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Article: 17 things that Rich People Completely Ruined For The Poor

nicole___
last month
last modified: last month

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/things-rich-people-ruined-for-poor-people_l_66102161e4b04fa3961485b9

Click on the above link.....

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Farmers Markets:

"It's gone from local farmers and affordable produce to artisanal creations for the elite."

Comments (167)

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    Are there campgrounds that disallow them? I can empathize with your frustration, even though I haven't camped since jr. high. We did rent yurts in Bay of Fundy (no facilities) about a decade ago, but the yurts had wood stoves!

  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    Do you honestly thing that public policy has no impact on the distribution of wealth? None of the economic policies over the past 60 years have reversed the policies that help equalize the concentration of wealth of the gilded age? Trickle down economics was the right answer. It made everything better. Politicians aren't swayed to set policies that benefit their benefactors? The richest and most powerful have no influence on economic policy?


    What kool aid are you drinking?


    You probably would have been in complete agreement with the slave owners and industrialist who owned the mining towns and sweatshops. They were doing these people a favor. They were helping them, giving them work and providing them housing. They even allowed their children to work along side them (unless they could sell them for a profit.) All is fair is love and war and the amassing of riches.


  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    It does seem like many people these days have little to no awareness of historical and current gov't policies that have brought us to where we are today, economy-wise.

    And that does work to the advantage of certain public figures, doesn't it?

  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    How many buy into the right vs the left and don't notice that no matter which party is in office the top keeps winning. Divide and conquer. Oldest trick in the book.

  • palimpsest
    last month

    With the attention span and intelligence of most people today, talking about what happened in America between 1981 and 1989, you might as well be talking about what happened in 1781.

  • deegw
    last month

    I was watching a middle-aged comedian and he said (paraphrasing) - I was born in the 1900s, I feel like I have more in common with the people who lived through the Great Depression than I do with most of the people walking around today.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month
    last modified: last month

    " Do you honestly thing that public policy has no impact on the distribution of wealth? "

    Little or nothing of that kind comes to mind. Help me, name a few.

    Leave out Social Security, though. I see it as a government funded and taxpayer-financed pension plan that has a significant impact only on those who didn't responsibly plan for their own retirement or couldn't afford to. For those people, it's not a wealth redistribution in American society as much as a buffer to temper the poverty of those at the bottom end who have nothing else.

    Edit for PS -

    Your insults are absurd and devalue the validity of anything you say. You can do better, sometimes I can too. I think you often miss the forest for the trees.

  • deegw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    EJF - Look up medical bankruptcy and medical debt. If our country had a comprehensive single-payer healthcare system, medical bankruptcy and medical debt wouldn't exist. (Just one example.)

  • Bookwoman
    last month

    Read Matt Desmond's Poverty, By America. It's eye-opening.

  • deegw
    last month

    It's on my list but I keep scrolling by it, I know it's going to be heartbreaking and infuriating reading.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Or a new book, 15 Cents on the Dollar not yet out.

    I do think it makes sense, like Arcy's example, for kids to make decisions on what they spend on college in the same way you analyze buying any other good. But then Pal makes a good point that, assuming we equate the cost of education with quality (not a prefect correlation but surely a strong one), low paying professions cannot access our best schools and as a result we are essentially saying that the only value of these institutions is vocational. That seems a sorry conclusion.

    I tend to think the systems you see in other parts of the world makes more sense for higher education. For example, in Canada, I noticed the cost of attendance at McGill varies by major, with business majors paying far more than educators. In the UK, I remember learning that their student loan repayments are set based on a % of income. In Ireland, they don't provide housing and that keeps facilities costs down.


    I also think we need to make community college both better and virtually free. Certainly it cannot make sense to people that our children's educational needs are the same as our grandparents' were; K-12 and that's it? And 4yr colleges are not for everyone, we should stop pretending they are... they should getter better govt funding. They should cost students less but be available only to stronger students.

  • bragu_DSM 5
    last month
    last modified: last month

    roosters crow in the morning ... and after total eclipses

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    LOL, do you mean "hooey"? Not sure to whom that is directed but like the brevity.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    " EJF - Look up medical bankruptcy and medical debt "

    I did. The first thing I came to was an 2019 article in the Washington Post that challenged a Bernie Sanders claim of 500K medical bankruptices per year in the US. It found the source to be compromised and having obvious errors, while others led to a much smaller number. An important source is often overextended credit, spending beyond means, and job loss. Often these people also have unpaid medical bills too but you can't point to those in isolation. It awarded him 3 Pinocchio's, meaning, a fair-sized fib.

