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  1. #61
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD45T-2 View Post
    Dave Barry said his dad taught him a lot about money, such as if you want to have any, don't be a Presbyterian minister.
    Hahahahaha!

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    There's a crucial difference between people who simply love their job, and those who love to go to work, and they will probably take away different lessons from the experience. Teenagers who fall into the latter category are very fortunate, well-poised for success in life*, though they may have to be made intellectually aware of what money represents in terms of personal sacrifice for other people (so no, they may not value the money they've earned as much as other teenagers). I would assume teenagers under 18 who fall into the former category to be freakishly rare (who enjoys flipping burgers or washing toilets for its own sake?), but the experience might actually inhibit career ambitions for such people, though they may learn to live within their means.

    Could the reason you were unsettled by the parental lesson be due to its 'one size fits all' nature?

    *This is something I've had to realize on an intellectual level; I feel no sense of pride, accomplishment or self-worth from any work I don't enjoy, only relief when its over mingled with resentment that my precious time on this earth was wasted. I recognize a work ethic as a virtue, leading to higher levels of personal happiness and higher societal standards of living, its just not something I've ever understood at an emotional or intuitive level.
    Interesting thoughts and thank you.

  2. #62
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    So does wearing an expensive watch, or dating the capt of the football team. We don't mistake these activities for "work" either.
    There are two things -

    The first is that I am not mistaking gym for work, rather I am reframing gym as work.

    Secondly, I would be pleased if you would analyse why you constantly disagree with me.

    @Coriolis

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I recognize a work ethic as a virtue
    The Protestant Work Ethic is a religious belief which combined with Capitalism gave us the Industrial Revolution.

    But the Industrial Revolution is over in the West, while the East is in the middle of a rip roaring Industrial Revolution.

    So for us the Protestant Work Ethic has had its day and is being replaced in the Service Economy by creativity and presence.

  4. #64
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Fashionable clothes? You have obviously never watched me do yard work. No, I don't chop wood and ride my bike places for a living, I do it just because that is how I live. Same as I cook my own meals, mend my own clothes, and paint my own house. No one pays me to do those things either.
    Those are kind of 'crunchy people' things which can have to do with status, if you do those things when you don't have to. Like, if you can afford a natural gas or electric furnace, a car, new clothes, etc but you do stuff that is more labor intensive as a lifestyle choice, it does say something about your status.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #65
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    No, you don't teach the value of money by making the work as unpleasant as possible (though you can, I mean I suppose in some way that helps build discipline rather than "value of money") ...you teach it by making things the person wants off-limits, otherwise.

    For example, when I was in high school, if I wanted to drive a car, I had to pay my own car insurance. I would not be allowed to drive, as a teen, unless I paid for my car insurance.

    Therefore, something desirable was put off-limits unless I paid for (part of) it, myself.

    I think my grandparents did this to a lesser extent when I was in elementary. Like if I wanted a special thing, and it wasn't clothes, and it wasn't Christmas or my birthday, or a random whim of their authority to grant me the thing, I was to buy that particular thing with my allowance, which I gained through doing things like unloading the dishwasher or helping with the house cleaning.

    I think even wealthy people can teach their children the value of money, obviously, or there would be no distinction between the classes in "old money" and "new money."

    People with "old money" are likely to teach their children the value of saving and investing, and put restraints on their spending, like not allowing them to have a huge inheritance until they're 25 or 30.

  6. #66
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    There are two things -

    The first is that I am not mistaking gym for work, rather I am reframing gym as work.

    Secondly, I would be pleased if you would analyse why you constantly disagree with me.

    @Coriolis
    Perhaps because we are different people, and have different perspectives??? I'm not sure why you find this so unusual, or unacceptable, or even threatening. You also conveniently overlook the many times I have agreed with you, and said so.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Those are kind of 'crunchy people' things which can have to do with status, if you do those things when you don't have to. Like, if you can afford a natural gas or electric furnace, a car, new clothes, etc but you do stuff that is more labor intensive as a lifestyle choice, it does say something about your status.
    Just what would that be? It actually says more about how picky I am, about my living environment and the things I use. It may be more labor-intensive for me to mend clothes, for instance, but it is far more convenient (not to mention cheaper) to do that than to find a tailor, drop the things off and get fitted during business hours, pick them up during business hours, etc. As for new clothes, I don't like most available styles, so when I have something I do like, I make it last. My motivations are quality, customization, convenience, and sometimes cost. If someone wants to make status hay out of that, they are entitled to their perspective, but the extra layer is entirely of their own making.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  7. #67
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Just what would that be? It actually says more about how picky I am, about my living environment and the things I use. It may be more labor-intensive for me to mend clothes, for instance, but it is far more convenient (not to mention cheaper) to do that than to find a tailor, drop the things off and get fitted during business hours, pick them up during business hours, etc. As for new clothes, I don't like most available styles, so when I have something I do like, I make it last. My motivations are quality, customization, convenience, and sometimes cost. If someone wants to make status hay out of that, they are entitled to their perspective, but the extra layer is entirely of their own making.
    It says you aren't poor and probably not super-close to being poor. Like, first off, you can afford to be picky about your living environment. If you had been evicted from your last place because you couldn't pay the rent, you'd have to take what you could get. Also, if you were poor, your clothes probably wouldn't be worth repairing and it's unlikely it would occur to you to hire a tailor. You would probably go to the Free Store at Catholic Charities and paw through what they had and wear what you found even if you didn't like it a lot and it didn't fit terribly well. Cost is really the only concern and not real cost, but short term cost, because it doesn't matter if something is a better deal if you just don't have the money.

    It's like two different families that I know.

