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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 19, 2012 #81 of 108
    dsw2112

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    I certainly wish you the best going forward. It might be of little consolation, but there are insurance policies (and companies that offer them) that cover more than 80%. My current employer covers 90%. Something to look forward to maybe.
     
  2. Oct 19, 2012 #82 of 108
    Matt9876

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    I have managed medical payments in the past for 1,000s of dollars, Mandated care suggest me and my family can't manage or handle our own affairs. In my book that is just wrong on so many levels.

    also working people pay into the system every week, in a time of need they have prepaid for a bit of medical help.
     
  3. Oct 19, 2012 #83 of 108
    James Long

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    Note: Before we get to deep ... don't forget this isn't a thread for politics.

    If we've exhausted the definition of "Middle Class" or agreed that there isn't one definition perhaps we should move on to other threads.
     
  4. Oct 20, 2012 #84 of 108
    Rich

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    Can't you get into a corporation? Any corporation will do. Once you're under their umbrella, everything is usually covered.

    Rich
     
  5. Oct 20, 2012 #85 of 108
    Rich

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    Far as I'm concerned, you can lock this thread. I haven't really learned anything I didn't know before I started it. I do know it's not a term I'll use very often. Way too vague.

    Rich
     
  6. Oct 20, 2012 #86 of 108
    Stewart Vernon

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    I don't know what "middle class" was truly meant to be originally... nor do I know if there even ever was a "true" definition that was rigid.

    I do know, that I currently do NOT know exactly what the middle class is.

    That's pretty much the epitome of a non-answer to your topic... but oddly, I think it is an accurate answer nonetheless.
     
  7. Oct 20, 2012 #87 of 108
    AntAltMike

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    Growing up, I figured that middle class was like the Donna Reed Show and Leave it to Beaver.
     
  8. Oct 20, 2012 #88 of 108
    Davenlr

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    I think the problem today, is that there are more than 3 classes, so there would be multiple middles.
     
  9. Oct 20, 2012 #89 of 108
    dsw2112

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    I think this is exactly right; great answer.
     
  10. Oct 20, 2012 #90 of 108
    AntAltMike

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    I figured middle class was where you could ask your parents for money for something important, and if you did, they'd reluctantly give it to you but tell you that you really should make out a budget, so that next time you needed some money to buy something, you'd already have it.

    My allowance was twenty-five cents a week in grades 2-5, 50 cents a week in grades 6-8, a dollar a week grades 9-11, and $2 a week senior year and that's all there was. In my neighborhood, when the ice cream truck went by, it did just that... it went by. My "budget" was simple. There was a bowling alley two miles away that had a special on Saturdays. For kids under 16, they could bowl three strings for 50 cents, including free shoes. My junior high age allowance was fifty cents a week, so my budget was 50 cents minus 50 cents = zero, and wait for next week's allowance.
     
  11. Oct 21, 2012 #91 of 108
    phrelin

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    The problem is we all want to compare to a time when....

    It is very difficult to obtain comparable statistics, but here's a 1960 family income data table compared to 2010 income using 1960 numbers adjusted for the CPI:

    [​IMG]

    This defies conventional wisdom. Here's why.

    In 1960 people in the second highest income tier second literally had income equal to the median home price. Using an income-to-home-price ratio of 33%, people in 78% of families could buy that 1,000± square foot ...3 br-1 bath-no family room-no central air-not wired for TV or the internet... home.

    Using that ratio, in 2010 only 40% of families can buy that 1,800+ square foot McMansion and no number on the 2010 chart equals the median home price.

    The problem is that our standards have changed considerably, even though those in the bottom tier represent a slightly lower percentage of families and those in the top tier represent a substantially higher percentage of families.

    And what doesn't appear in the numbers is median family size (smaller in 2010) or the median number of wage earners (greater in 2010).

    Finally, in 1960 costs for new home building didn't begin with a lot price that included significant fees for such things as water and sewer, as we still lived in a time when most local governments - supported by federal and state bond monies - did not have to generate funds for capital costs.

