberately steer the discussion toward personal responsibility.  I am limiting my argument to the narrow circumstance of the personal responsibility red herring, and I am not implying that my argument extrapolates to other topics of misdirection.

Anecdotally, I recall very few circumstances of companies or bigwigs preaching on the personal responsibility pulpit.  To be fair, you definitely have your conservatives who talk about welfare queens, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.  But those conversations are generally very narrowly aimed at welfare policies, and generally come from career politicians.  And I don't think welfare policies are what our 1%ers care about.  They want low taxes, low regulation, low minimum wages and low labor standards.  And they generally tackle those by arguing those policies restrict growth.  Not a whole lot of personal responsibility discussion there.

Additionally, our 1% friends generally have an even more pressing priority: getting people to buy their shit!  Personal responsibility is an awful message if that's their priority.  They generally keep things on the level of "you deserve this."

Message Effectiveness

Generally speaking, criticizing people is an awful way to get them to change their behavior or opinions.  Most literature on topics of persuasion, negotiation, leadership, etc very much align with Dale Carnegie's classic How to Win Friends and Influence People.  And most often the key points are listen sincerely and don't criticize.

Chase had very little chance of winning friends or influencing people with that message.

If we really want to effect change on the personal responsibility front, it is probably better to illustrate the benefits of a frugal lifestyle and the tricks of advertising, and to encourage people to stick it to the 1% by not buying their products.  And also just be good fucking role models.  That approach has the benefit of not risking people taking it personally, and therefore not alienating anyone who could really benefit from the message.  And everyone loves a bad guy to ally against.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 05:34:14 PM by Montecarlo »

SwordGuy

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #85 on: May 07, 2019, 11:20:37 PM »
I'm one of those progressives* who doesn't talk about personal responsibility much, so perhaps I can give some insight as to why we do that: we don't see how it could be implemented as a solution to large-scale economic problems. Sure, it's self-evidently the #1 thing you need to be aware of for your individual situation, but how exactly do you instill financial responsibility in enough people to put a dent in the problem? You probably have an answer, which is great. The thing is, we don't commonly get an answer in those discussions, be it yours or mine or MMM's. "People should be more responsible" becomes the end of the conversation. When that happens enough times, Politics kicks in. We come to see any mention of personal responsibility as not an attempt at a solution, but a reason to write people off--to declare that nothing needs to be done about the problem because the people affected are Bad (irresponsible). Then we come to shy away from talking about personal responsibility even when the discussion isn't about fixing poverty, including the discussion surrounding a throwaway tweet from an intern running a bank's Twitter account.

Yep. Yep. Yep. 100%. A++!

Everyone would be helped by exercising more personal responsibility. But I cannot, for example, look at so many people struggling to afford healthcare and think that we have an epidemic of irresponsibility. I just don't have that low an opinion of my fellow man. When I see people struggling in such large numbers, I don't think, "Why aren't they more responsible?", I think, "What can we change about our economic system to better accommodate these people?"

At least in America, we're drilled so much on Hard Work that I hear or read that specific two-word combo more likely than not on any given day, so it's pretty weird that the same culture doesn't give anywhere near as equal time to using the fruits of Hard Work in a way that makes sense. But I suppose the economists would cry crocodile tears about consumer spending if we did.

Hard work is great because it's something that you're in control of. But we emphasize the Puritan work ethic to an obnoxious degree in the States, and doing so ironically devalues labor.

Let's do a thought experiment:

Someone is in a shitty situation.   I attach no blame to them for how or why they are.   They just are in that situation.

Further, let us say they have several options:

1) Follow Plan A and make their situation better.   It will be hard and take 1 to 6 years, but it's a proven plan that will work in their situation.

2) Piss and moan about it.  Blame someone for the situation they are in.   That someone might be someone else or it might be themselves.   Don't care which, results are the same, they stay in their shitty situation.

3) Wait until the frabjous day in which "the one true progressive policy" which will fix the systemic issues and therefore make their shitty situation go away.    That might be next year but it's equally likely it will be several generations, if ever.   The result is much like buying a lotto ticket.  They might win big but they're more likely to stay in their the shitty situation.   Even if it's put into effect right away, there's no telling whether it will actually work.  The War on Poverty, despite a whole lot of money and effort, has barely moved the needle.   (And that was before Trump and crew got to work.)  At pre-Trump levels of progress it might work in another couple hundred years.

