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I am really getting kind of tired of the bullshit line "Everyone has a 401K, everyone is in
the stock market" Like all 401Ks are in the stock market.

To this I say "BULLSHIT".  I don't know how many remember one of GWB little tricks was
to drop taxes on dividends and keep the taxes on the interest earned off savings.

Who does that tax rule benefit. The wealthy. Because poor asses, or average asses don't get
dividends, they just earn interest off CDs or conventional savings. But that is still being
taxed.  I don't understand this, since Reagan was the one to put these taxes in place.

If President Obama wanted to help, he might could drop the taxes off the interest
on savings.  It  is just another example how the top tier of rich folks have
gamed the system to their benefit.

When I was a kid, before the internet and 24 hour cable news, I never knew what the
stock market was doing. I didn't give 2 shits.  You could only find out if you read the financial
section of the paper.

It wasn't a minute by minute counter on the fucking TV.  Come on, we all know the stock
market has nothing to do with our daily lives.  Or when did the gas pump change prices on a
daily basis, sometimes on a hourly basis. When did we all become speculators of oil.

This whole thing is surreal.  I can't just raise my prices one day, and then the next
raise them again,  and then lower them.  At first they tried telling the prices were going
up because of Katrina, more storms, cold winters, blah, blah, blah.

Now they don't even bother to lie about the reasons the gas goes up and down. This last
raise was because it was summer, and the oil companies know folks are going to travel
more.  

So the oil companies make huge profits, banks are making huge profits.  Even though
they supposedly were on the brink of collapse just a mere 6 months ago. Man, that sure
was a quick fucking turn around wasn't it?  It may have something to do with having a special
relationship with the FEDs, who are throwing money at these institutions.

The serfs at the bottom, just keep running around trying to survive.  And the mega-million
bonuses at the top keep on coming. LIke a  hit parade rolling down Mainstreet.  Except this
time they are hitting you hard in your bank account or your shrinking paycheck.  Or no
paycheck at all.

About 2 years ago, I asked the manager at my local bank how the stock market could
be so high, yet my business was tanking.  Everything seemed to be tanking.  Her
reply didn't surprise me," Someone is making too much money." No Shit! Remember
those record oil profits last year?

We all know that now.  Or I wondered how car companies could keep pumping
out cars nobody was buying.  We all can see what happened to that question.  The car
companies took themselves to the brink.  I still am not sure they will survive.  Cash
for clunkers is just a little bandaide on a huge bleeding wound.

I don't have any money in the stock market. I say fuck the stock market. It has nothing
to do with me or my service business. I never get a call that says "Hey, the stock market
is up, I think I need your services."

Fuck the stock market. It does not reflect the masses, the commoner, the serf.  I just
wish I didn't have to hear about it everyday.  What has it got to do with me?  Since when
did savings have to bring a yield of 10 or 15 or 20 percent.  I always thought you saved, and
added to that savings by putting more in every week or month.  Then you might earn a  
paltry interest rate. But the money would be there when you needed to use it, not gone
because you stuck it in a Mutual Fund, and then it lost 90% of  the original value.  Mutual
Fund is just another word for GAMBLE.  

My father was a compulsive gambler and the family suffered for his disease.  So the
average person doesn't understand the stock market, and why should they.  It looks
like it is gamed for the big players.  So just save your pennies, don't pay attention to
the stock market, if it goes down then the big guys are the ones losing the money.
And they can afford it,  because the government takes care of it's own.  And the average
bottom feeder is not on that buddy list.

The upside being, you may not be evil. or have no morals or ethics.  Even though something
may be legal, doesn't make it right.  It really disgusts me, greed, greed and more greed.
Is money all these Wall Street gamblers care about?  So my advice, keep it in your
mattress, keep it in a CD, or a savings, or an annuity.  Or you could buy affordable
property, or rental property, or art, etc.  Just stay away from the Stock
Market.  If you aren't Goldman Sachs or Citi, or BOA, then you aren't gonna win. Remember,
they front run the whole system, and the little guy only gets the scraps, and they aren't
none to good.

I always like to say, " I have friends in low places, how about you?"

Update: Wow, some of you got kind of pissed. But I will clarify one point. I did not diss
401Ks, my company has a 401K.  But here is how it works. First of all I own the company, we
are tiny, tiny.  But the 401K works like this: My employee puts in as much as much as 10%
of their pay, according to Fed Law I can match up to 3% of their contribution.  It goes directly into
an account at a local bank, in the form of cash, just like an IRA.  They employee is free to
take their own 401K and do what ever they would like with it, including Mutual Funds if
they so choose. They are fully in charge of their own money, their own 401K.  So am not
against retirement accounts, there is a difference between 401K and Stock Market. Your
401K could be in the form of a CD or what ever.  Just thought I would add this, so people
don't think I am totally ignorant or selfish, or a jerk.

Originally posted to sharistuff on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:09 AM PDT.

Poll

Does the Stock Market Affect You?

10%12 votes
16%20 votes
6%8 votes
3%4 votes
2%3 votes
33%40 votes
5%6 votes
15%18 votes
6%8 votes

| 119 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  I've never had money in the stock market in my (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SteveLCo

      entire life, and I hate - HATE - people who act like every American has money invested there, when about half us us (well over a hundred million people) do not.  People who say every American has a 401K can go fuck themselves.  

      Secondly, the Bush administration set an economic policy that helped Wall Street at the same time as hurting Main Street, which understandably gives us the perspective that the two aren't really linked at all.

