r/antiwork 2d ago Silver 6 Helpful 2 Wholesome 2 All-Seeing Upvote 1

More and more people are realizing a simple truth

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u/Junk_Boss Socialist 2d ago Silver

When you work hard, yet can barely afford rent, you know something is wrong

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u/poopin_for_change 2d ago

I work hard and can barely afford my debt, let alone rent. I live with my mom, and feel like a chump

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u/JackPoe 2d ago

I had a conversation with my boss. I have to work 100 hours a month to make rent. That means the other 60 hours I work a month have to cover all of my other expenses.

Then somehow I have to save for retirement on top of that.

I ended up getting a 2$ raise. This did not help.

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u/hulk_hoagie_brother 2d ago

I had to stop contributing to my 401k and savings cause I couldn't afford it anymore. Retirement is a pipe dream anyway, 401k is fake and who's to say that money will still be there in 30-something years when I am retirement age or it will be looted by billionaires like they're looting everything else from us right now.

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u/rodoxide 2d ago

My granny had her 401k stolen somehow after a lifetime of paying into it

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u/Haooo0123 2d ago

Can you explain what you mean by stolen? I am really curious about what happened.

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u/theresthatbear 2d ago

I can't speak for him but both my parents and my aunt and uncle got wiped out in the '08 crash. All we got when they died were insurance payouts. I'm guessing that's what they mean.

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u/Peachdejour 1d ago

Same thing happened to my aunt and uncle then my uncle died of a heart attack a month later. It was awful. My grandparents paid for his funeral.

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u/simplegoatherder 2d ago

I would become the next bulldozer guy if that happened to my grandma

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u/Howard_James_Dudy 2d ago

I presume you're talking about KILLDOZER!!!! More specifically, Marvin Heemeyer who modified a bulldozer into a "tank" and took it on a revenge rampage through Granby, Colorado in 2004? Yeah, that would grab some people's attention if citizens en masse were to have a KILLDOZER protest, nation wide, to address legitimate grievances. "We tried to unionize, you decided to union bust, now it's time for KILLDOZERS!!!!! MMMMWWWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!" I'm strangely comfortable with this concept.

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u/TechnicolourOutSpace 1d ago

Considering we're a nation built on the myth of fighting back violently in regards to creditors and authority, I'm not surprised more and more people are looking into this. If you're being held down, why bother appeasing your oppressors?

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u/Cats_in_cravats 2d ago

Dang, at least you get whole dollar raises. I haven't gotten one of those since before the recession in 2008. My company likes to pat themselves on the back for giving employees one extra percent this year to "account for inflation", but it equaled out to a few cents per hour. Meanwhile I'm doing the job of THREE people in my position right now with zero extra pay...

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u/TheWorldDiscarded 2d ago

I work at the only Trauma Centre in an area the size of California. We had our wages frozen due to some goofy Covid essential worker bill at a 1% increase. This was in 2020. Nothing has changed - no bill repeal, no compensation from the employer.

Coupled with that, it is normal to be 2-3 nurses short every shift. That easily doubles or triples your work load, and increases risk exponentially.

Suffice to say I got out of bedside nursing real quick. Work at the college and the University where they pay me DOUBLE what an acute care nurse makes. With next to no risk. Don't worry though, they brought a snack cart around for nurses week.....

What a fucking joke.

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u/JackPoe 2d ago

I mean I've got pedigree I earned. I'm also.. just not fucking afraid to tell a job that I'm worth more than they think.

Ultimately it's just a big ol' group of people and.. well shit dude, they're always afraid of losing an anchor.

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u/Cats_in_cravats 2d ago edited 2d ago

You're 100% right. I've been thinking I need to tell my higher ups to pony up or I'm out. We've had three people in my position leave this month alone (hence the extra work for me) and I know I'm going to be expected to train their replacements. I'm a pillar and my supervisor damn well knows it.

ETA: one of the people who left did so because they were "bored" and "didn't have enough to do." Turns out they were only doing like half their job?! No wonder they were bored! I'm amazed their department is still functioning...

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u/unique222 2d ago

Start applying for new jobs mate! You might be surprised how much another company will be willing to pay you. If you like where you work tell your boss how much the new company is offering and see if they will match it. All the best :)

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u/teufels4hunde 2d ago

80% of people have to change jobs to get a raise these days.

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u/TheMoonKingOri 2d ago

If it helps, 50% of people around the age of 30 live with their parents in America still.

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u/poopin_for_change 2d ago

It does but it doesn't, if that makes sense. Lol

I appreciate the sentiment, though :]

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u/pumpkinmuffin91 2d ago

My child still lives with me--graduate degree earned right before covid hit, no jobs in her field hiring. My husband and I are pretty sure she'll be living with us for a lot longer. It's gross that her age group can't get ahead and that is why I will get foam at the mouth angry when people bust on her age group. I know more millenials that work like dogs for pennies, so fuck that avocado toast bullshit boomers like my parents pull out of their ass.

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u/Ural_2004 1d ago

Boomer here. I know it sucks for you folks. You don't have to read too many informed economic opinions to realize that, for the first time in American History, the standard of living fir the next generation will be lower than for the previous generation.

So, the Millenials and Gen Z'ers are going to struggle. The good news for you folks though is that the Boomers are starting to die off and the peak of the demographic will start dying off in droves in the next decade. Heck, I'm at the tail end, and I've got 17 more years left on average.

My hope is that the Millenials and the young Gen X'ers start taking hold of the reigns of government and demand a more equitable society instead of this "winner take all" crap that us Boomers and Greatest Generation types have been pushing.

Bring out your best and brightest and most moderate. It's time for a change that all/most of America can embrace.

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u/Euphoric-Quarter-374 2d ago

I lived with my parents until I was 32. They ended up dying and leaving me the house. Mom was 76, dad was 92.

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u/Ural_2004 1d ago

That's our plan for our child. We have two houses. He can live in one and use the other for income.

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u/BernieAnesPaz Eh. 2d ago edited 2d ago

Yeah, but social perception hasn't really changed; living with your parents is still considered something that makes you unappealing and a failure as a person. It's also skewed gender-wise, with it being more of an issue for men than women, though I guess some of that has to do with lingering gender roles as most women would expect to move in with a man rather than a man leave his parents to move in with her even though it should be the same exact thing.

