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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Quit Complaining Start Working

by Jack Bates (writer), Alameda, September 17, 2010

Credit: Photo by liftarn
Swedish army boots made by Tretorn. Working Boots!
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Stop blaming administrations that are clearly trying to help and start "pulling YOURSELF up by your BOOT STRAPS" and get to work!

Now, for my opinion on the article "Rising Poverty Level and Obama's Middle Class Fantasy". I gave this article an over all rating of 4 stars. It is a very good article and we need more of these on BrooWaha. We can never have enough. It was so good infact that it inspired me to write a comment. That comment grew until I realized it was a complete article in rebuttal to Dan Ehrlich's stance on the issue. No matter how well written, I respectfully disagree.

3rd generation Americans (that includes me) are lazy and spoiled. We never had to earn anything. My great grandfather came over on a boat from Italy, never spoke a word of English his whole life, and operated a crossing gate (yes, before there were electrical systems a human sat in a tower and manually raised and lowered that gate). He was able to raise 13 kids, own his home, and pay his taxes and die a debt free man with a huge family and community that loved him.

He saved. He never spent more than he earned. He knew restraint and commitment to a bigger picture. THOSE are traits lost from the generations that are the bulk of the "working class" right now. We want it and we want it yesterday. I can get a loan (still, even after all that mortgage backed security craziness) for over 100% the value of a new home, in CA with less than 10% down at a 6% interest rate.

That shouldn't even be possible. But because the banks are desperate and I have good credit I can get the loan. I have worked to CANCEL over $200,000 worth of credit I had available to me on credit cards. They keep "making an error" in canceling my cards. They don't want to let me go because I pay on time and have never missed a payment.

The system we (those born to baby boomers and later) were raised in is one of instant gratification. Baby Boomers want to give their kids the life their parents never could give them. This includes a college degree that I am still paying off because I went to a "good private school" when all I could pay cash for was a local state school. I got LOANS, my parents got MORE LOANS, and we are all still in debt for this degree that I can't seem to pay off. This is a very common story.

See, What It Costs to Go to College, The Average Student Loan Debt, and Students suffocate under tens of thousands in loans for more information on these common stories.

I have had to learn how to put off my impulses and pay cash for things, and not use credit unless my tires blow out in the middle of nowhere CA. This wasn't taught to me. It was just the school of hard knocks the whole way. I'm not the only making good money, increasing my wage, in a "down" economy. There are others at the head of the class in this school, too. We all don't look to blame, we look to ourselves to change, adapt, grow, and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

I have worked to educate myself, get retrained, retool to fit the jobs that ARE there. Many people refuse to do this. They complain that the jobs "left". Yes they did, but there are new, higher paying jobs in IT, Finance, HR, at companies managing those jobs overseas from here in the US. People are given the opportunity to get free training to get on the path to a NEW career and all they do is lament what they lost. That is sad, lazy, self pity that I am ashamed that I felt. It took me five years to get my crap together and change and I did. In this "down" economy I changed careers and increase my income by over 40% all thanks to Obama and his new initiatives.

I am on a compliance project that is a direct result of the laws Obama pushed for that are now holding companies accountable for the credit card data that they have on file. There are huge fines and SEC sanctions if you do not provide adequate security for that data. Obama's administration pushed Congress and through executive order actually, for the 1st time ever, defined adequate security at a technical level, gave the fines real teeth, and funded auditors that can actually go look for these issues.

PCI Security Standards for more information on PCI.

Credit Card Bill Of Rights summed up on www.whitehouse.gov (see video at start of the article) and this Fact Sheet released in May of 2009 shows that Obama and his administration are trying to work on what is at the crux of the issue. Credit in the US is breaking the working class. It has broken the working class and now we are all poor and trying to dig ourselves out.

We aren't born in debt, we earn that all by ourselves. Obama is trying to enable us to help ourselves. No, he isn't going to do the work for us. We have to swim or sink, but Obama is throwing us a life jacket and encouraging us to swim to the boat after the titanic has gone under. I urge everyone to take stock of their own part in our countries mess, look at why you are in debt, what did you buy that you didn't have cash for and you didn't need.

Needs:

  • Base Foods (bread, milk, water, vegetables, fruit, and not eating out, ordering in)
  • Shelter (renting when you shouldn't own because you can't afford it is much more intelligent than trying to buy more than you can afford)

That is it, food and shelter. If you have those two things you are surviving. If you have 3-8 months expenses in savings for you and your family and you aren't dependant upon any organization for subsidy, guess what; you are the 1950s definition of "middle class". A "working class" with savings and building for retirement. I am working to get to that definition right allong with the rest of the US that got hit hard by the economical disaster.

