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More families are struggling as the economic divide widens

Published: Sunday, Feb. 8 2009 3:39 a.m. MST

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Solution

I have a solution, more tax breaks for the rich!

Poverty in america

It took time and was eventual to happen, once the fuzzy debt syndrome kicked in. All of a sudden business and the american people realized they are not middle class or even close. It was well disguised with high debt to income ratios and the ability to pass debt around like it was a cash bonus. What is making it worse is the devaluation of the dollar and how it forces higher cost of foods and goods made and grown outside the U.S. It has taken a few generations now to realize that their grandparents were not gifted with what they have, they had to fight for a decent income from their employers to become middle class americans. The american labor market has lost its united efforts to keep jobs and income levels abreast of cost of living and inflation. Large corporations and business were able to convince our government that we americans expected too much for their employement so they moved out of america along with decent jobs. We are at pre WWII level jobs and income again. Government put more emphasis on business profit than on american workers needs, now we are losing in every way.

This is the reason

Our pocketbooks don't go very far. We voted for a change in policy for that reason. There is a huge gap between the very rich and those of us everyday people who are just trying to get by in this world.

Life if difficult for people who have been laid off and are in the situation of raising a family.

Anonymous

I would die to have what they have, and so would many other Utahns! OMG, the middle class is hurt by the downside---try being the little guy. And I am not talking the little guy who still drives around in a car, but the little guy who has never been able to afford a car. That kitchen is about half the size of my whole apartment. This is a very poor story about the "demise of the middle class". What we need to do is get off this sense of entitlement we have, gets our butts out there and work for the little things -- then there would be more appreciation. I have too many relatives that worked on the work projects just so they could have a job and a sense of accomplishment.

Anonymous

Hamburger and Chicken...Nice luxury. Thank goodness for the years of building up food reserves, making your own bread, growng your own garden. Turn off the cable and get a converter box and watch free tv. Our parents and grandparents did it. We are a spoiled generation, I think our great grandparents would be ashamed at our lazy, spoiled legacy. This generation needs to figure out what a "want" and what a "need" is. Food, clothing and shelter...the necessities of life. Everything else is a bonus. Think about it.

jenny

Would someone please identify the fathers of all these deserted families? It is time for the fathers to be held accountable. So easy to go find the 20yr and leave the family he helped to create. Bring home the men and hold them accountable to their children. It is time for the community programs to lower their prices for playing on community teams. Bring back the spirit of fun and games without it costing an arm and a leg - Damn the torpedoes(fathers)

Julie

The problem here is there has been too much playing and not enough work. People of the US, are used to having more play than work. We now need to buckle down. My grand children go to Gymnastic, dance, soccer, football, pre kindergarten, etc. this all cost money. They are all frills that we need to cut out. Sorry if it hurts.

To Anonymous

You would die to have what they have? Their husband and father DID die! Would you want that? They have to spend hundreds per month on medications. You would want that?

Matter of choice

Poverty does not have to be a lifestyle! It is a choice!! I am middle class and cannot find a scholarship for my caucasian, average son because we make too much. If we were anything but average middle class people, we could have school paid for to help him get a better edge in life. Stop making excuses- there is every kind of program out there with free money for poor people. You don't have a car because you choose not to have one. If you really wanted one, you would find a way.

Anonymous

I like Elizabeth Warren. I have admired her scholarship for years. I like her because her diagnosis is not simple or easy. Unlike many religious leaders, who attribute debt to "living beyond your means," she says that's not it at all. Goods and services cost more, she writes, which takes a huge hit on the middle-class family. I wish the churches in Utah would do more to help people adjust to the economic realities of their lives. Just saying have faith, you'll get through it, is trite and meaningless.

midwest

to Jenny-and the rest who are so critical-- before you paint everyone with the same brush- this lady is working. She is a school teacher. She is a single parent. If you bothered to read the article she became a widow a year ago. She has had alot of adjustments. If she is not making them per your schedule, I would have to ask if you have walked in her shoes at all.

