Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I was thinking about the comments that I got from my last post about the young man in the grocery store.  I guess I did give the impression that I looked down my nose at grocery clerks.  I do not, although it is not a job I would want to have.  I respect anyone who can stand on their feet all day and deliver a presence in their work and still have the energy to be pleasant and make small talk.  I also realize that it was my shortsightedness that indicated he would have no future in this career path.

My own view on savings, though, comes from my history.   I had to save money all of my life, even when I was a kid.  Money was set aside for holiday gifts long before stuff for myself.  As I got older, a certain percentage was set aside for college expenses.  Maybe I felt free of money pressures when I was under ten, but never after that.  I grew up in a family where saving money was as important as praying is in other families.  Save for life improvement, save for a rainy day and if there was some left over save for something fun.

I never went on vacations (except for camping or visiting relatives) until much, much, later in my life.   As a young woman clothes were purchased when necessary and repaired as needed.  Fashion was considered a way to lose money easily.   We grew much of our own food.  I sewed most of my clothes and those of my children...all as a means of saving money.  I am now in a very different economic group ( I think, due in part, to being frugal in my youth), and feeling thankful if sometimes a little embarrassed for that.

I have a republican nephew who feels strongly that poor people are poor because they are lazy and stupid and that liberals are short-sighted in wanting to raise the minimum wage to reward these low-class people who have demonstrated a lack of effort in furthering themselves.  He thinks that hamburger flippers are stupid for taking such a low paying job in the first place.  He feels you make your own breaks.  To a small extent he is right.  But to a large extent chaos reigns in peoples lives and many people get broken through no fault of their own.

But for a liberal such as I, when in front of such a cavalier young earner as my grocery clerk in this day and age, I almost think a little more like a republican.


  1. There was no extra money in my house when I grew up but one of the ways that I would earn some change was to get the deposit on returnable bottles. - 2 cents for a small and 5 cents for the larger one. I made the most money on Monday mornings in the summer when people would throw out their empty seltzer or tonic bottles from the weekend. All this change would go to my Christmas fund to buy presents for my family. It did not buy much, but my mom always told me that she loved the pink or yellow toilet water that I would buy her at Woolworths. I learned early that saving was important and that it is better to give than receive.

  2. I did not read that you were looking down your nose, just concerned that he wasn't able to think into the future.

    When my step-son earns 10 dollars, he wants to borrow 5 dollars to buy something he wants that costs 15.

  3. I admire people who work hard, but many do so but circumstances like sick children or I'll parents eat up the money they earn and don't allow them to get ahead. I've been blessed that I can benefit from my hard work.

  4. Just a quick comment...I am registered as a republican because my views are related to how much we depend on the government. As I work with people who are in lower income status, I find that they have become more and more dependent on the government "hand outs", and it is to the point where they are punished for getting a job. It's a tough call, and I certainly don't have all the answers.

  5. What i would love to see is a system where people are truly helped, not just by being given the immediate help needed, but also helped to learn how to manage their money, how and why to save, how to move from a lower paying job to a better one, etc. In other words, i don't like the idea of help becoming a hammock instead of a ladder to get to where you don't need the help any more, and can help others.

  6. Sometimes I hear people talking about those who dependent on government "handouts" as if being poor and on welfare was a cushy life where the only responsibility is to collect the free money and spend it on junk food and lottery tickets. But I don't see anyone offering to switch places with those freeloaders supposedly living so high off the hog. I think our economic system is sadly askew.

  7. I hope your nephew grows up.

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    =^..^= . <3

  8. Hmm. I still am not convinced that this young man is on the wrong track. Twenty is pretty young. We do know some younger people who partied away their 20s and got into trouble later, but that does not sound like what he is doing.
    Can't be sure about what is going on with him without knowing him, I guess.

  9. I didn't think you were looking down your nose at his job or him for that matter. I just think 20 is a little young to be considered a wastrel because he isn't already saving for his old age.

    I also think it is very arrogant to say that people who work for minimum wage are lazy takers since many of these people work more than one job. I think it is arrogant for someone not in their position to say that they should just get a better job or they should just get more education to get a better job. never mind that they can barely feed their families and need help to do so. how the hell are they going to pay for higher education? how does someone who had to quit school to get a job to help his/her family feed their siblings and pay the bills 'better' themselves. they work at shit jobs for shit pay. add the attitude that business owners have that "I built this" attitude and do not acknowledge that they got where they are by the work of their employees. it's greed. a handful of people get rich off the labor of hundreds who never get rewarded. look at Walmart for example. the richest family in America (who did not build or earn anything btw, they inherited it) pays poverty wages, holds workshops to show their employees how to apply for federal aid, and has now cut health benefits from their part time workers. OK, sorry, but this just chaps my ass. how are their employees supposed to better themselves or get a better job? but Linda Kay is right about one thing. unemployment benefits. you do get penalized for getting a job when the only job you can get pays less than unemployment.

  10. I grew up in a home with no money to speak of. I wore second hand clothing (got pretty smart in how I chose them) but it didn't teach me to save especially-- though my husband and I eventually did. It taught me that money wasn't that important for a happy life. Some of that is helped that I never desired eating at fancy restaurants or going on expensive vacations. My idea of the ideal vacation is sitting on the bank of a mountain river while my husband fishes, I soak in the scene. None of that costs much. At this point in our lives, we could afford frequent vacations/expensive restaurants/whatever we wanted actually, but we live where we like and have the lifestyle we wanted (raising livestock) and still don't want what costs a lot.

    If someone hopes to take a lot of vacations as an old person or have the lifestyle they had when earning a lot of money, they will need to have saved. Some, like my parents, will never acquire a lot because of health and limited income while younger.

    I didn't really get the impression someone 20 though tells us much about what he will do someday. We didn't start to save a lot until our kids were out of college (which we helped them pay for as well as their weddings). We though also didn't acquire debt and paid off our farm mortgage as soon as possible. Debt is more what I think traps a lot of young people.

    For someone like you, who did save as part of your persona, what you can do now is the reward and it shows a life plan that works for you. Others won't want the same things when they are old-- most generations before ours never even had the option.

    Interestingly our kids and us are all Democrats, who take no handouts (and that includes in raising the livestock). We believe in government programs but want them to be responsible. We also live pretty conservative lives in terms of not overspending or wanting what we can't afford. I think we are more Democrat in our social views than our economic ones.

  11. I wonder about the 20 year old college student who parties most weekends and lives easily and without responsibility on his parents' dollar for 4 college years vs a 20 year old who goes to a low paying job every day and has a positive outlook on his life. Really? Who should we admire?

  12. We lived in very different times.
    I know no young people who save for ‘that rainy day’. They might save for a holiday but never for their old age.

    And who can blame them? We found our pensions shrinking because of changes in the economic structure, we found that suddenly ‘spend’ spend spend’ was the thing to do because it would bring growth.

    I am most definitely on the liberal side in politics and have worked for my living. But in my day jobs really were safe, I never had to see my livelihood disappear overnight or fear to be thrown on the scrap heap.

    Baby boomers really have had it easier than the young of today. (Even though I can’t understand how they can be quite as careless as they seem to be)

  13. Tabor, I was raised so poor with teenage parents at the end of the depression. Started working when I was 14 and bought all of my clothes, graduated at 17 and no
    money for college but because of grades I immediately began working in a corporate office.
    Not much when I married but wise about finanacial decisions and a business was started and flourished and then recession, a husband that was not there, divorce and started over.
    Enough I have shared
    but yes the younger generation is different and do not save...

  14. Reminds me a bit of the story "The Ant and the Grasshopper." So come winter, how much should the ant give to the grasshopper?


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