      However, the two most certainly ARE linked, as long as you don't have a corporatist administration setting policies to coddle one while drowning the other.  My drummer and I, when it comes to pursuing work outside of the band, are near the bottom of the income ladder (him mowing lawns and myself having very limited hours as a private guitar instructor); however, when Lehman crashed, we couldn't find an hour's work to save our lives for MONTHS.  If things hadn't changed in January, and then gradually gotten a bit better in the months after that, I don't know where either of us would be; September - December of last year was the first time in almost fifteen years of teaching that I couldn't find a single student.  Therefore, I am glad the DOW bottomed out at 6000, then gradually crept up to 8000, and has been relatively stable or incrementally growing since then; those subtle changes DO reflect throughout Main Street, it's when Wall Street shoots up quickly due to speculation and greed that it seems like they're in a parallel universe at the same time Main Street is sinking.  As long as the gains are sober and incremental, Wall Street is most certainly linked to the broader economy, and their success does impact us.

      The bigger problem here is that the rich simply have too much of the wealth, and everybody who works for a living doesn't have enough, which means less consumer spending and less potential economic growth; however, interpreting that argument simply as Wall Street = Bad is an oversimplification.

      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

      by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:59:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Testify... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sharistuff, Ezekial 23 20

      Alabama.

      :-)

      "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

      Iraq Moratorium

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:21:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Instead of taking this selfish attitude (10+ / 0-)

    why not try to see how to fix the entire economy including Wall Street?

    Most working Americans have some sort of 401K plan or work for a company that has a pension plan that invests in the market.  Those of us who's retirement futures can be significantly improved by stock market gains can't feel too positive about your selfish message.

    •  how is it selfish, not sharing with Wall Street (3+ / 0-)

      is being selfish, just don't agree with that , sorry.

      •  How markets work (5+ / 0-)

        people invest in companies when they think they can profit.  Without profit, companies do not innovate, they do not create the products and services consumers want.

        So saying "fuck Wall Street" also means fuck consumers, fuck investors, fuck the hundreds of millions of people in the US and EU who work for companies that list.

        •  Not anymore (6+ / 0-)

          One of the fundamental problems we have with our current stock market is that it's moved beyond its role in the economy.  Things like MBSes, CDOs, short-selling, and front-running are all but independent of the perceived health of the base asset (the company or mortgages the stock or bond represents).  Two-thirds of today's trading isn't occurring because someone thinks a company is going to do well/poorly in the future, but because some computer program is predicting a change in the stock price.

          Further, it creates a second-order growth demand that's simply dangerous in many sectors.  Despite being a massive and hugely profitable company, Microsoft's stock is regularly in the toilet, because while it's making billions, it's quite literally maxed out the Operating Systems and Office-Productivity Software markets.  Companies like Citibank and AIG, who literally had a license to a foolproof slight profit, found that "large, steady profit" wasn't good enough for Wall Street - it had to grow every year, which forced them to take larger and larger risks to meet quarterly expectations and led to their downfall.  This profit-growth demand is also a key feature behind insurance companies screwing consumers.  Insurance companies can be honorable and make a decent profit, or they can increase profits by reducing benefits while raising premiums.  It's not the whole story in the healthcare world, but when you're expected to go from 5% profits to 15% profits, you're being encouraged to screw people.

      •  I really appreciate your taking (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PJ Jefferson, sharistuff, smallgal

        a strong position about this, partly because people who feel the way you do (including myself) are barely heard, and maybe intimidated.  

    •  It's Not Government's Job (6+ / 0-)

      To keep the Dow afloat.

      I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

      by bink on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:26:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  I Don't Understand Obama's Economic Policy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chi

          So I can't guess what direction they are going in ...  Since the Fed and Treasury are not operating in a transparent manner in terms of intervention, I don't even know everything they are doing to keep the Dow and other economic indicators up, though I'm pretty sure they are doing a lot.

          I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

          by bink on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:29:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah I get that, but what about all (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi, ShempLugosi

            the unemployment, and this talk about a jobless recovery.
            It just looks like The stock market is not trending with reality,and
            people are angry at the "fuck the stock market," because they
            think I am being selfish.

            Look, I have been running a business for 30 years, it serves
            pretty much corporate and business, individuals, and across the
            board people are pretty scared.

            I just don't think numbers reflecting 30 companies out of
            1000s really is telling us shit about what is going on out
            there.

            People are losing their jobs, and those big corps will send the
            jobs out of the country, and then their stocks would go up.
            How does that reflect on the average worker. It does not,

            In other words , the stock market has nothing to do with the
            average daily worker. It is about corporate profits only.  Jobs
            or pay have nothing to do with it, unless you are a CEO.

            Sorry if it pisses people off, or they think I am ignorant, I think
            other than Krugman, they are all pretty much off Base.

            •  I Agree (6+ / 0-)

              The media is obsessed with the stock market because they are Haves -- as Shanikka wrote the other day -- and the Dow is one of the ways that the Haves measure how much they have.

              But for the rest of us?

              Doesn't really mean much.

              I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

              by bink on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:43:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So take your company public (0+ / 0-)

              do an IPO get extra money for infrastructure development, research develop[ment. Grow your company and make money for you your employees and the investors.

            •  The stock market has little to do with how well a (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sharistuff

              company - even a company listed on the Dow - is performing.  They lie, cheat, steal, defraud, short sell, and speculate their way to the "price" of the stocks on the Dow.  It often has nothing to do with the actual health of the company.  See wonderfully performing financial stocks right before they tanked and some even failed in 2008.

