How do YOU define "middle class?"

Discussion in 'Money Talk$' started by billwald, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. billwald

    billwald
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_middle_class

    and most other sites seem to picture the population as a bell curve and middle class is defined as 20 or 25 percentiles either side of the median family or individual income. Does anyone agree?

    This sounds goofy to me. It might be reasonable if most everyone was doing OK but what if most everyone is NOT doing OK? I propose that "not OK" is the historical norm.

    During the "Great Depression" the admitted unemployment was 25%. Under those conditions was the median income +/- 20 percentiles "middle class? Or during the Greek and Roman eras half the population were slaves. The median family might a slave family. Were they "middle class?"

    All you working people who consider yourselves middle class. If your pay was cut by $10/hour would you still be middle class? If the median family's wages were also cut by $10/hour and prices stayed the same or rose . . . the median family +/- 10 percentiles would still be the same group of families.

    Or is (should be) "middle class" be determined by social status? (Does anyone deny that social status exists in the US?) If middle class is defined as management and professional people, are you still middle class?

    Which economic or social group should be classified as working class? Poverty class?

    IF all political discourse is to be about taxes on the middle class, the poor class, and the rich class should we not all have the same general idea of what the words mean?
     
  2. convicted1

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    I define the "middle class" thusly; the backbone of america's economy. Why do I say this? The "middle class", when it was at it's apex, the economy did fine. After the big corporations started sending their jobs overseas, they started cutting the "middle class" jobs, and look at how the economy has went into a downward spiral.

    Until they stop sending jobs overseas and/or Mexico, our economy will never prosper. The "middle class" is what has carried the economy for years, because they were the ones who paid the taxes, and not the big corporations. Bring back the "middle class" jobs, and watch our economy come back to life.
     
  3. Salty

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    So the minimum wage worker who cleans the bathroom, and the man who just put up $500,000 of his own money (cash & secure loans) are not backbone of America's economy - HOGWASH!!! Both of those groups are part of the backbone.

    Why does a company mover overseas. Certainly not to loose money. Why does a company move down South? Could be right to work States- less regulation.

    If a person has the opportunity to leave one job and take another to increase his personal "profits" would you deny him his right to do so? He does not have any legal or moral requirement to remain at his old company making less "profit" for himself - unless he is under contact.

    You would congregate him for making a wise decision. Why should a company be any different?

    I have often wondered why, when a company goes out of business - why the employees as a group do not buy the company? Hmmmm

    Middle Class - Goggle the term, this is one link I came up with.
     
  4. mandym

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    Why are they going over seas?
     
  5. billwald

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    The jobs are going over seas because the cost of labor is ten cents on the dollar and there are no environmental restrictions or labor laws or labor unions in China or India.

    Nothing will change without an import tariff on all consumer goods.
     
  6. mandym

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    So what is it going to take to get them to want to come back?
     
  7. billwald

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    The jobs will come back when the international corporations can make more money using US labor.

    The gini index indicates that the US already is a 3rd world nation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality

    A simpler method would be to compare median income with mean income but no one publishes mean income.

    http://www.averagesalarysurvey.com/article/average-salary-in-us/15200316/income.aspx

    is interesting even if the sample size is small.

    >The median income in the United States is $46,300. Statistics shows that 50 percent population live on $46,000 or less a year.

    >AVERAGE salary for ALL United States entries is 70,336 USD.

    Google middle class

    You will find that "middle class" is calculated as if income distribution is a bell curve. The middle number of "middle class" is taken as median income and middle class is median income +/- 20 or 25 percentile.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

    Note numbers are for 2003, before the economy and the dumped and unemployment jumped. BACK then median income was $44,389 (now $46k) and the upper limit of "middle class" was around $72K.

    The median income in the United States is $46,300. Statistics shows that 50 percent population live on $46,000 or less a year.

    "Statistics from MyBudget shows this average salaries in US:

    Top 0.12% of people in US earn median $1,600,000/year
    Top 1.15% of people in US earn median $250,000/year
    Top 3% of people in US earn median $200,000/year
    Top 5% of people in US earn median $166,000/year
    Top 10% of people in US earn median $118,000/year
    Top 15% of people in US earn median $100,000/year
    Top 20% of people in US earn median $91,000/year
    Top 25% of people in US earn median $80,000/year
    Top 35% of people in US earn median $65,000/year
    Through years incomes for 90% of Americans have been stuck in neutral. Middle-class incomes have been stagnant for at least a generation, while the wealthiest becomes much more wealthy."

    MY POINT is that even if median wages dropped $10/hour and prices stayed the same - this is what the Republicans say would be good for the US - the result of destroying the unions - BECAUSE the way "middle class" is calculated, the people who the press says is middle class would still be middle class. If half the workers were making only a couple bucks over minimum wage the middle class would still be the same people who think they are middle class now.
     
  8. convicted1

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    Brother, I meant no harm by my previous statement. I am sorry if you took humberage to it. What I mean is that who pays in more taxes, the "middle class" or the minimum wage worker? I have been on both sides of this argument. I worked for $4.25 an hour for approx. three years back in the early 1990's. Shoot, as far back as 2000, I was making only $6.00 an hour. I got my Associates Degree in MLT(lab tech), and worked as a produce manager in a grocery store in 2000 until a lab job became available. The "middle class" are the ones who have carried the burden of this country for years, because when the big corporations have to pay their fair share, they cry "foul, foul, foul!!" With the "middle class" jobs dwindling, so does the taxpayers' money. The economy has suffered, and capital hill just doesn't seem to "get it." Bring back the "middle class" jobs, and watch our econmomy recover.

    They left because of CHEAPER labor, and paying less for healthcare. IOW, a bigger profit to line their pockets with.

    You are correct, I guess. But when one corporation after another leaves, and you can't replace them, then you have mayhem. No one seems to remember to the pride in seeing "made in America" anymore.

    A company affects MANY households, whereas one person leaving, doesn't. Say a steel mill that employess 500 households ships their company overseas, and takes none of their american employess with them. You have 500 households that could possibly be left in shambles. One person taking another job wouldn't affect the other 499 households.

    That is a very good question that I haven't even given a thought to. I will have to ponder that one myself.
     
  9. billwald

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    In most cases, the production facilities are finished and contracts signed off shore before the US factory is closed. If the workers bought the factory they would get vacant buildings, not customer lists.

    The new trend in the US will be temporary job agencies. Far as I know, temp agencies are always scab outfits.
     
  10. Andy T.

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    I think the sine qua non of being "middle class" in the USA is home ownership, even if the home is very modest, and even if it is mortgaged for 30 years (as most are).

    It's not so much about one's income, but how one budgets one's income. Some people can budget wisely to afford a home, while others might make more money, but they never get enough discipline to afford a home.
     
  11. billwald

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    I own my home free and clear because I am a mentally insecure person when it comes to money. We always bought a house as a place to live, not as an investment. It is cheaper to rent.

    We just bought a condo in a civilized part of Seattle.
     

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