Author Topic: Ny times article on saving (or not)  (Read 10299 times)

Lepetitange3

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SwordGuy

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 08:30:43 AM »
Let's see if I can distill this down to its essence:

1) I grew up poor and my parents had no money skills.
2) I gave up on college.
3) I don't try to improve my situation so I can get better wages.
4) I waste my money on crap I don't really need.
5) I refuse to learn the life skills I need because my self-imposed identity is "I'm a loser with no money, no job skills and no money skills."
6) You should appreciate my moral high ground.

I spent yesterday afternoon at an MMM meetup here in North Carolina.

The folks at that meeting were the quintessential opposites of this author on points 3-6.

3) They have a plan to improve their situation and they are following it, adapting to "Real Life" (TM) as they go along.
4) They spend money on what they need to and on what makes them happy, and they invest the rest.
5) They consciously choose to learn the life skills they need to succeed.   And they, like the author, choose to hang out with people just like them.
6) They are just living their life, having a good time, and getting ahead in the world.

As for points #1 and #2, they didn't come up in the conversation.  That's because that's the past, and the past doesn't move you forward, it just places you where you are now.


human

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2017, 09:15:58 AM »
Chill out, I took the article to be tongue in cheek. The author is totally aware of her choices and what they mean. On another note, I've lived off of less than 20k a year. It's pretty easy to just throw your hands up and say fuck it I'm going to hit the bars tonight. It's also pretty easy to point at under median income folks and say just get a 100k a year job, I'm always flabbergasted that this type of advice appears over and over here.

Most folks here are white, from a nice upper middle class family and have no idea what struggle really is. Yes a few folks who grew up poor like myself will now pop in and wave their hands and say how hard they worked and still made it. This does not prove how easy it is, it just proves how hard it is.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2017, 10:15:19 AM »
I loved that article--the author was pretty self-aware and the tone was mostly satirical with a healthy dose of self-deprecation. Seemed like a funny, well-written version of that all-important first step: recognizing you have a problem.

SwordGuy

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2017, 02:07:16 PM »
I didn't read it as tongue-in-cheek.   I read it as self-justification.

Maybe that's because I know so many people who espouse similar self-defeating clap-trap, so I know all too well people actually believe this stuff.

bobechs

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2017, 02:15:44 PM »
I didn't read it as tongue-in-cheek.   I read it as self-justification.

Maybe that's because I know so many people who espouse similar self-defeating clap-trap, so I know all too well people actually believe this stuff.

And because smug, don't forget smug...

Hargrove

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2017, 04:26:13 PM »
The article was clearly satirical.

"Will my yawning internal pit of desire ever be full?"
Nobody actually says this.

"'Thatís a really nice bag,' I said, taking a sip of my light bill. 'Did you recently receive a settlement of some kind?'"
How can you frown through that? That was funny.

The article doesn't offer practical advice, but it should have offered a laugh or two. It's obviously not romanticizing cluelessness. The narrator's lack of awareness is what's making it funny, and perhaps a little painful, because good satire has some elements of truth. Is condemnation really that exciting? Sheesh.

PDXTabs

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 05:18:56 PM »
Most folks here are white, from a nice upper middle class family and have no idea what struggle really is. Yes a few folks who grew up poor like myself will now pop in and wave their hands and say how hard they worked and still made it. This does not prove how easy it is, it just proves how hard it is.

This, I'm lucky to be alive and walking around as a free man, let alone making six figures.

I thought that the article was very honest.

SwordGuy

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 05:37:08 PM »
I didn't read it as tongue-in-cheek.   I read it as self-justification.

Maybe that's because I know so many people who espouse similar self-defeating clap-trap, so I know all too well people actually believe this stuff.

And because smug, don't forget smug...

There we go again with clarity of meaning issues.

That statement could mean:

(1) you think the author was smug, or
(2) you think I'm being smug.

