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“Elite Affluent” Doing Their Part to Keep Holiday Shopping Humming

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It’s all relative isn’t it? To the world’s poorest citizens living lives on the bleakest edge of subsistence, the lives of America’s most disaffected homeless might seem regal; and the ladder rises to the working poor, middle class, upper middle class, and affluent.

We looked at a marketing research company back in November that tracks the wealthiest 10% of Americans — 11 million households with an average annual income of $270,000 and average net worth of nearly $3 million who earn 40% of all the income earned by all American households and hold 85% of the value of all publicly traded stock and stock mutual funds in the U.S. — but there are the “affluent” and the downright wealthy and the gap between them is no less real than that between any of the other socio-economic strata.

Never run across a copy of Elite Traveler magazine? Most people, including the affluent, haven’t, because it is only available on “private jets, mega yachts, premier country clubs, first-class lounges, professional sports locker rooms and its subscriber-base,” reaching 400,000 readers — with a $5.3 million average household income — per issue.

The mag’s advertiser info section wallows in its exclusivity: “While in the past the truly affluent were cordoned off by the curtain at the front of the cabin, today’s Elite Affluent fly aboard private jets … The Federal Reserve reports one-half of one-percent control over 50 percent of all assets in the United States, while Bergdorf Goodman notes 3 percent of customers account for over 40 of sales and 70 percent of profits. Neiman Marcus gets 50 percent of their sales from just 100,000 customers … These are the readers of Elite Traveler.”

And then they really lay on the elitist differentiation: unlike their readership, “The lower echelon of the affluent market must save and plan in order to treat themselves, and often have to cut back when hit with surprises such as rising energy prices or unexpected expenses life may throw at them. This is audience that other publications cater to.”

If you have to “save and plan” in order to “treat yourself,” this magazine wants nothing to do with you.

So what are these “Elite Affluent” doing for the holidays? They are going to spend spend spend – what else? According to a new study by Elite Traveler and Prince and Associates, the Elite Affluent are planning to spend on average $74,600 for jewelry this holiday, either for themselves or gifts, an increase of 10% from 2004.

Spending will also jump for fashion accessories such as shoes and handbags (39% to $29,100), Hotel and Resort Stays (up 32% to $54,600), Yacht Charters (up 24% to $367,000), Villa and Ski House Rentals (up 27% to $61,700), Watches (up 17% to $44,900), Wines and Spirits for Entertaining (up 18% to $14,200) and Holiday Entertaining (up 22% to $29,800). 51% of Elite Affluent respondents plan to host an event or reception at hotel spending on average $36,300, while 75% will be sending gifts to customers, spending on average $29,200.

“These results show that the super rich are continuing to power the economy with mega-spending,” said Douglas Gollan, President and Editor-in-Chief of Elite Traveler.

Just keep trickling down, baby, just keep on trickling – meanwhile, I’ll be saving and planning.

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About Eric Olsen

  • Alethinos

    Excellent post old stick! Yes, wouldn’t you know you’d have to be filthy rich to hang out with trash like those above!

    Alethinos

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks A! Distribution of money is a serious power curve and many industries are dependent upon those who are able to spend extravagantly, and captialism as a whole is dependent upon the rest of us aspiring to join the club.

  • Nancy

    These are the pigs who should be the first ones gutted and hung out to dry by the working class.

  • Eric Olsen

    why, exactly?

  • Dave Nalle

    Is that ‘wealthiest 10%’ figure correct? I was under the impression that the top 1% were in that income range, not the top 10%. If the top 10% are in that income range then the rich/poor gap in the nation is much less severe than we’ve been given to believe.

    Dave

  • Eric Olsen

    this mag, Elite Traveler, sees itself as appealing to the top 1%, the earlier post referenced talks about the top 10%.

    The figures stated above are the AVERAGE for the top 10% and top 1% – what I haven’t seen is what is the bottom cut-off point to be included in the top 10% and top 1%: what is the minimum income to be included in each group?

  • RedTard

    “These are the pigs who should be the first ones gutted and hung out to dry by the working class.” – Nancy

    That was a very hateful and inflammatory comment. I am very happy that the wealthy elite who run this country have more sense than most of the people that post on this board.

  • Eric Olsen

    as long as they keep spending they are doing their job

  • Bennett

    Great post EO! Vivre l’etite! Something to shoot for, or at as a last resort.

