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How do people who make around $100k/yr struggle, assuming normal situation?

"the criminal justice system is corrupt, but if this corrupt system finds you at fault, however nonsense the law is, it's still your fault".

I'd love to know how that works.
The rules aren't fair but you still have to play by them (or get away w breaking them carefully)
 
The rules aren't fair but you still have to play by them (or get away w breaking them carefully)

Yeah a lot of Americans do silly degrees and woukd gave been better of doing a trade.
 
The rules aren't fair but you still have to play by them (or get away w breaking them carefully)
Genuine theoretical question: why?

Why are we blaming the person if we agree that the system is corrupt, and that the laws can be / are nonsense? We understand the law is blaming the person, but if the law is nonsense, why should it be respected?

Like, we can't change what the law is doing. The person is still getting imprisoned or whatever. I'm talking morally - why are we judging the person?
 
Genuine theoretical question: why?

Why are we blaming the person if we agree that the system is corrupt, and that the laws can be / are nonsense? We understand the law is blaming the person, but if the law is nonsense, why should it be respected?

Like, we can't change what the law is doing. The person is still getting imprisoned or whatever. I'm talking morally - why are we judging the person?
You still have to place a marker somewhere. Is it not the person's fault if they are struggling with, say, 1 million euros/year? ^^
 
Genuine theoretical question: why?

Why are we blaming the person if we agree that the system is corrupt, and that the laws can be / are nonsense? We understand the law is blaming the person, but if the law is nonsense, why should it be respected?

Like, we can't change what the law is doing. The person is still getting imprisoned or whatever. I'm talking morally - why are we judging the person?
It's not about judging the person, you can accept the system is corrupt and flawed while still realizing you have to be accountable and careful.

I'm not in support of moral castigation of people who make less than optimal decisions in bad circumstances, I've been in that situation as we all have (and certainly others have been in far worse, when I'm down I read about prisoners or North Koreans to put my first world problems into perspective)

Say a kid comes home, gets in a fight w his parents and punches a hole in the wall.

You can understand everything he's been thru, empathize w it, realize he's part of a system (maybe he's bullied at school, dealing w a death of his only friend, having a bad reaction to meds, who knows) and still tell him "you know mate maybe that's not the best course of action" and make him fix the wall and pay for the supplies to do so.

You can have personal responsibility without all the shame, imo.
 
It's not so simple as you think. Between taxes, the rising cost of living, supporting a family, and the rising costs to maintain a home it is very easy to fall behind. Even with a good salary as mentioned in the OP.

Basically if you are single and don't own a home, a car, or have any major expenses to support family you probably have a good life. That doesn't mean you should judge those who complain they are struggling.

On paper I make good money yet I'm struggling to get out of the financial debt hole I'm in. I'm literally living from paycheck to paycheck on a salary that shouldn't be so. Everytime I wake up somebody somewhere is reaching into my pocket and taking my money. I literally have not gone on vacation in over 5 years. I don't even have a disposable income to waste on the pleasures of life. I don't live extravagantly and my financial situation is not because of frivolous or careless spending. I'm wearing the same clothes I had for ten plus years now, driving a an old car that I wonder everyday if it will start without issue and that I desperately need to get to work so I can continue to give my money away to pay my debts and back taxes.

It saddens me that there is no compassion on the online community for those who say they are struggling. As if it's a made up story. It's easy to say things like that when you can't physically see the struggle.
 
You can understand everything he's been thru, empathize w it, realize he's part of a system (maybe he's bullied at school, dealing w a death of his only friend, having a bad reaction to meds, who knows) and still tell him "you know mate maybe that's not the best course of action" and make him fix the wall and pay for the supplies to do so.

You can have personal responsibility without all the shame, imo.
If my son punched a wall after a confrontation with me, I'd fix the wall. Moreso if he was dealing with any of the factors you outlined. The outburst isn't the route of the problem; making him fix it won't solve anything. The external factors you mentioned - they're what need solving. They're what he needs help with.

But this was just a hypothetical, and I'm getting too into it. Obviously this differs on a case-by-case basis, but in general I think we disagree about how much the individual needs to face up to, given the root cause being things that they're suffering from (or subject to).
 
