Re: `capitalist' character values

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Wed Jul 25 2001 - 11:09:47 MDT

Lee Corbin wrote:
> Mike and Samantha write that $10,000 would tempt very few
> people to give up their jobs and retire. (I did stipulate
> somewhere that this was not to interfere with any other
> benefits that the people are currently receiving.)
> Mike:
> "With a GI of $10,000, it's enough to live in a crappy
> little studio apartment, no kids, no pets, and no fun."
> What? You must be thinking of a single adult in a high or
> average price area. Lots of people are already *retired*
> on about that from the government (my mother is one). Three
> or four friends going together can live modestly, but adequately
> on their $30K or $40K.

My mother's parents 'live' off of a $27k social security income, except
for the fact that nan is taking up all of that in the home she lives in,
while grampy, who is severely Alzheimers/senile, lives in an Extended
Care Facility here in Lebanon (an hour away from where nan lives) which
is entirely funded by medicaid.

My father's mother lives in a condo in Daytona that she paid cash for
and lives off of her social security (not sure of the amount, but
somewhat less than $27k) only by the fact that she doesn't have to pay
any rent and has the funds to pay cash for her cars, which she typically
drives for no more than 5 years before trading in.

Retired people can afford to live on a $10k income in some low
cost-of-living areas of the country only because they enjoy significant
health care, housing, and energy subisidies from the government in
addition to that $10k in social security, PLUS they get significant
discounts on many things on account of their membership in the AARP (the
Angry Army of Retired Persnicketers). PLUS they are typically exempted
from local and state taxes that are used for funding the education

Since it is economically unfeasible for merchants and others to offer
such savings to every customer, and since not every retired person can
live in a low cost-of-living area, AND since the state doesnt' seem to
be inclined to exempt everybody from taxes, AND not everyone has a nice
nest egg to draw on from birth, its obviously NOT possible for a person
to do much beyond simple meager subsistence on a $10k income (and NOTE:
Senior citizens living on a fixed income typcially don't do much of
anything with their retirement besides sit around and wait to die).

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