  • Eric Olsen

    Thanks Bennett! I, a capitalist, have chosen the “something to shoot for” perspective

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Great job, Eric.

    Unfortunately, I have been all over the income ladder and can safely say that I’d prefer much more equal income distribution that what I see here or America. But nobody asked me.

    Nancy, the problem will not be solved by taking the richest pigs and putting them on a spit to grill. With the culture that you have in America, other pigs will take their place, eventually, who will be just as bad and a lot more watchful.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Regarding #8, we should ALL do our job by spending and/or investing as much as we can afford. That’s always been America’s strength and it will benefit us all in the long run.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Spending won’t do it, Dave: Americans already spend too much to the point they’re imitating our dear government & into deficit spending. They need to start SAVING or investing, something few of them do, most of them because they have nothing left after living expenses, some of them because they have a ‘live for today’, conditioned consumer mentality.

    Redtard, I stand by my sentiment: the income gap is far too extreme to be viewed with complaisence, smugness, or indifference. Indeed, I am constantly astounded that the have-nots in this society don’t reprise 1917 & rise up against the obscene wealth of the ruling class as they did back then. God knows they have the reason & motive. Obviously a different culture (Russian vs American) & conditioning (political vs consumerism) makes all the difference. There’s an excellent & salient comment by Knowit in the article currently running on Walmart that addresses the wrongness of this situation.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Nancy, I did say ‘spending and investing’. For economic purposes saving and investing ARE spending and are just about as good for the economy, plus they produce more benefits for the spender.

    One of the real bright lights of the current economy is the strong upswing in consumer saving and investment. A very positive indicator.

    Dave

  • Maurice

    Great post, Eric and good follow up comments.

    I’m glad you pointed out the SPENDING the rich do. Remember the luxury tax that killed the yacht business? Later repealed and the people that build yachts were able to go back to work.

    It is important for people to realize that rich people do not affect poor people negatively. Zero sum is a Keynesian thought that Milton Friedman disagreed with. The pie is ever expanding.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    $74k spent by the average Elite Affluent on jewelry this year? Wow, that’s a lot of bling.

    Obviously the tone of the editorial board is off-putting to all of us non EAs out there… which is just the way they like it.

    I wrote a piece about six months ago about the creation and acceleration of the wealth of the “hyper rich” class.

    What’s interesting to me — and this is my view of course — is that this kind of wealth disparity seems to crop up during lengthy Republican administrations.

  • Nancy

    Of course it does; the GOP has historically been about government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich. It’s only been in the past decade or so that they’ve had to lower themselves to appealing to minorities & women in order to get enough votes.

  • Eric Olsen

    I agree with Maurice: it’s not zero sum and it makes a lot more sense to raise the tide rather than sink the big ships. And the economic Republicans aren’t the party of the rich: they are the party of those who aspire to be rich, a vastly larger portion of hte polity than the actual rich.

  • Nancy

    You’re right, Eric; I stand corrected. Which is probably why 1917 would never be repeated here: as long as there’s a chance for a peasant to become a prince in the US, no one is going to rebel against the corporate oppressors…or something like that.

  • Eric Olsen

    and isn’t that a good thing Nancy? Equality of opportunity and all of that? We know there isn’t real equality of opportunity because those who start out way ahead tend to stay way ahead and vice versa, but there is relative equality of opportunity compared to other systems and cultures

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    yes, when i am king, some of you are gonna be in biiiiiig trouble.

  • RedTard

    Nancy,

    Who are these supposed “have nots”? Home ownership is at an all time high. The size of our homes are larger than anywhere else in the world. There are more registered vehicles than drivers. Unemployment is twice as low as your beloved socialist countries and wages and wealth are higher.

    The people who are too lazy to go out and do any of the myriad of above minimum wage jobs that are available at any given time across the country get their housing subsidized, food stamps, free healthcare, heating bills paid, retirement paid, and sometimes a monthly payment all at my expense.

    People are literally dying to get into this country for the opportunities that you say we don’t have. I’ll take their word over yours.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I agree that that’s why the Republican party has been very successful politically since the Reagan Revolution, EO. Personally, I like to see policy where there is opportunity for all to become rich, but lighter on the trickle down and heavier on the trickle up if you can dig.