I am sure every one who criticizes this woman has totally lived within their means, has no debt,knows exactly how all those terrible people who are struggling got there. Afrer all, they sit in their smug world and will never be in that position.

Are there plenty of people who set themselves up? Of course. But it is ignorant to smugly judge one and all.

Puzzled Pauline

I agree about the games part.

We were a poor family but my cousin always played on the local little league team. I don't remember it costing much - if anything.

When my own children were soccer age (@1980), although we were a complete family - there was little extra to play league games. So they didn't.

It is time to get back to some simplier things and not let kids expect that things are a given.

small business owner

If I wasn't taxed so heavily I could expand my business to one more location and hire more people. And I pay well... $17-24/per hour for employees with no formal education. Don't tell me that taxes don't have an impact... I know first hand that they do.

samhill

What nonsense!

If people want to figure out why they have less than they would like, the reasons are exactly the same they have ALWAYS BEEN.

First, and foremost, work to find work that you can enjoy AND which is in a job market that is likely to be in demand enough to pay you what you think you will need. If that means trade schools, go there. If that means college, go there. If that means starting your own business, do that.

Do all this as early in your life as possible (a recommendation I can provide as someone who waited much longer than I should have).

As much as possible, buy ONLY what you can pay for as you can pay it. Use credit cards ONLY for NECESSITIES that come along unexpectedly and pay off the balance AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Save, SAve, SAVe, SAVE! And, invest.

In other words, work to work in a job that is likely to pay you what you need and then do all you can to make that pay work for you.

We live in a country that is still a land of promise and opportunity. Never forget that.

RE: Anonymous 8:03....

You don't get ahead by spending more than you earn. Living within your means is essential. Some churches stress the need for education & self-sufficiency. If you increase your means, you can easily afford the necessities of life. By the way, has the cost of a car really increased? Back in the day a car didn't have leather, power seats, MP3/DVD players, power windows, etc. Many things only cost more because they come with more. Look at the price of wheat & gasoline. They are cheaper today than they were 40 years ago when you consider inflation.

Watch for envy

The amount of envy in some of these posts is alarming to me. "We have less and they have more... it's not fair" seems to be what they're saying. It's not only childish, it's dangerous.

The only way to satisfy that kind of logic is to forcefully take from the haves and give to the have-nots. And that's even more dangerous! Not only is that NOT fair, it's not what Jesus would do!

Remember the parable of the talents... everyone should be rewarded--or punished!--for what they do with what they have, not how much they have compared with others. In that parable the Master actually took the talent from the servant who had only one and gave it to the one who already had ten! What's the principle behind that? There are many! Envy, industriousness, accountability, jealousy, true fairness, etc.

Any time I hear people comparing incomes and complaining about how much they make compared to others it scares the dickens out of me!

Stop comparing your income and situation to other! Stop envying and coveting and instead, invest the talents that you do have to make things better!

To Anonymous

To Anonymous who feels that churches who teach members to "live within their means" and to exercise faith, I ask: what would our country be like if everyone did just that? Instead of seeing how quickly we can spend it all to get the most possessions and pleasures possible, why not try saving and just spending time with your loved ones? Who is our neighbor? What are their needs? This isn't an easy thing to do, but what worthwhile things really are?

John

I do feel bad this woman's husband died. But her home does appear to be nice and I think she'll find that cutting out the cable is a blessing in disguise.

I make more than all of my siblings but yet we are the ones without cable, TiVo, new cars, fancy vacations, etc. It's not what you make, it's what you spend.

micki

People are finding it more and more difficult to just live, let alone "within their means"...the means has been reduced, and the "minimum" cost of food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, has risen prohibitively. Real wages are at their lowest in 40 years! No wonder people are hurting. But CEOs are not.
Not if they can afford trips to Cabo and private jets on our bailout money. This must stop. What would Jesus do? He'd make sure everyone on this abundant planet would have enough because it is only greed that is keeping that from happening. Envy may be a problem, but GREED is much worse.

SAVE don't spend

People need to cut back on their worldly vacations. This is not a time to be spending money on wasted gratifications. It's a time to save.

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