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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Government for and by the "People" - Probably NOT

Balancing the Budget
Put on the Backs of the Working Class
“President Obama today proposed a two year freeze in civilian pay for federal employees that the White House says will save $2 billion in fiscal year 2011 and more than $60 billion over the next decade… The move was embraced by top Republicans and criticized by labor leaders like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who said in a statement that the proposal "is bad for the middle class, bad for the economy and bad for business."   (Source)


While the Rich Get Richer
Republicans are prepared to vote down a bill extending all but the top-end tax cuts, the second-ranking GOP leader in the House said Tuesday….Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said that he was ready to instruct GOP members to vote down legislation Democrats plan to bring to the floor that would extend the expiring Bush-era tax cuts only for the middle class.   (Source)

And they will probably get continued tax breaks
Republicans support the extension of lower rates in the top brackets, along with abolishment of provisions that phase out deductions and personal exemptions for high wage earners. Under current law, Congress would have to raise taxes or cut spending elsewhere in the budget by about $21.3 billion for 2011 and $573 billion over the next decade to retain the 33 and 35 percent tax brackets.  (Source)
Letting the tax cuts for wealthiest expire would reduce the deficit by about $700 billion over 10 years. Extending all the cuts adds to the deficit — the shortfall between what government collects and what it spends — by an estimated $2.5 trillion over a 10-year period.  (Source)
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday that extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy would be a $700 billion mistake. (Source)

And the Corporations Still Don’t Pay the US Taxes
(See my blog entry from  11/24/10)

Corporations are getting smarter, not just about doing more business in low-tax countries, but in moving their more valuable assets there as well. That means setting up overseas subsidiaries, then transferring to them ownership of long-lived, often intangible but highly profitable assets, like patents and software. “
As a result, figures tax economist Martin Sullivan, companies are keeping some $28 billion a year out of the clutches of the U.S. Treasury by engaging in so-called transfer pricing arrangements,  (Source 3)
“With corporate tax receipts at 20-year low, the GAO takes a look through the books and finds 94% of all U.S. companies paid less than 5% -- and 61% paid nothing at all.” (Source 1)

“About 70% of foreign-owned companies doing business in the United States paid no federal tax in the late 1990s, the GAO said. The GAO report covered 2.1 million returns by U.S. companies and 69,000 foreign-owned companies.”(Source 1)

“In fact, in 2008, the Government Accountability Office found that two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005.”  (Source 4)

Sorry folks - but the numbers just don't add up.
Soemthing is really fucked up in our (using the phrase Republicans are touting right now) "exceptional America".

Monday, November 29, 2010

Palin Did It Again - Oh, my.....(again)

From Palin’s new book – pages 266-267
 “The question, going forward, is how?  How do we embrace our exceptionalism at home…And we need to remember the common sense most of us learned before we went to kindergarten.”  Source

Let’s see – what “common sense  - bits of wisdom” did my son have about the time he went to kindergarten? 
J  Don’t hit or push the other kids.
J  Be nice to your teacher.
J  Listen to your teacher.
J  Don’t stick anything in your ears or nose.
J  Don’t suck your thumb.
J  Don’t pick your nose.
J  Don’t eat the boogers you pick from your nose.
J  Don’t use your sleeve as a hankerchief.
J  Don’t chew on your pencil.
J  Don’t pick up anything that is on the floor.
J  Don’t eat anything off the floor.
J  Don’t eat with your mouth open.
J  Eat your vegetables.
J  Don’t spit your food out.
J  Don’t play with your food.
J  Go outside and play
J  Don’t pee outside.
J  Remember to wipe – remember to flush – remember to wash your hands.
J  Don’t wait until the last minute to ask for permission to go to the bathroom.
J  Put your toys away every night.
J  Yes honey, Santa Claus is real – and the Easter bunny is real and the tooth fairy is real.
I’m not sure how knowing this is going to make the US an exceptional country.
Palin evidently knows something I don’t – or NOT.
    (She is just so damn dumb…….And she gets money for what she writes)
Oh, my..........................................

Tags:  Palin, new book, stupid things I’ve read,

Pucker Up and Kiss Up (Again)

My last post was about people that you have to be nice to because if you’re not – they can do things that can make your life miserable.  “Pucker Up and Kiss Up” – Societal Induced Paranoia.

This weekend I ran into another situation where I had to be nice to someone when I absolutely didn’t want to.