  • Nancy

    As has been pointed out in numerous posts, Red, a record number of people (especially kids) have no medical insurance or coverage whatsoever; jobs are high because a record number of Americans have to work two or more just to pay their ordinary, basic bills to stay alive; registered vehicles are increasingly older models, not new; those that are new & expensive are increasingly registered in multiples to the wealthiest, who like to have one for each day of the week (I presume that’s why the rich buy more than one; I myself wouldn’t know); unemployment claims have dropped due to many of them running out, and to people just giving up. These aren’t my fantasies; all this is a matter of record in recent WP reports, and they in turn got them from the government. Prosperity is rife only among the top 1% of the population – that is, among the Bush billionaires & buddies. Most working people (especially those with kids) are hurting, barely able to pay basic bills. In the DC area, housing costs are so high, workers (firefighters, police, nurses, teachers, etc.) who USED to be considered “middle income” can’t even afford to live in the area any more; they have to live in the far outskirts & commute, thereby increasing the commuting nightmare as well. An astonishing percentage of very high-cost houses are owned by people who own multiple houses. Again, the very rich getting even richer, because developers are only attending to building ridiculously oversized, overpriced McMansions for the rich to ‘flip’ instead of affordable housing for the rank-&-file working types like teachers, etc.

    The touted “increased prosperity” is illusory. Again, it’s limited to those at the top, who are properous already, at the expense of the rest of us who are average workers, not to mention those who work lower-paid jobs.

  • Maurice

    I agree with Eric’s comment #18. In fact (hate to bring up Clinton, but here goes) Clintons policies always seemed to lean towards helping the very rich out. I am fairly rich but not wealthy enough to take advantage of the Family Medical Leave Act.

    That was a perk for the RICH!

  • RedTard

    “developers are only attending to building ridiculously oversized, overpriced McMansions for the rich to ‘flip’ instead of affordable housing for the rank-&-file working types like teachers, etc.”

    You reach into an area I know a little bit about. The government’s well intentioned intervention into housing has caused as much of this problem as it has solved. To protect the ‘helpless’ homeowner the government has erected zonings, barriers, fees, and regulations to development that in many areas add 20-50% to the cost of building. Now that they erected the barriers and caused the problem of limited affordability they jump right back in with subsidized housing.

    What developer in his right mind would spend his own money to develop affordable housing when there is the threat that a government subsidized version might crop up nearby and put him out of business?

    I don’t blame businesses for taking advantage of imbalances caused by the government. I blame the government for creating those imbalances in the first place.

  • Maurice

    Disagree with Nancy #17.

    Republicans were the party to carry the torch for minorities in the fight for civil liberties in the 60s.

    And right now I will disavow any connection to either party.

  • Nancy

    Maurice, you’re 100% about disavowing both these days; I do, too. As far as I can see, these days the pols of both parties are only interested in enriching themselves & their cronies. As for Republicans having been the inclusive party in the 60s, there was a really interesting thread on here some months ago about the ‘flip’ (so to speak) of the Democratic & Republican ideologies & constituencies. In the 1860’s, for example, it was the Republicans who were the flaming liberals & abolitionists, while the Dems were States Rights & pro-slavery. I’m not that informed about it, beyond that, but it was a very good, informative thread. I wish I could remember the name of it. Eric might remember.

    Red, the only reason I know about the housing situation (and only in this area, DC) is because it’s been SO much in the Washington DC & area local papers in the last few years. It may be different where you are. This area is saturated with the wealthy & influential, as one would suspect of the surroundings of the national capital city, so things are certainly screwy around here, and not just because of the politics.

  • Nancy

    Sorry, missed this point: Maurice, in the 60s it was the Dems (JFK, Johnson) who were the architects of civil rights et al., not the Republicans. Where do you get the information that it was the GOP (just interested: from what I remember, Nixon & friends were not interested in anyone except rich white males)?

  • Eric Olsen

    very interesting discussion that gets at the heart of the difference in “liberal” and “conservative” philosophies of how to create the best possible economic environment and the seemingly endless chain of unintended consequences no mater direction you turn

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    What’s interesting to me — and this is my view of course — is that this kind of wealth disparity seems to crop up during lengthy Republican administrations.

    As we’ve discussed before, wealth ‘disparity’ is meaningless. The process which raises everyone in wealth inevitably raises the rich more, because people with investments benefit more in a strong and growing economy than the poor do. But that doesn’t mean that the poor and especially the middle class don’t benefit enormously, and the numerically smaller wealth which they gain benefits them far more in the real world than meaningless large chunks of cash benefit those few who are already super rich.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Yes, and as we’ve discussed before, we disagree on this!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    But I live in the hope that if we keep discussing it eventually you’ll come around.

