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post #331 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 03:25 PM
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Re: Post your unpopular opinions

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Originally Posted by As'laDain View Post
Did you grow up poor?
I did, raised by a single mother in a very rural area and we hovered just above or below the poverty line for most of my youth, and helped my mother work manual labor jobs, like cleaning businesses and people's houses until late at night just so we could pay for things like minimum groceries, heat, light, etc. I also learned how to do things like drive a forklift, fix pumps, and balance her checkbook by the time I was 8.

So I get the whole self made man thing... which is kinda true and kinda an ego trip. I'm around enough wealthy guys that claim they're wealthy because they're smarter and harder working than everybody else to know that it's sickening to those that are also smart and hard working but are also not quite as lucky as them.

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post #332 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 03:38 PM
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Re: Post your unpopular opinions

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It's a bit more nuanced than that.

It's not anybody's problem but yours if you haven't put in the work, shown ambition, and taken advantages of opportunities that have come your way.

But it is everybody's fault (meaning, society) if you have never had any opportunities come your way at all, or been given the same baseline advantages that others that came before you have.

For example, Trump likes to spout that he's a self made man (as an example). But he's not - he was literally a millionaire by the time he was 8. That's not hard work, that's the luck of the draw.

The rapidly widening gulf between the very rich and the very poor means that the middle class is vanishing, along with it the very baseline of opportunity afforded to previous generations. If you're born poor in a bad community, for example, your best opportunity might be a minimum wage, part time, service job... and that might be as lucky as you'll ever get.

We are moving rapidly back to a feudal state - nobility and serfdom.
I came from a bad community. I grew up poor. I had that part time service job. I just did it without expenses. I lived homeless for a few years and saved my money. I worked 16 hours a day for two years. It was two 8 hour shifts, with 4 hours off in between each shift. So I got four hours to sleep, if I could sleep. I usually slept in my car at night and on a couch in the break room during the day.

For the first year of this, I would drive home and do chores. And my mother would fly into a rage and throw anything and everything at me.

I felt incredibly rebellious the first time I didnt come home to do chores. I was angry, and I felt like I was doing something wrong. I built a simple shelter at the edge of the corn fields that the university of florida grew for feeding their cows.

Back then, I did a lot of research into niche markets. I sold leaves and oak bark to people who keep fish and wanted a natural looking "black water" fish tank. I sold muscodine vines to people who wanted to use them as non-toxic perches for their birds.

And I worked. I also sold animals to people who wanted them.

I even sold hair algae to people who breed fish, because it boosted their survival rates.

There will always be a way to boost your status and make more money. Most people aren't willing to do it.

"I am the wiser in respect to all knowledges, and the better qualified for all fortunes, for knowing that there is a minnow in the brook." -Henry David Thoreau
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post #333 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 03:45 PM
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Re: Post your unpopular opinions

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I did, raised by a single mother in a very rural area and we hovered just above or below the poverty line for most of my youth, and helped my mother work manual labor jobs, like cleaning businesses and people's houses until late at night just so we could pay for things like minimum groceries, heat, light, etc. I also learned how to do things like drive a forklift, fix pumps, and balance her checkbook by the time I was 8.

So I get the whole self made man thing... which is kinda true and kinda an ego trip. I'm around enough wealthy guys that claim they're wealthy because they're smarter and harder working than everybody else to know that it's sickening to those that are also smart and hard working but are also not quite as lucky as them.
I guess I just don't believe in luck. I was not lucky. Nothing I have been able to do was a from luck.

"I am the wiser in respect to all knowledges, and the better qualified for all fortunes, for knowing that there is a minnow in the brook." -Henry David Thoreau
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post #334 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 03:54 PM
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Re: Post your unpopular opinions

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I came from a bad community. I grew up poor. I had that part time service job. I just did it without expenses. I lived homeless for a few years and saved my money. I worked 16 hours a day for two years. It was two 8 hour shifts, with 4 hours off in between each shift. So I got four hours to sleep, if I could sleep. I usually slept in my car at night and on a couch in the break room during the day.

For the first year of this, I would drive home and do chores. And my mother would fly into a rage and throw anything and everything at me.

I felt incredibly rebellious the first time I didnt come home to do chores. I was angry, and I felt like I was doing something wrong. I built a simple shelter at the edge of the corn fields that the university of florida grew for feeding their cows.