I can tell you I'm not disgusted with the article because I'm smug about my FI situation.

I'm disgusted because I've listened to or read too many opinions by people who espouse the concept of "Learned Helplessness".    I think it is completely evil to teach people there's nothing they can do when - in fact - there's plenty they could do.   I think it is completely evil to intentionally discourage people from attempting to improve their lot in life when they could do so.

If the author was genuinely trying to be funny then my internal bias, that I explained above, just caused me to miss it.  And probably always will.





Hargrove

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 06:12:31 PM »
If the author was genuinely trying to be funny then my internal bias, that I explained above, just caused me to miss it. And probably always will.

Whoa there! You can get the funny if you just work a little harder on this - don't sell yourself short. It would be completely irresponsible of us not to believe in your ability to overcome your bias! All you have to do is take the initiative to rise above your current situation. This great country's authors of satire are counting on you!

SwordGuy

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2017, 09:25:53 PM »
If the author was genuinely trying to be funny then my internal bias, that I explained above, just caused me to miss it. And probably always will.

Whoa there! You can get the funny if you just work a little harder on this - don't sell yourself short. It would be completely irresponsible of us not to believe in your ability to overcome your bias! All you have to do is take the initiative to rise above your current situation. This great country's authors of satire are counting on you!

Now that was funny!   Bravo!

obstinate

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2017, 09:48:20 PM »
The article isn't Mustachian, per se. But it's important to understand that people who have been traumatized by want may have a different reaction to money than those of us who have always had enough.

MgoSam

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2017, 02:34:50 PM »
Let's see if I can distill this down to its essence:

1) I grew up poor and my parents had no money skills.
2) I gave up on college.
3) I don't try to improve my situation so I can get better wages.
4) I waste my money on crap I don't really need.
5) I refuse to learn the life skills I need because my self-imposed identity is "I'm a loser with no money, no job skills and no money skills."


My company's former receptionist fits this to a T. She would eat out for every lunch except when we had a salesmen here that would make extras for her to eat with him. Her reasoning for not cooking was "My mom didn't teach me," whereas at the time I wasn't much better but I would bring in bread and lunch meats a few times a week for my lunches, she could have at least done that.

She complained about her low wage, which was a low level of compensation but likely something that my company overpaid for what we were getting. She would sit firmly in her chair and answered the phone and answer with a pissed off voice that did not convey any warmth. She had additional duties but performed them with the least amount of eagerness, and refused to do anything beyond her job duties....including when I and a few other people tried to train her so that she could get more job duties (and a higher salary). In short I was glad when she moved out of town and had to leave her job as I couldn't stand dealing with her and if I was running the company I would have let her go.

FIREby35

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2017, 07:21:42 AM »
The article isn't Mustachian, per se. But it's important to understand that people who have been traumatized by want may have a different reaction to money than those of us who have always had enough.

As stated above, not everyone who is FI has always had enough. I don't buy into the whole bootstrap thing and that everyone has equal natural talents. BUT, we can all control our desires if we simply honestly answer the question, "Will my internal desire for material goods ever be fulfilled?" Answer: NO - until you make the decision to simply not want bullshit you don't need.

Anyway, I'm with the "not funny" crowd. Call me a downer, sorry.

I will grant the writing was clever though. "As I drank down my light bill," -that is gold. I always wonder how people can be that clever but not figure out saving/money. Good writing wasted on a woeful point of view.

Warlord1986

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2017, 07:51:54 AM »
If we've reached a part where we can't tell satire from real whining, maybe the whiners should tone it down some.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2017, 12:46:53 AM »
Seems to me that you guys don't get it. Maybe because you haven't grown up in poverty. You have a different relationship with money, bills and credit when you grow up poor. Granted, this isn't positive or helpful for most people, and the majority of people in this situation know full well what they're doing.... much like the writer of the article. But you're working uphill against emotional attitudes. It's kind of like someone growing up with obese parents and having weight issues in their own lives. Yes, they KNOW they're over (or under) eating, but they're working uphill against an emotional response to food that has been instilled from a very early age. Logical decisions are tough for humans under the best of circumstances. Don't judge.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2017, 07:08:50 AM »

Most folks here are white, from a nice upper middle class family and have no idea what struggle really is. Yes a few folks who grew up poor like myself will now pop in and wave their hands and say how hard they worked and still made it. This does not prove how easy it is, it just proves how hard it is.

