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How do the "Have Nots" get on in life?

(187 Posts)
grannysue05 Wed 11-Oct-17 14:15:57

The "Have Nots" were briefly mentioned in another thread, and it got me thinking about how these people/families get on in life.
Whilst I discount people who have serious illnesses/mental health issues/disabilities, surely the rest CAN make something of their lives.
One of the worries regarding Brexit is that there will not be enough mid Europeans to do the "dirty" jobs. (please don"t go into the subject of Brexit).
I remember back in the fifties, sixties and even seventies that many people had to struggle to get on and earn a living.
Earn was the operative word. Nobody expected something for nothing, and benefits were unheard of.
Young people avoided pregnancy (one way or another) until they could AFFORD to keep a child.
Everyone saved up for what they had as HP (Hire Purchase) was frowned upon.
Nobody I ever knew expected to have washing machines, fridges (except little mini things) or other household luxuries. You saved for them.
Branded, luxury clothing and TV's or nice cars and holidays only came your way if you actually worked hard for them.
And having a roof over your head....well, countless couples started married life living with the in-laws.
So, with todays "Have Nots", having nothing to look forward to, what should they all be doing?
Should they get out there and take on some of the work that goes to mid- Europeans?
Should women stop having children as a "right". Never mind that they have no means of supporting them.
Should people (especially the young), get out and find work, instead of siting in their expensive trainers and playing on their iphones?
At one time you got out of life what you put into it.
I think that maxim still holds true.

MawBroon Wed 11-Oct-17 14:37:11

Oh dear.
Where does one start?
Fair enough I was a child in the Fifties and a teenager in the Sixties, but the misery of unwanted pregnancies was all too clear, less a case of avoiding pregnancy one way or another than back street abortions or rushed register office weddings and years of grinding poverty afterwards. I know, my sister did the latter and was “disowned” by my father . How she and BIL existed on his minimal wages (he had to drop out of university) and food parcels when my mum was able to visit from 300 miles away I do not know, but to say life was hard was an understatement. Saving (ha ha) was a luxury denied to them just as it is to many today. A fridge (yes small) was a Christmas present.
Let’s not hark back to “good old days”when a twin tub was the height of luxury or pretend that scenarios such as that in Cathy Come Home are anything other than best consigned to the dustbin of social history.
I don’t want to be part of the point of view of some older people muttering that “fings ain’t wot they used to be” , or “they never had it so good” and generalising that young people loaf around in their expensive trainers, blah, blah.
Actually probably the same comments were made about Teddy Boys in the 50s/60s or Mods and Rockers, or beatniks or whatever name the older generation applied to the “yoof” of their day. (While muttering darkly that a spot of National Service would do them good and get a bleddy haircut boy!)
As for your question, is it true you got out of life what you put into it?
No more so then than now.

Moocow Wed 11-Oct-17 14:48:22

It's all depressing if you think about it for too long. Existing from week to week, pay packet juggling and searching down the sofa for pennies that don't seem to end up backthere anymore. You could do without switching on the lightsuntil absolutely necessary so using less electricity if necessary but now everything you do to keep abreast needs wifi 12 month contracts etc. Caught me at a depressing time!

lemongrove Wed 11-Oct-17 14:50:17

GrannySue I think that expectations are very high now, and a sense ( by some) of entitlement doesn’t help them.
More people are in work now than at any time since the early seventies, so that’s something, as a short while ago there were far too many able bodied younger people living on benefits.
Under all governments, not enough houses have been built in the last 30 years, which, coupled with massive population explosion due to non EU and EU migrants and marriage break down have caused such a shortage of affordable olaces to live.Younger people now therefore have a harder
time of it, regards housing.
Of course the maxim holds true, you really do have to put something in to get something out, but that goes for any age group.

Ilovecheese Wed 11-Oct-17 14:51:47

Ah, those good old days of misery and hardship!
Why shouldn't the yoof of today suffer like we did, isn't that just what we want for out children and grandchildren?
No wonder us older people get a bad name for grumbling!

gillybob Wed 11-Oct-17 14:53:21

^As for your question, is it true you got out of life what you put into it?
No more so then than now^

Many people put a whole lot into life. They help others for no reason other than out of the goodness of their hearts, they work damned hard and get very little in return.

There again there are those who are completely selfish, they think of number one and wouldn't do a thing to help anyone else (unless they were being paid for it). They quite often do very well in life.

Are we all dealt the same "cards" and its up to us to play the best hand. No way.

gillybob Wed 11-Oct-17 14:54:01

Well said Ilovecheese

maryeliza54 Wed 11-Oct-17 14:55:07

You are a braver woman than me Maw . I didn’t know where to start so I didn’t [gin] oops I meant grin but maybe first one is more appropriate

Welshwife Wed 11-Oct-17 14:58:22

I grew up in the 40s during and after the war my mother did all the washing using a gas boiler for the sheets etc and rinsing in the sink - we had a mangle in the garden and my father made it so that the water drained away fast.
When I married in the early 60s there were plenty of launderettes to do the big stuff such as sheets and towels and then I graduated to a wonderful Hooint Countess washing machine with an electric mangle.
These things are not easily available now and automatic washing machines are almost a necessity - same for the fridge - we had a larder with a tiled shelf before we had a fridge in the late 50s.
People on minimum wage find things very difficult indeed and if it were not for benefits there would be many more families on the street with nowhere to go. It is far from being a lack of getting a job or not working long enough hours - for many people wages are low and prices high.
See if you can volunteer somewhere in a poor distric grannysue and see for yourself how these people are managing - there will be some as you describe but not many - most are doing their best to just live with what they need and pay their bills.

paddyann Wed 11-Oct-17 15:02:00

well said MAWBROON

FarNorth Wed 11-Oct-17 15:14:31

More people are in work now than at any time since the early seventies, so that’s something

"In work" can mean anything from full-time, highly paid work to a zero hours contract for a minimum wage job.

lemongrove Wed 11-Oct-17 15:19:09

Yes it can, but far, far better than sitting at home on benefits.

