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Old 06-05-2023, 01:06 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
It's all very interesting and I'm sure there are undergraduate and graduate university courses that study poverty and wealth. But I don't see this as germane to the discussion of "what is middle class" and the current question "are you middle class" in terms of income and/or savings.

Once again, I'll mention my BFF who is half a million in debt at age 78 (NW - minus $500,000.) HE lives a middle class life. Nice house, nice cars, toys, travel, eating out, etc. He and I w*rked at the same megacorp and though our w*rk assignments were quite different, we made about the same money.

SO, is such a person "middle class" because he couldn't handle money and is deeply in debt - yet gets pension and his/hers SS that allows a very nice life style?

The differences are germane to the comment up thread that economic status doesnít determine behavior- or something there about.
It does a disservice to people in poverty to think that there are no differences in the same way itís a disservice to compare the majority of us to Oprah or Bezos lifestyles.

Regarding your BFF- you would need to provide more information including how he grew up.
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Old 06-05-2023, 01:12 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishgirlyc58 View Post
The differences are germane to the comment up thread that economic status doesnít determine behavior- or something there about.
It does a disservice to people in poverty to think that there are no differences in the same way itís a disservice to compare the majority of us to Oprah or Bezos lifestyles.
I've experienced and lived among both poverty and wealth. I can confirm there are very fundamental differences in how each makes decisions, perceives society and their place in it.
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Old 06-05-2023, 01:33 PM   #43
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Well, let's put it this way. I grew up in a lower-middle-class, you might say working-class, household. One of my parents had been an impoverished immigrant, while the other didn't make it to 10th grade. Yet they were the best-behaved, classiest people around, with educated vocabularies (they both read a lot), good manners, and straight posture. They spoke in the same kind way to rich and poor alike. They would've known how to act at a State dinner, had they ever been invited.

I am the first generation in my family to attend college. I married someone from a similar background to mine; together, we worked and saved our way into the "upper middle" class. Yet I consider myself and my late husband no higher "class" than my parents.

The only difference is income and assets. And should bad luck cause me to lose my financial standing, I hope I'll still be a classy person.

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"Should"? According to whom? Do we now change the dictionary as well? If we do, how do we make sense of the tens of millions of references to "class" that still exist and are a treasure trove of data in our past literature? Imagine your kid is doing a paper on the "new word" for middle class. When she Googles that new word - virtually nothing will come up. Her base of data will encompass 2023 forward. Not very useful.

Pretty soon, we'll have references like "Income Classified at Lower Levels than Average" and then someone will object to the word "average" as being applied to a human. It won't end if we start changing the language now every time someone imagines a word to be derogatory. Every word is probably derogatory in someone's mind.

I'm not a big fan of changing words that have been around for a long time with their meanings well understood - by anyone willing to understand rather than looking to be offended. That someone might now be offended by the word "class" is unfortunate, but not enough reason to come up with a new and improved, shiny, sanitized word that (in this case) primarily means economic status, denoted by income. We use "class" because we know it means "economic status denoted by income" and it's a heck of a lot easier to say "class" than "economic status denoted by income." And, we've been using it that way for 100 years or more.

I've grown up with the word "class" and have never given it a second thought about referring to anyone's behavior or societal value. That someone now does take the time to think about various connotations of the word, doesn't mean we have to change the word. That can get old pretty quickly. 'Cause then we'll soon be off to the next, new, more appropriate, acceptable word when someone new is offended by the old "new" word. Lower, middle and upper class have been around as long as I can recall and they've been used in news articles, economic studies and every-day speech as long as I can remember and I easily remember their use back to the 50s. I don't recall them ever being used as derogatory references. No word is perfect and every word can be misused. Having said that, lower class, middle class and upper class have come to be well understood whether someone can find a way to make them sound derogatory or not. Of course, since we all think differently about such things, YMMV.
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Old 06-05-2023, 04:42 PM   #44
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I wish the article had been titled ďDo you Have a Middle Class Income?Ē
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Old 06-05-2023, 04:52 PM   #45
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Class should be considered in relation to time horizon, not income.

