Where’s the American Dream Gone?

The Republicans yammer on about how the poor deserve to be poor and whine about holding rich people accountable is “class warfare”. But what has really been going on over the past few decades? Are the 99% of us just totally deluded? Does the American dream still exist? Let’s take a look at a nice graph.

bar graph showing massive income inequalities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huh. According to this graph, from the time I was 1 until I was 4 years old (76-79) was the only time that incomes were anywhere near equal. Looks like after the Great Depression, there may have been policies put in place that allowed the 99% to make good financial gains (at least the white 99%, more on that later) during the 60s. But after 1980, all bets were off.

Huh. You know, I’m not really sure what else to say about this. Maybe I should just let the graph speak for itself.

Picking Apples And Other Washington Jobs

Hi folks:

A few people are hitting this website looking for information on the apple picking jobs here in Washington state.

Can’t say I blame you. I found a ton of articles, but figuring out how to get the actual work took some digging. It’s almost like they’re saying “We’re DESPERATE for people to work…but only if you can crack the code and find the buried treasure!”

Here’s the link for the apple picking openings if you want to look at it: http://www.wa.gov/esd/farmworkers/farm_jobs.htm

This got me thinking: since the economy is as messed up as it is, I should post other jobs at least once a week. So from here on out, Thursday shall be jobs day here at Your Info Linc.

Let’s get it rolling!

Here is the City of Seattle’s job site: http://www.seattle.gov/personnel/employment/default_neogov.asp

If you want to work for an LGBT rights organization, look here: http://lgbtjobs.org/

Here’s Wenatchee World’s online classifieds: http://jobs.wenatcheeworld.com/

A list of temp agencies in Washington State with online work listings: http://www.washjob.com/empaglz.htm

Rat Race Rebellion has verified online and freelance work opportunities: http://ratracerebellion.com/

Tired of slogging through Craiglist? Search it instead!! http://www.allofcraigslist.com/

 

That seems like a good start, hope it helps someone!

Wells Fargo Says $3 Fee Can Disappear

…if I get their credit card and use that instead of getting dinged $3/month for using my debit card.

That’s what John said when I stopped by to get a money order and have my contact information updated. When I told him that my own branch manager and I had run my numbers twice now and I am very far away from qualifying for one, he then reminded me that WF has a secured credit card.

Right. So I can pay higher fees than what they already want to charge to use my own money. Still.

*sigh*

They still don’t get it. I don’t want to pay to use my own money, especially when so much of bank business is done online these days. There are new articles I ran across about firing your bank. Here’s another one.  Of course, most of the people in the comments section talk about opening credit union accounts. For a lot of folks that will be a solution. We saw how well that worked for someone with poor credit when you followed me on my quest to get a credit union account opened.

I did find a solution out of desperation when I got my SSDI backpay. There was a good deal of money, and since I have an addiction to debting and spending, I freaked out! I didn’t want that much sitting there available. So I transferred a large portion of it to an account at Ally Bank. They’re an online bank, with no physical branches anywhere. That would freak me out, except that just like any other bank, they’re FDIC insured, and they were around physically since 1919. This is not a fly by night company.

Now I have a savings account and 2 year CD with them. I feel more grown up and solid, and the best part is that not only am I not being charged fees, my CD gathers daily interest at a rate higher than what Wells Fargo could ever offer me.

Yep. Daily interest.

And I’m not the only one. Apparently these extra fees are causing a lot of people to turn to online banking. Check out these articles. And this one.  And this one. I could go on and on, but you get the point. 🙂

I would encourage everyone to look into online banking, especially if you have issues that stand in the way of getting a credit union account. If your major worry is ATM access, Ally Bank reimburses all ATM fees you pay at the end of each month.

Good hunting!

 

The 99% Helped You Get Rich!

I really think Elizabeth Warren is one of the smartest women in the world. Seriously. And here’s some video to prove it. When it comes to the topic of fair taxation, she puts it right back onto the wealthy about exactly why they need to pay into the system more than they are.

