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  #61  
Old 04.10.2011, 14:02
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Re: Occupy America

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What's corporate welfare and why is it bad?

And why is the Gold Standard better?

I can only give a short answer as I have to go. Corporate welfare is a cancer to a free market. This is when the gov't gives subsidies and other forms of monetary handouts to corporations for what ever reason. I.E Giving the oil companies money to find oil even though they have record profits. Giving money to corporate farms who dont have to pay taxes and then buys out all the family farms. Supporting the cotton, lumber and chemical companies while keeping hemp illegal, bailouts, etc, etc, etc, etc X 100. Later on the gold standard. Ciao
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:02
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Re: Occupy America

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Well, it's true that America has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world (and this is one of the reasons so many US companies move their headquarters here to Zug, for example). But the problem with corporate welfare and bail-outs, tax breaks, etc. is that the money doesn't trickle down to the employees. Instead, the CEOs, stockholders, etc. just get fatter paychecks and more benefits. So meanwhile, the rich get richer but the poorer still get poorer...
I don't see how any of that helps stock holders. And plus who are stock holders? Some anonymous person? Often times its the common person or an employee as well.
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:04
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Re: Occupy America

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Well, it's true that America has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world (and this is one of the reasons so many US companies move their headquarters here to Zug, for example). But the problem with corporate welfare and bail-outs, tax breaks, etc. is that the money doesn't trickle down to the employees. Instead, the CEOs, stockholders, etc. just get fatter paychecks and more benefits. So meanwhile, the rich get richer but the poorer still get poorer...
Who are the stockholders?
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  #64  
Old 04.10.2011, 14:05
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Re: Occupy America

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I can only give a short answer as I have to go. Corporate welfare is a cancer to a free market. This is when the gov't gives subsidies and other forms of monetary handouts to corporations for what ever reason. I.E Giving the oil companies money to find oil even though they have record profits. Giving money to corporate farms who dont have to pay taxes and then buys out all the family farms. Supporting the cotton, lumber and chemical companies while keeping hemp illegal, bailouts, etc, etc, etc, etc X 100. Later on the gold standard. Ciao
Like supporting GM or the Detroit car makers to keep the US Industry alive?
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:22
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Re: Occupy America

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true. but isn't that just deferring responsibility.

For example if you rent your appartment rather than buy, then the bank is still earning money, it's just that your landlord's name is on the mortgage and not yours.

Renting is different, in that you are paying as you go, not incurring debt. Whether the landlord does or does not have a mortgage is beyond the purview of my personal choice and responsibility for my life.
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:22
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Re: Occupy America

It's about time these protests are starting. However, it will be difficult to coordinate and achieve the momentum it deserves.

And I'm sorry but unless you've witnessed firsthand how tough it can be in the US, you really don't know what you're talking about!!

  • Being in debt straight out of college - I paid almost $60,000 out of pocket and have friends in their 40s still paying
  • Supporting your parents even though they're on social security - if my brother and I didn't supplement my Mother's meager $300/month SS payment, she'd be homeless
  • Losing your job and thus your medical benefits because you're too sick to work - one of my employees got stomach cancer and missed over a month due to chemo. He actually came to work with his chemo machine and I told him to go back home. Then my company wanted to fire him for missing so much work!! Doing that meant that he'd lose his medical benefits and would be faced with the possibility of dying.
  • Losing your job and therefore your house and living out of your car - my colleague was laid off and lived in his car with his wife and 2 kids and begged us not to tell authorities or they'd take his kids away
Being unemployed or retired here in most European countries will still afford you the minimum to survive on. The social system in the US is pathetic and everyday normal, "you-and-I" like people end up in severe poverty and poor health. And once you reach that stage, do you think it's easy to get back up again? Especially if you haven't received proper medical care.

Capitalism is simply about "survival of the fittest" and the US is designed to only work for you if you're able to work for them. Tough luck if you're unemployed, sick, uneducated, disabled, etc.
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  #67  
Old 04.10.2011, 14:24
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Re: Occupy America

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But is it really a "success story" when the job they have to take doesn't even pay enough to cover their student loans? Besides, you have to admit that the cost of higher education in the US is much too high -- and is inaccessible for many.
I would say yes. If your degree is not viable on the job market for whatever reason, then waking up to that fact sooner rather than later is a big plus. The sooner you make the crossover into another, more-in-demand line of work (even if you have to start at entry level to do so), the more successful you're likely to be.

