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Author Topic: 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor
philnotfil
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Well written, if a little strongly worded (NSFW language). Also depressing.

cracked.com

"You're Always in Survival Mode"
This is the thing that makes everything else so hard to deal with. It is almost as much the emotional and mental drain as the physical burdens. When you are in that position it can be hard not to throw away a weekend, and a paycheck, and sometimes a job, just to take a break and remember why life is worth living. Unfortunately, that puts you even farther from getting out of the suck.

"Your Next Expensive Disaster is Always Around the Corner"
quote:
You find yourself thinking, "Man, we could get caught up if this bad [stuff] wouldn't keep happening!" Then it finally hits you that bad [stuff] happens like clockwork. Not because God hates you, but because you're poor and you're using cheap [stuff] that breaks. Maybe you don't pay the $150 for a plumber, but have a handy friend fix it for you for $50. Awesome, you saved $100! Then six months later you have a leak again, because it turns out he fixed it with rubber bands and Fruit Roll-ups.

Everything in a poor person's life is a cash vampire. My truck has 170,000 miles on it and the MPG is so bad that every time I start it, the ghost of an Indian appears in the passenger seat and cries. About twice a year, something under the hood grinds to a halt or melts -- always another $500 on a tow and repairs. And that was the money I was saving to get a more reliable car.

[], even my own body does it to me. I lost my last job because of chronic back pain, losing my health insurance in the process. Which means I can't treat my chronic back pain. Can't afford to get dentist check-ups, so more expensive problems are allowed to grow and fester. And so on.

AMEN! You have to have an emergency fund. The hard part is that if you actually are poor this is incredibly difficult to do. Having $1000 in the bank that doesn't get touched except for emergencies makes life so much smoother. Having $100 in cash to get you through minor emergencies is also worth way more than the $100.

"No Credit Can be Just as Damaging as Bad Credit"
I guess this has changed since I was young enough to have to worry about it. I never had any trouble finding an apartment are getting utilities turned on when I had no credit history.

"There is an Industry That Profits by Keeping You Poor"
Avoid payday loans/check cashing services, please.

"You Get Charged for Using Your Own Money"
Keep track of your money, don't spend money you don't have. Fortunately there is regulation being enacted that should limit some of the worst abuses here, but you have to keep track of your money, if you leave it up to the bank, you will pay dearly for it.


One thing that the author mentioned in passing that is a huge part of his problem, and is a huge problem for so many people, is a child and an ex. Don't have kids unless you are married. End of story. 90% of the time, stay married. Solves so many problems.

P.S. Dave Ramsey.

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vulture
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Sounds like the Terry Prachett's observations on shoes in the discworld series. A rich person can afford to spend $100 on a good pair of boots that will last for years. A poor person can't afford that, but can afford $30 for a cheap pair of boots that will wear out in 6-12 months and that leak. The net result is that over a period of years, the poor person spends more on shoes and still has wet feet.

Where I live there are shops that specialise in selling crappy furniture to people on low incomes on credit, since they can't afford to buy e.g. a new bed up front. And in much the same way, the poor quality bed falls apart after a while and has to be replaced, and the interest payments on the credit to buy the bed add up, and you end up paying more for a worse quality bed than you would if you had the money up front to buy a decent bed.

In many ways, being poor is a vicious circle. You have to take options that are more expensive in the long term, because the ultimately cheaper option requires you to have the cash up front, which you don't.

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by vulture:
Sounds like the Terry Prachett's observations on shoes in the discworld series. A rich person can afford to spend $100 on a good pair of boots that will last for years. A poor person can't afford that, but can afford $30 for a cheap pair of boots that will wear out in 6-12 months and that leak. The net result is that over a period of years, the poor person spends more on shoes and still has wet feet.

Where I live there are shops that specialise in selling crappy furniture to people on low incomes on credit, since they can't afford to buy e.g. a new bed up front. And in much the same way, the poor quality bed falls apart after a while and has to be replaced, and the interest payments on the credit to buy the bed add up, and you end up paying more for a worse quality bed than you would if you had the money up front to buy a decent bed.

In many ways, being poor is a vicious circle. You have to take options that are more expensive in the long term, because the ultimately cheaper option requires you to have the cash up front, which you don't.