    Dave

  • Bennett

    Yeah c’mon Eric, it’s like profit sharing on a big scale…

    The “fortunate son” types really do have your best interests at heart. And the time to try and convince you of it, or so it appears.

    Stupid serf, you should have bought Halliburton stock.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Damn straight, Bennett. My Halliburton officially hit triple what I paid for it at the start of the war earlier this week. Sweet.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I wonder if there’s a my.halliburton.com page where you can track that kind of stuff.

  • Eric Olsen

    another issue is what’s “fair” vs what “works,” for they often aren’t the same thing – in the interest of “fairness” do we cut off our noses to spite our faces, so to speak

  • Maurice

    Nancy #29

    Eisonhower (republican) was the president that had to send federal troops when Governor Faubus (democrat) sent his National Guard troops to Central High in Little Rock to stop black students from attending. This was typical at the time. Southern Decmocrats were very much against integration. You could google the 1957 Civil Rights Act (which led to the 1960 and 1964 Acts) for more info.

    I once again disavow any party affiliation.

    Apologies to Eric for getting off track.

  • Nancy

    Maurice, you’re right; I forgot about Little Rock & ol’ Ike, & the Southern Dems. Thanks.

  • Maurice

    Most of the time when people quote Adam Smith they don’t include the whole thing:

    …every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.

    I have to say amen to that last line!

  • Maurice

    One last quote. This one from Frederic Bastiat:

    They will come to learn in the end, at their own expense, that it is better to endure competition for rich customers than to be invested with monopoly over impoverished customers.

  • Eric Olsen

    great line, thanks M!

  • http://www.angel-and-soulmate-selfhelp.com/blog.html Angela Chen Shui

    Great post, Eric and great thread, contributors. Thanks.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Angela – great to see you back!

  • Kris

    Redtard wrote:”Who are these supposed “have nots”? Home ownership is at an all time high. The size of our homes are larger than anywhere else in the world. There are more registered vehicles than drivers. Unemployment is twice as low as your beloved socialist countries and wages and wealth are higher.

    The people who are too lazy to go out and do any of the myriad of above minimum wage jobs that are available at any given time across the country get their housing subsidized, food stamps, free healthcare, heating bills paid, retirement paid, and sometimes a monthly payment all at my expense.”

    In my opinion, I have never met any truly “lazy” people…I have instead met people who were not willing to work for meager wages with no benefits. If a young man came up to me and asked my opinion regarding which was better; slaving away for $8 an hour or selling drugs, I would honestly have to tell him that he has a much better chance of “making it” someday if he slings dope. And there are plenty of “above minimum wage jobs” out there, but so what? Simply being “above minimum wage” means nothing. How can one make it on $8 per hour? Technically, people at these jobs ARE counted as “employed” and yet, try making a rent payment, a car payment, two student loan payments, a heating bill payment, affording groceries, putting gas in your vehicle all on $8 an hour. Now, I make a bit more than that and even I have trouble making ends meet.

    This is where I disagree with the “Stellar unemployment figures.” They mean little if most of the “employed” people are stuck at jobs they hate and do not allow them to even pay off all of their bills.

    Essentially, I’m just tired of this “you’re lazy if you can’t make ends meet” attitude. It’s asinine and does little other than to encourage hard-working people to give up. I, for one, would be more than happy to bust my rump for 70 hours per week provided:
    a.) That jobs existed that would allow me to do so (they’re all over the place? Really? I don’t seem to have much luck.)
    b.) That I was compensated fairly (I don’t need a BMW, but it might be nice to be able to afford to attend a concert once in a while)
    c.) That I received benefits (I currently have none, despite my “lazy” insistence on working 45 hours per week. But, if I get cancer and kick the bucket, I’m sure they can just replace this “lazy” fellow with some other sap.)

    And as for the spending habits of the “super rich;” I’m left scratching my head. Not only do they not NEED these things, but who honestly even WANTS them? Maybe I’m crazy. Or maybe I just have a big enough penis to not need a private jet and a fancy car with shiny spinning gadgets on the wheels. If $10 million suddenly dropped into my lap I would find much better things to spend it on. Nix that, I wouldn’t spend most of it at all because I’d be hard-pressed to buy moronic consumer items with a straight face. I’ll leave the “Caviar Enema” market to people with too much time on their hands and an inability to find pleasure in more stimulating/worthwhile activities.

