Author Topic: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed  (Read 7728 times)

Offline DWSDVSE

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19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-11/19-signs-american-families-are-being-economically-destroyed

Quote
The systematic destruction of the American way of life is happening all around us, and yet most people have no idea what is happening. ...

Even as we stand at the precipice of the next great economic crisis, we continue to make the same mistakes.  In the end, all of us are going to pay a very great price for decades of incredibly foolish decisions.  Of course a tremendous amount of damage has already been done.  The numbers that I am about to share with you are staggering.  The following are 19 signs that American families are being economically destroyed…


Edited due to copyright issues -- please see here for Fair Use info.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 01:51:20 PM by Mr. Bill »

Offline bigbear

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2016, 12:39:51 PM »
I bit of devil's advocate here...   ;)

On an absolute scale, even the poorest of us are we're well above absolute poverty.  The Heritage Foundation has a pretty good list of things the vast majority of poorest among us has (cars, cellphones, fridge, TV, microwave...).  But no 'progressive' measurement of poverty would even consider using absolute scales.

Comparatively speaking, we must not be as bad off as ______.  How else do we explain record numbers of legal and illegal immigration? 

(On a more serious note, I am curious about a legit answer for that last question if the economy is as bad as we say it is.)

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2016, 12:47:34 PM »
I bit of devil's advocate here...   ;)

On an absolute scale, even the poorest of us are we're well above absolute poverty.  The Heritage Foundation has a pretty good list of things the vast majority of poorest among us has (cars, cellphones, fridge, TV, microwave...).  But no 'progressive' measurement of poverty would even consider using absolute scales.

Comparatively speaking, we must not be as bad off as ______.  How else do we explain record numbers of legal and illegal immigration? 

(On a more serious note, I am curious about a legit answer for that last question if the economy is as bad as we say it is.)

Im not gonna answer that last question here, as I think it will derail this thread before it has started. I think your points shold be used to start a different thread.

I think these are all very real and valid points, on this list on the OP, and I will address that below to start

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2016, 01:37:28 PM »

I have seen this happening. It is very worrisome. Some I have experienced.

#1 The poorest 40 percent of all Americans now spend more than 50 percent of their incomes just on food and housing.

This is true for me, starting next month, and I own my house outright ! 50% will cover property tax, insurance, and $200/month set aside for minimum repairs that will arise. That does not include food. This is the norm in this area, even for middle class incomes, actually, it is usually worse as this item says food and housing ! Nope, 50% is common for housing, until mid to upper middle class. There is no doubt that this has gotten worse

#2 For those Americans that don’t own a home, 50 percent of them spend more than a third of their incomes just on rent.


Again, in this area, I havent heard of any renter lucky enough to spend 1/3 or less of their income on rent

#6 In 1986, child care expenses for families with employed mothers used up 6.3 percent of all income.  Today, that figure is up to 7.2 percent.

Sure, but it is realy too cheap, and the quality of some of the places people are using shows this. Quality childcare should likely be, for a preschooler, 20% of aftertax income, maybe a bit less, until you start to look at upper-middle class take home pay. You dont realy want babies and very young children being raised by your lowest wage earners. It seems crazy to me that people think they will get good childcare by paying someone less than they themselves could live on. ( Which is how I got the 20%, 4 to 1 ratio babies, 6 to one older toddlers average to 5 to 1 ratio -- It is realy less than 20%, I bet more like 17%, but I am too brain dead to do the real equalizing math) Childcare is not some kind of right or need -- these are family choices, and 2 baby/toddlers usualy mean mom at home, care by extended family, or cheap, substandard care.

#13 According to the U.S. Department of Education, 33 percent of all Americans with student loans are currently behind on their student loan debt repayments.

This is the debt bubble that is looming -- scary statistic. I think the current number may be worse than this ?

I am afraid with the current obligations to defined benefit public pensions, we are going to see them trying to raise taxes even more, but I think people are getting spread too thin. Well, most. But there is a vocal minority of higher paid families in a bubble that I think are unaware of this, and they are the ones usually influencing policy.

