quiddities and agonies of the ruling class - a rolling new york times thread

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (8169 of them)

(though it does suggest a sense of humor peeking out from under the gray lady's hem)

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Saturday, 16 May 2009 00:49 (5 years ago) Permalink

the new wife would probably be doing fine on her own (sans lunkhead) with that $60,000 -- that's enough to rent a nice apartment and have a decent clothing/entertainment budget even in an expensive city. hell, i'll take it.

MRSA Marchant (get bent), Saturday, 16 May 2009 00:49 (5 years ago) Permalink

Tracer Hand, Saturday, 16 May 2009 15:28 (5 years ago) Permalink

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104192406

(also, quiddities? you mean quibbles?)

"the whale saw her" (gabbneb), Saturday, 16 May 2009 15:36 (5 years ago) Permalink

keep up, gabby!

Tracer Hand, Saturday, 16 May 2009 16:45 (5 years ago) Permalink

More from McArdle, who has read the book.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 18 May 2009 19:32 (5 years ago) Permalink

Andrews spends a lot of time defending not feeling bad, because after all, the banks shouldn't have lent him money. This is true, they shouldn't, and anyone who did should be profusely apologizing to their shareholders. But when you read the book, what you discover is that while the book is ostensibly about our Great National Borrowing Binge, for Andrews, the debt is really a sideshow. He couldn't afford to get married. At all.

After his alimony payments, Andrews was taking home $2770 a month, or about what I took home when I was a junior web editor at The Economist. On this, he expected to support a wife and several children who came attached to a meagre $700 a month in child support.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 18 May 2009 19:33 (5 years ago) Permalink

And from the comments:

---

mrmanley May 18, 2009 3:09 PM

This is the point I make when I say that middle-aged men need to think very deeply before they marry again, especially to women who have children from another marriage. In a financial sense, marriage is all downside to the man: huge expenses, legal obligations, dealing with the ex and the ex-extended family, and very little protection if (when) things go south. As I said in another thread: you better be in love, chum, because your love is all that's going to keep you warm when she takes all your s**t after the divorce.

I forget which comic first made the observation, but men would often be better served by simply picking an attractive female at random and then simply giving her half his assets. It would save time and emotional wear and tear.

But the heart wants what it wants, and expenses be damned.

(Why, yes, I am divorced. How can you tell?)

Bergamot (Replying to: mrmanley) May 18, 2009 3:17 PM

"Why, yes, I am divorced"

It's hard to imagine why...

Ned Raggett, Monday, 18 May 2009 19:35 (5 years ago) Permalink

he was still stupid enough to a) live there

wild guess about major factor in this: kids; DC public schools vs. DC suburban public schools

how the fuck do you have a card with a 27% rate

make one late payment

new wife would probably be doing fine on her own (sans lunkhead) with that $60,000

given that she has multiple kids in custody and is allegedly the one with the spendy habits, not so sure about this

nabisco, Monday, 18 May 2009 19:47 (5 years ago) Permalink

make one late payment

in 2008/2009, sure. but this is in 2005, when revolving credit issuers were falling all over themselves to get in on the whole giving-money-away party. you couldn't open a mailbox without a dozen ZERO ZERO ZERO APR offers spilling out. that's aside from the UNSECURED LOAN UP TO $20K!!! and "o hai here are some checks" etc etc "offers"

i understand he had some credit challenges but the only way you can be holding a 27% apr card in 2005 is if you just like and enjoy touching hot stoves.

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Monday, 18 May 2009 20:26 (5 years ago) Permalink

well if you're asking why he wouldn't convert that to something lower-rate, the answer given in the article is pretty much that he did (by borrowing against home equity, paying off cards, and then refinancing the house at a lower rate)

nabisco, Monday, 18 May 2009 20:33 (5 years ago) Permalink

I don't think he is that wicked a bastard or that different from most. I wish I had made better decisions, too, and it's way easier o hold everyone else to some Warren Buffet standards than it is to do it yrself.

cant go with u too many bees (Abbott), Monday, 18 May 2009 20:37 (5 years ago) Permalink

^^^ this

Hatfail of Hollow (Nicole), Monday, 18 May 2009 20:39 (5 years ago) Permalink

What bugs me about saying that 100K/year is middle class in NYC or DC is that living in those places is a luxury, not a right. There are lots of places in this country where 100K a year is rich. You might look down on those places and not want to live there, and I wouldn't blame you. And maybe you wouldn't be able to do the kind of work you want to do in those other places. But not getting what you want is a lot different than saying the middle class lifestyle in the US is slipping away.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:45 (5 years ago) Permalink

what if you're born in those places? and your whole family is there? and it's all you know?