Surely it's more of a success story then not taking a job because you've got 'notions', as my mother would say, about what kind of job your degree entitles you to hold.

Incidentally there are lots of cheaper options for higher education in the US, but they typically take longer to complete, or aren't as prestigious, or aren't where all your friends are going. They do exist though and anybody considering taking on thousands of dollars in debt to finance a degree should really have a good hard look at the alternatives first. Student debt is a gamble - you're betting that Degree X will lead to Job Y with Z salary which will be enough to pay off the debt - and while I feel sorry for people who have bet large sums and lost, it's the same sort of pity mixed with incomprehension I have for people who spend half their income on lottery tickets. Yes, it's terrible that they have to eat beans and rice for the rest of the week, but what on earth possessed them to gamble so much in the first place?
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:27
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Re: Occupy America

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I don't see how any of that helps stock holders. And plus who are stock holders? Some anonymous person? Often times its the common person or an employee as well.
No, I believe the stockholders often consist of a group of rich investors whose primary objective is to build their net worths, and often this is at the expense of the employees.

It's the nature of the game, I guess -- pay out as little wages as possible while achieving the most profit.

What I think really needs to happen is a shift in the overall American psyche -- at all levels. The current system is obviously NOT working. We need a re-boot.
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:27
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Re: Occupy America

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I can only give a short answer as I have to go. Corporate welfare is a cancer to a free market. This is when the gov't gives subsidies and other forms of monetary handouts to corporations for what ever reason. I.E Giving the oil companies money to find oil even though they have record profits. Giving money to corporate farms who dont have to pay taxes and then buys out all the family farms. Supporting the cotton, lumber and chemical companies while keeping hemp illegal, bailouts, etc, etc, etc, etc X 100. Later on the gold standard. Ciao
Oh I see the prob. It's not Corporate Welfare you are talking about, you are talking about Subsidies. Now, you can say that is bad. Subsidies. But I will tell you I disagree. Subsidies, at times seem frivilous. Like that money is going to some Fat Cartoon of a man smoking a cigar and laughing all the way to the bank.
What subsidies provide, especially to a farmer or anyone in agriculture an attempt at stability. What happens when some years there is a good crop, and the next year there is a dust bowl? The farmer loses his land. What this leads to is un stable food prices. Something outlined almost a century ago as the benchmark for stability in a country and for democracy. If you are having years where it is really cheap for food, and then years where it is really expensive, this will mostly effect poor people. They need a stable price range for food.

Anywhere else in the world that has prices spikes in food leads to rioting and revolutions, all based with in the poverty based communities.

When you stabilize food prices or make food cheap this also helps the rest of the entire country by giving one of the basic fundamentals to the working class.
When you have people growing too much food, prices bottom out, and farmers still lose their farms. And when that happens then again you will have following years of real expensive food as there is limited supply.
Food in America is really cheap compared with the rest of world, demographics pertaining. So cheap, and this again where subsidies come in, that we have to give it away to keep prices of some things from bottoming out. It's why the US government buys so much corn and rice, and then gives it to countries, such as in Africa, that have no or almost no food. Because they dealt with farming in in correct, un manageable, some times racist way, and now need donations to survive-IE subsidies.
While we are subsidizing in directly Africans to live another day, it's an outlet to keep out prices on a level kilter.

I hate these blanket statements that are kill "Corporate Welfare" it sounds catchy, without thoroughly thinking thru how it is true it might help a few mega farms, but mega or not, the "trickle" down or rather River Down effects are substantial on the most impoverished of all Americans.

I think the tax rate should go back to Clinton Era, atleast. But the fact is, blaming the bankers is stupid, and it's a not so easy way out. I saw those same damn info mmercials back in the states that offered everyone to re mortgage their homes, and go on vacation with all the free cash. I never called.
Or when buying a house, I never looked at the house a doctor could afford, and even if the broker tried to sell me the better rates, and get it for me, I still only made a cook's wage, and did not take it.

