Backwards Mobility in Michigan

… eye opening article in the Washington Post on the plight of disaffected whites in Michigan. It’s not clear to me how “tax-cuts for the rich”, cutting social programs, and “getting tough on minorities” will improve their lot.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/03/20/intergenera…

He’d read through his father’s credit card statements and then talked to a banker, who concluded that the final estate of David Ramsey Sr. was of “inconsequential value.” Like a record 23 percent of Americans who’ve died in the past five years, the ultimate financial worth of his father’s life was nothing — a number somewhere below zero.

“Here’s Dad,” the funeral employee said, as she walked back into the room holding a small cloth bag.

“This is it?’” Dave asked.

“Our process is very efficient,” she said.

Now Dave looked up at the laminated menu of funeral home prices posted on the wall. “One-day visitation: $5300.” “Funeral service director: $1800.” “Limousine: $450.” His family couldn’t afford any of it, so Dave Sr.’s body had remained in a freezer at the funeral home for three weeks while Dave Jr. scrapped metal and raised money from friends. His 17-year-old daughter had worked extra shifts at A&W and his girlfriend had sold some of her electronics, until finally they’d come up with $1,400 for basic cremation.

“I’m sorry. It’s embarrassing,” Dave said, as he got ready to leave. “This is the bare minimum.”

“Believe me, the bare minimum is normal,” the employee said.

I hope the debt collection industry doesn’t bamboozle this family into paying off any of Dave, Sr.‘s debts. Unless they co-signed for it, it’s not the heirs’ responsibility.

intercst

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He’d read through his father’s credit card statements and then talked to a banker, who concluded that the final estate of David Ramsey Sr. was of “inconsequential value.” Like a record 23 percent of Americans who’ve died in the past five years, the ultimate financial worth of his father’s life was nothing — a number somewhere below zero.

That’s were my dad was. Dad couldn’t handle money. Died owing credit card companies thousands. On the good side, he died on the first of the month, so his Social Security check was good. (back then, everyone got their check on the first of the month). Between the SS check, and what I sold his car for, I recouped the month’s rent on his apartment I paid, while he was in the hospital, and the funeral home charges. Mailed out copies of the death certificate to all the interested parties. Michigan has a really easy process for people with little to no estate. I filled out a form, showing my relationship and that I paid the funeral home, and mailed it to the Wayne County Probate Court. Someone assigned the estate to me, and rubber stamped a judge’s name on the form. No lawyer needed to work it through probate.

…until finally they’d come up with $1,400 for basic cremation.

That’s cheap. My aunt died in 2010. To have the funeral home pick her up from the nursing home, make up an armload of death certificates, cremate, and mail the cremains to me cost a bit over $3000…but then, that funeral home was a bunch of goniffs. Used the same bunch with my mom a few years before. For openers, they tried to get me to sign a blank contract.

It’s not clear to me how “tax-cuts for the rich”, cutting social programs, and “getting tough on minorities” will improve their lot.

We can’t even have decent roads to drive on, in spite of paying one of the highest tax burdens on fuel in the country. The Gov’s budget had a big increase in infrastructure spending. The legislature passed another tax cut for the JCs instead. Maybe the thinking is the " the plight of disaffected whites in Michigan" won’t seem so bad if the lot of some other group is made worse.

Steve

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“We can’t even have decent roads to drive on, in spite of paying one of the highest tax burdens on fuel in the country. The Gov’s budget had a big increase in infrastructure spending. The legislature passed another tax cut for the JCs instead. Maybe the thinking is the " the plight of disaffected whites in Michigan” won’t seem so bad if the lot of some other group is made worse.

Steve"

I’m reading “Democracy in Chains” right now, only about 100 pages in, but
it is really making sense. Written in 2018, I think. Too political to talk about
on this board, though.

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A relative in central Texas just buried his wife…
He commented a week ago that the current funerary total is $15,000.
It was full service, embalmed, chapel, open casket, etc.
He’s still waiting for a couple things, like headstone and some odds and ends.

Texas, too, supports funerary capitalism.

:sun_with_face:
ralph

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A relative in central Texas just buried his wife…
He commented a week ago that the current funerary total is $15,000.
It was full service, embalmed, chapel, open casket, etc.
He’s still waiting for a couple things, like headstone and some odds and ends.

I’m definitely doing the $1,000 cremation and they can deliver the ashes in a plastic grocery bag.

Friends and family can hold any kind of memorial service they like, but there’s no need for my remains to be in attendance. I’ve detected little utility in having my remains paraded around town in a hearse.

intercst

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I’m reading “Democracy in Chains” right now,

I just skimmed through the Atlantic article about the book, and Buchanan’s material that inspired and informed it.