That Terry Pratchett riff is something that I always think of when the topic of poverty comes up.
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ken_in_sc
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Here's another thing. Poor people have to pay full price for entertainment. For example, a Country & Western or Rock concert will cost plenty; however, an opera or wine and cheese tasting at a museum will be subsidized by the local arts council.
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Pete at Home
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Do country/western and rock musicians commonly refer to themselves as vanguards of culture? If they got subsidized by the local arts council, would the same fans even want to see them?
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RickyB
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"If they got subsidized by the local arts council, would the same fans even want to see them?"

You think fans would consider this selling out and refuse to take the discount??

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scifibum
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I'm kind of wondering if liking country/western actually causes you to be poor. [Razz]

(How much does pricey concert attendance correlate with poverty? I bet not well. For some reason I'm willing to believe that wine tastings are more popular with the rich, though. [Wink] )

[ June 06, 2011, 01:48 AM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
"If they got subsidized by the local arts council, would the same fans even want to see them?"

You think fans would consider this selling out and refuse to take the discount??

No, I think that Rock and Roll is about rebellion. And rap has NOTHING on country western music when it comes to glorification of violence.

Analogy: if sweet little sunday school teachers and librarians started saying "f*ck" this and "f*ck" that, then "f*ck" would cease to be a swear word.

If rock and roll was openly subsidized as culture, it would lose its current cultural niche.

I guess it might survive still ... come to think of it, wasn't Opera once considered fare for the vulgar classes?

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
however, an opera or wine and cheese tasting at a museum will be subsidized by the local arts council.
Are you joking? I'm not sure.

It's kind of offensive to me to equate liking opera and art with being rich.

But even that aside - opera tickets are generally far from cheap, usually more expensive than your basic rock or country concert. Wine-and-cheese art events are usually either free (cf. First Friday art walks, where galleries put out wine and snack plates to lure people in to look at their offerings) or quite expensive fundraisers.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by ken_in_sc:
Here's another thing. Poor people have to pay full price for entertainment. For example, a Country & Western or Rock concert will cost plenty; however, an opera or wine and cheese tasting at a museum will be subsidized by the local arts council.

If you want to see a big-name act, then yes, it will cost a fair amount for tickets. But that's the same for a big-name opera or musical company that's in town as well.

But if you're talking about the local arts scene, (and I'll leave aside the bar scene, since that's technically being funded privately by the bar or restaurant in question, though I think all parties could benefit if more were given funding to reliably host live local music) it's probably true that local museums and theater companies have a bit more experience applying for grants, but that also tends to mean that the councils that oversee such are actually a bit more likely to help other kinds of groups through the process to add a bit more variety to the lineup.

A quick dig for my area gives me this free lineup, mostly rock, given the local tastes:

http://www.livingpittsburgh.com/2011/05/mellon-square-2011-summer-concert-series-june-2/

And this mostly free one with a pretty wide variety:
http://www.alleghenycounty.us/summer/index.aspx

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
AMEN! You have to have an emergency fund. The hard part is that if you actually are poor this is incredibly difficult to do. Having $1000 in the bank that doesn't get touched except for emergencies makes life so much smoother. Having $100 in cash to get you through minor emergencies is also worth way more than the $100.
The bugger is building that fund to begin with. When you're living hand to mouth, it can be hard to keep that much on hand, so an emergency that comes up can easily translate into a quick pass into the bank fee cycle, especially for people who don't realize the options they have or simply don't have the time and energy to negotiate payment schedules or support programs with utilities.
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G2
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Another in a long list of tiresome "woe to the poor" posts. [Roll Eyes]
quote:
This is the future, where many businesses no longer accept cash as payment. That means you are required to have a checking account to function in the economy.
Don't accept cash? What businesses do any of us frequent on any kid of regular basis that you can't pay cash? Not just paper and coins but a debit card which is essentially cash now?
quote:
Because having a checking account while poor doesn't just mean you have to be responsible and good at math -- you have to be perfect. Meticulous, flawless record keeping is the difference between surviving and having the bank seize your next paycheck.
You have to keep track of your spending?!?! OMG! That's just horrible! Oh the humanity!
quote:
Some of you are saying, "Fine, just tell the bank to go **** itself. Walk out the door and just do everything by cash or money order." Ah, but now when you get paid, you have to go somewhere to cash your paycheck -- and businesses charge up to $8 to do it. If you're working in the service industry, congratulations -- an hour of your labor just vanished ... just so you could use your own money.
Don't be stupid. Open a savings account at a bank - most have $25 dollar minimums. Check cashing is now free at your bank.
quote:
Sure, you can take classes at night at a community college or something. Maybe you'll even get financial aid or loans to pay for your books or tuition. What they will not pay for is the time you missed at work while you were in classes or for a babysitter or for transportation. And you sure as **** better be certain that you have some kind of aptitude for whatever you're studying (which, by the way, you won't know until you've spent a year or two studying it) because that's the only chance you're going to get.
Gasp! Have an aptitude for what you want to study? That's not fair! The financial burden of pumping out kids before you're ready? A travesty!
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Pyrtolin
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http://www.tnr.com/article/environment-energy/89377/poverty-escape-psychology-self-control

