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Thread: How much income does a family need?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGRED..CHEESEHED View Post
    You see those are the kind of questions that I believe should be answered BEFORE you have children.
    No argument here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Warhorse View Post
    Thank God for Obama saving and transforming our economy albeit slower than any (including him) would like.

  2. #22
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    To each according to his need, from each according to his ability.
    --Karl Marx

    Other than being sexist, it's the perfect answer to the question in the OP.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskerwirejay View Post
    I think the question stands on it's own, but to give it more context, we are ongoing discussions about health care, budgets and taxes in this country and on this board. I think it helps to know what people this is enough to tread water.

    The site you linked says a family of 4 is below the poverty guidelines if they make lass that $23050 a year. So roughly a bit less than $2000 a month. Does that sound about right?

    So, if we have a family of 4 where both the mother and father have lost their jobs and are working for low wages and bringing in just $1000 a month, should we as tax payers, as a nation, provide assistance in the form of school lunch programs, food stamps, health care etc to them or should they just live on what they are making, period?

    Would you like to be a judge?

    You could be right. If they HAD income but lost their income, what actions should they take to reduce their family size?
    So both the mother and father lost their jobs, but they're both working in lower wage jobs. If they're both working and still bringing in just $1000/mo, they must only be working a few hours a month. If full time employment constitutes 2080 hours per year (40 hrs/wk x 52 weeks), then one month of full time work would average out to 173.3 hours. If they are both working full time, that's 346.6 hours/mo. If they're only bringing in $1000/mo, that's $2.89/hr. They need to find different jobs, work more hours, or make someone aware of the minimum wage violation occurring at both places of employment.

  4. #24
    So the point of the thread is to argue that we should provide a social safety net for people who are unable to pay for basic necessities?

    An alternative way of going about that would be to ask, do you think we should provide a social safety net for people who lack the means to pay for basic necessities? Then people could respond one way or the other.

    I know that's an awfully direct way of doing things. And I'm sure that until this thread, it had never occurred to people that there is a certain dollar figure below which people would not be able to sustain the basic cost of living. And, further, that by coming to that realization, people will finally see the light and understand that their longstanding opposition to welfare has been misplaced all this time, because gosh darnit, people do need that money to survive.

    But still, just approaching the issue directly could be a radical new approach. Might be something to think about.
    "The distinctive mark of the Christian, today more than ever, must be love for the poor, the weak, the suffering." Pope John Paul II


  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by huskrthill View Post
    So both the mother and father lost their jobs, but they're both working in lower wage jobs. If they're both working and still bringing in just $1000/mo, they must only be working a few hours a month. If full time employment constitutes 2080 hours per year (40 hrs/wk x 52 weeks), then one month of full time work would average out to 173.3 hours. If they are both working full time, that's 346.6 hours/mo. If they're only bringing in $1000/mo, that's $2.89/hr. They need to find different jobs, work more hours, or make someone aware of the minimum wage violation occurring at both places of employment.
    If they are making minimum wage, having SS taken out but no state or federal taxes and bringing home $1000, they are working about 34 hours a week, collectively. In a high unemployment environment, I know a number of people who would like to find better paying jobs and get more hours then what they can find right now. Do you agree?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChitownHusker View Post
    So the point of the thread is to argue that we should provide a social safety net for people who are unable to pay for basic necessities?

    An alternative way of going about that would be to ask, do you think we should provide a social safety net for people who lack the means to pay for basic necessities? Then people could respond one way or the other.

    I know that's an awfully direct way of doing things. And I'm sure that until this thread, it had never occurred to people that there is a certain dollar figure below which people would not be able to sustain the basic cost of living. And, further, that by coming to that realization, people will finally see the light and understand that their longstanding opposition to welfare has been misplaced all this time, because gosh darnit, people do need that money to survive.

    But still, just approaching the issue directly could be a radical new approach. Might be something to think about.
    Well stated, Chi! Wishful thinking though, I'm guessing...

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by ChitownHusker View Post
    So the point of the thread is to argue that we should provide a social safety net for people who are unable to pay for basic necessities?