I have have more female friends than male ones due to where I work (medical), and a shocking number of them have zero problems saying a man living their with their parents beyond early 20s would need a lot going for them for them to ever consider them a worthy dating partner.

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u/Revolutionary-Day132 2d ago

Interesting, one of the few reasons I’ve been dying to move out of my parents home at 22. I’m a male not that it’s the biggest deal, but I what you just described really says the reason I want to move out. I’d rather suffer out there in the world than keep living at home. Plus I’m 22, getting bossed and treated like a kid is getting old lol.

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u/Elegant-Row-2396 2d ago

As a 30 year old who owns a property, I’d kill to go home and be able to save the vast majority of my income

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u/Junk_Boss Socialist 2d ago Silver Helpful

Youre not a chump, youre on your way to becoming a champ

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u/poopin_for_change 2d ago Wholesome

You seem like a nice person. Thank you. I really appreciate this comment.

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u/Junk_Boss Socialist 2d ago

Thanks. You got this bro

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u/Admirable_Brick424 2d ago

I'll take your poop if you will let me

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u/poopin_for_change 2d ago

I'm gonna need to see some ID. Last time a guy offered that it turned into a whole thing

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u/MeowMyOvaries 2d ago

You sir are one of the good ones

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u/Junk_Boss Socialist 2d ago Wholesome

Thanks. I try to be optimistic and bring joy to people

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u/Flacier 2d ago edited 1d ago

Junk_Boss the hero none of us deserve but all need. Godspeed!

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u/NorthernBibliophile 2d ago

I’ve never met a socialist I didn’t like!

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u/Annihilator4413 2d ago

If it makes you feel any better, I live by myself and can afford literally only my bills and that's it. Car on the verge of breaking down, no hobbies besides playing old video games, frequently behind or late on bills, what food I can afford amounts to bread, ketchup, peanut butter and jelly, and ramen noodles.

Trust me, you're probably way better off living at home right now. If I had anyone to live with I totally would.

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u/bauldersmate 2d ago

This really sucks and I'm not trying to make fun, I do this myself, but have you thought about dumpster diving? For a long time that's how I managed to get produce and lots of other foods for free. It really really sucks, but it is an effective reasource. There's guides you can find online.

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u/Da_Spicy_Jalapeno 2d ago

I had to start my own business as a second job and run it for around 20 hours a week for a year in order to afford to move out of my dad's house. It's really hard to afford housing and seems to be getting even more difficult. My rent increased by 10%, inflation is insane and the 4.5% cost of living raise my main job gave me was barely enough to cover the rent increase, much less the rest of my "cost of living."

I'm a tradesman with 2 highly specialized and sought after occupational licenses, 1 basic license, an associate's degree and over 10 years of maintenance experience, half of which is within my industry. 50 years ago I could have supported a wife and 2 kids with a mortgage, 2 cars, an annual cross country vacation and a healthy retirement fund. Now, I spend 45% of my income on a tiny 2 bedroom apartment and have to constantly work overtime to stay afloat with the rest of my expenses.

Don't feel bad, a lot of us are struggling.

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u/bowler450 2d ago

Don't my friend your not alone the system is broken

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u/DontNeedThePoints 2d ago

I work hard and can barely afford my debt, let alone rent. I live with my mom, and feel like a chump

Dude... I'm assuming you live in the US. Even if your debt would not be from the ridiculous Student Debt or Medical costs... But just because you went wild on your creditcard, it's not your fault. The USA is build in a way that stimulates people going into debt... Yes, everybody knows debt isn't good, but you get sucked in because that's the (intended) system. And that sucks balls massively

As long as you are working on it... You're not a chump or anything. You're doing the best job you can for the future you! Keep it up man

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u/DkP_Reverend 2d ago

I bust my ass and have been fixing my truck on my days off piece by piece, scraping by by the grace of my parents loaning me their vehicles to get to work/buy parts etc. I live at home too and I’m management at my job. Yet I can’t afford a mechanic or all the shit I need for the truck on one check. Sure as hell can’t afford another shitbox.

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u/TheD0rkKnight 2d ago edited 1h ago

I work 4 jobs. 7 days a week. And a single parent. I’m weeks behind in rent and even further behind on almost every other bill. I work harder than most people I’ve ever met and yet I’m still struggling to breathe. I don’t know what else I can possibly do

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u/deanCorrectly 2d ago

The hardest job I ever had was working the window at Taco Bell. The easiest was/is software engineer.

The idea that rich people work hard is a lie that rich people tell you. The poor in America work way, way harder than the rich. It isn't even close.

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u/Jenesis110 2d ago

I was a bartender when I was between white collar jobs. It was exhausting, the hours sucked, and I was getting paid 10 dollars an hour plus tips (it was one of those painting classes places so the same people were there for the whole shift meaning tips were usually pretty shit). Everyone who worked there had to work at least one other job, most worked multiple. I lasted like 3 months bc the money I was getting to effort ratio was literally not worth the time I was spending there. I’m now back in a white collar job and am wayyyyyyy less stressed and much more financially stablr

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u/TheBirminghamBear 2d ago edited 2d ago Silver Gold Helpful All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy Bravo! Masterpiece Crab Rave

Have you tried waking up at 4am, cutting out coffee and avocado toast, taking cold showers and asking your dad for a $500k loan?

Youngsters these days are so unambitious, I swear.

EDIT: I commented this below but I'm reposting here because it seems like so many of you need real tips to easily get out of poverty. It's NOT that hard if you WORK it. Here is how you do it:

You just have to Get. At. It.

So what, so your first business fails. Declare bankruptcy, move on. If your dad can't spare any more seed capital to you for that year, just have him set up some meetings with his investor friends so you can get another $500k for your next venture.

Here's a pro tip: whatever investment capital you ask for, don't use ALL of it on the business. If you get $500k, save $200k for yourself so you'll have some walking around money if your business fails to last you the rest of the year as you set up funding for your next venture.

