Can you afford a new car? 545 words. September 21, 2023
Dr. Glenn Mollette
If you can’t afford a new car now, it’s not going to get easier.
Supposedly the average new car price in America is “about” $30,000 according to ftc.gov. Be wary of the preposition “about.” It gets tougher all the time to walk out of a dealership with a new car that has very many bells and whistles for under $35,000. The average payment for a new car is $700 according to bankrate.com. A more reasonable car payment means you have to have a sizable down payment or receive a lot of credit on your trade-in. Many Americans are financing their cars for 72 months and they are often worn out when traded. Often there is still some balance owed that is refinanced in the new deal. This creates an ongoing financial hardship for millions of Americans.
Millions of Americans struggle with bad credit ratings which impacts their car loan deal.
In most parts of America, you have to have a car. There are some locations in our country where you can make it with buses and trains but that is a small section of America. If you live on the East coast between NYC and Washington, D.C. then you might be able to survive without a car. If you live in Tomahawk, Kentucky you must have a car.
The United Auto Workers are striking for better pay and benefits. Many of the plant employees are making over $30 an hour but lower tier employees are making less than $20 an hour for the same kind of work. The UAW is asking to end a tier system which pays employees less for doing the same work. UAW wants their pay increased by 36% over the next four years. They also are tired of working 60-to-80-hour weeks just to survive. They are asking for a four day or 32-hour work week but paid for 40 hours. They also want the defined benefit pension reinstated for all the employees. General Motors ended its defined benefit pension January 1, 2007. They are also asking for better medical insurance for the lower tier employees. The UAW says the big three gave up cost of living adjustments during the 2008 financial crisis when GM and Chrysler went bankrupt. The UAW says that this has resulted in a tremendous pay decrease for the auto workers.
The 401k retirement plan is going to be the best that American companies are going to offer going forward. In the old days many companies offered defined benefit plans. If you worked 30 years then you were promised a certain retirement wage. The big three auto makers once had such benefits but they will never go back to that because they know it’s unsustainable. If a company will match or pay even half of what you pay into your 401K then you are doing well.
We all surely hope for the best for our all concerned. Everybody has to make money. I hope they can get the best deal possible.
In the meantime, most of us will be shopping around to see what we can afford. Paying an extra 36% percent or whatever it might be for a new car will be difficult for most Americans.
Aaron Rodgers – life changes September 14, 2023
Dr. Glenn Mollette
National football star Aaron Rodger’s football career may be over, but maybe not. It’s hard to keep a good man down. Sometimes, there is too much to overcome to come back.
Many of us watched the mega media debut of Rodgers as a New York Jets quarterback. His move from Green Bay after 18 seasons catapulted him to New York City celebrity status. He came to the Jets after a hugely successful career with the Packers. His accomplishments were many and include a Super Bowl ring. He was received the Super Bowl MVP award and four NFL MVP awards. He was touted as the man who would revitalize the Jet’s program and lead them to glory.
Rodger’s financial package to make the move from Wisconsin to the Jet’s program was $75 million dollars over two years. The money is guaranteed even though he may never play again. Rodgers reportedly took a salary cut to make the move.
During last week’s Monday night football game on the fourth play of the game, Rodger’s Achilles heel tendon was torn during the play. The injury requires surgery and the rest of the season to rehabilitate. The spirit of the electrified crowd spiraled south as Rodgers was transported off the field.
Unfortunately, Rodger’s injury goes along with the game of football and can happen in most any sport. People can and do get hurt. There are no guarantees.
Life has no guarantees. We aren’t guaranteed another day. Regardless of the size of the financial package, doctor’s report, health, prior success, or talent, none of us can count on anything for sure.
We can say we are going to travel to a certain city and do business. Yet, there is no guarantee we will be able to complete the trip. We can promise we will work a job for ten years but it all depends on our health and good fortune. We aren’t assured of another day. We hope, we have faith, we trust, we believe, and we try to make good on our commitments. After this, it’s all in the hands of God.
We do hope Aaron Rodgers recuperates and is able to end his career on a higher note. I suspect that today he might be happy to end his football career by simply being able to play and walk off the field.
Depending on our circumstances, our lives and perspectives seem to always be changing.