@Sean Lai Or at least let them put the grapes in a plastic bag, pour in some water from a suspicious-looking gallon jug, and slosh it around a little for you! Every street vendor knows this is the only bulletproof method of washing your fruit.
I'm experiencing it - I have a job at a place where the business is booming, I'm getting somewhat regular raises, and what little money I have invested is growing nicely. That said, I can't help but notice how much better it would be going if I were a Rich Person. If I didn't have crushing student loans, I would be able to contribute more than $100/month to my IRA and watch it grow even faster. If I had giant chunk of money for a down payment, I would be able to buy an apartment in my neighborhood rather than throw money away on rent. So I guess I am experiencing this allegedly improving economy (and feeling lucky for it), but still feeling like the game is rigged.
Did anybody else notice that guy walking SLOWLY up the subway stairs while reading his cell phone and then STOPPING ON THE TOP STEP??? If that's the kind of behavior the NYPL is trying to promote then I'm turning in my library card.
Having not clicked through to read about the study at all, I'm going to speculate that perhaps the difference in behavior was caused by the amount of money involved. For most Americans, $100 is significantly less than the few days' wages at stake in the Machiguengan game. I would imagine that the larger the amount at stake, the more tempting it is to take the money regardless of how selfish the other person is being. If somebody is offering me $1 million, I'm going to take it even if they are selfishly keeping the other $99 million for themselves.
@Ash@Work I don't think it's so much a difference in perception about debt or of some generational change in the way we think about money, but a change in the numbers themselves. When you have 6-digit loans at interest rates of 6.8% and above, it feels like you will never have any financial life until they are gone (and it's mostly true). I have spreadsheets for my loans, too. Once you realize how much you have to pay just to keep up with interest, it's hard not to take it to the next step, and calculate how much money you can save over the life of the loan if you just add another $50 or $100 to your monthly payment (in my case, literally thousands of dollars and years worth of payments). I think that as time goes on they will become more of a "fact of life," but when it is such a huge part of your monthly finances they're hard to ignore.
@stuffisthings Go on...
@Fig. 1 There's a great This American Life episode about this: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/459/what-kind-of-country Specifically the segment about Colorado Springs, where they were LITERALLY turning off street lights to save taxpayer money. The residents of individual streets could pool together to have their lights turned back on, but obviously it cost a lot more per person than just raising taxes slightly to pay for a basic municipal service.
My student loans are too astronomical to even think about as one big chunk, so I am just going to update the one I am paying off now. Thanks to IBR being based on last year's tax returns, the minimum payment is still $0 on all my student loans - I'm going with the avalanche method until my IBR payments actually catch up with my income: Sallie Mae Graduate Plus Loan, 8.25% October Balance: $30,107.59 November Balance: $29,050.66
Best egg sandwich in the city, UNTIL THEY TOOK IT OFF THE MENU. Absolutely broke my heart. I will never forgive them. But I will probably buy one of these bonds anyway. The Good Fork, right down the road from Fort Defiance, is also raising funds to rebuild, but they are just taking straight up donations instead: http://www.gofundme.com/1h4pdg.
The other great thing about IBR is that if you have multiple loans on IBR, and are able to pay more than the IBR rate each month, you can choose which of the loans to apply the extra payment to. I have about a billion different government loans with the same service and they are all eligible for IBR, so I pay the minimum on all of them and then apply the big "optional" payments to loans with the highest rates. Take that, 8.5% Graduate Plus loan.