Monday, October 19, 2009

More Whiny Pilots

I was going to write a rather biting response to this article about a pilot who, rather than losing his job entirely, was merely downgraded and forced to endure a pay cut. He comes off completely self absorbed, all about the money, and trying to hide the truth of his circumstances from his kids, by continuing to buy them expensive Christmas gifts he can no longer afford. If you read the article, you'll see he even sold most of his furniture, as if living in an empty house wouldn't tip the kids off.

As I said, I was going to respond, more ticked off, not as a fellow pilot, who has gone through actual job loss, but as an adult irked by this guy's irresponsible parenting. Then I read this comment, which summed it all up for me:

I was sympathetic to the shock of the paycut for this family until I watched the video. They lost me.

Their $75,000 income is in the TOP 17% of all households in the US.

And he whines that they are not 'secure'? If he can't pick up an occasional dinner check for his parents on $75,000 a year, someone needs to eat at different restaurants or learn to budget. They could't afford furniture on $75,000 a year or, is it more accurate to say, they couldn't afford the top-of-the-line brand-spanking new stuff they wanted and were too spoiled to buy anything but what they wanted that minute?

Their former income of around $105,000 before the pay cut put them in the top 10% in the US!!

And he thinks that is the minimum they need to be comfortable?


The video was very instructive - acres of the cliched granite countertops, quite a large kitchen, spanking new-looking funiture......the lifestyle it took his parents (from whom he bought the house) around 40 years to achieve. And he feels entitled to it at the age of 32ish....

Then they blow through $18,000 so the kiddie-widdies won't be 'disappointed' by being told 'no' over a 'Mommy I want this, that and simply everything' demand. Do try to get a firm grip on reality!

If they had had the slightest bit of sense they would have done 2 things:

(1) When he got the promotion a couple years ago and was being paid another $34,000 for 14 months, they should have put it in the bank and kept living in the same manner as before the raise. They didn't even have 6 months living expenses saved when his wages were cut - forget having 1 year of expenses. Sounds like they spent every penny the minute he had gotten the raise.

(2) Tell the darling little kiddie something new. Teach them a new phrase and an idea to which they will have to accustom themselves their whole lives. Here is what you say - "NO you can NOT have that. We can NOT afford it."

Easier for the little darlings to learn the following concepts as children that get smacked in the face as an adult (after having grown up haveing their every wish and whim granted at any cost) with the ideas that:

(a) you can't have everything you want
(b) things cost money
(c) and you can only buy what you can afford
(d) and if you want it that badly save your allowance until you save up the money.

Period. End of discussion.

Sounds like the parents never learned these fundamental lessons when they were children since they beleve themselves entitled rapidly acquiring a lifestyle that took their parents generation decades to afford.

That overblown sense of entitlement which pervaded US culture is what caused the credit mess in the first place. The 'I want and I want it now and I will borrow the money to get it now' mentality was fatal in the end. When only an income in the upper 10% is considered satisfactory to such people, god help them since the odds are they will end up in the bottom 90%.

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