    I won't defend the mess of a medical system we have, though I'll note that I found a figure that said over 90% of Americans have medical insurance. It should be higher, though some can afford it and choose to not have it. Who will pay for those who can't? Doing something more has never been politically feasible. Blame the system of government, polarization, and an ignorant and easily misled voter population. Not imaginary robber barons.

  • deegw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    EJF, you asked how public policy impacted wealth distribution. I asked you to research medical bankruptcy and debt. You referenced a 5 year old article that you didn't bother to link that apparently only referred to bankruptcy and not medical debt. And then you tried to deflect to health insurance. Surely you know that someone can have health insurance AND medical debt.

    Not playing these silly pedantic games. Enjoy the last word. Have a good night.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    The medical bankruptcy canard was spread to many by Sanders. I don't deflect and I also don't use my imagination to create scenarios. Do you? I don't know how someone with health insurance (unless just catastrophic coverage, something few have exclusively) would be underwater with medical debt. You can explain or drop it, fine with me either way. I think it's you trying to deflect and be pedantic,


    I'm replying to you as you replied to me.

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last month

    "

    " EJF - Look up medical bankruptcy and medical debt "

    I did. The first thing I came to was an 2019 article in the Washington Post that challenged a Bernie Sanders claim of 500K medical bankruptices per year in the US"

    " The medical bankruptcy canard was spread to many by Sanders. "

    Did you bother to look past the 2019 article for something more current. Did you consider it might not be just a canard? Medical debt and medical debt bankruptcies are a huge issue in the US.

    A 2021 survey showed that about 14 Million Americans had medical debt of over $1000, with 3 million people owing over $10,000. Fourteen percent of those with medical debt have declared bankruptcy or lost their home because of it, and even when there isn't a bankruptcy, there are significant health and lifestyle consequences because of the debt (delaying or forgoing health care, cutting back on food and clothing, skipping payment of other debt, like rent and mortgage).

    https://www.texastribune.org/2022/06/16/americans-medical-debt/

    https://www.kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/the-burden-of-medical-debt-in-the-united-states/

    https://www.retireguide.com/retirement-planning/risks/medical-bankruptcy-statistics/

    Medical debt deepens economic divides, and impacts primarily African Americans and women.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The medical bankruptcy canard was spread to many by Sanders

    No, it has been an article of faith in the consumer finance industry for many years, supported by scholarly research, Fair Isaacs research (the FICO score peeps) and empirical evidence in lenders' own servicing portfolios. Of course it can be hard to parse one cause of BK, and, in addition, BK laws vary by state (for example, whether or not a state allows wage garnishment) and as a result the precipitating factors for filing can also vary by state.

    In addition, I am fortunate not to know about this personally, and it is outside of my expertise, but it is my understanding that even insured people can face ruinous medical debt. For example, per CNBC, A quarter of Americans owe $10,000 or more in medical debt, even though half of them have health insurance that’s supposed to minimize excessive health-care costs, a new survey finds.

    My primary point is that this is absolutely not something Sanders dreamt up and those in the industry certainly believe this assertion has merit.

  • JoanM
    last month

    There are some broad assumptions being made here that medical insurance equates to medical care. Many care options are flat out denied and/or partially covered. The out of pocket $$$ even with insurance does not work for many ill people. I chose to purchase medications (for my elderly Mom) out of pocket via Canada because it made more sense financially. That is because we have no policies in the United States to compel the pharmaceutical industry to make generic versions for Americans just like they make for the rest of the world. The policies here allow them to sell us a name brand bottle of pills for $900 when I can buy generic via other countries for less than $100. Generic was approved here in 2019. The policies do not make them offer to us, so they don’t.


    Currently the corporations write the American Policies. Due to $$$


    Does everyone here consider Citizens United to be public policy? I do!


    A policy that screwed the American public. BIG time!

  • Jilly
    last month
    last modified: last month

    “…..but it is my understanding that even insured people can face ruinous medical debt.”

    Can confirm. Add some zeros to the numbers mentioned in my case.

  • deegw
    last month

    Medical debt and health insurance 101

    $50,000 hospital bill

    $2,500 deductible

    20% copay

    equals

    $12,500 medical debt

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Can I just say, Joan and Jilly et al, how sorry I am and how much this angers me? We are a great and wealthy nation. No family should have illness compounded by overwhelming financial duress. It may be our greatest failure in our society.