  • Eric Olsen

    all good points Kris, but the systemic answer is you find entry into the job market, you work hard and advance, or if you don’t, you change employers or even “vote with your feet” and go somewhere with better opportunities. Or you become an entrepreneur, or some combination of all of the above.

    I agree the health insurance issue is real and pressing, and I don’t know the answer – the economic efficiency imperative of the last 20 years or so has completely screwed with the benefits aspects of American employment.

  • Eric Olsen

    And there really are utterly lazy, unmotivated people with astonishing senses of entitlement all up and down the socioeconomic scale

  • Kris

    And it looks like Eric has responded with some perfectly reasonable and valid points.

    “all good points Kris, but the systemic answer is you find entry into the job market, you work hard and advance, or if you don’t, you change employers or even “vote with your feet” and go somewhere with better opportunities. Or you become an entrepreneur, or some combination of all of the above.”

    The problem is that this assumes that there ARE other opportunities available. You must ask yourself, do people in crappy jobs CHOOSE to be there, or is that simply the best option they have available to them at the moment? Trust me, it’s not as if I just don’t have the will to go out and land a sweet gig, but in my experience there are none to land at the moment. But yes, in general I agree. What always irks me is when you’re working somewhere where you essentially gain nothing extra from working hard (no chance for advancement, no pay raises) and yet your bosses act SHOCKED that you don’t want to come in early, work unpaid hours or put more than the minimum effort required into your task. When I was a manager I don’t remember giving those under me insane and completely irrational expectations…are most bosses idiots in that regard, or is it just me?

    As for starting my own business, I plan to! I wish to start a small publishing company at some point not so much for money, but because I enjoy reading and getting interesting ideas “out there” to the people-folks!

    “And there really are utterly lazy, unmotivated people with astonishing senses of entitlement all up and down the socioeconomic scale”

    I respectfully disagree. “Lazy” and “unmotivated” are two different things. I agree that people are “unmotivated,” but they are not lazy. The term you used says it all they LACK motivation. It’s not as if someone on the government dole wouldn’t jump at the chance to work VERY hard and make 80K a year, it’s that (real or imagined) they know that such opportunities do not exist for them?

    If I had the options of being poor and receiving a handout and being poor and working very hard for nothing, I’m going to go with the handout because:
    a.) It punishes the system that he has not provided any real opportunity for me.
    b.) It’s insulting to work for the benefit of someone else while you yourself get little or nothing in return.

    When my current employer decided to dick around with my paycheck, I summed up my stance in the following manner: “Look, I don’t mind working 45 hours a week and I don’t mind being homeless…but I’ll be damned if I am going to be BOTH of those things!” Needless to say, I got my money. Like many massage parlors, a happy ending was to be found!

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    If I had the options of being poor and receiving a handout and being poor and working very hard for nothing, I’m going to go with the handout because:
    a.) It punishes the system that he has not provided any real opportunity for me.
    b.) It’s insulting to work for the benefit of someone else while you yourself get little or nothing in return.

    I would choose to work very hard, at more than one job if necessary, because:

    a) Sometimes you have to make your own opportunities. ‘Punishing the system’ seems too much like cutting off your nose to spite your face; and b) I would find it difficult to maintain my self-respect in your scenario, and it doesn’t set much of an example for one’s children (if there are children).

    There are a ton of crappy bosses out there, I’ll certainly agree with you there – but you don’t have to work for them. And I have indeed met people who are both unmotivated AND lazy. Motivation comes from within – if you can’t find it there, you’re not going to find it anywhere.

  • Kris

    “I would choose to work very hard, at more than one job if necessary, because:”

    I’ve been trying to get a menial second job at night, but the hours of my current idiotic position prevent that from happening.

    “a) Sometimes you have to make your own opportunities. ‘Punishing the system’ seems too much like cutting off your nose to spite your face;”

    Make your own opportunities? That DOES sound very nice, but I have NO idea what you mean by it. Could you please explain? If you’re at a job with no opportunities, how would one go about making them?

    “b) I would find it difficult to maintain my self-respect in your scenario, and it doesn’t set much of an example for one’s children (if there are children).”

