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cmg
07-02-2017, 12:09 PM
IF your following the debates about trumpcare, (TYT youtube) the middle class is very important to those in power, but that's never defined, so at what point do you become middle class? i suspect it's when above the $250K income level or can join a PAC and contribute to the influence. ron reagan always talked about the mid class but his tax breaks started at $125k and above. i was happy making $35k and could afford the first serotta. i asked an ex-girl friend and she said i didn't have to worry cause i had no class. so where's the middle? kind of like asking when does middle age start? at the 2nd wife i was told. enjoy

colker
07-02-2017, 12:20 PM
When you buy Ultegra level specialized bikes?

Cicli
07-02-2017, 12:44 PM
When you buy Ultegra level specialized bikes?

Awesome.

mtechnica
07-02-2017, 01:15 PM
When you buy Ultegra level specialized bikes?

Boom, end of discussion

harlond
07-02-2017, 01:16 PM
According to Investopedia, as of 2014, you entered the top 10% of annual income when your income hit $133,000. That $250,000 annual income you mention put you in the top 5%.

Since you're at the top, not in the middle, at those income levels, you're not middle class unless you're below them. Considering that median household income levels for dual earner families are around $67,000, perhaps considerably below them.

tuscanyswe
07-02-2017, 01:28 PM
middleclass at 250k dollars :confused::confused::eek::eek:
Im glad i dont live in US i would be considered a wellfarecase, with strangely nice bikes tho :D

weisan
07-02-2017, 02:10 PM
when you shop at Costco.

znfdl
07-02-2017, 02:27 PM
It depends upon where you live.

Rada
07-02-2017, 02:36 PM
The middle class in the US has a fork in it.

ofcounsel
07-02-2017, 02:39 PM
middleclass at 250k dollars :confused::confused::eek::eek:
Im glad i dont live in US i would be considered a wellfarecase, with strangely nice bikes tho :D

Even in SoCal, 250k puts you in the upper class, IMO. And by Upper class, you can afford a home in a decent neighborhood and not worry too much about things.

tuscanyswe
07-02-2017, 03:18 PM
Even in SoCal, 250k puts you in the upper class, IMO. And by Upper class, you can afford a home in a decent neighborhood and not worry too much about things.

Sound bit more realistic. Very few ppl earn that amount of cash here even tho we have way higher taxes. And Sweden isent a cheap place to live either esp not stockholm. I personally think your middle class should be way broader and "poorer" if these numbers are anything to go by..

Feels weird when so many have so little in the usa. Sadly the gaps are widening here as well.

rnhood
07-02-2017, 03:55 PM
According to Investopedia, as of 2014, you entered the top 10% of annual income when your income hit $133,000. That $250,000 annual income you mention put you in the top 5%.

Since you're at the top, not in the middle, at those income levels, you're not middle class unless you're below them. Considering that median household income levels for dual earner families are around $67,000, perhaps considerably below them.

I think this is pretty accurate. I was going to say that a $50k income (dual earner family) would be considered middle class except maybe in high cost cities like NY or SF. Where a person resides will also affect the middle class band to an extent.

$250K is definitely upper class. The upper 5% is about right.

ofcounsel
07-02-2017, 04:15 PM
I think this is pretty accurate. I was going to say that a $50k income (dual earner family) would be considered middle class except maybe in high cost cities like NY or SF. Where a person resides will also affect the middle class band to an extent.

$250K is definitely upper class. The upper 5% is about right.

$50k would be really, really tight in SoCal. In my town, which is pretty middle class (ok, maybe upper middle class, but not fancy), renting an average two bedroom apartment will run you about $1900-$2100 per month. So with a $50k income, after taxes, you're blowing 50% of your income on rent.

saab2000
07-02-2017, 04:19 PM
I wonder how many of the high earners are also up to their eyeballs in debt. That's a factor as well.

Seramount
07-02-2017, 04:37 PM
[QUOTE=rnhood;2197775...that a $50k income (dual earner family) would be considered middle class except maybe in high cost cities like NY or SF. [QUOTE]

you can add AUS to that list...

you can buy a nice 1200 sf fixer-upper in my 'hood for $500K.

sokyroadie
07-02-2017, 05:37 PM
In my Austin (KY) 500K will buy 38 acres on a nice 10,000 acre lake + about a
4000 sqft really nice home. You can buy a nice home for under 100k.

