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Old 02-01-2020, 10:00 AM
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Default Are we entering an era of prosperity?



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Are we entering an era of prosperity? and if so how many of us will actually be able to gain affluence?



I know a lot of people who struggle to get by. I do not think for a minute it has anything to do with the nation's economy.

On Active Duty, I made so much and we bought apartment buildings. Most of our tenants were also servicemembers, often those people held a higher rank than I did. So they were earning more than what I earned. They made more than I was making, but none of them could afford to own a house.

It often made me scratch my head. How could I make less and I could afford to buy housing and have these other families as my tenants. While they were making more and they could not afford to buy a house.



During the 'roaring Twenties' [1920s] my grandparents were young couples just starting their families. When the Great Depression hit them, they lost everything they had and they became migrant farmworkers [living in model-Ts]. A part of the 'grapes of wraith' era.

They struggled on and through the 'war economy' of the 1940s they built homes for themselves but never really managed to gain much affluence.

I look around and I see that we have just ended an era that had unemployment figures that were equal to the Great Depression. Today we have moved into an era of nearly zero unemployment.
So history will look at this era as being one of great prosperity.

I am on a military pension, my income has not changed. I look around and I see a lot of people who are still struggling, just as if we were still experiencing high unemployment.

If we are in a period of prosperity right now, I am curious how many people are able to take advantage of all this prosperity?

If this 'prosperity' ends in ten years, who will actually have improved their lives?

Or do most people just struggle, and that is all they will ever do? Regardless of the economy.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:58 AM
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Folks will continue to struggle because of their need for instant gratification and keeping up with the Jones's. Commercial advertising is also a primary cause of this as folks are brainwashed into needing the myriad of useless devices and styles promoted.

Those who live within their means and save during good times will always come out ahead. You are fortunate to be one of the few who use their common sense and live and invest within your means.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:14 AM
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it depends. I've been in business since 1988. 2007 and early 2008 were my best years bar non. Then the next several years were my worst. It had nothing to do with being frugal or managing money in a different manner. The phone simply quit ringing. I remember many times calling my office just to make sure the phones still worked. The work that came in today paid off the work that was done yesterday. Barely got enough to pay the bills.

then it changed in 2017. I never thought it would be good times again. I think the tide will turn again and no amount of hard work will suffice. it will take a holding pattern to make it through again. When this happens I don't know but have a couple thoughts on that.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:20 AM
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Some people are better at managing their money than others. I get laughed at sometimes because of the car I drive a little 16k new ford fiesta, Ive got 2 and a small SUV we got on clearance for 16k too. My payments for all 3 are less that the trucks the idiots laughing at me drive, that's 3 vehicles for less than the cost of 1. I own my house they rent. Ive put 2 kids through college with 3 more on the way, no debt. How did I accomplish it? I dont **** my money away on crap I dont need.

A lot of people do though and have nothing to show for it.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:40 AM
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I thought we where in an era of prosperity for the last couple years. Tons of conpanies want to hire and all are offering higher wages. Even part time jobs for high schoolers are offering more than minimum wage starting out. House prices have been steadily going up.

I don't think this prosperity will really change things for most people. It might make life a bit easier but it will not change them long term.


I believe that even if we redistribute all the wealth and everyone started with 100k half the population would be broke in a year with nothing to show for it. Of course they would still complain it was not fair.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by sierra skier View Post
Folks will continue to struggle because of their need for instant gratification and keeping up with the Jones's. Commercial advertising is also a primary cause of this as folks are brainwashed into needing the myriad of useless devices and styles promoted.

Those who live within their means and save during good times will always come out ahead. You are fortunate to be one of the few who use their common sense and live and invest within your means.
It's amazing how much useless stuff is out there~!
Cringeworthy.

As an aside - My wife buys a lot of excess stuff, but cheap junk.
I don't know why she needs more and more sets of cheap dishes, for example.
It's almost like she grew up in a place where there weren't enough
dishes and knicknacks to go around. Maybe that's it~!
The good news is that such things don't cost much,
so the financial impact is trivial.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:52 AM
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I thought we where in an era of prosperity for the last couple years. Tons of conpanies want to hire and all are offering higher wages. Even part time jobs for high schoolers are offering more than minimum wage starting out. House prices have been steadily going up.

I don't think this prosperity will really change things for most people. It might make life a bit easier but it will not change them long term.


I believe that even if we redistribute all the wealth and everyone started with 100k half the population would be broke in a year with nothing to show for it. Of course they would still complain it was not fair.

I have read that this is the situation in Alaska, where the state
distributes an annual oil money payout to all residents.
It's not a hundred thousand; just 2 or 3 thousand; enough for
a real good extended drunk.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ForestBeekeeper View Post
Are we entering an era of prosperity? and if so how many of us will actually be able to gain affluence?



I know a lot of people who struggle to get by. I do not think for a minute it has anything to do with the nation's economy.

