Thursday, March 4, 2010

Question of the Day

What exactly is a "rich family"? Callie's got a neat discussion going in her comments, and I sure hope she doesn't flog me or fine me for linking back here.

They're talking about 15% fines on parents for delinquent children. So I just wanna know..

What do you consider a "rich family"? What's the annual take-home income that you think should be fined that much?

I'll let the flames fly for probably a day or two before I chime in. Don't be bashful! Comment away...

Note - I am not touching the "how to raise kids" or "how to discipline bad kids" with an 80ft pole. I'm not a mom of any two-legged kids, so I can't begin to guess what the right approach is to raise 'em "better" (whatever that means).


Mrs Mom said...

Is the family smart enough to live at or below their means? Or are they making poor financial decisions and living off credit, above their means?

Oh wait--- if their children are in that much trouble that parental fines are in order, chances are that they are not living financially intelligently (or otherwise) at all...

Know what? What it all boils down to is MORE GOVERNMENT. Is that what people REALLY want? Big Brother nosing in to take even more control of our lives? Because we as a nation are too stupid to control our lives? (Well.. ok so some segments have proven they ARE...)

I'm starting to think the quote- "A person is smart, but people are stupid" makes more sense every single day.....

Jennifer said...

Okay... :) You're smart!

Let me rephrase, then.

What is an annual income of one person (married, kids, or not, is irrelevant) that you consider to be "rich"?
(Whether they're fined, or not, or taxed, or not, irrelevant.)

Mrs Mom said...

I guess I was asking because:
- if one has no credit card bills, no "lifestyle" payments, and substantial money in savings, they can be seen as "rich"

- if one has a bigger income than above, BUT-- no money to live on at the end of the month because of very poor financial decisions, can we still consider them rich?

I know I know.. not what you were looking for at all really. But-- you know me. You know I look at things from a very sideways perspective most of the time ;)

It just seems like you can't simply lay out a dollar amount and say "Those people are rich". For example, Dear Husband and I make less than his brother, BUT-- we usually have a few dollars left over at the end of the month, and a very small debt load. His brother? No money at the end of the month and a HUGE debt load. Sister is even WORSE. So who is rich there?

Not trying to be a pain in your rump though.... it just seems way too complicated an issue to be simple- which is why you posed the question in the first place right? ;)

Jennifer said...

I don't think the debt anybody carries is considered when issuing taxes. Your take home pay is your take home pay. What happens to it doesn't really come into play.

When the debate of "taxing the rich", and "penalizing the rich" becomes a political discussion, nobody ever adds a restriction for "having a mortgage" or "making school loan payments". It's a set income value in the tax code..

Yankecwgrl said...

I agree with Jen on this. Just because you live ABOVE your means, (and not pointing fingers at who, I'm talking in general) doesn't mean that you fall into a different class in society monetarily.

If you make 50k a year, and have 1/2 of that left over....
or if you make 100k a year and are still in debt at the end of the year....
that's your choice how you spend that money!
I'd say the person who makes 50K is middle class and the person who makes 100k is upper class.
Just because the person making that 100k can't manage money like the person making 50k doesn't change the fact that he/she COULD have some substantial savings set aside if he/she could manage money better.

I also feel that just because you are RICH or POOR doesn't affect how you can raise your children. I have friends who are 'middle class' who do a darn good job, and who don't. I have friends who are closer to being in the 'upper class' who do a terrible job with their kids, and those who do a great job.
I don't think financial status is the determining factor...I feel it's a personal choice to PARENT or NOT PARENT and blame everyone else for your lack of PARENTING.

Yes, there needs to be some 'penalty' of sorts for those that have children and choose not to parent properly for whatever reason. BUT, maybe instead of a PENALTY for having them and not taking care of them....what about an INCENTIVE to not have them....or....god for bid...some type of 'test' before you can have them?
We have to pass tests to DRIVE (and from previous blog at Mrs. MOM we know how dangerous they are) we have to pass MANY tests to graduate HIGHSCHOOL, and then to GRADUATE COLLEGE....the list of tests goes on.....
Why don't we have to 'prove' we are fit to raise a child? You wouldn't want an unapproved person TEACHING YOUR CHILD IN SCHOOL, would YOU??

Can't wait to see the comments on this comment!!

The People History said...

Oh Jennifer how does anyone quantify rich , hard question and difficult to answer , as others have said mortgages, credit card debt, private education, healthcare costs etc. etc. defines how well off in the piggy bank .

My mum used to define it ( she is in her 80's now ) if you spend 1 penny more than you earned then you are a poor man , if you spend 1 penny less than you earned you are a rich man. mind you that was in the days no credit cards etc etc so how we would work it out today I do not have a clue.

As for the fine , I just do not know how else to make parents responsible for their children's behavior except to hit it where it hurts in the wallet,

How bout this for a different idea all parents must take out some form of insurance for damage / crimes their children commit , so those parents who do not have a history of little thugs roaming the streets would pay low premiums '

I must be honest I do not know the answer to what is rich ? or what to do about parental responsibility but makes interesting discussion


Callie said...

Ok, Now this is going to be weird, but bare with me. The other day, I actually watched Judge Judy. We're going to use this as an example. An obviously well to do couple were suing a 19yr college student for thousands for the cost of a first class airfare to Rome and inconvenience. This student advertised herself as a "babysitter". They hired her on the cheap as a "nanny". BIG difference. Flew to Rome for a 3-week vacation. She was to watch their one 2yr old child. They did not like the job she was doing and fired her. She partially exchanged the 1st class airfare for a coach airfare home and gave them back the difference. Point being that the Mother of this child, did a "wah, wah, my vacation was ruined because I had to watch my own 2yr old." Seriously she actually said that. Needless to say they did not win. IMO.......... FINE! when he grows up to be a deliquent and robs someone for the attention he didn't get from his parents. And I'm sure 15% would hit them where it hurts, but of course they'll hire a top notch attorney to get out of it, either way, it costs them.

Jennifer said...

You gals are all amazingly funny. Seriously!

So far, only one person has truly answered my question, and put a value on it. When we bark about "taxing the rich", nobody ever wants to put a dollar sign on it.

Mrs Mom said...

Don't call Steve a gal. He's not- I promise. I've heard him on the phone. (Most awesome accent BTW.)

I won't put a dollar amount on it, because I'm not going to say that person who makes 100k a year is rich. I might say they are STUPID about how they spend, and I'll say they SHOULD be rich... but if they are living above their means, and have more month than money when the end rolls around, how can you expect to get any fine payment out of them? But that couple that makes >$25k a year and has money left over at the end of the month, and PAY their bills, with a savings, can you say THEY are rich?

Too complicated for my worn out brain. Think I'll stick to horses and pissing people off with gun talk. ;)