8 Financial Realities That Are Making Americans’ Lives Terrible | The Financial Diet


Hey, guys. It’s Chelsea from
The Financial Diet. And this week, I wanted to talk
to you guys about something that’s a little bit
serious but which I think is a very long overdue
conversation on this channel. And that is the
systematic realities that we all live
with in America that are making our lives
harder than they need to be and making a lot of
these financial goals harder to achieve. I believe that you
should do everything in your power to make your
financial life as good as it can be because money
impacts absolutely everything about our lives. And money is ultimately freedom. So, for example, if you are
drowning in student debt, I believe you should
do what you can in your power to manage that
and work it down so that you can live a better life. But I also believe that
it is fundamentally unfair that so many of you are
drowning in student debt to begin with in such
a wealthy country. I wanted to take a
step back this week from all of the practical
advice and personal motivations and talk about the bigger
systems in which we live. So apologies to my non-American
viewers, but this one is really talking to
my fellow Americans. So let’s get right into it with
eight financial realities that are making Americans’
lives terrible. Number one is that
most Americans aren’t doing very well. We hear all the time about how
wealthy a country America is. And by a lot of standards,
it is a very wealthy country. But the average
American compared to other developed countries
is not doing very well. And those super wealthy
people we have an abundance of tend to skew many
of the statistics that we look at to see
how Americans are doing. In fact, the Federal
Reserve Board has estimated that
40% of Americans don’t have enough money
in their bank accounts to cover an emergency
expense of $400. And beyond that, 78%
of full-time workers said they live
paycheck to paycheck, which is up from 75%
percent last year, according to a recent report
from Career Builder. And overall, 71% of US workers
said they are now in debt, up from 68% a year ago. So when we understand
that a lot of the averages we often look at,
like average income, average tax breaks,
average net worth, are very skewed by people at
the top of these brackets, the reality of most Americans’
lives come into focus. We hear about things like record
low unemployment or the stock market is up, and
we have a tendency to think things are going really
well without understanding that that only paints a
small part of the picture and don’t include things
like the stagnating income and purchasing power
of the middle class as well as things
like increasing debt to income ratio, which
tell a lot more of the story. In fact, only 28%
of Americans are considered financially healthy. And the point is when
we think of America as this country
that’s just doing super well across all
economic indicators, it can make us feel
like we are failing if we’re one of the
many people in America who are struggling to get by. But the truth is if you are
living paycheck to paycheck, drowning in debt, struggling to
make ends meet, that makes you a normal American,
not the exception. And this refusal to be honest
about where we are as a country only compounds that
feeling of guilt and shame. But perhaps no
misconception impacts us more on a psychological
level than number two, which is that we’re not really
the land of opportunity. So there is a very
pervasive myth that we are a country
with exceptionally high social mobility. And while there will always
be some truth to that and it’s definitely
something that used to be much, much
truer than it is now, it’s also a myth that is
pretty untrue compared to a lot of other developed
countries and leads to a lot of Americans feeling
personally responsible for not making it. And, in fact, when
surveyed, we actually think we live in a much more
socially mobile country than we actually do. An American born to a household
in the bottom 20% of earnings, for instance, only
has a 7.8% chance of reaching the top
20% when they grow up. But Americans surveyed
thought the probability was close to 12%. And while there is
some nuance to it, there is also a lot of truth
to this widely held notion that millennials are
amongst the first generation to not do better than
their parents in America. And that is pretty
accurate when you look at things like our
level of employment, our debt to income ratio, our
purchasing power, et cetera. But even across generations,
one of the biggest reasons for our lower social
mobility in this country is the fact that when someone
is born or becomes poor, we make it exceptionally
difficult for them to get out of that dynamic. When you are poor, basically,
everything costs more. And we have set up
incredibly predatory systems that essentially exploit
the poor for not having enough money to pay
for basic things. One example of that is with
our criminal justice fees. No government agency
comprehensively tracks the extent
of criminal justice debt owed by poor defendants. But experts estimate that
those fines and fees total tens of billions of dollars. And that number is only
likely to grow in coming years with 48 states increasing
their civil and criminal court fees from 2010 to 2014. And because wealthy and middle
class Americans can typically afford either the initial fee
or the services of an attorney, it will be the poor who shoulder
the bulk of that burden. And, in fact, even just
storing one’s money can be incredibly
difficult for the poor. Low-income individuals
are much more likely to be hit by bank fees,
such as monthly maintenance fees if their checking
account falls below a required minimum balance as high as
$1,500 at leading banks, such as bank of America
and Wells Fargo. And for the more than
10 million US households who lack a bank
account, check cashers charge fees as high as 5%,
which may not sound like much. But consider that a low-income
worker who takes home around $1,500 per month
would pay $75 just to cash her paychecks. And in the cost of
money orders, which she’ll need to pay her rent,
we’re talking about $1,000 per year just for basic
financial services. And even when it comes to buying
basic household necessities and groceries, not being able
to afford buying items in bulk means that you’re often paying
a much higher price per unit on these items. Combine that with things
like predatory car loans and mortgages, which effectively
target the poor with deals they know that these
people will not be able to keep good on, and
escaping the cycle of poverty in America is like playing the
world’s hardest video game. Number three, the wedding
industrial complex is bad for marriage. It’s no secret that in America,
the wedding industrial complex has exploded over
the past few decades and is only getting
bigger and bigger with the rise of social media. But this massive
wedding spending is not doing our
marriages any favors. In fact, according to
a 2014 study from SSRN, couples who spend more
than $20,000 on a wedding are 46% more likely to
get divorced than couples who spend less than $1,000. Of course, this does not
mean that every big wedding or fancy wedding ring is
going to lead to divorce. And similarly,
assuaging those things does not mean you are
guaranteed a happy marriage. The pressures and costs of
the wedding industrial complex is by no means something that
is going to help our marriage start on the right foot. In fact, it’s
quite the opposite. And this enormous
social pressure we create on each other is
only hurting each other. But speaking of
people who can afford to throw enormous
fancy weddings, let’s talk about number
four, rich people do not play by the same rules. It is probably no surprise
that the wealthiest people in America have
devised endless ways to not play by the same rules
or pay their fair share in taxes in this country. And, in fact, Erin at
the Three Minute Guide did a whole video about some
of the more creative ways they get around the system. And I’ll link you guys in the
description to her great video on the subject. It may surprise you the
extent to which they have tilted the entire
system, even the legal stuff, in their favor, particularly
over the last 40 years. You may have been hearing a
lot over the past few weeks about freshman Congresswoman
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ proposal to instate
a marginal tax rate of 70% over $10 million. And it’s so important to
remember here that what that means is that yearly
income over $10 million will be taxed at that
70%, not that anyone earning over $10 million a year
will be entirely taxed at 70%. But even knowing
that, a lot of people are freaking out
about this, insisting that it’s a super unfair
proposal that is just punishing super rich people. But here’s the thing. Our top tax rates used to
be even higher than that. During Eisenhower’s
presidency, it was over 90%. But lobbyists, advocates, and
spokespeople for the super rich have done a fantastic
job convincing Americans that it’s totally normal for
them to be paying as low taxes as they do now. But we have to
remember that it’s not just abnormal for rich people
to be paying as low taxes as they do compared to
other developed countries. It’s also abnormal compared
to how America used to be. The top tax rate in
2015 was 39.6% applied to single people
making $413,200 or more per year or married
couples filing jointly making $464,850
or more annually. But if we went back
to 1954, single people making the equivalent
of $413,200 would be in a 72% tax
bracket, while a couple making the equivalent of $464,850 would
end up in a 75% tax bracket. Basically, we have let our
rich people in this country get away with paying much, much
less than they should compared to other wealthy countries
and much, much less than they used to. And even on top of those
incredibly low tax brackets, they still find every
loophole and bullshit way to avoid paying taxes. The reality is that those
super wealthy should be paying way more than they do. And not acknowledging
that reality is making all of
our lives way worse. Number five is that Americans
are paying way more for way worse health care. A lot of people
argue in this country that a privatized health care
system is a better system. But the truth is that Americans
are spending on average twice than other developed
countries on health care, and we’re dying earlier. According to a study from the
Journal of the American Medical Association, in 2016, the
US spent 17.8% of its GDP on health care. Other countries’ spending
ranged from a low of 9.6% of GDP in Australia to a high of
12.4% of GDP in Switzerland. At the same time, the US spent
an average of $1,443 per person on drugs compared to an average
of $749 per person across all of the countries in the study. And life expectancy
in the US was found to be the lowest
at 78.8 years compared to other countries, which
ranged from 80.7 to 83.9. We also have the highest
infant mortality rates with 5.8 fatalities out of
every 1,000 live births. For other countries, the
average infant mortality rate was 3.6 fatalities for
every 1,000 live births. And it should be said that a
huge part of the costliness and ineffectiveness of the
medical system in America comes from enormous
administrative costs. They total about 8% of
our health care spending here in America compared
to a range of 1% to 3% of spending costs
in other countries. And this drives up everything. Everything from
routine procedures to lifesaving operations
to day-to-day medications cost way more on
average for Americans. And these realities are often
obscured by our perception that because we have a
relatively market-based system compared to other countries
where providers can compete for health care resources that
we must be getting a better product. Basically, the only
people who are benefiting from our current
system are people like the insurance providers
and pharmaceutical companies. Whether we want to
admit it or not, we are paying way more for
way less effective system and leaving tens of
millions of Americans to fall through the cracks. And this reality is
making our lives terrible. And it doesn’t need to. Number six, on a
similar note, is that there is no reason
college has to be so expensive. One of the things
that really needs to be understood
by all Americans is that our cripplingly
expensive higher education system, leaving the average
bachelor’s degree holder with about $38,000
worth of student debt, is almost totally unique. It does not have to be
this way, especially in such a wealthy country. And it isn’t this way
almost anywhere else. In fact, according to the 2018
Education at a Glance report, America spends more
on higher education than almost literally any
other country in the world. We spend on average $30,000
per year per student on higher education, which
is nearly twice as much as the average
developed country. The increased cost of
college has actually driven down the
value of a degree over the course of a
lifetime because we now have to work so hard to dig
ourselves out of the debt that we got into to get the
degree just to break even. But why is American
college so expensive? Well it didn’t used
to be this way. In fact, public college
