Post # 106
I think it’s because the UK has such an ancient, entrenched class system (I’m thinking Downton Abbey ha ha). It’s a lot about what family you come from, the historical wealth related to land ownership, education, etc.
In the U.S. we just don’t have that kind of history. Class tends to be based on money because virtually everyone is “new money.” There’s a lot of emphasis here on being self-made, forging your own way, becoming something from nothing. Those kind of people (I think, at least) tend to be more admired than someone who inherited money.
Post # 107
loudsilence99: To me, middle class means all the bills are paid and you have enough to put in a savings account, even if it’s $50/week. It does not necessarily mean you have room for tons of extras but you are living decently comfortably.
I think we need a spin off of “What does middle class mean to you?” because that is not what I pciture to be middle class. That to me is just getting by. That is just one car accident, or ER visit, anything from debt, not the stability of “middle class” I picture. It would not be comfortable to me to be just one job loss or accident away from debt.
Post # 108
YES! to me middle class means paying bills, saving for retirement, having an adequate emergency fund, and then being able to afford some nice extras such as an annual vacation. I don’t care if someone is making the bills, if they are one suprise away from financial ruin they are not in my definition of middle class. I read an article recently that said the majority of Americans don’t have cash on hand to handle a $400 unexpected expense!
Post # 109
That’s basically why I can’t take the political talk of the middle class that seriously–no one defines it, and when they do, it seems more working class to me. People focus on income but depending on where and who works in a family, $50K is nothing.
Post # 110
yes! you should start a new thread about that. I’d also be interested to see what items cost in different areas.
Post # 111
I agree that it isn’t accureate to say that just because you make more you spend more. However, a lot of households are only earning $250k or so because salaries like that are available in their area (NY, DC, LA, San Fran, etc.) … but there’s a catch to living in the area — it has an extremely high cost of living. Like I mentioned in my prior post, our house would be considered a “starter house” and the carpets and appliances haven’t been upgraded since it was built in ’96 … and it cost us over $700k. Housing costs are outrageous here. So if you we want the DC area salaries, we are gonna have to pay DC area living expenses. That means, at least in this limited sense, “you make more, you have to spend more” applies to our career/metro area.
The originial question had to do with where to draw the line if you want to tax rich people more. Which means you need to decide what you mean by rich. And $250k per year is a number that is thrown around a lot. And the bottom line is that in an expensive area, that isn’t enough to live a lifestyle that looks remotely “rich” (even if it is in cheaper areas). So if what we are really after is to jack up taxes on the rich, if we are going to be fair, the line for “rich” needs to be higher than $250k — because drawing the line at $250k is going to capture an awful lot of people in expensive areas who are only able to live a middle-class lifestyle.
Post # 112
I understand. We wouldn’t use the expression lowbrow in conjuction with class at all. In England ‘working class’ is something to be proud of. Many, many very rich Brits would happily call themselves working class. As an example, megastar and millionaire David Beckham to me is clearly a working class lad. It’s what he grew up as, and defines his background and work ethic. His wife is in the lower middle class bracket, which is partly why she is judged a bit more harshly than him for being upwardly mobile. Haha. It’s complicated over this side of the pond. The American way is far simpler! 😉
Post # 113
I always read Victoria Beckham grew up upper-middle class, which was why she was called Posh Spice. Her father sounds fairly self-made, but they sound far from “lower middle-class.”
Post # 114
You’re right, middle class does mean different things to different people. But I also think perspectives are skewed by what we personally experience. DH and I make around $65k combined after taxes. Regardless of whether I feel
poor, we make more than over half of the US. When we hit that $100k mark we are working toward, we will be making more than 85% of US households.
Almost 1/3 of the people living in my town live below the poverty line (a line which is too low in my opinion). I’m a teacher. When you see kids wear the same outfit three times in one week, whose parents can’t afford a $5 binder for class, who can’t leave work to pick up their sick kid because they either a) can’t afford to miss even an hour or b)run the risk of being fired, you gain a little perspective of what you have, even if life isn’t perfect.
Post # 115
“Well no shit, Sherlock! If my parents bought me a million $$+ apartment in Manhattan and I had no debts, I could indeed live VERY nicely on 250k. What exactly are you adding to this conversation other than bragging about how awesome you have it?”
Well no shit, Smarty pants!!! If there is a public fourm on a public page, I can post what I want?:( What exactly are you trying to tell me, that I can’t make a comment that I want because it comes off braggy to you? What exactly did you achive? 🙂
Did she say if you don’t have any debts don’t post? I was not aware that stating my situation and answering the question is not allowed on this forum. If a moderator tells me I am more than happy to not post it 🙂 If you don’t like my post just ignore it , or if it is offensive to you, simply , maybe ask someone to remove the actual comment and report me. Everyone is different and can say what they want or feels like. What are you thought police?? the last time I checked I don’t live in China 😀 BUt hey, the beauty of freedom of speech on a PUBLIC page is, you can make comments like yours to me and I can make them too on the internet :).
Post # 116
in SF here and our HHI is > $250k / year. We feel poor because we can only afford one car and hopefully one day a condo. After rent, food, medical & retirement, we can save some but not quite enough for a house.
ETA not calling you out; just responding to your alternate reality comment. I feel like I’m living in an alternate reality because we make more than 2.5x my parents but they could afford a 4bd/2.5ba home, 2 cars and 6 kids in the south. We can afford 1 car and that’s it.
Post # 117
If you want to feel poor. Read this thread.
Post # 118
I think it depends on how many children you have, and how you want to pay or not pay for their school and accomadations. We live in Canada and have a total of 4 children, 1st child finished University 2 year ago, 2 child finished 4 years University in Canada now has started 1st year Law school in LA, 3rd child started University this year… last child number 4 still in elementry school.
Now add in Cell phones, lap tops, cars, insurance, gas money, clothes…
I hate to say it $250,000 with 4 kids in school is the poor house
Post # 119
Agrees completely. I don’t think 250k should be drawn there. When you have children and payments it is not a lot, esp at places like SF. It is too expensive there, even worse than nyc. When you make more in some cities it also cost more. Grocery price is also different, a pack of meat in Chinatown is 5 dollar, 2 dollar in Queens and 10 dollar around where I live.
People also don’t take out really large loans esp students loans longtime ago, schools were also cheaper. I think they need to redraw the line, maybe even per state.