Daily Archives: October 28, 2017

Finance Matters Prompt 1

I am a typical young adult, and like many other young adults these days I have college debts, bills to pay, and a job. I have always considered myself as okay with finances, but I have never considered myself a knowledgeable source. After reading the articles I have realized that I actually know very little about finances and I feel that there are some matters that are important to share with consumers. For example, consumers should know that for student debts it is better to pay off your bigger loans before your smaller loans and that it is better to pay on your loans while you are in school if possible. Student debt can be crippling, especially if you are not keeping track of your loans. It is important for consumers to keep track how much they owe, make payments early (if possible), and to know the grace period once out of school. Consumers should know if they are facing a difficult situation where they cannot make payments or cannot find a job that they can often contact lenders and place a deferment or forbearance to pause payments for a short while. This can help give the consumer time to sort out this situation, though they should know that interest will still be added to the loan amount during that time.

Also consumers should know that if they are seeking employment then they should be look closely before accepting contract work. Companies are dubbing employees as contact workers when they technically qualify as full-time employees. By labeling their employees as temporary or contract workers the companies are saving revenue while depriving employees of workers compensation, medical leave, unemployment insurance, and other benefits. Misclassification of employment is an illegal practice that is unfortunately common and is slow to fix. This will take effort from both consumers and policy makers alike. Consumers should look into the job before they accept it, and report the company if they believe the job to be misclassified. Policy makers should crack down harder on companies who participate in this illegal practice so that employees are not cheated out of their legal rights. With combined efforts of both consumers and policy makers in these matters, there can be change.

 

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Finance Promt 1

The site playspent.org is a really good tool for explaining why it is so hard to maintain and save money working poor. I wish I had known about this resource when I was trying to explain to my mother why minimum wage works are not able to properly care for themselves finically. It is my firm belief that if you contribute to a society, in any job, you should be able to afford to live in that society and meet your basic needs.

The distribution of wealth in America is grossly skewed with the top 1% owning 40% of the nation’s wealth (Politizane, 2012).  An enlightening YouTube video looking at wealth inequality in America can be found here. Especially when the 2018 budget cuts huge amounts of funding from Medicare and Medicaid.

Higher education serves as another barrier to the poor. Degree earners typically have higher paying jobs but pursuing a degree is expensive in the US. Everyone should have access to higher education if that is their desire. Education should not be limited to the wealthy. The cost of tuition varies based on state residency; the average in-state resident tuition at a public university public is $9,650 and out-of-state students pay an average of $24,930 a year (College Data, 2017.)

As it stands now, one of the only ways for students to finance college is to take out student’s loans. The Obama administration created protections for students taking student loans, as well as increasing the Pell grant. We saw from our reading that in 2013, $28,400 was the average graduates owed banks from student loans. Having an amount like this hanging over your head, simply for getting an education is unacceptable.

I believe that policymakers should consider better funding at all education levels and the possibility of cheaper or free tuition for public universities. I know some schools in states like New York have granted free education for students with family incomes less than 100,000. There are rigid requirements around this funding, but I think it could be a step in the right direction to provide equal access to education.

As consumers, we should push for better education programs from elementary to high school and affordable or free options for higher education. The American education system is in a sad place right now. We should be investing in education rather than crippling people with debt.

Works Cited 

College Data. (2017). What’s the Price Tag for a College Education? Retrieved from https://www.collegedata.com/cs/content/content_payarticle_tmpl.jhtml?articleId=10064

Politizan. (2012). Wealth Inequality in American [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM