Unpacking Jessica Wildfire-“We Can’t Afford to Live Anymore The Rich Are Gaslighting Us” “It’s doing serious damage.” Trending Wildfire Says U.S. Living Not Affordable – Manufactured Home Pro Insights


Instead of a line-by-line fisking of Jessica Wildlife’s popular observations, data, and rationale via Medium on her theme –  “We Can’t Afford to Live Anymore, and The Rich Are Gaslighting Us” with her subtitle “It’s doing serious damage– this report and analysis will present her thesis in full. After her complete thoughts are presented herein, MHProNews will unpack them from an affordable manufactured housing perspective which will include her broader social and economic points. With that brief introduction, let’s dive into the successful pseudonymous author Wildfire’s ‘trending’ thinking on Medium. 


Jessica Wildfire: We Can’t Afford to Live Anymore, and The Rich Are Gaslighting Us

It’s doing serious damage.


A few years ago, one of my friends confessed something over coffee. She leaned forward. Her voice fell to a hush: “I love my kids, but from a financial standpoint, I regret having them.”

My friend is a tenured professor. She’s published books with major presses, including Oxford. People beg her to speak at conferences.

Despite all this, her family is barely getting by. (Her husband is also a highly-regarded professor in engineering.) When she was done talking, her face glowed with shame.

It’s a common story these days.


We can’t afford to live anymore.

Here’s something that might surprise you: The average cost of living in the U.S. far exceeds the average income of most professionals. We’re talking about nurses and social workers, firefighters and police officers, school teachers and pediatricians, even carpenters and engineers.

They’re the ones who keep society running, and they currently don’t make enough to support their families.

Take a look at the average monthly living costs for a family of four. These are extremely conservative estimates gathered from multiple cost of living calculators, plus my own observations:

  • Housing: $1,500
  • Transportation (including gas): $800
  • Food: $1,000
  • Utilities: $400
  • Phones: $150
  • Entertainment: $50
  • Clothing: $200
  • Healthcare: $400
  • Emergency savings: $500
  • Total: $5,000

 The median household income stands at $5,264 per month before taxes. That leaves just under $4,000 after taxes, and it doesn’t include deductions for 401K and basic health insurance — or student loans.

All things considered, the average household is sinking into debt by about a thousand dollars per month.


The average household requires two incomes now.

Households with two incomes used to have extra cash to spend on things like vacations or private school tuition.

That’s not true anymore.

Two years ago, The New York Times reported on the average incomes and expenses of parents with two children. Time and again, they found that even two incomes barely brings in enough cash, since you wind up paying anywhere from $500 to $2,000 a month for childcare.

The reason is simple. The average job hasn’t kept up with the cost of living. It doesn’t even come close:



Basically, half of one parent’s monthly income covers daycare, and the rest goes to offset the cost of living. It’s pretty brutal. These days, the luckiest families break even. Everyone else is still going into debt, just not as much as they would be with a single income.

Starting a family has become a luxury.

CNN has a new online calculator called “How much will it cost to raise your child?” It’s fun to play with, in a perverse kind of way. Here’s how much it’s going to cost me to raise my daughter:


Source: CNN

According to calculators like this, having just one kid adds about $17,000 a year to your annual cost of living. After all, you have to feed and clothe them. You have to move into a bigger house or apartment.

This might explain why the U.S. birthrate is the lowest it’s been in 32 years. More than 40 percent of millennials report putting off children and buying homes because of financial instability.

This is going to have consequences for baby boomers. They should care, if only for selfish reasons. According to Joseph Coughlin of Forbes, it means they’re not going to be able to sell their homes. That’s important because older people typically want to downsize after they retire and cash in on their equity. Here’s how Coughlin imagines that conversation going:

Boomer Seller: The town has great schools.

Millennial Buyer: I don’t have kids.

Boomer Seller: The house has three bedrooms. My husband and I have enjoyed it for years.

Millennial Buyer: I live alone…with my dog.