    It was a different time. The Middle Class expectations were less costly. Believe me, no one lined up to replace their telephone every year.;)
     
  12. Oct 21, 2012 #92 of 108
    Rich

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    Agreed. I have no more idea what MC means than I did when I started this thread. Lot of decent opinions, tho. For those, I thank everyone who opined.

    Rich
     
  13. Oct 21, 2012 #93 of 108
    Rich

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    That's what I see, too. Poor, how many classes of poor are there? I grew up really poor, but I never had to sleep in a cardboard box or on a steam grate. We never received any government assistance, always had a new car every 3 years (not that we could really afford that, but it didn't stop my father from buying them).

    Then there's wealthy, really wealthy, Buffett wealthy, and so on. I guess the MC falls somewhere between poor and wealthy and that's about all we know.

    But you're right, each "class" has many sub-classes. I know a VP of a large, well known financial entity that has constant "money flow" problems. In other words, they're broke because of the massive debt they've accrued. I don't really know what to call them...stupid?

    Rich
     
  14. Oct 21, 2012 #94 of 108
    Rich

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    I never got an allowance, never had a birthday party...pretty strange childhood when you think about it.

    Rich
     
  15. Oct 21, 2012 #95 of 108
    Davenlr

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    Wow. Im in my 50's and just bought my first new car this year. I wasnt going to buy one until I was in a position to put it on auto-billpay without having to worry about the payment bouncing the bank account. I finally got into that position, but it took a LONG time.
     
  16. Oct 21, 2012 #96 of 108
    AntAltMike

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    Oh, yeah? Oh yeah??


    Eric Idle: Who'd a thought thirty years ago we'd all be sittin' here drinking Chateau de Chassilier wine?

    Michael Palin: Aye. In them days, we'd a' been glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.

    Graham Chapman: A cup ' COLD tea.

    EI: Without milk or sugar.

    Terry Gilliam: OR tea!

    MP: In a filthy, cracked cup.

    EI: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.

    GC: The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

    TG: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.

    MP: Aye. BECAUSE we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money doesn't buy you happiness."

    EI: 'E was right. I was happier then and I had NOTHIN'. We used to live in this tiny old house, with greaaaaat big holes in the roof.

    GC: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!

    TG: You were lucky to have a ROOM! *We* used to have to live in a corridor!

    MP: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of livin' in a corridor! Woulda' been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House!? Hmph.

    EI: Well when I say "house" it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of tarpolin, but it was a house to US.

    GC: We were evicted from *our* hole in the ground; we had to go and live in a lake!

    TG: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

    MP: Cardboard box?

    TG: Aye.

    MP: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o'clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home, our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!

    GC: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o'clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we were LUCKY!

    TG: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o'clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife

    EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."

    MP: But you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't believe ya'.

    ALL: Nope, nope...
     
  17. Oct 21, 2012 #97 of 108
    Rich

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    Building wealth always takes a long time when you start off with nothing but your intelligence, I think. At least you had a plan. So many folks think it just "happens", like winning the lottery.

    Good for you.

    Rich
     
  18. Oct 21, 2012 #98 of 108
    James Long

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    Sounds about right ... but they would probably call those who are in financial problems due to having never earned the money stupid.

    Massive debt is easier to accrue than massive wealth ... based on earnings they would still be upper class or upper middle class depending on where one drew the lines because they earn more than the average family.

    Perhaps if that VP family liquidated to clear their debts they would still have more than the average person in assets. Enough to put them above the middle class.
     
  19. Oct 21, 2012 #99 of 108
    wilbur_the_goose

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    Smartest thing I did during the last 4yrs was to kill my debt.
     
  20. phrelin

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    Yep. Before we retired, we had eliminated all our debt. Some thought we shouldn't pay off the home mortgage, but zero debt is very comfortable.
     
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