Living with less

Ruth Haag
Sep 10, 2013

I watched with interest the attempt of fast food workers to raise their pay by going on strike.  Things were so good in the 1990s, that we all have become used to having some luxuries and start to think of them as necessities.   In the 1970s when there were economic hardships, we looked to those who had survived the Great Depression for lessons on how to live with less.  Now that there are economic hardships again, perhaps we can learn some lessons from the 1970s.

 

To put things in perspective, before the mid-1970s there were no credit cards.  Also, there was no easy credit with which to purchase cars and houses.  If a person didn’t have cash, then they couldn’t buy things.  Grocery shopping was an adventure.  People carefully totaled up each potential purchase until the weekly budgeted amount was reached and then stopped.  This was before inexpensive calculators, also.  

 

Here are some tried and true ways to save money:

 

Don’t routinely pay to have fun; save up for special events and until then take a walk for fun, or play in a public park.  

For a trip to another city, go to visit a relative and stay overnight with them (take a small gift to thank them, and clean up after yourself)

Accept offered used furniture from family members

Purchase furniture from a second-hand store, an auction or a tag sale.  If it is a little beaten up  fix it yourself

Look over the sale racks in all stores

Make food from scratch.  Do you know how inexpensive lentil soup is, and how healthy it is?

Get books out of the library

Instead of watching cable TV, read to one another from your library books

Mend your clothes

Check second hand stores for clothes

Children grow fast, pass gently used clothing around to family and friends

Plant a vegetable garden

Look over your bills and see if there is something that you can purchase cheaper, or perhaps do without

Seal the gaps in your windows, don’t replace them

Make gifts for people, rather than buying them

Put your children (12+ years old) on a clothing budget.  Figure out how much you should spend a year on clothing per child and then make that their budget for the next year.  Children faced with their own monetary clothing decisions often opt not to get the expensive must-have items. It will help them understand budgeting and shopping at discount stores

Use coupons only when you were already planning on purchasing the item

Dry your clothes outside

Unplug appliances, even your TV, when not in use

Use real napkins and wash them

Use real dishes and wash them

Walk on errands that you can walk on

Give the gift of time:  offer to clean or repair something for your relatives, or to take them on errands, in place of a gift

 

What if you want more money from your job?

 

If you are in a low paying job, work hard, learn all that you can and then look around for a better paying job that uses the skills you have gained  

If you want to learn more, but can’t afford schooling, volunteer in an area that you are interested in and learn from it

Accept extra work or offer to help with new projects at work

Make sure that you are clean, well-groomed and appropriately attired for your job

Arrive a bit early (maybe 5 minutes?) and be willing to leave a bit late (maybe 10 minutes?), but don’t charge your employer for the time

Provide positive suggestions, and don’t be offended if they are not followed

Ask for more responsibility

Find a way to disagree with your boss, without putting him or her down , undermining them or embarrassing them in public

Be willing to do all of the work that is necessary; mopping floors and emptying garbage are not beneath anyone

Always be cheerful

For the commentators:  How do you save money?  What have you done to advance yourself in a job?

Comments

tk

So people should be happy with low paying jobs, just do more work, work overtime for nothing and buy used clothing and furniture. Wow! What a big heart you have. As for planting a garden, do you have any idea how expensive that is? You need a tiller and other tools. Plants and seeds are not cheap. To preserve any vegetables you need a freezer and/or canning equipment and supplies. Again not cheap. Not everyone who is poor has access to the ground required for a garden, nor do they necessarily have access to a clothes line to hang their clothes. They are suppose to work longer, dig up untilled ground and lug heavy baskets of wet clothes outside all the while cooking and caring for a household. You are just full of goodies. But don't be offended because I told you so.

KURTje

Well R. Haag check this out - Sunrise Cooperative charges a low propane usage fee. $107.00 a year. I took your advice & had those cheap &^$$@@ fired. Since you know buSINess, you know they are wrong. (They had no extra effort to provide service since others regularly in our zone got re-filled)

gene44870

Has anyone looked at the clothes in the thrift shops ? , They are a joke .People will keep the clothes that are in style and will give away things that will show that you are poor and people will cross the streets to avoid yea , I know , I used to buy from them stores , So I know . Not to mention has anyone priced the things in these kinds of stores? In some cases they are as expensive as the new ones that you get at Walmart or super K-Mart .the only differences is that at Walmart and Kmart , they sell things that make you look better and the other store make you look like bum and someone to run away from.

Don’t routinely pay to have fun; save up for special events and until then take a walk for fun, or play in a public park.
I am not to sure that taken a walk in some cities are such a great idea , with the crime rate what it is , I don not think I would
The person that wrote this must be either rich or well off
It pretty bad that people that come on here try and tell others that they should not be able to enjoy the same the things as them , and I would like to see what kind of life they have and what they do for a living other then come on here and try and tell me that cause I am either poor of middle class , I can not enjoy the same thing they do .
The register need to screen these people better and try to get some stories on here that will help them to be able to afford the same things that the others can .

