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My Heart Just Breaks...(32 Posts)
I am in debt upto my eyeballs through very poor decision making but just about manage to pay the bills, albeit that I have to go into the overdraft every month to do it.
But, my heart just breaks from some of the real difficulties people are experiencing which make mine seem so insignificant. I know I have much to be grateful for. I just want to send hugs to you all who are experiencing real fear and distress because of money worries.
It is so wrong for people to be in the situation where there is no money for food or the basics. I really think that we should withdraw from events such the Olympics and all the money that has and will be spent should be redistributed to people with real hardship. I know that many people will disagree with me, but really what is a sporting event compared to people below the breadline. I know that some people might have been able to get work because of it, but does it all make sense. I am not a money fundi and don't understand it all, but it seems plain to me.
How does quantitive easing not help people. If the government printed some money for people, and gave it to them and not themselves, won't that make sense. I mean, if I was given 10k i would pay my debts and my salary would be able to provide for the things we need. The bank and creditors would get their money and so would I.
Anyway, a bit of a ramble from my original point. Just know that positive thoughts are being sent your way
It's not that simple. The Olympics have already been paid for and pulling out now would be a national disgrace, letting down millions. Quantitative easing is what happens when interest rates can't be reduced any further. Keeps the money going around which helps business stay afloat and provide jobs. Remember what happened when the money supply dried up in 2008?.... Give everyone £10k is a daft idea... why should everyone else pay for your 'daft decision making?'
There's still a pretty good welfare state to help out when we need it. Shit happens to anyone and I know that better than some. But expecting some 'Magic Money Fairy' to wave a wand because we've maxed out the credit cards on crap or we didn't put aside some savings when times were good is ridiculous.
Cogito- the welfare state is at best barely adequate. It is not "pretty good". Only if you have recently lived on benefits could you comment fairly. We have two families in our village reliant on a combination of state benefits. One family has a 21 yo grown-up son with no qualifications and no self-confidence working 2 days/week living at home. Both parents too disabled to work (progressive heart failure in a former forklift truck driver, arthritic shoulders and range of other health problems in former gardener) but not disabled enough to qualify for disability benefits. Rural area, woman can't drive or sit still for long or type due to health conditions. Virtually impossible to get a job for either of them.
The other family have a 14 yo DS. Mum was sole wage earner until she had a stroke 5 years ago at the age of 45. Dad is on the AS and was fine bringing up the child but finds working outside the home very difficult, but again not disabled enough for disabled benefits. Also he is nearly 60.
Both these families live month in month out at a deficit. Benefits do not cover even their relatively minor outgoings. Family 1 needs the food bank 2 weeks a month. Family 2 gets money from a parent.
I wasn't suggesting we withdraw from the Olympics. I was suggesting that we did not even enter into spending that much money in the first place. Of course it is too late now. And neither was I actually asking the government to wave a magic wand and give me the money per se. I was actually saying that it is the people who are worse off than me, through no fault of their own, who need the type of help that quantitive easing could bring. In my opinion the money still "keeps going around", just in the coffers of ordinary people which eventually will lead to businesses anyway. I was suggesting that people like the ones highlighted by duchesse and who have posted on these forums are the ones who are most in need. I have a good job and earn a good salary. I do not expect the government to give me a handout when there are people in a worse off state than I am, who maybe did not max the cards out of stupidity but desperation.
The money doesn't just keep going around. The title of this board is 'credit crunch' and that's what spectacularly happened in 2007/8 when money absolutely stopped going around. Companies couldn't borrow the money to fund the next project, the cashflow had a cardiac arrest and we ended up where we are now.
Sounds easy to print billions and give everyone a lump sum. In fact, substitute 'sell off the gold reserves at bargain rates' for 'print billions' and that's effectively what the last government did. Handed out lavish amounts of Tax Credits to people that didn't actually need them and we ended up with people like those in the above example no materially better off. They still have various ailments or lack of confidence or no job...
