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Mon Aug 19, 2019, 10:47 AM

The Concentration of Wealth

I'm not sure if this has been discussed previously. I'm betting it's not a new idea, but I wanted to share some thoughts about global money flow.

I'm a GenX'er and I was talking to one of my millennial partners at work about home ownership. My partner was able to purchase a town home, the monthly cost eats up most of her disposable income. 20 years ago I paid about $118k for a modest rambler in the Midwest. She paid roughly $185k for a town home. My other partners were talking about renting and how nice their places are. But my concern is that millennials have accepted as fact they will never own a home.

I see corporations buying up everything including dilapidated properties. This competition for property ownership fuels price increases putting home ownership further out of reach for millennials.

Millennials have accepted they will be saddled with student debt for their lifetimes. When I graduated from University in 1990 I owed $3k. This low number was due to a combination of help from my parents, student loans and working full time for the university; the university paid for 8 credits a quarter as part of my benefits. My concern is that millennials have accepted they will always have student loan debt.

I see inheritance as a related issue to student debt. So when the boomer grandparents die, they will likely leave whatever is left of their estate to their GenX daughters and sons. The GenX daughters and sons will then assist their Millennial daughters and sons with their student loan debt.

So in reality, if A = B, and B = C, then A= C, someone has figured out a way to siphon estate money from middle class families.

Pensions. With this one lets pretend Social Security benefits will be fixed by Millennial policy makers. Pension protections have been savaged over the last 20 years. Ultimately the push has been to eliminate the guaranteed pension in favor of the IRA and 401k. I was speaking with my neighbor a couple days ago and he told me he was informed by his Union that his pension fund went broke. He wasn't able to tell me if it was due to mismanagement or some other issue. The point being is that after putting in 20 years at one company he no longer has a Union pension. How this situation came to be is immaterial, the point is, his pension is gone.

I have to ask (generally) why would the citizenry move away from guaranteed pensions and opt for a less dependable solution?

So my question is this (and I will completely understand if folk think this is nutty), did a small group of persons in the late 1970's decide that they were going to control the world through international finance?

The reason I pose this question is because in my view attacking unions has resulted in loss of pensions and forces investment into stock markets, lowering corporate taxes has shifted education subsidies onto the individual, health care costs keep the rabble poor and the Republicans no longer seem to care about national debt, which is a subject I didn't discuss but will have long lasting financial implications.

In conclusion, I don't see the issue caused by a lack of money. There is plenty of money. My question relates to whether or not there is group of very rich and powerful people that have set in motion a long term plan that has a determined outcome. My curiosity is based on how things used to be versus how things are now and what I perceive as future trends.

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Concentration of Wealth (Original post)
the_sly_pig Aug 2019 OP
at140 Aug 2019 #1
haele Aug 2019 #8
at140 Aug 2019 #9
real Cannabis calm Aug 2019 #2
Newest Reality Aug 2019 #3
lapfog_1 Aug 2019 #4
JHB Aug 2019 #5
Caliman73 Aug 2019 #6
spinbaby Aug 2019 #7

Response to the_sly_pig (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 10:51 AM

1. Just observe size of credit card debt

and you will understand why many people are in financial trouble.
I follow a simple rule...if I can't pay cash I can't afford it and don't buy it.
Only food and shelter are necessities. All the junk Walmart sells is just unnecessary junk made in China.

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Response to at140 (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:44 PM

8. I used to be lucky enough to live without credit.

Except for a reasonable (at that time) mortgage, because it was still really quite difficult to come up with $125,000 in cash unless if one was making $22an hour plus OT and living rent free with Mom and Dad for 10 years...