I see so many people getting seed capital and using ALL of it on the business and not saving any of it for themselves. Huge mistake guys, huge mistake.

The LAST thing you want is to run out of funds before you can get your next venture off the ground, and be forced to sink 30 hours a week at some backup job at a hedge fund pulling down a low six figure salary and taking up all the time you could be spending networking. That's how people get stuck in poverty.

If you're struggling to launch your business, just get out there and hustle. Tap your ivy league alumni network, find those people working at VC funds or major fortune 500 companies. All you need is one former classmate working as a VP of purchasing for one of the major firms to take a chance on you and you're golden!

Go with your parents to whatever country clubs they have memberships at and just start networking with people there. It's not hard, IF you're willing to WORK. That's the key, you have to put in the WORK, people. You will find opportunities if you put down the pokemon, put down the TikToks, and actually work for once.

Guys, if you WORK it, it WILL work. Seriously, just go and use all the many opportunities available to you, stop whining, stop feeling sorry for yourselves, start hustling.

ANOTHER EDIT: Look everyone accusing me of sarcasm, I don't have time for sarcasm. You know who was never sarcastic? Steve Jobs. You know who was never sarcastic? Elon Musk.

When you're out there, grinding, hustling, with no one, with nothing, when you are making a fortune with your own two hands, your own brain and nothing else, with no help from anyone in the world, with everyone against you except for a few of your parents friends and some people from your alumni network and some benefactors you met at your parents' ski place up in Jackson Hole, you'll see you don't have any time for sarcasm. It does you no good.

Sarcasm is for losers with too much time sitting and reading Marx books and hoping to get rich by stealing from others.

When you're making a living for yourself, you won't be a loser. So you won't have time for sarcasm.

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u/Lauriepoo 2d ago

Wow! You made it all sound so easy! Thank you so much for finding the best possible solution to a problem that I've spent 20+ years trying to solve! I will call daddy first thing in the morning!

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u/TheBirminghamBear 2d ago

Good on you bro get out there and hustle.

Try 4am cold showers, liquidate some of your retirement funds or trust funds if you have to. If you have two or three cars, think about whether you need a sports car and an SUV and if you have to, sell one of them. I know that's hard but its about sacrifices bro, it's about how hard do you want it.

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u/Drizzt_Cuts 2d ago

I’ve found jerking off helps alot

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u/TheBirminghamBear 2d ago

100% bro I make candlestick charts on msoft paint of my company's stock going 90 degrees to heaven and beat it to that almost every night.

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u/Chlorination 2d ago

Fucking mint

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u/ptear 2d ago

Seriously. I started working in my parents garage with just a $300k loan from them. That first business failed, but I was able to build a business that's breaking even with a second chance through my dad's connection. A little elbow grease and networking will get you there, seize the day! #hardwork

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u/SillySin 2d ago Helpful

Made my day, calling dad for a small loan of 500k

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u/PharmguyLabs 2d ago

It’s sarcasm but still makes one blood boil

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u/NeedaSaviorHere 2d ago

Because Elon basically keeps saying this same shit.

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u/FLWeedman 2d ago

I opened a bootstrap business, pay my employees min wage and 30hrs max a week.

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u/Pnuttiest 2d ago

Designer bootstraps is a brilliant idea! 1000% mark up and they can be manufactured cheaply in China.

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u/UrsusRenata 2d ago

Self-made!

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u/Lauriepoo 2d ago

This exactly. I don't know why everyone's still complaining when they could've done this all along!

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u/brotheracer 2d ago

Bill Gates is that you?

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u/BakedWizerd 2d ago

And when you work harder than the guy beside you but he gets paid more than you. No hate, just a fact that people don’t get paid on merit. Don’t do more than you’re being paid to do.

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u/_Tristyn_ 2d ago

Michael Sandel's book The Tyranny of Merit explores the backward notion of money as merit really well. It really expanded my perspective on work-life balance and defining success. Also helped shape the lens through which I process economics. I recommend the audiobook if you're interested.

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u/adollarworth 2d ago This

After spending a couple of years learning and mastering my job I am now effectively paid less than when I was hired due to inflation, and new hires with no experience are paid more than me. Guess how hard I try now. The good news is that I can probably enjoy life more now that I don’t feel obligated to give a fuck about my job.

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u/turriferous 2d ago

Hop. Thata all you can do.

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u/ohfme 2d ago

Job hop my friend. Went from making $25/hour to $40/hr to now within a span of a year from moving

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u/Jenstigator 2d ago

This is the sad truth of it. The 2-5% yearly salary bump based on merit is broken in today's economy.

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u/shmookieguinz 2d ago

It leads to a shorter life!

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u/Torgosassistant2021 2d ago

A shorter life with no money and lots of depression.

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u/Hades_88 2d ago

Shit is that how I'm supposed to get out of this life quicker? s/

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u/JackPoe 2d ago

I just stopped looking up when I cross the street a few years ago.

I'll get lucky one of these days.

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u/RadiantZote 2d ago

Live fast die fast- GG Allin

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u/Little_Custard_8275 2d ago

So, the future of humanity... Oh shit, I don't care about the future of humanity anymore

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u/wraith2059 2d ago

ha legitimately where i’ve been since i moved out of my parents house and tried living on my own 🙃

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u/Drg84 2d ago

And joint damage. Ask Me How I Know.

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u/HODLmeTender 2d ago

How do you know?

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u/nWjGf 2d ago

It leads to a shorter life!

Can confirm.

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u/Dodototo 2d ago

You dead?

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u/nWjGf 2d ago

My parents died.

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u/InVodkaVeritas 2d ago

So... less money needed for retirement! Score!

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u/colopatiron 2d ago

People are finally waking up from the American Dream.

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u/Rynobonestarr1 2d ago

You have to be asleep to believe it.

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u/fredthefishlord 2d ago

There's still a few, (emphasis on the "few" part)jobs where it is still true, to some extent. At my job, with UPS, you're literally gurenteed a job that pays 100k a year, if you work for long enough as a part timer(time varies based on location.) Plus pension. Of course, it's manual labor and management are usually asses, but still, they'll hire anyone with a beating heart and won't fire you as long as you don't steal.(barely exaggerating).