tuition has risen about 213% since the late 1980s. And it’s continuing to increase
nearly every year, faster than the pace of inflation. And perhaps even more
sadly, this increasing cost has almost universally
not gone to faculty. In fact, in that
same time period, the average income, benefits,
and job security of faculty members has gone down. The influx of this new cash
has almost universally gone to administration where senior
and middle management as well as consultants have exploded
over the past few decades. One study found that the
California State University system had 11,614 full-time
faculty in 1973 and 12,019 in 2008. During that same time
period, administrators grew from 3,000 to
12,183, ending up with more administrators
than faculty. And this is leading
to serious excess in how that tuition
money is being spent. For one example, Colgate
University spent $162 million in 2013. And there’s a lot of strange
fluff in the expense column, including $11.8 million paid to
outside consultants, $8 million in travel expenses, and $4.2
million to top officials, as well as $25 million in
undisclosed other expenses. The point is we have
created a system in which we pay increasingly more money
to an increasingly less valuable degree, which
pays for increasingly useless administration
and other expenses. Number seven is most
millennials don’t have basic financial literacy. Now, among all of the
financial realities that are making our lives
terrible, one of the biggest is that we often don’t have
the basic tools to understand the situation we’re in. And in a Millennial
Financial Literacy Study from the National Endowment for
Financial Education, only 24% of respondents showed
basic financial literacy. And financial literacy isn’t
just our ability to make good, informed decisions
in our own lives. It’s also our ability to
understand the world around us. And this lack of
understanding covers up some stats that
otherwise are kind of promising, like the fact
that 88% millennials are banked, which means they have
a basic banking setup. It’s important to remember
that financial literacy means that it’s difficult
for many of us to escape these
systematic problems, often because we don’t
fully understand them. It’s partially what
leads so many of us to be in debt with 53%
of millennials reporting that they are too much in debt. 2/3 of us have at least one
source of long-term debt, and 30% have two or more. And more than a third
have unpaid medical bills. And when it comes to long-term
preparation for emergencies, millennials are extremely
underprepared with about half of us saying that if a
$2,000 emergency came up over the next 30 days, we
would almost certainly not be able to find the
money and nearly 30% of us having over-withdrawn
from our bank accounts in the past 12 months. Millennials are more educated
than other generations. But unfortunately,
that education often doesn’t extend
to financial education. And when you combine that
with the levels of debt and underemployment
that many of us are entering into
systematically after college, it sets us up for decades of
not being able to advocate for ourselves or even
make informed choices. Number eight, the stock
market isn’t the real economy. One of the things
that we hear so often to boost our morale about
how things are going and convince us
everything is great is when we hear the
stock market is up. We think that that
is universally the sign of a good economy. But that’s not really true. The stock market can
be on a huge upswing, and it can still mean
basically nothing for the average American. Here’s a good explainer. In February of 2018, the
US Department of Labor released a strong
jobs report showing wages rising at their fastest
rate since the Great Recession. Then the stock market
promptly began to plummet. The Dow Jones fell an
amusingly on the nose 666 points, its worst day since
the UK’s Brexit surprised. Traders seem to be worried
that if wages rise too fast, it will cause the Federal
Reserve to hike interest rates in order to head off
inflation down the road. When, earlier this
year, the central bank suggested that it would raise
rates, much of the market was skeptical, in part because
inflation has been so subdued for so long. But faster pay gains
for workers make it more likely the Fed
will follow through, both because rising wages are a
sign that the whole economy is heating up and because
employers will eventually have to raise prices to keep
up with the cost of labor. And to even further
clarify this, I thought I would
include this chart, which compares real wages
over the last 100 years with the S&P 500, an
American stock market index. You’ll see that wages
have remained fairly stagnant over the
last several decades despite huge spikes and
drops in the stock market. And a growing wealth gap is
largely tied with the fact that the stock market
is not a good reference point for a country’s
overall financial health. What is good for workers
is often the opposite of what is good for investors. It’s important to remember
that a system whose definition of success is constantly
expanding profits and endless growth
is almost inherently at odds with the interests
of the average people making up that system. And it’s also
important to remember that another dollar going
to a lower or middle income person in America is a much more
valuable dollar for the whole because that person is much
more likely to go out and spend that dollar. It’s very easy to trip
ourselves up by seeing, oh, the stock market’s
up on television and feeling like that means
everything’s going well. But for the average
American, that can often mean things are doing
just the opposite. And most of the time,
it means nothing for the average American. Whether we want to
accept it or not, these are all
financial realities we live with, whether it’s
how we choose to make big life decisions, the way
we get an education, or the way our financial system
is set up from the baseline. And even if we choose to ignore
them or not learn about them, it doesn’t mean they are
impacting our lives any less. I encourage us all to advocate
for a system in which we are not constantly forced to
make such difficult choices and to just scrape by. We are a very
wealthy country who could afford to be doing so much
more for all of our citizens. And even though I have worked
in my life to pay off debt and I don’t regret
doing it, I hope that the person
who comes after me doesn’t have to be in that
debt in the first place. As always, guys, thank
you for watching. And don’t forget to hit
the Subscribe button and to come back every
Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for new and awesome videos. Bye.