    I can’t stand children, so there are none. As for self-respect, here is what would sap mine: slaving away at a job for 40 hours or more a week and gaining nothing. I’d like to dispell the myth that this is somehow “nobel.” It’s not. It’s moronic. As for setting an example, what kind of an example would it be to junior to observe that “Daddy works hard 40 hours per week, and yet we can’t afford basic necessities of life.” If a youngin’ saw that, assuming it’s a rational youngin’ and not a rube, the only thing he would take out of it is the following: “Hard work doesn’t always get you ahead. In fact, sometimes it gets you no where at all.” I can respect someone who coasts by when they realize doing anything else will be futile and not to their benefit. I have little respect for someone who puts forth far more effort than necessary in order to gain nothing in return. That type of person is a sap. I cannot respect someone who alows other to take advantage of them.

    “There are a ton of crappy bosses out there, I’ll certainly agree with you there – but you don’t have to work for them. And I have indeed met people who are both unmotivated AND lazy. Motivation comes from within – if you can’t find it there, you’re not going to find it anywhere.”

    What’s your definition of “lazy”? Maybe that will clear things up.

    And, although I’m not personally in this position, some people DO HAVE to work for crappy bosses because they have no other options. They can either work for a crappy boss, or they can starve. Well, I guess they could suckle from the government’s teat, but then you’d just call them lazy.

    It’s not that I was referring to bosses that were strictly “bad;” I just wondered what happens to people…they get promoted and suddenly they lose all ability to think rationally? “Gee, I think Kris would be more than happy to work for free on the weekend. I mean, we don’t give him any benefits and someetimes his paycheck is late, but I’m sure he really wants to be as productive as possible!” People are odd.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    Make your own opportunities? That DOES sound very nice, but I have NO idea what you mean by it. Could you please explain? If you’re at a job with no opportunities, how would one go about making them?

    You leave that job and go work someplace where the effort/reward system is in better balance. As Eric said a few comments ago, if you need to re-locate, you re-locate. People do it all the time. If you live in an area where the opportunities are sparse, you don’t stay.

    The definition of lazy is pretty simple to me. If a person would rather have things handed to them than expend the energy necessary to earn them, that person is lazy. Laziness implies an unwillingness to work. I do know people who would prefer not to work – I call them lazy.

    Obviously I don’t know what your personal circumstances are, Kris, so forgive me if this sounds unsympathetic or snarky, but if I worked for a boss who paid me late, didn’t provide benefits, and expected me to put in extra hours on top of it all, I’d get another job. Even if that meant going someplace else.

  • Kris

    “You leave that job and go work someplace where the effort/reward system is in better balance. As Eric said a few comments ago, if you need to re-locate, you re-locate. People do it all the time. If you live in an area where the opportunities are sparse, you don’t stay.”

    That might work for me. Unfortunately, I like Denver. The trade-off is too high. That would be even truer if you think about folks with families…they might not want to be carted around like luggage. It’s a reasonable suggestion you make though, I don’t mean to bash it.

    “The definition of lazy is pretty simple to me. If a person would rather have things handed to them than expend the energy necessary to earn them, that person is lazy. Laziness implies an unwillingness to work. I do know people who would prefer not to work – I call them lazy.”

    You know people who prefer not to work? Really? I have yet to meet one. I HAVE known people that don’t want to work menial jobs that won’t pay their bills. Do you blame them? I certainly know people that would be unwilling to go someplace that don’t want to be for 40 hours per week only to come home to a house with no heat. Are they lazy? And, as for not putting effort into a job you do have, is that lazy? I mean, if you literally sit at a job and stare at a wall rather than doing unnecessary work, yes…that IS rather lazy. But if you blow off putting forth extra effort (that is not recognized or rewarded) to do something you personally enjoy such as chatting with bright folks online or reading, writing, playing music…is that lazy? If so, how?

    Do you know what MY definition of lazy is? Sitting at home in bed, voiding your bladder and not feeling gung-ho enough to go wash off. Know anyone like that? THAT is lazy, in my humble opinion.

    “Obviously I don’t know what your personal circumstances are, Kris, so forgive me if this sounds unsympathetic or snarky, but if I worked for a boss who paid me late, didn’t provide benefits, and expected me to put in extra hours on top of it all, I’d get another job. Even if that meant going someplace else.”

    Oh don’t worry, you sounded neither unsympathetic or snarky. Currently, my situation is not THAT bad. I can pay my bills, but barely. As for leaving; it will be hard for a few months. You see, if I leave, I’ll have a few weeks with no income because this wonderful company has a quaint habit of making ex-eomplyees file suit against them to get their back pay granted. So, ideally, anyone could leave a company, get their withheld pay and be on their merry way. Realistically, this isn’t always possible.