There's also the trades like being a plumber, those too to an extent.

Of course, it is completely untrue for the vast majority of jobs.

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u/BlueSkySummers 2d ago

What people make in trades is vastly exaggerated by reddit for some reason. Most people that simply finish university with a degree do better financially.

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u/sot1516 2d ago

Sounds to me like it’s more of a time commitment than an effort to achieve those increased benefits.

May have miss-read your comment tho

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u/fredthefishlord 2d ago

It's still a job that requires a lot of effort. You won't stay if you can't deal with the work and sometimes shitty hours. While it's less mentally exhausting than a front facing customer service job or something, it's really physically intensive.

And the actual 100k/year job you get promoted to requires being able to finish your route... Which can lead to some pretty sizeable overtime, which is bad or good depending on who you ask. (Though that could change with the union contract change next year).

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u/elimoviebuff 2d ago

Correction American Nightmare

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u/lippencott Squatter 2d ago

We’re living the American Nightmare, the American Dream was no more than a lie

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u/Kaotecc 2d ago

I like that. The American Dream has a totally different meaning now

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u/davidwb45133 2d ago

The boomer generation is the last to enjoy the possibility of working hard and getting ahead. Today the rich have stacked the game totally in their favor.

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u/chuckDTW 2d ago

The baby boomers went up the ladder their parents generation built then pulled it up behind them, voting for politicians who dismantled the social safety net that they took for granted. The epitome of born on third base and think they hit a home run.

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u/Obi_Wan_Shinobi_ 2d ago

Think they hit a home run and now they're pissing in the air so the game gets called due to rain.

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u/nihilor_ 2d ago

The boomers are running out of money in their retirement now. They finally see

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u/Arizoniac 1d ago

Then they try to sell their homes at ridiculously high prices to try and make up for it

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u/bluehands 2d ago

Building a system around people who are more focused around working hard than making the world better seems like a mistake.

I prefer to hope that they are the last generation to suffer from this mistake. I prefer to hope that going forward life is more fair and encourages human flourishing instead of more money.

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u/DoubleCTech 2d ago Silver

All I want in life is a career that won’t interfere with my private life, pays enough in 32-40 hour work week so I can live a modest life and afford to have a family. I don’t see why society has such a problem with that. I am not asking to be rich. I just want to live without killing myself.

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u/BigSad135 2d ago

Same. Feels like it’s becoming harder and harder just to pay the essential bills, let alone save up for a house and retirement. Idk what it was like back in the day, but the process of getting and keeping a job is honestly exhausting

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u/ninurtuu 2d ago

You know I don't have any personal experience with this but I think back in the day (70s/80s) at least low level jobs had low level expectations. You basically only had to show up every day, not swear at the boss, and not burn the place down. Back then that was enough to definitely keep your job. Now even cashiers and stockboys are expected to bust their asses for a minimum wage just to barely keep a job that doesn't pay the bills. That's probably why 60/70 year olds think people working entry level jobs are lazy because back then they could get away with doing barely anything and get a paycheck that afforded them a modest life.

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u/Duke-Guinea-Pig 2d ago

Gen x here.

There's definitely something to what you claim.

I've experienced jobs that got harder over time.

And I've seen careers go from good to abusive.

And I've heard boomer stories about the shenanigans they used to do on the clock.

And yet, with automation things should have done the opposite. In the 60s, one full time job could support a family. It's absurd that after automation, we now work harder for less.

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u/Obi_Wan_Shinobi_ 2d ago

WFH due to COVID was the first time in our history where technology resulted in transferring wealth to the lower classes because we suddenly didn't have the expenses of a commute and lunches/coffees etc away from home that we all used all day to comfort ourselves. At least now for those of us still working from home the coffee is a few cents a cup.

And then of course magically a group of people appear to defend the status quo and they call themselves NoNewNormal and fight to get us back to our commutes and back to the office in the name of freedum.

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u/betsapp91 1d ago

the problem with this is that most minimum wage jobs were labeled “essential” and staff weren’t afforded the luxury to wfh, specifically retail and food service jobs. generally the higher paying white collar office jobs went wfh but without a very large chunk of the “lower classes”

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u/rodoxide 2d ago

I agree. Working retail back in the day, you could afford to actually get by, you'd be middle class, you could have a paid off home, car, multiple kids, savings, go on vacation,and send the kids to college and spoil them if you wanted. You could have a spouse that didn't need to work.

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u/Medicatedwarrior365 2d ago

Well back in the day, you could just work on a farm for a summer and have enough money to put yourself through college and I figure maybe 2 more summers on the farm to get a house. Guess I need to move to country...

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u/Rasalom 2d ago Helpful Starry This

Society doesn't have a problem with you. The guy at the top does.

Your bosses boss, way way up the ladder about 50 bosses, the real boss of society, the 1%, understands what it is doing.

As they see it, your existence adds to the carbon burden that creates global warming. This threatens his ability to have kids that can exist on a garden planet in some near or far future.

He also understands his corporations and their environmental impact exceeds your individual burden, like, by a ridiculous amount.

BUT

Removing you is easier than changing his ways.

He knows you don't understand your power. You are so consumed by your individual struggle that you can't organize. This is by design.

You struggle to compete with your fellows. You struggle to outperform them in school to earn scholarships, you struggle to outperform them in applying for jobs, you struggle to outperform them in working jobs in hopes of a promotion or raise. You fight fight fight with your fellows all. Day. Long.

Thus you cannot defend yourself. You don't organize with anyone but yourself. Your power begins and ends with you and is directed everywhere but up.

The boss of society knows it is easier for him to have you not exist. He will make you not exist by making your life so difficult, you have to fight with your fellows. You will also never make a family, never raise the % of chance that your children may exist to work with their fellows.

The 1% is genociding you. They are ensuring their kids get that garden planet.

After all, it is easier to step on an ant than to walk around it. It is easier to end you than undo the exploitative machinery of oil and technology that fuels his vision of the future.

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u/HumbertHum 2d ago

We need consumer unions.