The medical debt on credit report may be my fate in the future, it is not right now. Right now I have a fantastic credit rating. But, medicare covers 80% of hospitalizations. 20% will be an awful lot. I have been to the emergency room twice now in 6 months, so far so good, but in the future, I likely wont have it and cant get it. I cant get more insurance, either. I have spent the last almost 2 weeks on phone calls, research, and nope, cant get it. I'm not allowed to buy Medicare Supplemental Insurance for another 10 years. Ok. I would need to have under $900/month income to get Extra help from medicare, nope, my Medicare check is over that. I dont make enough income to qualify for a subsidized medical plan under the affordable care act. Ok. Well, they say they can sign me up for medi-cal(medicaide) and I dont need to pay anything now, but they will keep track and collect for all expenses, premiums paid and likely interest and get it back when I sell this house. So, it would be a loan. Nope, not gonna do it. I wanted to buy a supplemental insurance policy, not get a loan. <--this stuff I have talked about in another thread and dont need to here, except that, yes, I may very well join the crowd of those holding medical debt, as much as I am trying to avoid it. -- An interesting point is that if my Medicare was reduced to $900/month, I ultimately would not be any worse off (and if I was hospitalized again better off) as my medical expanses would be taken care of, and they would give me food stamps. I dont want either of those things, just making a point. I would rather eat simple and garden. The medical stuff may be hard tho.

so, these will get worse:
- Student loan debt liabilities
- Medical becoming too much for most, the premiums are sky high for bad benefits, and many are carrying medical debt they cant service.
- under-funded public pensions, which is already leading to reduced services, crumbling infrastructure, and increased local taxes




Offline DWSDVSE

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2016, 03:25:58 PM »
Growing up in Tennessee we could always say "hey, we're not as bad as Mississippi" on pretty much anything. So, yes, the numbers are indeed ok given that to be "poor" in the US means you are still well off compared to the world at large.

However, a lot of what pushes people over the edge is perception. "I can't use my EBT card to buy my chips and cokes" may be irrational when they could easily live off of the dandelion and pigweed in their back yard and be quite healthy. Problem is, they probably can't. The withdrawal from the chemical and psychological addictions would kill them one way or another.  I don't know if anyone posted the article on Oklahoma the other day (https://www.washingtonpost.com/classic-apps/a-premature-and-unnatural-death-in-rural-oklahoma/2016/04/08/7888a74c-f079-11e5-89c3-a647fcce95e0_story.html), but I think this will be something we'll see more of in the coming years.

It's heart breaking to think about. Reading James Altucher's story of his success, massive failure, success, even more massive failure, and building it all back up again is great. I don't think most people will be like him.

Different things will impact different areas and different social classes/groups more. For some it will be medical. Some student debt. Others depression without proper access to help.

The chastisement for our evil ways is coming I feel.

Offline Cedar

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2016, 03:37:41 PM »
.

Offline Krystel81

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 09:28:46 AM »
That 7.2 percent for child care seems a little low to me. When I was working my husband and I brought home about 46,000 a year but our child care for two kids (5&2) was $14,300 a year plus every year there was a $100 fee for supplies (craft stuff for the kids).

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 09:48:43 AM »
That 7.2 percent for child care seems a little low to me. When I was working my husband and I brought home about 46,000 a year but our child care for two kids (5&2) was $14,300 a year plus every year there was a $100 fee for supplies (craft stuff for the kids).

It was probably an average.  In many localities (including mine) there are many free or heavily subsidized childcare programs for low income families.  We have free pre-school for 3 yr olds and young 4 year olds and free "transitional" kindergarten for older 4 year olds.  There are subsidized programs for infants and toddlers for parents who are low-income or unemployed and "looking" for work or attending an approved training program. 

You just make tooooo much money!   ;)

Offline Krystel81

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2016, 10:29:28 AM »
The subsidized VPK here is only pays $50 a week so the 14,300 was from when my older kid was in VPK. If I hadn't been married I would have qualified for all kinds of stuff.

   When I looked at this article I noticed they didn't include Health Care cost, just that people had health care debt. Our medical insurance deductible for four of us is $7,000, and this is the norm here.

osubuckeye4

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2016, 10:41:59 AM »
Laughable stuff like price of the "Dollar Menu and More" aside, the author does touch upon some good points.


