As a high income earner, it just dawned on me how brainwashed we are in the U.S.

  1. George Carlin was the first comedian I ever saw perform. Not only was he hysterically funny, he was wise and spoke a whole lot of truth. RIP to that amazing man.

  2. The American Dream used to be: if you work hard there will be a job for you so you can afford a modern house. Have a car in the driveway. Your kids will have a better shot at college and orthodontia than you had. And you can retire and be satisfied by your efforts.

  3. His trick is that he doesn't tell jokes, but people laugh cause it's easier to laugh at a harsh reality than face it 😂

  4. This is the problem someone actually says something deep then someone makes a celebrity reference and the half the thread is distracted reminiscing about a dead comedian instead of staying on topic y’all need to start taking y’all’s adderal yalls ADHD squirrel distractions is what causes us to not be able to keep a movement going

  5. Carlin was def one of a kind. May he RIP. Just my opinion, but Bill Bur is the new George Carlin to me. So much truth in what he says, and funny as fuck.

  6. On the bright side, the USA single handedly took China significantly out of poverty. But the American dream died in this country 50 years ago.

  7. For comparisons sake… my wife and I both work full time. She makes $15/hour I make $20/hour. Wait til you do that math and see our combined income is half of yours.

  8. Hell yeah, congratulations!! Not a dig at all but this is also a great example of how the average single adult simply can’t survive on their own these days. All my friends in serious relationships/married are working on mortgages while all my single friends are still renting

  9. This is the route I saw myself going. I had to make a lot of changes and I am finally able to start looking for a house and my wife is finally able to start looking for a job (kids were too young for her to work an unskilled job).

  10. Where do you live? My girlfriend and I each make $24/hr and a house is nowhere in our future unless we get substantial raises. The absolute cheapest houses in our state are $250-300k and our rent for a 1br 750sqft is $1700/mo for reference

  11. Yup, read a study showing $40K in 1990 was equivalent to $100K in 2020 with inflation, that was before the super high inflation over the past 2 years

  12. It took me 24 year to break $100,000 and now everything is 30% more. I never feel like I’m getting ahead. The saving grace is I have no credit card debt or car payment.

  13. I got there a little faster by working at least 2 full time jobs all through my 20's and being insanely lucky. It helps that I live in a very cheap area comparatively, and bought houses right after the crash. So, I have a crazy cheap mortgage, 500k in equity, and no real debt besides the house.

  14. I'm 42, got a CDL 4.5 years ago, and now earn (gross) a bit over 50k. Before getting a CDL I was in my late 30s and was grossing, at most, 35k with lots of overtime, after working a hard labor job for 12 years and earning just over $15 an hour, in a job that was doing major damage to my body. I'm about a year too old to be in the millennial generation, and have boomer mom and uncle, who thing I earn great money (Alabama residents), but I still don't earn enough to feel safe and comfortable, and many, many, people here earn less than me.

  15. I'm 35, been working since I was 15 and have a master's degree. I live in a high cost of living area and just broke 40k for the first time last year. I even felt a difference, I could afford to buy better food and was able to get some (not all) repairs done on my car that I'd been putting off forever due to lack of money. But if I had started making 40k from the time I finished grad school, the difference in buying power would have meant I likely wouldn't have ended up in poverty despite earning significantly above the supposed poverty line. It's insane.

  16. I racked up a lot of debt during Covid, and I still had it easy because I had a job I was able to work remotely while others were thrown to the wolves.

  17. I have but a single upvote to give, 20 years years ago starting salary for software engineers was $80,000, today its still 80k and software is worth more than ever.

  18. There has been demonstrable collusion among the big tech employers capping what they will offer non management software engineers.

  19. I work in FAANG, my first thought was that 140k is a super low comp… which is crazy bc 140 is still way more than most people pull in. I’ve been conditioned way too much

  20. Yes! Everyone cheers when Tim Cook taunts that engineers don’t need degrees and can teach themselves, and even has development training for kids, which is all great and true. But his real motivation is to devalue engineers to “unskilled labor” like has been done to people with “computer skills”

  21. With as ruthlessly as they abuse and burnout young engineers with incredible talent they should be paying us even more than that. So sick of this industry.

  22. Agree. I make around 220K as a software engineer. It’s a good salary. I’m not going to lie. But I recently calculated our product revenue per engineer on the team and it’s in the range of around 3 million. Sure there’s overhead, and non-technical team members, but that’s 15 times higher. (I don’t work at a FAANG)

  23. I'm glade you realize this. My roommate is in the same situation and doesn't understand this. He always ask how much I spend on X and is always surprised it about 1/3 of what he spends on it. I make a little less then half he does and I don't see myself owning a house in a long time.

