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Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships

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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 17:03
highhopes wrote:
I don't want to spend much time on this, because I don't think there's much middle ground.

But I think your viewpoint on the middle class is ignorant and I think a lot of us that were raised in different backgrounds see things differently.

I grew up in a blue collar family and my mother didn't work to afford an extra car, she certainly didn't work to support my cell phone bill (I didn't have one) and she definitely didn't work to buy our big screen TVs (we had one TV that was about 20 years old). Could my parents have chosen to raise us in a lesser community so we could be a one income family? Could my parents have biked 20 miles to work so that they didn't need a car? Sure, these are all CHOICES, but at some point the line between a choice and a definite hardship becomes real blurry. I think your assessment is unfair and for a lot of people choices don't include a choice between which $1/2 million house they'll buy.

Finally, a corporation may not owe us anything, but there are some disgusting corporate habits. Is it really right that common workers get quarter center raises while we guarantee compensation for CEOs that don't back up their performance? And certainly each one of us owes something to the society we live in, the greed in this country is horrendous. I for one don't plan to change my thinking because I have a less popular opinion in B-school. Some of us are not in it to get rich quick.

Okay, rant over.


I'm assuming you were replying to me, not that it matters...but there really is no purpose in arguing individual cases (yours, gixxer, heck I grew up in a single mother household supporting 10 children, can I qualify?) of "hardship" in this debate. I'm pretty certain that if I look back 50 years that I can find some individual cases of "hardship" too, but that doesn't really tell me anything useful. What I would venture to say is that the amount of "hardship" that the average person in this country has to deal with has probably decreased as the economic pie has increased. Just because the average slice is now smaller as a % to the whole comparatively doesn't mean that it isn't a bigger and tastier slice because I'm pretty sure that it is. The reason for the sustained period of economic growth in the pie is because trade/free-market capitalism is NOT a zero sum game.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 17:15
gixxer1000 wrote:
Do you really think that C-level employees actually work that much hard and create that much more wealth than the line workers? Does Brittney Spears really work that much harder than a veterinarian or a construction worker?


How much you earn has NOTHING to do with how hard you work. It may sound cliche, but it all comes down to supply and demand.

How many people can do what Michael Jordan did? How many people can what a cook at McDonald's does?

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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 17:28
You're comparing two extreme examples in your supply and demand example though.

It has much less to do with your talents and much more to do with your connections. This is a fact, you can't dispute it. It's part of the reason so many people go to B-school.

My father is much smarter than I, but I ended up making much more. It's a matter of luck.

I led a very comfortable life, I don't know how you expect kids coming out of a poor neighborhood with terrible school funding to ever realize the same good fortune.

Okay, now I'm done for real.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 17:41
refurb wrote:
How much you earn has NOTHING to do with how hard you work. It may sound cliche, but it all comes down to supply and demand.

How many people can do what Michael Jordan did? How many people can what a cook at McDonald's does?

RF


I wouldn't go that far, it certainly takes a tremendous amount of hard work to be Michael Jordan vs. a fry cook, but it also has to do with how unique your skills are. Honestly, there are about as many people in this world that could do what Jack Welch did at GE as there are All-Stars in the NBA. Just look at his successor to see how hard that job is.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 17:49
highhopes wrote:
You're comparing two extreme examples in your supply and demand example though.

It has much less to do with your talents and much more to do with your connections. This is a fact, you can't dispute it. It's part of the reason so many people go to B-school.

My father is much smarter than I, but I ended up making much more. It's a matter of luck.


Again, your father's smarts have nothing to do with how much he should make. It's all supply and demand. In terms of employment, supply and demand concerns skills.

You're father might be smarter, but you obviously have skills that are in higher demand. Of course, there are other variables. Those guys working on fishing boats in Alaska don't necessarily have better skills at fishing than the guy barely scraping by in New England, but their skills are worth more in Alaska than New England.

Either way, I think people have been pretty reasonable in this thread. I find it interesting none the less.

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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 17:59
jb32 wrote:
I wouldn't go that far, it certainly takes a tremendous amount of hard work to be Michael Jordan vs. a fry cook, but it also has to do with how unique your skills are. Honestly, there are about as many people in this world that could do what Jack Welch did at GE as there are All-Stars in the NBA. Just look at his successor to see how hard that job is.


Isn't that exactly what I said? :wink:

My point being, in a free market system, what you get paid isn't determined by how important your work is (ex. teacher or doctor), how hard you work (ex. laying asphalt in 100F weather), how much the product you produce is worth (Ford vs. Ferrari assembler), how much education you have (PhD in English vs. Nursing degree) or the many other factors that people think pay "should" be based on.