On Active Duty, I made so much and we bought apartment buildings. Most of our tenants were also servicemembers, often those people held a higher rank than I did. So they were earning more than what I earned. They made more than I was making, but none of them could afford to own a house.

It often made me scratch my head. How could I make less and I could afford to buy housing and have these other families as my tenants. While they were making more and they could not afford to buy a house.



.

In another thread we are discussing ex-wives; but this ex-wife story belongs here~!
My first wife's father was a real estate broker (Ahem! not "Realtor") and landlord.
He had a clutch of four-family flats in a working class neighborhood,
and he would evaluate each new listing that he got for its potential as a rental.
If the numbers looked right he would buy it himself and rent it out.

So, when I got married and landed a job with good prospects, I said to the wife
that we should get started by buying a four-family and living in one of the units.
Thus the building would pay for itself and our space too~!

X1 would not hear of it! She wanted a NEW house and not one with someone else's
accumulated dirt! (Around the 4th year of marriage we did buy that new house.)

It was astonishing to me that this daughter of a landlord didn't get it.

IT GETS WORSE

Eventually we got divorced, and later-later-later she wound up back with the parents.
Her father got old and sold off all his holdings
as
she never got involved in the business with him,
and she was an only child,
so there was nobody to take it over.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:26 PM
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^^^^
I am amazed that more people don't buy a duplex or rent out a room for their first house to help with the mortgage. We considered it but got outbid and all the other ones had bad profit numbers. We ended up buying a fixer upper with mostly cash and a small personal loan we paid off in 2 years.

But everyone wants the nice home all to themselves even though they can't afford it. Heck I know a guy who bought a house less than a year ago and can barely afford it. He has 4 friends in the same town that rent and he refuses to rent out a room because it is his space.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:35 PM
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When we got married my wife and I made an agreement: We made no quick decisions to buy any major purchase. At that time we had no money so most every purchase was major.
We agreed to wait at least one day to think and talk about it before buying.
We agreed to NOT buy on credit. (house excepted)
We agreed to save money until we had enough to pay cash for things.

As pointed out by one of my "friends", we lived poor, but we had no debt.
Twenty years later we had as much "stuff" (which we defined as necessities) as our friends, and we were debt free and had cash on hand and our friends were up to their ears in debt. Some filed bankruptcy then did the same thing again.

Forty years later many of our friends are "living poor" because they have no credit and have no money to buy things. We are debt free, living well in retirement, and can buy most anything we want, in cash of course.

Bad decisions can produce bad results decades later when it is too late.

It may be too late for you but it is not too late to teach your kids and grand kids.

Be Prepared !
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:59 PM
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Dear Forest Beekeeper: we ARE IN an era of prosperity! Vote for Trump and it will continue for a while longer...until the inevitable recession. It's all about the timing!
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierra skier View Post
Folks will continue to struggle because of their need for instant gratification and keeping up with the Jones's. Commercial advertising is also a primary cause of this as folks are brainwashed into needing the myriad of useless devices and styles promoted.

Those who live within their means and save during good times will always come out ahead. You are fortunate to be one of the few who use their common sense and live and invest within your means.
I agree with this for the most part. People spend money they don't have on things they don't need because someone else they know (or worse yet, saw on TV) did the same.

Plenty of factors influence one's ability to earn a living, live frugally/within their means, gain affluence, etc. How one defines affluence is also important because what's affluent to one individual may not be for another.

I have a friend who is single, no kids, and is constantly on my case for not saving more and preparing for retirement. I've had the discussion with whole discussion with him, but he still can't fathom the differences in our lives.

I make significantly more money than he does and in general my wife and I live more frugally than he does, but I also have more demands on my income and less disposable income to sock away for retirement than he does. Kids are expensive. Kids with medical/dental issues are very expensive.

From the outside, I think many would consider him more affluent than I am. He can travel, spend more money, drive nicer cars, have nicer toys, sock away a ton of money for retirement and live an easy life.

To me, I'm providing a good life for myself and five other individuals and feel extremely fortunate to have been able to work hard and give them far more affluence than I ever experienced growing up, in addition to proving for their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs on a level I never received from my parents. I feel extremely affluent, and yet compared to many who make the same or less than our household income, we don't live like "affluent" people.

In regards to the economy, yes, technically we have low official employment, but that statistic has been manipulated by every single administration since before I was born, so I'm not sure how much relevance it has in comparing and contrasting economic strength outside of maybe the past 5-6 years.



Wages have been essentially stagnant for decades when contrasted with real cost of living. Yes, we're in a period of relative affluence, and my wife and I are doing our best to capitalize, but even though we make ~ 2x what we did 8 years ago, the cost of living where we live has almost doubled so little progress was made.

I think Trump has extended the time before a correction/recession several years past what would have occurred under Hilary, but I think there's also a lot of over-exuberance among Trump fans who are blind to the inevitable.

