Use access key #2 to skip to page content.

alstry (34.92)

Your Choce:...Food, Clothing, Shelter

Recs

18

May 22, 2008 – Comments (9)

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- As nighttime temperatures plunged in Birmingham, Alabama, last October, Dora Bonner had a choice: either pay the gas bill so she could heat the home she shares with four grandchildren, or send the Birmingham Water Works a $250 check for her water and sewer bill.

Bonner, who is 73 and lives on Social Security, decided to keep the house from freezing.

``I couldn't afford the water, so they shut it off,'' she says.

Bonner's sewer bills have risen more than fourfold in the past decade. So have those of others in Jefferson County, which has 659,000 residents and includes Birmingham, the state's largest city.

What's threatening to increase them even more isn't the high cost of treating waste; it's the way county officials chose to finance the $3.2 billion in debt they took on to build a new sewer system. The county relied on advice from a bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., to arrange its funding, rather than use competitive bidding.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601170&refer=home&sid=aF_f8gLLNvn0

The above article deals with the fallout from a SWAP deal gone bad...but illustrates a HUGE problem that is rapidly unfolding.  More and more Americans are being forced to choose between food, clothing or shelter because their income can no longer afford all three simultaneously.

In the article, sewer bills in Jefferson County have increased fourfold in the past decade.  Many items the consumer spends money on has doubled or more in the past decade.

You think incomes have doubled in the past decade.  Actually if you take out the top 5% of income earners, incomes for Americans have actually declined since 1999 for the bottom 95%.

Those that are most vulnerable are those dependent on Social Security or government assistence.  As the reported CPI keeps understating the rise in costs, tens of millions of Americans are falling further and further behind.

This post is not intended to pass judgment....  Simply this:

How do we as a nation deal with the issue if half of our citizens cannot simutaneously afford to pay for food, clothing and shelter based on their personal incomes? 

And some think foreclosures are going down and housing will improve?????  Hope springs eternal....but reality sucks.

 

9 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 22, 2008 at 10:05 AM, Tankota (33.21) wrote:

Nice article, but...

Half our citizens? Really? Half? So you're not exaggerating a little (a lot). Did anyone go into this house a take note how many cartons of cigarettes, DVD's, bottles of booze, game systems, flat panel TV's, they found to be affordable?

Report this comment
#2) On May 22, 2008 at 10:25 AM, imobillc (< 20) wrote:

Finally something "new and meaningful"!

Not a lot of people would choose to post this one!

Why?

Because it isn't cool, it's not controversial enough..... 

This is as real as it gets.....

THIS IS REALITY IN "AMERICA"  -101-!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mars 

 

Report this comment
#3) On May 22, 2008 at 10:56 AM, alstry (34.92) wrote:

I am trying  to position this blog as the thinking persons blog without passing judgment one way or the other.  It is intended to attract those that like to think and slove problems.  Being relatively new to CAPs, I have noticed there are a number of you out there that clearly play the game at an above average level.

This is a great forum to share ideas.

As far as half our citizens....first I said "if."  Second you would be very surprised at how many Americans are primarily dependant on Social Security and government assistance....and as we age that number is growing dramtically.  Add in the families that have stagnant incomes living paycheck to paycheck and the numbers get pretty astonishing.

The point is simply this, if wages remain stagnant and costs continue to rise......the support beam eventually breaks and the entire bridge collapses....the quesion is not if but when.

It is a simple math problem with a definite outcome unless a solution is interposed to change the variables.

 

Report this comment
#4) On May 22, 2008 at 11:10 AM, alstry (34.92) wrote:

I am trying  to position this blog as the thinking persons blog without passing judgment one way or the other.  It is intended to attract those that like to think and slove problems.  Being relatively new to CAPs, I have noticed there are a number of you out there that clearly play the game at an above average level.

This is a great forum to share ideas.

As far as half our citizens....first I said "if."  Second you would be very surprised at how many Americans are primarily dependant on Social Security and government assistance....and as we age that number is growing dramtically.  Add in the families that have stagnant incomes living paycheck to paycheck and the numbers get pretty astonishing.

The point is simply this, if wages remain stagnant and costs continue to rise......the support beam eventually breaks and the entire bridge collapses....the quesion is not if but when.

It is a simple math problem with a definite outcome unless a solution is interposed to change the variables.

 

Report this comment
#5) On May 22, 2008 at 11:15 AM, wolfhounds (28.99) wrote:

It's far from just the poor that are having trouble making ends meet. A news report last night cited many middle income adults with children being forced to move back in with their retired parents.

Report this comment
#6) On May 22, 2008 at 11:21 AM, alstry (34.92) wrote:

I agree completely.  And the news will likely get much much worse as we proceed through the summer.

Most people don't understand the problem.  One doesn't need to go from employed to unemployed to implode.  One's income simply needs to drop below his or her minimum required expenditures in order to be forced into BK.

If your nose is 1inch above water, life is good....one inch below and you drown.

Report this comment
#7) On May 24, 2008 at 2:46 PM, Oraclepicks (< 20) wrote:

 

Residing outside the u.s. for the past 4 years, you begin to notice a few things that we do differently here at home. The penalty for buying more than you can afford should have consequences.

 

Report this comment
#8) On June 18, 2008 at 9:25 AM, carcassgrinder (35.71) wrote:

Here is  a fun fact....the top 20,000 wage earners in th U.S. earn more than the bottom 200 million.  That fact came from Ben Stein.  If it's true...which it probably is...that's some sick $hit.

Report this comment
#9) On June 20, 2008 at 1:14 AM, hansthered0 (< 20) wrote:

So what?

Wage distribution is uneven because contribution is uneven, deal with it...

If you are above average socialism is not for you, remember that cracassgrinder.

Report this comment

Featured Broker Partners


Advertisement