Back then, I did a lot of research into niche markets. I sold leaves and oak bark to people who keep fish and wanted a natural looking "black water" fish tank. I sold muscodine vines to people who wanted to use them as non-toxic perches for their birds.

And I worked. I also sold animals to people who wanted them.

I even sold hair algae to people who breed fish, because it boosted their survival rates.

There will always be a way to boost your status and make more money. Most people aren't willing to do it.
I agree, but I also don't.

My eyes were opened recently when I realized that the opportunities I worked hard for - but were still in reach for me - like working full time while going to school full time so I could go to university... simply are out of reach for an 18 year old today. Tuition is too high, housing is too high, and a minimum wage job no longer would cut it.

I was also able to buy my first home relatively easily - however the equivalent home here is now 4-5x that price, but wages haven't gone up 4-5x to accomodate such things.

So... yes many people are lazy and like to complain... but no, it's not the same playing field that you and I had to deal with.

PS so sorry you were homeless for a time. We hovered on the brink of it a few times, and I used to get anxiety about it when I had kids. That must have been - and may still be - very hard.
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post #335 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 03:55 PM
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Re: Post your unpopular opinions

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I guess I just don't believe in luck. I was not lucky. Nothing I have been able to do was a from luck.
I, too, think you make your own luck.

But society gives you different odds at different times, too.
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post #336 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 04:07 PM
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Re: Post your unpopular opinions

I am a staff sergeant in the army. I'm stationed at fort bragg, so I got about 1400 dollars in BAH. I also get an extra 150 a month for jumping out of airplanes, and I get 350 a month for my language skills because i am a 3/2+ arabic linguist. I make about 37 grand a year as my base pay, not including BAH and special skills pay. With extra pay and benefits, it's closer to 60k per year. A hell of a lot more if you factor in the few million dollars of medical care that my wife has needed over the last ten years.

To me, that is pretty damned good. That provides me with far more than I ever had growing up. Far more than I feel like I need.

I am able to make a LOT more. When I get out, I will. I have even had a company offer to buy my contract from the army... I didnt even know that was possible.

All that said, I spent 42 grand on my parents, 12 grand on a friend who needed legal authorization to be in this country, 8 grand on another friend, 55 grand on my sister and brother in law, 20 grand on my niece, and I still have more than enough money to start over from nothing, if I needed to.

I see no reason for anyone to stay poor in this country. I have no problem coaching them. But most people aren't willing to do what they need to do in order to lift themselves.

People are poor because it's all they know. I'll help them once. If they get their **** together and work and save, I'll do anything for them. If they squander it, I feel it's against my interests to help them further.

"I am the wiser in respect to all knowledges, and the better qualified for all fortunes, for knowing that there is a minnow in the brook." -Henry David Thoreau
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post #337 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 04:25 PM
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Re: Post your unpopular opinions

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I, too, think you make your own luck.

But society gives you different odds at different times, too.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...66-tricks.html

Here is an example of the things I sold, and still sell from time to time, when I had nothing else.

I sold tannin extracts for people who wanted a dark water look in their fish tanks. I sold fish I bred and raised. I sold shrimp. I sold algae. I sold live food kits for people who raise fish. I sold aquatic plants.

By the time I wrote that thread, I had already made about 21 grand from selling hobby related stuff. As a hobby. I just wanted the hobby to pay for itself.

Anyone can do this stuff. It doesn't matter what society gives you. Anyone can do this kind of stuff.

Most people don't even think to look for this kind of stuff though.

"I am the wiser in respect to all knowledges, and the better qualified for all fortunes, for knowing that there is a minnow in the brook." -Henry David Thoreau
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post #338 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 05:35 PM
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Re: Post your unpopular opinions

Just wanted to High-Five my fellow child dumpster-divers.

I dumpster-dived every bicycle and motorcycle I owned before age 16 ... it was kinda fun, scrounging all the components and building my own. Actually, I scrounged and built a lot of different things in my childhood, it was necessary (because poor) but it built a great foundation for my adulthood as an engineer.

My family was poor because "too many kids to support", no mother (institutionalized), dad always gone (deployed military). I think if my parents had fewer kids we might have been better off. I say that because their financial situation improved after the last of the siblings left home.

Sometimes life just is what it is and you make due.
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post #339 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 05:59 PM
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Re: Post your unpopular opinions

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Just wanted to High-Five my fellow child dumpster-divers.