    Trust me, if I could wander down the street and take a job where I was permitted to work 70-hour work weeks for a decent paycheck, you can be damn sure I’d do it.

  • SFC SKI

    I know a job where you can work at least 70 hours, but you get paid on time…

    Seriouslyand I have been in your position, it sounds like your boss is holding your wages hostage, you need to make the break even if it hurst for a few weeks, . Another thing to consider, companies that can’t pay on time are probably running into other proiblems that mean you might not get paid at all AND the company will close.

  • Kris

    “I know a job where you can work at least 70 hours, but you get paid on time…”

    Send me a link :)

    “Seriouslyand I have been in your position, it sounds like your boss is holding your wages hostage, you need to make the break even if it hurst for a few weeks, . Another thing to consider, companies that can’t pay on time are probably running into other proiblems that mean you might not get paid at all AND the company will close.”

    I’d much rather just wait it out a few months, budget very tightly, and leave when it is more comfortable. I’m not starving, I just don’t think I should work hard and have to worry about the electricity being turned off. I appreciate the advice though. Also, I think I get unemployment insurance if the company shuts down…I don’t get that if I walk off.

  • SFC SKI

    http://www.army.mil ;)

    Kris, I wasn’t sure if you’d pick up on the joke from my name; I am career Army, butI am NOT a recruiter.

  • Kris

    “www.army.mil ;)

    Kris, I wasn’t sure if you’d pick up on the joke from my name; I am career Army, butI am NOT a recruiter.”

    Haha, No I didn’t pick up on it. But it WAS hysterical.

    One of my overlly-demanding conditions for employment is as follows: a potential job must not include a fair risk that I will be maimed or killed.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    In my opinion, I have never met any truly “lazy” people

    I suspect you don’t get out enough. I know both truly lazy people and people who are sublimely unambitious, who hit a certain level of employment and then just never chose to go any farther – they have different priorities, like being a college student forever.

    …I have instead met people who were not willing to work for meager wages with no benefits. If a young man came up to me and asked my opinion regarding which was better; slaving away for $8 an hour or selling drugs, I would honestly have to tell him that he has a much better chance of “making it” someday if he slings dope.

    This might touch on an entirely different issue. If drugs were legal then they would be a legitimate alternative career path rather than a high risk vs. high profit lifestyle.

    And there are plenty of “above minimum wage jobs” out there, but so what? Simply being “above minimum wage” means nothing. How can one make it on $8 per hour?

    It’s actually not difficult at all. I’ve lived on less. The problem is that peoples expectations are unrealistic. They think thye need their own personal one bedroom apartment and a new computer and a car with $300 a month payments. That’s not realistic. You get a roomate, you get a used computer, an older car or use public transport. With some compromises it’s easy to live on $8 an hour. In fact, I wrote up a budget for that salary and you can even have health insurance.

    Technically, people at these jobs ARE counted as “employed” and yet, try making a rent payment, a car payment, two student loan payments, a heating bill payment, affording groceries, putting gas in your vehicle all on $8 an hour. Now, I make a bit more than that and even I have trouble making ends meet.

    Then your lifestyle exceeds your means. You think you can’t get rid of the car payment and cut your rent? I bet you can. I lived on about $200 a week for 4 years and I had a car and food and a place to live. And that comes down to $5 an hour – adjusted to 2005 dollars it would be the equivalent of $6.25.

    This is where I disagree with the “Stellar unemployment figures.” They mean little if most of the “employed” people are stuck at jobs they hate and do not allow them to even pay off all of their bills.

    There are jobs available at every level of skill and qualification in the current market. The job shortage in the lower wage levels is particularly acute, but if you have the skills you can easily get a better paying job.

    Essentially, I’m just tired of this “you’re lazy if you can’t make ends meet” attitude. It’s asinine and does little other than to encourage hard-working people to give up.

    I think calling people lazy if they have trouble at the wage they’re earning is incorrect. It’s more a case of unrealistic expectations and an unwillingness to make compromises in lifestyle to match your income.

    I, for one, would be more than happy to bust my rump for 70 hours per week provided:
    a.) That jobs existed that would allow me to do so (they’re all over the place? Really? I don’t seem to have much luck.)