Jeff

ofcounsel
07-02-2017, 05:53 PM
In my Austin (KY) 500K will buy 38 acres on a nice 10,000 acre lake + about a
4000 sqft really nice home. You can buy a nice home for under 100k.

Jeff

Looking at google maps, appears to be a peaceful, rural area. Very nice.

nmrt
07-02-2017, 06:01 PM
lets keep this discussion going -- i'd always wondered what is middle class.
so, it means that depending on where you live, you live "comfortably"? So, lets say in KY it is about 50K/yr. And does living "comfortably" by earning $50K/yr also mean that you have been saving for a "comfortable" retirement? i ask about retirement because i see people in the u.s. own pretty nice things (new cars, homes, tv, bikes etc) but i always wonder how much are they saving for their retirement.

joosttx
07-02-2017, 06:06 PM
[QUOTE=rnhood;2197775...that a $50k income (dual earner family) would be considered middle class except maybe in high cost cities like NY or SF. [QUOTE]

you can add AUS to that list...

you can buy a nice 1200 sf fixer-upper in my 'hood for $500K.

When we moved to the Bay Area we thought we wanted to move to Mill Valley until we saw a ~1200sqft home for $1.2M. That was 2012 at the bottom of a housing market cycle. Obvisously we did not move to Mill Valley.

AngryScientist
07-02-2017, 06:12 PM
to me i think the middle class is defined by being able to support ones self, or family without outside funds from public assistance programs, living in your mother's basement, etc; and still have some money left over for the pursuit of happiness and leisure activities.

i dont know at what point you are out of the middle class on the upper end tho

Tickdoc
07-02-2017, 06:15 PM
In my Austin (KY) 500K will buy 38 acres on a nice 10,000 acre lake + about a
4000 sqft really nice home. You can buy a nice home for under 100k.

Jeff

Same here, but the schools suck, the weather has extremes, and the general populous is dumb as a bag of rocks.....but I love it!

ofcounsel
07-02-2017, 06:23 PM
lets keep this discussion going -- i'd always wondered what is middle class.
so, it means that depending on where you live, you live "comfortably"? So, lets say in KY it is about 50K/yr. And does living "comfortably" by earning $50K/yr also mean that you have been saving for a "comfortable" retirement? i ask about retirement because i see people in the u.s. own pretty nice things (new cars, homes, tv, bikes etc) but i always wonder how much are they saving for their retirement.

My take on the middle class for couples in their 30's to 50's means generally being able to afford:

Owning or renting a modest home that suits your family's needs in a neighborhood where you're not concerned about getting shot at while walking the kids to school.
Being able to take one or two domestic vacations totaling two weeks a year.
Being able to put the kids on sports teams should they want to.
Music lessons for the kids if they want them.
Owning a late model family car, minivan or truck. In addition, a second car in the garage, though not necessarily late model (you don't mind driving this one to work, but you won't take it on long trips).
A dinner out with the family at a reasonably priced chain restaurant twice a month.
Not sweating taking the family to the movies once or twice a month.
Cell phones with data plans and cable TV w/HBO.
A nice road bike, a couple of nice mtb bikes w/access to trails. Bikes for the kids.
Saving a portion of your income for retirement.

Whatever it takes to generally afford this lifestyle your geographic area is middle class. Anything beyond that, or below that, you may be in a different class, IMO.

tuscanyswe
07-02-2017, 06:24 PM
to me i think the middle class is defined by being able to support ones self, or family without outside funds from public assistance programs, living in your mother's basement, etc; and still have some money left over for the pursuit of happiness and leisure activities.

i dont know at what point you are out of the middle class on the upper end tho

I think that sounds like a pretty sound way of looking at middle class. Esp since it also incorporates variances for difference in cost depending on location etc.

sg8357
07-02-2017, 07:13 PM
I wonder how many of the high earners are also up to their eyeballs in debt. That's a factor as well.

A good friend told me "It is not how much money you make,
it is how much money is left at the end of the month."