This is a good look into the the problems stemming from the "always in survival mode" point.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
quote:
This is the future, where many businesses no longer accept cash as payment. That means you are required to have a checking account to function in the economy.
Don't accept cash? What businesses do any of us frequent on any kid of regular basis that you can't pay cash? Not just paper and coins but a debit card which is essentially cash now?

And how exactly does this magical debit card work without, as stipulated, having a checking account?
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JoshuaD
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Pyr: You can get a checking accout with a debit card, without a minimum balance and no monthly fees, from nearly any bank. I have one with PNC.
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
AMEN! You have to have an emergency fund. The hard part is that if you actually are poor this is incredibly difficult to do. Having $1000 in the bank that doesn't get touched except for emergencies makes life so much smoother. Having $100 in cash to get you through minor emergencies is also worth way more than the $100.
The bugger is building that fund to begin with. When you're living hand to mouth, it can be hard to keep that much on hand, so an emergency that comes up can easily translate into a quick pass into the bank fee cycle, especially for people who don't realize the options they have or simply don't have the time and energy to negotiate payment schedules or support programs with utilities.
Especially for people who can't quit smoking or drinking. Especially for people who can't properly evaluate whether or not a situation is an emergency. If it won't keep you from bringing home a paycheck, it isn't an emergency.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
Especially for people who can't quit smoking or drinking.
They can quit. They choose not to.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
Pyr: You can get a checking accout with a debit card, without a minimum balance and no monthly fees, from nearly any bank. I have one with PNC.

Which kind of defeats the point he was going for about protecting yourself from accidental bank fees by working with cash only.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
Especially for people who can't quit smoking or drinking.
They can quit. They choose not to.
You fundamentally misunderstand the nature of addiction, as well as the implications of the survival mode point and the willpower issue that I posted above.

Very few people have what it takes to break an addiction by simple force of will, especially when that addiction represents one of their few refuges from pain in their life.

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
Especially for people who can't quit smoking or drinking.
They can quit. They choose not to.
You fundamentally misunderstand the nature of addiction, as well as the implications of the survival mode point and the willpower issue that I posted above.

Very few people have what it takes to break an addiction by simple force of will, especially when that addiction represents one of their few refuges from pain in their life.

This.
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JoshuaD
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People get to make decisions. I know how hard it is sometimes to make the right decision, but that's not an excuse.

I quit drinking, I found my way out of poverty, and I conquered severe depression.

I understand it may be very hard to quit. It was for me, and I understand it might even be more difficult for other. But don't tell me these people can't quit. They can. They don't choose to.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
Pyr: You can get a checking accout with a debit card, without a minimum balance and no monthly fees, from nearly any bank. I have one with PNC.

Which kind of defeats the point he was going for about protecting yourself from accidental bank fees by working with cash only.
This goes back to keeping track of your spending. I'm not sure why being poor implies that you no longer need to track your spending. When I was poor (and I was the kind of poor this article talks about) I tracked every single transaction. This was the days before internet banking and I still knew my checking account and savings account balances to the penny and could produce it on demand. It took a few seconds per transaction to log it in the check register and a basic command of arithmetic but it was easy to do. What is this belief that poor people cannot do such a simple task? Do you really believe this is beyond their ability?

I think it more likely that this is nothing more than the constant attempt to glorify the poor and use their economic status for political gain as well as play to the sense of entitlement that is part and parcel of modern pandering.