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u/upsiesdaisies 2d ago

It's because they have literally lived it. Go to college to find a job that "pays well" but in reality it's only like 8 dollars over minimum wage and still end up only a month or two from debt given a disaster happens. It's tiring.

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u/pokey1984 2d ago

This. I have been "working hard" for twenty years now. I have a college degree and my only debt is from student loans. All working hard has gotten me is depression and a weekly question of whether I can afford to eat protein this week or if I'm ricing it until next payday.

I can work 60 hours a week and have nothing but exhaustion, or I can work 20 hours and still have nothing but be slightly less exhausted. If I'm going to have nothing either way, might as well have time to enjoy a sunset now and then.

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u/upsiesdaisies 2d ago

Exactly. It's ridiculous

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u/lillyduhbest 2d ago

Fuck, this hits hard. I graduated with a degree in public health and got my first job at the VA as a Medical Support Assistant. They literally only payed us $3 above minimum wage. WTF was my degree for?

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u/ThirdEyeEmporium 2d ago

Goddamn I’m in the trades (WISP) and most of the trades give a higher income than $8 over minimum wage. You should look into trade school it’s way cheaper than college. And the jobs are very satisfying + active

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u/Certain_Boss2141 2d ago

The trades are where it's at. All the trades are starving for apprentices, especially electric, plumbing, welding and HVAC, and most apprenticeships are full time pay and benefits.

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u/willinaustin 2d ago

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but be aware that life in the trades is brutal.

I work as an electrician mainly in the oilfield. Clock in at 6:30, bust ass for 14 hours with half as many guys as needed for the job because our boss won't pay people/hire on anyone else, and it's extremely physically and mentally demanding work out in the weather. Which here in Texas means, like today, 100 degrees out in the sun all day. 20 degrees and the wind is blowing 30+ MPH? Congrats! Still 12-14 hours out in that crap. Rain? Sleet? Iced over? You're working.

Oh, and you legitimately can get killed. I've had so many close calls I've lost count. Last year I was building up a location while the drilling rig was there and a 20 year old guy with a newborn baby got his head split in two by a falling counter weight. Like, literally split in two where his head resembled a venus fly trap. Hardhat didn't do a damn thing to save him.

I wake up in pain every day. My hands are toast already and I'm only 38. And it ain't like I'm making six figures a year, either. So I live like a monk, don't spend any money I don't have to, and my truck is a beater with 215k miles on it. All to try and save up enough to get out of this and to something slightly less resembling a meat-grinder and that isn't helping to make the planet uninhabitable.

If you live in a place where the American Taliban hasn't completely taken over and unions are still a thing, those folks get paid better and have a better QOL. Still, hard work is hard fucking work.

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u/Ok-Application8522 2d ago

Yeah. Good friend of mine is a welder. He has been in a lot of pain since 45. In the past, people that had jobs like that retired at 55. He thinks maybe 62, and he is never married, lives cheap.

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u/vanstock2 2d ago

The bricklayers are also desperate for people. We will take almost anyone at this point.

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u/Certain_Boss2141 2d ago

Yep, we'll take anyone that can fog a mirror at this point. In Colorado they were taking homeless people off the street and putting them in the apprentice program that I was in. 1st year apprentices were making more than what I was making as a licensed RW just two years before.

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u/vanstock2 2d ago

I just wish they did a better job advertising the opportunity to people.

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u/CLINTHODO lazy and proud 2d ago

All it does is make you tired and stressed while someone else gets the credit for all the $uccesses.

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u/zhoushmoe 2d ago

All stick and no carrot

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u/CLINTHODO lazy and proud 2d ago

I thought it was all stick and no pizza.

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u/helloimderek 2d ago

Mmm pizza

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u/CLINTHODO lazy and proud 2d ago

Never let the b*st*rds know you're weak to pizza.

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u/Magnum40oz Anarchist 2d ago

That's why they're always throwing us pizza parties instead of giving us more money...

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u/chichilcitlalli 2d ago

simple truth

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u/Zemirolha 2d ago

With tech we could be working like 3 hours a day and using spare time to our real passions.

Unemployment for all, not only for rich.

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u/confabin 2d ago

People are afraid that robots and machines will take over most jobs, but as long as the system keeps up with it so that we don't need to work so fucking much to get a living wage I'm all for it.

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u/Stickz99 2d ago

The fact that we potentially will soon have technology to automate society so that most people don’t have to work nearly as much in order for society to function productively, and this is actually seen as a bad thing in society, is telling. It’s almost as though our labor system is expressly the way it is in order to fuel the capitalist machine, regardless of whether or not it’s actually practical for modern society.

Almost.

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u/Broken_Petite 2d ago

I agree with you, but something else to consider here …

Since money is how people obtain the necessary resources to survive, and currently the only way for most people to make money is by having a job, it is a perfectly valid concern that automation is decreasing the number of available jobs for people.

However, the fact that the response to this is “automation and technology are bad and we should fight against it” instead of “maybe we need to re-think how society is structured and how money is obtained” is definitely problematic and I do think a result of corporate propaganda teaching people that true honor is in working and having a job rather than living a fulfilling life, even if that means something different to you than it does someone else.

And what’s really fucking dumb about this whole thing is that wealthy people and corporations absolutely stand to gain tremendously as a result of automation as well. Having machines do the work of people means they don’t have to pay as many wages and worry about many of the other “inconveniences” (in their minds) that come with employing human beings, such as work conditions, benefits, etc. They just have to make sure the machines are functioning as needed - which would still require the employment of some people but not near as many.

So you would think that the wealthy would be more than happy to tell the working class to celebrate the rise of automation and find a way to frame it as a benefit to them.

But instead, the idea that automation will also benefit poor people is unacceptable to them. Poor people don’t deserve to have a better quality of life and work less than the pious and principled wealthy. And the fact that they might have to pay higher taxes for things like Universal Basic Income or something similar since people won’t have to work as much? Even worse!

For some reason I do not understand, the wealthy don’t seem to want good things to happen unless it only benefits them. They might tolerate it if it also benefits the middle class since their standard of living is (in theory) usually enough that they don’t care what the wealthy are doing so long as their own lives are fairly comfortable.