              Can I please have your attention. I've just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you to stop what you're doing and listen. CANNONBALL!

              by PJ Jefferson on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:02:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  People work for Dow components (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neglected Duty, shenderson

        It isn't just CEOs that benefit, its the people on the line and the people in sales and marketing.

        Most of the companies in the DOW are manufacturers.

        •  The only people who get fired when prices tank (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ezekial 23 20

          The only people who get fired when stock prices tank are upper management and stockbrokers who got caught off-guard.  The "little people" get fired because sales are down or expenses are up.  There used to be a time when those two were inter-related, but that's no longer the case.

          And 16 of the 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average companies are manufacturers.  Though many of them do their manufacturing overseas or don't really have traditional assembly lines.

        •  People work for drug cartels. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          drawingporno

          It's not just the kingpins that benefit, but farmers, lab operators, the people in sales and marketing.



          Practicing Law without a License is my 3d favorite Crime.

          by ben masel on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:23:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's the government's job to create the condition (4+ / 0-)

        for a healthy economy, which in turn should keep the Dow afloat.

        So you're technically right but miss the larger point.

        We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

        by burrow owl on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:43:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Economy Can Flourish (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chi, ShempLugosi, Ezekial 23 20

          Without corresponding gains in the stock market.

          I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

          by bink on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:45:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have to say that that is (4+ / 0-)

            a highly unlikely outcome.  The market tends to mirror and overreact to trends in the general economy.  For the economy to flourish without corresponding gains in the stock market would require one to believe that there is no relation between the economy and the actions of investors.  Capital will always flow to where there is a profit to be made, and tends to flow more so during flush times.  This leads to gains in the overall market.

            •  Yes ... But (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chi

              The stock market is a measure of gains to owners/investors ...  Gains made on behalf of labor, something that would actually increase consumer spending, by the way, actually punish market values.

              I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

              by bink on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:01:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  No necessary correlation. The vast majority of (0+ / 0-)

              Americans are employed by 'small business owners', in companies not listed on the stock market.  At least that's the blather the Republicans keep spinning at us every time we talk about tax increases on profits over 250k.

              The stock market, on the other hand, tracks the largest companies, by and large, who are competitors to the small businessmen employing most of America.  If anything, they're the ones driving small businessmen out of the markets, so when they're doing better, chances are just as good that small businesses are doing worse.

              Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

              by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:21:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But (0+ / 0-)

                It's big business that creates a lot of the opportunties for small business. Either directly of indirectly. For example, if GM and Chrylser went under and stayed there, a lot of small businesses would be really hurt by that, namely dealerships. But if a dealership goes under, GM will survive.

                •  A lot of small companies are hurt temporarily (0+ / 0-)

                  when a 'too big to fail' goes under.

                  But if it's in a market with demand, smaller companies will arise to take it's place.  Aptera.  Zenn Motors.  Tesla Motors. etc etc.

                  If the big car companies go out, there will still be a lot of demand for cars, and smaller companies will be more than happy to take up the slack.  With megacorporations, we've moved ever closer to monopoly conditions with smaller competitors pushed entirely out of the mix.

                  Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

                  by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:40:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  small business and big business (0+ / 0-)

                arent' necessarily competitors. Some are (Walmart, Home Depot, Blockbuster etc have no doubt killed mom and pop shops) but many aren't. Some create opportunities for small business. For example, computers sold by big box retailers and made by huge companies provide opporuntiies for small shops to repair and maintain them. Automakers provide oppotunties for mechanics, car washers, etc.

                •  Agreed. They don't have to be competitors (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pozzo

                  But smaller companies are in the wings whenever possible, looking to jump in.  As I commented on cars, people will still need cars, even if GM goes under.  That gives small companies like Aptera or Tesla Motors a chance to take a larger market share, and continue to help those other same small indirectly related companies.

                  I tend to think we watered down our anti-trust laws a bit too much over the years, and we need to go back to having something along the lines of what the FCC used to have - a single corporation could only control so many stores in a given area, leaving space for competitors.

                  Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

                  by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:57:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  When has this ever happened? (0+ / 0-)

            The reverse can be true, but when has the economy flourished and the stock market(s) not done the same?

      •  Actually it is (0+ / 0-)

        Considering that Congress is capable of affecting the Dow and that if the Dow goes to hell, the people in Congress will be kicked out by the voters, it is exactly their job to keep it afloat.

        Don't know if it was intended to be their job, but it is now with the system set up the way it is.

        What I am trying to say is I am right and you are wrong.

        by nightsweat on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:35:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think you have a lot of nerve (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      potatohead, mattwb, sharistuff

      calling sharistuff's "attitude" selfish!  Truer words were never spoken than when she said:  

      "Come on, we all know the stock
      market has nothing to do with our daily lives."  

      So I agree with her - Fuck the stock market!  

      The whole idea that you can take money and "invest" it and come out richer is bogus and SELFISH to begin with for with each "profit", someone must bear a loss.  

      I call your attitude "Ferengi".  

       

    •  Its not selfish (0+ / 0-)

      Its a rightwing fantasy they are trying to sell- most Americans DO NOT have money in Wall St in any significant amounts to matter.  The stats claiming a majority of Americans do include people with miniscule amounts in retirement programs.

      And most Americans who DO have money in stocks are upper middle class and higher - I am tired of people who claim to be "liberal" but get all nervous when people talk about the stock market being a flawed way to invest in retirement.