My advice is always this:

Control what you can control and influence what you can influence.  You can control your own actions, so implement plan 1 and start to fix your situation on your own.   Add your influence to the political situation so that a progressive policy that solves the systemic problem has a better chance of being put into effect.   It might help you but it's more likely to help someone else, but that's ok.

I've routinely gotten a lot of blowback from liberal friends.   I've been called some very rude things for proposing things that someone can do and providing proof that it can work for a number of people.   And they object and fight back over it.   

DadJokes

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #86 on: May 08, 2019, 05:57:38 AM »
On the same topic, USA Today released a story detailing how much money people waste, and people proceeded to crap all over them too.

https://twitter.com/usatoday/status/1125891810595954688?s=21

It doesn’t matter who the messenger is. People have no interest in being told how to be responsible with their finances.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #87 on: May 08, 2019, 08:06:32 AM »
Let's do a thought experiment:

Someone is in a shitty situation.   I attach no blame to them for how or why they are.   They just are in that situation.

Further, let us say they have several options:

1) Follow Plan A and make their situation better.   It will be hard and take 1 to 6 years, but it's a proven plan that will work in their situation.

2) Piss and moan about it.  Blame someone for the situation they are in.   That someone might be someone else or it might be themselves.   Don't care which, results are the same, they stay in their shitty situation.

3) Wait until the frabjous day in which "the one true progressive policy" which will fix the systemic issues and therefore make their shitty situation go away.    That might be next year but it's equally likely it will be several generations, if ever.   The result is much like buying a lotto ticket.  They might win big but they're more likely to stay in their the shitty situation.   Even if it's put into effect right away, there's no telling whether it will actually work.  The War on Poverty, despite a whole lot of money and effort, has barely moved the needle.   (And that was before Trump and crew got to work.)  At pre-Trump levels of progress it might work in another couple hundred years.

My advice is always this:

Control what you can control and influence what you can influence.  You can control your own actions, so implement plan 1 and start to fix your situation on your own.   Add your influence to the political situation so that a progressive policy that solves the systemic problem has a better chance of being put into effect.   It might help you but it's more likely to help someone else, but that's ok.

I've routinely gotten a lot of blowback from liberal friends.   I've been called some very rude things for proposing things that someone can do and providing proof that it can work for a number of people.   And they object and fight back over it.

You can choose to do what ever you want with your time and effort. Just know that a vast majority of your prosperity is built on the efforts of people who complained for better treatment, regardless of whether it would positively impact their own life.

And your thought experiment continues to hammer on the silly idea that someone cannot both be more fiscally responsible, and petition for a more equitable society.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 08:09:32 AM by mathlete »

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #88 on: May 08, 2019, 08:13:01 AM »
On the same topic, USA Today released a story detailing how much money people waste, and people proceeded to crap all over them too.

https://twitter.com/usatoday/status/1125891810595954688?s=21

It doesn’t matter who the messenger is. People have no interest in being told how to be responsible with their finances.

The "article" is pretty blatant native advertising that uses a "well chosen average" to try to convince people to put less money into their local economy, and more money into financial institutions.

People are right to push back on this one too.

DadJokes

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #89 on: May 08, 2019, 09:08:32 AM »
On the same topic, USA Today released a story detailing how much money people waste, and people proceeded to crap all over them too.

https://twitter.com/usatoday/status/1125891810595954688?s=21

It doesn’t matter who the messenger is. People have no interest in being told how to be responsible with their finances.

The "article" is pretty blatant native advertising that uses a "well chosen average" to try to convince people to put less money into their local economy, and more money into financial institutions.

People are right to push back on this one too.

Did you read the article? It talked about cutting back on frivolous spending to fund retirement accounts and life insurance policies and didn't do so in a facepunch manner. I don't see why that's a bad idea.

Your comments make it pretty obvious that you place zero emphasis on individual responsibility, much like those angry people commenting that they "deserve" a certain lifestyle.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #90 on: May 08, 2019, 09:11:51 AM »
Did you read the article? It talked about cutting back on frivolous spending to fund retirement accounts and life insurance policies and didn't do so in a facepunch manner. I don't see why that's a bad idea.

Insurance companies are financial institutions. Try to keep up sweetheart.

Your comments make it pretty obvious that you place zero emphasis on individual responsibility, much like those angry people commenting that they "deserve" a certain lifestyle.

I sure spend an awful lot of time on a personal finance forum for someone who doesn't place any emphasis on individual responsibility... weird.