That old dead Greek guy had a point "Moderation in all things."

kramnnim
07-02-2017, 09:19 PM
This

My take on the middle class for couples in their 30's to 50's means generally being able to afford:

Owning or renting a modest home that suits your family's needs in a neighborhood where you're not concerned about getting shot at while walking the kids to school.
Being able to take one or two domestic vacations totaling two weeks a year.
Being able to put the kids on sports teams should they want to.
Music lessons for the kids if they want them.
Owning a late model family car, minivan or truck. In addition, a second car in the garage, though not necessarily late model (you don't mind driving this one to work, but you won't take it on long trips).
A dinner out with the family at a reasonably priced chain restaurant twice a month.
Not sweating taking the family to the movies once or twice a month.
Cell phones with data plans and cable TV w/HBO.
A nice road bike, a couple of nice mtb bikes w/access to trails. Bikes for the kids.
Saving a portion of your income for retirement.

Whatever it takes to generally afford this lifestyle your geographic area is middle class. Anything beyond that, or below that, you may be in a different class, IMO.

rustychisel
07-02-2017, 09:29 PM
when you know the difference between your and you're and can use each of them appropriately

Llewellyn
07-02-2017, 10:44 PM
I thought the US was meant to be a classless Utopia.

fuzzalow
07-02-2017, 10:50 PM
when you know the difference between your and you're and can use each of them appropriately

I took this comment to be less directed at economic strata and more directed as a comment on the efficacy of K-12 public education. Which in a circular line of reasoning when viewed longer term is directly relevant to employment potential and earnings viability for many job opportunities in developed economies.

Labor capital is less and less an option towards securing and maintaining a place in the middle class. The middle class will become more and more the province of lower skilled intellectual capital which unfortunately will also come under increased downwards wage pressure because accessibility to a global worker pool is possible through technology that reduces or eliminates physical borders. Of course, public civil service has long been a gateway to the middle class but unless there is a restructuring of the wage & benefits liabilities on municipalities in sustaining these occupations, this particular job market cannot continue indefinitely.

I think looking at a definition of middle class is less tied to a particular wage & income level as much as it is tethered to the relative rankings between skill set gradations across industries and geographies. This ranking then assigns a value and drives the monetary compensation structure. Which is kind [of a] different way of saying that for many workers adding to skill sets is a necessary and inevitable requirement to being able just to stay in place, whether you wanna [call] that place middle class or whatever.

In a dynamic world, if you're just staying still then you're actually falling behind.

Mzilliox
07-02-2017, 10:59 PM
I thought the US was meant to be a classless Utopia.
Jesus man we aren't socialists. Giving us way too much credit. I thinks lots have touched on it. It's not about stuff but comfort. You can be middle class on lower income if you manage debt and curb consumption. But that's not very Americanish behavior. How many of the so called middle class can actually afford it? I worked in banks and know how much Joe corvette was in debt and lived paycheck to paycheck but appeared middle class. Actual worth? Nothing. So one way to think middle class is when you make enough not to worry at the end of the month. Possess no credit card debt or other bad debt. And can contribute more to society than what you get paid for. This definition would mean you can make 6 figures but really not be middle class. I also think what somebody makes is useless info but our society put so much import on it one must play the game. So you can earn zero and contribute lots and be middle class. And you can earn millions and not spend it and appear middle class. Or you can be as classless as Trump and apparently make millions.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

kppolich
07-02-2017, 11:14 PM
Middle class is when you don't have to check your bank account before you buy anything (groceries, gas, and miscellaneous), but you are still conscious of what something costs

adub
07-02-2017, 11:32 PM
Middle class is when you don't have to check your bank account before you buy anything (groceries, gas, and miscellaneous), but you are still conscious of what something costs

Ya that's what credit cards and HELOC's are for. LOL!!

jlwdm
07-03-2017, 12:06 AM
As people move to upper middle class it usually just means more expensive houses, cars and vacations and going out to eat more often. Too often not a lot of saving taking place.

Jeff

paredown
07-03-2017, 07:35 AM
It is a slippery topic--and income is certainly a determinant (and as people have pointed out), cost of living certainly factors into it. In the cities/areas with insane housing costs, families make different choices--and are less likely to own homes and/or commute farther if they have to work at middling jobs in the big city.