But then my husband got disabled ( before the ACA) and I suffered a workplace injury that left me at half my previous income. And we had to sell the house quick or lose it in foreclosure.
And the medical bills kept piling up, especially therapy and prescriptions, because payday was only twice a month and we still had to eat and pay rent. So we got a credit card to cover the medical bills as they came up between paydays, let his SSDI pay them off.
And then we got custody of his daughter, a teenager who needed school things.
Now husband needs a special diet. Again, much more expensive than making a Costco run after payday and getting everything you need for the next 15 -16 days that doesn't need to be fresh.
I know from experience that when everything is running well, there's no kids or medical issues, and if someone is able to comparison shop or haggle, the paycheck can cover all bills with left over for savings right until the next payday, there is no need for credit. I was able to pay cash for my used car, pay a mortgage, and still maintain 6 months salary in my savings - until I got married. And husband soon after became disabled...and, and...
Now, I'm making twice as much, but spouse is still disabled and we're raising the grandkids because the kids can't afford to maintain themselves, let alone a seven and three year old...

Not an excuse, but still - what is easy choice for one is not necessarily an easy choice for another. And credit purchases have been both a means of survival and the bane of working household for millennia.

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 03:13 PM

9. House mortgage is an exception to my rule

because it is difficult to buy house with cash. But I buy cars with cash, so never am forced to may for collision insurance. Over the years it has saved me enough to buy a new car.

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Response to the_sly_pig (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 10:55 AM

2. recommended to publicize

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Response to the_sly_pig (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 11:00 AM

3. Scarcity

Scarcity and poverty seem to be implicit in capitalism, at least that is the conclusion I have come to about it in a general sense. It really is a yin-yang sort of thing and may even be inescapable. However, that understanding can, at the very least, dilute the rhetoric and propaganda that supports it as the only way to do things economically and other wise.

There is plenty of information along the lines of the question you asked, some is rather factual and based on data and others are conspiratorial in nature, so you have to discern carefully when investigating it.

The only thing I can add is that the old saying, follow the money, is your best bet to figure it out. That's where the proof is in the pudding. The rest seems to emanate from there as a matter of course and much of the success of vulture capitalism and shock and awe approaches are only successful due to the ignore-ance of the population.

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Response to the_sly_pig (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 11:05 AM

4. I'm leaving my entire estate (such as it is)

to my one and only millennial granddaughter, who is presently just starting college. I am also paying for her tuition but not all of her expenses.

I have told her not to take any student loans... if possible.

When I attended school... I paid for everything my self except for the scholarship I won as a national merit finalist. I elected to attend my local state university instead of MIT or Stanford... even though degrees from those institutions would have meant a likely more substantial career for me in my field.

Instead I worked full time for all 6 years it took for me to graduate with a degree, first as a research assistant, then as a teaching assistant, then as Instructor (the only undergraduate at my university to reach that position).

She is working part time right now...

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Response to the_sly_pig (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 11:51 AM

5. "A small group of persons in the late 1970" isn't far wrong, if stated a bit too neatly

There were a number of forces colliding that came to a head in the 70s and early 80s that lead to this situation. The people pushing in the directions we now find ourselves were relatively small, but were still too broad to qualify as a cabal (though some elements come close, see the Powell Memo).

And unfortunately I'm making this response during a lunch break which is coming to an end, so I'll have to revisit it this evening.

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Response to the_sly_pig (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:06 PM

6. No. What you are seeing is the natural flow of Capitalism.

Have you ever played Monopoly? What is the goal? How does a play win?

It is a simplified analogy but one that holds true, with the added concept of writing the rules to benefit the wealthiest.

Capitalists do understand that all out war is eventually bad for their interests so there are groups that do meet to discuss issues but the very plain and very simple reality is that there is no need for any "small group of persons" to plan world domination. The simple fact is that wealthy people want to retain their wealth and have the resources to influence policy, and they do that regularly. The people at the top 10% of the wealth distribution get 90% of their political agenda realized as law or policy. The rest get maybe 10% to 40% of their political goals met.

There are a bunch of claims about the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission and more recently Davos, but the reality is that there is already a system in place that naturally flows toward the aims of these secretive global conspiracies. Those groups likely just meet to make sure that they don't all get caught up on the dog eat dog nature of the system.

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Response to the_sly_pig (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:12 PM

7. Not sure where I heard this

But somewhere I heard that if you want to make money off of poor people, you have to keep them poor. Thatís so true and has always stuck with me.

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