Nemesis

I've found excellent clothes at thrift stores. I've successfully interviewed for a high paying professional position in a suit that cost me $20.

Newsflash, if you don't earn as much as another person, you DON'T get to enjoy the same things they do. That's economic reality.

Most of the time, Ruth's columns are worthless, but she's right this time. I haven't made minimum wage since I was 16, but following most of the advice in this column, I saved enough that I didn't need a mortgage to buy my house.

Unabasho

Encore Shop, across from the State Theatre in Sandusky, has pretty nice stuff. And on Wednesdays, the clothes are 20% off. Open 'till 5.

YoMamma

You should try both sides of the toilet paper too! Save a few dollars and trees!!!!

meowmix

LMAO!!! Good one Yo!

deertracker

ROFLMFA!

Ehovemom

I think these suggestions would be helpful for a family who is trying to cut costs. They are not helpful for those fast food workers who are asking for higher wages. Most are making 7.75 an hour. Even if they work 40 hours a week (and most fast food establishments don't allow 40 hours a week) they are only grossing $310 a week. Net would be around $204. So they are taking home $818 a month. Let's pick an average rent of $425, electric $100 and water $25. That would leave you $67 a week for gas, car payment, insurance, food, medical, babysitter, etc. A person cannot make it on $7.75 an hour.

Even if a family has two members working for $7.75 an hour - it is still a struggle to keep your head above water. By the time they pay their rent/utilities/transportation/insurance - there is no money left to go to a thrift store.

And the average age of someone who makes minimum wage is 35; 36% are over 40 and 28% are supporting a child(ren).

Nemesis

Part of becoming an adult is preparing oneself to obtain a job that pays significantly more than minimum wage.

nonconformist

No kidding? That's why people go to school. Want out of the fast-food industry? Do it. But people still deserve to live and make a decent wage, one that at least pays the bills. Didn't you see the article about how McDonalds was unrealistic as h*ll about their "budget plan" they offered on their website? Get real...

Nemesis

No one should ever expect to be able to live on minimum wage. Anyone who graduates high school and can't do better than minimum wage wasted the school's and their own time.

nonconformist

I went to college, I certainly deserve more than I make. But around here employers don't want to pay employees what their worth. I'm not saying they deserve what they're asking for, but minimum wage is for highschool'ers. It's pretty sad that the majority of the jobs created are minimum wage; all retail and fast-food. What the hell else are people expected to do? There are a ton of educated people out there who can't find work in their field and have to settle for SOMETHING. The middle class is gone. Education means nothing anymore because there isn't any work! I know plenty of people who have college degrees and can't find that "better than minimum wage" job. And what is "better than minimum wage"? Ten, eleven dollars an hour after four years of college? STFU. Splain that one to me Lucy and then you can shove it too.

Nemesis

There is no shortage of schools willing to sell you a worthless degree in a made up or politically invented major that has no meaningful value. "Education" covers a lot of territory, not all of it productive.

@Andria_XX, who has an “Honors BA in Social Justice and Peace Studies” and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Gender Studies, recently tweeted:
“I have a honors BA and I’m defending my MA thesis in two weeks. I am also apply for jobs and I can only find stuff in the service industry. I applied for a Hotel Front Desk Clerk job today. My degrees mean NOTHING. I am at the end of my rope.“

Employers are struggling to find qualified candidates, holding their own job fairs, offering bonuses for referrals, and paying fees to headhunters.

nonconformist

Couldn't agree more. Nice, intelligent comeback. "Honors BA in Social Justice and Peace Studies" with a Master's in Gender studies? sounds promising. *sarcasm* However, see my comment just below? I notice you haven't responded to it. Why not take a stab? Cause you have nothing to back up the fact that there are still many people out there who are extremely marketable in sought after fields but yet, still cannot find work. Why? Because the job market is flooded. For every available good paying job, there are hundreds of applicants. And even if they can find work, they are still paid well below what they are worth. Though many states pay well above the average in Ohio, not many people can or are willing to leave the state. Either a. because they can't afford to and the company refuses to move them or b. because they have family and don't want to leave or can't due to certain circumstances. Trust me, Ohio sucks for jobs right now. I could move to any number of states tomorrow and double my pay due to my education and experience. But a number of factors keep me here for the time being. One being affordability because I don't make what I should with my education and background.

shucks

"... with a Master's in Gender studies".

What the hell ?

Nemesis

I notice that you pointedly OMIT mentioning what your major was.

If you truly bring all to the table that you claim, and you're not earning what you would like, then you're sandbagging.