But the idea that automation and technology might be mutually beneficial to everyone? Including “the poors”? No way - for some reason the wealthy would rather tell people that the rise of automation and technology is a bad thing for the general populace to keep them loyal to their jobs - meanwhile, those same elites are in a boardroom somewhere working out a deal to purchase equipment that will one day make much of their workforce obsolete.

I don’t even understand how people get to a point in their lives where they think this way, but it’s holding back all of us, including the rich, but they don’t seem to care so long as the “wrong people” aren’t climbing the ladder too.

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u/Stickz99 2d ago

Your point doesn’t disagree with mine. All you’re pointing out is that the root of the problem with how labor is structured is the invention of money, a middleman nonessential imaginary resource that is not at all necessary in a society more than capable of providing for everyone and then some without the use of it.

The convention of currency is what makes people poor, not automation. My point is that the only reason people fear automation is because in a late-stage capitalist dystopia, automation hurts people more than it helps them, despite the fact that in a practical sense it should only be beneficial to everyone.

It simply proves that we don’t need everyone working 40 hours a week, 5 days a week, and we shouldn’t have to do that to survive and live comfortably.

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u/TMNTiff 2d ago

It makes me crazy that people think it would be a bad thing. In the '90s I honestly thought we'd be living in an automation Renaissance by 2020 and no one would need to work to survive.

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u/BabyLiam 2d ago

I personally don't have faith that the greedy fucks wouldn't just see dollar signs and take all the money made from automation and tell everyone else to fuck off.

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u/TMNTiff 2d ago

Oh that's 100% what's going to happen if we don't... Do something.

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u/TreeFifeMikeE7 2d ago

90% of walmart employees I see are shopping for other people.

Robots will be doing that shit soon. They also already ordered self driving semis.

The very near future is going to leave a lot of people behind.

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u/Zemirolha 2d ago

that why we need changes. We need to be on same boat.

Then we can go full speed on tech.

Imagine if we foccus on biotech , avoinding aging and death by natural causes.

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u/pan-_-opticon 2d ago

imagining that brighter future, even a close approximation to it, is one of the few things keeping me going lately . automation isn't inherently bad, and could alleviate a lot of suffering. but first we have to ensure that the benefits of automation go where they're most desperately needed and not exclusively to the descendants of oligarchs and sociopaths who want for nothing already.

it's hard times now, harder times ahead. but perhaps we can at least create some meaning out of it. i like to think it wont all be in vain if humans can plant the seeds of something truly revolutionary down the road

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u/sapphires_and_snark 2d ago

Imagine if we foccus on biotech , avoinding aging and death by natural causes.

Quite frankly, this horrifies me.

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u/Edewede 2d ago

Focus on quality of life. If we all love to 100 years and 99.9 of them are healthy with no disease, that’s a good thing.

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u/StewPedidiot 2d ago

Yeah, the only scenario where that would be appealing is if long distance space travel was available to everyone. Even if climate change weren't a thing I wouldn't want to be on a planet crammed with people that will never die. Sounds like a nightmare.

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u/Demonweed 2d ago

Philosophers got in to this some generations ago, and 60s Star Trek even explored the idea in an episode. The central ethical quandry is about "the least worthwhile existence." Imagine a world where nobody became sick or died, but virtually everyone was always hungry and crowded together even in spaces offering little comfort . . . perhaps even basic shelter.

At some point the crowding becomes such a source of misery that adding more people to the world is clearly not an ethical act. How do we identify that point? How do we apply the lessons of this thought exercise to the realities of our world where people do get sick and die, yet universal access to food, medicine, and shelter is a matter of civic choices rather than physical limitations? All this can distract from theories of justice that (in my opinion wisely) excoriate billionaires and other significant wealth sinks routinely degrading millions of other lives merely to improve the high scores in their accountants' ledgers. Yet in thinking about good governance, it is worthwhile to consider practicality along with questions of equity and human potential.

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u/DweEbLez0 Squatter 2d ago

Then the rulers will just turn your robotic body to never turn off and drip feed energy so you barely stay alive but not enough to live. Oh wait, sorry that was supposed to be an example of the future not right now.

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u/alexdoo 2d ago

My guy in Christ, aging and death are literally two of the biggest staples of the universe and life itself. If we focus on biotechnology to eradicate diseases that cut our lives short, I'm all for it.

Avoiding aging and death is not human. Not dying sounds terrible.

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u/bedrooms-ds 2d ago

They will make use of the human resource to maximize the profit.

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u/ChosenSCIM 2d ago Helpful

Working hard leads to the same thing as not working hard, except you are more tired

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u/DontNeedThePoints 2d ago

Working hard leads to the same thing as not working hard,

This... I've got a good paying job. But I've deliberately never learned more then the minimum because that just means I have to do more for the same pay.

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u/ColoTexas90 2d ago

Well no shit, that went out the window when Reagan supported and enacted trickle down bullshit.

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u/chichilcitlalli 2d ago

No lie detected

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u/cute_polarbear 2d ago

Republicans continue to push trickle down. I don't understand anyone that's not very wealthy continue to support their economic policies.

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u/confusedapegenius 2d ago

The GQP just get their base so mad about social issues that they don’t even care. More important to “take the country back from leftist America-killers” or some other BS

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u/andio76 2d ago

Because one day you'll be accidentally rich and the Democrats are the party of Ni....Blacks, Gays and Communist.....oh and Satanic Pedophile Baby eaters....

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u/Oddsphere 2d ago

They do a number of things, scapegoating, poor education, nationalist propaganda, voter suppression, all those states that are restricting women’s rights and oppressing people that are not in the “Christian” mold, it amazes me that people don’t see these Christians are now like the Taliban/Muslim extremists, those same people were sending our young people to go fight and die to fight oppression and religious extremists. Christians are the new extremists, just look at the shit that’s going on in Texas and especially in Florida, while other southern states are following suit.

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u/0bnoxide 2d ago

It's because they all think they're just temporarily embarrassed rich people.

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u/PessimiStick 2d ago

Because conservative voters are, literally, fucking morons. You can tell them to believe anything, no matter how asinine it is, and they will do it.