You can't go to a Used Car lot, and if the guy tries to sell you a Ford Fiesta, that it will run like a BMW, take your anger out on him later, because you didn't read the contract, do the research, and do the math.

People need to start taking accountability for their own actions, and stop thinking that how much credit they can get on their cards actually means more of their actual income, and live with in their means. My parent's generation only bought what they could afford, and would be embarrassed to have outstanding debt.
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:29
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Re: Occupy America

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No, I believe the stockholders often consist of a group of rich investors whose primary objective is to build their net worths, and often this is at the expense of the employees.
Not true, I'm afraid.. A tiny % of stock is held by "rich investors". The majority of it is owned by pension funds and banks.

So the unpalatable truth is that is you have a savings account or a pension fund.....its you. If you think that capitalism is morally wrong, better keep your money under the bed, because if you try to save and get a return....you're part of the "problem"
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:31
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Re: Occupy America

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I would say yes. If your degree is not viable on the job market for whatever reason, then waking up to that fact sooner rather than later is a big plus. The sooner you make the crossover into another, more-in-demand line of work (even if you have to start at entry level to do so), the more successful you're likely to be.

Surely it's more of a success story then not taking a job because you've got 'notions', as my mother would say, about what kind of job your degree entitles you to hold.

Incidentally there are lots of cheaper options for higher education in the US, but they typically take longer to complete, or aren't as prestigious, or aren't where all your friends are going. They do exist though and anybody considering taking on thousands of dollars in debt to finance a degree should really have a good hard look at the alternatives first. Student debt is a gamble - you're betting that Degree X will lead to Job Y with Z salary which will be enough to pay off the debt - and while I feel sorry for people who have bet large sums and lost, it's the same sort of pity mixed with incomprehension I have for people who spend half their income on lottery tickets. Yes, it's terrible that they have to eat beans and rice for the rest of the week, but what on earth possessed them to gamble so much in the first place?
I can see your reasoning, but... in the US, industries and job markets are dynamic and constantly evolving. So while, for example, someone with a degree in the field of "X" may have been able to find a really good job back in the 1990's, now that may no longer be the case. It's unpredictable... especially considering the "snowball effect" that technology seems to have.

*sigh*

Sometimes I feel like the US has backed itself into a corner.
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:32
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Re: Occupy America

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It's about time these protests are starting. However, it will be difficult to coordinate and achieve the momentum it deserves.

And I'm sorry but unless you've witnessed firsthand how tough it can be in the US, you really don't know what you're talking about!!

  • Being in debt straight out of college - I paid almost $60,000 out of pocket and have friends in their 40s still paying
  • Supporting your parents even though they're on social security - if my brother and I didn't supplement my Mother's meager $300/month SS payment, she'd be homeless
  • Losing your job and thus your medical benefits because you're too sick to work - one of my employees got stomach cancer and missed over a month due to chemo. He actually came to work with his chemo machine and I told him to go back home. Then my company wanted to fire him for missing so much work!! Doing that meant that he'd lose his medical benefits and would be faced with the possibility of dying.
  • Losing your job and therefore your house and living out of your car - my colleague was laid off and lived in his car with his wife and 2 kids and begged us not to tell authorities or they'd take his kids away
Being unemployed or retired here in most European countries will still afford you the minimum to survive on. The social system in the US is pathetic and everyday normal, "you-and-I" like people end up in severe poverty and poor health. And once you reach that stage, do you think it's easy to get back up again? Especially if you haven't received proper medical care.

Capitalism is simply about "survival of the fittest" and the US is designed to only work for you if you're able to work for them. Tough luck if you're unemployed, sick, uneducated, disabled, etc.
Is there no insurance you can take out along with your mortgage in case you lose your job? Just so you can keep a roof over your head?

Those stories are so sad.

It seems the system fails just when you need it most.
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  #73  
Old 04.10.2011, 14:35
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Re: Occupy America

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No, I believe the stockholders often consist of a group of rich investors whose primary objective is to build their net worths, and often this is at the expense of the employees.