E.g. "high-class people plan for three generations, low-class people for Saturday night."
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Old 06-05-2023, 05:10 PM   #46
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Well, with my current income I'm in top 5 percent. But I know in a reality I'm really poor because going to retire soon
I think I need to write another book: Bridges into Poverty.
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Old 06-05-2023, 07:05 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
"Should"? According to whom? Do we now change the dictionary as well? If we do, how do we make sense of the tens of millions of references to "class" that still exist and are a treasure trove of data in our past literature? Imagine your kid is doing a paper on the "new word" for middle class. When she Googles that new word - virtually nothing will come up. Her base of data will encompass 2023 forward. Not very useful.

Pretty soon, we'll have references like "Income Classified at Lower Levels than Average" and then someone will object to the word "average" as being applied to a human. It won't end if we start changing the language now every time someone imagines a word to be derogatory. Every word is probably derogatory in someone's mind.

I'm not a big fan of changing words that have been around for a long time with their meanings well understood - by anyone willing to understand rather than looking to be offended. That someone might now be offended by the word "class" is unfortunate, but not enough reason to come up with a new and improved, shiny, sanitized word that (in this case) primarily means economic status, denoted by income. We use "class" because we know it means "economic status denoted by income" and it's a heck of a lot easier to say "class" than "economic status denoted by income." And, we've been using it that way for 100 years or more.

I've grown up with the word "class" and have never given it a second thought about referring to anyone's behavior or societal value. That someone now does take the time to think about various connotations of the word, doesn't mean we have to change the word. That can get old pretty quickly. 'Cause then we'll soon be off to the next, new, more appropriate, acceptable word when someone new is offended by the old "new" word. Lower, middle and upper class have been around as long as I can recall and they've been used in news articles, economic studies and every-day speech as long as I can remember and I easily remember their use back to the 50s. I don't recall them ever being used as derogatory references. No word is perfect and every word can be misused. Having said that, lower class, middle class and upper class have come to be well understood whether someone can find a way to make them sound derogatory or not. Of course, since we all think differently about such things, YMMV.

Nice post. I agree. A lot of times people just want to complain and make things more complicated.
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Old 06-05-2023, 08:03 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishgirlyc58 View Post
The differences are germane to the comment up thread that economic status doesnít determine behavior- or something there about.
It does a disservice to people in poverty to think that there are no differences in the same way itís a disservice to compare the majority of us to Oprah or Bezos lifestyles.

Regarding your BFF- you would need to provide more information including how he grew up.
First of all, I haven't seen anyone suggest that middle class status does or doesn't determine behavior. Maybe I missed it or ignored it It actually probably does to some extent (I sure acted differently when I didn't have an extra dime in college. The term "ramen noodles" comes to mind.) The term "middle class" does not discuss, denote or connote behavior. It's a technical term that (clearly from our discussion) is not as well defined without official parameters attached. That's what we started out to do. Come up with the parameters as contained in someone's "calculator." YMMV on that.

My point is that we currently have a perfectly good, 100+ year old term for "how much money people have." Changing it because someone thinks the word is now problematic, only leads to more problems - not less. I pointed out those problems in (what turned out to be) my rant so I won't go over it again.

My BFF started out just like I did - lower middle class. His dad was a good earner, but a drunk and womanizer. All this caused what should have been a middle class life to be lower middle class life style.

My parents both lost their j*bs after the war in defense plants because my mom was (guess what) female. My dad lost his j*b because he wasn't a veteran because he was profoundly disabled and couldn't have joined the military (But I wouldn't have wanted to go up against him!!)