    Where do you live? Move to Texas or Arizona – that’s where the jobs are.

    b.) That I was compensated fairly (I don’t need a BMW, but it might be nice to be able to afford to attend a concert once in a while)

    I can’t comment on this without knowing more about your circumstances, but I was certainly able to attend concerts when I was in college and making virtually nothing after paying expenses.

    c.) That I received benefits (I currently have none, despite my “lazy” insistence on working 45 hours per week. But, if I get cancer and kick the bucket, I’m sure they can just replace this “lazy” fellow with some other sap.)

    You can get health insurance with a high deductible for less than $100 a month if you shop around – most people ought to be able to afford that.

    And as for the spending habits of the “super rich;” I’m left scratching my head. Not only do they not NEED these things, but who honestly even WANTS them? Maybe I’m crazy. Or maybe I just have a big enough penis to not need a private jet and a fancy car with shiny spinning gadgets on the wheels. If $10 million suddenly dropped into my lap I would find much better things to spend it on. Nix that, I wouldn’t spend most of it at all because I’d be hard-pressed to buy moronic consumer items with a straight face. I’ll leave the “Caviar Enema” market to people with too much time on their hands and an inability to find pleasure in more stimulating/worthwhile activities.

    Having just watched a program about J.Lo’s $2 million pair of diamond crusted jeans I’m also completely bewildered by how these vacuous celebrity moneybags can spend money that way. I guess it’s easy come, easy go. The true rich – those who have earned their money by work and perhaps by inheritance – don’t spend with the same lunatic extravagance as celebrities. They’re more likely to spend it on real assets like stock or property than on silly baubles.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The problem is that this assumes that there ARE other opportunities available. You must ask yourself, do people in crappy jobs CHOOSE to be there, or is that simply the best option they have available to them at the moment?

    In my experience most people decide it’s easier to stay in
    a crappy job than do all the work of finding a better one.
    They usually move up when a job falls in their lap rather
    than being proactive about finding a new job.

    Trust me, it’s not as if I just don’t have the will to go out and land a sweet gig, but in my experience there are none to land at the moment.

    Have you ever considered moving? People used to move around the country much more often than they do now, in pursuit of better jobs. There certainly are good jobs, they just may not be where you are.

    As for starting my own business, I plan to! I wish to start a small publishing company at some point not so much for money, but because I enjoy reading and getting interesting ideas “out there” to the people-folks!

    Having run several small publishing companies I can give you some good advice here. Take all your savings, convert them to cash, stand on a streetcorner and hand the money out to people in passing cars. Once all the money is gone you can go home with the knowledge that you’ve had all the joy of starting a small publishing company without spending nearly as much time.

    I respectfully disagree. “Lazy” and “unmotivated” are two different things. I agree that people are “unmotivated,” but they are not lazy. The term you used says it all they LACK motivation. It’s not as if someone on the government dole wouldn’t jump at the chance to work VERY hard and make 80K a year, it’s that (real or imagined) they know that such opportunities do not exist for them?

    This is a good point, but there’s also an inclination once you have a marginally sufficient job not to ‘rock the boat’ and go looking for something better, no matter how much you may deserve it.

    Dave

  • Eric Olsen

    lots of excellent and interesting points, and the descepancy of values between working and not working, teaching the system a lesson, not being taken advantage of.

    The short answer regarding public assustance is that there is no “system,” only your fellow citizens who have to pay to take care of you.

    It really does come down to how motivated you are to put in the effort to find a better situation – I don’t think anyone is saying it’s easy, but is there a rule somewhere saying it is supposed to be?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The short answer regarding public assustance is that there is no “system,” only your fellow citizens who have to pay to take care of you.

    And the government which essentially comes around to each of us, holds a gun to our head, takes some of our hard-earned money and gives it to those who they think need it more than we do.

    Dave

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    Come work in the oilsands in Alberta, Canada. Blue collar workers are getting $150,000 a year. Waitresses are getting tips of $500 a night – not every night, but you get the picture. There’s approximately 10,000 workers in the oilsands and they expect to double that number by the end of the decade. Alberta’s government has no debt or deficit, which makes it unlike any other state or province in North America.

  • Eric Olsen

    “Go north, young man!” (or woman)

  • Nancy

    Alberta – the waitresses make $500 tips, but you neglect to mention that a can of beans costs $25, a $4 pack of lightbulbs costs about $60. All things are relative, as the opening line says. Good lord!