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I guess its true that there have always been the "lower working classes" throughout history........
October 22, 2007
6:30 pm
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truthBtold
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I just never imagined myself being among them!

Makes me ponder about this whole idea of lower, working classes.

I would suppose - on the absolute bottom rung would be the slaves throughout the centuries - yet - to the other extreme in this area...is there such a thing as a "glorified" working class in the world - either in present days or in history?

(Just trying to get a real point of reference in all of this mess.......afterall - I am feeling these days....that its not such a great thing to be an american as the american dream seems to be drowned out by an audacious sense of american corporate and politial greed.

I am not naive enough to think that there is no such thing as a lower, working class etc......its just to the DEGREE to which greed seems to dominate our american culture and makes me wonder if there is possibly a better place to live in the world in this year of 2007???????

Just a thought.

October 22, 2007
11:29 pm
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Matteo
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"makes me wonder if there is possibly a better place to live in the world in this year of 2007???????"

Honestly? I think any developed country is a better place to live than USA.

I am not sure what do you mean by "glorified" working class. Working class was pretty much glorified by communists but what happened in socialist countries was that lack of controlling mechanisms of the government activities created a new elite and in the end the working class didn't mean that everybody were equal, but everybody were equally poor, except the elite of course. Which stands in a great contrast with Sweden, ruled for years by socialists, where most belong to the middle class and you cannot get too rich because you will pay more taxes. Some to avoid the taxes leave and go to US.

October 23, 2007
8:59 am
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risingfromtheashes
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truth -

I was the "poster child" for the lower working class back in my home town...I KID YOU NOT.

we had this "committee" that was working to create "diversity" in the town, and create "affordable" housing - cuz they couldn't stomach the idea of calling it low income.

anyway - housing was far from affordable, but they were proud of themselves for creating it.

I was asked to join the committee as a voice of the "working person" they were trying to attract to the town.

The town had NOTHING to offer, except for exceptional schools - which struggled financially cuz people in town were more supportive of preserving the open woodlands than fixing the 100 year old boiler in the school building.

Anyway, they wanted to attract younger people to town - because the "other class" was too damn rich and special to volunteer for things like the fire department and ambulance corps....god forbid their house burn down cuz we poor folk weren't there to put it out.

Anyway, it was joke - and I secretly prayed that their plans would fail, so that a developer could come into town and totally rezone the whole town - and build TRUE affordable homes....cuz if the town did it first - the developers couldn't touch it....but if they didn't meet the deadline, the developers had one sweet deal going.

anyway, I digress.

I was too rich to be poor and too poor to be rich - I couldn't apply for any kind of aide - BUT - was JUSt getting by, with no money for "extras" like school activities and day trips anywhere. I shopped at discount grocery stores and received town turkey baskets and xmas gifts at holiday time...but ONLY because there was no paperwork in our town...in other towns I lived, I made too much.

I ended up moving to a rural community - the poorest in all of NY state - where I was lucky enough to find a job making almost the same I was back home - my commute is a tenth of what it was and housing costs are 50% less...I am finally living debt free (except for car payment).

I made sacrifices - being away from home - not living in a "pretty" area - the school is good in many ways, but still lacking from where we were.

But I do better than "just get by".

There is a HUGE proportion of us "working poor" in america...I look at minimum wages and the service industry making $7-8 an hour and wonder how the HELL they get by.

I think that there will always be a "great divide" between us and the rich folk - and it really is sad....and discouraging....the people in washington say how they are going to fix it...been hearing it for years....but just keep seeing that chasm between us growing....I don't suspect we'll see improvement in my lifetime.