I retooled over the last 3 years. I did it. It sucked. I was depressed. I got help. I am tired of hearing people say you can't do it. I work with people that don't have a college degree and are making over $200,000 a year because they went out and worked their butt off to get the pure skills to be the best network engineer out there. Still working 80 hour weeks, but they are earning it. They aren't complaining. They are too busy working in this "bad economy"

My advice to people that are struggling is to stop blaming administrations that are clearly trying to help and start "pulling yourself up by your boot straps" and get to work! Work may be unpaid for a while while you get skills that do pay, fine, go do that! Do something to get momentum going but sitting on a couch with cable (I don't have cable, can't afford it, but plenty of "poor people have cable TV") isn't going to get you not poor.

Secure food and shelter. Then educate yourself instead of watching sports, soaps or other mind numbing TV crap and take that education out in the world and you will get a job. One that Dan Ehrlich says Obama hasn't provided and that I currently have as a direct result of Obama's actions.



About the Writer

Jack Bates is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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8 comments on Quit Complaining Start Working

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Mindagape on September 17, 2010 at 03:32 pm

You are absolutely right. Barring one thing. As long as the Government keeps spending like drunken sailors. Nothing else is going to help that much.

Everyone needs to get their own boat in order. But the gov't has to stop drilling holes in it.

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Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Jack Bates on September 17, 2010 at 03:59 pm

Mindagape, that is still blaming the government. I can only vote so many times and for a limited pool of talent. I can focus on myself and what I can control. My education, my finances, my reactions to poor situations.

If I control myself the government will have no power over me. I will be able to adapt, change, persevere, and succeed. We can be stuck in a situation for a long time of no fault of our own, but the choice to stop trying and blame others is ours as individuals. Once I saw that, changed my thinking, then my actions, my world changed, too.

Can the government make things harder or easier, sure. But in making it easier for one group it will get harder for another. Since you never know what way that wind will blow stop using a sail boat, install a motor and em-power yourself!

Empower yourself. This administration has tried to help people do that. Complaining, blaming is just wasting effort that can be better used to power ourselves.

Thanks for reading and enganing :-)

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By Mindagape on September 17, 2010 at 04:12 pm

I guess that's where I disagree.

This administration isn't doing anything to help people help themselves. Like you said, they're trying to help some by hurting others. Unfortunately, they're hurting the wrong ones.

Ending in a situation where the one's they're trying to help are hurting even more.

One can't blame the gov't more than what it deserves. Which with the current bunch of monkeys is almost limitless.

But in the end, even with the best of governments, those that do nothing, end up with nothing.

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By Briselle on September 17, 2010 at 05:11 pm

I don't usually comment on political issues, because I am not very knowledgeable at all. Also, I'm an Aussie, so I can only talk about our Australian government.

Jack, I completely agree that all of us need to stop blaming other people. We live in an everchanging world and we need to change and adapt to keep up. There will always be opportunities available if we are truly willing to look for them, and, as you say, as long as we have the basic necessities, then we are doing okay.

However, I also have to agree with Mindagape on the issue of the Government not doing anything to help people who help themselves - well the Australian government certainly isn't, that's for sure. They make it incredible easy for the 'bludgers' - those who prefer to live on hand-outs - and extremely difficult for those who really want to show a bit of initiative. But I suppose this is exactly what Jack pointed out in his response to your comment. Making it easier for one group will inevitably make it harder for another.

Still, your articles and responses made really great reading, so thank you both.

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By Jack Bates on September 17, 2010 at 10:38 pm

@Melody, no GOOD JOB YOU! That is AWESOME! That is even more hard core than what I did! Going all cash would be heaven and is a goal. I live in CA where things are super expensive and I have to float things on CC for a bit like tires for my car when two go bad so I can get to my job, etc. We're getting there, but I would LOVE for you to tell the story of your CASH BASED year in an article!

I'm waiting to read that! As always Melody, thanks for reading!

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Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Jack Bates on September 17, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Also, Google proves my point...my ads are "cash call" payday loan ads. *shakes head*

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Log In To Vote   Score: 4
By Theresa H Hall on September 18, 2010 at 01:05 am

Work like crazy and help change things for the better.

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By BusinessLife on September 23, 2010 at 07:40 am

I enjoyed your article and the information you provided along with it. Would you please provide some information/links to one key area that did not come with additional information?

Here is your paragraph of which I am referring:

"I have worked to educate myself, get retrained, retool to fit the jobs that ARE there. Many people refuse to do this. They complain that the jobs "left". Yes they did, but there are new, higher paying jobs in IT, Finance, HR, at companies managing those jobs overseas from here in the US. People are given the opportunity to get free training to get on the path to a NEW career and all they do is lament what they lost. That is sad, lazy, self pity that I am ashamed that I felt. It took me five years to get my crap together and change and I did. In this "down" economy I changed careers and increase my income by over 40% all thanks to Obama and his new initiatives."

One can't ever stop thinking and questioning and voicing thoughts and ideas. Thank you for voicing yours. :)

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