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Debt Serfdom comes to America

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posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 09:00 AM

Originally posted by Vitchilo

When rent is $500/month, utilities $400 month, food a measly $100 month, and you make 960 month before taxes, FICA, etc. how in the world are you to survive? You are already $40/month in debt working 40+ hours a week with no debt from your gross paycheck, not your net.

What? I'm in Canada, and here it's not as high as in the US but still...

I work 40 hours a week, and I earn a little over the minimum wage.

My rent is 615$/month, utilities 150$/month, food merely 160$/month and rising... and I don't count the bus/car/cab... that makes 925$/month and I make 1040$ a month...that let me 115$ a month...and you cut back the earlier school debt I contracted because it was impossible otherwise... how the hell I am suppose to do more studies? If I go back in school, I won't be able to pay anything and I'll be thousands of dollar in debt in no time... goddamn... Yeah great farking society of freedom my ...

And is there a reason why you can't stop blaming society and get a better job, Perhaps you could work harder, drop the attitude, and get promoted, maybe a second job, perhaps change your standard of living?
Short term sacrifice for long term goals. Millions of people around the world do it everyday whay can't you? perhaps your anger and your attitude keep you in your present situation. I have an immigrant that works for me. He came to me with nothing living out of his car( I did not know that when I hired him) But in his interview I saw hope and even though I knew he didnt have the knowledge to so the job I hired him for I saw a positive attitude, a can do attitude, and he told me I may not have the ability but I will sure as heck figure it out and get it done for you. three years later he now makes 30,000 a year, has a house and two cars. He has fullfilled my expectations and more. It's all in your attitude.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 10:56 AM
Some I don't think get what they mean by debt, they aren't talking about personal debt from buying a car or house, but debt from the very inception of a dollar. What is trying to be shown is that every dollar that gets made has attached to it interest that is paid to the federal bank. Using the example in the article, if the government needs 10 dollars, it will get the 10 dollars but will be required by the fed to pay 1 dollar in interest. Where does that 1 dollar come from if you only have 10 dollars in the system? It has to be created by the bank leading to inflation and debt from the very start, no matter how you look at it. So the government needs to pay that 1 dollar, so it takes out a loan of 5 dollars, for example. Well with that 5 dollars you took out, you now owe the fed 50 cents. The cycle continues and the inevitable outcome at the highest level is inflation and debt.

[edit on 16-3-2008 by ghaleon12]

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 12:08 PM
Well that is a nice story. I often say the same things in interviews with associated skills that while not directly relative show an aptitude to learn. Such as, I have never operated a forklift but can drive a semi. With a little on the job training, I am sure I can learn fast enough. Computer skills: I do not know your inventory and catologue system but can built databases from scratch to your specificaions and install office networks and VPN link all your seperate locations if needed. Just give me the chance and opportunity to learn because I love to learn new things and gain new skills.

Nope, didn't get that job. Wasn't even the job that I was called to interview for, they changed their mind and had me interview for it while waiting for my original interview. But I did get a basic general assembly based on having been a machinist 10 years ago that was good enough to be tapped to do special order limited production runs for important clients as well as asked to do a machine shake down after a six month rebuild by an outside contractor. I accepted that job for three reasons: potential for promotion and growth, a passable starting wage with lots of overtime potential and that I have been unemployed for the past 3.5 months and all savings are gone. 10 hour workdays, 5 and 6 days a week with a 90 minute drive one way all for $11/hr. And I feel happy to have it, because it is indoors and job prospects in Ohio are pretty low around here. Although I am not crazy about waking up at 3:30am and not returning home until 5:30pm and then being in bed by 8pm to do it all over again.

First order of business is to replace the 1991 Ford Ranger with 178,000 mile with a new vehicle with better gas mileage hopefully by August or October. Have to pay cash due to credit rating or pay the principal twice due to the intrest rate. Second order of business in find closer apartment or hope for a heck of a deal on a house in 2009 or 2010. In the meantime, $60-$70/week will be gasoline just going back and forth to work knowing full well that 5 years ago that would have been $30-$40 and given the market could become $75-$90/week based on the past three months rise in prices before purchasing a newer car. Why the need for the purchase? 17 year old cars are notorious for breakdowns and excessive upkeep expenses. While running fine now, anything can happen in the next 6 months.