"I mean, if I was given 10k i would pay my debts and my salary would be able to provide for the things we need" I guess until you exercised "very poor decision making" again.
The fact is, if everyone in this country was given 10 grand, some would blow the lot in a day; some would do what you say you would do, and end back needing another £10k a few months/years later; and others would go on and make millions out of it.
Oh, yes Cog, selling our gold reserves at knock down prices. Way to go Gordon.
Righty-ho, then, Cogito, so we just let these people starve to death, yes? That would your policy? Just so we know. Because that really is the alternative for the them at the moment. In modern Britain, right now. Not a slum in Kenya, but modern-day Britain.
Or maybe workhouses? That worked for the Victorians. Because that's what the people at the very bottom of the economic pyramid need- stygma for not being somewhere else in the pyramid. And you are kidding yourself if you think that nobody in modern Britain needs to be at the bottom of the pyramid. There will always be someone at the bottom. It's a measure of a modern, democratic society how they treat those people. And this country is going backwards.
I can honestly feel a serious nutritional large-scale crisis looming in this country, on a par with the 30s if not worse. I think we will start to see scurvy, rickets and deaths from illnesses made worse by malnutrition make a serious comeback.
We are probably as a family in the upper quartile of earners in this country yet can only just afford our pretty unfancy food bill. I dread to think how it is affecting the poorest in the country.
But you keep living in your little Utopia, Cogito, and believe the crap peddled about how princely the benefits lifestyle is.
@duchesse... you seem to be making up a lot of outrageous & emotive ideas and attributing them to me in a way that is not justified by what I've said so far. We should be supporting people who have fallen on hard times and I think, by and large, we do. However there is always more to it than money. If there is a nutritional large-scale crisis, for example, it is in part down to low income and in part down to the loss of basic cooking skills. I met a woman once who had just taken part in a community project session about healthy eating on a budget. What tips had she taken from it?... 'I'll be buying supermarket oven chips instead of McCain'.
And I am telling you that it is not helping the poorest. I know it is not because I have two examples of the very poorest on my doorstep and can assure you it is not even keeping them in enough food. This is a rural area, maybe that doesn't compute? Mum of family 1 has an allotment and has probably never bought an oven chip- your generalisation is stupid. Yes, some people on benefits will be stupid and clueless- just because some are doesn't mean that you should generalise that to all the people on benefits.
You made bad decisions. Why would hosting the Olympics stop/altercthat
Duchesse - what is your problem with Cognito? She answered the OP and all you have done is attack her. She didn't say anything like what you are accusing her of?!? You have 2 families in your village - that's hardly a great overview is it? Also, I very much doubt that they are 'the very poorest'.
@duchesse. The allotment-owning family may never have bought an oven chip but if a wealthy person like yourself can't fund their food-bill, chances are you are wasting a lot of money - possibly on convenience foods, I don't know.
Cogito is right.
Also we have some of the b3est benefits on the planet, we really do. Compare us to the US. Compare us with much of Europe where you get unemployment benefit for a year or two and then nothing. I am not saying being on benefits is easy. Someone the age of my adult children would be entitled under the new rules to a room on a shared house (and that is exactly what most of those in work have), free prescription charges, and if you are 25 or over it is £71 a week. I really don't think that is too low. I haven't gone into more complex family groups and child payments as it is complicated but that single person sum plus all your rent on the room in a house paid for is really generous considering how hard most of we tax payers work to fund all this and how much of our tax goes on welfare benefits.
if the poor think benefits are too low they could emigrate. I was in a country with lots of youth unemployment this week for work and plenty of those people are going abroad for work.
What we need is to try to get the economy going again and much bigger cut backs than we already have had so we can start getting some debt paid back.
We are not "wealthy", we are simply by any measure in the upper quarter. My husband earns juuust into upper rate tax, and I earn about a quarter of that purely because my work has dried up in the last 3 years and I've only worked a few days a month since the recession hit. Our spending power, like everyone else's has gone right down, the difference being that our particular income (ie just beyond all tax credits, benefits etc awarded to lower earners, and not enough to feel the benefits of the extra earnings) we have seen our spending power halved in the last 7 years.