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Pyrtolin
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Even if that was 100% on your own, with no assistance, medication, etc... (and I'd be willing to bet that odds are you came into the situation with at least differences in baseline valuations that let you hold onto the idea that there was a possibility of a positive result from trying to fight the cycle) then you still run into the issue that the plural of anecdote is not data. You might as well be saying that the reason that they're not winning the lotter is because they're choosing to not buy tickets. You're applying a linguistically useless sense of 'can/can't' here. While technically it is possible for them to choose to fight the cycle, the odds of winning against it on their own are stacked against them, and each successive failure make the choice more difficult, especially when said failure come with additional penalties, until conditioning makes it functionally impossible, and eventually institutionalized into the culture that they live in.

(And it's rather telling that many poor or impoverished folks feel that the lottery provides the better odds as an investment. It's not that the objective odds are better, just that the net effect of the situation makes it appear to be so.)

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
This goes back to keeping track of your spending. I'm not sure why being poor implies that you no longer need to track your spending.
You're the only one pretending that anyone is claiming that. No one has made that claim, so drop the strawman.

The article put it very clearly in the context of always essentially being one mistake away from error. Accidentally forget to make an entry, make a borrowing error when you're subtracting, get hit by an unexpected external charge, and your sunk.

The point was about not needing to track spending but about being one mistake away from disaster and the mental toll that being in such a state takes on people (which increases the odds of making just such a mistake) In the case of this particular example, it was about how disproportionate the cost of a simple mathematical or bookkeeping error can be.

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JoshuaD
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The funny thing is, for all your lofty language, you actually judge the poor more harshly than either me or G2 do.

I believe they are fundamentally the same sort of "thing" as me. They might have worse habits, they might have less education, but they are fundamentally the same.

You seem to think that they are this entirely different class of people. You sort of treat them like retards.

I had housemates who were chronically poor. It was a couple. They had more than enough income, and more than enough education. He knew the good decision, every time, and simply decided not to do it. I was kind and personally generous with him, but I always treated him like an adult and expected him to act like one. You seem to suggest that we ought to treat this man and his wife like children.

quote:
then you still run into the issue that the plural of anecdote is not data
I'm not talking statistics, I'm talking people. People can make decisions. These people have the opportunity to make different decisions, and they don't. Don't complain to me when a man can't afford new clothes because he smokes his paycheck away. He should quit smoking.

[ June 06, 2011, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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PSRT
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quote:
But don't tell me these people can't quit. They can. They don't choose to.
Millions of people make the "choice," to quit an addiction, and fail, every year, whether the addiction be drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, gaming, television, or [insert addictable activity here]. Its not the lack of making a choice that prevents people from quitting. It is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to quit an addiction. It is therefore not necessarily correct to say someone who has not quit has not made the choice to quit.

[ June 06, 2011, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: PSRT ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
The funny thing is, for all your lofty language, you actually judge the poor more harshly than either me or G2 do.


That's a rather unfunded assertion.

quote:
I believe they are fundamentally the same sort of "thing" as me. They might have worse habits, they might have less education, but they are fundamentally the same.

You seem to think that they are this entirely different class of people. You sort of treat them like retards.

What, only retards make mistakes? Only retards suffer from stress? Only retards are subject to the predictable effects of conditioning?

You're making an outright false assumption when you suggest that I think that there's any fundamental difference between people; that the average person wouldn't react in about as predictably the same way, put in the same situation, or that I'm all that much different that the average. To the contrary, as with the research I posted above, we have a preponderance of good psychological evidence to the contrary.

From my perspective the difference between our attitudes is that I'm not so blinded by the Just-World Fallacy as to ignore all the different forms of support and ways the deck was stacked in my favor that I've had to get me as far as I have today.

quote:
I had housemates who were chronically poor. It was a couple. They had more than enough income, and more than enough education. He knew the good decision, every time, and simply decided not to do it.
Why? Can you honestly answer that without any speculation?

quote:
I was kind and personally generous with him, but I always treated him like an adult and expected him to act like one. You seem to suggest that we ought to treat this man and his wife like children.
That's completely speculative on your part, as it has nothing to do with anything I've ever said or supported.

quote:
I'm not talking statistics, I'm talking people. People can make decisions. These people have the opportunity to make different decisions, and they don't. Don't complain to me when a man can't afford new clothes because he smokes his paycheck away. He should quit smoking.
You're assuming that he hasn't chosen to do so a dozen time over already and finally given up on trying because every method he tries ends up costing him more, financially and mentally than simply giving into the habit.

