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Chemical X

Going paycheck to paycheck.......

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On 1/15/2019 at 6:39 PM, DallasDMac said:

What I find interesting in this thread is how many folks spend time pointing the finger versus how many show any empathy for someone being out of work or working without pay. I find that to be a growing trend in this country. We've lost any sense of compassion for anyone other than ourselves, and love to focus on the shortcomings of others. It's quite sad really.

Totally. Everyone has it figured out. Everyone is an expert in everything including how everyone else should live their lives. 

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29 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

Contract employees currently furloughed will NOT receive back pay. Just thought that needed to be pointed out. It isn't 100% of these folks that will receive back pay.

i came back to the thread to get that clarified, thanks for posting.  so, how do you not get paid when under contract?  isn’t that breach of contract or is something written in the contract?  i wonder how many employees are looking for other work now and will leave, given a new opportunity.  

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35 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

Everybody doesn't need the latest smartphone with an unlimited plan.

Did I say that?

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24 minutes ago, Rhythmdoctor said:

Totally. Everyone has it figured out. Everyone is an expert in everything including how everyone else should live their lives. 

Isn't this what people are doing when they say others should have empathy?

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1 minute ago, shadyridr said:
37 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

Everybody doesn't need the latest smartphone with an unlimited plan.

Did I say that?

Yeah, kinda.

You said that everyone basically spends $70/month on phone and internet. That's roughly what it would cost for a new phone with an unlimited plan.

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10 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

Yeah, kinda.

You said that everyone basically spends $70/month on phone and internet. That's roughly what it would cost for a new phone with an unlimited plan.

AND internet access at home

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5 hours ago, shadyridr said:

Also, dont forget everybody basically needs to have a phone and internet nowadays. So that's at least $70/month in an additional two expenses that did not exist "in the old days".

I think it's necessary to have a phone and internet. But I don't agree with the $70/month amount. My wife doesn't use data and has been on a $10 a month plan for the last 4 years. You can find plenty of smartphones for under $75 and prepaid plans with data for $25. A $70 plan means you need fast data, and more of it. Which usually means you want to stream media. IE Netflix or Hulu. (which leads to more monthly expenses)

Things begins to snowball from what you need, to what you want. 

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1 minute ago, KCitons said:

I think it's necessary to have a phone and internet. But I don't agree with the $70/month amount. My wife doesn't use data and has been on a $10 a month plan for the last 4 years. You can find plenty of smartphones for under $75 and prepaid plans with data for $25. A $70 plan means you need fast data, and more of it. Which usually means you want to stream media. IE Netflix or Hulu. (which leads to more monthly expenses)

Things begins to snowball from what you need, to what you want. 

HOME internet

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2 minutes ago, shadyridr said:

HOME internet

Why?

I understand the need for a phone to acquire a job. I understand the need for internet to network on sites like Linkd In and look for work on sites like Indeed. But what do you "need" home internet for?

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1 minute ago, shadyridr said:
12 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

Yeah, kinda.

You said that everyone basically spends $70/month on phone and internet. That's roughly what it would cost for a new phone with an unlimited plan.

AND internet access at home

Not really necessary these days, since many unlimited plans include hotspots and TV streaming.

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2 minutes ago, KCitons said:

Why?

I understand the need for a phone to acquire a job. I understand the need for internet to network on sites like Linkd In and look for work on sites like Indeed. But what do you "need" home internet for?

Me personally? Remote access for work. 

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3 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

Not really necessary these days, since many unlimited plans include hotspots and TV streaming.

And how much are those plans?

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2 minutes ago, shadyridr said:

Me personally? Remote access for work. 

Does your work require it? Do they compensate you for it? Can you write it off on your taxes?

Edited by KCitons

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Just now, KCitons said:

Does your work require it? Do they compensate you for it? Can you write it off on your taxes?

Yes, no, no

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1 minute ago, shadyridr said:

Yes, no, no

Not trying to be argumentative. Every company I have worked for, that required me to have a cell phone, has compensated me for my phone or provided one for me. If you are required to have home internet, and it costs you money, then they should compensate you, or you should have the ability to offset a percentage of the cost via tax write off. I would compare it to a company telling you that you have to use your car for work related things and not having mileage reimbursement. 