I think the real confusion starts at the upper end--people whose household income approaches $200,000/year are emphatically not 'middle class'--but we don't have a good name for them, unlike the Brits who would peg them as 'upper class' without hesitation. I liked this Times piece from a couple of weeks ago:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/10/opinion/sunday/stop-pretending-youre-not-rich.html

There is definitely a category of 'working poor' where their earning power is so low that they can barely afford the essentials--and this is exacerbated in expensive cities. When we were in London, we met lots of (typically) young folks working in retail who lived 4 people to a flat, and had to choose their location based on it being in the same fare zone on the Tube for their commute. No room in the budget for anything...they would have basically two 'good' outfits for work and could barely manage to stay afloat.

wallymann
07-03-2017, 08:17 AM
the french certainly have a word: bourgeoisie

good NYT article, btw -- thx for the link!

I think the real confusion starts at the upper end--people whose household income approaches $200,000/year are emphatically not 'middle class'--but we don't have a good name for them

zap
07-03-2017, 10:54 AM
I thought the US was meant to be a classless Utopia.

Compared to Europe, Canada, USA and Australia are. Sure there are some cliques in New York, Boston, etc. but nothing like in Germany.

I was fortune to have the opportunity to move to the USA and moved through corporate ranks quickly. Would never have happened in Germany.

Mark McM
07-03-2017, 11:35 AM
I thought the US was meant to be a classless Utopia.

That was never the intention. While social classes are much less strong in US compared to the old world, they've largely been replaced by economic classes. And the ideal of the US was and is for economic class mobility (although that is largely disappearing now in this day and age).

verticaldoug
07-03-2017, 11:39 AM
I don't think it matters what you call them, today's middle class are on their downward mobility to joining the working poor.

Satellite
07-03-2017, 11:51 AM
LOL when you make more than me because I am a bottom feeder! Government cheese is my breakfast and lunch and dinner!

Seriously everything is so expensive these days how does the younger just starting out kids survive today. I just got our Auto insurance preium renew and Iam saying no freaking way! It doubled from last renew rate. Now Iam shopping for insurance and I doubt I will insure our third car. Time to buy a for sale sign for the wind sheild. I kept it for winter and hail days but now it's gotta go!

Ralph
07-03-2017, 12:32 PM
Not sure it's so much about income numbers, because that changes with where you live....but more about how you and your family lives. And obviously not in upper 1 or 2 percent, nor taking government assistance for most daily functions.

If your family has a nice home (whether rented or owned), adequate transportation, you pay your way in society, you are able to educate your kids, and provide for family health care and your retirement someday......I think you are middle class.

cnighbor1
07-03-2017, 12:35 PM
way OT: A what point do you become middle class?
when you stopping looking for a scoure of FREE BEER

Nooch
07-03-2017, 01:32 PM
Middle class is when you don't have to check your bank account before you buy anything (groceries, gas, and miscellaneous), but you are still conscious of what something costs

I like this -- my wife says constantly that she'll know we've made it when she can go to the grocery store and not have to worry.

As it stands, she doesn't really have to, but she's also not the person who make sure there's enough money in the primary checking account to pay all the automated payments.

Satellite
07-03-2017, 01:38 PM
way OT: A what point do you become middle class?
when you stopping looking for a scoure of FREE BEER

LOL you never stop looking for free beer. Even Bill Gates will drink a free beer he just has someone to hold the glass and tip it into his mouth.

Peter P.
07-03-2017, 08:06 PM
Slightly off-topic:

I always loved this lyric from Fear's song, Let's Have A War (http://www.metrolyrics.com/lets-have-a-war-lyrics-fear.html):

Let's have a war!
Blame it on the middle class!

johnmdesigner
07-03-2017, 09:20 PM
The definition of "Middle Class" in America is very simple.

You are paying for the excesses of the Upper and Lower classes.

Think of it this way - a Walmart employee who can barely survive on their salary applies for government relief (paid by you) so that the owners of the company can earn record profits and pay lower taxes on them (a deficit that you make up). So you end up paying twice - relief for the worker and rewarding the employer.

Your reward? The opportunity to buy shoddy, mass produced goods made in third world countries by people with an even lower standard of living than yours.