You can't talk about an individual's behavior until you've taken into account all of the influences on it. And when you get into the actual data on human behavior, it become clear that chronic, survival level stress has an actively negative effect on people's decision making stresses, and that any system that tend to penalize failures (and, even more accidents or unexpected hardships) disproportionately will condition people to be adverse to those risks and convince them that it's no longer worth trying to break free.

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RickyB
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"If rock and roll was openly subsidized as culture, it would lose its current cultural niche."

That already happened when big business took over. [Smile]

Joshua, didn't you once say you're a Buddhist? I guess you're from the Sri Lankan school...

"I quit drinking, I found my way out of poverty, and I conquered severe depression. "

And therefore screw anyone who finds it harder to do than I did. Gautama would be soooo proud of you.

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JoshuaD
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Ricky: I don't think we should say "screw anyone" Read my post, not Pyrtolin's reaction to it.

I think the Buddha would agree with me that people have free will, and that they are free to make good decisions.

I openly admit that sometimes the habits of the mind (i.e. Karma) cause it to be very difficult to make good decisions, and I gave a lot of space to this point in my first post.

I simply think it's total nonsense to say that the poor can't quit being self destructive. They can. They might need some guidance, they might need a helping hand. I'm glad to provide either (and I have to a number of people that I have personally met).

However, I'm absolutely unwilling to treat them as invalids, as Pyrtolin and PSRT seem to be willing to do.

I recognize that it's difficult to quit smoking. I also recognize that a poor man has the ability to do so.

[ June 06, 2011, 04:52 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
They might need some guidance, they might need a helping hand. I'm glad to provide either (and I have to a number of people that I have personally met).

However, I'm absolutely unwilling to treat them as invalids, as Pyrtolin and PSRT seem to be willing to do.

In one sentence you suggest that people need help getting out of these situations, in the next you say that suggesting that they need help to get out of these situations is treating them as invalids. Which way do you want to go with this, because as it stands you're contradicting yourself.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I recognize that it's difficult to quit smoking. I also recognize that a poor man has the ability to do so.
Most people technically have the ability to run a marathon, but if I went out and tried to do it tomorrow without training up to it, I'd do myself more harm than good.

Again, you're focusing on an overly pedantic meaning over "can/can't" here that it useless in a practical sense, because it ignores the real world pressures that are on them. With help, they indeed can actually carve out enough room to make progress, but as it stand, right now they're not getting that basic support that any person needs get there, so they functionally can't until said help is made available to them.

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JoshuaD
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I'm not. You're just not very good at reading comprehension.

In case you haven't noticed, I don't bother going back and forth with you, Pyr. You post tirelessly, and you've repeatedly demonstrated an unwillingness to try to understand the position of anyone you disagree with. In addition, your posts just aren't well thought out, and they are certainly not grounded in reality.

I don't have the energy or the inclination for it, and I'm not the only poster who feels this way. I have expressed myself rather clearly in this thread. If you're confused about what I said, feel free to refer back to my previous posts.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
This goes back to keeping track of your spending. I'm not sure why being poor implies that you no longer need to track your spending.
You're the only one pretending that anyone is claiming that. No one has made that claim, so drop the strawman.
Let's check what's being said:
quote:
Because having a checking account while poor doesn't just mean you have to be responsible and good at math -- you have to be perfect. Meticulous, flawless record keeping is the difference between surviving and having the bank seize your next paycheck.
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:

Which kind of defeats the point he was going for about protecting yourself from accidental bank fees by working with cash only.

Clearly you and the article author are making the implied case that it's too hard to keep proper track of spending, that accidental bank fees are inevitable among the poor. I highlighted it because it's ridiculous.

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
The article put it very clearly in the context of always essentially being one mistake away from error. Accidentally forget to make an entry, make a borrowing error when you're subtracting, get hit by an unexpected external charge, and your sunk.

See what I mean? Maybe you're trying to build the case to make "the poor" exempt from fees?

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
The point was about not needing to track spending but about being one mistake away from disaster and the mental toll that being in such a state takes on people (which increases the odds of making just such a mistake) In the case of this particular example, it was about how disproportionate the cost of a simple mathematical or bookkeeping error can be.

And my point is about how incredibly easy it is to not make that mistake. Yes, the cost of a mistake is pretty high when your budget is tight so you know what you do? Don't make a mistake, double check your math. When money is tight, you don't "accidentally forget to make an entry" any more than you accidentally forget to wipe you ass when you get food poisoning. You just figure you'll get to it next time since another transaction is coming around again pretty soon anyway.