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5 minutes ago, shadyridr said:
8 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

Not really necessary these days, since many unlimited plans include hotspots and TV streaming.

And how much are those plans?

About $70/month.

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3 minutes ago, KCitons said:

Not trying to be argumentative. Every company I have worked for, that required me to have a cell phone, has compensated me for my phone or provided one for me. If you are required to have home internet, and it costs you money, then they should compensate you, or you should have the ability to offset a percentage of the cost via tax write off. I would compare it to a company telling you that you have to use your car for work related things and not having mileage reimbursement. 

This is not true at all. My company requires me to be in the office some days. They don't compensate me on gas, tolls, mileage to drive there. 

And quite honestly you are being argumentative. My point was there are some expenses required nowadays that didn't exist years ago. The $ amount I quoted wasn't the real point, just a hypothetical amount but I should be used to it on this site. People like to argue over every minute detail. 

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1 minute ago, shadyridr said:

This is not true at all. My company requires me to be in the office some days. They don't compensate me on gas, tolls, mileage to drive there. 

And quite honestly you are being argumentative. My point was there are some expenses required nowadays that didn't exist years ago. The $ amount I quoted wasn't the real point, just a hypothetical amount but I should be used to it on this site. People like to argue over every minute detail. 

I guess I wasn't clear. I have 4 different locations in our organization. The first one I go to in the morning is my home location. Any travel between there and the other three during a day, after, my home location is considered travel and I am reimbursed .55 cents a mile for that. 

I don't think there is a justifiable need for home internet. Especially if you have a data plan on your cell phone. There are also lots of free wifi hotspots that allow someone to use internet for free for things that you can't do on a cell phone. Most libraries have computers available as well. 

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7 hours ago, boilerdave said:

When I moved out on my own the rent for my apartment was $250 per month. I was making 8$ per hour.

My daughter recently moved into her first apartment...$1,000 per month. She makes $16 per hour.

She makes 2x as much as I did and pays 4x in rent.

 

This post made me do research based on my past.

1992:  Fresh out of college, working as an engineer.  Lived in an apartment at The Georgian Towers in Silver Spring, MD (now called The Point at Silver Spring).  The apartment (2-bed 2-bath) was $900.  My starting salary was $27,100.

2019:  From their website, the same 2-bed 2-bath apartment runs $2300 (depending on length of lease - rent varies from $2000 to $2600).  New hire engineer salary is about $60k in this area.

So just going by my personal, anecdotal, non-binding case, rent has grown by a factor of 2.5 (and Silver Spring has improved quite a bit over that time), while salary has grown by a factor of 2.2

So 2019 doesn't look too bad compared to 1992.

I will say, it sure helped out to room with a guy who also had his girlfriend living there.  They generously offered to pay 2/3 of the rent, so I was paying only $300 a month.  Living with other people is one good way to keep costs down and start building up some savings.

Edited by proteus126

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2 hours ago, KCitons said:

If you are required to have home internet, and it costs you money, then they should compensate you, or you should have the ability to offset a percentage of the cost via tax write off. I would compare it to a company telling you that you have to use your car for work related things and not having mileage reimbursement. 

I am a full time WFH employee. My company doesn't pay for my internet at all. I wouldn't trade that for having to go in to work no matter what my internet costs. There's also the trade off of not putting miles on my car, paying for gas, etc. But no, I'm not compensated at all for my home internet.

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37 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

I am a full time WFH employee. My company doesn't pay for my internet at all. I wouldn't trade that for having to go in to work no matter what my internet costs. There's also the trade off of not putting miles on my car, paying for gas, etc. But no, I'm not compensated at all for my home internet.

Yeah. Seriously who is?  

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On 1/16/2019 at 9:42 PM, Chemical X said:

the “president” has brought back slavery.  sure the base loves this.

Great now we're gonna have whites say they want reparations.

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17 hours ago, shadyridr said:

Also, dont forget everybody basically needs to have a phone and internet nowadays. So that's at least $70/month in an additional two expenses that did not exist "in the old days".

Yes and no.  If you had family that lived far away, spending $1 a minute for long distance added up quick.

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13 hours ago, Rhythmdoctor said:

Totally. Everyone has it figured out. Everyone is an expert in everything including how everyone else should live their lives. 