Boomer Seller: Well, there is a big, wonderful yard for your dog to play in.

Millennial Buyer: It’s a very small dog.

In other words, not great.

Sorry, boomers.


The wealthy engage in financial gaslighting.

Gaslighting is when you construct a fake reality to excuse yourself from your own sinister actions and behaviors.

Abusers do it all the time.

Hoarding wealth is a kind of abuse the wealthy inflict on the entire world. To excuse it, they construct a series of lies that allow them to blame everyone for their own financial problems.

It’s pretty easy to distract someone from systemic inequality and make them feel guilty about a financial situation that’s not their fault. You just have to talk about flat screen televisions and smartphones, even if those make up a tiny fraction of someone’s monthly budget. You call them lazy, and tell them they spend too much time watching Netflix.

You browbeat them for not investing in stocks, or pouring money into volatile assets. You shame them for working meaningful jobs that contribute something to civilization, instead of becoming rich so they can opt out of the economy altogether.

You accuse them of resenting wealth, and tell them they have a poor attitude toward money (whatever that means). Then you pump them full of fairy tales, about how someone made a fortune from nothing. Finally, you tell them money doesn’t matter, and that no amount of it will ever make them happy unless they learn to love themselves. It works wonders, because it confuses the hell out of people. Sufficiently gaslight someone over their finances, and they won’t know what to think anymore.

That’s the point.


Financial gaslighting is doing serious damage.

There’s millions of desperate people out there. If they have a job, it doesn’t pay enough. Here’s the advice they’re getting:

  • Invest in stocks.
  • Start a side hustle.
  • Go viral.
  • Start your own company.
  • Spend less money.

No offense, but this all sounds kind of like throwing a drowning person a paddle made out of lead. It might look helpful, but it’s not. It does nothing but shift responsibilities from governments and economic structures to overwhelmed, overburdened individuals.

It’s great to make extra income off a side hustle, or turn your talents into a job that doesn’t exist yet. It’s great to be exceptional, but being exceptional by definition means that not everyone can do it. You don’t solve poverty and wage gaps by expecting everyone to be a genius.

Let’s get real for a minute.

The economy needs baristas. It needs cashiers and servers and farmers. Society needs police officers and school teachers. It needs nurses and social workers. When someone gaslights them about their finances because they can’t pay their bills, they’re pretending we can live in a world without them. The truth is, we need them far more than we do lifestyle vloggers. The solution to widespread financial desperation isn’t to turn everyone into millionaire YouTubers and Instagram models.

It’s to pay them more.


Note: the original article with all of its links to her social media, etc. is found here. MHProNews’ Third Party Content Logo was not in the original, and is added per our usual standards.


Note, these images are shown to illustrate insights about the author. They should not be construed as an endorsement.

Part of the plug for Wildfire’s book shown above says the following. “Pour yourself a scotch and fire up your kindle. Jessica Wildfire dishes on all the things professors want to talk about but can’t. If you ever wondered what your teachers got up to when you weren’t around, here’s your chance to find out. Anyone who works at a university will find themselves smirking and nodding along.” It is worth noting that logically the phrase “Go Get Your Everything” (book title below) undermines part of her contention above. Consistency in thinking is that comports with reality are virtues that merit encouragement and cultivation.



A few recent tweets further illustrates her political and social views.


Additional Information, MHProNews Analysis, and Commentary

 As with much of North American and European society in our tines, Wildfire’s Medium column has raised several interrelated topics. In fairness, it isn’t easy to make a serious case on any deep topic in 1200-1300 words. Wildfire is a capable writer. She has clearly built a following.  She is onto several items that are important in the above, some of which (e.g.: cost of housing) are important to our profession. Agree with her or not, it is useful to understand her perspective, because others are following her. These are among the reasons why her thesis is worthy of an objective analysis that unpacks her points, revealing the disconnects and misses, while at the same time applauding her hits.


Let’s begin with examples of her hits from Medium.

