Interesting Links for June 7, 2009

by Kevin on June 7, 2009

It seems that yesterday my allergies decided to kick back in. I’m glad summer is here, but having my eyes so bloodshot that it looks like I’m hungover or really sad isn’t exactly a lot of fun. We stopped by the store today and picked up some Alavert — here’s to hoping I start to look normal sometime soon.

In the meantime here are some great articles I came across this week.

New research shows us how successful savers are different than spenders. (@CNN Money)

Another CNN Money article highlights that a “good” job now “only” pays $12/hour in former automotive areas. This is down from $28/hour that auto workers were used to making. $58,000 per year to make cars on an assembly line. And we wonder why GM and Chrysler went bankrupt? (@CNN Money)

One last article from CNN, and this one is pretty scary. The writer points out that 60% of all bankruptcies are prompted by medical bills. And of those bankruptcies 75% of the individuals had health insurance. Is the system broken? I think so. (@CNN)

The Carnival of Personal Finance was hosted at Funny About Money last week, and one of my articles was included.

Consumerism Commentary wants to know if you would buy a car from Wal-Mart? This is a fascinating discussion. Many people, myself included, see the dealer almost as an obstacle when purchasing a vehicle. Saturn, Scion, and CarMax all have “our price or no price” policies that prevent haggling. Younger generations may enjoy this because they know what price they’re going to pay, they know what they want, and they don’t like to haggle. I’m not sure I would buy it from Wal-Mart specifically, but I could see the model growing into other outlets.

A Year Ago on No Debt Plan:

One year ago I was relating portion control with finances. I wrote it in two parts: part one, and part two.


David June 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm

First off, from the CNN Money article regarding the Auto Industry and wages….

“Even in the auto industry, $28-an-hour is no longer the starting wage. Since 2007 the industry has had a two-tier wage system, meaning that when they start hiring again the new starting wage will be $14 an hour. ”

Hate to have to let CNN Money have a honest reality check but, NOBODY started at $28.00 an hour in an “on the line” job. Never happened. Obviously written by someone who has absolutely no clue.

Second of all, a GREAT many people started at a $10.00-12.00 wage and have worked on the line for 30 years to get to the point of the so-called $28.00 an hour position. And the ONLY way to get to that hourly rate was to go to school and get a degree while working. Bidding and waiting to get into an apprentice position and gradually working up to Journeyman status. So, these are not, NOT unskilled laborers. These are men and women who stuck out all the hard times, all the labor disputes, worked the overtime, and went to school part time in order to make a decent wage. They didn’t sit back and whine about only making a small wage. They knew in order to better their children’s lives, to live in a decent neighborhood, to be able to pay for a better education for their kids. to let their kids know that they don’t have to live in a ghetto area all of their lives, they had to do it. They worked hard to get to this level. It was not handed to them. Don’t take that away from a person who worked hard to manage a full time job, a family, children, keeping up a home, making sure their children are feed, clothed and educated and then took every spare second that they had to study and attend college.

Also, working on the line in many of the automotive plants is extremely dangerous. One small slip or one moment of not paying attention and you could be seriously hurt. This is not a cushy little desk job.
Not to mention the fact that the Detroit area automotive factories have paved the way for the small little town in some remote area to have a factory and the people who work there can actually do their job in relative safety and a decent wage. Oh the shock! The horror! How dare we allow that to happen!

But, apparently, people believe that any person who does a physical “menial” factory job (even though they have made the effort to go back to school and earn a degree) should not be allowed to make a “Middle Class” wage. After all, they are “just factory workers”. They come home from work tired and dirty. Oh yuck…those kind of people should not be allowed to earn a decent wage!

Don’t lay all the blame on the American worker. I am so tired of hearing that kind of flippant comment. Bad corporate decision, lack of investing in technology, not keeping up with trends, losing site with what made GM a great company, those are far bigger issues in the downfall of GM.

Such typical exaggerations against blue-collar workers made by white collar workers has become acceptable fodder in the media these days. The continuous misinformation being handed out to the public should not be accepted by the American people.

The Urban Myth about these big salaries that state any uneducated person can just walk in the doors at an automotive factory and start cranking in the big bucks, is not only an insult to the person who has been doing his job day after day, year after year to the best of his ability but, should be questioned by anyone who has an education level of over the 6th grade. If people took the time to listen to the source that is stating these myths, people would be a bit better informed.

Sadly, when a nation that is hurting as much as this nation is, continues to perpetuate the acceptability of allowing the corporate talking heads to place blame on the workers of this country, to allow the automatic “Well, they are white collar workers therefore they know more and are to be believed over a blue collar worker any day” mentality, will continue to disintegrate our economy and are well being as a nation. And who are the biggest contributors for this bias? A huge portion of the blame falls directly on the shoulders of white-collar conservative press corps. There is no honor in reporting factual information today. It is all about the moment. what will sell. what will make the biggest bucks for their wallet. And sadly, there are many eager to snatch up these juicy falsehoods and spread them as fast as they can. It is so much more fun to “gossip” than to actually try think for look beyond what is easy to follow. Of course, those who actually believe in this tripe are also those that have never worked in a factory job for any length of time.

Are Americans overall, really that naive? No, I don’t think so. Unfortunately, the hard working people of this country really don’t have the time, energy or desire to waste in order to explain to the few who have nothing better to do but fuel the myths out there. We are too busy actually working for a living and trying to better our lives. And that really irritates those who have more time on their hands than they know what to do with.

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