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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore



Rich splurging, others scrimping

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

It looks like the Rapture predictions were off again. Sure must be annoying for those who were counting on it. My advice is to recheck your calculations. Those decimal points and “carry the twos” can be a bit tricky for those of us who’ve been out of school for a few decades.

You might also check your assumptions and your bible. Matthew 24:36 would seem to preclude His having left loopholes, mathematical or not.

***

For most of the rest of us, this Saturday will be much like those previous. Some will be off to work, some will be working in the yard or the garden, some will be sitting at their computer reading this — for which I am always grateful, and some will head out shopping.

Those in the latter group might be particularly interested in the following story.

Rich splurging, others scrimping, report says

NEW YORK — High gas prices are driving a wider wedge between the wealthy and everybody else.

Ladies, this cropped photo accompanied the story. I can't imagine any of the women I know dressing like this. Is this the kind of fashion you look for when you shop? Would you ever wear something like this in public? Am I just hopelessly old-fashioned?

The rich are back to prerecession splurging: Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom customers are treating themselves to luxury items like $5,000 Hermes handbags and $700 Jimmy Choo shoes, and they’re paying full price.

At Target and Wal-Mart, shoppers are concentrating on groceries and skipping even little luxuries. BJ’s Wholesale Corp. said yesterday that its customers are buying more hamburger and chicken and less steak, and buying smaller packs to save money.

“The average shopper isn’t in the game, except for necessities,’’ said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of retail leasing and marketing at Prudential Douglas Elliman. At the same time, among the rich, “Luxury products are selling like bread.’’

J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart, and home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. all said they are noticing their customers are consolidating shopping trips to save money on gas as the average price hovers near $4 a gallon.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

All I can say is “Way to go Team Obama. Those trillions you’ve saddled my kids with has done wonders for the economy.

You sure got America hoping for change. You sure got me hoping for change in 2012.

If you’re heading out to shop this weekend, which group will you be in, the splurgers or the scrimpers or somewhere in-between?

 

19 Responses to “Rich splurging, others scrimping”

  1. Christina Says:

    Splurging? Ha! I wish! My hubby and I have three kids under 4 and our shopping is strictly necessity! We have two birthday parties in the next two weeks and I’ve even considered cutting the guests list to save some pennies. Hubby works for Lowes and agrees folks come in for what they need and attempt to do it all in one trip or ordering online and have home delivery. Gotta save when ya can!

  2. CJeffreyS Says:

    The main reason the future generations will be saddled with debt in the trillions of dollars is not because the rich spend less of there money (percentage-wise) on food or gas, it’s because of the continued lower taxes they enjoy, thereby avoiding paying their fair share of the cost of living in these United States. Admittedly, the amount of change we expected from the current administration has not shown itself; however, this can be attributed to the Congressional opposition in both houses by the Republicans, which led to compromises on healthcare, taxation, etc. I would imagine you, if you are as successful as one would think, benefited greatly from those oppositions, and that, if there is really another change in 2012 (you insinuate it to be Republican), you will continue to benefit….at least in the short run. Heaven forbid that a Republican takes over the White House, only to run it like the previous one!

  3. Mike Says:

    Scrimping at a few yard sales and not whining about how the government won’t steal more of others people money.

  4. Tawnya Norton Says:

    We are definatly on the scrimping side of the shopping spree, but not as in doing without. The economy the last few years have forced my family to make several changes that are probably better for us in the long run. Due to rising food costs, we now have a garden to supply our fresh and healthier produce (all gmo free and organic), we now raise chickens for meat and eggs, and rabbits for meat. We just recently purchased 5 nigerian dwarf goats, as the largest part left on my grocery bill was dairy (we have 5 boys who are milk and cheese lovers), and that brings me down to only having a few dry or baking goods left to shop for. We also chose to stop buying those product at Walmart or other stores which import severe amounts of products from overseas, and buy only made in USA products. SO FAR (we started that in Jan/11) I have not had to buy anything not made here. I have chose to not purchase a few items as I couldn’t find one made here (electric blanket for example), and I suppose that could change if a computer broke and we NEEDED a part that was not made here, but for the most part our lives will now be healthier, and hoping to try to support our economy, not another country’s.