Addition and subtraction is something most have mastered and if not then calculators are virtually free but doing it manually ain't rocket science. If someone can't balance a check book (and I am well aware of the difficulty most public school graduates have with it) then they have a real problem that a few extra dollars ain't gonna fix.

[ June 06, 2011, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
When money is tight, you don't "accidentally forget to make an entry" any more than you accidentally forget to wipe you ass when you get food poisoning.
If by "don't" you mean "shouldn't," I agree.
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
You're just not very good at reading comprehension.

This amuses me.

[ June 06, 2011, 07:12 PM: Message edited by: philnotfil ]

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KidTokyo
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Going to the opera and going to a ballgame costs about the same these days. But accusing the opera of being even one iota more "subsidized" than the ballpark is severely deluded. The decision to build a ballpark and fill it with corporate advertising is neither a democratic nor transparant process. I expect the same holds true of country music. Corporations are subsidized. I'm quite sure the CMAs get more govt money than PBS does public license bennies alone -- all those adverts on public airwaves.

I lived on $6.50 an hour for a year and it sucked. No family money -- nothing. However, I do not hold it over others like some badge of machismo honor.

What no one wants to talk about is that most people are not anywhere near as intelligent or literate as JoshD or me or any of us other "poor" Ornerians. Call that arrogant or judgmental, but its a fact. Even among those that are, not everyone is as strong, and not everyone can beat an addiction or depression. Likewise, some people are rock stupid, but immensely resilient. You never know.

People vary. Some are stronger. Some are smarter. Some are weak. We as human beings can either value our fellow humans for being human, or hate them for being weak. It's a choice, with consequences.

I will say this -- I'm not impressed by any person who goes around and says "I beat problem x,y, and z, and therefore I condemn as irresponsible any other person who does not." That is immensely pathetic. I'm 1,000 times more impressed with someone who says "I beat x,y, and z, so I know how hard it is, and I can understand why so many people fail." Because the latter person has truly conquered their insecurities and the former hasn't.

[ June 07, 2011, 01:11 AM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Clearly you and the article author are making the implied case that it's too hard to keep proper track of spending, that accidental bank fees are inevitable among the poor. I highlighted it because it's ridiculous.

So, basically, your position here is that poor people must be exceptional in their ability to avoid making normal mistakes. You can double check all you like; people are human, life isn't perfectly predictable. Mistakes happen, unexpected charges happen; the only difference is that people with a bit of a buffer built up suffer no penalty for making them, while people who are scraping by a heavily penalized for them such that it becomes increasingly difficult to build up that buffer.

quote:
See what I mean? Maybe you're trying to build the case to make "the poor" exempt from fees?
I've got a better idea- how about making the default case for checking accounts across the board to simply decline charges if there isn't a sufficient balance to meet a requested debit. And close the absurd loophole where credit card-like charges disappear from an account for a day before they post, leaving a bizarre state that can let an account go negative.

In cases where something happens to assess fees, more for credit cards, but also for debit cards where the customer has explicitly requested overdraft handling that might allow the account to go negative, only allow charges to be assessed once and not directly debited form the account for any given situation- you go over-limit, negative, are late, then assess the charge and, in the former cases, freeze the account until the charges are paid, and as appropriate in the latter cases, apply payments against the charge or interest due before applying them to the principle on the account. Eliminate the cascade effect where one fee triggers off a growing cascade of fees. Charge the fee when you cross the line, not over and over again while the person is struggling to get back onto the positive side of it.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I will say this -- I'm not impressed by any person who goes around and says "I beat problem x,y, and z, and therefore I condemn as irresponsible any other person who does not." That is immensely pathetic. I'm 1,000 times more impressed with someone who says "I beat x,y, and z, so I know how hard it is, and I can understand why so many people fail." Because the latter person has truly conquered their insecurities and the former hasn't.

Thanks- that's exactly what I've been saying.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
And my point is about how incredibly easy it is to not make that mistake. Yes, the cost of a mistake is pretty high when your budget is tight so you know what you do? Don't make a mistake, double check your math.
I hate to keep bringing this up (well, not really), but should you really be chastising others on their math skills? How much should we charge for this one? [Razz]
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PSRT
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quote:
However, I'm absolutely unwilling to treat them as invalids, as Pyrtolin and PSRT seem to be willing to do.
You should work on that "Reading comprehension," thing you are bitching about.
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