We do not buy ready-made meals, we do not go to restaurants, we do not buy alcohol in great quantities, we prepare everything at home from scratch, and it's getting harder every year.
We are not stupid (two Cambridge degrees, 3 MAs and a Phd in the house), or reckless. My husband is a public sector career scientist who has had no pay rise for 9 years now. That is the reality of it. It's very easy to make brash declarations about other people's circumstances without knowing the first thing about them, and being frankly inhumane about people who could be on the brink of starvation soon. That is what I am challenging Cogito over.
We are one of the richest countries in the world, why the fuck are we in this situation? We are virtually no better off than if we all just put our feet up ffs.
No one is on the brink of starvation. We are in a bad situation because reckless feckless poor instead of saving as they used to went on a spend spend spend and became too "consumerist" and took out sub prime loans. That is one reason for the crash.
No one is suggesting removing our welfare state. Those of us who are net payers into the system will continue to ensure our taxes to towards helping those in times of hardship so the poor have nothing to fear although seeking more work is usually wise advice where people can manage it.
I don't like to personalise threads, but duchesse's husband made a choice of life time low pay by picking a public sector career. We all know at university which jobs are well paid and which not. We make our beds. We lie on them. I haven't had a very easy week workwise but I always take personal responsibiltiy and try to seek never to blame others. We have too much of a blame culture. We need much more of a mea culpa mea culpa.
Blimey Xenia you really ARE totally out of touch with reality aren't you? The reckless feckless poor - how the very fuck dare they stuff the country up?
And Xenia, the point of globalism is not to move all the poor people to same place on the planet and all the rich people likewise. Almost all poverty (beyond absolute poverty) is relative. Each country will have rich people and poor people. Are you seriously saying the solution to societal ills and perceived laziness is to bring back slums and workhouses? Because that is the logical extension of all this.
Are you seriously advocating bringing back absolute poverty deliberately into this country, after hundreds of social reformers in the 19th and 20th centuries tried to eradicate it?
It's coming back anyway is all I'm saying. Our local food bank is doing a roaring trade, and there are few things more demeaning than resorting to a food bank, I'm told. Maybe appealing to the St Vincent de Paul society might be on a par.
Or maybe my husband made a decision to have a lifetime of a career that he really liked?
I guess what I was trying to say in my original post is this : when a family is struggling they try to cut costs. For example they stop going to the cinema, meals out, no ballet lessons etc. The money saved is then redirected to the bills etc. So, assuming the government is a very large family with many children, should they not do the same? The Olympics just happens to be something I thought of as it is something we can "do" without for one cycle, but I am sure there are many examples out there. The money they save can then be directed to organisations that help people living in real poverty. Does it matter in the moment of hunger, and desperation as to how they got there in the first place? I don't think so. I accept that the solution is multi-faceted, and education about money is likely to be on the solution list. I just think that there are initiatives we could possibly put on the back burner for a bit. I accept the idea of quantitive easing for individuals is probably not the right answer. But that does not mean that my original point expanded upon in this post does not have some merit.
In fairness the Olympics is about regeneration of SE London and bringing business to the country as well. The millions of visitors will all need to stay somewhere, eat, spend money etc, while here, and trade delegations and businesses use large-scale events as venues to conclude business. Although our only serious businesses left are weapons and innovation- everything else can be done more cheaply elsewhere now.
So the theory is that hosting the Olympics will boost some country regeneration as well. And in fairness, no-one knew a crash was just around the corner back in 2005. Or if they did they weren't mentioning it.
I guess if what we have invested is less than the revenue we secure then it is worth it. But if we spend more than what we generate collectively as a country, then I don't see how that is useful. I am assuming we will never really know as this, how does one calculate the intake?
you can't manage you're money so everyone else should pay? cancel the olympics at this stage after all the investment so far? this country doesn't have "poverty", emigrate if you don't like it.