Now of course this all dependant on nothing unforseen happening. Like an auto accident that could if injured cause me to lose my job due attending injuries and not making good job attendance. Yep, I can be fired while laid up in the hospital for poor attendance without repercussion because it part of the union agreement. Not that they might fight for me and therefore retain employment but that policy is automatic and has happened before. Why? Because when you have all the power you get to make the rules.

The very basis of slavery right there. So I do my time to get what I need and every now and then get a want. But the whole thing revolves around being a subordinate to the system because I do not have the power to make $40,000 in merchandice appear to open a retail store nor the fortune to be an immigrant that can apply for federal business grants as evidenced in many kwik-stops and motels today. Did you also know that many save their money to bring relatives over to sell the business to after 5-7 years for the money from their grant? I would gladly eat beans, rice and the occasional can of tuna for 5-7 years for $150k-$250k in addition to the profits over those 5-7 years for a total of around $2-3 million and then retire at 35-40. Been doing that diet off and on for about 10 years now but don't see a golden-winged ship passing my way any time soon.

But hey, I start tomorrow at $11/hr, work long days and get to keep odd hours and spend what would be entertainment money per month per week on fuel to get back and forth and maybe, just maybe, I will make enough to one day feel confident enough to take on the responsibility of a wife and kids and house mortage without fear of failing to make ends meet so everyone has a happier life. Given that I am 37, balding, drive a rusting out old pickup and only a few free hours a day before bedtime I bet she looks like Carmen Electra and cooks like Betty Crocker too. But I guess I could always become elected POTUS but given that I am just an American and not a politician, which as of late are entirely two different things, I think there is some sort of a rule against it...oh yeah, a boat load of money which wasn't too helpful for Forbes or Perot either.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 12:45 PM
I am no serf.

The law / court / government protects me, lolz. (funny huh?)

I am a debtor, of approximately $6 grand, and unemployed at the moment. I have no wage to garnish, no assets to seize, my car is in my momma's name, etc. So, they can't do a darn thing to me. They can call and harass me, but I changed my phone number, and they can get judgements against me in court, saying "runetang has to pay you this much money", but only when I can. Meaning when I get another job, Im supposed to voluntarily tell them, the creditors, so they can garnish the wage. but in truth, I only have a single judgement against me, of $1500, and will save that up in the first month of my new job, thus paying off the company before they even know that i am employed. Then I will focus on the rest.

But the point is, it is on my terms, but only because I have nothing. If I owned property or vehicles, they could take it, but good thing I'm a bum?

The money isnt backed by gold or silver anymore anyway, when the big recession comes, akin to the great depression, will the debt even matter at this point? Those banks themselves will go under!

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 01:47 PM
When you're poor, it costs MORE to live. Example: say the brakes are going bad on my old vehicle but i should have enough money to get them fixed--next paycheck. Unfortunately, I cause a wreck this week. Now I have not only the debt of fixing my brakes immediately, I also have the debt of higher insurance rates to pay, the ticket for causing a wreck, time off (no earnings) due to going to court over the ticket as well as the injury I received in the wreck which puts me behind on my mortgage. No problem, I'll just not eat or drive anywhere this week, wear a sweater and thermal underwear so I can turn off the heat to my house and save some money. Being late on the mortgage now costs me a late fee. And the cycle continues to spiral downward until you're pushing a cast-off grocery cart full of other people's dumpster items and trying to find an empty park bench to sleep on.

I am college educated, top of my field with 28 years experience and make about $40,000.00/year with one child at home to support. Almost $11,000.00 was removed from my income in the form of taxes last year. This does not include property taxes, sales tax (almost 9%), mandatory government requirements (hidden revenue gathering) such as renewing my drivers license, professional license, tag renewal, car insurance, etc. ad nauseum. My job also requires me to keep health insurance and life insurance.