October 23, 2007
12:35 pm
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jv63
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Hi folks,

What an interesting topic. I think you are right on TBT when you talk about greed in America. It is only my opinion but it seems to me that Greed,and a lust for power over others has driven most civilizations to a system of classes with the rich/ powerful being the top of the imaginary hierarcy. My personal experience as a "working stiff" has been many years of struggle. Thanks be to God i am on a better footing today. I worked for 2 1/2 decades in the iron business starting from the bottom up with very little education. The work can be brute hard with little money in return. most of the guys i know die young after spending a many of their good years drunk or stoned trapped in the imaginary box. I am now a consultant to the construction industry and the less work i do the more money i seem to rake in. For me the important thing has been to not judge others or myself in any kind of class distinction or catagory. This for me has been a form of bigotry. IE (hate them rich folks)This takes away from what i believe is our God given birth right to an equal sharer in the Greater Whole of humanity. Our individuallity is reduced when we see ourselves or allow others to see us as a certain group set apart. If I spend the majority of my time and energy trying to attain money or power. these things become my god or higher power if you will. then i am setting myself up for lonly despairing dissapointment. thanks truthBtold for the inspiring topic.

October 23, 2007
12:52 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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I agree JV - if we focus on everyone else, we lose sight of our own happiness.

we don't need to strive to be like others - tho at times, it does seem unfair and I "wish" for all they have - and how simply it seems to come.

but in my heart, I know that money isn't everything - and that while it may look like it comes easy - it never does - and while they may appear to have it all together - they have just as many problems, maybe more, than I do.

So, I do the best I can and enjoy it to the fullest.

October 23, 2007
4:01 pm
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MsGuided
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truth

What you say about greed and capitolism is true and it has been through the erosion of the education system and lack of socialistic guidelines in Gov that cause the divide.
Socialism isn't evil it is the opposite. The capitolisat elite want to demonize socialism becuase it weakens a pool of working slaves that are the backbone to wealth. Without the proper tools many are destined to be working poor.
There is a huge hypocracy that underlies any message of truth (?)

Donald Trump is where he is (besides inheritance issues) because he utilizes other peoples talents to draw his wealth from. He does it in the labour and investment markets. I can't stand his philosophy of wealth and success.....Steven Covey does a much better job at discribing the tools to obtain financial and personal wealth. You can be a social capitolist, like Richard Branson.
When a society has an inadequate education system that doesn't teach people comparitive study, personal empowerment through skill building,and is filled with singular absolutes you rob them of reasoning skills. Ignorance creates poverty and an army of mindless slaves who will blindly follow autocrats out of fear and ignorance. In the USA many are pawns to the fast food industry, Big Box stores, war, false agrandizing, inadequate health care and bad education ( the greatest richest country in the world? right.at others expense)

Through time monopolies have gained control over most of the economy. Profit margins are the focus at the expense of individual workers and their families.
I wonder when this Mental illness(corporate greed) will stop since economies are driven by consumers. What happens when people have such low wages they can't afford to buy the products put on the market?

I don't want to write an essay here but I think people are waking up. All you can do is realize what is happening out there and try to do what is right in your conscience. How you live, where you shop and how you fit in your community is part of that process.

The problem today is good paying jobs are disappearing (due to globalisation) and most replacement jobs are either highly skilled or in the service sector.

The working class hasn't the factory base anymore to support it. Many are losing work due to closures and are losing their pensions too!So you either specialize within an industry that is growing or get a minimum wage job?

October 23, 2007
4:13 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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I think as companies go overseas, you will see a WIDER gap grow.

it is true - without factory jobs - that give people opportunities to learn a skill and grow and develope that skill - what will they do? there are only so many walmarts and mcdonalds cashier jobs to go around - and that's all you ever be.

I remember when our grandparents were alive - factories gave people hope - many people learned skills - like ironworkers and mechanics and such...that could be used universally...not to mention good benefits.

with that gone - what's left? retail?

I think it all comes down to US making a change - problem is - even those who have nthing FIND ways to buy the consumer goods that line the big guys wallets....so many people in debt up to their eye balls - so many people give up good food to give their kids the newest xbox...it's sad what our priorities are.

I am slowly learning to live within my means - part of my own "recovery" is living in a remote area with little opportunity to shop and buy...I HATE internet shopping - so it reduces my impulse shopping and my debt....I am finally almost debt free - only my car left...this after two bankruptcies....you would have thought I learned - but I still had balances....now I am down to zero - and expecting a baby - and not going crazy with buying stuff - and deciding to go all natural - and breastfeed and use clothdiapers - which I got for free....so helping my child, myself, the earth and my budget.

sad thing is - too many people have got the "I wants", that there will always be a demand for cnosumer goods.

