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Old 06-03-2011, 10:44 AM   #101
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I think it is as much about what you keep as it is about what your earn.

Our income level (one income family) increased significantly in the 13 years leading up to our early retirement at age 59. We did not greatly alter our spending habits or our lifestyle habits. None of this replacing the car every three or four years to keep up with the Jone's. Not sure if we did this intentionally or if it was just our style of living. In event, we went to retire we found out that we in a very good position financially and can now travel anytime we want and anywhere we want.

I worry about my children, I do not think that they will end up at the same place as we did from a financial perspective.
I agree on the children. Ours is doing fine now, but I don't have high hopes for her in the future. The good thing is, she's smart. She'll figure out "how" to do fine.

The other good thing is you really can live simple if need be. My mom lives on my stepfather's SS & $200 / mo pension. In other words, about $1500/mo. They do live simple, but they're happy where they are. I think we're programmed to think we need $50k / yr to just live...untrue in many places. We'll just have to move away from Cali some day...
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:59 AM   #102
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In our case, it is about demonizing people who have gone from throwing newspapers as a kid to sacking groceries to working in a lumber yard to manufacturing printing, marrying up & doing well by delaying reward for doing hard work...oh, and taxes.
I don't see any demonization. I do see an awful lot of folks trying to redefine 'middle' as 95th percentile - and for obvious reasons too.

It used to be that one political persuasion would routinely discount objective data in favor of feelings. Now the pendulum has swung completely the other way and we increasingly see the other side using emotive based analysis; such as: "I'm not rich because I don't feel rich."
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:18 AM   #103
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I don't see any demonization. I do see an awful lot of folks trying to redefine 'middle' as 95th percentile - and for obvious reasons too.

It used to be that one political persuasion would routinely discount objective data in favor of feelings. Now the pendulum has swung completely the other way and we increasingly see the other side using emotive based analysis; such as: "I'm not rich because I don't feel rich."
Yeah, I hear you on the "feeling" thing...I was speaking in general, not on this board, btw.

I really enjoy talking and hearing other people's views too.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:02 PM   #104
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I've just read over the Wikipedia article on "American Middle Class", and I think it's pretty good. Here's an especially nice paragraph:

The last sentence appears to say that if you can be replaced through out-sourcing, you're working class, not middle.
Right, so engineers, programmers making 80K+ are not middle class now??

TJ
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:09 PM   #105
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We discuss this and present our "ideas" as if there were an answer. Answers are floated as being a fact of experience, or society. But they are not, they are only a personal attitude based on who knows what.

Sometimes I try to understand what is the point of this kind of discussion, then I realize that there is no point, other than it somehow provides rewards or at least reduces anxiety in those who participate.

Ha
The point, I guess, is to reconcile Warren's data with our experiences. I know I'm having a hard time doing it.

If we can't reconcile the two, I don't really see how we can make progress on the problem of the shrinking middle class. Or, is it even a problem?

The way I see it, Politics are Bias. Policy will inevitably reflect our biases. Can we overcome them? After watching Warren's presentation, I'm still having a hard time overcoming my own biases. Its hard for me to "know" that the middle class is shrinking, when my own standard of living is improving. Blah...sorry, rambling here.
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