  5. Elissa Says:

    Scrimping! I’m so broke, I can’t even pay attention! I was brought up a middle class city-slicker and never had a clue as to my family’s financial difficulties, but now that I have a family of my own, that’s one area where I’ve chosen to NOT be like my parents (haven’t we ALL said that?!) My daughter will (hopefully) not see it for the struggle it is, but I do intend to pick up some skills for self-reliant living and teach them to her as I learn!

  6. damselbdam Says:

    I agree with Cjeffreys, our current administration, including President Obama, inherited the awful state of our economy. Just 8 short years before, we had a surplus. The wealthy in our country do not pay their share. As to scrimping or splurging, I am always scrimping, working hard and proud to be an America.

  7. Tami Says:

    I’m on the scrimping ways. Bought 3 pieces of REAL animal pelt at a yard sale for .10 each. Now to adorn the box we have for queens to birth their young in. We foster for the Humane society.

  8. Oliver Says:

    CJeffreyS and damselbdam:

    The rich are not paying their fair share? Seriously? How about we put aside “what everybody knows” and examine some facts:

    The top 50% pay 97% of the Federal income taxes
    The top 26% pay about 87%
    The top 10% pay about 69%
    The top 5% pay about 58%
    The top 1% pay about 37%

    Are you seriously saying that is not enough?

    If so, how much is enough?

  9. lisa kelly Says:

    I am skimping. I would love to get a hold of that 7k that these women spend on a PURSE! That is crazy! 7k would be so helpful for my family just to live on for the basics. We are struggling, my husband has not had a raise in over two years but health insurance, food and gas keep going up and up and up! So essentially we are getting pay cuts. I love my life but wish we weren’t being stretched so far financially.

  10. Karen Says:

    Several years ago we thought we were doing great, not that we were rich,but getting by without feeling like without feeling like the floor was collapsing under our feet, then gas prices started rising dramatically along with groceries…my gut feeling tells me all will get worse for us, not better. We are neither rich nor poor, but in the supposed mid middle class which for us means we are nearer to poor than upper middle. Every week I do my shopping and see my dollar lose ground. I do all I can to cut corners. I use coupons, shop sales, buy second and third hand, and scrounge everywhere and anywhere I can , and I garden, raise chickens, and pigs. I feel sad for my kids and what the future holds. How on earth are kids going to be able to make it in this country, the land of plenty, build families, homes, independent lives? I just don’t know…anymore.

  11. Melissa Says:

    We’re on the scrimping end as well. We’re a one-income family (by choice – I homeschool our three kids) who would love to start our own side-business to help with expenses. We are grateful for what we have, and we’re learning the ropes of being more self-sufficient. But I do wish we had an extra $5000. It certainly wouldn’t be spent on a purse!

  12. Mary Jane Says:

    I’d classify us as frugal and prudent shoppers. Sometimes, it makes more sense to spend more for quality, and sometimes not. Case in point:I have a pretty severe foot problem, and I tried to ignore it for years, with OTC fixes, inexpensive athletic shoes, etc. However, I made the problem much worse by waiting, and ended up with high medical bills, expensive custom orthotics, and a continuing problem that may require surgery at some later time. It interferes with the things I need/want to do. Did I save anything? Absolutely not. In fact, I bought so many different cheap shoes over the years that I wasted a lot of money.

    In contrast, I frequently buy store-brand items at the grocery store. Some things, we don’t compromise on, like our coffee brand, but we savor it and it is worth it to us. We have never been to Starbucks and don’t desire to. With other things, such as sugar, flour, canned goods, and so forth, the store brand differs little or none to us. We raise a garden, can, have chickens, and I cook from scratch. We seldom eat out. I use coupons, but only if it is already on my list. We buy clothes only when we have to. We haven’t been to a movie in years. I go to garage sales, but I no longer buy “pretties”…I look for things we actually need and will use, and if the price is right, I buy it. We drive older paid-for vehicles and have finally paid our place off. We raised four children who know how to work and how to stretch a dollar. We tithe.