Welcome to the Middle Class. You earned it.

johnmdesigner
07-03-2017, 09:54 PM
And please Middle Class people keep voting morons into office like this one.
The kind that represent your interests.

froze
07-04-2017, 12:16 AM
The slam against Ronald Reagan was uncalled for, ALL the presidents since him can't fill his shoes. Reagan's tax reduction and a tightening of interest rates by the Federal Reserve led to a record period of peacetime economic growth that hasn't been even closely matched by any succeeding president. Due to that economic growth and increase military spending it brought the Soviet Union to its knees, afterwhich military spending was actually reduced which created the context for balance budgets during the Clinton era that Clinton took credit for but the real credit was belonged to Reagan. Even with that record peacetime economy inflation was kept very low. While it's true that he cut taxes on on what's called the marginal income tax from 70% to 28% it affected all people not just the wealthy, reducing this method of taxation was to fairly tax people based upon their earnings with lower income people being taxed at a lower rate than higher income earners. Reagan wasn't perfect, he made mistakes, but he was the best president we've had since WW2!

Record profits that places like Walmart make, and the shoddy craftsmanship involved in much of today's made products ARE NOT because Walmart hires low income workers who then have to live on government subsidy in order to live. Corporations that make various products saw an opportunity that President Clinton provided when he opened the doors to trade with China and gave them favored status trade, so now corporations could send what use to cost $15 for a pair of $120 tennis shoes to made to suddenly about $1.50 to make the same pair and still charge the same price! In the process of making a $1.50 shoe the shoe was made of cheaper materials so they don't last as long meaning you now have to buy 2 to 3 pairs of shoes for every one you use to have to buy...all of that means HUGE profits for corporations at a cost to us the consumer because we're the ones that have to buy the same thing more often. Example; in 1973 Consumer Reports said that a refrigerator had an average life of 30 years, today it's only 14! Washing machines went from 28 to 12, Dishwashers from 20 to 12, garbage disposals from 35 to 13, this is the nonsense that you and I have pay for but is making HUGE profits for corporations all the while churning our money out of our pockets constantly. This is really how places like Walmart (and other stores) that they can make huge profits on selling crap from China in addition to paying low wages; however retail stores has always been about low wages, that's nothing new, thus the big percentage of profits come from cheaply made products. It's all about keeping the shareholders happy.

Walmart employees have to be on government subsidy, it is true that they are, but guess what? SO IS EVERY retail store in America! This isn't just a Walmart thing, people like to point their boney fingers at Walmart but it's ALL the retail stores that are doing that. Look people who sold electronics and appliances in retail stores in the 70's (in large cities not small little towns) made 70 to 100 thousand dollars a year, since then stores like Sears, the once Circuit City, Best Buys etc slowly took the commission program away and are now paying them barely above minimum wage, so these people who use to make a substantial money are now also on government subsidy. And why did these companies do this? They blamed it on competition, but competition has always been around, it had nothing to do with competition, it had everything to do with profits. This same kind of income could be made at shoe stores, men's suits, etc. When companies went from being privately owned to stock owned the companies saw that they could make huge profits by lowering wages and buying crap in China so that stocks would go up and shareholders could make money and would want to invest in their company.

So now instead of walking into a store and finding a seasoned sales employee who knew everything there was to know about the product they sold instead they now hire college kids who may be there for a year before leaving without ever taking an interest in the product because there's no incentive to do so and no training either.

I remember, because I'm 63, that retail stores were always trying to find ways to pay workers less money, and one of the ways they came up with my generation before Walmart was around as big operation, is that they would only hire workers on a part time status work, them up to the limit of being called full time but still be part time so the retail stores wouldn't have to provide, and thus pay for, medical insurance for their low wage employees. Guess what companies are doing today in the states that raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour? These companies that had a staff of minimum wage employees laid off people and the unemployment rate went up.

I hate to say this, but most people I've run into places like Walmart don't deserve $15 an hour! They move so slowly you would think that Walmart issued lead boots for their employees to wear, they don't know anything about anything, I once had to tell a customer where they could find a particular item after the store employee couldn't tell them and I had only been in that store once!! and the employee had worked there a year and half!!

Back to the Walmart type of income, these people choose these type of jobs, some are in school, and others have low self esteem, quite a few are mentally slow, etc, so while they maybe working a low wage job at least their working which more than I can say for a lot of welfare people who refuse to work! In addition to that when people work for low paying jobs some of their government subsidy is actually reduced based on how much they make, so in reality they are actually saving taxpayers money by working at Walmart and the such.

If you want to read the truth about low wage employees being subsidized by the government than read this for more: https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/does-the-government-subsidize-low-wage-employers/

dbnm
07-04-2017, 12:39 AM
Wow.