Sunday Movie: The Corporation

Since #occupywallstreet is still going and getting stronger every day, I thought this Sunday’s movie should reflect what’s going on out there. “The Corporation” is a documentary that I learned a lot about how we got to Citizens United. Just keep clicking the “Up Next” link in the You Tube frame.

Enjoy!

 

Moving Money: Credit Union Strike Out!

Wow…

Ok, so for those following along, I had decided to move my money because Wells Fargo, among other banks, has rolled out a ridiculous $3/month fee for the “privilege” of using our debit cards. It’s crap. I told you I would go out & do it, and you would get to come along.

We found out first that Salal Credit Union, in my opinion, engages in false advertising. They don’t put on their website that you have to have a credit rating of 600 or above to open an account with them. Since my credit rating is around the 550s, I lost out there.

My next stop was Boeing Employees Credit Union. Despite their name, they are open to anyone in Washington. I decided to try there because my buddy Chris has an account. He says they have excellent customer service. Of course the first thing I asked was if you needed a credit rating of 600 or more to open with them. She said no. First hurdle cleared!

BECU only requires a credit rating of 300 or higher. But here’s where I got stung. They run a Chexsystems check as well, and my history wasn’t clean. Curses, foiled again!! The nice lady I talked to there recommended at the very least handling the problem on Chexsystems (which I have to, since they are a source for pretty much every financial institution), waiting 30 days, and then trying again.

*sigh*

Actually, growl and WTH??

You know, there’s a part of me that is really starting to want to stay with Wells Fargo, super evil money stealing be damned. There’s one reason: I’ve been contrasting this journey through the credit union universe with getting my current bank account open. When the Wells Fargo banker helped me, I was homeless, working day labor on the verge of getting a better job, and had 78 cents in my pocket. I needed an account because I needed somewhere for my tax refund check to come in. Plus, I was getting tired of seeing a big chunk of what little I made go to the payday loan and check cashing people.

I remember that day. I was exhausted, I looked like hell, had way lower credit than I do now, and was on the verge of tears because I just needed ONE thing to go right that week. You know those weeks. When you can tell your life is about to change for the better, if you can just get through this bit right now.

And I did, with their help. The banker and branch manager were literally excited to pull someone out of the payday/check cashing sector and get me a real account. They did some magic with the paperwork, and with 78 cents in checking, I was all set. The manager even had my back a month later when an employee I had never seen before got in my space. This employee started questioning me about if I really had a wells fargo account & had a reason for being at their branch. I didn’t even have to bring it to the manager’s attention. He saw it from across the room & came over and intervened.

So here I sit two years later. I want to move my money because, as an entity, I don’t feel like I can trust wells fargo corporate to not suck me dry of every cent they can get away with. But the more I get the feeling that I’m not quite “clean enough” to be a member of a credit union, the more part of me is glad that my local Wells Fargo branch understands what it means to take a chance on people and help give them a lift up.

Bottom line is I am staying for awhile while I clean up my credit. Which I have to do anyway if I ever want a decent rate on anything. Here’s an article that shows you, in dollars, the extra money lower credit forces you to pay for things.

If you want to move your money and have the capability to do it, I would recommend BECU. They seem to have a lower threshold, which tells me they can serve a lot more people coming back from financial disaster. Plus, where they don’t have branches, they have agreements with other credit unions to let customers do their stuff with them. BECU also seems a lot more flexible financially with loans and helping people figure out customized ways to handle their money in the short and long term.

And FYI, if you use a QUEST card for state cash. I pulled some cash out at BECU’s ATM and they did not charge me the $3 service fee that everywhere else does. Something for those who need to know.

This concludes my credit union quest. I learned a good deal of stuff, and am staying at wells fargo for awhile longer. My next quest is cleaning up my credit report, and you all are, of course, invited along for that as well.

Visualize the High Cost of College

We all know how expensive college is, but often with being encouraged to take out student loans, the price can seem very fuzzy and not real. This young man decided to show us all exactly what the cost of one semester of out of state tuition at his school looks like.

By paying for it all in one dollar bills. All $14,300 of it.

Here’s the video:

H/T to Recession Fresh for the story

And if you really need help getting through life financially, then this sort of dating arrangement may be something to look into.