A classmate of mine who took all the same courses as me is now a millionaire many times over, while I still have to be careful what I spend, but I realize that's all because of the different choices we've made since graduating.

nonconformist

I don't have to prove anything to you. Go start a p*ssing match with someone that actually gives a rat's *ss what you, of all people, think.

Nemesis

"I don't have to prove anything"

Quite the contrary - YOU asserted that the education you chose to pursue makes you deserving of more than the market is offering you. It's incumbent upon you to support your assertion with facts.

Your failure to substantiate your claim that your educational choices actually bring value to the table speaks volumes.

big_d

I agree, if you are going to spend the money, get a degree that you can actually use, like say a BS in Business Administration majoring in Supply Chain Mgmt. I know someone with this degree who was hired before he graduated and after 2 yrs is making 60K a year, with an excellent chance of advancement.

big_d

I agree, if you are going to spend the money, get a degree that you can actually use, like say a BS in Business Administration majoring in Supply Chain Mgmt. I know someone with this degree who was hired before he graduated and after 2 yrs is making 60K a year, with an excellent chance of advancement.

tk

And just check how much Mrs. Haag and her husband billed the taxpayers for when they were checking out the tar pits in Sandusky. Bet they didn't go to thrift stores on payday.

Nemesis

You were free to underbid them, assuming you are have the credentials and ability to fulfill the contract.

nonconformist

This article is a load of BS. Ya know, I used to make a good wage. Around the $15.00/hr mark. At that time, I could barely take care of my family. We didn't shop at thrift stores by any means, but neither were we out shopping every week. Had to save up to buy school clothes at the beginning of the school year or if we really wanted something nice, matter of fact. But, it was livable. Never been a materialistic person anyway. Now, I work for way under that hourly amount. Mind you, I'm a very educated person and I have years of experience under my belt. (In other states my starting wage would be a God-send due to my marketability, but you first have to afford a move of sorts.) I can hardly make ends meet, while the higher ups pull in triple digits each year. So yeah, I can relate in a sense to the fast-food workers. Do I think they are worth $15.00 an hour? Not a chance, but they at least deserve a wage that is livable. When an educated person like myself can't even live on my wage (by the way Ms. Haag, that means pay the monthly bills and put food on the table without worry) in a "professional setting" where there is no room for advancement because the rich keep getting richer off of the hard work of the "pee on's" that work for them, I can't even imagine how these people live day to day... In essence, you're more than likely just one of those living the high life, telling the rest of us to suck it up and expect less because we haven't paid our dues. Shove it, Haag!

big_d

As a child of the 60's-70's, I kind of see where Ms. Haag is coming from, There was a magazine called The Mother Earth News, which I avidly read, that espoused the philosophy of doing more with less. The magazine in its present incarnation is not much like the original which featured a lot of how-to, lost cost solutions to some of everyday livings problems. There are cheaper ways to do things, must of them involve more effort on your part. Not saying its for everybody, but you should try to find some of these old issues. Just my opinion.

Unabasho

Mother Earth News
Doing more with less.
Now, readers have less of less
So it's about
doing less with more

http://www.motherearthnews.com/

Restless1

Get use to living in the Obama economy. Fire years down the drain and three more years of a leaderless economy.

reader

Just move to Walton's Mountain and start a sawmill.

Goodnight, John Boy.

AJ Oliver

Jeez Ruth, it is simply not true that in the 1970's, ". . there was no easy credit with which to purchase cars and houses." Interest rates on home mortgages were around 7%, and the minimum wage (adjusted for inflation) was around $ 10 per hour. Working people were better off then than now - by a lot !!

Contango

Re: "Working people were better off then than now"

The rate of inflation and a comparison of the value of the U.S. dollar says A LOT.

pavedparadise

From MSN.

“Obamacare has more companies opting for part-timers

“They’re making this move to avoid paying for full-time workers’ health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.”

Another national company says it’s reducing the number of hours many of its employees will work, making them part-time staff, thanks to Obamacare. Scheduled to go into effect next year, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is expected raise health care insurance prices, according to recent studies. As a result, a growing number of American businesses are opting to switch workers to part-time status.

AAA Parking, the latest company to react this way to Obamacare, manages more than 200 properties across the U.S. and employs over 1,500 people. AAA recently announced it will move about half of its 500 full-time, hourly employees to part-time status next month in response to the Affordable Care Act.

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, a company memo said executives had “spent extensive time evaluating the impact of this mandate, and the financial impact for AAA Parking is dramatic.”