Also, if I want to continue to barely function in society, there are "expected" payouts. The clothes I wear to work must be replaced often with new ones so that I don't look like a bag lady, the school is always coming up with one thing or another to dip into my pocket: school parties, outings, events, projects that require me to go out and buy stuff, selling magazines and candy, etc. Kids and grandkids birthdays and xmas alone require another income.

I don't own a tv, drive a vehicle with over 140K miles on it, and consider a gourmet meal to be one that doesn't require the use of a can opener to produce.
I have no credit card debt even though I own credit cards. Until 3 months ago I had over $10, 000.00 in savings, a year and a half until house and car were completely paid off and I was totally debt free. I was pretty proud of myself. Then all hell broke loose. Now I'm about to lose it all.

Financially irresponsible? I don't think so. Deceived by consumer greed? Not even close. Just bad luck and not being allowed to keep the products of my labor. That 11 grand that was stolen from my paycheck would really come in handy right now.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 02:05 PM
I love how this has turned into a "lets talk about how life sucks and tell our sob stories" thread. Everyones starring everyone else so that they can all show they agree how horrible everything is

I started a full time job at 16, which was illegal in my particular state at the time (if you were under 18 you could only work up to 20 hours a week during school). I worked that job and graduated with good grades, and got a full ride to a middle level university. I had to pick up another full time job to help out my family - 2 full time jobs, while in school, with two majors and a minor. I made the mistake of majoring in fields that used to be "hot" but are now outsourced, which hit me after trying to find a job upon graduation.

Sure, I could have gotten a job for $45,000 a year in cities (LA, NYC, etc.) where such wages would be poverty. I could have taken those jobs, then come on here and post about how much life sucked and it was America's fault. But I didn't.

I spent a few months studying for the GRE while still working my two full time jobs, then applied to and was accepted a top graduate program. Again I received a full ride based on merit based aid from private donors, which is the case with _all_ graduate program scholarships (there is no financial need based aid in graduate programs). I went through that program, found a good job, and now only have to work 1 job and make an OK amount of money (I would be in the "upper middle class").

I made sure I got a job with good benefits and with a good company. I got the job not only because of degrees, but because I had worked part-time internships that were related to my field throughout graduate school (in addition to my other jobs).

I started my job with a few thousand in student loans, since full rides in college didn't include fees - which are quite a bit, as every college student knows. I paid them off immediately, even though they were at a low interest rate.

I'm not whining. I'm not complaining. No one kept me down, I worked hard to get what little I have - and I am not going to blame "America"on it and play into the media's hope for class warfare.

Now, because I didn't post a sob story about how much my life sucked and its America's fault, I know I'm going to get flamed. Let the flaming begin!

[edit on 16-3-2008 by pacificwind]

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 02:36 PM
Good for you, buddy. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps too but doodoo happens. I got my degree without financial aid, paid for on merit, too. Ran my own housekeeping business, carried 13 credit hours in school, home-schooled 3 different grade levels of children that I was raising by myself and had no car or phone while doing all that.

God forbid that you get a life-threatening disease or one of your kids gets hit by a car and requires round-the-clock medical care. God forbid that the bottom drops completely out of the economy and all your plans, money, nest egg becomes worth the paper it's printed on. Those events are not exactly things you can just "cowboy up" and muddle through.

It's not a sob story. I'm not complaining about being broke. I'm complaining about a system of errors designed to make and/or keep me broke. I have the self-discipline, intellect, perseverance and determination to have kept myself and 5 children afloat. What I don't have is the energy to keep going at this pace just to keep my head above water.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 02:52 PM
reply to post by whitewave

Sorry, again, sob stories don't impress me. My entire livelihood doesn't depend on the national economy. I don't blame my problems on others - economy sucks, ensure you have a job that is an essential service. Have a multiple skill sets.

13 credit hours? That is only 1 credit hour over what is required to be considered full time. I had 18 hours every semester (2 majors), and sometimes 21 credit hours (course overload).

I made the decision not to have kids before I was done with school. But I know people who had more kids than that and did just fine without complaining.

This shouldn't turn into a "OMG I HAD IT SOOO HARD" thread, so please just stop. I could talk about my medical problems, and talk about how harrrddd it is, but I don't feel a particular need to tell my sob story. I just wanted to highlight not everyone blames everyone else for their position in life, and people can and do work hard WITHOUT blaming others.