I hear so many on the right believe that Trump has ushered in some renaissance of American affluence that will "bring back" jobs and the economic prosperity of the boomers which is an outlier in all of history. They ignore the massive spending and expansion of government we've experienced under Trump and how we're poised for 2T deficits once a recession occurs.

Conversely I hear so many on the left who are convinced the only way forward is through communism, expanded government, and make the claim that prosperity and affluence can't be attained without a massive revolution. They want to play the victim, and grant government expanded power to use force to thieve from anyone who attempts to rise above mediocrity. They claim no amount of hard work and sacrifice will bring about prosperity and affluence.

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. We're still racking up massive government debt at the Federal and State levels. We have record auto, mortgage, corporate, credit card and school debt. The general public's willingness to live off credit and government involvement/overreach has increased the cost of education, health care, automobiles, and housing drastically. Wage increases are at best keeping pace with real cost of living, and real unemployment is still high and the official stats are fueled by low paying jobs.

We're in a period of relative prosperity and affluence which represents the calm before the economic storm on the horizon. The one thing we do have going for us in in contrast with so many other nations, the U.S. is doing well, but in contrast with the U.S. of generations past, we're struggling.

Enough rambling for everyone? I think affluence means different things to different people and if we zoom out, we'll realize that the vast majority of Americans live extremely affluent lives in contrast with the rest of the world and we should be very grateful for it and do our best to preserve the conditions that have made that possible for future generations.
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:31 PM
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No. Nope. Nada.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ForestBeekeeper View Post
Are we entering an era of prosperity?

We are if Trump gets elected and the Republicans take over the house.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:53 PM
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My grandfather taught me that you can make money in a down market just as easily as an up market.

People struggle because of bad lifestyle choices and habits.
They spend all they make +.

My great grandmother had a saying:
If your outgo
Exceeds your income
Your upkeep
Will be your downfall

I dated a divorcee a while back who had a second job delivering pizzas.
I thought this odd because she had a very good middle management job and did not have an opulent lifestyle.
I was hopeful that here was a driven woman who had her head on straight, goals etc.

Quite the contrary.

I ended up (trying to) help her with her budget.
I say "trying to" because JUST the minimal payments on everything was literally more than her take home pay from her "real job"
Pizza delivery wasn't even enough to pay them, gas, and food.

I made a point of feeding her while I judged the situation.
When I came over and she had gone shopping for expensive beauty products and underthings "because they had a sale" I walked away.
She was unwilling to change despite the "stress" of the situation she created.

I live well, but not opulently on <50% of my income.


People with the right habits will do well, those who are their own worst enemy will not.


Make hay while the sun shines.
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForestBeekeeper View Post
Are we entering an era of prosperity? and if so how many of us will actually be able to gain affluence?



I know a lot of people who struggle to get by. I do not think for a minute it has anything to do with the nation's economy.

On Active Duty, I made so much and we bought apartment buildings. Most of our tenants were also servicemembers, often those people held a higher rank than I did. So they were earning more than what I earned. They made more than I was making, but none of them could afford to own a house.

It often made me scratch my head. How could I make less and I could afford to buy housing and have these other families as my tenants. While they were making more and they could not afford to buy a house.



During the 'roaring Twenties' [1920s] my grandparents were young couples just starting their families. When the Great Depression hit them, they lost everything they had and they became migrant farmworkers [living in model-Ts]. A part of the 'grapes of wraith' era.

They struggled on and through the 'war economy' of the 1940s they built homes for themselves but never really managed to gain much affluence.

I look around and I see that we have just ended an era that had unemployment figures that were equal to the Great Depression. Today we have moved into an era of nearly zero unemployment.
So history will look at this era as being one of great prosperity.

I am on a military pension, my income has not changed. I look around and I see a lot of people who are still struggling, just as if we were still experiencing high unemployment.

If we are in a period of prosperity right now, I am curious how many people are able to take advantage of all this prosperity?

If this 'prosperity' ends in ten years, who will actually have improved their lives?

Or do most people just struggle, and that is all they will ever do? Regardless of the economy.
with all the debt the government has I feel this current economic upswing will not last.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:21 AM
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Today feels much like the post war era. Post WW1. With a few good elections, the US might experience the roaring 20s again.

But since we now owe over 20 trillion, it will be followed by the greatest economic depression of all time.

If this ocurs, folks might have as many as ten good years to prepare.
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Old 02-02-2020, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rriley View Post
We are if Trump gets elected and the Republicans take over the house.
Do you reckon the increasing federal debt is a good thing?
That is: Does it lead to prosperity?
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Old 02-02-2020, 02:43 PM
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Not if the Democrats have anything to say about it.
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Old 02-02-2020, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mule Skinner View Post
Do you reckon the increasing federal debt is a good thing?
That is: Does it lead to prosperity?
No, the debt is not a good thing because it leads to inflation but the increasing debt is caused by Congress not by the President. The President can reject the budget but that will lead to a "Government Shutdown" which never has a happy ending. The debt will continue to increase until voters demand that their elected officials balance the budget.
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