Please tell me your opinion if you are not a?

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“Professional” – CEO, etc. Think about this (I am in Florida, USA) — 20 years ago my father-in-law retired making $ 8.00 an hour BUT his mortgage was $ 125.00 a month. The AVERAGE pay rate for the regular working person NOW is $ 8.00-$ 9.00 and hour but, for instance, the average home sells for $ 300,000.00 in our area. Rent for a 2 bedroom apt. is about $ 1,200.00. Can someone tell me HOW this happened? I mean, I know we can’t all be financially rich but it is truly not right. Most of us are living on a prayer anymore and this is the USA!! Most of us don’t have health insurance (me for one with serious health issues and can’t get help because can’t afford it – YET make too much $ $ HA HA to get aid). How did this happen to us?????
Ok – here’s a little more info…my husband DID go back to school under the Pell grant -got part of the way thru – straight As and Pell Grant cancelled at last minute. We are pushing 50 ourselves, no health insurance and serious health problems (yes, possibly deadly). I’ve worked since I was 13 years old so saying I dont’ get off my ass is quite incorrect, sir.

  1. Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Great question. I wish I knew the answer. I had to go back to work so that we could have a comfy life.

  2. Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    You’re absolutely right. I saw some stats the other day that showed the developments in earnings for the rich, middle class and working poor and the income for the middle class group and the working poor have decreased, whereas the rich got richer. Thanks to everyone who voted for Bush and a republican congress.
    How this happened: Long story. Lots of factors figure into it, but put simply, the fed lowered the interest rates which allowed more people to go out and get cheaper home mortgages. The real estate people jumped on it and said to people: Look, you can jack up the sales price for your home by x % because the buyers can get a bigger loan now that the interest rates are low. So one seller does it, the neighbor then jacks up the price a little more because they have a “comparative” number. … people went for it. Interest rates dropped and dropped and the prices went up and up.
    Now, the interest rates are going back up and nobody wants to sell at a loss, so those people who bought their homes at high prices and have to sell are beginning to have difficulty selling or have to sell at a lower price. The realtors are trying to keep the prices high because they’re making a killing off of this market. Builders are making a killing also because they benefit in the same fashion. They are competing against existing home owners by selling crappy built, but new, homes for the same price as a private homeowner and still make a fortune.
    This will probably continue for a couple more years and as the rates continue to go up, a lot of people will get hurt. The foreclosure rates are already at their highest point in 6 years. People will be forced to rent, but rental rates are going up like crazy because no landlord wants to take a loss, esp not if they bought at a high price.
    This is a capitalist society and unfortunately few people care what happens to others (dog eat dog mentality). So if you’re in a low wage field, you probably suffer the most. I think it’ll get a lot worse before it gets better. If we get the democrats next, they’ll raise taxes but wages will not keep up. We’re in a no-win situation. Think hard about who you vote for next time.

  3. Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Thats the good ole U S A for us, they tend to help every other nation out but not us.

  4. Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 12:39 am

    The disconnect in your logic is in your assumption about what people earn. In Florida, the average annual earnings are about $ 29,000 /yr. Assuming a 2000 hour work week, this amounts to about $ 14.5 / hour (not $ 8-$ 9) (see However, this masks a tremendous amount of variability. As the US further transitions from a manufacturing based economy to a knowledge/service economy, the difference in earning between those with skills and those without will continue to increase. This means that those with education will continually take a increasing share of an ever increasing pie and leave the uneducated minority to their daily struggle to survive.

    You are right about this being the USA, but are wrong about it being inappropriate for people like you are in the position that you speak of. People are compensated for what they bring to the table and someone that can create a scientific breakthrough, or engineer a whatever will always be worth more financially than than someone who drives a tractor or digs a ditch.

    You can debate the morality of this all you want, but the bottom line is that the US is more capitalist than socialist. If you can’t provide labor that the market values, then you are not going to receive the compensation to by a $ 300K house.

    If you don’t like your lot in life, then go back to school because no one else is going to fix your situation.

  5. Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 1:05 am

    well, the average house built today is about three times the size of the average house size when your fil purchased!! and taxes were much, much lower then . . . we pay about 50% of what we make in the US to various taxes, a huge hunk of that is for welfare type benefits such as social security and medicaid.

    We want more and more, and expect the government to give it to us, but forget that the government GETS it’s money from the working people, and has to increase taxes to cover benefits PLUS administration costs . . . we get more medical care, live longer, have better drugs (TAKE more drugs), eat out more, work less, exercise less . . . take worse care of ourselves, want more high tech healthcare, bigger houses, newer cars, and can’t figure out why we can’t afford it??

  6. Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 1:10 am

    I like JW’s answer.

    The average pay rate for a REGULAR working person is NOT $ 8-$ 9. That’s the average pay rate for a person who can’t get off their butt in order to do something to improve themselves and justify a higher wage.

    This is also the age of instant gratification. People buy stuff they can’t afford because they feel they are entitled to it just because they breathe. They spend more than they make, therefore forcing themselves to live paycheck to paycheck while accruing large amounts of debt and doing absolutely nothing to ensure that their future is secure. They then turn around and cry “woe is me” and blame every politician they can think of, forgetting that they got themselves into their mess in the first place.

    I’m not a CEO, but I AM a “Professional.” I worked by tail off in college and grad school – without incurring student loan debt – to get to where I am today.

  7. Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 2:03 am

    you sound like you’re in over your head! perhaps you should seek some free counselling in your area! there are lots of people offering free help to those in serious need.

    you have a child (her other questions gave me this info) but NO INSURANCE?!! god, why in the world would you have a child you couldn’t take care of all the time. was your father in law helping? didn’t they teach in you in like middle school, not to rely on others?!

    you’re the reason this country is going down hill!

  8. Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 2:15 am

    What part of Florida are you living in??? I lived in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and North Miami and the rent was NEVER that high for a decent place. Are you trying to get a place smack dab in the middle of South Beach? There are plenty of 2 bedroom places for under $ 1,000. The most I ever paid for rent was $ 800. If you can’t afford $ 1,200 a month you don’t have to pay it. I know that things can be rough sometimes but if you’re looking at property or apartments in areas you can’t afford the obvious solution is to look in a different area. Stop living in places outside of your budget. As far as not having insurance, it sucks but many other people are in the same situation and they make it happen. Stop pitying yourself because no one else does. We ALL have problems in this country. Deal with it.

  9. Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 2:17 am

    We live in CA…where things are also very high. I am doing a home business (yes…I found a good one and would love to tell you about it) which helps “level out” the finances. And pay for those unexpected things like car repairs, roofs, etc. And we are also in the mid-life era. It is difficult…but we should be living on prayers. Take care.

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