Why is this an assumption on the forums?  It sounds like the same one that most forumites are male, when a survey showed that >50% were female.  Colour doesn't show on a forum unless it is mentioned. I grew up in a middle class household where money was tight, and with parents who were teenagers in the Depression the money would not have been thrown around if it had been there.  I was the first woman in my extended family to go to university, it was not expected of women then.  A friend of mine grew up dirt poor in Montreal (think St. Henri poor) and her husband the same - they worked their way up to a nice middle-class life.  She is also extremely sensible with money.  Her sister (same upbringing) is not sensible with money.  So it is not the environment, it is the interaction of environment and person.  You don't know what people grew up with unless they talk about it.

crispy

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2017, 07:25:17 AM »
Seems to me that you guys don't get it. Maybe because you haven't grown up in poverty. You have a different relationship with money, bills and credit when you grow up poor. Granted, this isn't positive or helpful for most people, and the majority of people in this situation know full well what they're doing.... much like the writer of the article. But you're working uphill against emotional attitudes. It's kind of like someone growing up with obese parents and having weight issues in their own lives. Yes, they KNOW they're over (or under) eating, but they're working uphill against an emotional response to food that has been instilled from a very early age. Logical decisions are tough for humans under the best of circumstances. Don't judge.

Many of us have grown up in poverty.

human

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2017, 07:40:56 AM »
Sure you were poor too big deal it doesn't wave away the difficulties or disadvantages that poor people still face. You have money now which is the key. Realize your lot in life instead looking down your nose and bashing those that still struggle.

SwordGuy

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2017, 09:18:35 AM »
Sure you were poor too big deal it doesn't wave away the difficulties or disadvantages that poor people still face. You have money now which is the key. Realize your lot in life instead looking down your nose and bashing those that still struggle.

You don't get it.

We aren't looking down our collective noses at someone who is trying to better themselves and struggling at it.

We're not even looking down at people who aren't trying at all.

We're looking down at an author who HAS EMBRACED FAILURE and CELEBRATES the reasons why they are failing.    Because that is really stupid.

FYI - I didn't grow up poor, but my wife and I ended up poor for 5 long years.   We didn't get out of poverty by doing stupid stuff like this author glorifies.

Lepetitange3

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2017, 09:28:29 AM »
I think the reason I posted the article originally is that I read this as a continued glorification of a lack of responsibility, in this case fiscal responsibility that has become commonplace in America on the last 2 decades or so.  Without wading into the debate about poverty and how that affects ones relationship with money, this author clearly knows better, understands their relationship because of previous hardship, but still CHOOSES to make poor decisions and then celebrates it.  For me, that's my real issue with it.

human

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2017, 01:08:53 PM »
I think the reason I posted the article originally is that I read this as a continued glorification of a lack of responsibility, in this case fiscal responsibility that has become commonplace in America on the last 2 decades or so.  Without wading into the debate about poverty and how that affects ones relationship with money, this author clearly knows better, understands their relationship because of previous hardship, but still CHOOSES to make poor decisions and then celebrates it.  For me, that's my real issue with it.

Sure I saw that too, but I still think it's easy to wave the magical get a 100k a year job like me and stop whining wand. That's the element most people on these boards seem to gloss over. I'm just trying to say I can understand how one would give up, if I was still waiting tables for 30k a year I would have given up too.

