Used to be a penny saved, was a penny earned.
Now that we don’t really have pennies what happens?
Is anything saved anymore… or do we just spend it more and more until our credit runs out?
Has everyone’s spending gone wildly out of control today?
Now millions are not enough anymore. In fact millionaires are a dime a dozen these days…
Now you need to be a Billionaire!
It used to be you had a million, you would good – be set for life. Not if you planned to live in a city like Vancouver, Canada.
To say things have changed doesn’t calculate the scope or the orders of magnitude now needed to spend it on everyday living.
In the first of multiple flashback stories I can relate from when I was growing up, I remember the first time my Dad gave me an allowance of $0.16 at about seven or eight years of age. One dime, one nickel and one cent… it was huge. My brother and I would go to the corner store and spend it immediately and lie around drinking pop (5 cents) read some comics and then get handfuls of penny candy that was two or three pieces for one penny. We would take our shared comic and brown bag of sugar and pop to read the adventures of Sgt. Rock or other Super Heroes.
It was all good until we had to get real jobs, then the ladder of life’s capital asset achievements activates with getting wheels.
Once you have the freedom of owning your own car, you usually find the freaking high cost of vehicle insurance and driving is killing you and the freedom of the open road ends up costing you about $10,000. each year for ownership or even leasing.
Used to be we talked about minimum wage. Now we talk more about ‘living wages’ because minimum wage is near poverty.
In general minimum wage was under $10.00 per hour and has moved up to about $10.50 – Living wage is about $18-19.00.
Nobody in getting rich with either income annually. If you could get 40 hours a week at minimum wage it would be just under $21,000 per year. The living wage is just under $40,000 per year. But after you pay the average rent in Vancouver for a single bedroom at about $1,250 monthly ($15,000 annually), if you tried to survive on minimum wage you would have roughly $6,000 divided by 12 months at $500, or $125 per week or about $18.00 per day. Less transit, this would be $13.00 daily.
These are interesting times for the truth and reality of the 21st century to replace many of the lies and misguided leadership we have endured throughout the 20th century. We don’t seem to have much respect for our leader(s) in government today.
Are the politicians today getting what they deserve, or have we just given up hope for all these bozos that we’ve elected?
The ‘Public’ doesn’t seem to be getting as much of the public money, or the same good money for value which some previous leaders may have delivered in more partisan political administrations. These days many political leaders delight in playing games.
At the start of the 20th century we had two great world wars that made all of those living in that time know they never wanted to see those days again. Unfortunately if we don’t learn the lessons in history and “lest we forget,” wars start again and again.
The so called terrorism of today is really a failure of governments to cooperate. Many of the conflicts in world today are driven by industrial concerns of countries that have no real value or place in the world for legitimate trade with other world nations.
When I was a kid growing up we called Africa and other needy nations a ‘Third World,’ it was where the less fortunate lived. We didn’t really know much about these people because there was no Internet or TV to show us pictures or give us the story.
We all lived in the ‘First World’ we were grateful but really didn’t understand the gap between the ‘haves and have nots…’
Thank goodness we live in what many now consider one world. And that as humans, we are all one. Doesn’t matter what you say about religion, but for the most sake the true believers of world faiths don’t condone violence, fear and killing of others.
Even though Canada is a small country, it seems our “Harper Government” wants to imitate the USA (only 10x our population) in military, anti-terrorism and policing of the public good. Canada is ranked 37th largest country in 2015. Even so we seem to be sending our troops all over the world, yet we still can’t get food to needy kids in schools through lunch programs to ensure learning?
It seems today many governments don’t agree and don’t want to agree. Sometimes the politicians play their royal act too richly, they work for the people but really, they don’t… There is now a large part of the government which just protects their own entitlement.
Many of the wages now paid to those doing the ‘public service’ are better paid, with union job protection and pensions many of us in the private sector can only wonder how we will pay in future years. Shouldn’t we call have this entitlement?
Recently the government has mentioned the retirement age will most likely be rising. Many people wonder if we all living longer how much our lives will cost? When do you retire if you’re going to live over 100 years of age? How much is enough?
The concept of retirement is relatively a new one. Wasn’t big, except for the wealthy in the 19th Century. Before the great wars most people lived and died on a farm working to the ends of their lives. Following the depression in the 1930’s the “New Deal” was created by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the USA. This was a transformation from a capitalist domination establishment to one for the people. It guaranteed the rights of labour to fair negotiations and a social contract to look after all of those in need.
This revolutionized the US into building mega projects, cut the unemployment rate in half and doubled the wages of workers inside the four year term of FDR. These were days when people started to build pride in the American spirit and they thrived!
We must all learn from history or be doomed to repeat the lesson and hopefully learn the second time around.
Since the change of the millennium we have had a wild ride. Changing from 1999 to 2000 we didn’t know for sure the nukes would go of and end the world for everyone before we arrived in the 21st century! We have had financial disasters in the US to the point of were we had to print more money than ever before with ‘quantum easing of the economy’ we have had close to flat growth in the assets of the average household.
Strangest part of the story is how in these hard times since 2008 the number of billionaires has exploded. Are we to believe they sucked all their money out of the middle class folks, or that they got government kickbacks, or they sell drugs legally?
How can it be we have no more middle-class but a huge and growing luxury market of people who can lose a million or two?
Now governments are saying they want the rich to pay more taxes, we have a problem. Our Governments can’t agree!
I am beginning to wonder how far we can go without a revolt starting to happen with many of the younger people today.
When I was a kid (let’s say 30+ years ago) someone could buy a Vancouver area home for about $15,000. This would have been the equivalent of a professional (Teachers wage) one year salary. Let’s say today a teacher might make $60,000. annual salary, or about four times what they got paid in the old days. Meanwhile the house price in Vancouver is now more like $1 to 1.5 million, or about 100 times what the pre boomer generations paid for their homes. Is this out of wack, or what?
When doctors and lawyers say they can’t afford to live in Vancouver, where does that leave the so called middle class?
Many would say we are victims of our own greed. People came from other places and bought our home fair and square?
Or, did our governments or politicians get greedy? Just ask the Senate, or any of the multiple auditors reporting on those who have taken the public funds and spent it on their own pet projects, plus over claiming or double claiming private expenses to the public.
Do we really have a developers dream marketplace in Vancouver? Recent pricing increases with (non resident) residential real estate speculation by foreign developers has continued to push prices higher while still getting concessions from governments to overbuild.
Why? So the local governments can earn the increased property taxes, get richer and then spend it (our money) to pay higher than public market average salaries to themselves, political aids and administration to build more bureaucracy and drive higher costs.
If we are to survive our government, we must have more public engagement, interaction and involvement to stop the same mistakes of the past happening again.
In most cases the only way you get real change is from a small group of committed people. If we could hire a group of average people to agree and advise government on how to fix common problems it will be much quicker than our current political bureaucracy.
Next time you get a chance to vote. Vote for Real People who can make Positive Change… we can’t afford any more Bozos!