I use TV shopping networks to make a lot of my purchases.  From the time I leave home in the morning for work until I get home at night from work can range from 10 -13 hours, depending on my day (and yes I am thankful I have a job – most days).  I really don’t have time to go to the mall and shop unless I want to waste time on Saturday shopping, so most of my shopping is done via TV shopping channels or online.

Anyway – back to the story.

I have one shopping network that I use frequently because they carry a lot of the brand names that I prefer to buy.  I almost always buy items when they are on sale to compensate for the shipping price.

I have two issues with this company.

THE PAST - PRODUCT COMPLAINTS
I have bought several items (won’t do it again) that were not brand name items.  And in almost all the cases, I was disappointed. 

On two occasions (fool me once..) I have gone on their webpage for that product and written a polite, objective review of the product and its flaws and BOTH times I have received an email telling me that they would not be publishing my complaint.  This has led me to believe that when you look at customer ratings on their webpage – the customer ratings are always skewed to the positive comments, because they don’t print all of the negative comments.

On a third occasion I went on their webpage to post a complaint and they had already pulled the item off the webpage – even though it is a seasonal item that they sell every year.   The item was just plain crap.  Unfortunately, the people who buy this next year will not know how horrible it is – because they took the product posting off of the web so no complaints could be posted.

“Pucker Up”
And the kicker is if you return too many items – they suspend your account – so a lot of the stuff I don’t like goes to the homeless shelter free store – cause I don’t dare send it back.


THE PRESENT - CUSTOMER SERVICE    (SHIPPING ISSUE)
This is what prompted my entry today.

On Monday Nov 22 at 8:43am – I placed an order and requested expedited shipping which doubled my shipping cost.  I wanted the item for a trip I was taking and had to have it by Saturday, November 27th.

On Thursday, Nov 25 at 5:23am – I receive an email telling me it had been shipped.  (It took them three days to process an item that had been requested with expedited delivery)

On Saturday, November 27 – I checked my mailbox and still no order.

After I checked my mailbox and saw no order from them – I started contacting them. 
   I sent an email stating that I had asked for and paid for expedited shipping and I had not received the product yet and I wanted a refund of my additional shipping charges.  In fact I sent it twice.
   The first customer service person told me that I would receive it on or about Thursday, Dec 2 and that is what I requested.
   When I emailed back and pointed out to them that I had requested and paid for rush shipment – they again told me that I would receive the shipment about Thursday, December 2 and if I did not have it by December 6 – they would refund me the difference in shipping.

Monday, November 22 - Ordered item and paid for rush shipment.
Thursday, December 2 – The estimated date of delivery
Eleven Days on an expedited order - I paid extra money and received no extra service.  Eleven days is longer than it normally takes on a plain old delivery.

“Pucker Up and Kiss Up”
But –
you have to be nice to them – or else,
If I come to the top of their shit list, they could intentionally screw up every order I place.
It only takes one computer notation in their system - on my account - to screw my orders forever.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Be Nice to Me – Or Else

Today I was talking with a group of friends about how sometimes you have to be nice to people when you don’t want to be.  You have to be nice to them just because you have to and you’re afraid what will happen if you are not nice to them.  You may not like them – but you have to be nice to them or else.  They may treat you (or someone you care about) horribly – but you have to be nice to them or else.  They may be just nasty people – but you have to be nice to them or else.

There are times in your life when you have to  “pucker up and kiss up” – whether you want to or not, because you have no idea what will happen if you don’t.  Having to pucker up once in awhile isn’t the issue.  It’s when you spend your life with a perpetual pucker that interactions becomes a putrid exhange of prattle.

We came to the conclusion that in the US “pucker up and kiss up” is becoming more prevalent, and that it’s a new form of societal induced paranoia that seems to be infecting the US.  The mantra has become – Be afraid, be very afraid.  And sometimes we're not even sure why we should feel afraid - but we are.

Some may think that it’s just common decency to be nice to people.   But in my opinion there are just some people in this world that you shouldn’t have to be nice to – if they aren’t nice to you.  BUT, when you look at the flip side of what could happen if you weren’t nice to them - you have to be nice to them - or else.

Based on our past experiences here is a list of “pucker up and kiss up” people that we agreed we have to be nice to – or else. 
  -- We agreed that not all of them are worth being afraid of –
       but you can’t take a chance –
       because you don’t know which one to be afraid of. 
  -- We agreed that with some of them – they may seem okay right now,
      until that one day –
      the day when your name comes to the top of their shit list
      and your life becomes hell.

Ø      Policemen and Policewoman – If you aren’t nice to them they can screw your world, just because they can.  And you don’t know which one of them “will screw your world” so you have to be nice to them or else.