    I think most people have no idea how serious illness could impact them. For example, people think "ohh, I have a maximum out of pocket." That is only the max as it pertains to covered expenses. And we all know how contentious and time-consuming those discussions can be.

  • Jilly
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Exactly. You know how mine ended, mtn, and you’re so right — dealing with seven figures in bills afterwards just added more trauma to what was already so unbelievably traumatic.

    ❤️Thank you for your empathy, it’s in such short supply nowadays.

    I could write a book here, but won’t — there’s too much hostility in general on these boards lately. I don’t feel comfortable sharing more, even though it might help in understanding what people go through in regards to this particular topic.

  • deegw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    JoanM, you are absolutely right about Citizens United. I wish campaign finance reform was more a of hot-button issue.


  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    I wish campaign finance reform was more a of hot-button issue.


    It is a seminal issue that informs all others, but people don't have the bandwidth and prefer to discuss spectacles and nonsense, while their lives are being directly and deleteriously impacted by moneyed interests that have a seat at the table.

  • JoanM
    last month

    Unlimited dark money could be the ruin of the United States if we don’t snap out of it.


    That’s the collective We The People. Fingers crossed 💜

  • beesneeds
    last month

    I think concerts can be a mixed bag now. Ticket prices have increased for various reasons other than inflation. The cost of a show, transportation, and to an extent vanue availability have changed. Recording and distribution has for sure changed. Sometimes bands just seem to charge for the memories when a popular older one can charge hundreds to thousands for a cheap seat. But on a flip side, other bands are still chugging on through the small venue, casino and faire rounds- and those tickets are often pretty reasonable.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    FWIW, there have been a series of news reports about 'surprise' medical bills - often for exorbitant, ruinous sums of money. In case anyone wasn't aware, administration passed a law in 2022 to try and curtail them...

    https://www.npr.org/search/?query=surprise%20medical%20bills&page=1

    Controlling the cost of a number of drugs has also been addressed by the Inflation Reduction Act.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    I said before that I would not defend the mess that the US medical system is. With that in mind, I find the information and sources cited by TV and others to be biased and flawed. There's no need to continue to throw rocks about this, everyone is entitled to their own perspective on the mess. I respect those with passionate, personal views or unfortunate experiences. What's needed is a political solution to close the coverage gaps and that's unlikely to happen.

    Some of you live in states with stingy medical coverage of low-income people. There are states that refuse federal Medicaid funds or limit such programs. These very same states are often ones that score low in objective comparative health stats. If anyone cares, historically this group has been disproportionately Southern states. Making changes in these places is a place to start.

    I think some of the comments hinting at consequences of nefarious conspiracies are quite one sided. Extremists of all political colors find funding to do their dirty work, there are no angels or altruistic souls in such endeavors.

    Good luck and good health for all.

  • deegw
    last month

    EJF, do you now understand how having health insurance doesn't prevent someone from medical bankruptcy or crushing medical debt?


  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    Your comment didn't provide information I didn't already know and understand. I chose to not respond directly to avoid further conflict.

    Yes, I can do math. I don't think anyone will file for bankruptcy with a $12,000 bill to pay. Yes, it could be burdensome. Again, I won't step into the quagmire of defending the mess that exists

    but I also won't listen seriously to teary-eyed exaggerations or misinformation.

    Most medical policies have annual out of pocket maximums. If you like the Kaiser Foundation as an info source (I don't particularly, they have a known bias), here's an article. It suggests an ACA policy's maximum stop loss limit would cover half of the out of pocket costs in your example, adding together the deductible and the copay. So your example isn't accurate or illustrative for people with ACA coverage, which is often at the low end of financial protection.

    ACA max out of pocket


  • deegw
    last month

    "I can do the math". Excellent, that answers the question. Thank you.

  • chisue
    last month
    last modified: last month

    One of the major benefits of our current health coverage from DH's prior employer is a $750 cap on OOP for "Medical Expenses" (Doctors, In-Patient, Labs, etc.). Current administration's reforms have changed Prescription coverage for 2024 to limit OOP to 'only' $8000 retail for Medicare patients.

    IDK what people without Medicare pay. Thank you, fellow taxpayers, for funding my hospital infusions at $50,000 a month.