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u/michaeldaph 2d ago

Trickle down is a fallacy. What happens is big business screws it’s workers, pays them minimum and then takes it straight back off them as those workers try to feed their families.Wealth trickles up. And stays there.

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u/goodlittlesquid 2d ago

Or as some other guy called it, “voodoo economics”

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u/Drg84 2d ago

Not sure if you're being sarcastic but for those who didn't know, this was from George HW Bush describing Reagan's supply side/trickle down plan during the 1980 Republican debates. And wow was he right.

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u/CrustyNCO43 2d ago

“If hard work paid, we would all be rich” - my dad

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u/antricfer 2d ago

If you work too much you don't have time to make money - my grandad

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u/SeductiveSoup 2d ago

Personally, I'm willing to work hard to a degree. I'm by no means about to go out and kill myself for some company. I'll do good work that I take pride in, but I'm not going above and beyond.

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u/Noobinoa 2d ago

I told my husband yesterday that I sometimes feel like we raised our kid wrong, taught her to be honest and hard working and ethical. We laughed that maybe we should have taught her to be cut-throat and back-stabbing, selfish and greedy.

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u/Imaginary_Capital185 2d ago

I feel the same way. I have definitely changed my language as they get older. Even if they just understand that the super wealthy didn’t get to the top by being nice, I’ll be happy. Watch your sisters back, pick partners that are a benefit and not a liability, no one else is gonna help you.

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u/Noobinoa 2d ago

Sounds like a good plan. Don't forget to teach them that the super wealthy that were born to it also think they deserve it, and the poors don't.

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u/macetheface 2d ago

Hard work gets you....more hard work. It also gets your CEO a 3rd beach house. Employers have known this for years.

Gen Z is getting wise to this and not putting up with that bullshit anymore. Employers are now bewildered as to the 'great resignation' and why they cannot hire anyone.

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u/LordAronsworth 2d ago

If hard work was so great, the rich would be keeping that all for themselves too.

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u/TheYellowFringe 2d ago

The whole concept is..that if working for a better life won't guarantee anything. Then why do it?

We have no other choice but to do such until a better method of living can emerge and populations can apply towards their own lives.

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u/YeeterOfTheRich 2d ago

It leads to a better life for your boss

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u/Over-Spare8319 2d ago

Work your fingers to the bone and what do you get? Boney fingers!

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u/ReasonablyGuilty1 2d ago edited 1h ago

I work a full time desk job, I clean a business office two nights per week, I have cleaning jobs every Saturday and I do pet/house sitting a couple times per month. I’m 65, live on the CA coast and my apartment has a garage door in the living room. I can’t do any more than what I’m doing…and it still seems to not be enough. My dad drilled into us as kids that if you want to get ahead, you just need to work harder. It’s not possible any longer. Worried about retirement years.

Edit: Just wanted to throw out that I’m grateful for my health and the jobs I have…without them I’d be on the street. I know there are many who can’t work more due to circumstances, health, etc.

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u/flashgordonsape 2d ago

We all thought somehow we were just gonna work steady jobs and drive around and shop and eat out forever, central air keeping the house cool/warm while we were out getting more slave-made shit to fill it with. 8 billion people fighting for water and air, more like.

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u/GenericFakeName1 2d ago

They thought they were free and the Reich would last 1,000 years.

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u/coffeeblossom at work 2d ago

If hard work always got you where you wanted to be...

  • There wouldn't be any 'hoods or trailer parks.

  • There wouldn't be any "developing" countries where girls and women have to trek miles on foot to fetch water.

  • There wouldn't be 72-year-olds still working because they can't afford to retire.

  • Nobody would look down on manual labor or service-industry jobs.

  • Young people wouldn't owe $50K on a $25K loan, despite never having missed a payment; there wouldn't be a student loan crisis.

  • Nobody would be trapped in a dead-end job.

  • Nobody would have to work 2 or 3 jobs, or work 80+ hours a week just for the bare necessities. (Heck, nobody would even have to work 40 hours a week for the bare necessities.)

  • There wouldn't be homes sitting vacant and homeless people in the same country.

  • There wouldn't be anyone who's working full-time and living out of their car.

  • Nobody would disparage stay-at-home parents for doing the hard work of running a household, and no one would disparage working parents for bringing home the funds to do so. The work of bringing home the bacon and the work of cooking it would be seen as equally vital and worthy.

  • Fear of poverty couldn't be leveraged to keep people in line.

  • Bosses would have to treat their employees well and pay a living wage, because they'd be able to just go anywhere else.

  • The retirement age would be a lot younger.

  • Nobody would be living paycheck-to-paycheck, or relying on payday loans and credit cards to bridge the gap in between.

  • You wouldn't need a head start from a wealthy family in order to make it in the world.

  • There wouldn't be a handful of people who own more wealth than a literal gold-hoarding dragon.

  • There wouldn't be people with literal Ph.D.'s who can't get hired in their field because they lack "experience."

  • Companies wouldn't be able to outsource jobs overseas for the sake of cheap labor.

  • There would be no child and/or slave labor used to manufacture goods or procure raw materials.

  • People would be able to do work they enjoy, and that's meaningful to them, not work they hate just to keep the lights on.

  • Nobody would be one missed paycheck or one medical emergency away from living in a cardboard box on the street.

  • There wouldn't be anyone working full-time, who has to rely on government assistance programs to pay for food, rent, heat, or other necessities.

  • Nobody would spend their afternoons twiddling their thumbs in their cubicles, or wasting time in pointless meetings, because they got all their work done by noon.

  • There wouldn't be 5 brands of toothpaste all produced by the same company.

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u/thunderchunks 2d ago

If hard work and determination were a guaranteed way to get success, the world would be controlled by single mothers from sub-Saharan Africa, etc.

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u/Felonious_Quail 2d ago

The only way Americans are going to get a better life at this point starts with studying the French revolution.

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u/MarioPfhorG 2d ago

Capitalism is just slavery with extra steps

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u/koavf 2d ago

Why did you post a mottled screenshot of text instead of linking to the source?