Ø      Your hair stylist – OMG what they could do to you if they decided they didn’t like you on any particular day.

Ø      Your car mechanic – You take your car there because you were told they are good mechanics – it doesn’t mean they are nice people.

Ø      A tax auditor, the TSA or any government worker – You screw up here and you can put your head between your knees and kiss your…

Ø      Your coworkers.  Enough said

Ø      Anyone who handles your food – Too much bad press about what could happen if they don’t like you.

Ø      A host or hostess at a restaurant - Too much bad press about what could happen if they don’t like you.

Ø      Nursing home staff who take care of a loved one - Ditto

Ø      Your landlord

Ø      Your best friend’s significant other or spouse

Ø      Your child’s significant other or spouse

Societal Induced Paranoia
“Pucker up and kiss up” or else.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What is "A Family" - Depends on Whom You Ask

How does a sample of the US society view the construct of “family”?

Today is Thanksgiving (in the US) – a day that most people spend with their families.  According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 76% of respondents stated that family was the most important thing in their lives and 89% said they would be spending Thanksgiving with members of their family. 

On November 18th the Pew Research Center released a 122-page study that they had done in conjunction with Time Magazine.

It appears that most media read the Executive Summary and called it quits.  The published articles picked bits and pieces of the research (related to the future of marriage) and posted articles about marriage in the US and everyone talked about it for days – still are. 

I strongly recommend that you read the entire study – it has some very interesting points in it that are not being reported by the media.  The study is much bigger and much more important than just  “Is Marriage Obsolete?”

About the Study
The study sample size was 2,691 adults over the age of 18.  The survey included 1,520 landline phones and 1,171 cell phone respondents.  The weighted demographics are 52.9% married, 67.3% white, not Hispanic, 51.3% female,  54.4% college educated, and (I found this interested) 38.5% from the South.

And Here Is What Else I Found Interesting
Here’s some analysis of the responses you didn’t see reported in the news from the Pew Research Center study.  These are not the “exact questions” asked in the study -  they are my rendition of the questions based on how the results were reported in the study. BUT, phrases I have used are directly from the study, i.e. “bad thing”.

Are you currently married?
Democrat Respondents:  45%
Republican Respondents:  67%
Independent Respondents:  52%
Overall Respondents:  53% 

Is the growing variety of family arrangements a bad thing?
Democrat Respondents:  17% said it is
Republican Respondents:  48% said it is
Independent Respondents:  27% said it is
Overall Respondents:  29% said it is

Is a gay or lesbian couple living together with one or more children a family?
Democrat Respondents:  73% said it is
Republican Respondents:  54% said it is not
Independent:  not reported
Overall Respondents (smaller sample size - only 1,364):  63% said it is

Is a gay or lesbian couple living together with no children a family?
Democrat Respondents:  56% said it is
Republican Respondents:  68% said it is not
Independent Respondents:  not reported
Overall Respondents (smaller sample size - only 1,327):  45% said it is

Is a cohabiting (unmarried) couple with no children a family?
Democrat Respondents:  54% said it is
Republican Respondents:  75% said it not
Independent Respondents:  not reported
Overall Respondents (smaller sample size - only 1,364):  43% said it is

And then there were these responses
Is a gay and lesbian couple raising children bad for society?
Democrat Respondents:  30% said it is
Republican Respondents:  65% said it is
Independent Respondents:  not reported
Overall Respondents:  43% said it is

Is a single mother having children bad for society?
Democrat Respondents:  61% said it is
Republican Respondents:  83% said it is
Independent Respondents:  not reported
Overall Respondents:  69% said it is

Are people living together without being married bad for society?
Democrat Respondents:  32% say it is
Republican Respondents:  63% said it is
Independent Respondents:  not reported
Overall Respondents:  43% said it is

And of course
Are you optimistic about the institution of marriage and family?
Democrat Respondents:  71% yes
Republicans Respondents:  63% yes
Independent Respondents:  not reported
Overall – all respondents:  67% yes
Which is the headline the media chose not to use.

Tags: Pew Research, family, marriage, define family

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Corporations: Let Them Pay Fees!