    All my prescriptions are now free, thanks to the reforms, but only after paying $5000 OOP, primarily for an old drug, researched by Uncle Sam, but patented by Bristol Myers Squibb. many years ago. Few qualify for the company's offer to fund this for some -- so few that various foundations try to assist more patients. (Why does a charity need to step in instead of the government reforming Big Pharma? Ask your Congressman, whose campaigns are funded by...oh, you know.) The company's billed cost is $28,000 for a month's supply of this oral med. A generic has come on the market recently, but the cost is nearly the same. (Regulation, anyone? This isn't 'nobody's money', it's yours and mine.)

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    deegw-

    Yes, I can do math. Apparently better than you. A formula isn't solved until the last step is done.

    In your example, you need to add together the two numbers you assumed to be the patient's cash cost - 2500+12500= 15,000. You stopped here, you're not done.


    Subtract from 15000 the patient's max out of pocket. Somewhere between $6350 and $7K under ACA as per the link I provided. Less under many other policies. Call it $7K


    $15,000- $7,000= $8000= additional insurance reimbursement.

    Patient's total out of pocket cost - $7,000.

  • gardener123
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Can I jump in regarding medical bills? A $5K vaccination bill for a 15 month old toddler because the pediatrician had just gone out of network with a particular insurance carrier. Wonder if this has something to do with the anti-vaxxer trend?

    I'm not surprised by disagreement on how to make health care more accessible and affordable. I'm shocked that some don't recognize that our health care system is egregious.

    Regarding colleges and majors, how about a Trade School with on-campus housing.

    And a D1 football team.

  • kitschykitch
    last month

    We need a lot more trade schools. Just try to get a plumber to show up or an electrician.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month

    There are efforts underway to encourage and facilitate more vocational training and trainees. Demand for electricians, plumbers, construction and engineering folks is expected to increase with more infrastructure and energy production. Those are very good paying jobs too.

    If only more of our 'leaders' would be more forward thinking about these things...

  • mxk3 z5b_MI
    last month

    Agree with a lot of things on that list. Definitely Etsy and Ebay comments, though I don't know if that's so much to do with rich people, its probably just businesses trying to make a profit, which is what they do.

    I will say, I don't even bother going to farmer's markets anymore. The ones by me are overpriced and frankly the produce I've gotten hasn't been worth the price tag outside of a few one-offs. I get better stuff at the local produce markets or grocers for much less money. Many of these places clearly delineate items that are local- or state-grown/produced, so that is a way I can support my fellow Michiganders without paying chi-chi prices at the farmer's markets.

  • bpath
    last month

    A lot of the sellers at my local farmers’ markets north of Chicago are from Michigan!

  • beesneeds
    last month

    The farmers market by me is kind of chi-chi, very touristy. It also has some good area vendors. Depends on if it's the Wed or Sat market day. I tend to the Wed market day when I go. Most of the farmers stands are pretty good, but a couple of them are very chi-chi. I'm not sure it's a rich wrecking it for the poor though. There's plenty of average or not rich tourists that come through too.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month

    Some years back, our local paper did an expose of farmers markets here, showing that the produce was mostly the same stuff at the supermarkets yet being misrepresented as locally grown, etc., etc.

  • OllieJane
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The best and cheapest home grown (locally) are driving in small towns around here-you always find them on the side of the road selling their produce. I always buy too much-but always share.

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last month
    last modified: last month

    In my opinion, there are 2 kinds of "farmers markets" - farm stalls, which are no frills places with local produce and possibly local baked goods, and usually at a farm property, and farmer's markets, which are municipal area markets (of big cities or little towns) that gather a lot of local sellers together and deal in fresh and prepared products, not necessarily locally made, and sometimes other niche items like art or handmade clothing. To me, they each have their place.

    I live in a rural area about 20 minutes from a small city of 25,000......During the summer, I go to a great farm stall for a lot of my produce (the stuff that's grown locally), but I still buy produce in supermarkets because I also eat produce that's grown elsewhere. I also occasionally go to the city's farmer's market, where I get jars of soup and loaves of bread from small businesses in the area, and sometimes other stuff from local small businesses who aren't big enough for a store (herbs, ice cream); it's nice to support small local businesses. I think of it not really as a market for goods from farmers, but as a market for small local businesses, even if what they're selling isn't just locally made. If someone in the market is selling oranges (obviously not locally grown), I don't mind -- it's not as if they're pretending it's local, they're just offering it because there are customers who want to get things in one spot.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Here's the series from the Tampa Bay Times - not sure how much has changed in the last 8 years:

    https://projects.tampabay.com/projects/2016/food/farm-to-fable/

    This is about my area, but lots of people shop @ farmers markets because they believe they're supporting local growers, and are OK with paying premium prices because of it. I think it's important for consumers to have full information and not be misled by lies.