GillT57 Wed 11-Oct-17 15:57:09

Oh no, not another 'they all have smart phones/flat screen tv/trainers'.......' we had to live on a boiled sock and a turnip, but we were happy'.....give me strength! Go and visit a foodbank and then let us know your thoughts.

petra Wed 11-Oct-17 16:01:27

I would just like to know what a 'mid European is.
I would add that you've been watching too many poverty porn programmes, or are all your comments Re trainers and iPhones come from your own observations

FarNorth Wed 11-Oct-17 16:09:46

People on zero or low hours contracts may well be "sitting at home on benefits" for a lot of the time, as they are not actually "in work" for a full week and they can need benefits to compensate for their low wages.
If their hours are erratic, that can add extra complications in trying to claim, and get, the right benefits.

M0nica Wed 11-Oct-17 16:12:32

I grew up in the 40s and 50s and got married in the late 60s and, yes, life was less elaborate than now, but I really think grannysu that you are looking back through rose tinted glasses? There were plenty of out of marriage pregnancies - and shot-gun weddings with the bride looking suspiciously plump. Many woman our age can talk about the horrors of struggling to be single mother then, treated as a pariah society, your family ashamed of you.

As for starting married life with mum and dad, with a baby as well- in a small house with tiny bedrooms and wafer thin walls, and the overcrowding. It is quite right that that sort of living is not considered acceptable now.

The use of HP was common and expanding, I can remember all the furniture shops and white goods suppliers advertising it on their shop windows, not to mention garages offering it on cars.

Eastern European immigrants or not, the current unemployment rate is 4.5%, much the same as it was in the late 1960s and through out most of the 1970s. In the area I live in the current unemployment rate is around 2%. Then there was no minimum wage and you used to hear of people being offered appallingly low rates of pay, so not much difference from now. There was little legislation then to protect you from dismissal on the spot for no good reason, women were routinely paid much less than men and excluded from some jobs.

So, I am sorry grannysu, I just think you are looking back with very deep dusky rose tinted glasses.

blossom14 Wed 11-Oct-17 16:33:39

Well it did seem easier in the 50/60/70's to rent a place without huge deposits and not be judged for make do and mend furniture and h/hold goods.
However it was hard to get into work for women who were returning after children going to school: not much in the way of flexitime until the 80's.
We lost our business and home in the 70's and it took every bit of determination and some luck to get back on our feet.
I would not want to be in the same situation in this current climate even if I was in my prime.

Elegran Wed 11-Oct-17 16:34:36

Well, it used to be that the have-nots got on by getting as much education as they could manage. That was when education cost money, and if you didn't have any to start with you had to work extra hard, first to acquire basic literacy so as to be able to benefit from the books that some generous and far-seeing person allowed you to borrow, then to earn enough at the day job to keep you alive by day and pay for evening classes, and work again with your brain in the evening (if you could keep awake). If you were very clever and lucky you might get a scholarship which paid your fees and allowed you to study beside more well-to-do (and/or patronising) teenagers.

Then in the nineteenforties secondary education became available to those who appeared to be able to benefit from it, in the free local grammar schools that are so denigrated nowadays but were a small step forwards from what had gone before, when the have-nots mostly received no education at all after they were about 13-14. Those who were not deemed to be up to an academic course got something less . Gradually better education and certificates for all became a right and the school leaving age rose and rose.

These days, with universal qualifications, it is possible to have a fistful of paper but still not make much headway in actually forging a career for oneself. And it seems for some children to be sliding back to prewar standards again.

humptydumpty Wed 11-Oct-17 17:07:15

Maybe this thread is a set-up?!

maryeliza54 Wed 11-Oct-17 17:23:46

I wish I thought so

Anniebach Wed 11-Oct-17 17:41:48

In the fifties there was an acceptance , if one struggled that's how it was,

I am not feeling kindly towards benefit claimants today, well two benefit claimants , twins in their fifties, one can't work because of a back problem the other suffers depression. I heard this morning they have gone to Thailand for a break , aw bless . And yes they use the food bank

maryeliza54 Wed 11-Oct-17 17:48:32

I find it profoundly depressing when anecdotal examples are brought in - so what about the twins? What does that tell us about anything - even if it’s true and you know all the facts

Anniebach Wed 11-Oct-17 17:55:37

If it wasn't true I wouldn't have spoken of it, and I do know all the facts .

GillT57 Wed 11-Oct-17 18:05:20

Even if this case you describe is true Anniebach, it is not a reason to criticise every benefit claimant. Yes, there may well be some who are, on the surface, not a deserving case (whatever that means), but I am happy to acknowledge the few who abuse the system if it means that the vast majority who do need help get what they need. How do you know they use the foodbank? Do you hang around there checking who goes in?

Anniebach Wed 11-Oct-17 18:12:30

Gill, I repeat it is true, they have asked me for work - cash in hand, I have made them crawl in the winter,

You asking me if it's true after maryeliza did was uncalled for, and I said TWO benefit claimants not all benefit claimants