The company told the Chronicle that upholding the new laws would require it to make “substantial changes in our hourly staffing models, or suffer an enormous and unsustainable annual net loss,” costing AAA Parking over $1.2 million annually in cut employee hours.”

meowmix

"Instead of watching cable TV, read to one another from your library books"
I'll go one further: Do it by candlelight--save on the old electric bill.
Not only dry your clothes outside, take them to a local stream and beat them on a rock to wash them.
Price of Country Crock getting you down?---Go buy yourself a butter churn.
Erect a small barn and buy yourself a dairy cow. You'll have tons of fun squeezing the cow's teets for the milk and go "yum, yum!" come slaughter time. We all know what a pound of hamburger costs.
No need to go to a beautician--just put a bowl on top of your head and cut around it.
You'll find out just how much fun it really can be being poor.

nonconformist

Hahahaha! Isn't it fascinating how many people are so out of touch with reality?

pptrsha

meowmix that is hilarious!!! haag owns commercial property in Sandusky. they dont live in Sandusky. 425.00 for rent would be great. try 550.00 for a 2 br is average but fairmarket is hundreds more.
this year with all the rain we had our"garden" flooded and we lost everything we planted except for one cantelope and I mean one. I know of a farmer that lost their crops this year from the weather, now what do they do? how about after they get done washing the laundry in buckets of rainwater they put under the holes in the roof they can hang the clothes over the windows for insulation and they wont have to buy curtains! then settle down in the kitchen around the BBQ grill burning the bills for heat with bowls on their heads getting haircuts reading their books from the library that are six months overdue because they didn't have shoes or a car to get back to the library with the snow on the ground, they can read cookbooks and pretend that they will one day save up enough money to eat everyday of the month.

AJ Oliver

Here's another example of just how tough things were in the 1970's. Average meat cutter wages were $ 20 per hour (adjusted). People working at Routh Packing had middle class jobs. No more - the meat cutters, along with many others professions have been crushed. Now most make around $ 15 - with the honorable exceptions of Costco and Albertsons.

Finn Finn

What is fascinating is that so many people have no discipline and won't take responsiblity for themselves. They ridicule sensible ideas (meowmix), make foolish arguments as to why thriftiness won't work (tk), and cry "why can't I enjoy the same things as others" (gene). When I hear comments like this, I cringe with embarrassment at the lack of self-esteem and desire to lift themselves up; always looking to FORCE someone to help them out. There is nothing on Haag's list that is even remotely ridiculous. But again, that "D" word comes into play.

meowmix

Aw gee whiz Finn Finn, my profound apologies over making you "cringe with embarrassment"--didn't realize your skin was so Thin Thin. Sorry, but I prefer to buy sliced bread as opposed baking my own--which, I might add, actually costs more in the long run--have you priced yeast lately??
My point was that I found Haag's comments to be somewhat condescending to we, the reader--"mend your clothes", "seal gaps in the window" "look at sale rack"--who the heII doesn't do that anyway--regardless of their income?
Not to worry though, I wouldn't ever FORCE someone to help me. I'd just hire someone to do it for me.-- Take that!

tk

Do you honestly think most poor people aren't already doing all of the practical things they can do? They have no choice. They live in this situation everyday. You SHOULD cringe in embarrassment, not for other people's comments, but for your own. Why do you assume that poor people have no dicipline and won't take responsibility for themselves? I grew up with poor people and I know darn well that they are hard workers and do the best they can to survive.

Finn Finn

Is that first sentence a serious question???? I used to go to the laundry mat to wash my clothes. My husband and I skimped and saved and were finally able to put enough money together to buy a washer and dryer. Neither of us is college educated. In fact, I've made the same $11.00 / hr. as a legal assistant for the past nine years. I know my employer makes a heck of a lot more money than I do but I don't go around crying "why can't I have the same things as him." (gene)

Getting back to the laundry mat. While I washed my clothes, I saw an endless parade of men and women, who looked like they didn't have very much money, come into the laundry mat with two or three kids, and bags and bags of fast food, McDonalds, Burger King, whatever, with the largest cups of soda pop available. I saw this time after time and I could not understand why they would spend that kind of money on fast food when they could make a meal at home, with several days leftovers, for less than they just paid for all that junk food. I saw this time after time after time.

So I ask you and meowmix and the others who seem to think people, "regardless of their income", are doing everything "practical" to save, why do they do this? And while they are eating their salt burgers and fat fries, they are pulling out their electronic devices and playing around with them. I am not exaggerating. I saw this at least 90% of the time I went to the laundry mat. So am I wrong to expect these people to live more frugally before demanding the government force their employers to pay them more money? Why do you and meoxmix not expect MORE from these people? I know its easier to go somewhere and have someone make your dinner for you, but that's where discipline comes in.

tk

"And while they are eating their salt burgers and fat fries, they are pulling out their electronic devices and playing around with them. I am not exaggerating. I saw this at least 90% of the time I went to the laundry mat. So am I wrong to expect these people to live more frugally before demanding the government force their employers to pay them more money?"
You are assuming a lot here. First you are assuming they don't have much money. And next you are assuming they work at one of the fast food places and are demanding more money. How about assuming the Mother has to get to work, so she grabs some burgers for her kids while she does the laundry? Don't always assume the worst about people that you don't even know. I "assume" you were paying a lot of attention to other peoples business.