      I have an idea... have your fund manager take your money down to the casino and play blackjack with it.

    •  As long as.... (0+ / 0-)

      ....you're okie-dokey with the possibility that your pension fund might be invested in a bogus Bernie Madoff type pyramid scheme and could completely disappear into some scumbag's off-shore account....

  •  Nice Rant...why not try to learn something (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl

    about investing and start some kind of savings plan on a pre tax basis for yourself? It is one of the few advantages the tax code gives us...

    •  I have tried different types (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, ShempLugosi, PJ Jefferson, ozarkspark

      I own my own business, I have a couple of rental houses,
      and other property, there are lots of ways to invest besides the
      stock market.

      •  Rental houses (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burrow owl, notrouble

        so how did that do?

        You traded in one form of "selfish" investment for another, and got hammered.  So why are you so upset when others who haven't chosen your particular poison making gains?

        •  I didn't get hammered, you seem angry (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ShempLugosi, PJ Jefferson, ozarkspark

          I am doing just fine.  Why are you so hell bent to defend the
          stock market.  People lost their asses on beanie babies.

          Poison Gains, Huh!!

          I don't want to see people duped, my brother lost all his money,
          in mutual funds.

          I think I don't get where you are coming from.

          •  Getting duped? (0+ / 0-)

            Shit dude, the markets have gone up ten-fold in the last 40 years.  Even adjusted for inflation, that's a tripling.

            People who pull out are the ones who suffer, those who stay the course are the ones who benefit.

        •  I don't see how rental houses (4+ / 0-)

          are a "selfish" investment, unless you are a slumlord or are charging exorbitant rents.  

          •  it's absolutely selfish (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dcoronata

            my last landlord didn't even live in my state, let alone my city, yet she owned two houses here.  that's fucked up.  without people like her and all the flipper assholes, the people who, you know...actually live here might be able to buy a home.

            but people like her and the flipper assholes artificially drive prices in the market up by snagging up all the houses.  the flipper assholes make it all but impossible for a couple starting out to buy that sweat equity first home.  i mean, they spend so much !@#$%& time and money doing all this stuff that they like to the house.  then somebody buys it and redoes what they want?  it's just so much waste!

            Quit posting non-sequitur "replies" just so your comment will be high up in the thread. It's effin' douchey. ♥

            by Cedwyn on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:05:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You pay their mortgage and taxes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cedwyn

              and then when the note is paid, they get to sell the property without essentially paying for it.

              The renter "buys" the house for the owner.  

              •  imo, there should be limits (0+ / 0-)

                one can only own one house in a state where they don't reside and two in one where they do, but one of those has to be their residence.

                this shit is nonsense.

                Quit posting non-sequitur "replies" just so your comment will be high up in the thread. It's effin' douchey. ♥

                by Cedwyn on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:17:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  NO MORE NEEDLESS REGULATION!!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

                  If a lanlord doesn't take care of the property then the local towns should step in, But there should be no regulation on what a person can own, how or where.

                •  Huh?? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pozzo, longislandny, sharistuff

                  What else would you like to put limits on? Only 2 cars per household?

                  You are all fired up about people who own more than one home. How about getting fired up over homeowners like my neighbor Steve?

                  Steve bought a nice 4,200 sf home and started out with a $165,000 mortgage. Steve and his wife refinanced later that same year for $226,400. They used some of the $61,400 they pulled out to make cosmetic changes to the house – then went on cruises, "date nights" and concerts. In January 2005, they pulled out another $40,000. More cruises. More dinners out. As property values soared, they upped the ante in January 2007, refinancing and pulling out another $110,400. Steve started to brag about his weekly massages.

                  Each time they pulled out money, Steve would run over to tell us about his new truck, or the next cruise they were going to go on, or how much money he spent partying with his buddies.

                  Steve stopped paying his mortgage about a year ago. Told us we were stupid for not gaming the system like he was. The entire family (including 13 children) went on a long cruise over Easter break this year. After all, when you don't have to spend $3-4K a month on a mortgage, you can do some cool things.

                  Steve just told us last week that he now officially is one of the fortunate "foreclosure homeowners" getting helped... despite shit credit, they are now getting a 3% interest rate for the next 5 years, and after that their mortgage is locked in at 5%. Awfully sweet terms for someone who frittered away all his equity.

                  But you think people like ME, who have well over 50% equity in each home I own, people like me who help provide affordable (not slumlord) housing, should be curtailed from purchasing more real estate?

                  Bah!

                  Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca

                  by Maggie Swan on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:03:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Couldn't have said it better (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Maggie Swan, Pozzo, sharistuff

                    My house went up over 300% in the 13 years since I bought it. I refinanced once to get a better rate and convert to a 15 year payout. I keep getting offers to take money out and I'm so close now I won't even entertain it. Could I have a better car, sure could I go on vacatioins, sure. I live within my means, period.

                  •  yes; i do (0+ / 0-)

                    investors buying up all the properties drive up the prices for everyone.  the houses in a given city should be left for the people in said city.

                     

                    Quit posting non-sequitur "replies" just so your comment will be high up in the thread. It's effin' douchey. ♥

                    by Cedwyn on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 01:52:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  So have a house built for you. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cedwyn

              It's generally cheaper than paying the market prices on existings, and you're directly helping employ dozens of folks and indirectly even more.

              Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

              by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:28:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Your argument is that (0+ / 0-)

              people are buying more things than they personally need, then offering other people the chance to use them for a price, but not sell them.

              That's the exact same business model used for all sorts of expensive products.

              You rent heavy equipment from Lowe's the exact same way, or appliances from 'rent-a-center', or whatever.

              If you want to buy a home, buy a home.  If you don't want to buy a home, rent.

              Landlords are not inherently 'blood-sucking leeches', though i'm sure some are.  But you're railing against the entire business model.

              Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

              by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:32:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  houses are kinda different (0+ / 0-)

                than heavy equipment rental...last i checked that wasn't on maslow's hierarchy.

                Quit posting non-sequitur "replies" just so your comment will be high up in the thread. It's effin' douchey. ♥

                by Cedwyn on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:51:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Neither are houses. Shelter is. (0+ / 0-)

                  And rentals and owned homes both count as shelter.

                  Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

                  by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:58:17 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  why shouldn't the most people possible (0+ / 0-)

                    be able to buy houses?  isn't that the best, economically, that people have a vested interest in the community?  what does an absentee landlord care, as long as the checks show up?

                    and why should a handful be able to snag them all up?  people trying to buy today could never do so as cheaply as they can rent a home that someone else has owned for 10 years.  that's fucked up.  all the real estate speculation/flipping crap drives prices out of reach of those in the community.

                    Quit posting non-sequitur "replies" just so your comment will be high up in the thread. It's effin' douchey. ♥

                    by Cedwyn on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:46:46 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Absolutely. (0+ / 0-)

                      The most people possible should be able to buy houses.

                      But me buying 20 houses doesn't stop you from buying 1.

                      It may prevent you from buying 1 in a specific location, but there are millions of houses for sale all over the country, and millions of acres to build more houses on.

                      What you want is something that would never fly in America unless we actually do become a socialist country.  You're basically saying 'we need to limit what people can spend their money on'.  And not just by saying 'crack cocaine is illegal, you aren't allowed to buy it'.

                      While it might be morally correct to want people to only buy what they personally can use, it's unlikely to happen in America.  Nobody would be fat, for instance, if you were only allowed to buy the food you personally need to eat to stay healthy, and no more.  We wouldn't have fancy sports cars, because all you need is a vehicle to move you from point A to point B.

                      I understand where you're coming from, I truly do.  But it's pretty damn unrealistic to expect it in America in our lifetimes.

                      Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

                      by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:25:58 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  how so (0+ / 0-)

                        if you buying 20 houses limits the available supply, that does indeed preclude others from buying, especially given that it artificially inflates the market.

                        Quit posting non-sequitur "replies" just so your comment will be high up in the thread. It's effin' douchey. ♥

                        by Cedwyn on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 01:48:47 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Is this some weird hypothetical? (0+ / 0-)

                          Are you postulating that there are only 20 available houses in some closed system, and no houses anywhere else are available and no land is available to build on?

                          There are currently a metric ton more houses on the market than anyone willing to buy them.  Even in times when 1/8 of all mortgages aren't going into foreclosure there are always houses up for sale.

                          So are you suggesting that you personally have to buy one of the 20 hypothetical houses I was going to buy in my example, and you won't consider any of the hundreds of other houses always up for sale in any given town or city?

                          My 20 house example was a pretty extreme one, but even buying 20 houses across even a medium sized town (50-60k people) isn't really going to move market prices much at all.

                          Market prices typically move within individual neighborhoods.  People put a house up for sale, and if somebody likes the price, they make an offer.  If nobody does, the price goes down.  At some point, the house gets bought, and that only really gets factored in when people say, 'well, the last one like yours in this neighborhood sold for X'.  So then you tend to put your starting offer at X, or maybe a bit higher or lower, depending on the economy, or if you need some repairs.

                          My buying those 20 houses might even move prices down if I make offers on houses that have sat on the market for a bit, and the seller is willing to take less for a sale.  The fact that another house or two is not available in that neighborhood won't really affect what the next house to go for sale there will be priced at, just what recent sale prices have been.

                          You have to actually get to a point where a LOT of people want the same houses at the same time, and are willing to get in a bidding war for them to have competition drive prices up.  And your people buying houses to rent out generally aren't going to want to get in a bidding war - they'll just buy a different house that nobody else is bidding on.

                          Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

                          by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:59:01 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  no; i'm not postulating (0+ / 0-)

                            some places, like portland and seattle, are rather constrained when it comes to bulding, due to geographics.  

                            people snagging up real estate as investment drives prices up across the board for people trying to live there.  anything in a decent part of portland proper is going to run you in the neighborhood of 400k.  like couples starting out can do that?  

                            i doubt we'll ever see eye to eye on this and that's ok.  

                            Quit posting non-sequitur "replies" just so your comment will be high up in the thread. It's effin' douchey. ♥

                            by Cedwyn on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 09:03:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  When there aren't enough rental properties (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shenderson, Ezekial 23 20

          rent goes sky-high. The more the better, for people who want and/or need it.

          And all rental property owners are not bad people.  I've had landlords I liked very much, good people.

          •  Problem (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cedwyn

            When people buy investment houses, they artificially inflate the price of homes.  You've got people who want to live in a house competing with people who want to invest, which causes home prices to rise.

            That is exactly what precipitated this market correction; too much money chased homes and now they are overpriced.  They have corrected and will continue for a little time more (might have bottomed) and those who invested lost spectacular amounts of equity.