It's the nature of the game, I guess -- pay out as little wages as possible while achieving the most profit.

What I think really needs to happen is a shift in the overall American psyche -- at all levels. The current system is obviously NOT working. We need a re-boot.
This is easy to show. Think of 10 or 20 stocks, or 500 if you the time. Go to their sites, or their SEC filings if they are American companies, Within their they will always list who controls/owns more then 5% of a company's value in shares.

I think you might be surprised.
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:40
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Re: Occupy America

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It's about time these protests are starting. However, it will be difficult to coordinate and achieve the momentum it deserves.

And I'm sorry but unless you've witnessed firsthand how tough it can be in the US, you really don't know what you're talking about!!

  • Being in debt straight out of college - I paid almost $60,000 out of pocket and have friends in their 40s still paying
  • Supporting your parents even though they're on social security - if my brother and I didn't supplement my Mother's meager $300/month SS payment, she'd be homeless
  • Losing your job and thus your medical benefits because you're too sick to work - one of my employees got stomach cancer and missed over a month due to chemo. He actually came to work with his chemo machine and I told him to go back home. Then my company wanted to fire him for missing so much work!! Doing that meant that he'd lose his medical benefits and would be faced with the possibility of dying.
  • Losing your job and therefore your house and living out of your car - my colleague was laid off and lived in his car with his wife and 2 kids and begged us not to tell authorities or they'd take his kids away
Being unemployed or retired here in most European countries will still afford you the minimum to survive on. The social system in the US is pathetic and everyday normal, "you-and-I" like people end up in severe poverty and poor health. And once you reach that stage, do you think it's easy to get back up again? Especially if you haven't received proper medical care.

Capitalism is simply about "survival of the fittest" and the US is designed to only work for you if you're able to work for them. Tough luck if you're unemployed, sick, uneducated, disabled, etc.
Well, let's see if I fit in to your what is OK or not OK for talking about these protests...
I have been homeless, I have never had insurance in America because I could not afford it(and have paid all my non insurance bills out of pocket), I have lived in my car...
Being in debt straight out of college is your own damn fault. You got sold your education was worth what you would get out of in in a job, and you probably have had more security then I ever have.

However, I have no college debt. I have paid all my bills, hard times or not. People take on all this risk, and debt, and want to have a revolution when times are "tough". What you just listed to me, has NOTHING to do with tough times.
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Old 04.10.2011, 14:54
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Re: Occupy America

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Those stories are so sad.
Agreed.

By way of background: I was born in the UK, grew up in Australia, eventually worked in London for a while, and most recently thought 'Switzerland looks nice, lets give Zurich a try'. And am very happy with the results. All of these countries have, over the years, at least given an appearance of caring about the general well-being of their citizens over the course of their lives.

I must confess to a little anti-US sentiment over the years, based on nothing other than media stories (ok, and some of their behaviour towards other countries <cough>Iraq</cough>). Having briefly visited San Francisco a few years ago, met some great people and had a lovely time, I've reconsidered. I now feel sorry for the country - it's such a shame that such a rich country (not just economically, but socially and in terms of diversity) can end up where it has.

A number of posts on this thread have me thinking 'wow, people would have said the same things about third world countries not that many years ago'. Who'd have thought the US would end up there so soon?

Sorry for the rather depressing post.
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Old 04.10.2011, 15:00
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Re: Occupy America

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Is there no insurance you can take out along with your mortgage in case you lose your job? Just so you can keep a roof over your head?
I'm not sure if there's any type of insurance. And some may say it's his own fault for not having enough savings but if we do some of the numbers, he was a manager getting paid about $65,000 for a family of four. Maximum unemployment he got in California was $1,800 per month - after waiting for 3 months. His mortgage was $1,500. His salary and mortgage are perfectly in the norm for areas of California and there probably wasn't much at the end of the month.