I dumpster-dived every bicycle and motorcycle I owned before age 16 ... it was kinda fun, scrounging all the components and building my own. Actually, I scrounged and built a lot of different things in my childhood, it was necessary (because poor) but it built a great foundation for my adulthood as an engineer.

My family was poor because "too many kids to support", no mother (institutionalized), dad always gone (deployed military). I think if my parents had fewer kids we might have been better off. I say that because their financial situation improved after the last of the siblings left home.

Sometimes life just is what it is and you make due.
Hell yeah! Here is a dumpster dive jewel I recovered when I was about 14. I gave it to my grandfather. He fixed it and put it on a shelf and left the batteries in it. For almost 20 years. The batteries leaked and corroded some wires...

I got it back when I cleared my grandfather's garage when it was time to move him to assisted living. He made sure I got all of his old radios because i was the only one in our family that loved radios.

This past weekend, my girlfriend and I fixed it. It now works. It was manufactured in 1970.

http://imgur.com/gallery/Fln9Kkx

"I am the wiser in respect to all knowledges, and the better qualified for all fortunes, for knowing that there is a minnow in the brook." -Henry David Thoreau
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post #340 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 07:09 PM
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Funny you mentioned a radio and your grandfather. When he died my dad inherited a very old radio from him. My best guess it's mid to late 1930's. I got it from my dad when he passed on.

I got it working about 10 years ago. You have no idea how hard it is to find vacuum tubes today!

Guess what? It still works to this day.

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post #341 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 07:14 PM
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@As'laDain

Funny you mentioned a radio and your grandfather. When he died my dad inherited a very old radio from him. My best guess it's mid to late 1930's. I got it from my dad when he passed on.

I got it working about 10 years ago. You have no idea how hard it is to find vacuum tubes today!

Guess what? It still works to this day.
Here is a couple of the radios I inherited from my grandfather... they work.

I know how hard it is to find vacuum tubes... I inherited a few thousand of them from my grandfather and I STILL have a hard time finding the right tubes sometimes....

Old radios https://imgur.com/gallery/YXAnznn

"I am the wiser in respect to all knowledges, and the better qualified for all fortunes, for knowing that there is a minnow in the brook." -Henry David Thoreau
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post #342 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 08:04 PM
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@As'laDain

Funny you mentioned a radio and your grandfather. When he died my dad inherited a very old radio from him. My best guess it's mid to late 1930's. I got it from my dad when he passed on.

I got it working about 10 years ago. You have no idea how hard it is to find vacuum tubes today!

Guess what? It still works to this day.
Here is a couple of the radios I inherited from my grandfather... they work.

I know how hard it is to find vacuum tubes... I inherited a few thousand of them from my grandfather and I STILL have a hard time finding the right tubes sometimes....

Old radios https://imgur.com/gallery/YXAnznn
I found a specialty radio shop in California that had the tubes I needed. Took forever to find on the net.

Beautiful radio you have. I'll get a pic of mine, at brothers home now.
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post #343 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 10:41 AM
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Re: Post your unpopular opinions

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@As'laDain

Funny you mentioned a radio and your grandfather. When he died my dad inherited a very old radio from him. My best guess it's mid to late 1930's. I got it from my dad when he passed on.

I got it working about 10 years ago. You have no idea how hard it is to find vacuum tubes today!

Guess what? It still works to this day.
I have one as well - a gift from my grandfather and uncle. A cool short wave radio. Low end even at the time, but wow, it's built like a tank. They found it somewhere and restored it for me. I had an antenna strung up all across my back yard in the early 80's. Could sit there listening to all kinds of different languages from around the world. I remember getting tinglies when I would find a numbers station.

It's still on my library bookshelf. I haven't turned it on in decades because if it is working, I don't want to burn it out. It's one of my prized possessions:

https://antiqueradio.org/nat01.htm
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post #344 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 11:29 AM
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Another of my prized, and odd, possessions is a fist sized chunk of raw opal that looks something like this:


My uncle was hiking through the Atacama desert in his 60's, kicked a rock, and discovered it was a raw opal. He immediately thought of me, and brought it back with him. He polished the end that had the piece broken off, and gave it to me.

No idea what it's worth, but I wouldn't part with it for anything.
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post #345 of 373 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 02:55 PM
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@Marduk

Got 2 pics of the radio, the front and the inside with the rear cover off.

Manufacturer date 1938. Wow.
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