            Bear in mind that they have to earn money for that house you've rented.  That inflates the cost of housing, rather than decreasing it.  When you own your own house, you don't need to profit, you just need to live in it!

            •  I let a woman live in my rental (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ozarkspark, Ezekial 23 20

              house for a year for free. geez,  like having a little rental
              house makes me slumlord. Now, that is funny.

              I really got a good deal on a cute little house, hoping some
              day one of my kids could live there.  The house has doubled
              in value, though I have had it over 16 years, and got it
              for a very good price.

              But I think some rich guy once said, " buy land, they aren't
              making anymore of it."

              •  Whoever said that? (0+ / 0-)

                I love it when people disagree with a post, and then lie about the original poster.  Show me where I ever called a rental owner a "slumlord", or apologize.

                •  no it wasn't me, but folks love to complain (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ozarkspark, shenderson

                  about their boss, or their landlord. I try to be good for
                  both those titles.

                  Sometimes folks just need a little help, a little
                  empathy, I wish there was more of it around.

                  But I keep plugging along, and have concluded that
                  GREED is the root of all evil.

                  And POVERTY is the root to all suffering.
                  But I could be wrong, these are just my small
                  observations.

                •  Dunno bout your exact words (0+ / 0-)

                  But you sure seem to have a bee in your bonnet about rental properties.

                  Do you also hate Lowe's for renting heavy equipment out, rather than just selling it?

                  Or 'Rent-A-Center' for renting out appliances?

                  Sometimes you just want to rent without owning, like when you're going to college, and don't want to live in the same town your college is located, or when your job temporarily places you somewhere for a few months.

                  Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

                  by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:35:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  You don't have to profit just break even. If you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ezekial 23 20

              rent your house lagaly you have to pay tax on the rent as if it were income which it is.

            •  NO! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ozarkspark, sharistuff

              It wasn't JUST investors artificially inflating the price of homes. It was HOMEOWNERS who got hugely excited at all the equity in their homes that they could spend. It was the first-time homebuyers so caught up in the bubble that they didn't care WHAT it cost - they HAD to jump on the housing bandwagon. It was the banks making gigantic profits from all the refinancing and allowing people to buy homes they couldn't afford.

              SOME of us own more than one home and use them as rentals. I saved a good down payment for each of my homes, did not leverage ANY of them (even when it was SOOOOO tempting) and have provided nice homes for people who otherwise would not have had such a nice place to live. I have not raised my rent prices in 5 years in order to help make it affordable for my tenants.  

              I lost "paper" money post-housing boom, but as far as my investments in the stock market, 40% of that "real" money is GONE. With real estate, I still have a roof over my head, tax writeoffs and residual income coming in every month.

              Ultimately, diversification is the key. Putting all investment eggs in one basket is a big no-no.

              Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca

              by Maggie Swan on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:35:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  here here (0+ / 0-)

            I've rented apartments (many) throughout my entire life and have had a lot of very good landlords. That whole "property ownership" concept is a scam. It's just another means to ensure that you're in a state of perpetual debt. Just a sacred cow for your kids to fight over when you croak.

        •  So someone who has invested in real estate (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ereshkigal, sele, shenderson

          is whining about those who prefer the stock market? Both have their ups and downs. I've done both.

          If your complaints where coming from someone who was too poor to have any capitol it would have some credibility, but you have the same reduced tax rate as the market investors (capitol gains taxes.) The stock market is no more "gambling" than the real estate market.

          Capital is only the fruit of labor, [...] Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
          President Lincoln, December 3, 1861

          by notrouble on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:06:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I have invested (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burrow owl, Pozzo, shenderson

        in real estate...and my investment has dwindled by at least 30-40% the last year.

        Is is more honorable to lose money in real estate than the stock market?

        Consumer confidence is a critical factor in recovery. When the Dow is going up vs going down, that is a proven big factor in consumer confidence.

        You sound like an old man ranting at these new-fangled computers and horseless buggies.

        This is not 1966 and the Dow is not at 945...deal with it.

      •  so you are the biggest holder in the (0+ / 0-)

        Sharistuff Small Cap fund...

    •  This Depends on Your Income (0+ / 0-)

      For most folks, saving a substantial amount of money, whether in a 401(k) or not, is simply not possible.

      If you can afford to contribute, you definitely should.

      Remember that not everyone even has a 401(k) plan offered by employers.

      I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

      by bink on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:28:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  there are always IRAs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Massconfusion

        and a roth is ideal for a young person. No taxes on the interest,
        the income is not tax deferred. There are ways to save all
        on your own. Just got to have the will.

        When I was in high school, i had a job at a shoe store, paid
        a big $1.61 per hour. I worked there 2 years after school and the
        summers before I went to college.

        I took half and spent it, and saved the other half. I had about
        1500 dollars saved for college. This was back in the 70s, so it
        went a pretty good way.

        I called it my emergency fund.

    •  Because it's a scam to allow the big players (0+ / 0-)

      a ready source of suckers from whom to leech money?

      It's a rare trade indeed in which an investor gets exactly the value of the money they're putting in.  Generally, somebody is losing, somebody is gaining.  And the whole playing field is tilted in favor of the biggest players and against the smallest ones.

      As someone else pointed out, you might as well just hit a casino and call it gambling openly.

      Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:26:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

        Imangine if no one invested in silicon valley. When electronics went booming the people who where on the bottom floor made alot of money.
        Trickle down to the suppliers, the eateries where everyone went to lunch. The construction jobs to build the plants. All the people to work in the plants.