Finn Finn

Your attempt to rebut my comment is ridiculous. This is why I have a hard time believing you genuinely care about people and aren't just spouting off the usual liberal line.

"I grew up with poor people and I know darn well that they are hard workers and do the best they can to survive." Really? ALL of them? I am sure there are MANY poor people who are hard workers, doing the best they can to survive. Those are the ones NOT buying electronic devices they can't afford and not wasting "hard earned" money on fast food when they can cook a better, less expensive meal at home. It's the convenience and instant gratification that usually leads to fast food purchases.

Why don't you try reading your own comments. You are the one who asserted that poor people are already doing all things practical to get by. My comment illlustrated that many are not. You know it and I know it. Getting you to admit that though will never happen.

tk

I said "most". I didn't say all.

meowmix

Good god, you have even issues with someone getting McDonald's???? When I was a kid my folks didn't have alot of money to just throw around--my dad farmed and my mom was busy raising 4 kids. But even they saw fit to drive to Marion, Ohio once every few months or so (that was the closest McDonalds at the time) to give us a treat. But guess what?? At home was a freezer full of beef from the cows we had butchered. Yeah, real spendthrifts they were. Did it ever occur to you that sometimes it's just fun to spend hard earned money on frivolities? Also, do you know that it's cheaper right now to have a cell phone than a home phone? Most people I know have gotten rid of their home phone due to the expense. Do you have both a cell and home phone?? If so you obviously aren't being wise in your penny pinching.

Finn Finn

Spoken like a true liberal " . . . sometimes it's just fun to spend hard earned money on frivolities." Sometimes it's just mature and responsible not to.

P.S. Last month's phone bill $57.41; Tracfone $19.99 every three months.

nonconformist

Yeah, sometimes it is fun to spend hard earned money on frivolities. What planet are you from? So, let me get this straight, if I spent hundreds of thousands on college so I can earn six figures, only THEN can I spend my hard earned money on sh*it that I really shouldn't or crap I really don't need because I deserve it? What kind of nonsensical crap is that? Spoken like a true carpet that's been walked on for WAY too long!

meowmix

Amen nonconformist Amen!!!! Now, if you'll excuse me, I really must go out and friviously spend $16.00 on a bag of bird seed because I do take pleasure in my birdies. And, because I'm going to do that, I guess according to Finn Finn I'll just have to do penance and go without shampooing my hair for the next couple of months. :}

Pterocarya frax...

I can teach you how to make homemade soap to wash your hair. It is really cheap!

starryeyes83

I'm glad I had my old corded landline.. it was the only thing that worked after the power was out with the July storms.

AJ Oliver

I agree that people should do as well as they are able, but Ruth & others don't understand what average folks are now up against. Here is another example - in 1970, tuition/room/board at Ohio U. cost $ 3,700 (adjusted). Many students could work part time and pay most of these costs. The price today? $ 10,100 !! All of these changes are no accident. They are part of a concerted, planned attack on average people by the ONE PERCENT !!

Nemesis

My tuition was $10K a year and I earned it myself in a part time retail job.

Ehovemom

full time is 2080 hours a year, part time would be 1040. If you made $3 over minimum wage and worked 1040 hours a week, you would gross $10,400, after taxes took home $6864. So you must have made over $15 an hour and had someone pay for your car and gas in order to save every penny you made for tuition. This story has some flaws in it!

Ruth Haag

Sorry that I am a bit late to this discussion, Bob and I had to get the laundry in! The discussion of what the economy was like in the 1970s is interesting. Do those of you old enough remember hiring freezes? One had to wait until the freezes were lifted before they could get a job. This was when my brother-in-law told me to volunteer somewhere in order to get a job. Next week we can discuss inflation and cost of things then and now a bit more.

OSUBuckeye59

Ruth, one doesn't necessarily have to remember hiring freezes because they're still occurring in both private companies and the public sector today. Many people today are indeed volunteering in hopes of eventually being hired on full-time, but numerous companies are showing caution in taking on volunteers because of potential legal concerns around not compensating "volunteers". But hiring freezes are still a common practice in effect today. Additionally, many companies annually either give either very small pay increases, as in the % increase is less than the rise in cost of inflation, or no increases are awarded at all.

Regarding fast food employees wanting wage raises, even though most (I won't write all) of us do indeed now view some luxuries as necessities, the real issue is those holding minimum wage or slightly-above minimum age jobs simply wanting a living wage. I get that most of us probably view cable/satellite television, a computer and a smartphone as necessities, not a luxury. But it's the rent/mortgage, utilities, food and, of course, insurance costs that continue to rise.