The two things that really worry me more than anything else are unfunded pension liabilities at the state and local level, and the student loan bubble. Well... that and the national debt, which basically removes any cushion we have for addressing these doomsday events when they inevitably happen.

I could go on for pages and pages about it, but it's kind of like beating a dead horse at this point.



My only advice for anyone who will listen, is to do everything you can to wean yourself off of dependence on any kind of government assistance that you might be receiving. (even if that might mean seeking out and taking advantage of eligible programs right now, to help you right the ship in the short-term)

The reason I say this, is because a lot of these programs are simply not going to be there, in their current form, over the long-haul.

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2016, 11:18:43 AM »

   When I looked at this article I noticed they didn't include Health Care cost, just that people had health care debt.

That was my observation as well.

Offline DWSDVSE

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2016, 11:40:57 AM »
Laughable stuff like price of the "Dollar Menu and More" aside, the author does touch upon some good points.

I'm not so sure it's all that spurious. To really make a call, we'd have to see why prices are going up, but prices of food at the bottom does seem a pretty meaningful measure of increasing costs for the poor.

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2016, 11:49:40 AM »

The reason I say this, is because a lot of these programs are simply not going to be there, in their current form, over the long-haul.

Or they might still be there but they won't have the buying power they have today.  There will probably be social security when I retire, but it won't buy nearly as much as the social security that my parents are receiving today.


My only advice for anyone who will listen, is to do everything you can to wean yourself off of dependence on any kind of government assistance that you might be receiving. (even if that might mean seeking out and taking advantage of eligible programs right now, to help you right the ship in the short-term)


It might seem blasphemous here in this forum but I actually agree with this.

Offline chad

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2016, 12:28:08 PM »
#14 According to one recent report, 43 million Americans currently have unpaid medical debt on their credit reports.


Make that 43 million and 1...

I had insurance and a "in network doctor" but the surgical center and the anesthesiologist my doc used was "out of network" I was made aware of this 10 months after my surgery when I got the first bill.  :wtf:

osubuckeye4

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2016, 01:39:44 PM »
It might seem blasphemous here in this forum but I actually agree with this.

Yea... I'm not in any way advocating anyone on here try to game the system, or to turn down or ditch opportunities that they are pursuing and latch onto the government subsidy bandwagon. Far from it.

I just know a few people in my life who would qualify for certain forms of assistance, and for whatever reason (pride? stubbornness?) they refuse to accept it.

There's nothing wrong with, after getting knocked down, allowing someone/something to help get you back up on your feet. Just, make sure that you view it as temporary assistance, rather than something you depend on or will grow accustomed too.



Never put yourself into a position where you turn down an opportunity/job because "I'll lose some of my benefits". I have a sister-in-law who falls into this bucket. It's kind of sickening... she's turned down entry level positions (and took lower waitress jobs) because the steady entry level job would disqualify her from some of the programs she currently qualifies for. I've tried to sit her down and explain that in the long-run, taking the entry level position, betting on herself, and really busting her butt is going to pay way more and provide her and her children a much better life... but, she can't see the forest from the trees because she has let herself become so dependent on those crutches.


Anyways... I'm digging into this way too much. My point was not to tell everyone to run out and try to qualify for a bunch of benefits  8)... it was to say that one should never look at assistance provided by someone else as "mission accomplished".

Take assistance if you truly need it, or if it could help build a temporary bridge to stability, but do everything you can to put yourself in a position to not need/depend on it, because the goal.. especially in this day and age, should be self-sufficiency.

Offline gopack84

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2016, 02:00:42 PM »
#14 According to one recent report, 43 million Americans currently have unpaid medical debt on their credit reports.


Make that 43 million and 1...

I had insurance and a "in network doctor" but the surgical center and the anesthesiologist my doc used was "out of network" I was made aware of this 10 months after my surgery when I got the first bill.  :wtf:

Make sure you bargain with them VERY AGGRESSIVELY on this. I had a similar situation, The doc and the anesthesiologist was in network, but the facility itself was out of network.  So literally had I driven about 6 miles in the opposite direction and had the surgery done at the hospital where the doc is on staff, it would have been no problem. Because I had the surgery done at the clinic where the doctor practiced, I got hit with a nearly $10,000 "facility fee" over a year after all the other bills were settled.

