Author Topic: Credit Where Credit is Due  (Read 1895 times)

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Offline EC

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Credit Where Credit is Due
« on: November 22, 2013, 07:43:24 AM »
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By EC.

An article this morning in the New York Times caught my eye. Service Members Left Vulnerable to Payday Loans

While it is totally revolting that there are companies that actively prey on our brave service men and women, that is not the aspect I wanted to discuss here. If you do - and I do hope you do - please discuss that aspect in the linked thread.

Does no one teach kids how to budget any more? How to save early and save often? Even the much derided McDonalds budget allocated $100 a month to savings.

Apparently not. We older ones were taught it in school. How to make a budget. How to stick to a budget. How to calculate both simple and compound interest. How to make do and mend. It was called Home Economics, and was a mandatory class. Sure, we didn't have all the shiny modern toys, goods, and services available now. All the temptations to go into debt. What we did have was patience. You want something? If it is essential, buy it. If it isn't essential, save up for it.

So, what changed? Some debt has always been inevitable. You want a home of your own, you are unlikely to have the suitcase full of cash needed to purchase it outright so you will need to take on debt in terms of a mortgage, yet I hear of people struggling to make ends meet daily. They are one disaster away from being on the streets. "In a just society, this should not be tolerated!" you hear people - both left and right - say.

Society is not responsible for all of your ills. The person you see in the mirror is a large contributing factor. As Freddie Mercury so presciently sang
"I want it all, and I want it now."


Sure, it's tempting. I get that. Get what you want now and kick the payment can down the road. The banks are not advancing you money from the kindness of some eccentric billionaires heart. They are a business and they really do want to be repaid. No amount of Occupying and screaming about "greedy bankers" is going to change the fact that you voluntarily took on your debt in the first place. It's your load, so pick it up and carry it.

"So, raise the minimum wage!" McDonalds has done that in Europe and Australia. Walmart has inadvertently entered the fray just today, by sponsoring a food drive for fellow employees. Not meaning to rag on McDonalds here, but the linked article raises a very good point. Machines are cheaper than people. The next time you go to the supermarket, notice the slow and steady increase of self service tills. Eventually, they will be staffed by one security guard and 4 stockers.

The problem is, while everyone wants social justice, no one wants to pay for it. They also want cheap shit. Raise the dollar menu to a dollar fifty (estimate) and the scream of rage will be audible in China.

So - what is the answer?

Be prudent. Assess your needs carefully. Be willing to do without. I know the sad little faces of your kids not being able to have the latest console and games is heartbreaking. Them not eating is even more heartbreaking.
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Offline massadvj

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Re: Credit Where Credit is Due
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2013, 11:57:59 AM »
One of the things that distinguished this new generation of Millennials from the Boomer generation is the willingness to take on debt and the seeming disregard for the implications of heavy debt.  Kids are graduating from college $80K in the hole to the federal government, and another $20K in the hole to Capital One.  They don't seem fazed by it, though.  They just move back in with their parents after they graduate.

In my day, we'd sleep in the back of a beat up old VW van before we'd go back to live with our parents, and so long as no one bogarted a joint, we never did without.  We had LSD and pot to escape.  Millennials have video games.  It's a different world out there.
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Offline EC

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Re: Credit Where Credit is Due
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 09:38:37 AM »
Quote
They just move back in with their parents after they graduate.

In some ways, it is our own fault the kids are like that. You want your kids to have a good life, so you give them what you can. Throw in the massive increase in advertizing and the whole "special snowflake, everyone's a winner" philosophy that they are constantly bombarded with and you have a nice recipe for screwing up your kids.
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Liberal_Spy

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Re: Credit Where Credit is Due
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 12:42:58 PM »
One of the things that distinguished this new generation of Millennials from the Boomer generation is the willingness to take on debt and the seeming disregard for the implications of heavy debt.  Kids are graduating from college $80K in the hole to the federal government, and another $20K in the hole to Capital One.

Most young people have no other option if they want an education.

Offline EC

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Re: Credit Where Credit is Due
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 03:05:19 PM »
Most young people have no other option if they want an education.

Why?
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Liberal_Spy

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Re: Credit Where Credit is Due
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2013, 03:24:19 PM »
Why?

A young person making minimum wage and trying to support themselves cannot afford to pay for school out of pocket. No matter how thrifty you are the numbers will not work. 

Offline EC

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Re: Credit Where Credit is Due
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 04:23:17 PM »
No scholarships? No apprenticeships? No distance learning courses to do in your free time?

A lot of the courses are not worth the paper they are written on. To give you a personal example - I am a highly in demand (and rather well paid) editor for both books and movie scripts. I am a biochemist by training, according to a yellowing bit of paper stuck in a box somewhere in the attic. I am editing people who did theater studies, English literature, creative writing and they pay me for that.

That makes me think there is something fundamentally wrong with the current system of education.
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Liberal_Spy

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Re: Credit Where Credit is Due
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2013, 04:28:30 PM »
No scholarships? No apprenticeships? No distance learning courses to do in your free time?

A lot of the courses are not worth the paper they are written on. To give you a personal example - I am a highly in demand (and rather well paid) editor for both books and movie scripts. I am a biochemist by training, according to a yellowing bit of paper stuck in a box somewhere in the attic. I am editing people who did theater studies, English literature, creative writing and they pay me for that.

That makes me think there is something fundamentally wrong with the current system of education.

Scholarships and other forms of education assistance exist, but very few actually qualify for a scholarship that would allow them to get a degree without going into debt. There is assistance out there and ways to get help for sure, but many, many people still do not have the luxury of coming out of college with no debt. I agree that there is something fundamentally wrong with the current system of education.


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