16% of Lucas County on food stamps

Sixteen percent of Lucas County are getting food stamps. The unemployment rate in Toledo is nearly 8%.

"A person living in Toledo and supporting one child would have to make at least $12.89 per hour to meet their basic expenses, according to the Living Wage Calculator, an online tool developed by a Penn State University professor that calculates living costs for various areas.

"The Real Bottom Line," a study on poverty in Ohio released last week, found the majority of the state's families in poverty are employed, many in low-wage jobs. In 2007, 1.1 million Ohioans over the age of 18 - about a quarter of the state's labor force - received their paychecks from jobs with wages of just under $10 an hour, according to the study."
http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080601/NEWS17/806010...

And it's just going to get worse as the economy continues to crumble. Let's find another industry or business to over-regulate and another legal product to ban so we can shoot ourselves in the other foot.

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It amazes me that my husband and I both found good, new jobs in this area within the past 6 months.

My new job was a promotion, so it wasn't that big of a shock. But my husband got laid off last year...he doesn't have as much specialized training as I do, so I was concerned that he might have a rough time finding a job in the local market. Took him 9 months, but he finally found something! A lower wage than what he was earning previously, but we're still grateful he found something.

We're more fortunate than most in that my salary alone would at least be enough to take care of the necessities for our family of 4. (My salary is in the mid-40s...perhaps not a lot in some people's minds, but it kept the family fed while my husband was out of work!) Even though we were getting by financially, my husband was starting to feel dejected at the lack of opportunities out there for him...getting constantly rejected over a 9 month period really starts to wear on the psyche.

After watching the ups and downs of my husband's job search, I feel for anyone trying to search in this area right now. Especially if they don't have someone else in the household bringing in a steady paycheck to help out. Scary times we live in, and I have definitely learned to count my blessings.

minimum wage jobs are meant as entry-level or to get young people used to working for a living. When I retired from the Postal Service my basic pay was a little under $40,000 a year but if I wanted the overtime I could usually make $48,-$50,000 a year. Some hourly workers there made close to $100,000 a year (working 10-12 hours a day five days a week plus both weekend days). It wasn't the best job in the world but I draw close to $30,000 in retirement plus what I make on side jobs (I usually charge $10/hour for my services). For those who have "good" careers these are good times (until their jobs are sent overseas), but unless you get into the habit of putting some money aside (instead of consuming everything in sight) you can't be ready for the next downturn. But if we save money we can't consume, and people are left unemployed. My father saw his chances of employment and income go up from the time Roosevelt began arming England against the Germans, and the day he volunteered for the draft. But we can't depend on being the "Arsenal of Democracy" now, and making a good living at it. The weapons are fewer in number, more high tech, and often produced overseas. So we can't depend on a war bigger than the one we already have to pull us out of this.

And putting money aside may not be the answer. Unless you're in the "know" you are just a pawn to those whose massive investments can turn the market on its ear. You can put your money with a bank, and hope their analysts are smarter than you are at making calls. Or you can use your own judgement, and hope that you've heard the correct rumors. I know my investments have shrunk over the last couple of years. I can hope that the market will rise again before I have to begin to sell my investments for money to live on, but there are no guarantees. That's the fun thing about capital. If you make $12.89 an hour you probably put nothing away. If you make $40,000 a year you might put $10,000 away. If you make $400,000 a year you might put $100,000 away, and live very well besides. If you make $4,000,000,000 a year you probably spend $5,000,000 for your personal pleasure, and put the rest in investments which could sink like a stone, and you would still do well until the end of your life (if you're 60).

Old South End Broadway

Sorry, OSEB, but it's likely that the person making $40K is putting -$2K away, which means he loses $2000 per year. Firstly, he buys all kinds of cheap plastic Chinese SHIT which doesn't last worth a fuck. Secondly, he buys virtually everything on CREDIT, and credit costs EXTRA money. Thirdly, he tries to make up for all of that consumption and cost-of-credit by sticking his money in risky investments that are guaranteed to lose money over time (stock, housing and commodities bubbles, primarily). Market timing can't be done, but this $40K fool actually tries, time and time again.

The $40K person who puts $10K away is a tiny minority, considering the same person pay out about 40%-gross in taxes in the first place, then at least 25%-gross housing expenses -- leaving $14K for all her bills and spending.

No wonder the US savings rate fell to LESS THAN ZERO.