Corporations are getting smarter, not just about doing more business in low-tax countries, but in moving their more valuable assets there as well. That means setting up overseas subsidiaries, then transferring to them ownership of long-lived, often intangible but highly profitable assets, like patents and software. “
As a result, figures tax economist Martin Sullivan, companies are keeping some $28 billion a year out of the clutches of the U.S. Treasury by engaging in so-called transfer pricing arrangements,  (Source 3)
“With corporate tax receipts at 20-year low, the GAO takes a look through the books and finds 94% of all U.S. companies paid less than 5% -- and 61% paid nothing at all.” (Source 1)

“About 70% of foreign-owned companies doing business in the United States paid no federal tax in the late 1990s, the GAO said. The GAO report covered 2.1 million returns by U.S. companies and 69,000 foreign-owned companies.”(Source 1)

“In fact, in 2008, the Government Accountability Office found that two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005.”  (Source 4)

Companies with a tax bill of zero
Source: General Accounting Office

Tax year
U.S. returns
1996
1,360,566 (60.3%)
1997
1,331,638 (60.9%)
1998
1,335,000 (61.0%)
1999
1,310,280 (61.2%)
2000
1,332,239 (63.0%)


2009  TAXES PAID  and GROSS SALES  (Source 2 and Source 3)

General Electric   ZERO dollars to the US  (10K  - tax liabilities is ALL to foreign governments)
General Electric Sales   $157 billion
_____________
ExxonMobil   $26 million to the US,  $15.1 billion in foreign taxes owed.
Exxon Sales:  $301 billion
_____________
Walmart  $4.9 billion to the US  , $1.2 billion international.
Walmart Sales:   $401 billion
_____________
AT&T     $6.2 billion to the US
AT&T Sales:   $123 billion
_____________
Bank of America – ZERO dollars to the US
Bank of America Sales:   $120 billion
_____________
Ford Motor Company    $69 million to the US
Ford Sales:   $118 billion
_____________
IBM  $34 million to the US             $35 million international
IBM Sales:   $96 billion
_____________
CitiGroup   ZERO tax dollars to the US
Sales:  $91.1 billion


New Revenue Stream


I live in a State where our stupid governor committed to a “No New Taxes” pledge when he came into office so I learned about a new way to raise money – it’s called “fees”.

For those Corporations that don't think they should pay their “fair share” of taxes – maybe we can recoup some of those lost taxes with “corporate fees’.
$        Want to use the corporate jet?  That will be an additional “corporate fee” for the air traffic controller and the runway usage, let’s see $10,000 per take-off is a good number.
$        Need fire coverage for your building?  That will be an additional “corporate fee” for use of the fire department.
$        Need police coverage for your building?  That will be an additional “corporate fee” for use of the police department.
$        Company car?  Oops, that’s an additional $4.00 “corporate fee” per gallon for gasoline.
$        Company credit card paying for that lunch?  Oh my, that will be an additional 22% “corporate usage fee”. (Just because we can)
$        Want water in your building?  Well, that will be an extra $100 “corporate fee” per flush.
$        How many company cars do you own?     Hmmmmmmm, that will be a $5,000 per car “corporate fee” for usage of the highways, city streets and for new curbs.
$        Oh, you have a cafeteria on-site?  Well that will be $100 “corporate fee” for each meal served to ensure safe food for your employees.
$        Bypassing the scanners at TSA?  That will cost you a "corporate fee" of $5,000 per passenger.

The possibilities are endless.
Let them pay fees.

Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA Scanners - It IS About the Money$$$$$$$$$

I'm sorry folks - you can protest as much as you want about the new "nudie" scanners - but I am doubtful if you will change anything.

There's too much money involved in the contracts.
The companies that have the contracts will hire as many lobbyists as they can and pay them whatever they can to make sure the contracts don't go away.

I culled a bunch of articles and here's what you might want to know.


The TSA has installed 385 machines,
made by companies such as L-3 Communications and Rapiscan, at 68 airports
and plans to have 500 of the scanners, in place by the end of 2010.
In 2011 TSA hopes to add another 500

L-3 Communications
$        L-3 Communications, which has sold $39.7 million worth of the machines to the federal government
$        The Transportation Security Administration awarded a contract to L-3 Communications to buy up to $165 million worth of its ProVision scanners.
$        L-3 Communications $2.1 million in 2005, lobbying data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show.
$        Last year, the company L-3 Communications $5.5 million on lobbying.
$        L-3 Communications spent $4.3 million to influence Congress and federal agencies during the first nine months of this year,
$        L-3 Communications hired former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.) who was once on the Commission on Aviation Security under President George H.W. Bush.
$        L-3 Communications lobbyist Linda Daschle (the wife of former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle), a prominent Democratic figure in Washington, who is a former Federal Aviation Administration official.
$        Among the bills targeted by L-3 Communications lobbyists: Legislation proposed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, that would limit the use of the scanners at airports.