$300 left over was not enough to keep the household afloat - and he and his wife still had college debt and I wouldn't be surprised if they were also supporting their own parents. Sure, Americans don't pay as much taxes as Europeans but when you add up university, medical, childcare, etc....you can pay well over the average European and with less benefits / security.
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Old 04.10.2011, 15:01
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Re: Occupy America

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I can see your reasoning, but... in the US, industries and job markets are dynamic and constantly evolving. So while, for example, someone with a degree in the field of "X" may have been able to find a really good job back in the 1990's, now that may no longer be the case. It's unpredictable... especially considering the "snowball effect" that technology seems to have.
Yes and no. It's unpredictable over a 25 year timespan, certainly. I have nothing but sympathy for older people who lose their jobs, qualifications are no longer current and even the field itself may be on its way out. It's horrible and depressing to watch someone you know come to the realization that he will never work again - simply because he is too old to compete for manual jobs and his degree (if he has one) is too outdated for technical jobs.

(Wal-Mart is often the only place in town that will hire these people and I don't care if they are the Evil Empire, I love them for it.)


Unpredictable over five years though? Not so much. If people entering university took a real clear-eyed look at the in-field employment prospects of the various degree programs open to them, with very few exceptions they'd find the same prospects virtually unchanged four years later.

If you're funding the whole adventure yourself then fine - but as soon as you start talking about running up tens of thousands of dollars of debt, there is no excuse for not doing your homework, and choosing a line of study which presents at least a reasonable chance at a job enabling you to pay it back.

Again: if somebody wants to take a degree in mathematics or English or underwater basketweaving just for the sake of it - because they find it personally enriching - I have no problem with that. But they should find ways to do it on the cheap (and there are ways): taking on tens of thousands of dollars of debt in order to launch yourself onto an already glutted market is a terrible idea.
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Old 04.10.2011, 15:05
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Re: Occupy America

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Well, let's see if I fit in to your what is OK or not OK for talking about these protests...
I have been homeless, I have never had insurance in America because I could not afford it(and have paid all my non insurance bills out of pocket), I have lived in my car...
Being in debt straight out of college is your own damn fault. You got sold your education was worth what you would get out of in in a job, and you probably have had more security then I ever have.

However, I have no college debt. I have paid all my bills, hard times or not. People take on all this risk, and debt, and want to have a revolution when times are "tough". What you just listed to me, has NOTHING to do with tough times.
You, then, are one of the lucky ones. I highly doubt you would have been able to afford $100,000 in cancer treatments out-of-pocket if you were without a job and homeless.

The reality is that "tough times" can strike anyone of any socioeconomic and educational background.
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Old 04.10.2011, 15:17
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Re: Occupy America

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You, then, are one of the lucky ones. I highly doubt you would have been able to afford $100,000 in cancer treatments out-of-pocket if you were without a job and homeless.

The reality is that "tough times" can strike anyone of any socioeconomic and educational background.
If you mean by lucky, when I was assaulted by a gang of kids, and hospitalized, blind for day, with head injuries, paying ambulance mileage.

When I was hit by a car that ran a red light, and smashed thru the windshield and was ejected 20 feet out onto the pavement, and air lifted to the hospital.

When I did have basic dental, but that for some reason didn't cover local or general anesthesia so that the dentist had to pull my wisdom teeth with out anesthesia.

When a dog attacked me, and ripped half of my ear off, and I lay waiting in an emergency hospital room losing liters of blood waiting to be able to go in because they had serviced all the insurance paying patients first.

Now, my life has been no cancer, so far, but, I would not exactly say it was "lucky"...if you needed to know.

Last edited by Confloozed; 04.10.2011 at 15:28.
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Old 04.10.2011, 15:21
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Re: Occupy America

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Well, let's see if I fit in to your what is OK or not OK for talking about these protests...
I have been homeless, I have never had insurance in America because I could not afford it(and have paid all my non insurance bills out of pocket), I have lived in my car...
Being in debt straight out of college is your own damn fault. You got sold your education was worth what you would get out of in in a job, and you probably have had more security then I ever have.

However, I have no college debt. I have paid all my bills, hard times or not. People take on all this risk, and debt, and want to have a revolution when times are "tough". What you just listed to me, has NOTHING to do with tough times.
I am glad you groaned me. We are definitely not on the same level. Your worrying about a parent, and their SS payments, and me seeing whole entire families live together(extended), and being happy and trying to work thru the situation, is not a hardship. Clearly these are Musings from the middle class.
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