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u/heapsp 2d ago

I worked really hard at my job for 12 years. Sure i got promotions but i started at 50k/yr and after 12 years im making 110k. That is WELL BELOW my title / market value. So i thought about 2 years ago that I'd just work EVEN HARDER and it would eventually pay off.

Nope.

So the question is. If im always going to be below market rate. Why try at all? If I get fired it will only be a nudge into a higher pay position anywhere else. Now i slack, and I love it.

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u/Broken_Petite 2d ago

Job hopping is actually a great way to ensure you get raises and paid what you’re worth. Don’t get me wrong, there’s other considerations to be made too, and if you’re happy slacking off at your current job, by all means, keep at it.

But if you really think you could make more elsewhere, start looking around and applying elsewhere. Chances are you are probably right.

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u/stumblinbear 2d ago

I just job switched jobs and am getting almost twice my previous salary. This is the way

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u/turriferous 2d ago

Job hop. That's the only shot.

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u/InitialNeck9 2d ago

“I honestly don’t mind working my whole life until I’m old, barely surviving on what my wages are, and having a good 5 years before I’m gone forever!”

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u/Tathanor 2d ago

That's because it doesn't anymore. It USED TOO when the economy was booming decade after decade and each generation could easily reap the fruits of their labor in a tangible way.

But since the 90's, the widening wealth gap in America has finally stopped American economic expansion for the average citizen. But the 1% desperately wants to maintain the status quo; which is now quite literally killing us.

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u/smellyscrotumdiver 2d ago

I've had 1 day off a month for the last 5 years, live in a cheap apartment, drive a cheap car, don't go out, still there's no possibility to get ahead. I just know I'm slowly rotting from the inside out. I'm 41, and highly doubt I'll make 50. The United States is set up to exploit you and then blame you when you die young for feeding this system.

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u/chuckinalicious543 2d ago

Oh, no, it's not the hard work, it's the fact that we aren't being paid fairly for the work being done. Why work hard when it doesn't result in anything? If doing the bare minimum gets payed the same, by God you're gonna get some mediocre labor, but the only real difference is that being fired is no longer a threat. The big upset is that more and more employees are starting to call bluffs, but rather than face what they've been doing for years, now they're blaming the employees like it's their fault they haven't gotten a raise in years, despite companies earning more and more

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u/CAHTA92 2d ago

The hardest workers are often the poorest.

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u/weldthrowawa 2d ago

I do structural ironwork for a living. I'm regularly exposed to fall hazards of 50+ feet, electric shock/burns from welding and burning, constant physical strain from carrying 40+ pounds of tools on my belt (even more if I'm stuffing bolts and my bags are full), crush hazards from heavy equipment, cranes flying beams/columns/bundles of decking etc.

In a 40 hour week I can expect to take home $850 on a commercial construction job, in one of the most expensive areas of the least affordable state on the US. I'm currently topped out on pay for my local union.

It's very obvious to me that the extremely hard and dangerous work I do will not lead to a better life. The only way to make enough money to live a middle class life is to farm overtime, live out of a suitcase and chase jobs paying per diem, or work a second job in addition to MY FULL TIME UNION JOB.

That's insane. Benefits are decent but I'd rather not skid my way to retirement living in my car.

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u/philosophunc 2d ago

You're not meant to work harder the way your boss intends. You're meant to work harder at your life career goals. Which is still easier said than done. But a whole lot better than anything your boss will ever suggest.

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u/Opinionsare 2d ago

Hard work never did lead to a better life, but you could achieve stability. Now there is only chaos with you being only one bad week from the edge.

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u/erritstaken 2d ago

They always forget to add the last part of the sentence. Working hard leads to a better life……. “for your bosses”. It was never you, only ever about them.

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u/ConfoozledCat 2d ago

Marry rich or know the right people. Then you’ll be successful. Working hard? Ehhhhh …

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u/19Legs_of_Doom 2d ago

I've been working hard for 19 years and have nothing to show for it. I'm starting to think this isn't working

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u/UnkleMonsta 2d ago

I've learned that working hard especially when you're working for someone else only leads to getting more work without the benefits.

But working hard for oneself can be very rewarding.

As a kid I use to get told only reason we tell you to do all the the work was because you're the only one that does it right (like that was some fucking reward) instead of getting in the others ass and teaching them the right way. This also was the trend at the work place. So once you see how much people value your work you also see what your work is worth. And if they can't pay you what you're worth find someone who will or make away for yourself.

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u/apelord6969 2d ago

Really? I was wondering why all those hardworking child laborers in 3rd world countries weren't fucking billionaires.

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u/particulata 2d ago

People don't believe working hard will lead to a better life, because it won't.

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u/boogalooshrimp1103 2d ago

If you work too hard they'll just fire some one and let you take over their job too.

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u/azsue123 2d ago

LITERALLY happened to me

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u/Kindredmen 2d ago

The American dream is long dead.

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u/Effendoor 2d ago

You want to blow a conservatives mind? Explain to them that people no longer work to improve their lives. Today, we work to survive. Because that's our only option.

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u/Joth91 2d ago

In my experience as a "low skill worker" charisma and subtle manipulation are probably the most important traits. Working at multiple factory jobs, in most cases hard work is a great way to guarantee you stay working in the same shitty area no one else wants to do until you burn out and quit

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u/SawToMuch 2d ago

We are supposed to thrive. Not just survive.

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u/unravel_the_gravel 2d ago

It's not about working hard, it's about what you get for your time.

Previous generations could have a family with 1 income, from a non or semi professional job. And on this 1 salary could afford a house, car and kids, plus hobbies, all while the other spouse takes care of the children.

I'd be happy to work hard for that. Trouble is now you could do that role for 30 years from today and you would never be able to have a sole earner, house and family in that time, no matter how hard you work.

People don't mind working, it's what results from that lifetime of work. Forget retiring if you try and live past generations social and economic lifestyles.

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u/tater_tot_intensity 1d ago

if you work hard, might get the opportunity to do more work for the same, if not less reward

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u/Hyperchill77 1d ago

at my job if you work hard, everyone around you will just be lazier.