Satellite
07-04-2017, 01:43 AM
The slam against Ronald Reagan was uncalled for, ALL the presidents since him can't fill his shoes.

You Sir need to start looking for that Free Beer!:beer:

OtayBW
07-04-2017, 08:19 AM
Where is that ignore button? :(

oldpotatoe
07-04-2017, 09:16 AM
Wow.

No kidding, he must be thrilled these days..:D

johnmdesigner
07-04-2017, 09:20 AM
Well allrighty then.

Spinner
07-04-2017, 09:23 AM
The slam against Ronald Reagan was uncalled for, ALL the presidents since him can't fill his shoes.

Iran Contra ...

Mikej
07-04-2017, 09:27 AM
So, as a 48 yo male, I always heard the comment "they only hire part time so they don't have to pay benefits " to be untrue. As a young person I worked full time and was paid overtime, but did not receive any benefits. It was not until I was a union pipe fittter that I received a health, dental, and retirement plan. I have since moved on, but just saying there is no law that stated you have to receive benefits for working 40 hrs a week? My friends and I (lower middle class) were raised with the notion that you had to work your way into a position that had benefits- you could go to school, become a cop etc. or work your a$$ off. But it was a sure and proud moment when a guy in the neighborhood could say he had a benefits package. That was the door to middle class in South East Wisconsin, not just a pay check amount, but having some skill that a company would compensate you for and you could move out of moms!

adub
07-04-2017, 10:10 AM
The definition of "Middle Class" in America is very simple.

You are paying for the excesses of the Upper and Lower classes.

Think of it this way - a Walmart employee who can barely survive on their salary applies for government relief (paid by you) so that the owners of the company can earn record profits and pay lower taxes on them (a deficit that you make up). So you end up paying twice - relief for the worker and rewarding the employer.

Your reward? The opportunity to buy shoddy, mass produced goods made in third world countries by people with an even lower standard of living than yours.

Welcome to the Middle Class. You earned it.

This^^

The only part left out is the middle class has no money left, but don't worry we'll give you a bunch of credit to keep the merry go round lubricated for a while longer.

paredown
07-04-2017, 10:15 AM
So, as a 48 yo male, I always heard the comment "they only hire part time so they don't have to pay benefits " to be untrue. As a young person I worked full time and was paid overtime, but did not receive any benefits. It was not until I was a union pipe fittter that I received a health, dental, and retirement plan. I have since moved on, but just saying there is no law that stated you have to receive benefits for working 40 hrs a week? My friends and I (lower middle class) were raised with the notion that you had to work your way into a position that had benefits- you could go to school, become a cop etc. or work your a$$ off. But it was a sure and proud moment when a guy in the neighborhood could say he had a benefits package. That was the door to middle class in South East Wisconsin, not just a pay check amount, but having some skill that a company would compensate you for and you could move out of moms!

Some of this depends on your state's labor laws, since some states will have requirements for things like overtime provisions, holiday pay. vacation day accumulation, sick day accumulation--although I'm not sure the degree to which employers were required to provide things like health insurance (if at all). Part-timers typically do not participate in company retirement plans and miss out on any matched dollar contributions.

It sounds like in your case the overtime provision was probably covered by state law--but not other things.

There was (and is) a real benefit to employers to maintain a large reserve of part-time employees since even the accumulation of vacation time (and the other costs) are a real expense--which is why retailers, restaurants and a host of other companies run on part-time employees.

Villgaxx
07-04-2017, 10:36 AM
IF your following the debates about trumpcare, (TYT youtube) the middle class is very important to those in power, but that's never defined, so at what point do you become middle class? i suspect it's when above the $250K income level or can join a PAC and contribute to the influence. ron reagan always talked about the mid class but his tax breaks started at $125k and above. i was happy making $35k and could afford the first serotta. i asked an ex-girl friend and she said i didn't have to worry cause i had no class. so where's the middle? kind of like asking when does middle age start? at the 2nd wife i was told. enjoy

I have this sort of conversation occasionally--I'm wicked fun at parties and everywhere else--and I'm constantly nonplussed that people don't understand how 'middle class' works and that they base their opinions of feelings and whatnot. Very few people really understand what the middle class is and most (many) upper-class folks think they're middle class.

It's pretty simple. Look up the household income quintiles for the US. There are different sources so the google machine is your friend, but rough and tough:

Middle class starts at about $23000/year of household income and ends at around $113000/year. (Depends on the source and the year. I understand.)