The rules aren't fair but you still have to play by them (or get away w breaking them carefully)
The corruption in the criminal justice system isn't passive. It goes after people, and once they're caught up in it, it abuses people, especially poor people. I mentioned earlier having to post bail for someone as an example of an unexpected expense that most Americans aren't prepared for. There was at least one study years ago that found that people who'd been able to post bail ended up getting lighter sentences than people who had to sit in jail before their trial. Sitting in jail because you're unable to post bail is itself a punishment, even if you're exonerated of the crime or you get a suspended sentence (or "time served"). Likewise, people who can't afford a lawyer are often encouraged to accept a plea deal, even if they're innocent of the crime. Even if the plea deal includes no jail time, you've got a criminal record now. And property seizures have been a huge problem for a long time*. So getting swept up in the criminal justice system, and getting through it and being treated fairly if you do, isn't strictly about your behavior. A lot of it has to do with how wealthy you are and what color you are.



* It's called "civil asset forfeiture." Police can seize property even if you're not convicted. Even if you're not charged. And good luck getting it back. If it's cash, they can just keep it. If it's property, they can sell it and keep the money. One case reached the Supreme Court a few years ago but was sent back to the lower court on some procedural snafu.

ACLU - Asset Forfeiture Abuse
 
Average USA rent - $1700 per month
Average USA vehicle payment - $600 per month
Average USA student loan repayment - $250 per month
Average USA health insurance payment - $500 per month
Average USA vehicle insurance payment - $130 per month
Average USA food bill - $390 per month

$3570 is a lot less than $4800, so there should be no struggling.

To maximize struggling on a $100k salary:

1) Live alone, pay the full rent and not half.
2) Live in a democrat-run big city. The cost of living needs to be as high as possible. A modest retirement account in high cost of living area will fund a great retirement in a red state like Florida later. Or a kingly retirement overseas.
3) Only drive a brand new car that is extremely expensive to maintain. Like $300 oil change and $1000 for a headlight repair.
4) Have a terrible driving record. DWI + multiple accidents should push full coverage (required if making car payments) to around $300 per month.
5) Be near 60 years old. Health insurance costs go up each year from $500 at 40 until they max out around $1000 per month around 60. Most noticeable if self-employed and there is no employer to pay some of it.
6) Get divorced. Losing half your shared assets is tough, especially a paid-off house. Whoever keeps the house usually has to cash out their retirement account to write a big enough check to their partner to buy them out of their share.
7) Only eat out at restaurants. This should get the food bill up to $600 per month.
8) Get a doctorate in pottery. $100k+ in student loans that can never be removed even in bankruptcy lasts a lifetime, just like the learning and education.

I'm sure it is possible to struggle on a $100k salary somehow.

It's like you're purposely misusing the concept of averages? Do you not understand that cost of living varies depending on where you live?
 
It's like you're purposely misusing the concept of averages? Do you not understand that cost of living varies depending on where you live?

It was a quick and dirty post.

I think higher cost-of-living was mentioned in it somewhere to get closer to the "struggling" threshold?

My main regret was I left out children and child support payments.


The minimum wage has increased 50% in Missouri the last 5 years to $12 per hour.

That has to increase the cost of living for the $100,000 crowd in my area. :)
 
It was a quick and dirty post.

I think higher cost-of-living was mentioned in it somewhere to get closer to the "struggling" threshold?

My main regret was I left out children and child support payments.


The minimum wage has increased 50% in Missouri the last 5 years to $12 per hour.

That has to increase the cost of living for the $100,000 crowd in my area. :)

The main issue with what you wrote is that $100,000 jobs are not evenly distributed around the country, they're overwhelmingly concentrated in the highest cost of living places (what you called 'democrat-run cities').

As a side note, it is funny when conservatives insinuate use the "democrat-run cities" meme to insinuate that Democrats are mismanaging these places, when the reason the cost of living is so high is that many, many people want to live in these cities.
 
Poor, poor, palaces.

Getting gentrified sucks. Total agreement. They don't even call it that down at this end, they call it development, like you're just an obstacle. Not even an unfortunate cost of that nice new condo to forget.
 
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The main issue with what you wrote is that $100,000 jobs are not evenly distributed around the country, they're overwhelmingly concentrated in the highest cost of living places (what you called 'democrat-run cities').

As a side note, it is funny when conservatives insinuate use the "democrat-run cities" meme to insinuate that Democrats are mismanaging these places, when the reason the cost of living is so high is that many, many people want to live in these cities.
Of course, the local governments might also be mismanaging those places, in addition to being highly desirable places to live. :lol:

---

MIT Living Wage Calculator for the United States

MIT said:
Today, families and individuals working in low-wage jobs make too little income to meet minimum standards of living in their community. We developed the Living Wage Calculator to help individuals, communities, employers, and others estimate the local wage rate that a full-time worker requires to cover the costs of their family’s basic needs where they live. Explore the living wage in your county, metro area, or state for 12 different family types below.
I am officially above the living wage cited here, though not by a lot.
 