        •  Those are called IPO's. (0+ / 0-)

          Or secondary issues.  When the money you're paying goes DIRECTLY to the company, it's used by the company to grow.  When it goes to any old player in the market, it does nothing for the company.

          Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

          by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:36:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  401k "minority" here.. (6+ / 0-)

    Perhaps you've heard of seniors on a "fixed income"? Well for me, "fixed stash" is more descriptive. I have to live on the contents of my 401k, plus whatever modest amounts Social Security might deign to part with, from here on out. And diversified as it is, properly apportioned for my age group as it is, it hasn't appreciated at all over the last 5 years or so.

    So perhaps you will forgive my rejoinder to this:

    Fuck the stock market. It does not reflect the masses, the commoner, the serf.  I just
    wish I didn't have to hear about it everyday.  What has it got to do with me?

    Fuck you, what have you got to do with me?

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:28:35 AM PDT

    •  Yep (5+ / 0-)

      I'm scrimping and saving to fund a 401(k) so that I won't be a burden on my sons when (if) my wife and I retire.  I think I can understand the emotions generating a rant such as the diarist's, but it is a bit depressing to read all the comments complimenting it.

      I wonder if I wrote a diary singing the praises of investing my money in the stock market via a 401(k), and saying:

      "Fuck those that don't invest in the stock market. They don't reflect middle class to upper middle class solid Democratic voters like me."

      I wonder how that would go over?

      Democrats come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and economic conditions. Pretty much all of us think our tax policy is skewed toward favoring the rich.  Pretty much all of us want that changed.

      But can't we be a little more tolerant of diversity; including economic diversity?

      •  Diversity indeed. (0+ / 0-)

        I haven't looked at the statistics on 401k, or stock market participation in general, lately. Used to be that a lot of retirement funds depended on it. Well, no matter. There are those for whom there were no other choices but a "defined contribution" plan back a few years ago, and we're locked in now.

        I can identify with "scrimping and saving". I lived on about half of what I made, paid taxes with and saved the rest. And the savings were in third place, behind taxes and living expenses.

        Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

        by billmosby on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:09:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well Deserved Rant (6+ / 0-)

    The author is correct in that the Stock Market has very little direct impact on a large number of Americans.

    While it does do some positive things and provide liquidity to the markets, the good is likely outweighed by the bad i.e.

    1. The constant drive for short term profits at the expense of long term health
    1. Ridiculous payouts to executives
    1. The off-shoring of manufacturing and the race to the bottom on wages, to insure the short term profits
    1. The entire financial meltdown
    1. The evisceration of the middle class.

    Bottom line, I would trade all the good to eliminate the bad.

  •  An impassioned rant (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ereshkigal, Dcoronata, shenderson
    But the market does affect you more than you think, even if you don't have savings invested there.

    To the extent that your banks have their money invested there, your ability to borrow is affected.  And when businesses can't borrow, the economy slows for everyone.

    Same with insurance.  Insurance companies are required to keep in reserve a certain percentage of the amount of their policies.  When the market tanks, they have to get the $$ from somewhere and your rates go way up.  This is why, every time there's a stock market dip, 2 years later, you see a medical malpractice or lawsuit "crisis" necessitating an increase in premiums.

    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

    by gsbadj on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:30:08 AM PDT

  •  I have derivatives on my mattress (0+ / 0-)

    available exclusively through Goldman Sachs.

  •  I HAD a 401k (5+ / 0-)

    but it was entirely company stock.

    After the CEO sold the customers and fled to the south of France, it quietly went away and they stopped sending me glossy prospectuses (prospecti?)

    10,000 shares of nuttin is still nuttin.

    The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

    by NCrefugee on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:31:23 AM PDT

  •  The bottom line is that *most* American (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, Pozzo

    families directly or indirectly own stocks (sure, "most" is not an overwhelming majority, but it is somewhat over 50% . . .).

    Thus, when Wall Street does well, America does well . . . (once again, there are huge holes in this meme, but that's essentially today's political reality).

  •  I think your poll is off (5+ / 0-)

    It implies people either have 'everything' or 'nothing' in the stock market and if they have 'nothing' than they should not be concerned.

    I do not have everything but I do have some...my 401 K, it is not a lot but due to my health issues, etc... it will help when I have to retire. So is my whole life in it? No. But some.

    As to the second point, of course even if I had none in it, I realize enough of the US situation is involved so that of course what happens to it matters to all of us, no matter if we individually own stock or not.

  •  I would add the "American" auto companies to the (0+ / 0-)

    list.  

    With the path they have chosen for survival, who really cares if they fail, anyway?  

    The ONLY way they believe they can survive is to fire ALL Americans and do EVERYTHING overseas, with quasi-slave labor.  

    Once there are no more Americans employed by "American" auto companies (the same ones that sided with the Nazis and not the U.S. in WWII), then what is in it for the American public?  Especially, as the diarist points out, Americans who are not invested in the stock market, and who have no Ford or GM stock in their 401ks?

    Can I please have your attention. I've just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you to stop what you're doing and listen. CANNONBALL!

    by PJ Jefferson on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:59:19 AM PDT

  •  Before you go knocking the stock market (9+ / 0-)

    you need to understand that some of the "big players" in the stock market (institutional investors) are union pension funds.  Whether it is CALPERS or the UAW Pension Fund, the markets directly effect the future livelihood of millions of Americans who do NOT own stock directly, but thereby have a stake in the market.

    •  Add TIAA-CREF (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      billmosby, shenderson

      to the list of institutional investors.