$20K a year is a lot to make in some parts of the world too you know...

s1ocki, Monday, 18 May 2009 21:47 (5 years ago) Permalink

and chances are if dude lived somewhere cheaper, he would be making less for the same type of job, so what's your point really?

s1ocki, Monday, 18 May 2009 21:49 (5 years ago) Permalink

What bugs me about saying that 100K/year is middle class in NYC or DC is that living in those places is a luxury, not a right.

tell that to the people who were born there and can't afford to move (or have job security there, or just don't fucking want to be displaced)

xposts

elliot easton ellis (get bent), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:49 (5 years ago) Permalink

Ha! Hahahahah. Living in an inner city area (if they're still called that) is a "luxury"? How modern of you.

But not someone who should be dead anyway (Laurel), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:51 (5 years ago) Permalink

i say this as someone who was born there -- i really feel for other natives who are being squeezed out.

elliot easton ellis (get bent), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:52 (5 years ago) Permalink

south bronx = luxury!

elliot easton ellis (get bent), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:53 (5 years ago) Permalink

I thought the thread was about the ruling class, b/c the article is about educated people who are choosing where to live?

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:54 (5 years ago) Permalink

and yeah, living wherever you want, instead of just going where the jobs are, is a luxury, in the economy that we're a part of.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:55 (5 years ago) Permalink

i wouldn't conflate "educated" and "ruling class."

elliot easton ellis (get bent), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:55 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's the thing -- there are lots of job sectors and skill sets where if you weren't making X pay in a more expensive urban area, you'd either be jobless entirely someplace cheaper, or making a salary that was adjusted to the lower cost of living elsewhere, or probably doing a different sort of job entirely. (If a dude makes $100k covering a DC beat for the Times, what's the advice here -- "why don't you just live someplace less expensive and commute in from West Virginia?" Or is it "why don't you make less than half that covering something for a West Virginia paper?")

When people point out the higher cost of living in these urban centers, all they're saying is that the salary figure can't be directly compared to the same figure some other places. It takes slightly more to afford the same standard of living you could get a bit more cheaply elsewhere. This isn't a big deal, just sort of something to keep in mind about the numbers.

nabisco, Monday, 18 May 2009 21:56 (5 years ago) Permalink

I'm just trying to follow the title of this thread and the article that it links to.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:56 (5 years ago) Permalink

living wherever you want, instead of just going where the jobs are, is a luxury

This DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS WHAT YOU JUST SAID, because if you are a journalist who covers national-level economics, DC is where the jobs are, and someplace less expensive is "wherever you want" -- like I said, there are lots of industries and skill sets where you're more tied to expensive urban areas. That's not something that needs to be pitied, or anything, it's just where people are, but when they're making $Xk/year it's handy to remember such things.

nabisco, Monday, 18 May 2009 21:58 (5 years ago) Permalink

I don't know what the advice is, nabisco: it's a really tough question! But I think we should avoid a sense of entitlement to do the kind of work we want to do. If we can, it's wonderful.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:58 (5 years ago) Permalink

and yeah, living wherever you want, instead of just going where the jobs are, is a luxury, in the economy that we're a part of.

where are the jobs, anyway? call centers in india? sweatshops in cambodia?

elliot easton ellis (get bent), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:58 (5 years ago) Permalink

that was an xpost but I think it applies to your newest post too. It's great to be able to be a journalist who covers national-level economics. It sucks that those markets command more than journalism jobs pay.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:59 (5 years ago) Permalink

get bent, do you think you have a right to a job wherever you want, doing whatever you want? You're making it sound like this is a no-brainer.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:00 (5 years ago) Permalink

no, i'm just saying "going where the jobs are" isn't that easy when there are no jobs! also i don't think it's wrong to want to work at something you're actually trained/skilled/educated in.

elliot easton ellis (get bent), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:04 (5 years ago) Permalink

btw I'm trying hard not to sound like a cock, if we were talking I think my tone would be cool but in type there isn't the right nuance.

