View Poll Results: what do you consider "middle class"?

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Thread: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

  1. #51
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Is "Middle Class" living a certain lifestyle in general?

    Is "Middle Class" Simply an amount you make and that's it?

    Is "Middle Class" having certain key factors such as home, car, etc to qualify you as it?

    Is "Middle Class" functioning at a certain level in comparison to those above and below you?

    Some on here seem to consider a bit of all those. For example Kand seems to think its that second option so that someone making $50k a year is middle class...regardless if its allowing them to barely eak through month to month mostly paying bills, necessities, and minor luxuries while having to save for some time for anything more or if it allows them to go out every weekend, purchase luxury items on a monthly basis, and live a comfortable life. Others meanwhlie seem to think its less about how much you make and more the style of life one has, making it far more based on the cost of living.

    There's not even a firm understanding of what "middle class" even is to be able to truly put a dollar value on it.
    To clarify, I don't necessarily think that it's just the dollar value you earn that defines your class. I just think that if someone is only eeking out an existence on $50K, it's probably because of the expenses they chose to incur (i.e. having kids, living in an expensive city, taking on lots of debt, etc)...which I would regard as no different than a person driving a car they can't afford or living in a mansion they can't afford. And I say that as someone who lives in an expensive city and who took on $150K of debt to go through business school myself. It's all about choosing what expenses are most important to you IMO.

    I would generally agree with your point that lifestyle also plays a role in defining class, although I would probably define "lifestyle" less in terms of material wealth than in terms of the person's mindset. So for example, I think a person earning $50K might be middle-class if they had a college education, took care of themselves and their family, and were moderately involved in their community. A person earning $50K might be upper-class if they had an advanced degree, believed they could and would change the world, and had lots of initiative and self-motivation. A person earning $50K might be lower-class if they constantly wasted their money on frivolous things, believed that bad things happened to them instead of because of their actions, and had no "big picture" mindset beyond their own life.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 10-13-11 at 03:39 PM.
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  2. #52
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by lpast View Post
    Like someone else has said...it all depends on where you live...you could not do that in many states...in some not even close
    Did you read the first sentence? "I think this kind of demonstrates why the whole idea of basing "middle class" on income is illconceived." I didn't think I needed to list every single factor that contributes to ones financial security/living conditions.
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  3. #53
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Middle Class for all intents and purposes is an income demographic. By that definition, households that earn between 30k a year and 166k a year fall within the middle class as they earn more than the bottom 25% of Americans, and less than the top 5% of Americans.

    Within the Middle Class there are sub categories such as lower middle class, middle, and upper middle class. Basically, middle class is all relative to income demographics for a given country. For example, the income demographics for the Middle Class in the US and Canada are very similar, however you can earn far less a year in China and be considered Middle Class. Similarly, while 2k a year in China is not extreme poverty, here it would be. While 150k a year is not rich in the United States, in Somalia it would be. It's all relative. However, regardless of where you live or how many people are in your household, if you earn 15k a year you are not middle class and if you earn 300k a year you are not middle class.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

  4. #54
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    Middle Class for all intents and purposes is an income demographic. By that definition, households that earn between 30k a year and 166k a year fall within the middle class as they earn more than the bottom 25% of Americans, and less than the top 5% of Americans.
    Would need to give it more of a look to see how I feel about it, but I do like you having a very specific and statistic oriented definition for how you define middle class.

  5. #55
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    Middle Class for all intents and purposes is an income demographic. By that definition, households that earn between 30k a year and 166k a year fall within the middle class as they earn more than the bottom 25% of Americans, and less than the top 5% of Americans.

    Within the Middle Class there are sub categories such as lower middle class, middle, and upper middle class. Basically, middle class is all relative to income demographics for a given country. For example, the income demographics for the Middle Class in the US and Canada are very similar, however you can earn far less a year in China and be considered Middle Class. Similarly, while 2k a year in China is not extreme poverty, here it would be. While 150k a year is not rich in the United States, in Somalia it would be. It's all relative. However, regardless of where you live or how many people are in your household, if you earn 15k a year you are not middle class and if you earn 300k a year you are not middle class.
    I agree with your assessment. It is noteworthy that almost 1/3 of US households now fall under the $30K - $166K middle class range.

    Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  6. #56
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    I agree with your assessment. It is noteworthy that almost 1/3 of US households now fall under the $30K - $166K middle class range.

    Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I love how these neat and tidy graphs, almost never account for government transfer payments, other forms of compensation like, medical insurance benefits, 401k contributions, etc.

    If they did, we'd see the real number as much higher than stated.
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  7. #57
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    I love how these neat and tidy graphs, almost never account for government transfer payments, other forms of compensation like, medical insurance benefits, 401k contributions, etc.

    If they did, we'd see the real number as much higher than stated.
    It must be frustrating when the experts don't use assumptions that allow the facts to conform to the way Harry Guerrilla sees them.
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  8. #58
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    It must be frustrating when the experts don't use assumptions that allow the facts to conform to the way Harry Guerrilla sees them.
    Really.
    So forms of untaxed compensation like company paid medical insurance, company paid 401k contributions, government transfers of money to individuals, don't count as income?

    http://stats.org/stories/2008/myth_i..._aug22_08.html
    Last edited by Harry Guerrilla; 10-13-11 at 06:49 PM.
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  9. #59
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Really.
    So forms of untaxed compensation like company paid medical insurance, company paid 401k contributions, government transfers of money to individuals, don't count as income?

    STATS:
    If Stephen Rose is an economist, couldn't he simply publish work in one of the peer reviewed economics journals if he disagrees with how his peers are calculating income demographics? It seems to me that if the current methods are that flawed, hundreds of economists would be challenging them in the journals to make a name for themselves.

    Moreover, wealth transfers like Social Security and Medicare are taken into account when calculating poverty rates. Otherwise, the poverty rates for seniors would be much higher than it is (which is quite low).
    Last edited by SouthernDemocrat; 10-13-11 at 07:07 PM.
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  10. #60
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    If Stephen Rose is an economist, couldn't he simply publish work in one of the peer reviewed economics journals if he disagrees with how his peers are calculating income demographics? It seems to me that if the current methods are that flawed, hundreds of economists would be challenging them in the journals to make a name for themselves.
    They're clearly using tax statements as a means of measuring income and not total compensation, which is completely different.

    Wealth transfers like EITC, Medicaid, Food stamps, 401k contributions from employers, Medical insurance payments by employers are not counted.
    Last edited by Harry Guerrilla; 10-13-11 at 07:10 PM.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

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