For the most part your salary is based on the market's demand for your skills and the existing supply of people with those skills. That's why people with high tech skills were making a killing in the late 1990s. It also explains why they aren't now.

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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 18:02
refurb wrote:
jb32 wrote:
I wouldn't go that far, it certainly takes a tremendous amount of hard work to be Michael Jordan vs. a fry cook, but it also has to do with how unique your skills are. Honestly, there are about as many people in this world that could do what Jack Welch did at GE as there are All-Stars in the NBA. Just look at his successor to see how hard that job is.


Isn't that exactly what I said? :wink:

My point being, in a free market system, what you get paid isn't determined by how important your work is (ex. teacher or doctor), how hard you work (ex. laying asphalt in 100F weather), how much the product you produce is worth (Ford vs. Ferrari assembler), how much education you have (PhD in English vs. Nursing degree) or the many other factors that people think pay "should" be based on.

For the most part your salary is based on the market's demand for your skills and the existing supply of people with those skills. That's why people with high tech skills were making a killing in the late 1990s. It also explains why they aren't now.

RF


Well said.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 18:24
highhopes -

i love your avatar! That's hilarious. You shouldn't change your opinion in b-school because it's unpopular and I hope you don't meet anyone that expects you to. If you do, quote me and tell them I think they're an idiot. I'm loving this discussion/debate. I think too often people blur the lines between NEED and WANT. I agree, I didn't need that 32" LCD screen and honestly I regret buying it last November even though it was the cheapest model at Wal-Mart.

To dispell some of the statements on here about a person making $48k and being screwed if they have 1 kid.

I'll give some background on myself.

Mom - College educated. English teacher at a high school and teaches AP writing courses for college credit to the students too.
Rather - High school diploma. Works for an aviation company. Used to do avionics (installing radios and instruments), the job got sent to a city 100 miles away and my dad chose to stay in a smaller town. He then went to work doing sheetmetal and hated it, but wanted to keep his family in a smaller town. He now does maintenance and enjoys it.

1 brother - graduated from college 3 years before me. Same college. He went on to medical school and the navy. Served in Iraq with the Marines stationed between Baghdad, Fallujah and Ramadi (great territory). I'm very proud of him.

I went to law school (kind of the antithesis of med school don't you think? :-D The irony isn't lost on me.)

I have 2 kids, I make $47,000/year and I have a law degree. I live in Oklahoma City, so the $47k does go further than most everywhere else in the US. I assume that the $32k or even the $48k you speak of is in a bigger city with higher cost of living. I worked fulltime through law school and stayed in a job too long that I knew was ending (boss unsuccessfully ran for higher office) rather than getting an internship at a law firm. My mistake. It's freaking tough to find a job as an attorney around here that pays between $50k - $60k with no experience and decent grades but nothing spectacular.

We have health insurance. It's not great, but it's health insurance. Medical, Dental, Vision. We have 2 cars. I drive a 1966 Mustang that I bought 3 years ago. I've not had the time to do so. My wife drives a 1998 Chevy Venture Minivan. It's paid off and my mustang has about 12 months left on the note. We pay a total $176 per month in car loan payments. The minivan has a new engine and it's all paid off.

We spend about $350 a month on groceries, counting 2 kids under 3years old in diapers (potty training is going better for my daughter, so I'm hopeful)

We've been blessed that my brother has 4 kids (2 boys and 2 girls) so they've lent us a bunch of clothes.

Our house payment is $850 a month for a 1450 sq ft house, brick with wood floors (average house) and built in 1963.

My wife works part-time at Mother's Day Out and designs children's clothes and her business is really starting to do well.

The point of all of this is that there are very few things that are NEEDS. Could we get by with 1 car? Probably. Do I want to? Heck no, because it's more convenient this way and I know my Mustang is of course the one that will be sold! :lol:

I have never said and would not begin to say it's easy for everyone. I'm using myself as an example because I know it's possible to raise a family in a city with $47k in income. As I said before, the buying power of my income in OKC is going to be much greather than the $48k mentioned in a prior post.

My wife and I have consciously made decisions in order to have other things in our life that we value. One of those is her ability to be at home with the kids. We could view other items that we want and say we actually NEED them so she has to work, but we pass on those wants in order to have other things.

The power to choose is the most power any person has regardless of economic situation. No one can take it away from you, and no one can control your choice. People view a choice they must make and analyze the consequences of each option. If they don't like one of the consequences that comes with a choice, then they start to believe they MUST choose the alternative when in reality it is still their choice of consequences, or effects of that choice.