> “The rich are gaslighting us.” She offers scant specifics, but perhaps that is constrained by the format, length, editors or fear of getting her pen name shadow-banned. Wildfire names no names among the wealthy, perhaps due in part to her selling books on uber-billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Amazon. Those weaknesses noted, her point is nevertheless demonstrably true. The report linked below based on Institute of Policy studies (IPS) research details several of her concerns in a factual context. The report below names names, cites sources, facts, and evidence, and provides expert analysis. So too does the second report linked below, which names more names, and ties in concern similar to hers to Wildfire’s why such issues matter to our industry, its millions of homeowners, and the roughly 111 million that the Apartment List said are living in rental housing, among most others.




> “We can’t afford to live anymore.” The example of two professors she opens with who claimed they can’t afford to raise their children undermines her thesis. While she failed to say how many children are involved, if it is two, three, or four, of course they can afford them. In fact, it is obvious that the unnamed couple is affording them. What it really means is that the unnamed couple can’t do all that they might otherwise if they didn’t have those children.  So, a far better example would have been for Wildfire to have talked about a Starbucks barista’s financial challenge in making ends meet with and without children. More on this below.


The Forbes conversation between a boomer and millennial buyer. Citing that conversation attributed to “Joseph Coughlin of Forbes, it means they’re not going to be able to sell their homesis another weakness in an thesis that has worthwhile  points. MHProNews recently examined a CNN report where dozens of offers were made on one single-family residence. While that was a unique example, reports indicate that it is happening often. Almost all conventional housing is red-hot. That said, Wildfire’s and Coughlin’s broader points are interesting. IF the demand for housing wasn’t as high as it is now, THEN the mythical conversation could apply. More on that later too.



> Now we come to one of the better parts of her thesis and presentation. It merits a longer quote.

The wealthy engage in financial gaslighting.

 Gaslighting is when you construct a fake reality to excuse yourself from your own sinister actions and behaviors.

Abusers do it all the time.

Hoarding wealth is a kind of abuse the wealthy inflict on the entire world. To excuse it, they construct a series of lies that allow them to blame everyone for their own financial problems.

It’s pretty easy to distract someone from systemic inequality and make them feel guilty about a financial situation that’s not their fault…” While it merits refinement, much of that is demonstrably true. Getting the working and middle class people as well as retirees fighting about almost anything is a useful diversion. It’s Balkanization. That process has been deployed in Southeastern Europe, several parts of the Middle East, in Nigeria, and other parts of Africa. It is arguably being deployed in the USA.




Because the wealthy demonstrably control much of big tech, big media – and by definition, big businesses – she is quite right, they are able to forge “a fake reality.” Because the financial powers behind the Civic Alliance or the Mark Zuckerberg supported Center for Tech and Civic Life, (CTCL) etc. that exerted such influence over the 2020 elections, they de facto make the case that Molly Ball in Time claimed of a “cabal” of “thousands” that “conspired” to keep President Trump out of the White House. Meaning, that purported cabal is akin to what left-leaning Axios called the fourth estate – the business class – that Axios similarly asserted worked to keep the 45th President out of Washington, D.C.

Or to put her claimed point more succinctly, Warren Buffett and Danny Glover ought to be exhibits A and B for Wildfire.




The problem for apparent leftists such as Wildfire – as opposed to a classical liberal – is that if she does name names, and give examples, some of her own biases begin to crumble. Actor Danny Glover’s quote above is particularly useful for those in our industry, because he has served on a Warren Buffett-funded foundation board. The Glover quote is from the fascinating video documentary Shadows of Liberty.  You can stream it.

> Her next section is interesting, and has its moments. “Financial gaslighting is doing serious damage. There’s millions of desperate people out there. If they have a job, it doesn’t pay enough.” Wildfire then runs through the so-called tips that are given to people who have jobs that do not pay enough. Her illustrations are fair enough.

She then moves to her crescendo of a conclusion:

Let’s get real for a minute.