Rapiscan Systems
$        Rapiscan Systems Inc. manufactured 211 of the 385 image scanners in use at 68 airports nationwide.
$        The government has spent $41.2 million so far on Rapiscan's machines.
$        Rapiscan, whose contract is worth $173 million
$        Last year the company did $17 million t $20 million in contracts. Over the past six months, the company has had $40 million in sales to the U.S. government, compared with $8 million in 2004.
$        Meanwhile, Rapiscan reportedly knows how to “play ball in Washington to increase its profits.”  As a result, the company made $40 million in sales to the United States government, compared to $8 million in 2004.
$        Rapiscan Systems, meanwhile, has spent $271,500 on lobbying so far this year, compared with $80,000 five years earlier.
$        Rapiscan Systems spent $440,000 on lobbying in 2009
$        Among Rapiscan's lobbyists: Beth Spivey, a former aide to ex-Senate majority leader Trent Lott
$        Lobbyists for this company include Susan Carr, a former senior legislative aide to Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) who is coincidentally chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee  (Carr, $80,000 - Rapiscan Systems)
$        David Whitestone, a former aide to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), and John Bucher, once the chief lobbyist for United Airlines, are lobbying for Holland & Knight (has earned $480,000 from Rapiscan)
$        Former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff went on a media tour promoting the use of these scanners, without disclosing that he was getting paid by Rapiscan  (Christmas 2009)

Source 1     Source 2      Source 3      Source 4      Source 5       Source 6     Source 7

Sunday, November 21, 2010

There but for the grace of God, go I

This week is Thanksgiving in the United States.  Thanksgiving is one of two major US holidays that is stereotypically a day for eating a huge family meal that includes a turkey on the dinner table.

It should be no surprise that there are a lot of people who can’t afford a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don’t understand that every year there are many who can’t afford a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  A lot of people don’t understand that every day there are many who can’t afford to put food on their tables.

If you are one of the fortunate who can afford a complete Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings - give thanks.  AND ask everyone who sits down at the dinner table to write a check or donate a buck or two before they leave to give to the local Foodshelf.  Make this a new tradition for Thanksgiving and every holiday meal you enjoy and do it every year.

About 6 years ago I was volunteering at a Foodshelf on the day that they distributed their “Thanksgiving Food Baskets”. Each person was to receive a “basket” that contained either a turkey, or a cornish hen or a chicken for their Thanksgiving dinner.  Each person received two bags of canned goods, their choice of day-old bakery goods for dessert, and the ability to take unlimited amounts of vegetables that were almost passed their eating date (and I questioned if the vegetables would make the four days to Thanksgiving.)  But it was food and that’s more important than the fact that it was “food specifically for Thanksgiving.”

We were getting close to the end of the time for distributing the baskets when a man in his mid thirties walked in.  He was very attractive with a $100 haircut that was growing out, a Brooks Brothers shirt (yes I do know what they look like), a pair of expensive dress pants and loafers that, when new, were probably worth in excess of $500.  I watched him walk through the line and pick up his bags of canned goods and ponder over the picked over day-old desserts.  He picked up his turkey, barely looking at me when I handed it to him and then picked through the vegetables that had seen better days.  He was almost out the door, when he turned around and walked back to me with tears in his eyes and thanked the Foodshelf for helping him provide a Thanksgiving dinner for his family – just remembering it makes me cry.

I hope the economic conditions are better for the young man from the Foodshelf and that he didn’t have to go to the Foodshelf this year.  I hope this year he is giving thanks for that meal six years ago and if he can, is making a regular donation to his local Foodshelf to help others with “their daily meals”.

For many people, this year Thanksgiving will be about a donated turkey, a couple bags of canned goods, day old desserts and vegetables that have seen better days.  For many people, this year Thanksgiving will be sitting down to a donated meal somewhere in their city.  For many, this year Thanksgiving will be about not having a Thanksgiving dinner to sit down to.

For many people, this year Thanksgiving will be sitting down to a huge meal with family and friends.  For those of us that that are fortunate enough to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner – we should be giving thanks.  We should also be expressing our good fortune and giving thanks from our pocketbooks - to help those that need food on their table everyday.

For those of us who will have a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, please remember the story about the young man at the Foodshelf and think “There but for the grace of God, go I” and reach for your checkbook.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bush Tax Cuts DID NOT Create Jobs

Have fun reading.