I view the inability to take control of one's life and own up to the fact that we all make choices as weak. It's easier to say I had no choice and this happened to me, or I couldn't control it, but we ALWAYS have choices.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 19:15
jb32 wrote:

This can be explained very simply. The 'rich' make decisions that make them richer. The 'poor' make decisions that make them poorer. Having a fourth kid while on welfare will certainly not make you rich. Dropping out of the 8th grade will not make you rich. Going to get your MBA and opening a HF, possibly. Working 90 hours a week, possibly.


The problem with this is that often these decisions are made for people and not by people. Its a lot easier to make the 'right' decisions when you grow up in a great household with successful parents to show you the way. It's hard to make the decision to get an MBA when you have to start working at 18 to support yourself. So you take a minimum wage job to survive. Was that really a choice? Hmmm....work a minimum wage job or be homeless. So now that you work full-time, when are you going to go to go to school and how are you going to pay for it? So I guess their only other way to become rich is work 80 hours a week. But 80 hours a week at $10 ain't going to get you rich.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 20:19
jallenmorris wrote:
highhopes -

i love your avatar! That's hilarious. You shouldn't change your opinion in b-school because it's unpopular and I hope you don't meet anyone that expects you to. If you do, quote me and tell them I think they're an idiot. I'm loving this discussion/debate. I think too often people blur the lines between NEED and WANT. I agree, I didn't need that 32" LCD screen and honestly I regret buying it last November even though it was the cheapest model at Wal-Mart.

To dispell some of the statements on here about a person making $48k and being screwed if they have 1 kid.

I'll give some background on myself.

Mom - College educated. English teacher at a high school and teaches AP writing courses for college credit to the students too.
Rather - High school diploma. Works for an aviation company. Used to do avionics (installing radios and instruments), the job got sent to a city 100 miles away and my dad chose to stay in a smaller town. He then went to work doing sheetmetal and hated it, but wanted to keep his family in a smaller town. He now does maintenance and enjoys it.

1 brother - graduated from college 3 years before me. Same college. He went on to medical school and the navy. Served in Iraq with the Marines stationed between Baghdad, Fallujah and Ramadi (great territory). I'm very proud of him.

I went to law school (kind of the antithesis of med school don't you think? :-D The irony isn't lost on me.)

I have 2 kids, I make $47,000/year and I have a law degree. I live in Oklahoma City, so the $47k does go further than most everywhere else in the US. I assume that the $32k or even the $48k you speak of is in a bigger city with higher cost of living. I worked fulltime through law school and stayed in a job too long that I knew was ending (boss unsuccessfully ran for higher office) rather than getting an internship at a law firm. My mistake. It's freaking tough to find a job as an attorney around here that pays between $50k - $60k with no experience and decent grades but nothing spectacular.

We have health insurance. It's not great, but it's health insurance. Medical, Dental, Vision. We have 2 cars. I drive a 1966 Mustang that I bought 3 years ago. I've not had the time to do so. My wife drives a 1998 Chevy Venture Minivan. It's paid off and my mustang has about 12 months left on the note. We pay a total $176 per month in car loan payments. The minivan has a new engine and it's all paid off.

We spend about $350 a month on groceries, counting 2 kids under 3years old in diapers (potty training is going better for my daughter, so I'm hopeful)

We've been blessed that my brother has 4 kids (2 boys and 2 girls) so they've lent us a bunch of clothes.

Our house payment is $850 a month for a 1450 sq ft house, brick with wood floors (average house) and built in 1963.

My wife works part-time at Mother's Day Out and designs children's clothes and her business is really starting to do well.

The point of all of this is that there are very few things that are NEEDS. Could we get by with 1 car? Probably. Do I want to? Heck no, because it's more convenient this way and I know my Mustang is of course the one that will be sold! :lol:

I have never said and would not begin to say it's easy for everyone. I'm using myself as an example because I know it's possible to raise a family in a city with $47k in income. As I said before, the buying power of my income in OKC is going to be much greather than the $48k mentioned in a prior post.

My wife and I have consciously made decisions in order to have other things in our life that we value. One of those is her ability to be at home with the kids. We could view other items that we want and say we actually NEED them so she has to work, but we pass on those wants in order to have other things.

The power to choose is the most power any person has regardless of economic situation. No one can take it away from you, and no one can control your choice. People view a choice they must make and analyze the consequences of each option. If they don't like one of the consequences that comes with a choice, then they start to believe they MUST choose the alternative when in reality it is still their choice of consequences, or effects of that choice.