In Canada I make more than 90% of individuals, it's easy to stash money away and "fix" my situation. It wasn't so easy at 14, 22, 24, 28 and 33k and I had no interest in saving then, I didn't see the point just like this author.

But yeah keep blasting the 50% that make less than median income, it's real easy to do when you rake it in.

Lepetitange3

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2017, 02:34:19 PM »
I don't think the point is to blast them, I think there are many people in the forums who have had lower incomes as well and still managed/chosen to save. When I started, my income was well below the median.  And I think that's the whole point of MMM, people who are in poverty are being sold the same lie as those in the middle class- that consumerism will solve all their problems.  It won't. 

SwordGuy

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2017, 02:44:45 PM »
And yet, even when my wife and I were making 1/3 median family income and paying child support out of what we made, we didn't get horribly in debt.  Our net worth hovered at near zero for those years, but we avoided debt except for one used car payment and an occasional car repair.  I worked extra hard so I could get job skills that would enable us to get out of poverty.    We acted responsibly so that, by the time I got a job that was median family income at age 30, she could quit working and go to college, so she could get a better paying job after she graduated in her 40s. 

Been poor, didn't do the stupid stuff the author glorifies and that's why I'm not poor any more.   

So, no, I'm not buying it.   

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2017, 03:50:07 PM »
Sure you were poor too big deal it doesn't wave away the difficulties or disadvantages that poor people still face. You have money now which is the key. Realize your lot in life instead looking down your nose and bashing those that still struggle.

You don't get it.

We aren't looking down our collective noses at someone who is trying to better themselves and struggling at it.

We're not even looking down at people who aren't trying at all.

We're looking down at an author who HAS EMBRACED FAILURE and CELEBRATES the reasons why they are failing.    Because that is really stupid.

FYI - I didn't grow up poor, but my wife and I ended up poor for 5 long years.   We didn't get out of poverty by doing stupid stuff like this author glorifies.

Yep, I agree her attitude is stupid. But your situation of being poor short term, which most of us have experienced, really doesn't have the impact that growing up poor does. You'll find the writer's attitude everywhere. It's a kind of nihilistic, learned helplessness approach to money, and she would have picked that up before she was out of grade school. Somewhere in her head, she genuinely believes that money is controlled by fate. It's not something you manipulate to get what you want; it's something you work around to get what you want. And what you want is always a short term goal, because long term planning is demonstrably pointless in her world. You might want to go to college, but if the family has bills that need paying NOW you're more likely to get a job as a waitress. If those of are your genuine, internalised beliefs, and were of your parents and their parents etc etc, you'll be pretty much understand where the writer of that article is.

I'm not suggesting for a second that people who grow up poor can't do a hell of a lot better. I'm saying that when they do, it's because they've overcome ingrained dogma that some of the people on this board have not. You say she's embracing her stupid attitudes. I've seen the same self congratulatory tone from posters here. She has her money ethos and embraces it. You have yours and embrace it. Hate to break this to you, but plenty of the world thinks that MMM is a wee bit insane. You and I know they're misguided, BUT THEY DON'T.

I read this article recently http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-5-stupidest-habits-you-develop-growing-up-poor/
Laughed my arse off, truly. I DID grow up poor, and the author is exactly right about all these points. I still know people who think that way. Sad but too true.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 03:54:41 PM by AnnaGrowsAMustache »

human

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2017, 05:46:42 PM »
And yet, even when my wife and I were making 1/3 median family income and paying child support out of what we made, we didn't get horribly in debt.  Our net worth hovered at near zero for those years, but we avoided debt except for one used car payment and an occasional car repair.  I worked extra hard so I could get job skills that would enable us to get out of poverty.    We acted responsibly so that, by the time I got a job that was median family income at age 30, she could quit working and go to college, so she could get a better paying job after she graduated in her 40s. 

Been poor, didn't do the stupid stuff the author glorifies and that's why I'm not poor any more.   

So, no, I'm not buying it.