    An alternative way of going about that would be to ask, do you think we should provide a social safety net for people who lack the means to pay for basic necessities? Then people could respond one way or the other.

    I know that's an awfully direct way of doing things. And I'm sure that until this thread, it had never occurred to people that there is a certain dollar figure below which people would not be able to sustain the basic cost of living. And, further, that by coming to that realization, people will finally see the light and understand that their longstanding opposition to welfare has been misplaced all this time, because gosh darnit, people do need that money to survive.

    But still, just approaching the issue directly could be a radical new approach. Might be something to think about.
    Thank you for your suggestion.

    I believe that the question in your second paragraph has been asked and answered by most--including on this board many times and by elected officials and candidates. That answer seems to be a resounding YES!...but. There is wide spread disagreement as to where to draw the line in terms of assistance as well as how long the assistance should last.

    My question was quite direct and quite simple. "How much does a family of 4 need"? Perhaps it was too direct.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Huskerwirejay View Post
    My question was quite direct and quite simple. "How much does a family of 4 need"? Perhaps it was too direct.
    I wouldn't worry too much about that.
    "The distinctive mark of the Christian, today more than ever, must be love for the poor, the weak, the suffering." Pope John Paul II


  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskrthill View Post
    $1000/mo for a 2 bedroom apartment in Omaha would get you VERY nice place. Much more than "getting by."
    You're going to make me cry (and wish I hadn't chosen to live in CA).
    "We need education in the obvious more than investigation of the obscure."

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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskerwirejay View Post
    My question was quite direct and quite simple. "How much does a family of 4 need"? Perhaps it was too direct.
    All they can get.

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by ChitownHusker View Post
    I wouldn't worry too much about that.
    I am not worried about it at all.

    I know that it was a simple and direct question; clear and uncluttered without political overtones or quotes for media outlets that lean left or right. I suspect everyone has a slightly different take on what their answer is.

    HZ asks about saving for retirement, college tuition, private school etc in a question about 'needs'. Big Cheese talks about growing your family only after you have the income to sustain it. Still others have avoided the question and only complained about the style and context (or lack of context) in which it was asked.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskerwirejay View Post
    If they are making minimum wage, having SS taken out but no state or federal taxes and bringing home $1000, they are working about 34 hours a week, collectively. In a high unemployment environment, I know a number of people who would like to find better paying jobs and get more hours then what they can find right now. Do you agree?
    So they can't find more than 17 hours each? And neither one is able to make more than minimum wage? I'd say they need to be looking harder for better jobs, or maybe consider moving to a different area of the country where jobs are more abundant. Just about every gas station I go to around here is looking for people, as are the fast food restaurants. They all pay more than minimum wage, offer full time employment, and benefits.

    My hope for these people is that their current situation isn't a long-term one. I'd hate to have to revisit these people in 6-12 months and find that they are in the same situation. If they are, I'd have to question their desire to improve their lives.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by huskrthill View Post
    So they can't find more than 17 hours each? And neither one is able to make more than minimum wage? I'd say they need to be looking harder for better jobs, or maybe consider moving to a different area of the country where jobs are more abundant. Just about every gas station I go to around here is looking for people, as are the fast food restaurants. They all pay more than minimum wage, offer full time employment, and benefits.

    My hope for these people is that their current situation isn't a long-term one. I'd hate to have to revisit these people in 6-12 months and find that they are in the same situation. If they are, I'd have to question their desire to improve their lives.
    There my be any number or reason why they aren't more fully employed. Relocation, wanting it more, working harder, etc. may or may not help. Would you agree with about $2000 a month is needed for a family of 4?

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskerwirejay View Post
    There my be any number or reason why they aren't more fully employed. Relocation, wanting it more, working harder, etc. may or may not help.
    What are some of those reasons? Are we going to find the most destitute, bad luck family and hold them up as the norm? Sure, some people are dealt a crappy hand. Sometimes there are things that happen that are beyond your control, and sometimes you aren't physically/mentally capable of improving your situation. But that's really not the case for a lot of people. They are generally capable of improving their situation, but make choices that keep them dependent on government for extended periods of time.