  24. I depends on the engineering field a lot. I'm making good (well, better) money because I had an MS that doesn't really apply to my job. I was on a science track for a while. That's a field where you can be really underpaid.

  25. Based on where OP is living that seems excellent, but... It's not hard to see places with a high cost of living $140K might not be high earning if the average house price is $2 million

  26. My wife and I make combined $300k. Saving for a $1.2M house which will be the same size as my parents house they bought for $100k

  27. Yup. My salary is higher than OP's yet it's very unlikely I'll be able to afford a house any time soon. It's not like we spend tons of money on bullshit either it's just insanely high rent and everything else and with housing costs at a minimum $1 mill it's hard to imagine being able to save up for a down payment while paying rent that's higher than most mortgages.

  28. In a similar situation. Feel similarly. I feel incredibly lucky and blessed to be getting what should be the norm, the bare minimum.

  29. The crazy part is when you realize, hey, you need childcare, and hey there are people that want to be childcare workers….but neither of you can connect to make an arrangement, because you can’t afford them and they can’t afford to work for peanuts.

  30. I feel blessed to make 55k because I can afford to live in a camper and save for emergencies that will absolutely set me back to baseline or worse. I will never retire or have children and therefore I will be able to live in relative comfort with my cat until the bombs drop. I'm making the best of what I've been given and for that I'm thankful. All that being said, I'm a grateful wageslav. Please help.

  31. There is nothing wrong about being grateful. It does not help you any to poison your life complaining or read others complaining over here day in day out. Do what works for you and be as happy as you can.

  32. I worked in toxicology for a long time - we made pennies, unless you were in management. The recession taught me how close I was to having nothing.

  33. They can underpay you because they take away all your bargaining power with the rank system and your inability to leave for another program for higher pay before you finish training. It’s so fucked how they exploit the living shit out of you guys.

  34. That list of things is what our grandparents thought was a life fit for a janitor. It still is, but their kids were selfish shitheels.

  35. Keep in mind that if in the USA, things may be great for you but get a serious health concern then poof…welcome to private paid insurance that treats you like it’s welfare, and if you loose everything stop being sick/disabled and get another job and more insurance…just maybe don’t live in the us and save yourself.

  36. This was my wife and I. 150k combined income. Our first child was born with health issues due to no fault of our own. Ended up having to sell our house and move in with my parents at 32 years old. And that was WITH health insurance.

  37. Because that would mean a few thousand rich people could only have a smaller number of billions of dollars or maybe even just a few hundred million, and would we really want to live in that world?

  38. The situation is exactly the same in Finland, I feel for you. The only way I see you can benefit from the system rather than the system fucking you over is: Have no kids, no house or anything really expensive and live off of unemployment/social security benefits while you are young and can make more sacrifices. Take your "retirement" early while you are still young.

  39. I remember making $45k for the first time, which was the first time I was able to really buy clothes for myself, albeit bargain brand clothing. It makes me wonder who is actually buying the name brand products in our economy?! It so strange to me there is a market for anything when people are struggling to get by.

  40. Luxury goods are for the capitalist/corporate class that sucks up 90%+ of the value our labor creates because they inherited all the land and stock.

  41. The fucked up thing about America is just how much you need to be comfortable. I've spent the last 12ish years living in Korea making like 40k a year and have done a bunch of traveling, paid off 30k in student loans, fully paid for a masters degree, and saved up enough for a down payment on a house back home in Canada. (and I have 2 kids)

  42. In the postwar years, Europe chose more societal benefits (mandatory paid time off, universal health care, job security, paid parental leave, free college education etc.) The US chose greater material wealth: two big ass cars/trucks, big ass houses, no guarantee of health care access nor paid time off, pay for your own family's college, etc. I think Europe made the better choice. Most American workers are taking a real fucking on many levels.

  43. I'm curreny getting into a fed job with good benefits and my partner is currently interviewing for a job where the base salary is 60k and even if she can't negotiate higher these two things will be life changing for us. It's depressing and exciting at the same time especially after grinding our 20s away with nothing to show for it.

  44. I am a fed and crossed the six figure threshold just this year. Although I get great time off benefits, it does me no good because my husband‘s job grinds year round with no stoppage and I can’t have time off with the person I truly love to be around. The work is mediocre and not really satisfying either.