100 Comments

  1. I think I can make it on 61% of $464,00/year.

  2. Cost of living goes up every day, wages are staying the same and people are borrowing on credit and can't pay. Just saved you 19:30 minutes of video

  3. Part of the problem is that too many Americans don't have the mindset of people who lived through the Great Depression. My parents did, and at times, they were cheap. They didn't have a touch-tone phone until 1983, and they didn't have FM radio in a car until 1987.

    My father made me open an IRA, when I was in college.

    My wife has contributed thr max. amount to her 401(k) since age 22. Frankly, there were times in her early 20s, when she didn't eat well, because there was not much after rent, student loan payment, gas for the car, auto insurance, car loan, and 401(k) contribution.

    What causes me to scratch my head are people who I know live paycheck to paycheck. Yet, they own larger houses, drive more expensive cars, and have better electronics. When I get a new cell phone, it's one or two generations behind the latest phone, and my desktop computer is 9 years old.

  4. America is a continent 😀

  5. Go Donald Trump for next president 2020.

  6. The bottom 20% want for nothing (but respect for others). Free: Food, rent, medical, college, and bunches of add ons.
    The third quintile gets squeezed hard. The fourth, strangled.
    The White blue collar worker is a modern slave. [Queue Star Spangled Banner.]

  7. 1. Nobody is starving except in cases of negligence and the most likely way for you to die is that food is so plentiful that you eat yourself to death and the complications arising therefrom. That makes us better off than 99.9% of humanity in its history. The only reason we think we aren't doing well is that we are so privileged that we seek out things to nitpick.

    2. Everyone is free to start a business and improve their lives with free job training programs in every state. Nobody is guaranteed success, only the freedom to seek it out. Because unless you have a star trek replicator lying about, then resources are limited and protection of private property is the proven best way to deal with the reality of scarcity, the knowledge problem of planned economies, and the laws of supply and demand.

    3. Marriage at all is deserving of hours and hours of video. But this might be by design as there are a lot of people who subscribe to differing ideologies that work under the doctrine of self imposed population reduction for numerous justifications such as climate change and overpopulation. After all, why would they make the cost of actually having a baby 10k and an abortion 3k. Combined with the fact that people who grew up under a bad family life develop a tendency to think they shouldn't procreate.

    4. Corporate subsidies are the worst offender of the rich getting things for free. But it is also unfair to engage in the practice of punitive taxation from a moral perspective. All taxation is theft though, so if it has to exist then a rigorous balance of the evil of taxation against the supposed good you are buying with the funds must be measured.

    5. Healthcare costs come from: over litigation and medical lawsuit culture, patent laws that favor protection for new services over mass proliferation of common, low cost off brands, very high barrier to entry for competition in the marketplace, ridiculous levels of regulation that require a specialized degrees in order to process the paperwork for even a routine checkup, requirements to service customers who can't pay and so the costs have to be paid by paying customers so that the business can continue to exist and pay the bills. All of which will still exist even if you did nationalize healthcare and run headfirst into the knowledge problem of planned economies.

    6. College prices are the result of the influx of guaranteed govt loans and a culture of demanding college degrees in useless fields that will not give you a return on investment. Unless you are going for STEM, healthcare, engineering, CS, or some other high paying field that requires a degree and has high demand for new people, then go to a trade school to get a certification and don't waste your money on liberal arts that you can learn on your own for the cost of an internet connection.

    7. Junior Achievement is one example of a program to try and fix this. Your channel is another. We spend 12 years for an entire work shift 5 days a week in school. All that is needed is a reorganization and standardization of curriculum via online based curriculum taught by the best teachers instead of relying on millions of C students that became teachers for the govt pension in locations where the people who need education to lift themselves up can't keep good teachers due to crime.

    8. See the book "Democracy: the god that failed" for a good explanation of time preference and incentives. Just ignore the anarchism crud.

  8. Let’s France the shit outta this government. Americans dont rise up against an unfair economy enough. I think you hit the nail on the head with acknowledging that only a few know what is going on and since the news is so bad, “they” will never tell us the truth. It can be as bad as hiding that the dollar will be plummeting to the bottom by 2020. Boom!!! New recession. This time with a student loan added to the housing crisis.

  9. I live in Serbia.
    26 year old.
    Not payed at all for university.
    Have good pay job for country and one travel per year.
    No debt.
    One 7 year old car.

    I think I am far better off than average American.

  10. Thank goodness The Messiah is returning SOON! We do not have to worry anymore 🙂 Revelation 21 KJV

  11. 8 years of Obama sure didn’t help,worst president ever!!!!!

  12. Rich people hoard money. Poor people spend money

  13. No one is drowning in student debt that didn't make jack assed decisions that led to the accumulation of that debt. Did you do your due diligence ahead of time to find out what the chances are of being gainfully employed in your field, enough so that the debt load would actually be manageable? Did you go to college to avoid having to grow up, or did you go to hone your skills in order to have a sustainable career when you got out? Did you do any market analysis to find out if there was actually a market demand for your degree, or did you pick it because it sounded easy and sounded cool?

  14. Damn right words, lady.

  15. Cranzy

  16. The dollar in your eyes is paralyzing you American. Make start-ups and ventures in Europe. Your products are simply not available on our markets. Make products to rebond with American style like in the 70ies and the 80ies. We like your style but you aren't here.

  17. Try living in 80% of the world's countries.no hope.snd stagnation

  18. Rich people work hard for their money, why give away 75% to fund free bee seekers.

  19. Someone is forcing you to eat crap and sit around playing video games?

  20. Kinda unrelated. But seriously, kudos to the writer(s) of the content in the Chelsea videos of tfd. So eloquent, succinct and accurate. 10/10 even when the topic doesn't apply to me, I still watch it.

  21. GREAT video!! You made some really good points. I remember being in the poverty trap. I think what saved me was having the presence of mind to opt for low student loan debt, never buying a car, and never having children. Also I went back to school for my Bachelors, was able to find a job in my field of study, and now make much more money than I need (still haven't bought my first car, though).
    I NEVER understood the idea of a big/fancy wedding. Why pay thousands to essentially throw your friends a party??!!
    Interesting Politifacts…sigh.
    In regards to medical costs, I firmly believe people should take their healthcare seriously. A lot of what people suffer from is preventable.