Nobody is telling you how to live your life...not at all. We are saying "stop blaming other people for the consequences of your life choices"

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8 hours ago, culdeus said:

Yeah. Seriously who is?  

We have a lot of folks at my company who are. They have offered me a WFH gig and that was part of the offer...

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28 minutes ago, Bull Dozier said:

Yes and no.  If you had family that lived far away, spending $1 a minute for long distance added up quick.

Unrelated to this thread but are there any other expenses that were commonplace back in the day that are no longer required now?

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This whole phone/internet thing is a weird thing to go on-and-on about.  The point is it's now a need and it costs money.  Some may be compensated for it.  Many aren't.  And it wasn't a need for prior generations.

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3 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

This whole phone/internet thing is a weird thing to go on-and-on about.  The point is it's now a need and it costs money.  Some may be compensated for it.  Many aren't.  And it wasn't a need for prior generations.

THANK YOU

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35 minutes ago, derek245583 said:

Nobody is telling you how to live your life...not at all. We are saying "stop blaming other people for the consequences of your life choices"

Huh? Come again.  I’m saying everyone these days is a critic of everyone and everything and seem to be know-it-alls. I’m not blaming anyone for anything in my life. 

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13 hours ago, Rhythmdoctor said:

Totally. Everyone has it figured out. Everyone is an expert in everything including how everyone else should live their lives. 

Nothing wrong with offering good advice and helping people with their situations if they are being public with their struggles. 

It's not really a matter of "You're dumb!  Why didn't you do this!?!?!?"

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13 hours ago, shadyridr said:

This is not true at all. My company requires me to be in the office some days. They don't compensate me on gas, tolls, mileage to drive there. 

And quite honestly you are being argumentative. My point was there are some expenses required nowadays that didn't exist years ago. The $ amount I quoted wasn't the real point, just a hypothetical amount but I should be used to it on this site. People like to argue over every minute detail. 

I agree with you. There is a point where certain things have become part of everyday life. If you do not have internet at home (or at least unlimited data phone), you are at a distinct disadvantage in everyday life. CAN one get by with a basic "phone-only" phone and, say, library for internet? Yea, in a very general sense, but they have a disadvantage of not being able to have on-demand access to what has become very basic / almost expected communications.

I'm 52, and I think life is "harder" today, money-wise, than it was when I was in my 20's. I'm glad I grew up when I did, and my 20k a year retail manager job in 1986 paid for a nice apartment, a decent used car, and all the other basics, plus partying. 

All that stated, people do waste an extraordinary amount of money on BS. I know people who go into debt  because spending less than $400 a kid at xmas or a birthday is not an option. 

Edited by jwb

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18 minutes ago, eoMMan said:

Nothing wrong with offering good advice and helping people with their situations if they are being public with their struggles. 

It's not really a matter of "You're dumb!  Why didn't you do this!?!?!?"

I agree.  I honestly don't care how you live your life.  But does that make me selfish and non empathetic? 

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Got stopped at the mall the other day, heard a call from the other way
That I just came from, some ##### was saying something, talking 'bout
Smoke something "Hey man, you remember me from school?"
"No not really" But he kept smiling like a clown, facial expression looking silly
And he kept asking me, "What kinda car you drive? I know you paid
I know y'all got beaucoup of hoes from all them songs that y'all done made"
And I replied that I had been going through the same things that he had
True, I've got more fans than the average man, but not enough loot to last me
To the end of the week, I live by the beat, like you live check-to-check
If you don't move your feet then I don't eat, so we like neck-to-neck
Yes, we done come a long way like them slim-### cigarettes
From Virginia, this ain't gon' stop, so we just gon' continue

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10 hours ago, culdeus said:

Yeah. Seriously who is?  

I'm assuming today that many companies see home internet as basic as electricity. In fact, if we nitpick, it's almost odd that they would compensate someone for internet but not the juice to run it. So yea, I could see many companies jumping off the "compensate them for home internet" bandwagon. 

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1 minute ago, jwb said:

I agree with you. There is a point where certain things have become part of everyday life. If you do not have internet at home (or at least unlimited data phone), you are at a distinct disadvantage in everyday life. CAN one get by with a basic "phone-only" phone and, say, library for internet? Yea, in a very general sense, but they have a disadvantage of not being able to have on-demand access to what has become very basic / almost expected communications.