  45. Something similar happened to me (spaniard, by the way), when i received one thousand euros one month. I was surprised, excited and then i noticed that that was the exception, not the rule. I was one of the many we call "mileuristas" (we barely reach one thousand euros per month).

  46. I get you. I'm also in IT and am about to take a pay cut by moving overseas to live with my husband. The country I'm moving to is in desperate need for IT people, but the pay rates are lower than they are in the US (I don't even live in a high pay market of the US). But it's 100% worth it because they don't expect you to spend your whole life at work. They actively encourage time off, they actively encourage at least once a year vacations. They encourage you to work on personal growth but also have a life outside of work. You work in order to live, not live in order to work. There are plenty of people who enjoy working long hours and making big bucks. I'd rather just work enough to pay my bills and not have to worry about health care and be able to travel and spend time with my husband without constantly being on call. I worked on remotely while on our HONEYMOON because I'm the only one that can do what I do. And my company couldn't care less.

  47. Trickle down economics just doesn’t work. It’s pretty obvious why. It’s because it’s a choice by the few people at the top, just how much they are willing to ‘sacrifice’ to the rest of their particular pyramid.

  48. I’m glad for you that you’ve been able to leverage your in-demand skill set for better pay, and definitely agree with you that it’s depressingly mind boggling that having excitement to be able to finally pursue necessities is the reaction we have when we’re offered it.

  49. I remember when I was growing up I thought $70K was IT. THE PINNACLE. If you could make $70K a year you had made it to the upper middle class. Imagine - making over $5000/month? What would you do with all your riches?! I also thought a $20K car was straight up LUXURY. Like WHO in their right mind would spend that amount on a CAR?! Rich people, that’s who.

  50. I grew up in the 70's. My dad worked for a nursery, doing hard labor. My mom stayed at home and there were 3 kids. We owned our house, my dad's truck and a car. We didn't take vacations and rarely ate out but we weren't poor. It's impossible to do that now. Now both people work to get by.

  51. I’m a teacher and I couldn’t agree more. I cannot afford a home on a single income and with rent prices, I’m barely able to afford monthly rent. I have a master’s degree plus additional units, which means I also have incredibly high student loan debt. It’s disgusting that we have all been brainwashed to think that we don’t deserve more. It’s disgusting that educational institutions are getting away with robbing people blind. What we are currently experiencing is capitalism run amok, IMO.

  52. It's crazy that unconsciously any one of us would probably feel like we're not worth 70-100k per year and businesses are more than happy to reinforce that feeling.

  53. As somebody who makes more than double, trust me when I say, if you don't find the time for your personal stuff now, you won't when you have more money. It's a balancing act. The best advice when you stumble upon this newfound salary, understand that nothing needs to be RUSHED unless you're an emergency doctor, there's nothing that can't wait. At least mentally you have to look at it like that, even if you go around and burn the midnight oil. It's having the mindset that I will get done WHEN it gets done.

  54. My wife and I have been struggling lately, and she sometimes asks, "are we living beyond our means?"

  55. To answer your statement, conservative here. Not all of us think that. I do agree though that prices and money wise its all jacked up.

  56. same man. i love our son but i go to bed some nights wondering how we’re going to do it. there’s a lot of times where i feel guilty bringing him into this world, especially because my wife and i talked about it a lot and didn’t have an easy journey.

  57. It’d be nice. The majority of jobs in America are busywork. The Puritanical belief that work is akin suffering and suffering is holy is the basis of America’s work ethic. As long as religion influences politics, we will continue to have inequity.

  58. "Surgeons made a median salary of $208,000 in 2020. The best-paid 25 percent made $208,000 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $188,170."

  59. What are you talking about Surgeons are worth $80k a year. My son had a difficult surgery and the bill was $90 k for 6.5 hours!

  60. We all need to Unionize regardless of profession, industry, company. Collective bargaining is the only thing that is going to improve the daily life of all working Americans.

  61. Yeah, I looked at getting a CS degree, but the math requirements are insane and have no relevance to the real world. I’ve been in the tech world for 25 years, and the hardest math I’ve ever done was basic Algebra/Trig, and even that much is rare. Unless you want an actual Math degree, there’s no point in going any further than that.

  62. Other first world countries allow you do all those things without being an ultra successful entrepreneur or CEO.

  63. The irony of it all, is that your high income job is going to sap so much of your time and energy you won't have anything left to actually enjoy aspects of your life.