Good for you, you deserve a medal and all those other whiny poor people who choose a different path or didn't bootstrap themselves into a position like yours should be ashamed!

SwordGuy

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2017, 07:12:51 PM »
And yet, even when my wife and I were making 1/3 median family income and paying child support out of what we made, we didn't get horribly in debt.  Our net worth hovered at near zero for those years, but we avoided debt except for one used car payment and an occasional car repair.  I worked extra hard so I could get job skills that would enable us to get out of poverty.    We acted responsibly so that, by the time I got a job that was median family income at age 30, she could quit working and go to college, so she could get a better paying job after she graduated in her 40s. 

Been poor, didn't do the stupid stuff the author glorifies and that's why I'm not poor any more.   

So, no, I'm not buying it.

Good for you, you deserve a medal and all those other whiny poor people who choose a different path or didn't bootstrap themselves into a position like yours should be ashamed!

No, just the ones that (a) know better and (b) encourage others to fail.    They should be ashamed.

If someone wants to fail that's their business.   Encouraging others to fail is reprehensible.   That's what truly makes me so mad about this article.

I'm for raising taxes to cover day care.  Ditto for job training courses or college.   Ditto for a number of other social programs to make success easier than it was for me.   I don't want people to have to work 12 to 16 hour days, 6 to 7 days a week to claw their way out of poverty.

But making it "cool" for others to squander their opportunities when they know their position is indefensible?   I find it evil.

We're not talking about someone who does not know better.  We're talking about someone who actually does know better, chooses not to make good decisions, and then encourages others to do the same.

obstinate

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2017, 09:39:40 PM »
No, just the ones that (a) know better and (b) encourage others to fail.    They should be ashamed.

If someone wants to fail that's their business.   Encouraging others to fail is reprehensible.   That's what truly makes me so mad about this article.

I'm for raising taxes to cover day care.  Ditto for job training courses or college.   Ditto for a number of other social programs to make success easier than it was for me.   I don't want people to have to work 12 to 16 hour days, 6 to 7 days a week to claw their way out of poverty.

But making it "cool" for others to squander their opportunities when they know their position is indefensible?   I find it evil.

We're not talking about someone who does not know better.  We're talking about someone who actually does know better, chooses not to make good decisions, and then encourages others to do the same.
This article does not encourage others to fail, and it gives no indication of wanting to fail either. The author very clearly would prefer to be better with money. It's a disclosure of the author's idiosyncrasies, and a commiseration with others who have the same.

snowball

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2017, 10:58:30 PM »
Yep, I agree her attitude is stupid. But your situation of being poor short term, which most of us have experienced, really doesn't have the impact that growing up poor does. You'll find the writer's attitude everywhere. It's a kind of nihilistic, learned helplessness approach to money, and she would have picked that up before she was out of grade school. Somewhere in her head, she genuinely believes that money is controlled by fate.

Huh.  I've never quite thought of it that way, but I definitely think this is lurking somewhere in my parents' and brother's heads.  It's really frustrating when you don't share it as a belief.  I grew up poor too, but somehow managed to reject that belief eventually...probably because I rebelled against a lot of my parents' attitudes after moving out on my own.  I think it was still a factor in the way I handled money as a young adult though (I made a deliberate choice to budget and be responsible in my spending - "do the opposite of what my parents do" seemed a good rule to live by - and I was successful with that part, but "savings" took more years than it should have to internalize as a concept that actually applied to me.)


AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2017, 01:07:25 AM »
Yep, I agree her attitude is stupid. But your situation of being poor short term, which most of us have experienced, really doesn't have the impact that growing up poor does. You'll find the writer's attitude everywhere. It's a kind of nihilistic, learned helplessness approach to money, and she would have picked that up before she was out of grade school. Somewhere in her head, she genuinely believes that money is controlled by fate.

