Professor Wolff, You have commented on the following from different angles, but I'd like to address it directly. Specifically, the term, "living within your means." When some economists are interviewed by the media, quite often when addressing the problem of income inequality or the prices of "things" going up, we often hear, "people aren't living within their means," otherwise, they'd be fine. Or, they need to work longer hours. OK. So, what has been the driving vision in America for the last 100 or so years? The "American Dream." House, car, stable job, to start. Whether or not you have children is up to the adults to decide later on, but it's definitely a promoted vision. Translation, added expense, if you're thinking economically. So, if your drive is to acquire real-estate, have the nice car, go on vacations once or twice a year, and perhaps replicate yourself down the road by having kids, you have to have...the stable job, to support all of the above. Something, that we all know, is very quickly going the way of the dinosaurs, and only the chosen few will be allowed into what now has become, an exclusive club. Again, what do the majority of Americans have to do to get those chosen items that comprise the American Dream? They have to often take out LONG TERM...loans. And, if your job dries up, or, if you have to take a new job, because the previous Capitalist venture decided you were no longer a "viable member of the work-force" (read: FIRED TO GIVE CEOs and stock holders more profit), and the new job pays LESS, how is that worker then, "not living within their means?" That statement is absolutely 100% false! What are Americans supposed to do, with this dramatic shrinking of work possibilities and protections? That's right, they have to often, downgrade their life. Give up the car or buy a cheaper one. If they can. Give up the house, or get a cheaper one, again, if they can. In addition, have banks reached out to people with decreased income and offered lower rates to help them out? Have car loan originators, like Wells Fargo reached out and offered compensatory terms to help cushion the change in the borrower's economic life? No. Big nation-wide banks, just want you - regardless of your life and its struggles to honor the original terms. End of story. So, what's really going on here? This isn't about people not living within their means, this is about the bulk of the American work force being STARVED TO DEATH economically, by a small amount of people, who don't give a damn, about the rest of us. It's about greed. This needs to be shouted as loud as possible, to get the point across that, people who are working their * off, and want to do nothing other than feed their families and live a good life, and give back to the communities, should be rewarded. Not penalized. Thank you, Donald Bellunduno
Living within your "means."
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