Free Money Finance wrote a solid post on how to make “6 Figures in 7 years” over at GRS. By the time I got to his post, there were already 95 comments with a very negative undertone. When I just questioned whether only 5.6% of the working population makes over $100,000/yr, there was even more negative reaction. Fellow commenter Sarah wrote, “You are out of touch with reality!” Umm, I didn’t make a statement, I just asked a question.
I challenged the 5.6% assumption because out of the 100+ comments, 20 people claim they make over 100k. That’s 20% of the sample set, and much more than the US Census Bureau’s data would suggest. Perhaps the whole topic just brings about more people who are making over 100K to begin with. If that’s the case, what are you doing commenting on a post on how to make over 100K if you’re already there? Bragging isn’t very becoming, although I’d be curious to know what all readers make over here at FS.
It’s easy to start extrapolating your reality onto the rest of the world. I’m guilty of this because if you come to San Francisco, you’d never be able to tell there was 11% unemployment with how packed the restaurants are. Reading over 1,000 comments and 300 blogs this week, it certainly seems like the majority of you are killing it. Just don’t believe GE Miller’s post stating that the average 43 year old American has only saved $18,000! You can save $16,500 a year tax free in your 401K alone. What is everybody doing?
Isn’t it curious that despite high unemployment, the stock market doesn’t really care? Unemployment is a lagging indicator, and the stock market is a leading indicator. Therefore, we should expect unemployment levels to continue increasing to reflect our horrific downturn. At the same time, we should be hopeful that 2010 will be a job frenzy year full of new opportunities.
BEING HAPPY WHEN OTHERS ARE SUFFERING IS WRONG
The one thing that annoys me most about the mainstream media is schadenfreude. I hate it when the people poke fun of others who are suffering from financial misfortune. It’s so insidious to take pleasure in other people’s suffering, but that’s what sells I guess. When we make fun of others, we highlight our jealousy, which in turn impedes our progress.
When I hear people say “everybody is suffering or losing money” in so and so bubble implosion, except for the people who are saying this, I scratch my head. If everybody is suffering, and we’re not suffering, and we’re everybody, what gives? Schadenfreude!
If you’re one of the people who’ve been able to survive this downturn, count your blessings, and never stop appreciating your job no matter how mind numbing it is. I recommend visiting WSJ’s “Laid off And Looking” blog once once in a while whenever to remind yourself there are real people out there who are still searching.
HERE’S MORE MONEY OUT THERE THAN WE THINK
“Fortunes, Fortunes, Everywhere” highlights plenty of well-paying professions. From policemen to longshoremen, many make over 100K if they stick with their jobs long enough. The more amazing thing is that many public service officials make $100k+/year just from their pensions! The article’s purpose is to highlight a tremendous amount of wealth in America, not just from the stereotypical high paying professions out there.
So why is there such a negative undertone to posts on making higher wages? The reason seems to be that of presumption, where anybody who wants to make 6 figures can.
FMF was just offering suggestions to the public if they desire to make more money, yet there was so much negativity. Wanting to make more money is not a sin! With employment, there’s really no in between. You’re either nemployed or you’re not. and I really do feel for those who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
If everybody earns $100,000 a year, nobody is rich or poor as we’re all the same. With the recovery in the markets, there’s a two-pronged objection from the less well to do who resent topics of upper tier incomes, and from the more well to do who feel demoted because they aren’t as special if more people reach their level. At Financial Samurai, we suggest turning resentment into motivation. If you want to make more money, know that there are articles out there by FMF and FS that can help!
For those unemployed, hang tough, because the stock market is telling us the economy will improve. The government should absolutely extend the unemployment benefits across the nation. We pay into unemployment benefits when we work, so we better be covered when we need it the most! If the government can spend $45 billion to bail out Citibank, anything less than a 6 month unemployment benefit extension would be inconceivable. 1.3 million people will lose their benefits by year end if the Senate doesn’t pass the bill. Senators are you listening?
Readers, how’s it like in your neck of the woods? I’d love to hear anecdotes, both positive and negative about unemployment and the economy. Also, is making $100,000+ a year as rare as the statistics say it is? Am I just being way too optimistic about the recovery in the economy? Please set me straight!
Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”
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