  22. Though I think these are all concepts that need to be seriously discussed and solved, I don't like seeing bad info listed and used as evidence. $413k in 1954 would equate to $3,923,469 today, so yeah, so changing their tax bracket so someone with that income takes home approx $1,000,000 seems more reasonable. In contrast, the video made it seem like a married couple making $423,000 today should only take home $100,000 and a single person can take home more than the couple just bc they aren't married…it just hits me wrong

  23. ''Pay fair share means we pay a fixed percentages for everyone.

  24. "But lobbyists, advocates and spokespeople for the rich…" Just say "Republicans" next time.

  25. I feel like another reason college is so expensive is because colleges are literally pitted against each other to look the most impressive looking in order to attract future students (hello capitalism). They try so hard to outspend each other by providing rows of $3,000 Macs in the lobby and fancy recreational centers, yet the students are the ones paying and suffering from these excessive costs.

  26. I generally enjoy these videos & find valuable information in all of them, but this was over the top. A true free market system – unlike our crony capitalist system now – is how we became as prosperous as we did at one time.

    I was a chem major going pre-med 25 years ago. I saw where healthcare was going then, saw it would be a train wreck, & changed majors to accounting. I’ve been in biz ops ever since & love it.

    I disagree with your assessment that government & higher taxes – especially on the “super-rich” – is the answer, though I absolutely agree with much of what drives up the cost of living (FDA, Big Pharma, prison industrial complex, etc).

    The government has subsidized many areas it shouldn’t have, causing prices to rise (housing & college, for example). Public school tells everyone they need to go to college (they don’t – God bless Mike Rowe for his shows shedding a light on the blue-collar jobs sorely needed in our communities).

    We agree on many of the problems, just not the solutions. I appreciate your videos, but I disagree with much of the solutions offered here.

  27. Wow, I have to say although I am totally in for taxing the super rich a little more, I would feel kinda robbed if I had to give 90% of my income. In Germany the maximum is currently at 42%. I think it should be higher, but then at the same time I think it were necessary to put in another "income step" to make it fair. And less loop holes

  28. Don't understand why in USA students pay so much or pay at all just to study at university.

  29. Jim Rickards has something important to say about number 4.

  30. Urgh I hate poor people

  31. thanks, comrade chelsea

  32. I recently called a business I located in Silicon Valley. Their hold music paused and a commercial came on asking for food donations for the area for starving children. I thought to myself that it makes no sense for children to be starving in one of the wealthiest parts of the country.

  33. Sad that Americans can't save enough. I still believe there is a lot opportunities to move upward if you work hard and don't 'keep up with the Jones.'

  34. Institutional Racism plays a part as well.

  35. If you vote for Bernie Sanders you will not have a debt for college or healthcare

  36. Afghanistan is the country with the highest infant mortality rate, 112.8 out of 1,000.

    America is 169th

    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-highest-infant-mortality-rates.html

  37. The life expectancy in the US is 79. Many European countries have the same life expectancy. Chad has the lowest in the world at 49.

    https://www.infoplease.com/world/health-and-social-statistics/life-expectancy-countries-0

  38. Time for the Lord to come back to this earth ha…

  39. America is falling apart.

  40. "Money is … freedom" – except for that 3 seconds the rest is pointless, distracting flapdoodle. Everything she says has nothing to do with getting and maintaining personal financial health. Do this: Live within your means and save; notice I'm not saying don't borrow. An elderly man I knew grew up poor during the great depression and died a millionaire. His life long gazillion dollar job was as a mechanic for the city bus company. And there's my father in law who grew up dirt poor – literally. He was enlisted in the military and an electrician. He was able to leave his children several hundred thousand dollars each.

  41. THIS sort of video is why I love this channel.

  42. 7:45 People who complain that these taxes are too high can probably not even fathom how much money 10 million dollars is…I know I can't

  43. I believe that a large portion of Americans would do a lot better if you were thought in school how to handle money

  44. Living pay check to check is a personal problem. Live within your means. Stop charging everything. To say that we aren’t doing good is a joke lady. You could make 100k a year and live pay check to pay check because you don’t know how to manage money. Look at most professional athletes…… 10s of millions earned and go broke. There are 2 sides to all statistics….

  45. You go, Chelsea! Gen Xer here . . . I've been working my whole life on trying to fight some of these issues. Really glad to have Millennials and GenZ now involved in the struggle for justice as well! Together, we will turn this around and make this economic system healthier, more fair, more vibrant, and perhaps even kinder.

  46. I work for a social services organization. When a client was asked about getting a job, she mentioned all of the govt benefits she received and said "stupid girls work".

  47. Dannnnggg Chelsea! Have you considered running in 2020? 😂😂 i mean Id vote for you!

  48. I’m curious, how did living in France work out?

  49. Great enlightening points. Thanks

  50. Our economic life depends on our political life. Learn and vote. Voting is the bare minimum to vote your interests. Don’t vote on superficials like tough talk. Cheap shots don’t make good public policy. Not voting is a political choice.

  51. Eisenhower's 90% Tax rates were meant as a short term stimulus, everybody knew they weren't sustainable. If you over tax any demographic, regardless of income, would they not then move there finances, I.E. businesses and citizenship elsewhere? Don't get me wrong I think the insurance companies are crooked as all get out and you raise several thought provoking points. I'm just not sure how adding more rules and regulations is going to fix the ones that are broken and creating this problem.

