SUBJECT: I FUCKED UP
I am out of money and don’t get paid for a week. I do this every single month and I am so mad at myself and I’m never going to change, am I.
SUBJECT: RE: I FUCKED UP
You’re never going to change with an attitude like that, says your mother. And my mother. And me. Look, Betsy: Of course you can change. Of course. Whether you do change is about whether you want to change or not. Do you actually want to change? Do you want to actually stop spending all of your money before you get new money? READ MORE
You’ve seen them on the bus, in museums, and at movie theaters: senior discounts. As a reward for being old, senior citizens pay a quarter less for bus fare, a small fortune less for movie tickets, and receive discounts generally all over the place.
If you’re a twentysomething, or part of what some journalists have colorfully called “the screwed generation,” you may be wondering: why not me?
Priceonomics’s Alex Mayyasi takes a contentious stance in his post, “Why Does the Senior Citizen Discount Still Exist?” He says that the idea that senior citizens require financial help stems from the high percentage of seniors who were living in poverty after the Great Depression. Federal programs like Social Security and Medicare dramatically decreased that percentage. Mayyasi now says that millennials are being screwed over by the recession and are in a very vulnerable place, so maybe they should get a discount, too. If I made a list of things that probably would never come into existence, a discount for millennials would be on that list.
Nicki likes Lip Gloss, Purses, Yoga, Pole Dancing, Uggs, Louboutins, Juice Cleanses, Iced coffee and Tattoos. @blingringmovie
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) May 2, 2012
Nancy Jo Sales published “The Suspects Wore Louboutins” in Vanity Fair in March of 2010. Sofia Coppola announced optioning the article by December of 2011; Emma Watson was cast by February of 2012; the resulting movie, The Bling Ring, opens in a month. But first! Tomorrow comes The Bling Ring—the book. Nancy Jo Sales started afresh. She already had, after all, endless hours of interviews with the crowd of young people in Southern California who burgled celebrity homes. In case you missed the original story, or have buried its fuzzy outline under later tabloid scandals, the case concerns five kiddos (and two friends who did reselling) who best liked to steal outfits, shoes, photos, watches and anything else that felt personal. And they did it quite a bit: they hit Brian Austin Green’s house just a week after Lindsay Lohan’s house, back in August of 2009. Poor Brian Austin Green! READ MORE
It costs about $3,000 to build a storm cellar. FEMA might pay you back for up to $2,000 of that, but it takes time/effort/qualifying paperwork. You also have to own the land you’re living on, presumably.
On that note, I’m also a fan of setting up savings accounts within savings accounts. If you divide your savings by the name of your goal for them, the hope is that you are more likely to achieve that goal – whether it is your children’s Harvard education or the bridezilla wedding of your dreams. It’s much more likely than if all the money goes into one pot. “It’s hard to find big banks who will do this for you, although the Meriwest Credit Union, headquartered in San Jose, California, offers something similar called the “You Name It Savings Account.”
In Alcoholics Anonymous, they call this “one-day at a time.” Financial guru Dave Ramsey calls it “baby steps.” Whatever. If it gets people on the road to savings, I’m all for it.
Helaine Olen tackles saving for retirement (or saving for anything, really) in her Guardian column today, and one of our very own editors makes an appearance.
In perhaps the most abstruse exploration of an economic theme in a video game since Ms. Pac-Man tackled workplace sexism, game designer Colin Northway says his quirky indie puzzler Incredipede is really a game about … global economic inequality.
Northway talked extensively with the thinky games blog Polygon about how his travels around the world with his wife brought them face to face with the extremes of wealth and poverty that characterize our globalized economy. This, in turn, inspired the design of his game about weird bouncy multi-limbed bug creature named Quozzle making her way from a subsistence farming village to an opulent city apparently based on San Francisco:
“So Quozzle undergoes all of this work and effort to collect all these things, and then she has to trade it to this guy who has power over her, based not on what he’s accomplished in life or what she’s accomplished in life, but where they’re born,” Colin Northway says. “She was born into a tribe where cherries were very valuable, and he was born into a society where cherries were almost worthless.
OK, if you say so, Colin. To be fair, he does recognize that his message may not have come across to most players. “I guess I wish I was less subtle with the story now because I don’t think anyone got it,” he said.
Image via Incredipede
Back in February, I posted about Nigel Warren, a 30-year-old New Yorker who was hit with $40,000 in fines for illegally renting out his East Village bedroom for three days using Airbnb. Warren had initially learned that he could admit to the violations and get his fines reduced to $6,000. Airbnb sent their lawyers to observe the case.
CNET reports that NYC officials have determined that Warren should pay $2,400 for “violating the city’s illegal hotel law” and that apartments “may only be used as private residences and may not be rented for transient, hotel, or motel purposes” essentially making Airbnb illegal in New York (except for stays of 30 days or longer).
• First paycheck
• First and second paycheck
• 10% of every paycheck
• Dinner. Nice dinner. During which you look into eyes and say, “thank you for job”
• Deli flowers, plastic torn off so it looks like you just picked them from a field
• Flowers you actually picked from a field
• Complex contract promising percentage of earnings over time with clauses in event of IPO
• 1 round of drinks every time you hang out (“to you, getting me a job”)
• Daily updates on how happy you are about job
• Heartfelt handwritten letter thanking them for job
• Promise never to complain about job for duration of job
• You have to get them a job
“The elite in many parts of the world do not like to be called the elite,” said Dipankar Gupta, a sociologist. “In the U.K., they called themselves the nobility; in current American discourse, the elite are called the job creators. In India, the elite call themselves middle class.”
India Ink, the Times’s blog about India, examined class and politics in regard to India’s elite, who have incentives to “masquerade” as the middle class.