Sure thing.

It was the 2nd post of the thread.
I just wanted to throw some bones out to get the thread rolling.


I guess what really captivates me is people fleeing the cities and mass transit to get away from the pandemic, and the economic gravity of cities pulling them back.

It is of course easier to get rich by being surrounded by customers rather than corn fields.

How are cities coping these days?
 
Of course, the local governments might also be mismanaging those places, in addition to being highly desirable places to live. :lol:

This is absolutely true, but it's a bit of a joke as it relates to the "democrat-run cities" meme because I'm not aware of any Republicans running for municipal government on a platform of strong rent control, increasing the minimum wage enough that a full-time min-wage worker can afford the median studio apartment, or generally reining in developer or landlord interests.

Out of curiosity, i just looked up Republican city governments and found that Fort Worth, TX has a Republican mayor. Her big policy initiative listed on Wikipedia is that Fort Worth became the first city in the US to mine Bitcoin.

Really addressing those cost-of-living issues, folks
 
If my son punched a wall after a confrontation with me, I'd fix the wall. Moreso if he was dealing with any of the factors you outlined. The outburst isn't the route of the problem; making him fix it won't solve anything. The external factors you mentioned - they're what need solving. They're what he needs help with
I agree he needs help... and he needs to fix the wall.
 
The corruption in the criminal justice system isn't passive. It goes after people, and once they're caught up in it, it abuses people, especially poor people. I mentioned earlier having to post bail for someone as an example of an unexpected expense that most Americans aren't prepared for. There was at least one study years ago that found that people who'd been able to post bail ended up getting lighter sentences than people who had to sit in jail before their trial. Sitting in jail because you're unable to post bail is itself a punishment, even if you're exonerated of the crime or you get a suspended sentence (or "time served"). Likewise, people who can't afford a lawyer are often encouraged to accept a plea deal, even if they're innocent of the crime. Even if the plea deal includes no jail time, you've got a criminal record now. And property seizures have been a huge problem for a long time*. So getting swept up in the criminal justice system, and getting through it and being treated fairly if you do, isn't strictly about your behavior. A lot of it has to do with how wealthy you are and what color you are.



* It's called "civil asset forfeiture." Police can seize property even if you're not convicted. Even if you're not charged. And good luck getting it back. If it's cash, they can just keep it. If it's property, they can sell it and keep the money. One case reached the Supreme Court a few years ago but was sent back to the lower court on some procedural snafu.

ACLU - Asset Forfeiture Abuse
I've had friends caught up in the criminal court system, so yeah I know how messed up it is (and it could've been me but for some caution and more luck)

Family court is bad enough.

The best approach is to try your best to steer clear of it cause once you're in it's hard to get out.

If people think cops are corrupt they should get to know judges.
 
This question is much more complicated than imagined. The short answer I will put up front is:
$100k USD per year is a lot less than we imagine, for multiple reasons.
Since we have a mix of people based in a wide variety of countries, I will replace $100k USD with 100g for this discussion.

Inflation is a slow and subtle force that is not always noticed from year to year. It is easy for our perceptions to be outdated by many years. Are we talking about 100g in 2023 or are we talking about how far 100g goes in Y2k? From looking at CPI numbers, I figured 100g in Y2K is worth 177g in 2023.

Location - Cost of living varies from city to city. I was looking at a index that used New York City as a basis for 100g. My home city was about 67g. Stockholm, Sweden was a similar number. So 100g in Stockholm is worth about 150g in NYC.

Somebody pointed out that 100g is about 65th percentile in the USA when measuring family income. I do not know what source he was using, but I obtained a similar number. For single income, 100g is 82 percentile. Based on that, there is a difference if we are talking about single income or household income.

Perception - I believe thinking you are wealthy when you are not is a very expensive mistake.

Math - I also believe people have a lot of trouble making conversions between things like present day gp and gp per month. So an item might cost 20g. However this often gets presented as 387s per month, which suddenly does not seem that bad compared to the 20g. Then these monthly budget items start adding up and then we lose track.

In real life, I know somebody who might meet the description in the OP. However I would describe him as getting by as opposed to struggling, but not nearly as wealthy as most of us would perceive at 100g.

Added - Here is a Financial Samurai article. I believe this was quoted out of context and placed as a meme on FB several years ago.
 
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