The minimum wage amount hasn't increased in 4 years, yet from 2009 to 2012, incomes of the top 1% (defined as families with incomes above $394,000 in 2012) grew more than 31%, while incomes of the remaining 99% grew 0.4%. According to UC Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, "This implies that the top 1% incomes captured just over two-thirds of the overall economic growth of real incomes per family over the period 1993-2012."

Here's something else: From 2007 to 2012, domestic corporate profits climbed 35% while investment in plants and equipment rose only 2.6%. US companies have accumulated a rather substantial cash hoard, namely $1.8 trillion at the end of 2012. Simply put, corporate United States is husbanding its profits, investing mainly in the safest projects because that's what CEO's are being rewarded for: increasing Shareholder value. That growing of the cash reserves has the undesirable effect of dampening the economy. A well-functioning economy is a circular process by which one person's spending becomes another person's income, which is then spent again. In 2012, the U.S. gross domestic product was $16.2 trillion; of that, $11.1 trillion was consumption spending on everything from cars to fast food. Sounds pretty healthy, right? Problem is that when you adjust that spending by factoring in inflation, the increase in consumer spending was only 2.2%, and that's definitely not enough to accelerate the recovery. What this leads to is a negative cycle: weak consumer spending leads to company's ratcheting back on investment spent in possible new markets and ventures, thereby keeping economic growth low and unemployment high, in turn putting downward pressure on labor's income share. Another way to frame it: companies see declines in purchases of their products so they shed some of their workforce to increase net income, the workforce shrinks and those who do have jobs see little-to-no increase in their wages so they choose to purchase only the necessities, leading to less spending at restaurants or buying a new TV/computer, etc., companies in turn see declines in purchases of their products and the economic cycle continues its downward spiral.

But back to the fast food workers . . . increasing their hourly wages would do well to help stimulate the economy. Today, many people are practicing a few/some/many of your suggestions. And that's not helping our economy. Our economy needs stimulus, and companies have the cash reserves to stimulate, just as they have historically done in the past, but continue to not do so today.

nonconformist

Why isn't Buckeye writing an article for the paper? Oh right. Because then we would be subjected to a bit of truth!

OSUBuckeye59

noncomformist, thank you for the compliment. You are much too kind. But if I did write an article, then I'd spend way too much time responding to blog comments. :)

KURTje

Ok Finn....BUT; did you see my comment? It is true. Or talk to those that went by the rules & lost their jobs @ age 50 or so. Jobs that paid a wage + benefits. Jobs that that employer was making a profit - they just wanted more. Hope you never experience unstable times. Methinks R. Haag has not. Btw, help us butcher this fall.

Finn Finn

I have experienced unstable times. Why do you think my life is all rosy? As I stated in my comment above, I know my employer can afford to pay me more money, but I'm not going to whine about it and demand someone do something so I can make more money. I could have applied myself more when I was younger, maybe even gone to a community college so I could earn more money, but I didn't. No one owes me anything.

deertracker

You owe yourself silly. Just because you did not go to college you really feel you should be underpaid? Do you work hard? Do you show up daily? Does your work effect the bottom line? Does your work help your boss live well? You have a slave mentality! Yessum boss, I don't mind eating scraps!

Finn Finn

You owe yourself silly - the Liberal mantra. I didn't say I was underpaid. Why do you feel I'm "underpaid?" You assume it because that's what liberals do. I said my boss could afford to pay me more money. But I understand I have no specific education to offer my boss, thus I'm paid accordingly.

My boss lives well because he went to law school and earned a law degree. Slaves don't get paid. I get paid a salary for my work. Of course, I would like more, but I don't have a "right" to it. Your mind set blows my mind.

tk

Does your boss know you are spending so much time online reading the Register?

Finn Finn

Actually, I'm at home right now. Another unvalidated assumption on your part.

tk

Well no, You kept talking about your lawyer boss and they usually work at least every weekday.

Finn Finn

Well yes. Ever heard of earned vacation time? I have four weeks.

tk

Well, good for you. Those minimun wage workers don't get any vacation. They don't get enough hours to qualify.

Finn Finn

Well then, do like the rest of us did. Work hard, look for a job that satisfies your desires, and stop complaining about your lot in life.

tk

I'm not complaining about my lot in life nor am I looking for a job. I'm long past that stage and I'm doing fine. My concern is for those who are less fortunate.

nonconformist

Oh dear, after nine years as a legal assistant you only make $11.00 an hour and you don't feel your entitled to any more? You poor thing. You ARE seriously underpaid!!! That's another thing that's wrong with this country. Not only do we have educated people not making a decent wage, we have people like you who settle for the scraps thrown to us. Sorry, love, experience and apparent dedication does deserve more than that. Just do a simple job search on Google and see how much legal assistants are making in other states. Your employer would hire an uneducated person to do the same work you do for a dollar or so less. You don't think you're worth more than that? Damn. And by the way, there is no "schooling" for legal assistants, aka secretaries/administrative assistants. There is, however, schooling for paralegals (very different job), who do make more money because of the same. Wow, keep the wool pulled over! LOL! Sheep...