Now, if I had posted my little story and talked about how life sucks and its America's fault, people would be starring and agreeing with me.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 03:02 PM
reply to post by pacificwind

Pacific wind is the same person has lightindarkness.....has to be you spout the same rhetoric as him and can never back it up with facts just euphoria type theories.

The fact is these "sob stories" are not limited to just the few people who are telling them on this forum.. They are all over America and I promise you the "sob stories" outnumber the euphoric stories that you think are out there.

The fact is government doesnt look after the little man and hasnt for some time. This is proof in the recent bailouts of big brokerage firms that You and I will have to pay for. Bush in the same sentence defends bailing out these guys while saying he doesnt think the government should over react and bail out normal homeowners. Check out his Interview with Larry Kudlow. I similar to a lot of people dropped out of highschool and went to work because I had to so I could survive. Now I own my own successful company through lots of hard work and late nights. I caught some lucky breaks but there are a lot of people who work hard and late nights who dont catch the break and these are the people with the "sob stories" you are refering to.

I like you dont think the government should bail everyone out. It is not the job of the government to do it but if your bailing out one you should bail out the other.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 03:24 PM
reply to post by mybigunit

mybigunit I'm glad your stalking me with your democratic inspired talking points and populism agenda, but I'm quite sure who I am and you have a large case of paranoia. You must be the same person as Hilary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Howard Dean, and Ted Kennedy, because you spout the same rhetoric.

The fact is I have a "sob story" but don't blame America for it. I could - it would be very easy to buy into the group think and cry about how the government caused itd all. You'd agree with me, star me like you do with everyone who agrees with your post gang, and we could all pat ourselves on the back and talk about how bad we have it and how much the world sucks. Unfortunately for you, most of the nation doesn't have this sort of paranoia. And I realize this upsets you.

It is not the governments job to look out for anyone - big or small. Unfortunately we look out for both. We give corporate welfare to big companies, and give welfare to individuals. Neither should be allowed, but as much as you want to create class warfare and divide the world, the government is busy shoveling money at Wal-Mart and those on welfare.

But because I don't buy into your narrow worldview, you go around and stalk me with your little post gang. Its quite pathetic :down:.

[edit on 16-3-2008 by pacificwind]

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 03:46 PM
reply to post by pacificwind

Look at it like this:

You're born into a poor household, that makes just enough money that you don't qualify for grants, and not enough money to put you threw college (this is where most people are, today). There's also the threat of neglect hanging over many people's heads, if they don't/can't provide the american "standard of living" for their family members. This is something that has only developed in the last 4 decades. But the standard of living is very expensive. Proper dental care, proper clothing, proper nutrition, proper schooling, proper hygiene, proper housing, and so on, all these things cost money and lots of it. There are ways to lessen the burden, of course, but those ways can often be less than desirable and often still end up being below the standard. So people go into debt nowadays for a totally different reason than just a couple decades ago.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by pacificwind

Im not stalking anyone I just see you on all the threads that I talk on and I disagree with you on them all thats all.

Like I told you above which you must not have read or comprehended that Im not for government bailouts for anyone welfare included. The fact is there are people on welfare but I promise you that between the government bailouts for companies like Bear Sterns, The MASSIVE subsidize for big oil and big pharma, and massive tax breaks for the top 1% there is a HELL of a lot more money spent on socialism for the rich than there is socialism for the poor.

The government was set up for this but you see it and I dont think is fair. I think of it like the war on marijuana. Beer and cigarettes can be legal but marijuana is not. There is a double standard and that is what I am against not some massive social bailout for everyone. But if you give it to one group you need to give it to the others.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 03:49 PM
Couldn't care less if you're impressed or not. I don't value your opinion enough to care what you think.

Remember those stories of people jumping out of windows during the depression? It'll happen again. People who were comfie in their little monied ruts and suddenly they don't have money won't know what to do. I'll be fine. "A country girl can survive." Sing it with me.

The point I was trying to make is that the rules of "the game" are not set up for most people to win, place or show. You can do everything "right" and have a nice little niche carved out for yourself and someone else can come along and ruin it for you. The system in place promotes this.