The economy needs baristas. It needs cashiers and servers and farmers. Society needs police officers and school teachers. It needs nurses and social workers. When someone gaslights them about their finances because they can’t pay their bills, they’re pretending we can live in a world without them. The truth is, we need them far more than we do lifestyle vloggers. The solution to widespread financial desperation isn’t to turn everyone into millionaire YouTubers and Instagram models.

It’s to pay them more.”

By accident or design, she has made a similar point to what billionaire Nick Hanauer argued in saying that workers need to be paid a higher minimum wage. But this is where ignorance of the economic consequences of an artificially-imposed minimum wage – however well-intended – surfaces. If the artificial minimum wage would be $15 an hour, that is certainly better than the federal minimum wage that is currently $7.25 an hour for those workers who would get a minimum wage.  But what it fails to consider is how often that kind of wage-hike absent a rising economy simply forces more marginal independent businesses to not hire, eliminate jobs, or replace what would be a person with some form of automation.

A quick way of showing the practical problem is to say, when not a $1,000 hourly minimum wage? It is obvious that most small businesses, and even larger businesses, could never afford to pay such a wage. Which then sparks the intelligent discussion…how can a living wage be created without economic disruption? Oddly enough, to those who are blinded by some bias, objectively the facts reveal that the process unleashed by the Trump Administration was moving workers and home ownership in a healthy direction.


CNN is not a pro-Trump media outlet, but using federal data, this graphic from their news outlet reflects the upward trend of income following President Trump’s enactment of the tax cuts and jobs act. It is worth noting that Democratic President John F. Kennedy Jr. did similarly. Income and productivity also rose. During the Reagan Administration, former Democrat turned Republican Ronald Reagan cut taxes with a similar outcome as Presidents Kennedy and Trump. Facts matter.
During both Democratic and Republican administrations, despite claims by both that they desire to see more home ownership, the overall rate in the U.S. is lower today than in 2000. This is but one of several possible examples of why failure to implement the 2000 Reform law matters. https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/whistleblower-hud-nominee-marcia-fudge-senators-collusion-coordinated-by-manufactured-housing-institute-video-mhi-evidence/

There is an argument to be made that if an economy can support all of those career options Wildfire listed, including YouTube vloggers or Instagram models, that’s fine.

  • But the sad fact is that some fast-food outlets, such as Wendy’s, are making cashiers more optional.
  • Not unlike Walmart, Costco, or Sam’s Club, self-checkout kiosks are eliminating jobs at a time they are much needed.
  • She is correct in saying that a more’ normal’ society does need police officers and farmers, among others. But much of what people used to do is steadily being replaced by machines and various forms of automation and semi-automation. Those that say that the lost jobs will be replaced by some logically inexplicable method are often pundits in the pay if those who are doing the gaslighting Wildfire rails against.

So, as nice as it sounds, her closing point of paying people more sounds like a minimum wage allusion. But however much some might enjoy the seemingly insightful literary flare, it actually falls flat when examined, as the above illustrates.  Once more, in fairness, elements of her thesis are useful and accurate. But she has built it in a fashion that does not hold together when it is unpacked or fisked.

The weaknesses in Wildfire’s Medium thesis are largely revealed in the above. There is no need to be redundant. But let’s pivot to a point that is arguably being raised by those who want to pump money artificially into the economy without that being accomplished in an authentic economic fashion. Because what she is alluding to is arguably the “roadkill” which Buffett has referred to, as is examined in the report linked below.


The federal government, under the titular leadership of what journalist turned pundit Chris Plante calls “the Biden-Harris Junta,” is printing money so fast that even Biden-backer Warren Buffett says that inflation has taken off. The payment of sums to many would be workers are large enough so that employers are struggling to find workers, even though millions are unemployed.  See the link that follows the Buffett video.



But Buffett’s points are also an example of slippery terminology. How so?