MOD EDIT: Don't be rude, please.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 10:01:11 AM by arebelspy »

DadJokes

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #91 on: May 08, 2019, 09:27:56 AM »
Did you read the article? It talked about cutting back on frivolous spending to fund retirement accounts and life insurance policies and didn't do so in a facepunch manner. I don't see why that's a bad idea.

Insurance companies are financial institutions. Try to keep up sweetheart.

That has no bearing on what I said. Are you saying that it's more important to have frivolous spending than to have life insurance in place?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 09:35:42 AM by DadJokes »

Davnasty

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #92 on: May 08, 2019, 09:29:56 AM »
On the same topic, USA Today released a story detailing how much money people waste, and people proceeded to crap all over them too.

https://twitter.com/usatoday/status/1125891810595954688?s=21

It doesn’t matter who the messenger is. People have no interest in being told how to be responsible with their finances.

The "article" is pretty blatant native advertising that uses a "well chosen average" to try to convince people to put less money into their local economy, and more money into financial institutions.

People are right to push back on this one too.

You may have just crossed the line into full on anti-mustachian here. People need to spend on luxuries to support the economy?

Also, the idea that the Motley Fool* is encouraging saving so that we send more money their way seems like a huge stretch. Are those dollars saved any more likely to benefit them than their competitors? What about the fact that they're a financial institution based on investing and those investments benefit from people spending money. I think all of these angles are too general to make an argument one way or the other and you're just building a narrative around an argument you've already made rather than building an argument around reality.

I'll agree that any sort of "average" spending data is suspect and I would need to dig into it to see how reliable the numbers are, but the idea that American's spend too much on luxury is a given in my opinion. The percentage of spending on non-necessities has grown substantially over time.

*Not sure what insurance company you're referring to, I thought the article originated with the Motley Fool?  Maybe I'm missing something.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #93 on: May 08, 2019, 09:47:05 AM »
Okay.

The basis for the Motley Fool/USA Today article is research commissioned by a company called Ladder. Ladder is a web app that helps you buy life insurance. Which is a fancy way of saying they're an insurance broker/sales outfit.

The MF/USA Today article specifically highlights the conclusion that "non-essential spending" gets in the way of purchasing life insurance. At this point, I think you can make a logical conclusion that Ladder commissioned the study to get the result that they want: People spend too much on non-essentials, and not enough of the product that we sell.

I think it's also reasonable to conclude that USA Today/MF is engaging in "native advertising". That is, this editorial exists to promote Ladder and the insurance industry. It wasn't written because the author thought the commissioned study was of merit. At the very least, I think this falls under the category of "press release journalism." This is where a news outlet just repackages a press release for quick and easy content.

The survey says that the "average adult" spends $6732 on lunch, take out, and restaurants in a year. That's interesting because the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer expenditure survey says that the median household (which has 2.5 people in it mind you) spends just $3023 a year on food away from home. Were conservatively off by a factor of more than 2. This buoys my argument that Ladder commissioned the survey in a way to give them the results they want.

So put it all together and what do we have? A lazy/complicit news organization helping a company grossly misrepresent reality in order to convince consumers to put less money into their local economy and more money into products and services sold financial institutions. 

This is an extremely bad faith way to start a discussion on personal responsibility. And if you fell for it, you probably click and buy all the affiliate link stuff on all your favorite FIRE blogs too.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 09:48:41 AM by mathlete »

Davnasty

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #94 on: May 08, 2019, 10:09:50 AM »
I saw that the data came from Ladder but I couldn't find any information on them, googling "Ladder" didn't help for some reason :) Thanks for the explanation.

So the criticism you've made against the data is legitimate. The whining in the comments section however was not coming from the same place. Everything I saw was some version of, food/hygiene/transportation are necessities. This is true, however the means of fulfilling these necessities like restaurants and take-out are not.

I think I saw one person mention that these "averages" are skewed by super high spenders, which is on the right track, but most of the complaints were about the categories, not the numbers.

ETA: As an example I saw a lot of framing like this "$96 on rideshares seems preferable compared to driving drunk" as if those are the only alternatives? Or maybe save some money at the bar and don't get drunk?

Reading some more I do see where one poster mentioned the source of the data and that this is advertising. Still though, the vast majority of complaints are that these things are necessities without questioning the numbers provided.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 10:24:04 AM by Dabnasty »

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #95 on: May 08, 2019, 10:29:18 AM »


Thank you for your thorough responses. I promise that I did read them all. I'm just not sure how to go point-by-point again at this stage because it would get so messy. I'll try my best to boil it down to two key points.