I view the inability to take control of one's life and own up to the fact that we all make choices as weak. It's easier to say I had no choice and this happened to me, or I couldn't control it, but we ALWAYS have choices.


I have to say I admire your ability to manage your finances but OKC seems to definitely be cheaper than other places.

At $47K I'm getting about $3100 in monthly income.

$850 Housing
$300 Utilities
$350 Food
$175 Car Payment
$100 Car Insurance (Very low)
$320 Gas for cars
$200 Diapers
$100 Phone/cable/internet

So that bare minimum and adds up to about $2400 leaving about $700 in disposable income. But I would have to say your very fortunate to have 2 cars and only a car payment of $175. What happens if the engine blows on both of your cars that are 10+ years old. Now you need two car payments and even more for insurance because now you need full coverage on both cars.

What about life insurance. What happens to you family if something happens to you? We haven't even added a single dime for things like toilet paper, toothpaste, pots, pans, etc. And we haven't spent a single dollar on clothes. Your a lawyer and you don't have to buy any clothes. What about maintaining your home. Cut the grass, fix leaks when the happen etc. We haven't taken any money out to put in your 401K. And all of this before spending one cent on entertainment. Fortunately you have health insurance. And you make that salary mainly by yourself so if you add in you wifes part time salary then you actually make more than that. What if you made $25K and your wire made $22k. That would still be $47 but now neither of you have health insurance and you need to pay an extra $1000 a month for child care. One medical accident and you behind on you mortgage and in foreclosure.

So say you don't want to get an MBA and your pay increases at 3% a year. Fuel is going up, food is going up, education is going up. No money to put your kids through college and no money for retirement. So now you 65 working at walmart and living with you one of your 2 daughters but you social security doesn't cover you health care cost that your children are now burdened by.

At the end of the day your talking about getting by modestly and your a freakin LAWYER. So think how hard it would be for the shift supervisor to do the same thing as you.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2008, 03:37
jallenmorris wrote:
Who benefits from the housing crash that we've experienced? Housing is down 15% between April 2008 and June 2008 last I saw. A poor person that manages their finances well (you don't have to have a ton of money to manage finances) will now be able to get a house for cheaper.


That's not necessarily true. Lending conditions have tightened up a lot since the onset of the credit crisis. A poor person with little or no credit history plus insufficient income, no matter how well he has managed his cash assets, will have a much more difficult time to take out a loan now to purchase a house (even with cheaper housing prices). Unless, that poor person is a Veteran, and then he can tap the VA Loan program...
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2008, 03:46
jb32 wrote:
This can be explained very simply. The 'rich' make decisions that make them richer. The 'poor' make decisions that make them poorer. Having a fourth kid while on welfare will certainly not make you rich. Dropping out of the 8th grade will not make you rich. Going to get your MBA and opening a HF, possibly. Working 90 hours a week, possibly.


I agree in principle.

But, what about the "poor kids" of the "poor parents"?

Often, the socio-economic environment sets one's destiny before one can even make those choices as a young adult. Yes, it is possible to rise from rags to riches, but I believe these triumphs to be more rare than commonplace.

Last edited by trader1 on 28 Aug 2008, 04:04, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2008, 04:02
jallenmorris wrote:

The power to choose is the most power any person has regardless of economic situation. No one can take it away from you, and no one can control your choice. People view a choice they must make and analyze the consequences of each option. If they don't like one of the consequences that comes with a choice, then they start to believe they MUST choose the alternative when in reality it is still their choice of consequences, or effects of that choice.

I view the inability to take control of one's life and own up to the fact that we all make choices as weak. It's easier to say I had no choice and this happened to me, or I couldn't control it, but we ALWAYS have choices.


You are absolutely correct.

"We ALWAYS have choices," but one can also be forced into a particular choice, mostly due to socio-economic factors (read - their upbringing which has shaped their character) or even events that are outside of your control, i.e. war, natural disaster, etc.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone with no formal education, no more family (b/c they have all been killed), with no money, and living in Baghdad.

Sometimes, our destiny makes the choice for us.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2008, 05:06
trader1 wrote:
jallenmorris wrote:
Who benefits from the housing crash that we've experienced? Housing is down 15% between April 2008 and June 2008 last I saw. A poor person that manages their finances well (you don't have to have a ton of money to manage finances) will now be able to get a house for cheaper.


That's not necessarily true. Lending conditions have tightened up a lot since the onset of the credit crisis. A poor person with little or no credit history plus insufficient income, no matter how well he has managed his cash assets, will have a much more difficult time to take out a loan now to purchase a house (even with cheaper housing prices). Unless, that poor person is a Veteran, and then he can tap the VA Loan program...

