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Thu May 9, 2019, 03:16 PM

Elizabeth Warren: Americans don't need cliche financial advice. They just need to be paid more. CNN:

By Elizabeth Warren for CNN Business Perspectives
Updated 10:28 AM ET, Thu May 9, 2019

Chase Bank fired off a tweet last week staging a hypothetical conversation between one of its customers and her bank account. The customer asks why her account balance is low, and the bank tells her not to go out for food or coffee when she can make it at home instead, or to spend money on a cab when she can just walk. The customer pretends not to listen. "I guess we'll never know," she says, brushing off her low balance and the bank's "advice" on how to manage her money.

When I read that tweet, it hit me like a punch in the gut — but not for the reason Chase intended.

Chase asks:

YOU .....Why is my balance so low?
Bank Account: Make coffee at home.
Bank Account: Eat the food that is already in the fridge
.Bank Account: You don't need a cab, it is only 3 blocks
......YOU:....... I guess we will never know
..Bank Account: "Seriously

Elizabeth Warren
✔ @SenWarren

@Chase: why aren’t customers saving money?
Taxpayers: we lost our jobs/homes/savings but gave you a $25b bailout
Workers: employers don’t pay living wages
Economists: rising costs + stagnant wages = 0 savings
Chase: guess we’ll never know
Everyone: seriously?

Here's the thing — I grew up on the ragged edge of the middle class in a family with a tight budget and no room for error. My parents worked hard and did the best they could, but when I was 12 years old, my Daddy had a heart attack. Everyone thought he was going to die. He came back home, but he couldn't work. There was no net to catch my family. We lost our station wagon and would have lost our house if my mother hadn't saved our family by going out and getting her very first job outside the home — a minimum wage job answering phones at Sears.

It wasn't until later in life that I realized how lucky my family was. After I became a law professor, I started studying what drives families into bankruptcy. I poured through records in courthouse after courthouse, and found that most of the families who ended up in front of a bankruptcy judge were just like mine. They worked hard and did everything right, scraping by until an unexpected medical bill or a divorce pushed them over the edge.

In the years since I started immersing myself in this topic, things have only gotten worse for working families. For 50 years, the price of housing, education and child care has skyrocketed while wages for most workers have barely budged. The economy has grown and workers' productivity has increased, but their share of corporate profits has fallen. The gap between incomes and costs is so gaping that 40% of Americans can't come up with $400 in an emergency. Hard-working families have become adept at stretching their paychecks to the breaking point, skimping on necessities just to make ends meet.

That's not an accident. Over that same period, the wealthy and well-connected have rigged the rules in Washington so that it invests in massive tax giveaways for those at the top and tells working families to pound sand. And as Wall Street billionaires spend their government handouts, their lobbyists and other special interest groups work hard to convince politicians that programs that help families and grow the economy are wasteful.

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Reply Elizabeth Warren: Americans don't need cliche financial advice. They just need to be paid more. CNN: (Original post)
Stuart G May 2019 OP
customerserviceguy May 2019 #1
Backseat Driver May 2019 #3
SWBTATTReg May 2019 #2

Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 9, 2019, 03:56 PM

1. Why can't both things happen?

More pay, and better management of financial resources would make a lot of people's lives easier.

I did taxes from 1981-1990, and I saw people who made much more money than me without a savings account, which I've had almost all of my adult life. I saw a woman who made $300K in two years during the mid-Eighties with nothing but a leased car, a kid in Vermont boarding school, and a house with more owing on it than it was worth. Oh, the closet did have a LOT of clothes that she seldom wore.

I also saw a family with the husband being only an apprentice electrician, and the wife doing only day care work at her church (after the FOUR kids were all old enough to be in school) who managed to buy a repo'd VA house, gutted it, built living quarters in the garage, then finished the rest of the house. At the end, they had a house that was worth nearly $100K, with only $25K of mortgage debt on it.

Those were the extremes, of course, but I managed to encourage many of my tax clients to better themselves by not piddling money away.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #1)

Thu May 9, 2019, 05:46 PM

3. For the young Americans, that would be great.

But what about the early/mid Boomer seniors on the edge? Shall I tell you about this family's life, how we embraced technology but how American employers didn't embrace American workers? Shall I fill you in on the Greatest Generation, who said they did the best they could but obviously and willfully did not, excusing their warped racist elitism by the trauma of childhood depression and adult war compounded with religious zealotry? I wasn't allowed to participate in the 60s movement(s) and have fought at every turn to divorce myself from a conservative-to-a-fault upbringing. DH and I have come a long way but I'm still left wondering at the criteria for being selected out of an improved, albeit lower, middle-class existence. We raised, educated and enriched two daughters; we improved multiple homes for better advantage until the unpunished crooks stole it; we were never fired for reasons of performance nor illness; we served as caregivers.

Yet here we are looking around for a well-funded savings account against a rainy day, an apartment that's affordable, affordable health care supplemental insurance that meets the needs of still healthy seniors like vision, dental, and hearing services versus groceries that aren't poisoned by processing and pesticides; likely, we'll never qualify for programs for the poor without updated eligibility. Our vehicles are old and need repairs. DH still needs to work at a minimum wage job to pay basic bills despite "average" fixed incomes we've worked most of our entire lives to enrich a "retirement". We don't travel nor have expensive hobbies or recreation. Without the serial unemployment in fields they assured us would flourish, we might have been okay, but that's not what happened. BTW, he's now in his 3rd near minimum wage job after lay off in the last year.

Elizabeth Warren was the only one to explain my adult life here: . I'd like to support her candidacy but I guess we'll see who the brokers of power will choose to stand for the Dems, and I will NEVER vote for the GOP cretins as long as I live. My goal as long as they hold their reign of terror will be to be as expensive to them in my old age as can be. Sure wish someone would address the plight of seniors who have been by some criteria to be less than "entitled," too poor for quality of life nor have enough to continue on until we're called away. Guess I'm still piddling it away...huh? I'm terrified, and you should be too.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 9, 2019, 05:28 PM

2. Be paid more...good advice...perhaps some day, the powers that be will finally listen to ...

the regular American on the street? Doesn't seem like they do, and in order to get anyone in the so called 'exclusive club' to listen to us, you must have at least a minimum account balance of $millions. Something wrong with this scenario, which has been playing since the 1980s.

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