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Centerpointe Research

Upper class

The Cost of Living Affects People Unfairly

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Money cash (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

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The percentage of their income that many people are paying for the cost of living in this economy is unbelievable.  Have you ever considered the gap between the cost of things in our economy and the ability of many people to pay for them?  The gap is getting bigger and bigger between what one group of people consider a reasonable amount of money for something and what another group of people can hardly imagine paying for something.

Because of how the cost of living effects them, more and more people are cinching their belts, doing without, and buying things on the cheap, or recycling somebody else’s trash.  This is the new group of poor which is being  being created by the number of qualified people who can’t get a job and the retires who find that their social security check, pension fund, and/or savings have shrunk in terms of what costs they can expect them to cover.  For example, paying $600 a month for house and car insurance may not seem like a lot when you are making $50,000 to $75,000 a year; but it seems impossible when you are on a fixed income of $10,000, $15,000, or even $20,000 a year.  Yes, there are people on social security who are getting less than $900 a month.

Many costs of living keep going up and up and we expect people to be able to pay them.  Costs to farm and raise a crop or a herd of beef, dairy cows, etc. are jaw dropping.  The profit margin keeps getting smaller and smaller.  Big business handles this by raising their prices and expecting somebody to pay them.  How have we come to accept this as normal?  I can tell you why people are buying imports from China, they can’t afford anything else.  Quality goods that have a longer useful life and home repair, maintenance, and appliance upkeep are unaffordable.  We have learned to skimp on things where we can (like using the dollar menu at the drive-through) and to do without things (that many people now consider a necessity) like a cell phone or inter-net access.

How did we get into this mess?  How did we come to accept the increasing inequality of the ability to pay the cost of living in our society?  We expect the little people of this country to pay the same big prices for some things that in reality only the disappearing middle (or upper class) can afford.  As Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake.”  Where has the American Dream gone?  We thought this was ancient history, a time when royalty expected non royalty to pay starvation tax rates so royalty could live a gracious life style while wearing a blindfold when it came to seeing how this was achieved.  Power versus love.  Materialism.  People whom we have given authority to make decisions that are in our best interest are not doing it.  I would rather have a stove that works than pay for some government agency‘s meeting at a resort, wouldn’t you?  The Little Red Hen story also applies here too.

How have we come to accept this, this inequality of the ability of the citizens to pay the costs of living in our country?  Do you think that most of us should pay exorbitant prices for gasoline, medical insurance, and prescriptions and get by on little or nothing in the rest of our lives?  What is scary is that this may have been planned and controlled by the powerful and the wealthy in this country to be this way and we (like they thought we would) have come to accept this without protesting.  I know I have.

Once I made enough money to cover the cost of living and have a little left over; but now I don’t When it comes to eating out, I usually don’t.  For example, spending around ten dollars, tip and all for lunch is the max and is reserved for special occasions.  It is something that I do very infrequently.   When I am in town, I usually just get a drink and I am very selective about where I buy that.  I spend very very little money on clothes and as far as updating any rooms in my home like I see on HGTV, it ain’t gonna happen.  Lots of things don’t match, show a lot of wear, and are an eye sore.  I think my car would almost qualify as an antique.

For other things which are part of the cost of living, I pay what the economy demands.  This includes insurance premiums, utilities, gas, household supplies, but not food.  We have what we can afford that will stretch, not what we want.  When it comes to meat, we are very frugal; and we still cringe at the going rate for things like chicken wings and hamburger (but pay it anyway).  For a lot of things, we don’t have much choice, either pay what they ask or do without.  What happened to competition?

 

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Little Things Mean A Lot

little thingsLittle things mean a lot.  My grandson broke something of mine.  I saw it coming; but I didn’t get to stop him.  He is the oldest of the grandchildren and I expect a lot of him and he usually delivers it.  I realized I was as mad at myself as I was mad at him.  I knew I should have put the thing in a safer place.  I apologized to him for making such a big deal of it and suggested how he might help me fix it.  Then I forgot about it and had decided that no one could tell the broken part was missing anyway.  He surprised me recently having found one of my trinkets that could be used to replace the broken part.  Neither one of us was no longer upset.

Little things mean a lot.  Do you treat children with respect?  You expect them to do this for you.  Respect others.  Respect yourself.  What else should we teach them?  If we don’t treat them the way we would like to be treated?  How can we expect them to do it to us.  Some people think that with little people, those who are still children, with people who are serving them, with strangers, with people of a lower social class, etc., that they don’t have to bother doing the right thing.  They sometimes go a step further and use people like this as scapegoats and whipping boys to release anger and assign responsibility for something they don’t want to take the blame for.

Little things mean a lot.  You can make or break someone’s day.  You may instill discipline into a child, but not in a kind way.  Kids are people too.  It is not that everything you will do or say to them will not trigger a crying spell on their part.  But sometimes, it is not necessary to do this to get our point across and we do it anyway.  Children are a blessing, but sometimes we don’t treat them as one.

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