Huh.  I've never quite thought of it that way, but I definitely think this is lurking somewhere in my parents' and brother's heads.  It's really frustrating when you don't share it as a belief.  I grew up poor too, but somehow managed to reject that belief eventually...probably because I rebelled against a lot of my parents' attitudes after moving out on my own.  I think it was still a factor in the way I handled money as a young adult though (I made a deliberate choice to budget and be responsible in my spending - "do the opposite of what my parents do" seemed a good rule to live by - and I was successful with that part, but "savings" took more years than it should have to internalize as a concept that actually applied to me.)

We all absorb a kind of discourse that shapes the way we look at the world, and it's much deeper than optimism/pessimism or rational/irrational. The interesting thing is that it's VERY hard to perceive things outside of that discourse because it's the way we have made sense of the world and the MEANING we assign to certain actions. It's probably why some of the posters on this thread are having difficulty seeing the article author as anything other than making stupid choices. It's a very, very strong capitalist perception that having money and being successful is intrinsically tied to hard work and good choices. Therefore, if you have it, you must deserve it, and if you DON'T have it, it's because of something you've done. You get what you deserve, basically. That's just not the case. In reality, how much money you end up with depends on many things completely outside of your control - parents and the opportunities they gave you, where you were born, IQ, health, the political situation in the place you live, etc etc. Most of us don't have the extremes of those situations to deal with, but the subtleties are even more insidious. White privilege is one. Subcultures are another - the author of that article grew up in a subculture where money was dealt with in a certain way. The readers on this thread have clearly grown up in a subculture where money is viewed in an entirely different way. Never the twain shall meet, well, not without a deliberate attempt to understand, anyway.

OK, rant over. I did a post grad degree in cultural theory. Can you tell?

Hargrove

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2017, 05:58:56 AM »
OK, rant over. I did a post grad degree in cultural theory. Can you tell?

Well, on the opposite side, the bootstrapping faith makes it much easier, emotionally, to bootstrap. You tell someone who is afraid of heights not to look down. How can they conquer their fear if they're looking down the whole time?

The problem is that the One True Bootstrapping Faith tends to find a slippery slope at mention of one guy having 300 feet to climb when another has only 100. And you are more likely to mess up your climb if you're measuring the other guy's. It's individual ethos vs social ethos - the individual is going to do better minding his/her own mountain, but the society would probably do better that didn't give one guy 300 feet and another guy 100 feet to climb to the same level.

Unfortunately, these arguments almost always devolve into both sides trying to prove their favorite point, when they're both right - climbing distance could stand a little evening out via social policy, and taking charge of what you can control is the most powerful individual approach ("society isn't even yet" is no reason to avoid trying, since it will never be even; similarly, "society will never be even" is no reason to avoid influencing fair social policy).

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2017, 01:10:56 AM »
OK, rant over. I did a post grad degree in cultural theory. Can you tell?

Well, on the opposite side, the bootstrapping faith makes it much easier, emotionally, to bootstrap. You tell someone who is afraid of heights not to look down. How can they conquer their fear if they're looking down the whole time?

The problem is that the One True Bootstrapping Faith tends to find a slippery slope at mention of one guy having 300 feet to climb when another has only 100. And you are more likely to mess up your climb if you're measuring the other guy's. It's individual ethos vs social ethos - the individual is going to do better minding his/her own mountain, but the society would probably do better that didn't give one guy 300 feet and another guy 100 feet to climb to the same level.

Unfortunately, these arguments almost always devolve into both sides trying to prove their favorite point, when they're both right - climbing distance could stand a little evening out via social policy, and taking charge of what you can control is the most powerful individual approach ("society isn't even yet" is no reason to avoid trying, since it will never be even; similarly, "society will never be even" is no reason to avoid influencing fair social policy).