How are any of the spent tax dollars benefitting me? Money paid to train foreign troops on American soil? Yes, we MIGHT have better international relationships with those other countries but since regulations are being put in place that will prevent me from even traveling outside my own state without permission, I hardly see that as a benefit. Money paid to give my elected official a raise? It makes me all warm and fuzzy knowing that his kids will go to college driving a BMW while mine walk to Taco Bell so they can earn enough to pay for his next raise.

The Constitution is a wonderful idea that ensures the people are not oppressed and taken advantage of. Unfortunately, we're not really living by the Constitution anymore. Get back on the gold standard. Quit printing up fiat money that has no gold to back it. Quit taxing people without representation. Quit making us pay for our freedoms in the form of licenses and permits. Quit arresting us for exercising our freedom of peaceful assembly or speech. Stop the illegal income tax and rely on the legal exice tax only. Abolish property tax that keeps us serfs even if our homes are paid for. Stop the pork spending. Quit giving all our money to rebuild other countries while our own infrastructure falls apart and our own citizens are sleeping on the street. Return the system of errors to a system of government for the people, by the people instead of for the special interest groups, by the monied elite. (Not you personally,of course.)

When the bottom drops out of the economy it won't give me any pleasure to say, "I told you so" as we'll all be in the same sinking boat together, rich and poor. You can't eat your gold and what would you buy with it when there's no one left willing or able to plant crops, go to the factory to build your luxury vehicles or sew your comfie pillows? Don't be deceived, only the ones in POWER will continue on unaffected. Money is not power, just a means to gain it and an inevitable result of having it.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 03:52 PM
reply to post by whitewave

Too bad there were lots of panics when the gold standard was used.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 03:57 PM

Originally posted by pacificwind
Actually its more like being an indentured servant, not slavery. You choose to go into debt, no one forces you to. I have no problem with debt, as long as its managed - and I choose to take on the debt I get myself in.

On a personal level you can choose not to go into debt, but what about the government? They borrow and borrow and you are left to pay the bills i the form of taxes. So even if you carry no personal debt of your own, you are still liable for the debt run up by the various government agencies from the local on up to the federal levels. Try withholding your taxes some time and see how fast your property is confiscated and you end up in prison. You are a slave because you pay your taxes out of fear of that confiscation and jail time. If the government issued it's own money instead of borrowing at interest then it could be self sustaining and there would be no need for taxes.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 04:00 PM
reply to post by animekenji

Starred excellent point couldn't of said it better myself. They have an infinite line of credit that you and I pay for. Me in the form of 35% a year and Warren Buffet in the form of 15% a year. Yea real fair.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 04:02 PM

Originally posted by chromatico
reply to post by whitewave

Too bad there were lots of panics when the gold standard was used.

A lot of the panics in regards to gold backed money is when banks were lending money on gold they didnt have. When there was a panic people went to get their gold and the banks didnt have it and went under. We need to only lend money we have and we wouldnt have a lot of these issues.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 04:08 PM
reply to post by mybigunit

Correct, but there's no way in hades that's ever going to happen.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 04:19 PM
reply to post by whitewave

I'm glad you care so much about my opinion you keep responding.

The regular doom and gloom oracles on here can predict that the end is nigh all they want. It's not going to happen. A recession? Maybe, jury still isn't in, but that isn't the economic disaster so many are praying for.

I am against government welfare...for everyone. Whether it be to corporations or individuals. People can, have, and do live with a good quality of life without government hand outs, and they do it by working hard. The vast majority of Americans have always lived well - and compared to the rest of the world - in absolute luxury. I knew someone in college from the Ivory Coast, and he was amazed at how we define the poor here. In his country, the poor here would be considered absolutely rich.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 04:27 PM
reply to post by chromatico

You are correct that there have been panics and depressions even when we were on the gold standard. However, your source states, "The few years preceeding had been marked by extraordinary speculation (gambling), carried on with an unsound banking system." Parenthetical remark is mine.

Also stated in your link is "another period of inflation...." Please check out the definition of inflation. Just having the gold does not produce the same results as using it responsibly.

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