    Also curious to know what your thoughts are on just not going to college if its so expensive? There is an overwhelming labor shortage in the skilled trades that in most instances pay more then some of those degree jobs. What is wrong with working while you go to school and paying cash? If people willingly put themselves in to debt when there is alternatives why does it become their neighbors responsibility to help bail them out of said debt? You say at the end of the video that you worked out of your debt but you don't want others to have to, I believe that's an admirable sentiment but that would devalue your paid training to the point where we come back around to why even go? I believe what they are charging for school nowadays is treasonous by the way, but I don't think making it free is the answer.

    Very nice video by the way, thank you for the time you put into it, it was enjoyable, I was just curious about your thoughts about these few points.

  52. either stand up and give the finger to the elite that control those student loans or be a slave. I'm so very tired, so tired…….37 and tired with gray hair, no wife, no kids, a 25 hour a week job that pays 15$ an hour that will now be considered min wage haha!! So My Security job that took me 8 years to work into after getting a DUI off my record is now a min wage job lol

  53. She nailed it regarding university costs/spending. I work at a university where they cut valuable instructors and added consultants and more administrators 🤦🏻‍♀️.

  54. I'll add some commentary…
    1. 1:06 Most Americans are not doing well. They would do better if they took their superphones and big screen TVs back to Best Buy. Dump the SUV or large Ford truck for a small economical car.
    2. 3:07 We're not really the land opportunity. Tell that to all the people who are trying to come here.
    3. 6:09 The wedding complex is bad for marriage. No argument from me.
    4. 7:06 Rich people do not play by the same rules. Are they doing anything illegal? if they are then call the IRS.
    5. 9:40 Americans are paying way more for way worse healthcare. Around 70% of health care costs come from problems associated with Diabetes. Thus, change the food supply and reduce obesity.
    6. 11:50 There's no reason why colleges have to be so expensive. College will continue to increase costs because there is no shortage of people who will keep enrolling and paying the tuition. We need to reduce the number of foreigners who are coming to our country for college. They can go somewhere else and thus drive up their tuition costs.
    7. 14:24 Most millennials don't have basic financial literacy. Replace Shakespeare, a useless class, in high school, with financial literacy.
    8. 16:06 The stock market isn't the real economy. It's a good barometer. There is no metric that completely represents how everyone is doing.

  55. There’s also a very pervasive myth that most Americans aren’t doing well and that social mobility is declining because of evil rich Wall Street boogeymen. The reason social mobility went down from 1940 is because kids born then had parents affected by the GREAT DEPRESSION, and living standards are better than ever! Income for the poorest 20% grew by 45% since 1979, so stagnant wages are a myth. Maybe college wouldn’t be so expensive if the government didn’t become involved in the student loan market and guarantee loans for 18 year olds with no credit and no assets. Remember the housing crash? This is left-wing propaganda that should NOT be on any finance channel. Finance is a discipline which promotes hard work, personal responsibility, free markets, small government, not leftie values like this.
    https://fee.org/articles/40-the-rich-are-getting-richer-and-the-poor-are-getting-poorer/
    http://www.aei.org/publication/has-american-upward-mobility-really-collapsed/

  56. I don't see a reason why 'rich' should pay more % taxes than 'poor' ? where is the equality? Perhaps, asking the 'rich' to pay more % and % amount makes our system leverage to their needs! For example, a rich person pays taxes on the order of $ 250 K, which is same as total taxes paid by a sum of > 70,000 ( i.e., greater than seventy thousand Americans with an average median income ) and 150,000 'poor' Americans. Do you think that the life of one 'rich' american is any more important than a life of an average american? or a poor american? i.e., more important by 70,000 or 150,000 times?

    America's capitalistic system is aggressive just like evolution (i.e., wild, and hence the success) and not social/civilized, thus anyone who falls short will suffer and likely cease to exist without 'social security'. One/many can make endless videos and write books about it, ain't gonna change anytime soon 🙁

  57. I'm not going to lie….this was really depressing. I still love this channel though.

  58. Here how one woman spends differently after moving to Europe in this video: https://youtu.be/-z62-GUTfwA.

  59. I applaud you for addressing these issues. Too many people know far too little about the factors that contribute to wealth inequality and poverty in this country. Also, I have studied these topics extensively and I can say that what you have stated here is completely in keeping with what I found during my research. Thank you!

  60. Now if we could just get rid of Trump

  61. Such a smart and sensible young person. Hope you’ll be running for office soon.

  62. I love this one; "the increased cost of a degree has actually driven down the value of a degree".. Um what? No, there are many, many things that have driven down the "value" of a degree. None of which is the cost. Having a degree nowadays is a joke. (and this is spoken by someone who has a Bachelors in business, who now works as an electrician) I can honestly say the only thing I "learned" in college is that I was "going to make so much money when I graduated", and that pretty much every problem known to man was because of republicans. Well, it took a few years of being in the real world for me to realize that all the BS i learned in college was just that.. BS. So no, its not the cost of college that has driven down the value of a degree. Its the lack of useful skills or knowledge that has driven down the value of a degree, because the professors are too busy pushing their political agenda than actually teaching anything of value in the real world.

  63. Us Mexicans are doing very well.
    This is the land of opportunity don't like it trade places for someone in Mexico or The Philippines within 5 years we're home owners and have money in the bank.
    No excuses work and create a plan on growing money.

  64. It's not surprising, everything state-controlled(Soviet Union, DPRK) and everything corporate-controlled are both disastrous economical models. And both fail in a long-term. When private capital acquires too much wealth and power, it becomes real ruler of the country, and uses any means possible to get more money! Monopolies kill everything, and country even may descend into fascism (most advanced undemocratic corporatist economic system ever!).