All very true. It only gets interesting when the guy that starts with 300 feet is actually bloody good at climbing

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2017, 07:41:22 PM »
I think the real problem with bootstrapping is not the concept itself. I was raised poor by terrible money managers, a father who disparaged people with college degrees, and remember the humiliation of going to a food bank when I was a teenager. I was the first in my family to get a degree despite this, and was very careful with my money, limited debt, and taught myself to budget because I didn't want to ever feel that desperate again.

However, the lack of support to go to school and stay meant a poor choice of degree, some aimlessness after getting said degree, and a whole lot of floundering on the path to stability.

Bootstrapping as a concept I appreciate and value. Boot strapping combined with the "American Dream" is toxic. No, you can't have it all if you come from nothing. But you can always have something better. Your future will be limited by your past. The problem really comes when people are crippled by the idea they can't have what people who came from much more are able to have.

SwordGuy

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2017, 08:58:09 PM »
OK, rant over. I did a post grad degree in cultural theory. Can you tell?

Well, on the opposite side, the bootstrapping faith makes it much easier, emotionally, to bootstrap. You tell someone who is afraid of heights not to look down. How can they conquer their fear if they're looking down the whole time?

The problem is that the One True Bootstrapping Faith tends to find a slippery slope at mention of one guy having 300 feet to climb when another has only 100. And you are more likely to mess up your climb if you're measuring the other guy's. It's individual ethos vs social ethos - the individual is going to do better minding his/her own mountain, but the society would probably do better that didn't give one guy 300 feet and another guy 100 feet to climb to the same level.

Unfortunately, these arguments almost always devolve into both sides trying to prove their favorite point, when they're both right - climbing distance could stand a little evening out via social policy, and taking charge of what you can control is the most powerful individual approach ("society isn't even yet" is no reason to avoid trying, since it will never be even; similarly, "society will never be even" is no reason to avoid influencing fair social policy).

I agree.

BOTH arguments, taken TOGETHER, are right.

Make it more fair, make it easier, and hold people accountable for working at it.



BTDretire

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2017, 05:57:51 AM »
Hmm, it seems I may be the first to look into this writer.
First thing I note, she is very funny, second, she's a potty mouth.
 I clicked on an interview where she had $15,000 worth
of (needed) work done on her teeth, she told the dentist,
"dude you can look at my shoes and tell I'm not going to be able to pay this bill."
 She considered stealing a white baby to sell, but...
 Her friends embarrassed her by opening a gofundme to pay for it,
in 4 days they raised $16,000.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esA23t_j5WA
 My opinion, her article was done in humor, but it also is
her attitude about money. Not so much satire, as her telling
about her relationship with money in a humorous way.
  It seems she checks all the boxes to be a victim,
she's poor,
she's a woman,
she's black,
and she's gay
 I'll give her a little room, she has solid ground for any attitude.
It seems she has a lot going for her with her writing,
she's witty, and has at least two books for sale.
She is on or just finished a book tour, this from her blog,
"okay okay, i know: wtf are you gonna do if i'm not coming to your city!? first thing, understand that shaking my sweaty hand is definitely overrated so you aren't missing much."
                 :-)
 Edit, for a word I saw on her blog.
Ennui:
a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
https://www.google.com/search?q=ennui&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8


 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 07:36:53 AM by BTDretire »

BTDretire

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2017, 07:38:27 AM »
I don't know what to think when I post and it seems to kill a thread.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2017, 07:53:28 AM »
Loved it :)

Funny, honest, and well articulates both the emotional effect of childhood poverty and the sheer befuddlement many of us experienced until the light magically went on.

I blame no one for the period -however long- before the light goes on. I don't think we control when it does. Each of us here is lucky it happened in our lives. For the luckiest, it comes earlier. For the less lucky, it comes later. In the meantime, yeah, a lot of us land where this author did. I know I did! (With the effects of my bewilderment noted in my own book.)

Letj

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2017, 12:55:18 PM »
Seems to me that you guys don't get it. Maybe because you haven't grown up in poverty. You have a different relationship with money, bills and credit when you grow up poor. Granted, this isn't positive or helpful for most people, and the majority of people in this situation know full well what they're doing.... much like the writer of the article. But you're working uphill against emotional attitudes. It's kind of like someone growing up with obese parents and having weight issues in their own lives. Yes, they KNOW they're over (or under) eating, but they're working uphill against an emotional response to food that has been instilled from a very early age. Logical decisions are tough for humans under the best of circumstances. Don't judge.

+1000. We are creatures of habits particularly the ones instilled from childhood and yes we all learn by mimicry. This explains exactly why most people born into well educated financially secure families continue the tradition.

Letj

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2017, 12:59:17 PM »
Seems to me that you guys don't get it. Maybe because you haven't grown up in poverty. You have a different relationship with money, bills and credit when you grow up poor. Granted, this isn't positive or helpful for most people, and the majority of people in this situation know full well what they're doing.... much like the writer of the article. But you're working uphill against emotional attitudes. It's kind of like someone growing up with obese parents and having weight issues in their own lives. Yes, they KNOW they're over (or under) eating, but they're working uphill against an emotional response to food that has been instilled from a very early age. Logical decisions are tough for humans under the best of circumstances. Don't judge.

Many of us have grown up in poverty.

You may have grown up poor but what you are ignoring is the many advantages you had along the way and the values instilled in you despite poverty. I too grew up poor but I know for a fact that I had opportunities and good fortune such as health, a good ambitious mind and intelligence plus the values instilled in me as child. Do not discount those advantages.

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2017, 10:11:18 PM »
Hmm, it seems I may be the first to look into this writer.
First thing I note, she is very funny, second, she's a potty mouth.
 I clicked on an interview where she had $15,000 worth
of (needed) work done on her teeth, she told the dentist,
"dude you can look at my shoes and tell I'm not going to be able to pay this bill."
 She considered stealing a white baby to sell, but...
 Her friends embarrassed her by opening a gofundme to pay for it,
in 4 days they raised $16,000.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esA23t_j5WA
 My opinion, her article was done in humor, but it also is
her attitude about money. Not so much satire, as her telling
about her relationship with money in a humorous way.
  It seems she checks all the boxes to be a victim,
she's poor,
she's a woman,
she's black,
and she's gay
 I'll give her a little room, she has solid ground for any attitude.
It seems she has a lot going for her with her writing,
she's witty, and has at least two books for sale.
She is on or just finished a book tour, this from her blog,
"okay okay, i know: wtf are you gonna do if i'm not coming to your city!? first thing, understand that shaking my sweaty hand is definitely overrated so you aren't missing much."
                 :-)
 Edit, for a word I saw on her blog.
Ennui:
a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
https://www.google.com/search?q=ennui&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8


Ya know, this makes her seem less a victim of poverty as people in this thread have posited, but a clever woman who has learned to parlay her dubious financial history into an income. Definitely not a classic case of "ingrained poverty"; I think she'd actually fit in here more.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2017, 10:17:14 PM »
Not sure what you mean here, TrudgingAlong...
Do you mean you assume her claims re: childhood experience to be false?

I don't see anything in BTDRetire's post that proposes that.

To me, she seems empowered, smart, and effective in her work. But that doesn't mean she was never a victim of [childhood] poverty.

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2017, 12:32:34 AM »
Not sure what you mean here, TrudgingAlong...
Do you mean you assume her claims re: childhood experience to be false?

I don't see anything in BTDRetire's post that proposes that.

To me, she seems empowered, smart, and effective in her work. But that doesn't mean she was never a victim of [childhood] poverty.

No, no, I'm sure she was raised in poverty and its damaging effects. However, instead of vanishing into it (which is why I didn't use the term "victim" because it always seems a final state sort of term), she's overcome in a very creative way.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Ny times article on saving (or not)
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2017, 12:38:00 AM »
Got it :)