Well, I have to say not everyone should be a homeowner. It is perfectly acceptable to rent in the mean time until you can get your credit score in line and save for that down payment. That was part of the problem with such low rates, the politicians wanted everyone to be a homeowner, now we realize that's neither prudent nor possible.

trader1 wrote:
I agree in principle.
But, what about the "poor kids" of the "poor parents"?

Often, the socio-economic environment sets one's destiny before one can even make those choices as a young adult. Yes, it is possible to rise from rags to riches, but I believe these triumphs to be more rare than commonplace.

Thankfully in this country there are hundreds of organizations trying to give those kids the nudge they need to get on the right path, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, the YMCA, Boys Club, etc. It's up to the kids to listen. Unfortunately, many parents just aren't that interested in helping their kids succeed, but thats true throughout human history - it's just one more challenge they have to overcome, but its certainly possible. Thankfully this country is one of the only places in the world were you can grow up dirt poor and become successful. That opportunity isn't even available in probably 85% of countries on this planet. My point is, that while things might not be perfect yet for those kids who grow up underprivileged, they sure are a hell of a lot better than anywhere else and we should be thankful for that.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2008, 06:12
jb32 wrote:
Thankfully in this country there are hundreds of organizations trying to give those kids the nudge they need to get on the right path, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, the YMCA, Boys Club, etc. It's up to the kids to listen. Unfortunately, many parents just aren't that interested in helping their kids succeed, but thats true throughout human history - it's just one more challenge they have to overcome, but its certainly possible. Thankfully this country is one of the only places in the world were you can grow up dirt poor and become successful. That opportunity isn't even available in probably 85% of countries on this planet. My point is, that while things might not be perfect yet for those kids who grow up underprivileged, they sure are a hell of a lot better than anywhere else and we should be thankful for that.


I agree somewhat jb32 but this is still hit or miss. You really expect a CHILD to understand the world from his Big Brother/Big Sister after they have been taught all the wrong things for the first 10 years of their life. These programs are so small compared the number of people who actually need them.

Just because the opportunity is their doesn't make it readily available. Just because Obama or Clinton can be nominated doesn't mean millions of other people aren't discriminated against by racism or sexism. So what about the millions of children who don't have a Big Brother/Big Sister.

And yes I agree that we have it better here than most other places, but that is besides the point. Thats like saying "It sucks here, the government will cut off your leg if they don't like you. We'll that's nothing because where I come from they'll cut off both your legs if they don't like you." I'd rather only have one leg cut off than two, but that doesn't mean its the ideal place.

It's easy to grow up in a privileged environment where you were taught to choose, taught to make good decisions and then pass judgment on those who weren't and say "I can choose, so can you." But I would bet that If I raised you in the same screwed up environment you would make the same bad choices that most others make. Its like playing a game and teaching a certain group of people the rules but not another and the tell the people who weren't taught the rules how stupid they are for losing. This isn't rocket science. People with less education, supervision, love, family support, etc. make poor choices while people with more of these things usually make better choice. Part of it is you innate natural intelligence and part of it is the result of your environment.

jallenmorris wrote:
"I view the inability to take control of one's life and own up to the fact that we all make choices as weak. It's easier to say I had no choice and this happened to me, or I couldn't control it, but we ALWAYS have choices."

So these people are WEAK. Let me ask you this, is it a coincidence that most people in western cultures are Christian and most people in India follow Hinduism. If you grow up in some small town if India where the population is 80% Hindu, and that is how you are raised did you really make the choice to follow Hinduism? If Christianity is the one true religion does the fact that you "chose" to be Hindu make you weak? Do you think if that same child was adopted by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and raised as a Christian that they would make the same choice to follow Hinduism?

There are weak people. There are weak rich people, there are weak poor people. But you can't by default say that because you are poor you are weak.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2008, 06:33
gixxer1000 wrote:
Just because the opportunity is their doesn't make it readily available. Just because Obama or Clinton can be nominated doesn't mean millions of other people aren't discriminated against by racism or sexism. So what about the millions of children who don't have a Big Brother/Big Sister.

And yes I agree that we have it better here than most other places, but that is besides the point. Thats like saying "It sucks here, the government will cut off your leg if they don't like you. We'll that's nothing because where I come from they'll cut off both your legs if they don't like you." I'd rather only have one leg cut off than two, but that doesn't mean its the ideal place.


