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The Middle Class, What is It?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Rich, Oct 12, 2012.

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  1. Oct 14, 2012 #41 of 108
    Rich

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    Wow!

    Rich
     
  2. Oct 14, 2012 #42 of 108
    Rich

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    Still happens. The landlords fix nothing in the hope of driving rent controlled tenants out. The landlords pay fines for not doing anything. Does nothing to stop them.

    Rich
     
  3. Oct 14, 2012 #43 of 108
    Rich

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    I've been poor and had no idea how poor we were. I still live as if we were living on the edge. I've found out that living below your means isn't so bad. Now if I could just get my wife to buy into that philosophy... :lol:

    Rich
     
  4. Oct 14, 2012 #44 of 108
    James Long

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    If I recall correctly, the final episode of Friends mentioned the place being rent controlled.
     
  5. Oct 14, 2012 #45 of 108
    Rich

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    Only way they could have afforded it.

    Rich
     
  6. Oct 15, 2012 #46 of 108
    4HiMarks

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    As a teacher, I think of the Middle Class as being the 'C' range when grading on a curve, that is about a half standard deviation on either side of the mean. This sort of fits in with what was said earlier with a division into Lower Class (the 'F' range), Lower Middle (D), Middle (C), Upper Middle (B) and Upper (A). But the boundaries are somewhat fungible and can vary depending on geography, as also mentioned earlier, just as a grading scale can vary from test to test or semester to semester.
     
  7. Oct 15, 2012 #47 of 108
    Stewart Vernon

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    I don't think that kind of scale works for social economics.

    An "F" is usually anything below 70, right?

    I believe I read recently that the median (not average) income in the US was recently discovered to be $50,000.00 per year. That's a lot closer to the bottom than the top.

    In your grading scenario, I would think that would put the median income below the "F" line, certainly below the "D" line...
     
  8. Oct 15, 2012 #48 of 108
    AntAltMike

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    My physics teacher gave A to the top 7% on any test, B to the next 24%, C to the middle 38%, D to the next 24% and F to the bottom 7%. That's what he said he did, but in actuality he was a little more generous than that.

    It was stupid to grade physics students on that curve because only the best students took physics. It nearly totaled our class valedictorian because she got a C for a term grade one term.

    With the college board subject achievement tests, they plot the Physics and Chemistry scores to mirror the math scores of the students who take those tests, which is why nearly everyone you know of who took a Physics or Chemistry achievement test scored in the 700s.
     
  9. Oct 15, 2012 #49 of 108
    AntAltMike

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    On the other hand...

    My Sophomore English teacher was numb, too. For the whole first term and nearly all of the second term, all we studied was novels and poetry. Then, when she had to submit her midyear to the English Department chairman, she discovered that she was supposed to have given us one spelling list and one vocabulary list each week, so instead of "coming clean" and admitting her omission and proposing to give us two of each list in the third and fourth terms, she instead gave us two spelling lists and two vocabulary lists a day for the two weeks immediately before the mid-year exam.

    Then she graded them using the old fashioned 90-100%, "A"; 80-89, "B"; 70-79, C; 60-69, D; and all else, "F"

    Forty five years later, I still remember the grade breakdown of her combined classes:

    4 "A"s
    13 "B"s
    12 "C"s
    30 "D"s
    35 "F"s

    And mind you, these were "College Preparatory" English class sections, where the class GPA was probably close to 3.0. She flat out refused to in any way scale the scores, saying she didn't believe in giving the students something they didn't earn.

    A decade later, she was made chairman of the English Department.
     
  10. Oct 15, 2012 #50 of 108
    James Long

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    I believe you missed the "grading on a scale". Depending on how the scale is calculated it could be a percentage of how well the best student in the class did ... or done artificially to create the bell curve mentioned. Where typically 70% right would be a C, 80% right would be a B and 90% right would be an A (with the pluses and minuses) on a test where no one did well a C could be a lot less right.

    It didn't work to well when I was in school ... some kid seemed to always blow the curve - which led to bullying from the kids who really needed a curve to pass.

    A curve can bring up the bottom as well. If a guide is set where 10% get As and 10% fail the bottom 10% would fail the test regardless of their score. Such a practice is not fair ... but it is accurate. In life often a promotion or job offer comes down to one being less of a failure than another candidate. In a workplace where the top 10% get raises and the bottom 10% get fired being in the bottom 10% is not a good thing.
     
  11. Oct 16, 2012 #51 of 108
    Rich

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    So, I guess there is no set answer to my question. Is that the consensus?

    Rich
     
  12. Oct 16, 2012 #52 of 108
    BattleScott

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    Well, the simple answer is that the "middle class" is that segment of the population whose household income falls within a set range around the median. I don't think you will ever find a strict numerical definition of it, but it seems to be generally from 50% to 200% of the median.

    To me, the confusion over its meaning comes in when we attempt to use it as a definition of people's beliefs or values as if they all think alike because they earn similar amounts of income.
     
  13. Oct 16, 2012 #53 of 108
    wilbur_the_goose

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    Rich - I think it's a state of mind, not your W-2 salary.
     
  14. Oct 16, 2012 #54 of 108
    sigma1914

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    So if a homeless & jobless guy feels in his mind that he's middle class, than he is?
     
  15. Oct 16, 2012 #55 of 108
    veryoldschool

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    If he gets his coffee at Starbucks, "he just might be". ;)
     
  16. Oct 17, 2012 #56 of 108
    Stewart Vernon

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    That sounds like a Jeff Foxworthy joke...

    IF you get yer coffee at STARbucks... you might be in the middle class.

    :)
     
  17. Oct 17, 2012 #57 of 108
    James Long

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    Over the counter or from the trash can?

    The definition is flexible ... no one wants to be lower class, so it is easy to have the mindset of "moving up". It makes for a wide middle class ... and with the "moving up" attitude the high end is lost to people who think they are upper class. But their are also those who are "struggling" at the top end of the middle class who don't consider themselves upper class.

    If one sets the class by what one believes they are then perhaps someone is upper class because they have two cars up on cinder blocks in front of their doublewide instead of one. And you'll have people making $250k per year claiming to be middle class. That is why I like math. Not strictly based on income but based on the average person.
     
  18. Oct 17, 2012 #58 of 108
    hdtvfan0001

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    If you add the words "income for a specific residential location" at the end...that could be the closest anyone has come to some form of consistent measurement. Previous posters have correctly pointed out that income alone (out of location context) is not an appropriate measurement or definition.
     
  19. Oct 17, 2012 #59 of 108
    Rich

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    Yup, that would seem to be the consensus. When I started this thread, I had no real hope of getting a definitive answer, after a lot of Googling I had found no really definitive answer and was curious as to what the folks on the forum would say.

    So all this "middle class" rhetoric we hear is just that, rhetoric.

    I guess I'll just ignore the phrase from now on and consider the people who use it uninformed. I can live with that. My thanx to all the folks who tried to answer a difficult (unanswerable?) question.

    Rich
     
  20. Oct 17, 2012 #60 of 108
    veryoldschool

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    Last night's debate used "middle income", but that doesn't define it any better.
     
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