1%, stuff, stuff, stuff.

west_gardenerDecember 21, 2011

Yes, I'm talking about the 1% of the population that can buy the high end of "stuff". I'm talking about a scarf for $500.00, a tee shirt for $150. Shoes at @$600-1,000 etc...

DH & I went down to Stanford Shopping center today, a very high end shopping center. The parking lot was nearly full and the shops were crowded.I saw plenty of people carrying high end shopping bags.

Life is alive and well for the 1%.

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Still I would not trade what I;ve got for what they have. Steve in Baltimore County.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 4:56AM
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I have friends on both sides of the coin...........and they slip their agendas in to our communications on a daily basis in their personal mails and sites. It's OK, that's what America is all about and I respect that. GW bandwidth, however, is not ours to use for this purpose.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 11:35AM
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calliope, oh wow, I did not have an agenda with that post, other than to say that I saw it with my own eyes.
I've been shopping at that center for more that 40 years and I have noticed the changes over the years, especially the last few years.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Then please forgive me for jumping to a conclusion. That is a 'catchphrase' I hear often associated with one of two very polar views. I certainly understand the zeal of both sides because they see something precious at risk and they both feel they have the answer. The phones ring off the hooks around the holidays with their campaigns into my home, my private sanctum, unasked for and thank God for caller ID.

Yes.........I've seen it happening too. It's a phenomenon I've seen unfolding over two generations. My spouse and I lead a simple life and the older we get the more we appreciate what gifts we do have. I will say one thing, however, and that is not everyone you see coming out of a high end store is paying for it with anything other than plastic and a promise to pay..... and aren't any farther away from a pink slip than the other 99%. Like Steven, I am quite satisfied to walk that mile in my own moccasins.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 4:03PM
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It's all so relative. There are hundreds of thousands who probably feel the same way about us. There are always those with more and those with less who will shake their heads at the spending habits of others. Teenagers don't have to be in that 1 per cent to drop 125.00 for a tshirt..they were the in thing this summer and everyone was wearing them.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 5:28PM
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My thought: if plastic was to disappear from the market place, priorities would changeand the merchants and the marketers would not focus on the "wonnabe 1%" as they do now,
I could get a couple of millions right now and my life would not change a whole lot.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 7:19PM
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If a person is satisfied with their lot in life, I don't think coming in to major money would change (their reaction to it) that much. I personally know one family who hit it big in a lottery. I do suspect life was not so easy because of their 'good fortune' either. The way it changed was not within their power to control. It had to do with how other people perceived them.

The last census figures on those dwelling just one job or unexpected expense above the poverty line and the massive shift of people living there are sobering and somewhat unexpected. I suspect however, that some of the problem is that a typical family never thought they'd be in that position and their habits have not caught up with the new reality. We have to accept the fact that what is now considered a life in poverty still includes phones, heat, a roof and food, usually a computer and television. Life in that level of comfort would not have been considered impoverished to a family sixty years ago. It is all relative.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 7:44PM
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calliope, thanks for replying to my post. Yes, I used the 1% 'catchphrase' on purpose because it seems to be the language of the times. I can see why you thought I had an agenda.

Some 40 years ago, when we came to CA and lived in PA,(Palo Alto) Stanford shopping center was close to us so it was the place to shop. At the time it had a mix of high-end and mid-price shopping and affordable eating sites. It had a chain drug store, a grocery store, an affordable coffee shop where I grabbed a sandwich and a drink for about $5.00. We brought our children to see "santa" amd went to a family friendly restaurant for lunch.
All the middle class shops are gone now.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 8:18PM
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How timely.I was watching the evening news on PBS tonight and they had a segment on this very subject.The expensive upscale stores were thriving,as were the lower end stores. I guess if the middle class is slowly disappearing,it would stand to reason that so would their stores. The latest classification of poverty is a family of four with an income of 20,000 or less.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 8:37PM
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I wonder how valuable a figure is when set at a federal level when the cost of housing, fuel, food and medical care.......not withstanding average wage varies so significantly over this nation? I just looked up demographics and our median household income in this county is 26K a year. THAT is our middle class and forty seven percent of our population lives at or under it, while at the federal guideline only about 16% actually qualify to be listed as 'impoverished'. Counties just beneath us, also in Appalachian Ohio, are faring worse.

I never even knew the federal government considered us "Appalachian" until I went to University. So I suspect somehow that the state of poverty is as 'mental' as it is physical. I also suspect that is why 'high end stores' don't locate here. LOL. It's also why the loss of family farms and the outsourcing of factory jobs have hurt our area so much. I suppose we center on that more than some one percent somewhere out there somewhere.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 12:16AM
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Any one, besides me, ever work in a medical office of any sort?

The patient comes in, dressed in high end clothing, carrying a $$$$ handbag with designer shoes.....then shows the check stub that proves there was Medicaid coverage at the first of the month.

Why is the patient able to afford these things? it's because that 1% also dumps a lot of barely worn clothes at the Good Will Stores, and our poverty stricken patients get all that fancy stuff for pennies on the dollar.

The middle class is sort of stuck. They can't (and usually don't want) the fancy duds, and they probably wouldn't go to a Good Will Store. So, they make do with less and shop at places like Wal-Mart.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 2:18PM
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I go to Good Will stores where I often run into local business women and yeah.....doctor's wives. It's called voluntary bottom feeding, and many people who are concerned with environmental issues shop there. Re-use, recycle, repair. I do not shop the box stores, it's also a moral choice because I want my dollars to stay local.

As for medicaid recipients buying high end merchandise at Good Will.....what explains the salon nails and hair, 4G phones and tatooes? I don't suppose that was supplied by either GW or the 1%. I think this is starting to float to policital again, so I'll not comment further other than to say, with the economy and trade in general in such a state of flux, I'm assuming that what is/is not poverty and how much and where intervention is needed is going to be the subject of much discussion for some time to come. Some positive direction may come of this. It's not the first time we've faced similar difficulties and it won't be the last. It's cyclical and always has been, and sooner or later enough interprise and insipiration floats to the top and things adjust. It's just not easy in the interim.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 3:46PM
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I guess I sort of missed putting my point across.

It was....you can spend all the money you want to on the best clothes....and then you find that those on the bottom can dress the same way for a lot less.

We pay too much attention on Labels and not enough on Value. That goes for a lot more than just clothes.....people, food, cars, etc.etc.etc.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 6:31PM
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I have clothes from GW and other thrift stores that have been in my closet for 30 years, Missy keeps after me to clean out since a lot of it wont fit any more. Some may be collectable like the old Lily Dache and Don Loper ties. Heck my suit is three sizes too small and way out of date.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 9:01PM
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