  65. America sux! That's why I immigrated to the UK back in '98. The best thing about the USA was leaving it!

  66. I can't believe that 60% of Americans don't even have 1000 dollars in the bank to cover an emergency. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/23/most-americans-dont-have-the-savings-to-cover-a-1000-emergency.html
    I live in the southeastern Europe, ex communist country and have tens of thousands of euros in the bank. In moments like those and watching many videos of homeless in USA (practically no homeless here) is when i realise how complex this world really is.

  67. I have enjoyed many videos by TFD, but this video screams millennial entitlement! Take RESPONSIBILITY for your choices! There are consequences for your actions and you can make choices that in return, benefit or harm.
    #1- Criminal justice fees?!?! Don’t break the law! You won’t have to go to court….ever!
    #2- There are plenty of accounts at banks and/or credit unions that don’t require a minimum balance AT ALL. They will cash your check for free and will even pay good interest on whatever little bit of money you have in your account! They’ll even give you free checks, free online bill pay, and free budgeting tools! Yes, if you write checks that your funds can not cover, you will be charged, but again, that’s a choice you are making that will have negative consequences.
    #3- Buying in bulk is not always the least expensive option – especially on toiletries!! There are plenty of inexpensive options for these items at every dollar store, WalMart, etc. If you’re poor, don’t buy Charmin!
    #4- If you can’t afford a $20,000 wedding, be responsible and make better choices with the budget you can manage. Again, your choice, take responsibility.
    #5- You can’t compare income from 1954 with income today and no one should be taxed at astronomical percentages no matter how much money you make.
    #6- Americans are not healthy. A lot of other countries have much stricter policies to keep their food industry clean. We are sick, largely because we are overweight, over busy and we don’t take control of what we put into our bodies.
    #7- Education needs to be reformed, however, there are plenty of opportunities that don’t require a college degree. More information about realistic options needs to be shared with upcoming graduates so that they can make informed decisions.

  68. Ms Chelsea, If I may I would like to give an non-American view, as to why the majority of US citizens have high levels indebtedness.
    1: the high divorce rate – I understand that half of the marriages end in divorce. Divorce make people poorer
    2: children leaving their parents's house to live 'independently.' Unnecessary payment of rent.
    3: loose morals, begetting children out of wedlock, resulting in a very high percentage of single mothers.
    4: Money wasted on cigarettes, alcohol, and even more serious on drugs. And now practically all States have legalized cannabis – for medical purposes, my foot.
    5: The high payouts made on insurance claims – some of which are extremely dubious e.g. the Mc Donald's Hot Coffee Case. One has to remember that it not the defendants who pays these huge amounts of money, but their insurers. These in turn raise their premiums, so ultimately these claims are paid by the common citizens. And this is one the reasons why health care is so expensive in the USA,

  69. Wait…I thought this was about America but it is only about the United States.

  70. Life is not fair, but it is certainly fair that no one else should have to pay for your bad decisions. No, I don't feel sorry for your selfish decisions you made as adults. No, I don't owe you anything. No, society does not owe you anything. An Amish kid has more sense than you.

  71. Thank you for providing a much-needed, balanced perspective when discussing financial responsibility

  72. Very concise and informative. Thank you

  73. Preach it Chelsea!

  74. Economists must NEVER be allowed to decide the Political Agenda. They should be our servants, not our Masters!

  75. This is to clarify: The traveling expenses accredited to Colgate University are most likely meant for professors who travel to their university to give talks, and to their professors who travel to other universities (often traveling internationally) to attend conferences and give talks.

  76. Congratulations for such an explicative and interesting video, than can even make people out of US think more about how you and us live in our countries.
    I'm from Spain, a country hardly punished by the last financial crisis in 2008. We are in 2019 and the macroeconomics as well as the "microeconomics" are still not fully recovered. We have a 15% unemployment rate, the public debt is about 100% GDP and the inflaction rate has been close to 0 during the last 10 years.
    And, even though I agree with you in most of your arguments you explain, I have some thoughts that I find interesting. You point three major problems related to public administration: the rich people is playing under different rules, the health system is working poorly due to the administrative costs and the college is too expensive, with increased rises during last years that didn't affected that much in the quality of the education but only made more burocratic job positions to pay.
    I don't find the solution for this is making the rich people pay what they deserve (even I find it fair, because here in Spain I'm a low-income worker and I'm paying more than 45% of my real salary in taxes while rich people here are doing financial ingeneering for paying as less as possible hiding their money everywhere else but in Spain) I pragmatic think that this is not the way. The way is cutting taxes for everyone (specially for low income people) and asking the governments to improve their money management, because most of the time is absurd in what they spend their budgets.
    As example, I've been working for regional gov here and last year we had an expense expedient with 15k euro remaining. If we didn't spend that money, next year central gov would cut the money transference for the whole unit just because the previous year we spent less, independent of what actuations we were budgeted to do. So for avoiding that, we had to make an expensive event who no one wanted, paying stupid amounts of money to caterings or speakers and making 0 impact on the society.
    And everything works this way in governments, politicals only want reelection and have a 4 year agenda while the economy is a long-term run.