1.) About debate, bad faith, and concern trolling - I've been in and been witness to a lot of debates in my time. It's very common to begin with a truism (people shouldn't spend money they don't have) and then gish-gallop into a whole bunch of other, much more refutable or debatable points. Then your opponent has to either spend a whole lot of time agreeing with the trite and obvious thing you said (leaving less time to refute the substantive stuff), or your can call them out for "not even being able to agree that XYZ". It's a trap. And one that I refuse to fall into.

I know this isn't a "debate" per se, but I get the same kind of vibes. Chase and others are putting this meme out into the public discourse. While some people struggle with impulse control, I think you'll be hard pressed to find someone who thinks you should spend money on Starbucks if you have a $0 bank balance. Having to say, "Yes, you're right, but..." before any criticism of Chase here is a waste of time and plays into bad faith in my opinion.

2.) While I believe that the "circle of control" is the best course of action for any individual seeking to better their financial situation, I disagree that "treat-yo-self" culture is a more significant topic of discussion than crony capitalism when it comes to income and wealth inequality.

Fair enough, we are pretty far in for point by point :). Thank you as well for the good dialogue.

I understand and appreciate your point about a bad faith argument. I really do. I'm not a fan of big financial institutions either. Here's my perspective on it though. You have new people/lurkers on this forum all the time. You can tell because they post questions about investment order again and again even though it was discussed 8 hours ago :). This site and the MMM beliefs have at their core useless spending is bad and for good reason. Savings are extremely low right now. Fill in your survey that x% - huge majority of Americans - can't over a $x surprise bill. People frivolously spend regardless of their income even down into extreme situations. I know of one where a person was literally on the edge of homelessness with a cell phone plan that was probably 3 times my own in cost. The overwhelming nature of it throughout all income levels shows me that we cannot over emphasize fiscal responsibility. When we ignore it or aren't very careful with our explanations and statements even if the original argument is in bad faith, people will read that, and I have a hard time not believing it will reinforce in their minds, well, that might be true that we should evaluate our spending, but it's not important. The train of thought moves quickly on past what can I actually do to help myself and onto how someone else has screwed me over, and man that's an alluring place to linger because it doesn't require any self-evaluation.

Somehow, some way, a positive impact has to take into significant account seriously evaluating your life choices and not pushing the blame for your financial situations off on someone else. How do we do that? I really wish I knew. Truly, I do, because I want to instill the values of that in my kids. I've always been pretty frugal/cheap (not a humblebrag or whatever here, just trying to be self-aware), and I wasn't forced to work a job in high school or even pay for my college. I'm really not sure what the magic is to get people to be more frugal, but I have to believe that it involves reinforcing again and again the fact that a good 75-80 or whatever percentage of Americans (and it's not like 10%) can actually be fairly fiscally sound regardless of the bigger picture inequality issues or random life situations that happens to all of us. Even if progressive plans (free college, free healthcare, etc.) are implemented, people stuck in this mindset will still overspend and be in stressful financial situations. On the other hand, people who take these points to heart, even in the current situation with the tax cuts and all the big picture policy, tons of people can still actually become fiscally stable. This message has to get out to people, because it's most certainly needed.

mathlete

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Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #96 on: May 08, 2019, 10:29:32 AM »
I saw that the data came from Ladder but I couldn't find any information on them, googling "Ladder" didn't help for some reason :) Thanks for the explanation.

So the criticism you've made against the data is legitimate. The whining in the comments section however was not coming from the same place. Everything I saw was some version of, food/hygiene/transportation are necessities. This is true, however the means of fulfilling these necessities like restaurants and take-out are not.

I think I saw one person mention that these "averages" are skewed by super high spenders, which is on the right track, but most of the complaints were about the categories, not the numbers.

So I would say that some company put out some bunk numbers, and then a few twitter users got drawn off sides. I would appreciate it if everyone who was on "my side" of a debate were as disciplined and careful as I was, but that's never going to happen unfortunately.

I still think it's bad for discourse if we defend the premise of such a bad article just because we, in general, agree that people could be smarter about their spending. Especially in light of the fact that I was just looking into contacting the author, Maurie Backman, to see if my "press release" theory was accurate. But get this (and put on your tinfoil hat), I'm not even convinced she's a real person. For a supposed freelance writer, she has almost no web presence. A twitter account in her name with one twee from three years ago. No email. Just a bunch of generic bios on different blogs.

Here's her bio on Motley Fool.