      What do the letters TIAA-CREF stand for? Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund.

    •  I guess this all stems from the Maher show Friday (0+ / 0-)

          It was interesting we had a nut who said if the stock market's doing well the people feel good and the Presidents approval goes up.I dont know who made the remark about the SM affecting everyone because they all have a 401K(probably the nut),but there was some truth to that,since most people I know have had money in 401Ks going back to the late 80's ,including us.If theres matching funds we've always done what we could to take advantage of that,but never too heavy in high risk.I doubt the guy really believed everybody had 401ks but I'd guess a pretty large chunk of Americans do.I dont understand the nasty,fuck anybody who says............thing at all.I dont have to tell everyone I disagree with to go fuck themselves,just that I dont agree.The interesting thing about the show Fri though were the Harvard professor and Michael Ware.The first guy seemed to understand the Fed,and had high praise for the chairman ,claiming he kept us out of another great depression,siting the chairs lifetime study of the GD as a major  source of his knowledge.It would have been nice if Ware had been able to talk more,he seems more in tune with the reality in Afghanastan,Pakistan,Iraq and Israel and how it all meshes.If he's right,and I'd bet on it,every talking head on cable I've seen are absolutly clueless ,yet they critisize Obama,who you can bet, knows everything Ware knows.Rachel Maddow proved her contempt for Obama from the start by admitting she thought he would never be great, and after 6 months she's satisfied she was right.I still remember,right after they projected O as the winner,the contrast between E Robinson trying to maintain control of his emotions and Maddow's demeaner, sitting on the panel.

  •  Good diary, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shenderson, sharistuff

    it's wrong to tax savings yet cut taxes on dividends. Most people don't make much from the stock market, it is geared for the rich insiders. Reagan was a disaster for the poor and middle class and his legacy continues today. He also started to tax unemployment benefits while cutting taxes for the rich.

  •  Accountant's Joke, Circa 1990: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MicahT0078, emilysdad, Proleft

    What starts with an F and ends with a K?

    401K

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:21:53 AM PDT

  •  Hi! I'm Mr. Middle Class. I don't have a pension. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billmosby, shenderson

    And for that matter, I graduated college at a point where I never did. All I've ever known was a 401k.

    Allow me to invest more money into my Social Security benefits and/or force my employer to hand me one of those pension things all the old-timers talk about. Then I'll personally lead the angry mob down Wall Street.

    Until then, my only chance at a retirement that doesn't involve working until I keel over, is in that 401k that you so cavalierly don't give a shit about.

    Regards,
    Mr. Middle Class

    -----
    Still pissed about FISA, but disgusted by the RNC 9/11 video.

    by Corporate Dog on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:37:41 AM PDT

    •  It's easy to have the same (0+ / 0-)

      effect as investing more into social security, since all SS does is invest in treasuries (really neat how that works, basically funding half the US deficit...guess who has to redeem those treasuries). Just take a certain x% more of your paycheck and put it in a CD or buy some govt. bonds. And in this case, you won't have the risk that the government will cut back on your benefits years down the road. You do have the other aspect of inflation risk...dollar at new lows since September as we speak.

  •  You take too narrow a view (0+ / 0-)

    it's certainly true that not everyone is invested in the stock market, certaily not directly. But this percentage has grown dramatically since the 90's. Things like E Trade adn Sharebuilder make this possible. Others may not be invested per se, but do benefit from funds or individuals who are.

  •  It's almost funny... (0+ / 0-)

    .... that so many folks imagine that there will come a time when they can enjoy "retirement". Get your heads out of the clouds. The "new economy" will have us all working until we drop dead or become ATMs for the Medical Industrial Complex. Nobody's going fishing with little Trevor....

    •  Wow how depressing I started late (0+ / 0-)

      in life thinking about retirement but have put my heart and soul into it in the last 10 years. I don't trade but I watch the market as when that first 880 point loss last September I went to the 401 website and transfered all the funds to the 1% option. I didn't take a big hit but I didn't wait. I now have everything in a Met life annuity gaurenteed 5%. You have to take some responsibility for your money and a good financial advisor is the first step.

  •  My new mantra - Fuck the stock market (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sharistuff

    I agree that the keeping tabs on the stock market's rise and fall is just unhealthy.  People who "play" the stock market to make money are just gamblers and I remember the day trader craze.

    In what reality do we live in that some stocks are valued at hundreds of dollars (i.e. Google) and they really aren't producing anything that is a real product.  Then you have GM whose stock is basically worthless and how can this be healthy for our economy?

    The game is stacked for people not to have savings since the interest rates are so low you're basically earning a penny on every dollar saved and that's just pathetic.

  •  Well I Don't Have any Money In Your Business (0+ / 0-)

    So I say fuck your business.

    Of course, I don't really... that would be short-sighted and selfish.

    Hm....

    Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

    by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:07:09 AM PDT

    •  Trust me, Fuck my business is a compliment (0+ / 0-)

      Before this post, you didn't even know i exist. At least I don't
      pay myself millions from taxpayer dollars, and fly around
      in my private jet, having my junk in my hand, grinning like
      a fucking mad man.

  •  Ignore at your own peril (0+ / 0-)

    Whether or not you like "the rules", you have to play by them.  You can choose to ignore them, but either way you reap the benefits (or consequences).

    Or you could just ask the "government" to help you.  Just like you asked mommy to help you with your homework in 3rd grade because you didn't feel like studying.

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