I'm 52, and I think life is "harder" today, money-wise, than it was when I was in my 20's. I'm glad I grew up when I did, and my 20k a year job in 1986 paid for a nice apartment, a decent used car, and all the other basics, plus partying. 

All that stated, people do waste an extraordinary amount of money on BS. I know people who go into debt  because spending less than $400 a kid at xmas or a birthday is not an option. 

I think things are harder today financial wise, though I have no actual proof.  But the generation my parents came from and the one you see in old sitcoms is where dad worked and mom stayed at home.  Seems like everyone was comfortably middle class.  Not sure how many people here had a working mother.  Back then, their retirement was pension, you did not save your own money, so you likely had more to spend.  When my dad died early, I realized my mom had nothing saved and his pension wasn't anything cause he didn't live long enough.  My mom made it to 71, but her last years were SSI only, she had no pension or retirement funds.  I am amazed at that.

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33 minutes ago, Chemical X said:

I think things are harder today financial wise, though I have no actual proof.  

Student loans/education, down payment on house, rent/mortgage, healthcare, child care, phone/internet, benefits.  Look at each one vs. median wages and you have your answer.

As @jwb mentioned, sure there are some people that make spending decisions seemingly without their own budget in mind.  That is a completely different subject though.  The baseline now is substantially different than it was 20, 30, 40+ years ago.

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Interesting article from July, seems pertinent

https://www.americanbanker.com/news/consumer-debt-is-at-an-all-time-high-should-banks-be-worried

Between 1960 and 1984, the U.S. personal savings rate — which is savings as a percentage of disposable personal income — never fell below 8%. That level of national thrift is far out of reach today. In December 2017, the personal savings rate dropped to 2.4%, its lowest level since the debt-fueled boom of the mid-2000s.

There are a few charts in article worth looking at. The first being the savings rate, the other being the portion of debt on average.

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1 minute ago, -OZ- said:

Interesting article from July, seems pertinent

https://www.americanbanker.com/news/consumer-debt-is-at-an-all-time-high-should-banks-be-worried

Between 1960 and 1984, the U.S. personal savings rate — which is savings as a percentage of disposable personal income — never fell below 8%. That level of national thrift is far out of reach today. In December 2017, the personal savings rate dropped to 2.4%, its lowest level since the debt-fueled boom of the mid-2000s.

There are a few charts in article worth looking at. The first being the savings rate, the other being the portion of debt on average.

This is one of the chief issues when you offer savings accounts and CDs at basically 0% for a decade.

At the same time debt has been for all intents free.  

Personal savings rate charting like that is self-serving.  It does not factor appreciation in home prices which comprises the overwhelming majority of personal savings.  I would argue quite easily that a principal payment to a home is a savings.  However, this is never comprehended when people put these types of things out.

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3 minutes ago, culdeus said:

This is one of the chief issues when you offer savings accounts and CDs at basically 0% for a decade.

At the same time debt has been for all intents free.  

Personal savings rate charting like that is self-serving.  It does not factor appreciation in home prices which comprises the overwhelming majority of personal savings.  I would argue quite easily that a principal payment to a home is a savings.  However, this is never comprehended when people put these types of things out.

I'll agree that principal payments are savings. Disagree that one should include appreciation in the savings rate - I also won't include dividends paid or capital gains in the savings rate.

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1 hour ago, Chemical X said:

But the generation my parents came from and the one you see in old sitcoms is where dad worked and mom stayed at home.  Seems like everyone was comfortably middle class.  Not sure how many people here had a working mother.  Back then, their retirement was pension, you did not save your own money, so you likely had more to spend.

I agree overall. Another thing to remember is that standard of living and perceptions of what Middle Class is these days has greatly changed as well. How many people had more than 1 car back then? Boats, RV's, motorcycles? More than 1 TV? A home computer? A cellphone as already pointed out. The standard house was what? ~1200 sq ft with a 1 car garage? In many areas of the country that's a tiny starter home now except in pricy urban areas. How many homes had heating and air? How many people had kids that went to college in their family?

I think wage stagnation is a major problem but do think it's overblown to a small extent, things are pricier than the good old days but you get a lot more value for your money too. That's often overlooked when people are talking about the financial plight of people today.