Quote
Maurie Backman is a personal finance writer who's passionate about educating others. Her goal is to make financial topics interesting (because they often aren't) and believes that a healthy dose of sarcasm never hurt anyone. In her somewhat limited spare time, she enjoys playing in nature, watching hockey, and curling up with a good book.

So she's every white chick named Stacey on Tinder. Here's her bio on a Jewish Mommy Blog:

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Maurie Backman lives in Central New Jersey. Between her active toddler, twin baby girls, and yappy dog, she gets more than her fair share of noise. Maurie currently works as a freelance content writer and editor, and enjoys creating works of fiction. She also bakes way too often.

And this word salad from "MedicareResources.org"

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Maurie Backman has been writing professionally for well over a decade, and her coverage area runs the gamut from healthcare to personal finance to career advice. A self-proclaimed content guru, Maurie has dabbled in everything from online marketing to electronic toy design, and she’s passionate about digging deeply into new topics and finding fresh, interesting ways to present them to an audience.

A content guru. Goodness!

If I were an oddsmaker, I'd say 20% that she is an AI, and 80% that she is a professional who would be best described as an "SEO Engineer" or something.

My biggest thought on this is that I do not like private interests and SEO wagging the dog of once reputable outlets like USA Today. Unfortunately, the Internet often doesn't allow more nuanced takes, so if forced to take sides, I'm on the side of people tweeting about how this is garbage content that no one should listen to.

Wolfpack Mustachian

  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 356
Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #97 on: May 08, 2019, 10:35:59 AM »
I don't find the occasion to talk about personal responsibility very often. I guess this Chase tweet is an opportunity to talk about it, but I've already discussed my reasons for not engaging with it in good faith.

But most of my time spent talking about personal responsibility is lecturing my nieces and nephews. Because they're children. If you make a mess, it's your responsibility to clean it up. Here's five dollars in arcade tokens. It's your responsibility to keep track of it, and to make sure it lasts the entire time we're here. If you behave responsibly, you can play an hour of video games before bed.

Occasionally, I'll talk about personal responsibility with adults when the situation merits it. Dude, be responsible, take an uber if you're going to drink. I have very fiscally irresponsible family members who ask me for money help/advice all the time. I'll talk about it then too. But I think it's a mistake for me to assume the entire country is my fiscally irresponsible cousin.

I think most progressives are probably the same as me. We talk about personal responsibility when there is good reason to. I see constant belaboring of personal responsibility in the public discourse as virtue signalling. Maybe conservatives talk about it more than progressives, but I don't think they're any more responsible than progressives are.

But why can't it be a part of discussions overall. Do you discuss policy with people? Why can personal responsibility never come up? Why can't we discuss how to big picture encourage fiscal responsibility or at least be up front in our policy discussions that, yes, there's a very big part of the issue that is people spend tons of money on crap that really hurts them? That never seems to come up when I talk with progressives. It's in the tone and focus. It's like even acknowledging that people make their own beds in many cases is a mean thing to say or means that I think everyone is in the situation they are in because of their own decisions. It's back to SwordGuy's post - if the I'm talking about policy and bring up fiscal responsibility it immediately goes to well, people have health emergencies that drain their finances. Sure, they do, but tons of people do not, and that default response has to point people to being like, woe as me, nothing I do matters, and that perspective I see all the time, and it drives me nuts.

Also, as I have mentioned before and won't belabor things by going into details again - conservatives suck too :).

Wolfpack Mustachian

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 356
Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #98 on: May 08, 2019, 10:37:37 AM »
I don't get super excited about picking on other people, and I agree with you that I'm not a big fan of this whole sub-forum, not because I don't enjoy it at times but because I don't usually like when I enjoy it. I don't believe I've ever posted in this sub-forum before. That being said, people feeling they are superior to someone else doesn't change the objective situation that people empty their bank accounts by huge amounts over time with iterative charges, which is what I have been saying all along.

(You've posted one other time btw. 7 of your 117 posts have come in this sub-forum, 6 of which are in this thread (source). It's your account's 3rd most active board by posts, and 4th by activity (which I assume means a combination of views/posts, but those numbers are very weird so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).)

Dang, I should have looked first :).

DadJokes

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  • Posts: 1196
Re: Chase gives financial advice, and people demand an apology for it
« Reply #99 on: May 08, 2019, 10:41:37 AM »
A motive behind the message does not make it wrong. Environmentalists stand to profit from green technology, but it's probably still a good idea to heed their advice, just as it's a good idea to have life insurance.

I'm going to agree that you've gone off the deep end into full anti-mustachianism in this thread.