Finn Finn

I wasn't going to reply because this story is now a day old but your ignorant and insulting comments should not go unrebutted.

First off, to correct your obvious error, there IS schooling for legal assistants, aka paralegals. They ARE the same thing, not "very different jobs" as you claim, and normally entail a two year course of study. My firm employs multiple attorneys and staff. With my 25 years of experience in law offices, the attorney I work for trusts me in every aspect of case preparation. I have the opportunity and am trusted to perform many tasks which paralegals would normally do and I enjoy it immensely. Your comment "people like you" (uneducated was the inference) "who settle for scraps" was an unnecessary insult and makes me wonder what kind of a person YOU are to be so offensive to someone you have nevered addressed before!

I am perplexed why you and meowmix and Pterocarya frax jump to the typical "sheep", "doormat" etc. B.S. when you don't even know the specifics of my situation. Amazing! but it seems "people like YOU" (envious of well off bosses [usually with college degrees] who live more comfortable lives than their employees) do that all the time. I'm not going to be a tiresome, jealous person. I have employment that I enjoy immensely. As stated, I am able to get involved in cases, perform many paralegal functions, enjoy the mental stimulation the work requires, and HELP PEOPLE who are burdened with legal troubles. I don't make a lot of money but I have no education either. I enjoy four weeks paid vacation, very good health insurance - PAID FOR, and could be replaced in a minute. I like my boss and the easy office environment of the firm I work for. The atmosphere is casual and there are no time clocks. I suffered a serious illness a few years back and was told to make my own hours in order to undergo my radiation treatments. My husband (who has no college either) and I, through frugal living, (eating at home, buying things on sale, refurbishing old furniture, NOT buying the flat screens, Ipads, or Iphones, etc. etc.) have paid off the mortgage, have no car loans, no credit card debt and money in the bank. And to be honest with you, it wasn't that hard! We take vacations that fit our budget, save for things we really want and don't nag / strong arm our employers or the government to pay us more so we can live a better life.

I get that some people are in dire straights and feel it is our duty as HUMAN BEINGS to help those folks. I DON'T sympathize with people who are in those straights because of their own behavior, the ones who "spend hard earned money on frivolities" and then b__ch that they don't make enough money to pay the bills. They aren't owed anything. Try some discipline.

You belittle me because of my salary and the way I live my life and I wonder why? What more am I "entitled" to? I've made my choices. I could have gone to a community college or taken night classes, but I didn't. That sure isn't the fault of my employer. Why do you feel the need to insult me because I'm happy with my life?

nonconformist

First of all, no one belittled or insulted you. If you take it as that, that's your issue not mine. I simply stated a fact: you are underpaid for the number of years you have worked for someone and for the work you do regardless of whether you have a certification in your field. Actually, that's a compliment! Good lord, if you can't see that, well, that's not my problem either.

Finn Finn

Your words "spoken like a true carpet that's been walked on" and "wow, keep the wool pulled over", were intended to put me in my place because I pointed out that many people who bellyache about not being paid enough to make the bills spend their money on unnecessary, often wasteful pacifications, and that I didn't feel anyone owed me anything so I too could afford such frivolities. Your comments were ridiculing and insulting and were meant to be. See, no door mat here. Have a nice day.

nonconformist

If you're insulted by some stranger commenting on a website, you have bigger problems than I thought. Besides, I was just working off of your comment: "spoken like a true liberal." As if all people who think they're worth more than they are paid, waste what they have. Pretty presumptuous on your part. And someone has pulled the wool over your eyes. But, far be it from me to tell you what's acceptable to you. Sorry, I don't believe eleven dollars an hour after nine years is acceptable at all. Talk about insulting. Whatever floats your boat, or canoe. You have a nice day as well :)

Finn Finn

You were ridiculing, and you know it.

And please don't put words in my mouth. I acknowledged many people are having a tough time of it, but many people waste their money on things they don't need and can't afford and then whine that their employers don't pay them enough for the lifestyle they choose.

I expect people to act responsibly, and enablers, with your mindset, don't help things.

nonconformist

Enabler? LMAO! That is frigin' hilarious. Actually, people who settle for less than they deserve, such as yourself, don't help things at ALL. I AM educated, have tons of experience and I make around the same as you. Sorry, no it isn't acceptable. And if once in a while people aren't allowed to treat themselves because they work their arses off, well that's BS and you know it. I'm not saying people should buy luxury items before the necessities. Really? If you took that from any of my comments, you need a couple lessons in comprehension.

nonconformist

And by the way, a single mom making what we make, raising a child with no support can hardly afford to keep her head above water and food on the table. Oh, you have a husband don't you? That's why you're so content. I, however, worked my *ss off to put myself through school and still make half of what I am worth. So save your BS for someone else. But as you said, not happy then move on. I'm working on it, thanks.