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2 hours ago, shadyridr said:

Unrelated to this thread but are there any other expenses that were commonplace back in the day that are no longer required now?

Not sure if this is a sincere question or not, but of course there are.  Particularly depending on how far back you want to go.  Paying for ice and coal to be delivered.  I remember our first home compueter cost $3000.  Compared to actual price, and our income at that time compared to today, buying a home CPU isn't nearly the same investment.  These are just off the top of my head and I'm sure there are many more.

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8 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

I'll agree that principal payments are savings. Disagree that one should include appreciation in the savings rate - I also won't include dividends paid or capital gains in the savings rate.

My phrasing there was perhaps backwards, due to lack of coffee but you get what I was going for.  There's more to savings than people plowing stuff into a money market.

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11 hours ago, culdeus said:

Yeah. Seriously who is?  

My previous company used to but that was the federal government at it's best.  We were contractors to the feds and the feds wouldn't even let us use the internet to fill out timecards.  So the owner of our company re-imbursed our internet expenses since we were mandated to "work" from home even if only five minutes a day.  I mean he probably didn't have to do that but it probably saved him lots of headaches.

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16 minutes ago, culdeus said:

This is one of the chief issues when you offer savings accounts and CDs at basically 0% for a decade.

At the same time debt has been for all intents free.  

Personal savings rate charting like that is self-serving.  It does not factor appreciation in home prices which comprises the overwhelming majority of personal savings.  I would argue quite easily that a principal payment to a home is a savings.  However, this is never comprehended when people put these types of things out.

They don't appear to count 401K contributions as part of the savings rate as well. The participation rate in 401K's has ballooned since the 70's. No doubt many people count that as their "savings" but don't think of it in terms of "if I had a $400 emergency could I pay for it." I wonder if anyone tracks 401k loans, I know many economists and others don't think of it as "debt" since you owe it to yourself and it is often left out of the conversation. Most banks and lenders don't count it as debt when calculating debt to income ratio for example.

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12 minutes ago, culdeus said:

My phrasing there was perhaps backwards, due to lack of coffee but you get what I was going for.  There's more to savings than people plowing stuff into a money market.

Fair point. I assumed by savings rate the author meant income-expenses, savings would include retirement and other investments. But I don't see where he states that as the case.

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24 minutes ago, Bull Dozier said:

Not sure if this is a sincere question or not, but of course there are.  Particularly depending on how far back you want to go.  Paying for ice and coal to be delivered.  I remember our first home compueter cost $3000.  Compared to actual price, and our income at that time compared to today, buying a home CPU isn't nearly the same investment.  These are just off the top of my head and I'm sure there are many more.

Of course it was a sincere question. These boards have made people way too cynical lol.

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22 minutes ago, shadyridr said:

Of course it was a sincere question. These boards have made people way too cynical lol.

My comments usually don't generate sincere questions, so I am doubley cynical. :thumbup:

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FWIW, I flew from ORD to BNA on Monday and back on Wednesday.

I have never gotten through O'Hare security faster than on Monday, despite it being a very busy travel time (traffic at the terminals leading into dropoff was a disaster - worse than I've ever seen).

Coming back from Nashville on Wednesday, not only was there little/no line at security, I actually got through security in - no exaggeration - under 3 minutes.

I hear ATL is bad though.  Or is this airport thing fake news?

 

 

My question:  most federal employees have unions, don't they?  Unions have strike funds.  Why don't federal unions have furlough funds?  Seems like they ought to, if not.  Government workers in general should be expecting infrequent but certain furloughs at times, and expected to plan ahead for them.  Also, certain safety nets kick in when there are furloughs.  For example, my school district contacted all parents to announce that free and reduced lunches are available anytime the family economic conditions change, and the government shutdown is considered an economic change for families of workers who were impacted.  Getting back to the OP's question, I think that because furloughs are a part of life, I would expect government workers to be better positioned to withstand one than those who work in the private sector.

 

 

Now, this is the longest shutdown in history so obviously even if these things are anticipated, it will be more painful.  I think that's the point right?  Pain produces political pressure.  I predict that one side will blink soon, and that it will more likely be the democrats.  Theoretically, the congress should feel the political fallout from a furlough harder and more directly than the president, shouldn't it?  Will be interesting to see.

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