Congressional Budget Office of the Untied States of America
The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts of did not create jobs.

The Center of Budget and Policy Priorities
The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts of did not create jobs.

The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts of did not create jobs.

The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts of did not create jobs.

The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts of did not create jobs.

The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts of did not create jobs.

The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts of did not create jobs.

The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts of did not create jobs.

The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts of did not create jobs.

And they won’t create jobs if we extend them

And they won’t create jobs if we extend them

They Just Don't Understand

Based on the 2009 US Census I am under the median income for the State I live in and under the US median income.  Money is always a hot issue with me and today I’m going to visit money issues.  Specifically, the overall misunderstanding of what people can afford to have or buy.
I've found over the course of my life that a lot people who have money assume that everyone else can have and do what they have and do.  They are so removed from how other people live that in some cases they say things that are almost downright rude and offensive to others - based on money issues.  They have no idea what they just said is inappropriate.  They just don't understand.

It is my opinion that anyone or household that makes over $100,000 per year – has absolutely no idea how the rest of us live.  Yes, they may have been “poor” at one time in their life – but they have totally forgotten what it means to live from paycheck to paycheck – which is what most of us do who are at or below the median income.
I can hear someone whining out there – I only make $100,000 a year and things are not so good for me.  Oh, shut up!  Or – there they go again – $100,000 isn’t that much, I’m not any better off than when I was making $40,000.  Shut up!  Or – she doesn’t understand how frugal I am.  Being frugal equals more money in the bank or in investments, something other people can’t even dream of – Shut Up.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you make – we all pay the same rates for electricity, natural gas, water, gallon of gasoline, a quart of milk or a loaf of bread.  People forget that it doesn’t matter how much you make – for certain things the cost is the same.  People don’t realize that a crappy apartment can cost as much as the 30 year mortgage payment on a modest home.  The impact of these “fixed” costs hit people making less hard.
The items listed below are real – I asked around and added to my list.  If you don’t think they are real situations or you can’t understand why they would be issues– then you really have no idea how the other half deals with day to day issues.  Those who live it – understand it and believe it – because it’s real.
·         I don’t walk for exercise – I walk places because I have to.
·         Put away money for a rainy day – with what after my bills are paid, food is bought and gas is put in the car.
·         Every time I have to take off work for any reason (dentist, doctor (me or my kids) sick, child sick, have to go to the my kids school)– I lose pay – when I lose pay, my problems multiply.
·         On-going problem: when the due date of my bill due and my paychecks never coordinate
·         On-going stress: Desperately need a second job – can’t find one
·         On-going stress: Have no idea what I will do if my car breaks down.
·         Choices – Buy gas to go to work or buy food
·         Choices – gift for boss at holidays (expected) or gift for my kids – can’t do both
·         Choices – bring food for the potluck at work or go without food at home – can’t do both
·         Choices – go to the company holiday party (because I have to) – try to figure out how I am going to pay for the extra gas, the extra parking, the money for a sitter.  Company holiday luncheon across town – how am I supposed to get there and back?
·         Choices – Secret Santa at work should be about $20 – are you nuts?
·         Choices – I can go visit my family for Christmas – but I can’t afford presents for them.
·         Regularly go without lunch or dinner – because gas is more important.
·         You want me to go out and buy four lunches for your business lunch meeting and use my checkbook or my credit card (both which don't have enough money in them for your business lunch)
·         Bring my own lunch to work – Subway is not an option for me – PLEASE don’t ask me to go with you.
·         Health club membership?  What planet are you from if you think I can afford that?
·         Company sponsored HSA – with a $1,500 deductible literally means no health insurance for me.  Where do you think I’m going to get $1,500 00 from to pay for healthcare?
·         A scholarship for my kid(s) to attend something or do something special doesn’t help if transportation isn’t included.
·         Can’t afford new glasses
·         Don’t go to the dentist unless there is a problem and then something else is not going to get paid.
·         I’ve gone from basic cable to no cable – which means no TV reception or really bad TV reception.  My only source of entertainment is gone or not entertainment.
·         Can’t even dream of owning a LED flat screen TV
·         You’re going on vacation to somewhere nice (again, sigh)… can’t even dream of doing that.
·         Company donates money on my behalf to a charity at the holidays, instead of giving us the turkey I needed.
·         I get a holiday present from my boss that makes absolutely no sense to me, based on my needs / wants.
·         You think I should be donating “how much?” to retirement – Are you joking?– I don’t care if there is a match – I can’t afford that.