After back and forth for about 3 months between the insurance company, the local doctor's office manager, and the 3rd party billing company, including several face to face in the office sit downs with the billing manager, they finally ended up settling that debt in full for $271. No kidding. I was never rude but I was very insistent that the idea they were going to get $10k out of me was ludicrous. It's a tightrope because on the one hand, the absurdity of it is unbelievable. On the other hand, the form I signed clearly stated that anything not covered by insurance, I owed. It's pretty much black and white so if they'ed wanted to be pricks about it I'm pretty confident they could have sued me and gotten a judgment. I thought about making a stink about what a rip-off it is if they can honestly settle for that given their first price but I was so thankful to have something in writing showing a zero balance and settled in full that I bit my tongue and went about my business. And honestly, I think the local office manager was acting in good faith to try to help me out on it.

The moral of the story is read your Explanation of Benefits very, very carefully.

Sorry to derail a bit there but I figured it was worth it.

Offline chad

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2016, 02:41:26 PM »
Make sure you bargain with them VERY AGGRESSIVELY on this. I had a similar situation, The doc and the anesthesiologist was in network, but the facility itself was out of network.  So literally had I driven about 6 miles in the opposite direction and had the surgery done at the hospital where the doc is on staff, it would have been no problem. Because I had the surgery done at the clinic where the doctor practiced, I got hit with a nearly $10,000 "facility fee" over a year after all the other bills were settled.

After back and forth for about 3 months between the insurance company, the local doctor's office manager, and the 3rd party billing company, including several face to face in the office sit downs with the billing manager, they finally ended up settling that debt in full for $271. No kidding. I was never rude but I was very insistent that the idea they were going to get $10k out of me was ludicrous. It's a tightrope because on the one hand, the absurdity of it is unbelievable. On the other hand, the form I signed clearly stated that anything not covered by insurance, I owed. It's pretty much black and white so if they'ed wanted to be pricks about it I'm pretty confident they could have sued me and gotten a judgment. I thought about making a stink about what a rip-off it is if they can honestly settle for that given their first price but I was so thankful to have something in writing showing a zero balance and settled in full that I bit my tongue and went about my business. And honestly, I think the local office manager was acting in good faith to try to help me out on it.

The moral of the story is read your Explanation of Benefits very, very carefully.

Sorry to derail a bit there but I figured it was worth it.


Glad it worked out for you.

I think I'll pay $30 a month on the $4000 balance and see how hard they push back, I assume it's already a ding on my credit report.

Offline Cedar

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2016, 07:09:54 AM »
I think I'll pay $30 a month on the $4000 balance and see how hard they push back, I assume it's already a ding on my credit report.

If you do not have a credit card, get one (if you have debt they will likely fall over themselves to give you one), and use it to pay that $30 a month to build back up your credit score. ONLY USE the card for this $30 bill and pay it off on/before time.

Cedar

Offline DWSDVSE

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2016, 07:27:01 AM »

I had insurance and a "in network doctor" but the surgical center and the anesthesiologist my doc used was "out of network" I was made aware of this 10 months after my surgery when I got the first bill.  :wtf:

Isn't it amazing how that works? It's another reason why I'm very, very pleased that my family and I are not on any insurance and are covered by a Health Sharing Ministry. No out of network surprises and usually you can get a break for paying yourself. It’s sometimes a very frustrating effort to deal with billing people who when they hear “I’m self pay, we don’t have insurance” either don’t believe that is possibly legal or try to get you to sign up for some Medicaid program.

Offline chad

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2016, 10:39:34 AM »
If you do not have a credit card, get one (if you have debt they will likely fall over themselves to give you one), and use it to pay that $30 a month to build back up your credit score. ONLY USE the card for this $30 bill and pay it off on/before time.

Cedar


Good idea cedar.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2016, 03:58:48 PM »
Isn't it amazing how that works? It's another reason why I'm very, very pleased that my family and I are not on any insurance and are covered by a Health Sharing Ministry. No out of network surprises and usually you can get a break for paying yourself. It’s sometimes a very frustrating effort to deal with billing people who when they hear “I’m self pay, we don’t have insurance” either don’t believe that is possibly legal or try to get you to sign up for some Medicaid program.

yes.  this.