Why are you so decidedly negative and bitter about things? Isn't your party the one about hope and change? Or is that your party is the party of fear and that their message only works if everything is fire and brimstone? I guess I am just more of an optimist. Things can and do get better and while they may not be perfect, I'm thankfully every day that I at least have the opportunity to succeed. I think if you stepped back for a moment that you'd see even the poor in this country iare still much better off than they are in every other country in the world. Be thankful you even have choices to make, most people aren't even that lucky.

**Note** Edited because that second to last sentance had some terrible grammar in it

Last edited by jb32 on 28 Aug 2008, 07:48, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2008, 07:14
jb32 wrote:

Why are you so decidedly negative and bitter about things? Isn't your party the one about hope and change? Or is that your party is the party of fear and that their message only works if everything is fire and brimstone? I guess I am just more of an optimist. Things can and do get better and while they may not be perfect, I'm thankfully every day that I at least have the opportunity to succeed. I think if you stepped back for a minute that you'd see even poor in this country is still much better than it is in every other country in the world. Be thankful you even have choices to make, most people aren't even that lucky.


I think my tone is not coming through on this forum. Let me be clear. I come from a single parent household. I have two younger sisters. My mother attended a no name college when she was 34 to help better our lives. I went to inner city public schools. Most of the elders in my family are drug addicts. Most of the family members in my generation having nothing, and the ones who do obtained it through selling drugs. I've never had a father nor do any of my friends. But I had a mother who instilled proper values in me. I served my country for 5 years in the military. I worked full time to put myself through college at night. I volunteer in urban organizations. And through it all I have obtained a job that I'm proud of making more money than anyone in my community. And now I am in the position where I am applying to the top schools in the world. I know that my story is not possible in most countries. America has given me this opportunity and I am 100% grateful. There are plenty other people who have the same opportunity as me. I am in no way trying to spread some message of fire and brimstone. But as I have moved into a position to be financially stable I know how many people I have left behind who didn't have the same opportunity as me. These people are not weak, they just were dealt a bad hand and have to try to make the best of it the best way they know. There are a lot of people like this. There in the northwest side of D.C. and the rural counties of Pennsylvania. There are millions of them. When it's not you sister or your cousin or you aunt or you friend, its easy to go on about you lives and say "those people are poor because they are weak and don't make good decisions" But when you lived just as they did and some outside help comes along by coincidence and turned out to be that pivotal point in your life you see just how unfair life here still is.

I will be the first to tell you that America is the greatest nation in the history of the world. But not all 300 million people get to reap the true benefits of our country. I've served my country proudly and give back to those I can. Why does it threaten anyone when you point out the negative aspects of America? As soon as you show where America has failed some of it citizens the first think people want to do is say "well, were better than other countries." So what! When we had slaves we were still better than other countries. Should we have said "Who cares that we have slaves were better than some third world country" NO, thats what makes America great. We continue to push forward for everyone.

Is is so hard to face the fact that while were one the greatest countries on earth we still have a long way to go? I believe the Romans were the first to create a legislative, executive and judicial branch. At the time they were one of the greatest nations. Look how far we have come from them. But we look back on them and see that while they made some progress they were still very crude. Is it to hard to imagine that a 1000 years from now people will look back on us and see how unjust we really are.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2008, 07:50
jb32 wrote:
trader1 wrote:
jallenmorris wrote:
Who benefits from the housing crash that we've experienced? Housing is down 15% between April 2008 and June 2008 last I saw. A poor person that manages their finances well (you don't have to have a ton of money to manage finances) will now be able to get a house for cheaper.


That's not necessarily true. Lending conditions have tightened up a lot since the onset of the credit crisis. A poor person with little or no credit history plus insufficient income, no matter how well he has managed his cash assets, will have a much more difficult time to take out a loan now to purchase a house (even with cheaper housing prices). Unless, that poor person is a Veteran, and then he can tap the VA Loan program...

Well, I have to say not everyone should be a homeowner. It is perfectly acceptable to rent in the mean time until you can get your credit score in line and save for that down payment. That was part of the problem with such low rates, the politicians wanted everyone to be a homeowner, now we realize that's neither prudent nor possible.

trader1 wrote:
I agree in principle.
But, what about the "poor kids" of the "poor parents"?

Often, the socio-economic environment sets one's destiny before one can even make those choices as a young adult. Yes, it is possible to rise from rags to riches, but I believe these triumphs to be more rare than commonplace.