    We are self-employed, and my husband still works hard full-time; he is 73. He is afraid to retire, because we see a very shaky future for our country. We are classified by certain government types as among those termed “rich”, when nothing could be further from the truth. After expenses, which climb daily, we make less than our one employee, sometimes. As small business owners, taxes eat us alive. We will never see but a fraction of the money we both paid into Social Security. Neither of us has ever accepted a cent of unemployment. My husband has worked since he was ten years old, and he has always had a job waiting if he changed jobs. He has cultivated several skills, and he can always find work. We are proud, blue-collar Americans. We believe every American should pay taxes, but the “rich” are the ones providing the jobs…and don’t forget it.

  13. damselbdam Says:

    Oliver, the facts support you. I plead guilty to speaking (writing) from my gut and not my head.

  14. Leonard Barnes Says:

    I got quite a kick out of this from the Neal Boortz blog:

    “I’m so enamored of my “Obama 2012, Change You Can Step In” bumper sticker idea, I’m actually researching getting some printed. T-shirts would be nice too.”

    Pretty well sums up the situation as I see it and as for the topic at hand, we are seeing almost everything raise in price except our income, thankfully it is staying constant. However, that does not allow us to keep up…..

  15. Katlaya Says:

    I’m not sure how 8 yrs of total destruction of our country’s economy by Bush warrants failure on Obama’s part for not rushing to fix it in 2 yrs. That’s just insane. Yes… we cut the taxes on the rich during that insane 8 yrs so the “rich” would build business and “employ” more people. Did they do that? NO They held onto it and are still holding onto it. Sure, they are buying the big luxury items. Who makes those big luxury items? Mostly other countries. So NO, helping out the rich didn’t do the trickle down thing that was expected of them. I knew while the whole real estate bubble was happening that we were all sitting on a house of cards and it was just a matter of time before the wind blew. So we are still helping out a bunch of fat cats that are holding onto their fortunes and when spending, spending it overseas and those that are blaming the current president for all he is trying to shore up with a limited number of fingers for a myriad of holes in the present dike need to get their head examined or things are just going to get worse. Get a clue someone before most of the country goes totally under and we become a 3rd world nation!

  16. Katlaya Says:

    OH! And as for your tea bag? Use it plug the whole in your head. LOL

  17. KAarenC Says:

    Scrimping. Everyone should.
    I have a rich friend who scrimps. Her family dines out often (business write-off or dines for free at restaurants her husband designed). When she shops, she buys the best she can afford, on sale and keeps it forever. She is a heck of a cook and prepares gourmet dinners in her small kitchen on her much used $5,000 stove. She thinks nothing of buying lobster to make for a weekday dinner yet grows her own vegetables. Nothing wrong with scrimping. The generations before us did it for years and it certainly didn’t hurt them any.

  18. Hanza Says:

    Katlaya said:

    “Get a clue someone before most of the country goes totally under and we become a 3rd world nation!”

    Turning the country into a 3rd world nation is Obaminations whole objective. He has done more to hurt the country financially in his 2 years than Bush did during his 8. And unless Obamacare is totally repealed things will only get worse.

    I’m retired with military retirement and social security neither of which have had COLA raises in 2 years. That is because the government is cooking the books to hide the actual rate of inflaction.

    However so far I’ve not had to do any skrimping. I drive very little and only spend about $20 a month on gasoline. As a single person household I don’t spend a whole lot on food and haven’t cut down on the things that I buy.

  19. Desertrat Says:

    Looking at the photo merely demonstrates the accuracy of the comment, “Nobody ever went broke by underestimating the bad taste of the American public.”

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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