The more paper dollars are being artificially printed, the less those dollars are worth. Artificially “inflating” the money in circulation is actually an example of the dollar being devalued.Prices are going up” because the value of the dollar is going down. Look at Germany between World War I and World War II. Germany’s “hyperinflation” was actually a massive devaluation of their currency. What happened? After scapegoating the Jews and other marginalized segments of German society, the National Socialist Workers Party (NAZI) came into power. Adolf Hitler – the master of the Big Lie was who was backed by industrialists, unions, and business interests – was gaslighting Germany into doing things once unthinkable.


Several images posted on MHProNews in recent weeks are available in a larger size. In many browsers, you can click the image once, and when a new window opens, you can click that image again to see the image in a larger and easier to view format.
For those made uncomfortable by historic and other facts often react by casting slurs. Not to defend Tucker Carlson, but if Wildfire’s tweet show above – calling Carlson a ‘f-cker’ – had an intelligent argument to make, why didn’t she make it? Why did she resort to the tired, tread worn tactic of name calling instead? It is only by unpacking and carefully examining thinking that the true, misleading, and false can be authentically discerned. 
One may or may not agree with Clyburn’s politics. But the wisdom of this statement by Clyburn is demonstrably true.

Glenn Greenwald and Robert F. Kennedy Jr are two more classic liberal voices on the political left who are warning that a police state is rising in front of our very eyes. It is similar to the warning by Hanauer on Politico some years ago during the Obama-Biden era. Those who have studied history objectively can see the signs. While these are not necessarily fans of President Donald J. Trump, they, Naomi Wolf, and others are sounding the alarm that authoritarianism is here and it is coming largely from the political left.


These plans will routinely benefit the billionaires and the corporate interests behind the Civic Alliance nonprofit and other groups that big business, big media, and big tech deploy along in concert with Iron Triangle or ‘Deep State’ allies. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/build-back-better-lifelong-democrat-robert-f-kennedy-jr-event-201-report-warns-deceptive-gates-foundation-billionaire-elites-backed-covid19-world-economic-forum-tactics-leading-to-the-gr/
This is one of several blazing yet pithy insights from lifelong Democrat R.F. Kennedy Jr. While Bush and Obama were from two different political parties, and they certainly had distinctive policies, they were each globalists that used their respective crisis to consolidate power for their billionaire backers and corporate interests. Think President Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower and his warning against the military industrial complex. Or on themes often similar to RF Kennedy Jr, think of the quotes previously shared from CA Gov Jerry Brown.




As the Kennedy quote above illustrates, that doesn’t make it only Democrats who are involved. Look at former Republican President George W. Bush recently embracing the policies of Joe Biden. Why?

An upcoming Masthead will examine some sobering realities. The multi-billion dollar convicted fraudsters at Enron got a measure of cover from President GW Bush. His Vice President Dick Cheney has a daughter, Liz Cheney. Liz Cheney is a ranking Republican in Congress who has been going after President Donald Trump for months.

There are DINOs, RINOs and other fakes. Democrats in Name Only (DINO), Republicans in Name Only (RINO). Some prominent Catholics have called Joe Biden a CINO – Catholic in Name Only, because he is doing the opposite of what he professes to believe.



Moving to a Conclusion

Wildfire makes some useful observations. But her argument is improperly forged. Her conclusion is at best weak. She has somehow missed her own points!

  • The solution to ANY problem is to first properly diagnose it.
  • Once understood, someone had to go to root causes.
  • For instance, someone can tear the top of a weed off, but it only grows back. It is not until the root is pulled and the weed’s seeds are kept from spreading that weeds are eliminated.
  • Warren Buffett in his boldness has told Americans the dark truth that his class declared war on Americans. His class had RINOs like President George W Bush that threw some bones to conservative.  But then they did things that the billionaires and their corporate interests loved.
  • President Bill Clinton promised that the era of big government is over. How did that big lie work out?
  • President Barack Obama and his VP Joe Biden welcomed the billionaires and the billionaire fraudsters into the White House too. That and more will be unpacked in a fact and evidence based Masthead that is planned before this week is over. It will show specific examples of those on the left and right who gave cover to often massive corruption.

