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This is for the over worked, indebted American workers who seem to be more disgruntled then ever before:

"More and more Americans are turning to debt to pay for lifestyles their current incomes can't support," writes reporter Bob Davis. "They are determined to live better than their parents, seduced by TV shows like 'The O.C.' and 'Desperate Housewives,' which take upper-class life for granted, and bombarded with advertisements for expensive automobiles and big-screen TVs. Financial firms have turned credit for the masses into a huge business, aided by better technology for analyzing credit risks. For Americans who aren't getting a big boost from workplace raises, easy credit offers a way to get ahead, at least for the moment."

Living beyond your means seems to be the lifestyle for many. When we talk about what we can afford or not afford it would seem that there is not a consenses on what affordability is. Poor people in America driving SUV's with cable in their homes while on public assistance verse a rcih person who lives like a miser, a Toyoda Prius, only a DSL connection and spartan furniture and clothing except work clothes.

We talk about taxes in America and off shoring jobs, but when it comes down to it, how exaclty do we live our lives here seems to be all about excess. No one seems to be very happy about it though...

on May 30, 2005
Interesting article.

The thing about financing things, particularly with credit cards, is that you end up paying an item's worth many times over, sometimes even paying for something long after it has outlived its usefulness.

There is a strong draw to impress other people with our possessions, to demonstrate our success with things like expensive cars and large TVs and expensive clothes. Our generation does not know the poverty that our parents or grandparents know, and we lack the resourcefulness and financial perspective that they have.

My grandparents were teachers. This is not a highly profitable profession. And yet in retirement they have enormous savings and are generally well-off. They grew up during the depression, and so they have always saved and been frugal. They are not concerned with what others have, but rather with being financially prepared for the future for themselves and their family.

Our generation does not think about the future...what we see is that we can get a 32" flatscreen TV for $20 a month on our Visa, regardless of the fact that we will still be paying for that TV long after it has become obsolete or broken.

And for most people, the more you make, the more you spend. A raise should make it easier to live within one's means, but instead, it just inflates the spending habits.