Finn Finn

You're repeating yourself and sound like you're hyperventilating, so yes, please move on.

Finn Finn

I'm sorry nonconformist for my previous comment. It was mean and I apologize. You have strong beliefs, and that's okay. Good luck in your job search, but remember, keep a positive attitude. I wish you the best in your endeavors.

bigrmachine

Well at least the iPhone payments are covered .And the rims I bought for car were really kinda salty in price.
But they sure look good along with this fine ass ensemble that I'm wearing along and the 200 dollar runners that were on sale.I cannot wait until I am old ...need to get paid now.
Anyone for some Belvedere.

deertracker

No guarantee you will get old!

gramafun

Some of you probably can't remember people talking about the depression but I can. I remember family members talking about what it was like back then. They would walk down to the coal loaders and hope that the men working on the trains might kick a few lumps of coal off the coal cars so they could pick them up for heating their furnaces in their homes. They would get up at the crack of dawn and drag their wagons down their just in hopes of getting one or two large lumps. They would go to the bakeries around Waterstreet to get the day old bread the bakeries would throw out and hope to get eggs at any chicken farms around. The families were big back then, too. There weren't any televisions just radios. They entertained themselves with fishing and they worked at odd jobs. No need to complain because everyone was in the same boat. Just like now. But everyone thinks now that they are OWED something by the US Government. We are so soft now, and we are OWED something....but WHAT? We aren't owed at darn thing.

We are not owed anything but a CHANCE at life, liberty and the PURSUTE of happiness. We aren't owed a job, a big salary or a the right at getting a huge salary to support our families on. Whoever told the kids of today that one lied through their teeth and someone believed it and passed it on.

so stop whining and get yourselves together. You can carry a billboard till hades freezes saying I need more money., Who doesn't., But that doesn't mean you have a right to it or that you will get it. Try working a second job. You may not like it, but if that is what it takes, then do it. But for heaven sakes stop crying about it. Put your big boy or girl pants on and do what you need to do to survive. A lot of people before you did it. Why can't you?

tk

Not one person on here either pro or con have "whined" for themselves. Some of us understand and care about others. As for the great depression, I didn't have to hear anyone talking about it. I lived it. I was a child but I knew what hard times were and child or not we all had to work to survive. God only knows what would have happened to people if it hadn't been for President Roosevelt. My Mother worked at one of his programs. My father had been severely injured at work when a large tree fell on him crushing most of his bones. There was no such thing as disability benefits then. You just scratched out a living the best way you could. I do indeed know about hard times. That is why my heart goes out to those hurting today.

gramafun

tk....the whining was referring to kids today...not commentors. I do care about people, when they act like human beings and not sniveling children with entitlement issues. Sorry to be a hard butt, but I am getting sick and tired of hearing about how everyone feels they deserve more and wants to work less for it. I was raised to work for what I got and I am proud of it. Kudos for living through the depression and the fortis and fifties. You should be proud of yourself as well. I salute you.

Finn Finn

APPLAUSE!! Many people these days, particularly the ones who don't make a lot of money, feel they are entitled to the same things their better educated, harder working, more skilled neighbors have. The jealousy and contempt for anyone who is better off then them is so unbecoming and earns no one's respect. No one owes me a college education, a good paying job, not even a nice home.

Help those who CAN'T help themselves. To the others, stop whining, take some pride in yourselves, and make it work without all the arm twisting.

Pterocarya frax...

By the way, if you are making the same money now that you were 9 years ago, there are really only 2 possibilities. Either you as an employee simply aren't doing a good enough job to earn a raise, or your boss is a jacka**. Many bosses fit the second explanation, and don't offer raises ever. Then they laugh everyday when they think "she is too stupid to ask for a raise".

nonconformist

Here, here!

gramafun

Finn Finn....exactly. I don't mind helping those down on their luck. It's those who DEMAND help that frost my cookies. They don't help themselves let alone help anyone else. Just demand, demand, demand. They want NOW when it took me 30 years to build with blood,sweat and tears. I resent that. I worked for my life, now work for yours. No one handed mine to me.

As for raises....mine came from doing my job and going above and beyond. It was NEVER and issue. Got one every year I worked and they were on MERIT. My boss always praised my work. I don't recall ever being laughed at once in 40 years. You boss must be a jack%%%. Mine never were.

starryeyes83

I remember my family members talking about the same thing. They called it the "Midnight Coal Company" in our town.

gramafun

starryeyes...LOL yep