  77. 3:47 I moved halfway up that chart, and my strategy can be replicated. 1) Don't do drugs; 2) Don't start a family before you can afford one; 3) Focus on STEM (or, maybe the trades); 4) Don't be afraid to take big risks, and leave behind everything familiar. In my case, I went to college across the US in a place with more jobs, relatively cheap cost of living, without enough money to go back home if I changed my mind. I went from a family of 5 with ~$20K earnings per year + welfare, to a $55K/year household of one as an adult, in under 10 years. It's very doable, but takes lots of willpower (especially 1 and 2), and generosity from others. (Who on welfare can afford a plane ticket?) My story is also filled with terrible mistakes (not finishing my degree at a private, out-of-state school; avoiding my student loans for 5 years when I was unemployable), and serendipity (accidentally geeking out in a field that allows me to get hired without a degree (software engineering); accidentally choosing a cheap city to live in, that happens to be stable and growing.) But also, dedication. I spent ~20/wk for ~5 years studying software engineering while I was eating from and living in government welfare.)

  78. She’s giving all these numbers but still fails to realize that America’s richest are purposely keeping poor people poor and they’re also in cahoots to kill off as many people as they could. The depopulation agenda is real…

  79. This is why I’m honestly considering moving to Canada once I can (finally) get my degree. I can’t afford American healthcare with my mental health issues, and if I ever am able to have kids, I don’t want them struggling this hard to get a decent job and education or living wage.
    Plus, down here in the American south, the obvious effects of global warming are starting to be unbearable.

  80. The College situation in the US always shocks me….its like the state doesn't want you guys to graduate

  81. I really wish everyone could see this video.

  82. América includes Canada and Mexico – America is a continent so doesn’t this apply to the north central and South America’s? Or United States only weird to me

  83. Sadly, many of these issues apply in Australia 🇦🇺
    We currently have a great healthcare system which is accessible to all Australian residents but it’s under strain. I’ve heard horror stories about the American health system – heaven help if you don’t have private/employer health care.

  84. WOW a woman who is finally acknowledging marriage is a financial scams..

  85. marry me… !!

  86. Great video. Made me feel a lot better 😆

  87. You can make any statistics or numbers dance in your favor. Why are you comparing the bottom 20% "chances" of making it to the top 20%?

    What's wrong with making it to the top 30% or 40%? Isn't SOME economic mobility better than NONE? Wouldn't someone making $20k a year be happier making $35k a year? $40k? $80k? <— That's STILL not even in the top 20%!

    It is a FACT that capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than ANY OTHER SYSTEM.

    I'd like to see statistics of people in the bottom 20% making it to the MEDIAN income level of just $61k/year. Which actually INCREASES over time! Oh wait, that doesn't suit your narrative…

    I agree being poor is like being in quicksand…I've lived it…but I also know how many poor people have 60" flatscreens and the latest iPhone…

    Rich people don't play by the same rules? WE LIVE UNDER THE SAME LAWS.

    There's no secret club you need to join to take advantage of tax breaks…

    Learn something other than Gender Studies, get a decent paycheck, save your money and one day you could join the extremely few (86% of the country) overlords who control our entire lives…

    Most of this stuff could be avoided with proper financial education in schools, but the left would rather fix these problems at GUN POINT.

    Ironically YOU'RE the reason millennials get a bad rap…

    Spoken like a true entitled socialist. SMH.

  88. Who knew that America beat China in being China.

  89. Yup, tried to close an account and I forgot one reoccurring payment and I was charged $35.00 for not having funds, so a 75 dollar charge became $110.00

  90. For some people debt is good motivating drive to hustle, work and make more money!

  91. You know your are charged for drugs recklessly i think america wants to kill its civilians
    I m saying this coz the pharmaceuticals you get in america are mostly from india at and extremley extremley extremley low price and then you are charges 50% more on those drugs coz there is no agency in america which will be there to regulate the medicine industry and face book too 😜
    So american medicine department charge you how much money they want there is no over head inspector
    It seriously greedy and inhuman to kill your own civilians 😥
    I m sorry but rich people do it in every country

  92. This is simply the most important YouTube video for Americans to see. It's 19 and a half minutes of REALITY. Now you can take the red pill or the blue pill…

  93. in USA College makes you Poor
    Wedding makes you Poor
    Car makes you Poor
    House can make you Poor

  94. I hear nothing but excuses as to why the poor are poor, when does personal responsibility come into the equation? Everyone wants to be rich but then the rich are demonized. People come to this country and become successful because they don’t use these excuses that Americans use. I see this as a commercial for the Democratic Party . I was poor but now I’m well off because I learn to use my money wisely and invested . The rich don’t pay taxes that the workers do because the rich supply jobs and are taxed differently with tax write offs . It’s a lack of financial education not the rich are holding you down. As soon as you learn personal responsibility and invest instead of being a consumer your life will be better. For someone who appears intelligent you are showing you know nothing

  95. Add to the problem of being poor in America, the fact that your skin is brown…

  96. I feel a 70% tax on anyone is too much. In fact taxes were illegal unit 1916. I feel in order for everyone to win taxes need to be severely reduced.

  97. That's what I thought when I came to America but you are absolutely right and this is why I have to move back to Europe especially because of the free healthcare system well it's not free but it's better than what we have in America

  98. OMG this should be required viewing for everyone over 25. Thank you for the incredible research required for this video.

  99. Thank you for saying all this. Seriously.
    Also, I think you'd really appreciate Andrew Yang, a 2020 Presidential candidate. Some of what you stated in this video align almost word for word with his speeches! #yang2020

  100. I think studying in USA is much more valuable nad exclusive because you need to pay for it and I think it's great! If you can not afford to study or can not pay for it later maybe you shouldn't study? In Poland universty is for free and everyone goes for it then these degrees becomes less valuable (there are some exceptional cases like law, architecture or medicine)

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