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    11-14-2012, 05:03 PM
I grew up in the days when a child behaved when away from home. They knew in someone else's home, they could get a box on the ears and another when they got home! Now kids are taught that they can do just about anything and get away with it. Parents have few rights these days.

Kids almost always wore uniforms, at the school they attended. There was not worries as to who had the better clothes. We knew we had to behave properly at all times. Heaven help us, if someone saw us doing something naughty when out. It was reported to our parents - usually before we arrived home. There was none of "Oh my child would never do that." Everyone looked out for the children of others. Good and bad. I remember having to walk several miles to school, from the time I was 4 1/2. No parents walked with us - or had to. We knew how to cross roads properly and there was never an instance of someone taking a child. Things have changed so much these days.

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    11-14-2012, 08:55 PM
Some new numbers, out today. There are now an estimated 9 million Americans, over 50 years old, who go to bed hungry each night. Double that in America's hungry children. This even though there are food pantries in every city and town.

I know the lines at the free food pantries in my small town, are so long, that most cannot stand and wait long enough to get to the front of the line. And that including the fact that we have several plus Church food pantries, some of which, open twice a week.

Since we are constantly 'told' we are the richest nation in the world, why then, is this happening and becoming worse all the time?

I recently met a charming couple in their 60's. Educated. Well spoken. When the gentleman lost his job and home three years ago, they also sold everything they had and managed to purchase a 'container'. A container is one of those things which big semi trucks carry goods in on our highways. This couple, now lives in the container, out in the desert of S. California. They get what they can from a food bank and by going through garbage containers behind grocery stores. A sad fact in America today.

    11-15-2012, 01:47 AM
Originally Posted by FeatheredFeet    
I recently met a charming couple in their 60's. Educated. Well spoken. When the gentleman lost his job and home three years ago, they also sold everything they had and managed to purchase a 'container'.
I would bet that that couple spent their previous life spending everything they earned, living paycheck to paycheck, maybe taking out home equity loans to buy still more consumer junk, not saving or investing at all.

This is not a new story by any means - see for instance Aesop's fable of the grasshopper and the ants - yet no one has AFAIK come up with a decent justification for taxing the ants to support the grasshoppers through the winter.
    11-15-2012, 04:49 AM
Don't you think that's a bit harsh, James? Probably puts me in the same category then. As with millions, I have probably, almost always lived paycheck to paycheck. When I had horses, it was my decision and I worked always two jobs and for quite a while, three jobs to keep them. When I could no longer afford a horse, I had to sell the best horse I had ever known. I shall never really get over losing him.

I very seldom have bought anything new. For the almost 50 years I have lived in the US, I have purchased almost everything I needed, from thrift shops, garage sales or flea markets. I still do, although these days don't find I need anything. I have never had enough money to invest. I've never taken out a mortgage to buy some luxury. I have so far, never owned a new car. In my 70s now, I doubt I ever will. I have only taken one holiday in my life, when I went home to England with my daughter. Certainly when I was young and still in England, I had more to spend than I do now. Even then though, I was thrifty. Growing up during the war, I learned about having no luxuries. When very young, I got an orange (if I was lucky) and nuts in my stocking at Christmas. Sometimes a new toothbrush or comb. I do remember getting two great Christmas gifts, when I was very little. One was a doll and another time, an old teddy bear which my mother had re-covered in my grandmother's old fur coat. In those days, we didn't get much and didn't expect anything.

Living on SS now, is no picnic. I am actually thankful, that I do have a roof over my head. So many don't. And I don't think we can judge anyone fairly, who has not.

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    11-15-2012, 10:43 AM
Lizzie, you speak so much good sense, I could hug you
    11-15-2012, 03:34 PM
Originally Posted by FeatheredFeet    
Don't you think that's a bit harsh, James?
No, I don't, because I see the results around me every day. Sure, there are exceptions (and it looks like you're one), but the general rule seems to be that people live up to and beyond their income, then expect someone else to foot the bill after it all collapses.

I've managed to go from just about nothing to pretty comfortable in my life, without the benefit of family or government support. I see people like my neighbors, who have two fairly decent incomes and inherited their place from their parents but are on the verge of losing it, while I - on one income smaller than their total - am close to having my mortgage paid off and have stashed enough to maintain my current lifestyle for a decade or more.

So I have to wonder what's the difference between them and me. Could it be that I don't buy new SUVs on credit? (My car's 12 years old and gets 70 mpg, the truck is more than old enough to vote.) That I don't have an RV, a travel trailer, a power boat and a Jet Ski parked in my yard? That I don't have $100/month cell plans, big TVs with hundreds of channels of cable, and so on through the list of consumer junk?
    11-15-2012, 04:06 PM
I am quite sure James, that many have and still do, live beyond their means. However, I'm also quite sure, that many who have lost their jobs and consequently their homes, most likely did not live beyond their means.

I'll give an example of something else which goes on in the US and which really p's me off. We see it constantly in S. Cal., but I imagine it goes on everywhere. My former neighbours, were from another country. Father, mother, one grandmother and three older teenage boys, plus an older daughter. All were on some kind of Government aid and had come here legally. The daughter gave piano lessons from their home. Father and the boys, all worked under the table, in and around LA. The grandmother and mother, did not work.

Except for the father, none spoke or wrote English particularly well. At one point, they told us they were moving and asked me to do some paperwork for them. I was shocked when I discovered just how much money was going into that house per month and had been for several years. It was actually more than I was making per year! They had enough money saved, to purchase a small factory in another state, and moved. All this money saved, while living on welfare and everyone working under the table.

This is the kind of thing which is destroying California. At one time, I was speaking to someone who deals in this kind of thing here. He told me he had thousands of case files in his office. Only he and one other person were employed to look into such things. He admitted it was easier to just let it go, rather than look into them all.

    11-15-2012, 05:04 PM
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Lizzie - there are many in the UK who live very well on SS and draw in far more than I could ever earn.
This Government has tightened down a lot on who gets what, not liked by those that draw but liked by most.

One woman was claiming disability, saying she had asthma, was light reactive and needed 24 hour care in her home. Neighbours complained so she was investigated. She had been seen walking her dogs and said it was her identical twin sister.
She was also running a council owned cafe for which she paid no rent saying it was only breaking even. She had taken over $350,000 in three years.
They caught her out and she had to repay and received a prison sentence.
How they caught her was funny because she had changed her name several times. They got a copy of her birth certificate and it turns out she was not a twin and had in fact been born a he!

I have never earned a lot and could be in a job where I earned a lot more but be miserable. My choice. When I want something 'extra' I worked more jobs from dishes washing to being a chambermaid. Work is generally there if you look hard enough and want to work even if it is menial tasks.
    11-15-2012, 05:48 PM
I believe you, Foxhunter. A couple of years ago, I actually saw a young man who was on some forum or other, explaining to Americans, how to go about getting aid and fooling the government in England. Hopefully by now, he was one of those caught. It's a huge problem isn't it.

    11-15-2012, 06:50 PM
When it comes to the great British safety net of government aid, my Dad always said that they should not look at what you have now, but at what you had in the past.

He and another guy, his best mate, worked in the same job along side each other for many many years Pat smoke, drank, had new cars and good holidays. Dad, although he smoked, rarely drank, we went camping for our holidays, and generally he was careful with his cash, he also invested wisely. It always annoyed him that if they fell on hard times, Pat would get help right away, but Dad would have to spend his hard earned money first before he would qualify.

That is the unfairness of the system to those who are honest, and a bigger problem is with the crooks who really work the system to their own advantage

Inspite of all the issues it is still nice to have a safety net of sorts in place though

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