Found a bit of irony:

If authorities sold off school buildings and equipment,and limited their own involvement in education to setting minimum standards, then all different kinds of schools might blossom.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/the-arc…

Michigan has a lot of charter schools now, so, one would expect Buchanan to be smiling, but apparently, Buchanan has become obsolete. “Minimum standards” is exactly what “common core” is. But now, “common core” is in the pantheon of “big gummit” sins.

Steve

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It’s not clear to me how “tax-cuts for the rich”, cutting social programs, and “getting tough on minorities” will improve their lot

Establishment political parties have little to offer the working class as they have little or nothing to donate to the parties. Under the aegis of the bipartisan federal government the US economy was folded into the globalization trend. Decent paying working class jobs were off shored to low cost foreign nations. Also quite a few such jobs were subject to automation.
Unfortunately the working class can vote causing a 2016 type result. Originally only property owners could vote in US elections. I’m sure establishment political parties would relish a return to such an election process. Then politicians wouldn’t have to deal with the rif-raff; just continue sucking up the the monied interests.

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I’m definitely doing the $1,000 cremation and they can deliver the ashes in a plastic grocery bag.

Friends and family can hold any kind of memorial service they like, but there’s no need for my remains to be in attendance. I’ve detected little utility in having my remains paraded around town in a hearse.

intercst

Reads like the same planning here.

About 20 or 30 years ago there was an expose program on “American Way of Death”. They were very blunt in their treatment of the funeral biz, how they exploited their grief stricken ‘clients’.

We went thru some of it over 40 years ago. Mom, after extended hospitalization.

Minimal cremation fee. $100 IIRC. Card board box. For ‘only’ $1500, we got the pine box. Oldest brother handled the conversation. Disgustedly said “Pine box”. I felt like I needed a shower after the ‘business transaction’.

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Movie, American President - paraphrasing the President - people drink the sand in the desert not because of lack of leadership - it’s because they don’t KNOW what good leadership looks like.

And then my quote - as society declines - and it IS declining - demagogues who “give good ear” prevail because their constituencies feel nobody has listened to them nor cares for them. So they sit back, relax, and enjoy good ear - even if deep down they know it won’t help them.

There’s another constituency - for 50 years - that has done the same exact thing and it shows in every category.

Funny part is, both those constituencies - are the same. No wonder the Ruling Class keeps them divided.

“Michigan has a lot of charter schools now, …”

The Devos education playbook really just the Buchanan playbook, and the Buchanan
playbook was really just the Harry Byrd playbook, and the Bryd playbook was really just the
John Calhoun playbook for property owners ( planters) to maintain control. Can’t have just
anybody being able to vote, and can’t let just anybody get a good education that could allow
them to not need the crumbs that the elites grudgingly sent their way.

( don’t want to take this any further on METAR, but it is truly a macroeconomic issue )

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Can’t have just anybody being able to vote, and can’t let just anybody get a good education that could allow them to not need the crumbs that the elites grudgingly sent their way.

From the Atlantic article, starting with the attempt to sharply cut social services in the 80s, which met pushback from the large segment of the voting public that would have been rogered:

As Stockman reflected, “The democracy had defeated the doctrine.”

That was Buchanan’s view, too. It wasn’t enough to elect true-believing politicians. The rules of government needed to be rewritten. But this required ideal conditions—a blank slate. This had happened once, in Chile, after Augusto Pinochet’s coup against the socialist Salvador Allende in 1973. A vogue for public choice had swept Pinochet’s administration. Buchanan’s books were translated, and some of his acolytes helped restructure Chile’s economy. Labor unions were banned, and social security and health care were both privatized. On a week-long visit in 1980, Buchanan gave formal lectures to “top representatives of a governing elite that melded the military and the corporate world,” MacLean reports, and he dispensed counsel in private conversations. But Buchanan said very little about his part in assisting Chile’s reformers—and he said very little, too, when the country’s economy cratered, and Pinochet at last fired the Buchananites.

Seems the Buchananite view is that the ideal government is one run by oligarchs, backed by the military to keep the mob whipped into line, so the vast majority can be robbed, to benefit the small minority.

Steve

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Minimal cremation fee. $100 IIRC. Card board box. For ‘only’ $1500, we got the pine box. Oldest brother handled the conversation. Disgustedly said “Pine box”. I felt like I needed a shower after the ‘business transaction’.

I have to ask … if you are cremating, is there any difference between the cardboard box and the pine box? I mean, the end result, the ashes … are they different if they include pine or cardboard?

I have to ask … if you are cremating, is there any difference between the cardboard box and the pine box? I mean, the end result, the ashes … are they different if they include pine or cardboard?

When I had my dad cremated, the paperwork said “cardboard temporary coffin”

The cremains were handed to me in a plastic bag, inside a plastic box.

Steve

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MarkR

I have to ask … if you are cremating…

I have no answer… the crematorium disposed of the ashes, we had no after event transaction…

(We did hold a moving memorial service. Sans ashes.)