Thankfully in this country there are hundreds of organizations trying to give those kids the nudge they need to get on the right path, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, the YMCA, Boys Club, etc. It's up to the kids to listen. Unfortunately, many parents just aren't that interested in helping their kids succeed, but thats true throughout human history - it's just one more challenge they have to overcome, but its certainly possible. Thankfully this country is one of the only places in the world were you can grow up dirt poor and become successful. That opportunity isn't even available in probably 85% of countries on this planet. My point is, that while things might not be perfect yet for those kids who grow up underprivileged, they sure are a hell of a lot better than anywhere else and we should be thankful for that.


I mostly agree with you. But, you have to admit that the odds are already stacked against these kids. Possible, yes; probable, not so much.

Your perspective sounds awfully US-centric. I'm not sure what experiences you have had outside of the USA, but I have had quite a bit, and I've been living overseas now for over 5 years. As an American and former active duty service-member, I really can't stand it when Americans claim to be so much better than others and/or that the conditions for success are the best in America and worse elsewhere. In my opinion, this is such a closed-minded point of view to maintain. It may very well be true that America offers the best political and economic system than the rest of the world (although I think this is quite subjective), but I would be careful in communicating that point of view to your international colleagues at b-school and in the global workplace.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2008, 08:11
I will never agree that a person's choices are made for them. YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE.

If a person holds a gun to my head and says they'll kill me if I don't give them my wallet, I still have a choice. One consequence is losing all my money, feeling like a victim and being pissed about it and the helpless feeling that goes with it and the other consequence is dying. The choice may be easy to make, but I STILL HAVE A CHOICE.

Someone that has nothing because they live in Baghdad and their family is all dead still has a choice. Are the choices easy? Maybe not. But you always have a choice.

Gixxer - you added so much crap into my life that I opened up and told everyone about that you are just foolish. "What if both engines blow?" What if the sky falls, Chicken Little? Let it. I'll figure it out. I'd probably walk to work since I only live 3 miles from work. Do I want to do that? Heck no, but would I do it if we only had 1 car and a few days a week it just didn't work out for a ride? Yes. Would I call a friend of mine and say "Hey, i'll pay for the extra gas and some of your time if you'll come pick me up before we both go in to work." ? yes, I might do that too. The point is there are an infinite number of options every person has. I also wonder how well you read what I wrote because I said the mini-van has a brand new engine.

As for gas, I spent about $50 a month in gas for my car. My wife spends about $160 - $200 if we drive it often, which we haven't been.

One reason I think people don't want to accept that they have the power to choose is that it's a lot of power, and with power comes responsibility. If that person makes bad choices (like I have in the past) they must own responsibility for those decisions and many people (regardless of income) do not want to take responsibility for their decisions, or that they could have avoided the predicament that they're in. If my car engine blows up in my 42 year old mustang, I made the decision to drive a car that had an unknown number of miles on it, unknown engine condition etc. If I was so concerned with the engine blowing up (hypothetical situation here analyzing the situation as if it did blow up), I could have made a better decision to drive a newer car for the same amount of money that would be less likely to have the engine go bad (I'll avoid the debate about the quality of engineering in the 1960's vs. today).

Again, I have the choice on what car I buy, and I have to deal with the consequences of my choice to drive a car. I have to deal with the fact that I won't put either of my kids in my car with me, so it makes it more difficult when we can only transport the kids in the van.

LIFE is filled with choices and you have to own up to those choices. This has nothing to do with political views or socioeconomic status. A person with nothing has the choice to ask for help.

I don't think there is anything else I can say. Either you see my point or you don't. You either agree or you don't. Either way, it's your choice whether you agree or not. :-D
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2008, 08:33
gixxer1000 wrote:
jallenmorris wrote:
...


I have to say I admire your ability to manage your finances but OKC seems to definitely be cheaper than other places. 47k here is like $72k in boston (CNN Moneyline Costof living Calulator.

At $47K I'm getting about $3100 in monthly income. That's about right. It's about $3400 after taxes and then $500 a month in health insurance costs for the family.

$850 Housing
$300 Utilities actually a bit higher
$350 Food Could be much higher. We dont' allocate for eating out becasue we're trying to pay off debt like hospital bills for my daughter's 2 trips to the ER in July (Near drowning and febrol seizure). We also do a date night exchange with friends. We watch their kids one weekend night and they go out, and they watch our kids one night the next weekend. We don't really spend money, but go walk around the mall and enjoy being with each other. Our idea of a good meal is actually cooking it ourselves. We both LOVE to cook and are always trying new dishes. I cook at a restaurant in college so I learned from a chef so I'm not bad in the kitchen. I'll make you lemon pepper chicken over penne pasta with Zuccini and squash that is awesome! (wow, I digress easily)
$175 Car Payment
$100 Car Insurance (Very low)$80 a month actually. Friend gave us great Allstate rate and we have liability on the van. It's a risk, but I choose to accept the risk for a van that isn't worth all that much. I'd pay the value of the van in premiums over about 3 years.
$320 Gas for carsI only drive my car to/from work and it's only 3 miles, so i spend about $50 a month total. Wife costs about $200 b/c she drives more.
$200 Diapers about $150 - 200 but GOD KIDS POOP ALOT! lol
$100 Phone/cable/internetGod I love Cox! :roll:

