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  1. #1
    kryptoniteboy
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    How do you define the Middle classes?

    What, to you, are indicators of the Middle classes?

    What and how would you go about deciding between someone of Middle class and Working class origin?

    Opinions appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    First off, I think the "middle class" and "working class" can be the same thing. The "working poor" are another segment. "Middle class" is actually a socio-economic term. I tend to believe it is all defined by income. The middle class have always been the backbone of the country, that is, until this current administration took over. To me, someone middle class generally is better educated, can afford to own their own home or condo, owns a car (maybe two), can afford to shop for modest luxuries like a TV, cd/dvd player, cell phones, new clothes, etc...They probably take a decent vacation every year, own a couple credit cards and enjoy the usual trappings in life. They keep the economy moving with their purchasing power. The "working poor" are generally living paycheck to paycheck, are renters, may not own a car or qualify for a home or credit cards and may not have a formal education beyond a couple years of high school. There are certainly exceptions to all of this. For example, some "students" may be in the "working poor" but only temporarily, until they finish their education and move on. They are also paying for an education, which is an investment.There are also those in the middle class who do not choose to own a home or take vacations or spend money on the usual trappings...but they are still middle class.

    There are also levels of middle class...lower and upper middle class...but generally the middle class are those people who have a certain degree of economic independence but not a lot of social influence or power, unless they act as a group.

  3. #3
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    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    There are truly poor people. So poor that their bad quality of life does not significantly depend on the cost of living. Whether they roam the streets in central Kansas or posh Manhattan, life sucks.

    Similarly, there are truly rich people. So rich that their good quality of life does not significantly depend on the cost of living. Whether they own a spectacular mansion in central Kansas or an 80th floor penthouse in posh Manhattan, life is good.

    Everyone else is middle class.

  4. #4

    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by kryptoniteboy View Post
    What, to you, are indicators of the Middle classes?

    What and how would you go about deciding between someone of Middle class and Working class origin?

    Opinions appreciated.
    I think for most Americans, 'middle class' means 'about what I make'. Their perception is that those who make more, of course, are rich. Those that make less, why, they're poor! The point is that the tremendous majority of Americans self-identify themselves as 'middle class'.

    Our politicians cater to this tendency - note the arguments about what the richest 1% or 10% pays in taxes, or similar. You'll never hear a politician define what 'rich' means, because everyone believes in taxing the rich - they just think rich means someone else.

    I'm in my mid-thirties, and a white-collar worker. My 7-year old car is paid for, and the mortgage on my 1100 sf house isn't a stretch. I can sock away a decent bit for retirement, help out a few family members and charities here and there, and I don't have any credit card debt. But I can't afford a big suburban McMansion, and I don't have to worry about getting me a broker for my portfolio or anything. To me, I'm about as middle of the middle class as you can get.

    And yet, I'm exceedingly fortunate. However middle class I may think I am, that description puts me in the top 25% of households by income. So is that top 25% the 'upper middle class'? What percentage do you have to be to be 'rich'? Top 1%? Top .5%?

    In reality, I think we tend to perceive the working class/lower middle class as people above the poverty line up to just above the median income (which is about $44,000); the middle class/upper middle class as those above that up to about the top 2% ($250,000 and above).

    A further complication is that those numbers don't deal with the size of your family or where you live.... a family of 5, living in Manhattan, with a combined household income of $150,000 is probably a pretty solidly middle class type family.... while the same income with a couple with no kids in Des Moines is certainly coming up with a bit more disposable income.

  5. #5
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    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Whatever's convenient for your political party. Middle class people ought to support Democrats, but then some of them need a lesson as to which party helped create a middle class to begin with... 6 years of Bush is serving as a very good lesson... as well as a reminder... motivating them to look up history.

  6. #6
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    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    How do I define the Middle classes?

    I'll let -U- know once the Democrats take re-control of the government & interest rates drop...................

  7. #7

    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    maltese, would you suggest it makes better sense to classify according to how much disposable income as opposed to gross income?

  8. #8

    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Sohma View Post
    How do I define the Middle classes?