    I'm not at all against helping someone that has fallen on hard times, but let's get these people back on their feet. There are opportunities out there for almost everyone. All you have to do is recognize one and take advantage of it.

    Would you agree with about $2000 a month is needed for a family of 4?
    Not necessarily. There are ways to get by with less. It depends on each individual situation. Why are you so hung up on a specific dollar amount? Once again, a one-size-fits-all approach is not an effective way of handling these problems.

  15. #35
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    Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?


  16. #36
    I have 3 kids, a wife, dog, mortgage, car payment and 70K in student loan debt.

    Our overhead is $4000.00 a month.

    I could cut net $1000 by renting instead of the mortgage. I could get rid of the dog and drop another 100 per month. I could downsize the car and drop another 500. I could drop my life insurance and save another 40 per month.

    For a family of 5, we could get by on $2360.00 a month or $28,320 a year.

    With 3 kids, I'd have darn near zero tax liability, no out of pocket health costs because my family would qualify for charity care at private, non profit hospitals.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by husker6 View Post
    Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?


  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskerwirejay View Post
    If you have a family of 4 living where the cost of living is 'average' in America, hom much do they need for food, housing, health care/insurance, transportation etc?

    Can they get by on $1000 a month? $2000? More? Less?
    Quote Originally Posted by Huskerwirejay View Post
    I am not worried about it at all.

    I know that it was a simple and direct question; clear and uncluttered without political overtones or quotes for media outlets that lean left or right. I suspect everyone has a slightly different take on what their answer is.

    HZ asks about saving for retirement, college tuition, private school etc in a question about 'needs'. Big Cheese talks about growing your family only after you have the income to sustain it. Still others have avoided the question and only complained about the style and context (or lack of context) in which it was asked.
    I wouldn't say too direct. Ambiguous, misleading, agenda driven or vague for sure. When you ask a question about how much they "need" then give examples of several things followed by "etc", it's unclear if you mean the bare essentials or basics.



    FAIL
    Quote Originally Posted by Warhorse View Post
    Thank God for Obama saving and transforming our economy albeit slower than any (including him) would like.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskerwirejay View Post
    Would you agree with about $2000 a month is needed for a family of 4?
    There's no correct answer, that's probably a reasonable "guesstimate." It also has little or no bearing on ones views on entitlements & welfare. As thill has pointed out, people can find themselves temporarily in a bad spot. Help is deserved for those, and can come from a number of sources, not just taxpayer-funded welfare. If one finds themselves in that "bad spot" lacking the guesstimated monthly amount of money on a long-term basis, society doesn't owe it to them to make up the difference on a long-term basis.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by HuZkurZ View Post
    I wouldn't say too direct. Ambiguous, misleading, agenda driven or vague for sure. When you ask a question about how much they "need" then give examples of several things followed by "etc", it's unclear if you mean the bare essentials or basics.



    FAIL
    I don't think it is my job to define what a need is. You are free to have a different idea than someone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by McKinneyTXHusker View Post
    There's no correct answer, that's probably a reasonable "guesstimate." It also has little or no bearing on ones views on entitlements & welfare. As thill has pointed out, people can find themselves temporarily in a bad spot. Help is deserved for those, and can come from a number of sources, not just taxpayer-funded welfare. If one finds themselves in that "bad spot" lacking the guesstimated monthly amount of money on a long-term basis, society doesn't owe it to them to make up the difference on a long-term basis.
    So true. There is not correct answer. Every situation is different. Every community is different. What a person needs to tread water doesn't exactly change based on the circumstances that lead to their current situation.

    If they last their job because their employer was a crook and went to jail, or if they last their job because they punched a co-worker, they still are out of work and their rent check is still the same amount.

    I further agree that any public help needs to be a rope to get them on dry land, not a buffet for them to feast at forever. In the past, I have suggested reducing unemployment benefits by 2% a week after XX weeks to ween people off.




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