So that bare minimum and adds up to about $2400 leaving about $700 in disposable income. But I would have to say your very fortunate to have 2 cars and only a car payment of $175. What happens if the engine blows on both of your cars that are 10+ years old. Now you need two car payments and even more for insurance because now you need full coverage on both cars.

What about life insurance. What happens to you family if something happens to you? I do have life insurance and we have mortgage insurance. Anything happens to me or my wife house is paid off (separate from other life insurance). Also, all school debt is forgiven by death.We haven't even added a single dime for things like toilet paper, toothpaste, pots, pans, etc. Who needs toilet paper? just kidding. I didn't add in the small little things that add up, but they do add up over the course of a year. And we haven't spent a single dollar on clothes. Your a lawyer and you don't have to buy any clothes. I work for an insurance company where a suit is not required. We even have a freaking jeans day once a week. Took me 6 months to feel comfortable wearing jeans to work. I'm looking for a new job once it won't look bad on apps. As for clothes, I really don't buy new clothes. I would love to go crazy at Jos. A Bank, or Bachrach, but can't afford it. I choose not to buy from there. I have shopped at NBC where you can find a button missing or something stupid like that and get the stuff WAY cheaper. Besides, my wife is a clothing designer and she can altar anything for me.What about maintaining your home. Cut the grass, fix leaks when the happen etc. We haven't taken any money out to put in your 401K. (Because I don't put any money into the 401K. I'll deal with that when I have the money. I'd rather provide for my family now and worry about myself later.) And all of this before spending one cent on entertainment(See comment on entertainment later. Besides, if you don't have kids, yo uwon't understand how entertaining a 2 1/2 year old can be.). Fortunately you have health insurance. And you make that salary mainly by yourself so if you add in you wifes part time salary (Salary is the wrong choice of words. She make $7 an hour at Mother's Day Out.) then you actually make more than that. (It actually makes up the difference in our budget only. My job is $500 short each month so she makes up the difference.) What if you made $25K and your wire made $22k. We don't, and if she only made $22k it would be stupid for her to work at that job and put the kids in daycare. It wouldn't make economic sense to do that. Why break even and not be with your kids? If you would truly have no cash in hand after all expense of having that job, then stay home and enjoy being there when they stay their first words, walk the first time, etc. That would still be $47k but now neither of you have health insurance You can still get cheap major medical. We did for our family while in law school. About $45 - $60 a month to cover things like cancer, heart surgery, dismemberment, etc)and you need to pay an extra $1000 a month for child care (With 2 kids, $1000 would be a great rate at most places even in OKC. Which is why I say why should my wife choose to work and make $22k a year and pay $1200 - $1400 a month for childcare when she could choose to stay home and be with the kids, work part time (clothes design business and mother's day out) from home and make up the difference between the cost of child care and any extra income should would have had from the job after childcare paid for?. One medical accident and you behind on you mortgage and in foreclosure. Choose to pay the mortgage first. Cut back eating out, entertainment, even the freaking car before the mortgage. Why choose to not pay the bill that will make you homeless? Again, this is about making choices.

So say you don't want to get an MBA and your pay increases at 3% a year This would barely make up for inflation and presumes the preson never gets a merit-based raise or promotion.. Fuel is going up, food is going up, education is going up. No money to put your kids through college (I want to pay for their college, but if i can't afford it, they can pay for it themselves just like I did).and no money for retirement. So now you 65 working at walmart (No way would I go to work for the evil empire)and living with you one of your 2 daughters (Have have 1 boy, 1 girl, just FYI)but you social security Social security was never intended to be retirement.doesn't cover you health care cost that your children are now burdened by. If this is your outlook on life and are this optimisitic, how in the world do you ever want to get out of bed in the morning? Wow.

At the end of the day your talking about getting by modestly and your a freakin LAWYER.Lawyers starting out don't make as much as it appears you assume they do. Average income for an attorney in Oklahoma in the public sector is about $60k a year starting out. So think how hard it would be for the shift supervisor to do the same thing as you.What are you talking about? I didn't follow you on this one.

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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships   [#permalink] 28 Aug 2008, 08:33
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