But think about being middle class making 25 grand a year if your household is anyone in addition to you your own single self.

For fun, look up the average household income for New York City.

$125000 coming in every year makes you upper class. You might not be able to buy as many submarine yachts as you want, but you are among the richest humans to ever live.

The middle class is simply the second, third, and fourth quintiles of income, lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class. How you feel and what you can afford have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Our group here is a self-selected cohort based on common interests and wealth and stuff, but in general folks like us do not have a realistic grasp on wealth and class in our own society. Most of us live lives not connected in any meaningful way to the reality of far too many people. That's not good for anyone.

fuzzalow
07-04-2017, 10:45 AM
froze you cover a lot of ground in your post. You're entitled to your opinion. I view favorably anybody who's willing to speak expansively on a topic because it puts your thought process right out there for everybody to see and it is on your content & ideas that you will be judged.

I hate to say this, but most people I've run into places like Walmart don't deserve $15 an hour!

I hadda quote you for this because I don't think any of us know enough about what each Walmart worker is dealing with in their own lives to judge what they are deserving of. At a certain point of having lived long enough to see what challenges life brings, I'd have hoped that experience leads every one of us to greater compassion for how anyone makes their way through life.

My only comment on your post is that it is too rearward looking and pessimistic of the present day. You might take example from President Reagan who saw optimism and hope in making a better future if we were willing to work towards making it so.

For fun, look up the average household income for New York City.

NYC is five boroughs. What are you getting at and what is your point?

jlyon
07-04-2017, 10:46 AM
I think upper class is now that you can afford to pay for your kids college.

That used to be a middle class thing 45 years ago.

I have a sister who is about 8 years away from retirement and has saved about $3 million in 35 years of working as a civil engineer but she and her husband have averaged about $98k a year in earning in that time. Her daughter went to a state college and they paid about half. She has rarely taken a real vacation. Yes she has saved more than 50% of their income consistently.

Then I have a brother and he and his wife have averaged about $260k a year in earnings over the last 40 years who has saved less than a million and is 66 and ready to retire. His 2 kids whet to private colleges and he paid for it all. He has seen more of the world than 99.9% of even what I consider upper class travelers.

So who is middle and who is upper? Depends on your point of view.

Is it better to yourself and society to earn and spend more or earn less but save more?

If everyone saved as my sister does the economy would suffer.

rustychisel
07-04-2017, 10:48 AM
$125000 coming in every year makes you upper class.

Trimmed just a little because the fun was just too contagious.

Why is a pure economic indicator used to support the age old notion of class? Mostly the class system has broken down and the indication would be that great wealth makes one classless.

Villgaxx
07-04-2017, 10:49 AM
For even more fun, look up the median household income for Manhattan.

Villgaxx
07-04-2017, 10:52 AM
Trimmed just a little because the fun was just too contagious.

Why is a pure economic indicator used to support the age old notion of class? Mostly the class system has broken down and the indication would be that great wealth makes one classless.

Because in the USA, the discussion is always about middle class incomes. Most people don't understand what that means, and it makes them very poor citizens regardless of their income.

fa63
07-04-2017, 12:09 PM
I think Wikipedia covers this pretty well:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_middle_class

54ny77
07-04-2017, 01:00 PM
when you take out a 3 year 7.5% int. rate bicycle loan at 120% loan to value to buy a new gicantrekalized, and qualify to afford the monthly payments.

verticaldoug
07-04-2017, 02:15 PM
i can't worry about any of this.
Before climate change gets us, the pension time bomb courtesy of unfunded pension liabilities at the local, state, federal and corporate level will get us all.

sokyroadie
07-04-2017, 03:32 PM
i can't worry about any of this.
Before climate change gets us, the pension time bomb courtesy of unfunded pension liabilities at the local, state, federal and corporate level will get us all.

The PBGC is going to be really busy.

BTW - I am supposed to start drawing a small pension from a plan they took over this month.

Jeff

verticaldoug
07-05-2017, 07:00 AM
The PBGC is going to be really busy.

BTW - I am supposed to start drawing a small pension from a plan they took over this month.

Jeff

160b in liabilities vs 85b in assets.

all we have to do is input unrealistic average annual investment returns into our spreadsheet and presto, no problem.

extend and pretend