(In contrast, the prudent person making $400K can save a good $200K, since they can keep their living expenses near what the non-saving idiot making $40K does. A person making $400K can live in the SAME HOUSE slightly better than a person making $40K can, too.)

At any rate, savings is ALWAYS a good idea, and with savings, you CANNOT lose. The losers are the ones who SPEND.

Look around. The evidence of a withering economy is everywhere. In "good times" consumers shun the canned meat aisle altogether, but no more. Today, Spam sales are soaring; grocery stores can't keep it on the shelves. Everyone is looking for cheaper ways to feed themselves and their families. The Labor Department assures us that core-inflation is only 4 per cent, but everybody knows that’s a load of malarkey. Food prices are shooting up. Inflation is rampant and there's no end in sight. The dollar is closing in on the peso and working people are struggling just to get by.

In Santa Barbara parking lots are being converted into hostels so that families that lost their homes in the subprime fiasco can sleep in their cars and not be hassled by the cops. The same is true in LA where tent cities have sprung up around the railroad yards to accommodate the growing number of people who've lost their jobs or can't afford to rent a room on service-industry wages. This is the great triumph of Reagan's free trade "trickle down" Voodoo economics; whole families living out of their cars waiting for the pawn shop to open.
From "The Withering Economy" by MIKE WHITNEY
http://counterpunch.org/whitney06032008.html

What? You don't think that this can all be fixed with a massive tax cut for the rich?

People will try to make up for personal budget shortfalls by renting out portions of their massive homes. That will only increase an already glutted housing market and will make prices crash harder. As prices crash harder, more people will walk away from "their" (i.e. the banks') homes, creating an even larger glut (since on average that house can accommodate 2 families due to its oversizing).

Greenspan really pulled a number on the American people. Yet it was still the responsibility of the American people to be educated in common finance. Mortgaging property is one of the best defined transactions you can perform. No one can claim they "didn't know" what they were getting into. All "truth in lending" laws ensure THAT.

We're now at the largest vacancy rates in the nation that have ever been recorded since such records started being kept back in the early 1950s. House and condo prices can only FALL ... and they will fall or stagnate until 2014. Can you pay your adjustable-rate mortgage until that time? No? THEN JUST WALK AWAY.

Or just drain your 401k and borrow money from relatives ... until you STILL have to walk away by 2011, poorer by a mile. Either way, I get what I want: A severe economic crash that teaches Americans that they were never that rich.

I sure hope for your sakes that crow tastes good.

And so I take respected contributor and sometime drinking companion, GuestZero, to task over a slight error. In point of fact, GZ claims that the man who makes $400,000 per year will likely save $200,000 per year. I disagree. My reasoning has to do with the unsatisfaction of human wants. In essence, the person will always expand their wants in proportion to their income. Give a man four hundred grand, and he'll blow all of it and want more. Case in point, I know of an entrepreneur in Florida who makes and spends in excess of one million dollars per year. He saves nothing. He wants more. Look at the statistics on credit card debt. Given a six figure income, how many credit card offers will you be pre-approved for every week? Run those suckers up, and the vig will eat you alive. You'll want more income, so that you can get more credit, so that you can continue this vicious cycle until the pellets slam into the windmill and you get to file Chapter 86.

No, GZ. The average six figure wage earner isn't saving. They don't own that McMansion or those SUVs in the garage, or for all I know the furniture.

They don't save because they don't know how, and they will not understand why everything around them starts to sink into a debtor's quicksand of registered mail, collection calls, repossession attempts and, finally, eviction. Just the other day a close friend of mine and I were talking about economic goals. At one time in our lives, $100 per day seemed like all the money in the world. Now look at us.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

That reminds me of something I heard today...apparently Ed McMahon is in foreclosure on his home.

You'd think that with all the money he has made over the years from sponsorships, TV shows, royalties, etc that he'd be set for life. But, of course, I'm sure his spending kept pace with his income.

(Just like all the celebrities who end up declaring bankruptcy, despite having earned multi-millions in their lifetime.)

I said:

"the prudent person making $400K can save a good $200K"

I don't disagree with what you said in principle and in many specifics, however. Look at McMahon and now Holyfield. These were rich men who have apparently blown their fortunes up better than C4 would.

A lot of the middle class are in very good income positions, which they should have leveraged by modest and smart living into producing a large savings for a very secure and early retirement. Obviously, they didn't. The stats show that a good 40% of those retiring now from the Boomer generation made no other plan for retirement than Social Security. How did so many people get to be so financially stupid?

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