    Should we tolerate deceptive business practices?

  • Kswl
    last month

    Toronto vet, that is what we have in our area. We moved from the country to the next county a little outside the county seat of about 22,000 people. Our “farmers’market” situation is exactly as you describe. Here in our 55+ age restricted community we have a small farmer’s ,arket every Saturday morning featuring only local farmers, bakers and makers. I know they charge us higher prices than at their own farm stalls or on the courthouse grounds of a Saturday, but that’s fine with me— it’s convenient and they have to travel a bit to get here, I believe selling in our market has expanded their business, not ”ruined it” for poor people.

  • Jilly
    last month

    Carol, I have heard of that happening.

    Ours is in a smallish town and I recognize the farms and growers on the labels.

    One year a crop of something didn’t do well locally (late hard freeze) and our market bought from another source. They had it all clearly labeled so customers would see.

    I trust ours 100%, but understand some are not so honest. Ours could never get away with doing that, as the family who owns it is very well-known and well-regarded, as are the farmers and growers.

  • Feathers11
    last month

    In high school, my kids worked for a local bakery and did the rounds of farmers markets in the Chicagoland area. (Bpath, they did the Winnetka, Wilmette, Glencoe circuit a few summers. You may have met them!) They always brought home interesting jellies, a random bag of fruit, etc., that they would "trade" with the other vendors at the end of the day.

    My own city has a wonderful farmers market that sort of "centers" our town. In winter, it's located in an old historic building, and it's largely just baked goods and meats from local farms. In warmer months, it's held outdoors in our city's main gathering area. I know local farmers who sell there, and I buy their items. Most vendors are local, although some do drive over from neighboring states. I only buy produce that would otherwise be in season (apples in June are probably from Costco).

    On a related note, one of my kids' friends from high school suffered a series of concussions, and did not entertain going to college because of the effects. Instead, he moved to Arkansas, bought some land, and now runs a vegetable farm. He sells to local restaurants and farmers markets. I follow him on Instagram, and his produce is amazing. He's one of the most industrious, hard-working people I know. I always smile when a picture of his dirty hand holding a freshly picked beet, or a panorama of his stand early morning before the market opens, shows up in my feed.


  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    I believe the so-called farmers markets in my area require the sellers to offer only what they have produced - products purchased from other sources are not permitted. I think the term "certified farmers market" is used and the prereq is strictly enforced.

    Roadside produce stands along the Central Coast are almost exclusively buy wholesale-sell retail operations if they offer more than a few things. Some of the produce may be local but the seller is a retailer unrelated to the producers. I can think of several in the Monterey Bay area that fit this description.

    Local producers are often large scale operations but the smaller ones just as often have fixed farm store facilities located at their farms/orchards. It's less work and trouble than carting food from one farmers market to another.

  • Olychick
    last month

    We have an amazing farmer’s market. Vendors are restricted to local produce with the exception of two larger stands that can bring in things grown in other parts of the state. Eastern Washington has a very different climate than ours, so they grow things that can’t be grown as well locally. Asparagus, artichokes, melons, sweet cherries (WA produces the most in the USA), many varieties of apples and pears. There are a few craft vendors, but the market is very selective for high quality so there isn’t junk.

    Thursdays, the vendors give a senior discount and all vendors take food stamps/EBT. The two large fruit stands give free apples to kids. I am unsure how prices compare because I don’t (luckily) have to pay attention and am willing to try to support our local farmers.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    " If only more of our 'leaders' would be more forward thinking about these things... "

    I agree about the need for more vocational training opportunities. I don't think available programs and schools, and there are many, are at capacity as is. One problem is that the interest in and decision to enter vocational training requires more than short-range thinking. And a degree of maturity that many recent high school grads or dropouts lack. It should be a no-brainer - many are not cut out or interested in academic advancement, vocational training leads to satisfying and well-paying jobs with lifelong career opportunities.

    Nothing happens until the interested person walks in a door, dials a phone number or connects on a website. Point the finger at parenting failures, not political or public ones.

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