    I'll let -U- know once the Democrats take re-control of the government & interest rates drop...................
    Hmmmmmm..... you mean back up to the rates experienced under the Clinton Administration? Or do you want them to drop further from the near record low rates of the last few years?


  9. #9

    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    I don't believe the interest rate has anything to do with what party is in charge; it's determined by the Federal Reserve. I do notice that the drop in interests rates had as much to do with George Bush as it does with his cocaine addiction---that is, nothing. There was a bad enough recession at the time, unlike during the Clinton years, that prompted intervention by Greenspan.

  10. #10

    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ICO7 View Post
    I don't believe the interest rate has anything to do with what party is in charge; it's determined by the Federal Reserve. I do notice that the drop in interests rates had as much to do with George Bush as it does with his cocaine addiction---that is, nothing. There was a bad enough recession at the time, unlike during the Clinton years, that prompted intervention by Greenspan.

    Shhhh... no economics for the class, please. Thought we should start with factual trends before we move on to that.

  11. #11
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    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Excuse but looking at congressional control of the bureaucracy during the Clinton administration as oppossed to the Bush adminstation could resolve our differerences but I am -2- tired -2- due da research -2- nite...........just curious........any takers...........might garnish an A+ -4- some of -U- students out there...............&..........mite........just mite......... solve our dilemma (that's -2- -m's- knot -1- -m-)

    -1- must look at Government bureaucracy as a whole........not Bill v. George....as Congress was Republican under both administartions & what -1- thought leads -1- -2- think that there may -B- sum connection between the fact that what Billy inherited came from the soo called "Contract with America" and G. Sr. and Ron....eek

    Ron Reagan yuk yuk yuk sum may remember that ...nitemare...........please, please knot agen' wake-up awl...please wake-up......please...........

    Let's wake-up and quit being fooled by these discriminatory tactics of the GOP

    -C- I can't take it nooooooooooo moreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.................

  12. #12
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    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?


    -C- I am sooooo upset now that just lyke Mr. R. R........
    "I'm melting"

    or wuz that Margaret Hamilton ..........with my sincere apologies t0 Margaret

    Blood Pressure check please

  13. #13
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    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    SO what your sayin yucky is you don't really have a point just mud to sling and the hope that it sticks?
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


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    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    No.........I need -2- just let it go -4- now.........sweet dreams........love ya all

  15. #15

    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ICO7 View Post
    maltese, would you suggest it makes better sense to classify according to how much disposable income as opposed to gross income?
    I'm not sure. In terms of lifestyle, that makes some sense - and indirectly, our tax policy does exactly that by the practice of granting tax advantages to those who have children - and having children certainly is a great way to ensure that you'll have less disposable income.

    But at the end of the day, we all make choices about how & where we're going to live - and that affects what gets classified as disposable income. I don't know how you make judgements in a way that isn't social engineering - reinforcing the things you approve of, and classifying those you don't as discretionary spending.

    So for any kind of policy implementation, I'd probably shy away from it.

  16. #16

    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by maltese View Post
    So for any kind of policy implementation, I'd probably shy away from it.
    Still, if I made $150,000 a year here in rural NC against that family of five in Manhattan I'd say that puts me in a higher economic class due to my purchasing power and, in the end, that's all that matters.

  17. #17

    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ICO7 View Post
    Still, if I made $150,000 a year here in rural NC against that family of five in Manhattan I'd say that puts me in a higher economic class due to my purchasing power and, in the end, that's all that matters.
    Absolutely, but that's an assessment of regional purchasing power, not disposable income as a result of lifestyle.

  18. #18

    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by maltese View Post
    Absolutely, but that's an assessment of regional purchasing power, not disposable income as a result of lifestyle.
    Well, if I'm a family of one with a coke and hooker lifestyle, yeah, it would.

  19. #19
    grizzled
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    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ICO7 View Post
    Well, if I'm a family of one with a coke and hooker lifestyle, yeah, it would.
    LOL, finally the truth comes out!

  20. #20

    Re: How do you define the Middle classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by smelter44 View Post
    LOL, finally the truth comes out!
    At least it is better fodder than my preference to not have cheese on my hamburger.

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