  64. Yes. I jumped ship from a dying industry to the IT industry, and finally I’m feeling “oh yes now I have the money to live in a nice apartment and travel, as well as the time to make friends and workout.” But then - shouldn’t all these be a natural right for everyone??? Why do you have to be in “the right industry” to achieve it?

  65. I was right there with you. I had a good job with a six figure salary. Then i lost it in the crash in 2008. I started to get back with a new job when I got sick. Now I'm living on disability and not able to afford the basics of life.

  66. My partner and I combined are in the top 10% of households in the US by annual income. When I think of it that way, I feel rich AF. My partner feels guilty about it sometimes.

  67. My husband got a job last year in July offered $150k/year which was life changing. 3x his current income. We got caught up on everything, had a wonderful Christmas, paid off some medical debt etc then suddenly… with everything increasing in price we might as well make $75k again lol. It’s so weird how that works.

  68. As someone in a similar boat. I’m grossing around 165k salary (no stock at all). The notion of buying a house in Seattle is still laughable. I’m making about double the medium American, and still cannot afford a house simply because houses in Seattle go for $1 million. If we were living in more sane times then yes I’m quite happy about pretty much buying a starter home outright.

  69. The last part of what you said is the real problem. Why is it that hedge funds have more power over the fate of the American dream than government or citizens? We have lost our country to greed and power.

  70. I don't remember who said it but "we're basically at the point now where people are just trying to make enough so the problems our country faces don't affect them. Nobody is actually interested in fixing the problems"

  71. I hope you walk away with an offer you’re happy with. I just got a raise at my job which puts me in the same income ballpark. Believe me when I say it only goes just so far. I mean, I’m grateful to make what I make, but I don’t consider it excessive. My wife and I have three kids, a mortgage, and a car payment. We live frugally, and she stays home with the kids rather than work and pay for childcare. After withholdings for taxes and 401k, I take home about $1700 every week. I was honestly hoping for more disposable income, but right now our grocery bills are more than our mortage, and we’re just barely in the black if I don’t work overtime. I don’t know how people do it on less.

  72. THIS. In my area my husband of a high earner at 100k with quality insurance. We’re a far cry from living in luxury but we can own a home in a safe neighborhood with a god school, buy our essentials and a free luxuries without worry and go to the doctor, dentist, & optometrist as needed.

  73. You're an intelligent person to have come to this realization above the propaganda you've experienced throughout your life. I've found that people of all aspects of life in America are suckered into American exceptionalism driven propaganda. It basically doesn't matter where you come from in that essentially infinite hierarchy of experience within the nation. That propaganda divides and conquers Americans to be exploited by the capitalist class from top to bottom.

  74. It is super frustrating, because most American workers have been brainwashed into thinking that if they fight for things like family leave, universal healthcare, free college, fair housing rules, and a 25 hour work week, they are going to be left holding the bag when they become fabulously wealthy.

  75. I'm in the same boat - just don't make as much; and I totally agree! EVERYONE should live a dignified life. A dignified life in that, everyone should get paid enough to afford the basic necessities, while still being able to put money back for savings, retirement, vacations, and their hobbies. Words cannot describe how toxic America's culture, is.

  76. The funny thing is, depending on where you live, you still can't truly afford to buy a house or pay for healthcare. You can now get approved for a mortgage that allows you to "purchase" a home that can pay for the next 20-40 years assuming you can continue to make payments the entire time. Also, your healthcare and income are basically independent from one another. Your healthcare is tied to your employment status (employed or unemployed) not the associated income. Also, I guess you can pay off that degree that you probably have over the next 10-30 years while also trying to squirrel away enough for your potential kids and retirement. At 140k you're winning the game, unfortunately it's a shitty game.

  77. Absolutely congratulations to you on your accomplishments! You chose a great field, and computers and all the related things aren't going anywhere so there will always be new material in which to learn and become certified - if certification is a thing for you. I have no clue, LOL.

  78. My in laws bought their first house in their early 20s, before their first child. Her father worked at a grocery store as a shift manager and her mother was in her second year as a nurse.

  79. The bullshit US concept of rugged individualism and “hard work” narratives are a tool used to keep us begging for crumbs while the 1% become millionaires and billionaires through our labor.

  80. If you make $140K and expect to buy a house and retire before 60 you either live in the middle of nowhere or about to have a very rude awakening.

  81. im the same, in the last few years i've gone from 70k to 100k, i still can't afford to buy a decent place due to houses going up 20%, but i'm a lot more financially secure at least

  82. $140k doesn't make you a high income earner in America. One big family illness will wipe that out. And if you get sick yourself and can't work you won't have enough money coast until you're better.