October 23, 2007
5:19 pm
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MsGuided
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rising
we have a lot in common. I also live in a rural town and I really hate shopping! I don't impulse buy in any way (to stuff my feelings and play the game of appearances)You also sound stubborn in living the natural way. Breast feeding is so important for yours and the childs health. WTG! People have to realize how their power is taken away for the sake of getting someone else rich.
Since I run my own biz tho, and I have to invest in the proper tools my debt is biz related. I draw the line, and set priorities with ownership and rental costs. Renting some things is better for some situations.

I'm Canadian. Although each province is different, we have apprenticeship programs in the trades mostly. You can apprentice with a sponsor, get paid while you earn certification. It sure beats going to post Sec', going into debt 30 grand then not finding work.!
My son wants to be a Mechanic and now they have Co-op programs starting in Senior high school, that places youth with business's where they learn and work during school hours and they recieve credits!
He will go smoothly from high school to the working world without aquiring any debt at all! IF he does the work of course!
Here my gov is recognizing a skilled trades deficit, mainly due to mistakes in the industry and lack of a workforce to replace retirees, so they are investing in beefing up aprentice programs and going in the schools. Here you don't have the military showing up to plant the seeds of war. BUT our tuitions are going up too high.

It's just a struggle to get any Gov to do what is really their job. Keep people strong mentally and physically to maintain a strong cultural and economic base.

I'm just glad I'm on this side of the border, for now. No offense !

October 23, 2007
9:28 pm
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Anonymous
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I believe that capialism works and that socialism is something that would ruin our country, personally speaking of course...I love my country, maybe not what is currently happening here, but I LOVE AMERICA!!!!

October 25, 2007
10:28 am
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truthBtold
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Thank you one and all for your responses!!!

Definently food for thought!!!!!

I have had a little time to think about this nad I have realized that alot of my frustration comes from not giving myself options in the workplace, you know?

I know of this one man whom not only has a "Plan B" - but a "Plan C & D" as well.

By that I mean that he keeps up his license to drive a tractor-trailer, plumbing, electrical etc.....so he has set a stage which gives his life options and I am sure that he avoids feeling stuck and without options because of it.

I also remember hearing that the country singer, Tammy Wynette kept her Beauticians license current the whole time she was a singer - in case that singing gig feel through the cracks.........

Maybe there is something that I can learn from this as I struggle to give myself options.....which goes a long way to alleviate the frustration and hopelessness that I am currently feeling...

hmmmm......

October 25, 2007
11:07 am
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risingfromtheashes
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msguided - I am not far from the canadian border - minutes actually - and a coworker has a canadian GF who just had a baby - and they walk away debt free - while I pay a hunk of my paycheck for med insurance and then have copays up the wazoo.

but I guess there are trade-offs.

October 25, 2007
10:19 pm
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MsGuided
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Capitalism spurrs our need for Oil, and rapes resources(minerals, forests, fresh water, etc) for the the benefit of economics.
Using resources in an irresponsible manner, all creating wealth and power for the very few is robbing our future generations of their chance at a good life.
A good life means clean air, clean water, good paying jobs, not having to work over 40 hours week, proper education, and connected communities where people feel safe, and validated.
Capitalism is causing war, pollution, global warming, spreading deserts , extreme poverty and starvation for masses of people in third world countries, and is leaving our kids , here in the USA and Canada with rising costs of living and a huge deficit.
Capitolism without restraint cause cerytain people to go mad with greed, so that they don't consider others, the consequences of polluting, or the environment ( remember slavery?that was capitalism, The Love Canal? the Erin Brockovich Story?)

Capitalism sucks and is destroying us and the planet. Capitalism tells you it cares, while it really doesn't give a damn 'cause jobs are there for you, at minimum wage of course.

Capitalism is going to fill you with fear. Tell you if you don't support it you're going to be attacked by terrorists, or be poor.
Capitalism is Ne wworld slavery, cause people don't get rich unless they have other people getting them there. So whats wrong with sharing?

Aren't we taught to share and care?

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