Monday, 22 May 2017

08:54 – It was 57.3F (13C) when I took Colin out at about 0700 this morning, bright and sunny. Barbara is off to the gym, and then it’ll be more science kit stuff today. She has a busy week on tap, with the Friends bookstore tomorrow afternoon, a trip down to Winston Wednesday afternoon, returning Thursday, and then preparing to depart for a week-long craft class on Sunday, returning the following Saturday. Colin and I need to get prepared for WW&P while she’s gone.

Yesterday, I read a summary of a report from the Fed that said 23% of American families couldn’t pay all of their monthly bills and that 44% of them did not have the cash or equivalent on hand to deal with an unexpected $400 expense. I remember seeing similar figures in the past that something like 75% of US families couldn’t deal with an unexpected $1,000 expense and more than 90% with a $2,500 expense. In other words, the vast majority of US families are living on the edge economically.

And that’s not limited to young people, poorer people, or uneducated people. Obviously, all of those make the problem worse, but there are plenty of middle-class and upper middle-class families whose breadwinner(s) are well-educated, in their 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s, and have few if any financial reserves. This does not bode well for any of us.

The fundamental problem is that most people, whatever their incomes, are living at or above their means. I’ve known many people over the years whose incomes put them in the top 10%, 5%, or even 1%, but they spent their money as fast as or faster than it came in. They put nothing aside for a rainy day. In other words, they’re irresponsible. And I’m afraid that they may soon reap what they’ve sown.