  83. This is so true - if you live in a high cost of living, high tax state, you’re going to only have about 40-50% of that salary left after housing and taxes. Good luck paying for food, kids, cell phone service, internet, life insurance, saving for a rainy day and healthcare.

  84. My view is as an Australian, Americans have been taught to view the world as everything is a hierarchy and to view everyone below you with hatred/disgust/despise.

  85. Man. I look at CEOs for big tech company's and these pieces of trash feel good getting paid 10, 20, 30 million a year when these fools aren't engineers. They take the credit. A good product will sell. You need it to be good and good marketing. A CEO is not worth that much since they aren't a requirement for that.

  86. We're expected to be grateful to work minimum wage, not even being able to afford rent on a shitty apartment. You have to slave for decades sometimes in order to get a livable "life enjoying" wage. Most people don't even get that. The US is essentially a third world country because everyone is broke.

  87. I agree. I also find myself in the tech industry, making more than I honestly ever imagined for my life. I’m just now barely starting to think about things like home ownership and a future..

  88. Your entire existence is just a blue pill the higher-ups give you every day. Sorry, but that's the truth

  89. I recently realized that the high income that software engineers make in the US is really the bare minimum that all workers should be making.

  90. High-income earner too that feels the same way. The shocking part is how much your peers will accuse you of being a class traitor when you think like this.

  91. Reading through this comment section i cannot believe how fucked up America is. Im from Australia where us Trade people are the big buck earners. Most make about 80k clear and that's enough here (mabye until recently) to live a rather grand middle class life. Our house prices are even higher than the USA but i see now that JUST having a solid healthcare system alone is saving us 30k a year compared to you guys... Im so sorry.

  92. Yup. I recently sold a home, and it was the only way to ensure a solid life for me and my daughter. I have a great career, which requires a masters degree, but I will probably never break 6 figures.

  93. Once you own a house it starts to soak up all your finances. What I really want to know is how do you plan on retiring under 60?

  94. I'm 45 yrs old and have both been very poor and had money at certain points. What I've found out is that neither makes you happy or miserable, the pattern of go to school, get a job, get a house, have kids, retire etc. is what makes you despair. You are basically living the same life countless billions of people have and are living there is nothing special or unique about it. The point is you have to live a completely unique life and accept what you've got right now in the moment always.

  95. Sadly, I don't think I'd call that high income. That's smack in the low-average end of what "middle class" should be. Any skilled mechanic, tech worker, talented hospitality, healthcare professional should be making that.

  96. Also how this really only exists for certain careers that generate money. It’s sad essential jobs like teaching make a barely livable wage. This should be a reality for everyone.

  97. I was listening to a lecture that Elizabeth Warren did at UC Berkeley almost 15 years ago earlier today. It was really eye opening into the issues that are causing the middle class to collapse and honestly it's more than a little infuriating. It comes down to the price of insurance, housing, cars, child care and education. As well as the fact that in real terms adjusted for inflation people today are making less money than they did in the 70's. Shits wild, here's the link if anyone is

  98. Can literally do all of those things one 1/2 of the income. Maybe it as the sole earner in the home, but you can. Here’s the catch - it might not be the vacation of your dreams, or the home in the nicest area but they will always be a spectrum and those who are willing to out themselves into a top earner category will be at the top.

  99. As a “high income earner” if you save every dollar of that for 30 years (assuming you’re 30 years old and retire at 60), and earn 10% interest on it (very unlikely) and don’t spend any of it (impossible) you will still only have around 1/8000 of Elon Musk’s net worth. You are much closer to minimum wage workers than wealth hoarding billionaires. If every 6 digit earner realized this, we would be much better off

  100. You could do all of those things without a salary even close to that. You will just be able to do more, bc you worked to get where you are.

  101. I try explaining this to a friend of mine. Wages have barely moved in decades. He argues that if wages go up, prices for products will go up to compensate for higher wages. Prices are going up anyway because Corporations rape the consumer. He also feel that Billionaires and Billion Dollar companies earned their money and shouldn't have to pay more than any other person. He's an idiot. What is weird is his wife works for Walmart. You'd think he'd be all for her getting a better rate of pay considering he's disabled.

  102. If we pooled all US dollar holdings in all accounts across the country, took the lump sum of all of that and evenly distributed it amongst all US’ total population, how much would everyone have in US dollars? Surely this is a discernible figure achieved with a little effort. That number probably would be distressing.

  103. Counter point: you are not a high earner. Your salary is much higher than average, but it is orders of magnitude below median.

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