    One family was in the local paper last year for not using their air conditioner. They both have PhDs, she works at a women's college and he is a stay at home dad. They have two elementary school-aged kids. They're sacrificing their comfort for the sake of the environment.

    The other family is a single mom, her four kids, her mom, her disabled brother, her ex-bf, and a twenty-something guy she knows that needed a place to stay. The house they rent doesn't have central air. If she can't afford to buy some window units before it gets to be 90F with high humidity, people aren't going to think she's being eco-friendly or making a lifestyle choice. She isn't going to be in the paper, but she might find herself talking to some social workers about neglect/dependency.

    Both sets of kids are going to be baking their asses off. But the kids of the PhDs aren't going to face the possibility of going into the foster system. That is because of their parents' status: they can afford to do shit like that. People might think they're nuts, but they still get to be considered good parents.

    Or, like if there are two different people riding bicycles. One is wearing spandex and a helmet and the other one is wearing black pants, black tenis shoes, and a solid-colored polo. The first one is probably making a lifestyle choice. The second one doesn't have a car to drive back and forth to their minimum wage job.

    And, there is this friend of my daughter's. Her mother is a prof at a very good engineering undergrad school. The girl is thin and pretty and I know her family is well-off. She came over to my house the other day with really strong body odor. At first, I thought "That can't be A____!" But soon, it was obvious that it was. I didn't think that she was dirty or that her family had run out of soap. I thought, "It's probably one of those hippy things. She doesn't want chemicals on her body." Just like I don't think she's going meat-free because the only food she has in the house is ramen. If she was poor, she wouldn't really have people thinking smelling nasty was a lifestyle choice. They'd think she was dirty.

    That's, I think, what Victor means about status.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #68
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Valuing money to me is not the same as valuing the things you buy. Some might disagree with me but I think money provides some level of security and freedom. Things you buy are different. For the most part, the money is either gone or spent on something that depreciates. You can spend money on a wonderful vacation and enjoy it as well as have a lifelong memory. I believe experiences are some of the more worthwhile things to invest in. You can also buy stuff. Stuff in my opinion has less value. You get a short boost when you first get it. There are exceptions. I live well below my means and save a lot. I also splurge at times on things that many would think are quite wasteful but it is rare for me to spend a lot on something that I don't use. I have had a nice convertible for the last five years and I love driving it now as much as when I got it, so it's really the experience I bought and not as much the thing. I've definitely gotten value out of what I spent on it.
    I am somewhat in alignment to this, since I spend most of my money on hobby materials of personal value that will give me good experiences or have repeated use. However ive also always had a notion that money is the physical embodiment for something very fundamentally...dangerous about humanity. Perhaps built into our psyches.

    I could roughly dub this greed, but it also has something to do with driving barriers between people and creating ridiculous ideas of what success actually entails. A possessiveness that can be quite frightening, in a way that other creatures on this planet don't engage in, oh they have territory, but the disputes are all dealt with in the manner of instinctive codes that they understand implicitly.

    Human beings merely make shit up and call it a law, or a right, or a border...or a country. At the same time I have to say this is convenient for the arm-chair whingers like myself, sitting in the comfort of homes and using technology built upon our own domineering materialism.

    So hypocrisy, thy name is myself, but still the thought lingers and it is probably for a good reason. I sometimes wonder if money doesn't really just accumulate humanity, a hidden force working behind the scenes, that we have given life to in our own ignorance.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  9. #69
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    That's, I think, what Victor means about status.
    It certainly reflects the economic realities of the various people's lives, which I suppose you could call their socioeconomic status. When I think of people doing something for status, though, I think of people motivated by a desire for others to think well of them, or to view them in a specific way (wealthy, educated, cultured, etc.) In your examples, though, the people's choices reflect either economic necessity, or personal values, none of which seemed at all like keeping up with the Joneses or looking for social approval.

    As for poor people and mending, my parents told me stories about their parents and the depression, and mending clothes and even making them was the order of the day, as was repairing most everything else to extend its useful life as long as possble. They also had crazy quilts, braided rag rugs, flour sack dresses, and lots of other homemade stuff, and learned many useful skills through making and fixing them. Being poor doesn't make you stop caring about customizing your environment. It just means you have to be very resourceful and clever in doing it, and won't wind up with the same results as Happy Rockefeller. Granted, not everyone, rich or poor, is up to the task.

    Bottom line: not all lifestyle choices are made to enhance one's status.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #70
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    Someone I know told me that he had been working since the age of 15 because his father told him that if he wanted anything he had to work and buy it for himself to learn the value of money.

    This made me think about how exactly one would learn the value of money that way.

    It must be assumed that when you work, you suffer, and that suffering is what makes you learn the value of money. So work must be unpleasant, painful or not enjoyable and that is why you value the things you buy with the money you earn from your work so much. Consider the time/blood/sweat/tears/sacrifice etc. you've put into working in order to make that money, you would never waste it, right? Nor would you be careless with the things you buy?

    But what about people who love their job, or who love to go to work? Would they not value the money they make from it?

    I don't know, there's something slightly disturbing about all this and I can't quite put my finger on it.
    I agree, its not good to make work and suffering synomyous, work should be an outlet for the productive, active, awakened individual, not something you do under duress or in desperation to secure your survival.

    This version of appreciating money feeds into the maximal rather than optimal consumer model too, the more money, the more consumption options, the more freedom.

    There's a big difference between saying, if you want something you've got to work for it and questioning why you want something in the first place, instead of saying do you need money? Do you have to work?

    Its going to be time you wont get back, there were parts of the world in which it was the habit of workers, skilled and hard working workers, that once they had earned enough they wouldnt work anymore, whatever the incentive.

    All of which is pretty different from the work ethic these days, I sort of think people need to work wiser and be happier than work harder and longer.

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