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View Diary: Shrinking Middle Class - Return to Agrarian Class Structure? (80 comments)

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  •  Yes, it is very easy to fall out (23+ / 0-)

    of the Retainer class. Layoffs, outsourcing, offshoring, automation, monopolistic mergers that create duplication in the workforce... illness... the list goes on.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:13:29 PM PDT

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    •  I have fallen out - it's REAL easy: (21+ / 0-)

      Left my decent law practice to go teach law. And, I did so while I was young and had little money saved up.

      Taught law and did well for 6 years, made less money, enjoyed life far more.

      Didn't keep up CLEs and licensing fees b/c didn't really think it was needed (poor decision) and had my first young child with little money to throw around. Then, layed off due to being one of the latest hires while they downsized due to - - - budget cuts.

      Back out in private sector, poor economy, too many lawyers, tens of thousands in back dues and CLEs from activating a license for work with excess people.

      Looking for work in other areas and not finding it b/c so many looking for work, so few jobs, no real outside experience and no company will hire "overqualified" people. Hard to go back to school while still having outstanding student loans from the first time.

      That is how one falls from 125K/year to EBT card in less than 10 years. Admittedly, I could have been smarter, I am not blameless but lest one think they are way too smart/valuable - might think again.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

      by 4CasandChlo on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:17:35 AM PDT

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      •  I feel for you (17+ / 0-)
        That is how one falls from 125K/year to EBT card in less than 10 years.

        Well, that's ONE way. I've observed, and personally experienced, many others in the last forty years.

        You see, as the diarist has so concisely presented, the deck is stacked. The game was over before many of us even antied up.

        Use that EBT card without shame. No matter what anyone says, you're in a very large and noble group.

        Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

        by Pariah Dog on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:39:34 AM PDT

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        •  Fortunately, we need it less and less: (7+ / 0-)

          My wife is working her ass off as a nurses aide while going to school and I watch our daughter and make a little by writing and independent contracting (not nearly enough).

          I take some comfort in knowing that I was passionately in favor of social support at the highest of my earnings - when I never imagined needing it - and paid in, so. . .

          When we were almost totally reliant upon it, I usually went to the grocery store at odd hours, I explained it to the register people (while asking about jobs) and we always bought things just as if it were our money (it was, essentially) lots of soup, frozen stuff, some apples, lean meat - - nothing expensive. To the extent that I have seen some animosity it is usually around people buying prime rib or lots of junk food.

          Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

          by 4CasandChlo on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:13:29 AM PDT

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        •  Realising the deck is stacked (8+ / 0-)

          was the most valuable insight of my life. I am 62, it came when I was about 25, it has guided my whole life.

          Since then I have been utterly adamant that debt is the most dangerous thing we have and I have always made task one, every day, to clear my debts while I can.

          I have now paid off (or bought without debt) 6 properties. All of them have been smaller and less grand than those I could easily have "afforded" with bigger mortgages, but none of the others would have let me sleep as well.

          Even now, I clear my credit card and usually add a little extra maybe 3 times a month, I WILL not be in debt (however small) for a day more than I must.

          I also paid down those mortgages when money was easy because I always knew that the day would come when money was harder to find and I did NOT want to owe a cent on that day.

          I have not lived badly, I've had all I could need and more, but not once in my life have I owned anything to impress anyone else and now I'm even tighter, if it isn't productive, its no use to me.

          On the other hand, I do get to stand on my own small bit of land, and watch the orchard and the grass and the vegetables grow and the chickens scratch and a couple of cattle grazing and smile like an idiot in the rain that is filling my water tanks and soaking into the soil.

          Mind you, having an ego bigger than my house has helped a lot, its a LOT easier when you don't give a flying fuck what other people think or say, nor how they look at you nor which parties they don't invite you to.

          Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

          by Deep Dark on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:09:51 PM PDT

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          •  Debt is a big deal (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Andrew C White, Pariah Dog

            Without debt your level of security goes through the roof.

            I paid off my house on my 44th birthday last year and will never borrow a cent again in my life.  I have never been into fancy vacations or cars.  Because of this I have security in case anything happens.

            Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

            by AppleP on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:06:52 PM PDT

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