Basically I look at it like this. There are 3 competing factors here:

Job X that I want to do
Standard of living Y that I want to have
Location Z that I want to live in

What to do when these clash? At best we make a tradeoff and give one up. At worst we give up all three.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:05 (5 years ago) Permalink

like nabisco said, some people's area of expertise is national politics, and their brains and souls would atrophy pretty quickly if they had to work in a small town and cover the cats-stuck-in-trees beat.

elliot easton ellis (get bent), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:06 (5 years ago) Permalink

It's totally not wrong to want to work at something you were trained for! Right now I'm really lucky that I get to do that. My tradeoff is that I live someplace that I wasn't trained for and that is totally undesirable to most educated people. I'm fortunate that I could make the tradeoff of giving up a good location in order to do the work I want to do. I know people who give up doing what they want, though, to live where they want. I don't think there's an easy solution to this clash.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:10 (5 years ago) Permalink

Euler, I know very few people over the age of 25 (and pretty much none over the age of 30) who feel in any way entitled to do whatever job they want: most everybody winds up in a particular field with a particular skill set and a sad awareness that there is no easy option of switching horses and starting again at entry level in a completely different field

There may be some urbanites who would benefit from going off and becoming simple cabinet makers in rural Pennsylvania or whatever, but someone who has successfully worked his way up to a well-paid staff position at the nation's most prestigious newspaper is probably not one of them

xpost - I'm not even talking about brain atrophy, necessarily, but if your choice is between, say, a prestigious job for $100k in a high-cost area and a "lesser" one for $50k in a low-cost area, it's not necessarily a difficult choice. This doesn't mean we have to pity the $100k person, it just means we should remember that he/she is not just flat-out earning "twice as much" as the $50k person, due to cost-of-living issues!

nabisco, Monday, 18 May 2009 22:10 (5 years ago) Permalink

I mean, it's not so complicated: there are towns where my current wages could easily afford me a house and a nice car; the issue is that in those towns I could not command my current wages; in fact, my current wages are in part based on the elevated cost of living here!

nabisco, Monday, 18 May 2009 22:13 (5 years ago) Permalink

nabisco, I'd just say that living in a desirable area (that's why it's high cost) is a good in itself, and should be thought of as extra pay. So $100k in a great city has extra value than $100k in a shitty city.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:15 (5 years ago) Permalink

this thread just took a turn for the retarded.

languid samuel l. jackson (jim), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:15 (5 years ago) Permalink

why do you say that, Jim?

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:16 (5 years ago) Permalink

So $100k in a great city has extra value than $100k in a shitty city.

languid samuel l. jackson (jim), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:17 (5 years ago) Permalink

no i see euler's point... but i guess what kind of annoyed me isn't what he's saying in particular but the general moralizing / schadenfreude that seems to be a common response to this kind of article...

s1ocki, Monday, 18 May 2009 22:21 (5 years ago) Permalink

Jim, I'm just trying to make the point that comparing a NYC salary to, say, a central Pennsylvania salary, isn't just a matter of comparing dollars and what you can buy with those dollars.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:21 (5 years ago) Permalink

yeah s1ocki I feel you, I'm trying to hard to talk about this without being too moralizing or schadenfreudey, and obv. failing.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:22 (5 years ago) Permalink

Ha, perhaps, Euler, if you're inclined toward that kind of area/lifestyle, then sure! But I'm not sure how huge of a difference this makes in the notion that we should probably factor cost-of-living issues into our mental pictures of how different salaries compare.

nabisco, Monday, 18 May 2009 22:23 (5 years ago) Permalink

i see euler's point too, but the house, dog, porch, yard and possibly family I will never have all beg to differ.

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:25 (5 years ago) Permalink

I suspect that most people on ILX would not choose to live in rural America if they could avoid it.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:25 (5 years ago) Permalink

and yet there are loads of ILXors who live in less-expensive environs

nabisco, Monday, 18 May 2009 22:28 (5 years ago) Permalink

sigh

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:30 (5 years ago) Permalink

I mean I guess your point is that rural America isn't the only locale less expensive than a top ten US city. Ok, cool. My point, and if this is moralizing then so be it, is that if you have to live in an expensive place to do the work you want to do, then it's improper to maintain that you're "only" middle class when making say 100k there. You're getting value for doing that work and living in that desirable locale. I can see that you'd want that value to be $$$ also.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 18 May 2009 22:34 (5 years ago) Permalink

no, my point was despite your assertion that ILXors would prefer to live in super-expensive urban areas, plenty of them nonetheless live, work, or study elsewhere, which would suggest that they're doing exactly what you suggest -- and what most adults wind up doing at some point -- about living where the opportunities or jobs or possibilities are

nabisco, Monday, 18 May 2009 22:37 (5 years ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.