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Thread: What is really happening to the middle class

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    Quote Originally Posted by Masterhawk View Post
    You may have heard that America's middle class is dissappearing. This is often left to imply that if unchecked, that America will be divided between a few enriched but many poor Americans. But what is really happening?
    The answer to your question is found in the first chart from the Pew article you cited, OP-er. Middle income earners are becoming upper income earners. That's not at all a bad thing.



    In the second paragraph of the very article you cited is found this statement: "the share of U.S. adults living in both upper- and lower-income households rose alongside the declining share in the middle from 1971 to 2015, the share in the upper-income tier grew more." The only way that happens is for those folks to leave the middle class and move into one of those other groups. Even just eyeballing the charts, one can see that more folks moved into the upper income group than into the lower income group.

    Am I denying that the middle class is shrinking? No, not at all. I'm saying that the reason for the shrinkage results from more formerly middle income folks being now upper income folks. Unless one has fears of the U.S. following in the footsteps of the Mughal Empire, which insofar as our economy isn't, as was theirs, agrarian, not much.

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    Some people get what they deserve, and some do not. That is what it is. Everybody, however, gets what they earn, and that's as it should be.
    -- My father



    I don't know that what follows is a theme you cared to address in this thread, OP-er, but I'm going to mention it. (If you don't care to see it picked-up -- it's your thread, and I don't want to drive it off-topic -- just say so. I'll save it for another thread/time.)

    Another member suggested that too many folks expect quick riches. Perhaps that's so. It seems to me that what too many individuals do is spin their wheels fussing about what someone else (others) has that s/he does not, all the while thinking that s/he is every bit as deserving of those things as are the persons who have them. Overwhelmingly and from what I've observed, no, most of those folks are not as deserving, not even remotely.

    Over my nearly 60 years, I've had people tell me about how lucky I am. Some of the say that with the right contexts in mind. I am lucky in that:
    • My parents, siblings, and so on loved me and I them.
    • When an opportunity came my way, I had the preparation under my belt and presence of mind to avail myself of it.
    • Nobody has visited great violence on me and mine.
    • I bothered to "read the writing on the wall," think about what it was telling me, and act accordingly.
    • I "looked in the mirror" rather than "across the street" to find the source of my problems and the solutions to them.

    One can all those things luck; one can call them something else. Whatever one calls them, they have been the keys to my success and they can be the keys to anyone else's because regardless of the situation into which any of us is born, we all are offered the guidance needed to do those things. One need only accept the guidance. That's exactly what I did; I just followed directions:
    1. I went to school and put in the effort to master the information they were teaching.
    2. I took a job, applied the stuff I learned in school, and put in the effort to learn the skills they were teaching.
    3. I sought additional guidance when I was stuck and heeded it until I'd mastered "their way."
    4. After mastering "their way," I tweaked it so it worked best for me, thus making it my way.

    That's it. Guess what? That approach works, at least economically/financially. Was it hard? Yes and no. It was hard at times to forgo something I wanted to do and work/study instead. The work/studying itself wasn't hard to do.

    Accepting the guidance is half the problem. If there was any one thing that my parents and teachers "beat" out of me, it was the hubris of thinking "I knew better."

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