Wildfire is correct in saying that there is gaslighting. But at least in the Medium column above, she fails to properly identify sufficient evidence, much less offer rationale solutions that are based on the evidence. By contrast, there are those across the left-center-right divide that are working hard to expose what is actually going wrong in America. If Wildfire steps back and learns what they know, she may become a brilliant writer. However, she may also get deplatformed for telling the painful truth.

To see Edward Curtin’s fascinating report and analysis in context on this topic, click the link here. https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/behind-the-curtain-with-curtins-spotlight-on-a-tapestry-of-lies/
There are voices from both sides of the left-right divide that have for years made similar points.


Wildfire should have argued for this:

  • Get to the root issues. She us right in saying the rich rigged the system. Well then, it should follow that the rich should be punished legally for any and every law they have violated. Applying antitrust, RICO, and Hobbs Act laws.
  • Breaking up the big business, big tech, and big media monopolies would help address the gaslighting issue. The free market must be allowed to work.
  • Politicos must be held to account. They are either part of the problem or part of the solution.
  • The upcoming Masthead will provide the facts and evidence of several examples of just how badly the American bureaucracy and legal system have functioned. Trusting in big government is part of the Big Lie – a.k.a. Gaslighting – that Wildfire and others have aptly warned about.

This analysis is modestly longer than Wildfire’s thesis. It spotlighted what was worthwhile in her column, yet honestly debunked the weaknesses in her presentation. This is hopefully a useful example of why an authentic critique is good. If Wildfire reads this and ponders it objectively, she should not feel diminished. It may help her make her next article better.



Design by MHProNews.

For manufactured housing professionals, Wildfire missed the ways that our industry could play a useful if not pivotal role in reclaiming the American Dream. As the reports linked below reflect, gaslighting IS a problem! But the problem must be properly understood.



The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Abraham Lincoln was correct about several things, not just the need to end slavery in America. Lincoln refused to pay for the Civil War by becoming indebted to the bankers. He issued Greenbacks instead. That merits its own column. If President Trump decides to run again, or if another “Americans First” and “America First” type of rational populist rises, let’s pray for these things.




  • Get to the proper understanding and the root issues on every problem.
  • Restore culture and faith. Those are inseparable to a just and rational society.
  • After decades of whipsawing back and forth between the two major parties, it is long past time to step back and see how the various claims have played out in the real world. When doing so, a sobering reality begins to emerge. If gaslighting and concentration of wealth and power are serious issues – and they are, as the above illustrated – then why haven’t antitrust and other laws been successfully pressed by either major party in decades?
Both the Bush and Obama Administrations allowed the growth of M&As, consolidation, and activities that clearly tended toward market monopoly, duopolies, etc. President Trump’s Administration was been preparing to take this on Facebook and Google. What will the Biden DOJ and FTC do on those scores?
Gates and Buffett have had a long alliance. Those who pull back the veil and carefully examine what has been going wrong in America reveals that a complex web of manipulation has occurred. It has often benefited from de facto support from political and regulatory insiders.


The truth is there for those willing to seek it out, consider the facts and evidence rationally, and after examining reality, to begin the process of breaking up the cabal of the unjustly uberwealthy that has arguably been manipulating both major parties for far too long. Something like that should have been a key part of Wildfire’s interesting, but lacking analysis. She was in good company in saying that the rich are gaslighting us, as the quotes and links herein reflect. That noted, Wildfire clearly needs to make her thesis sharper. But if she does so, Wildfire might be joining the ranks of the deplatformed, shadow-banned, and censored.


Since Buffett-led Berkshire bought Clayton, the industry is actually smaller today than then. How is that possible, during an affordable housing crisis, unless they wanted it to be so?



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All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested with the discussion of manufactured housing related issues on our 12.3.2019 meetings. But Texas Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included the Constitution of the United States and other goodies. MHProNews has worked with people and politicos across the left-right divide.

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