So my parents scraped together $400 and started a business that is still thriving today (3rd generation.) And therefore, I started out lower middle class - just like my BFF.
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Old 06-05-2023, 08:15 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post

The only difference is income and assets. And should bad luck cause me to lose my financial standing, I hope I'll still be a classy person.
And, hence the term "middle class" based on financial standing, income and assets. Not on how one was raised or how much they used to have when a child nor how they behave nor their attitudes nor heritage nor value to society. It's just a financial term, coined and "defined" long ago. It's still useful because virtually everyone knows what it means (even if we still struggle to define it in dollar terms.)
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Old 06-05-2023, 08:15 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
"Should"? According to whom? Do we now change the dictionary as well? If we do, how do we make sense of the tens of millions of references to "class" that still exist and are a treasure trove of data in our past literature? Imagine your kid is doing a paper on the "new word" for middle class. When she Googles that new word - virtually nothing will come up. Her base of data will encompass 2023 forward. Not very useful.

Pretty soon, we'll have references like "Income Classified at Lower Levels than Average" and then someone will object to the word "average" as being applied to a human. It won't end if we start changing the language now every time someone imagines a word to be derogatory. Every word is probably derogatory in someone's mind.

I'm not a big fan of changing words that have been around for a long time with their meanings well understood - by anyone willing to understand rather than looking to be offended. That someone might now be offended by the word "class" is unfortunate, but not enough reason to come up with a new and improved, shiny, sanitized word that (in this case) primarily means economic status, denoted by income. We use "class" because we know it means "economic status denoted by income" and it's a heck of a lot easier to say "class" than "economic status denoted by income." And, we've been using it that way for 100 years or more.

I've grown up with the word "class" and have never given it a second thought about referring to anyone's behavior or societal value. That someone now does take the time to think about various connotations of the word, doesn't mean we have to change the word. That can get old pretty quickly. 'Cause then we'll soon be off to the next, new, more appropriate, acceptable word when someone new is offended by the old "new" word. Lower, middle and upper class have been around as long as I can recall and they've been used in news articles, economic studies and every-day speech as long as I can remember and I easily remember their use back to the 50s. I don't recall them ever being used as derogatory references. No word is perfect and every word can be misused. Having said that, lower class, middle class and upper class have come to be well understood whether someone can find a way to make them sound derogatory or not. Of course, since we all think differently about such things, YMMV.
Yes, very well stated and agree.
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Old 06-05-2023, 08:34 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
First of all, I haven't seen anyone suggest that middle class status does or doesn't determine behavior. Maybe I missed it or ignored it It actually probably does to some extent (I sure acted differently when I didn't have an extra dime in college. The term "ramen noodles" comes to mind.) The term "middle class" does not discuss, denote or connote behavior. It's a technical term that (clearly from our discussion) is not as well defined without official parameters attached. That's what we started out to do. Come up with the parameters as contained in someone's "calculator." YMMV on that.

My point is that we currently have a perfectly good, 100+ year old term for "how much money people have." Changing it because someone thinks the word is now problematic, only leads to more problems - not less. I pointed out those problems in (what turned out to be) my rant so I won't go over it again.

My BFF started out just like I did - lower middle class. His dad was a good earner, but a drunk and womanizer. All this caused what should have been a middle class life to be lower middle class life style.

My parents both lost their j*bs after the war in defense plants because my mom was (guess what) female. My dad lost his j*b because he wasn't a veteran because he was profoundly disabled and couldn't have joined the military (But I wouldn't have wanted to go up against him!!)

So my parents scraped together $400 and started a business that is still thriving today (3rd generation.) And therefore, I started out lower middle class - just like my BFF.

Copied from post #11- maybe I interpreted what the person is saying incorrectly.
ďĎClass' denotes behavior. There is no intrinsic correlation between income level and class, i.e. behavior.Ē

I said nothing about changing the terms lower class, middle class, etc soÖ

Eating ramen because you are broke is not the type of generational behavior that I was referring to regarding people who live in poverty.

Thatís all Iím going to say at this point.
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Old 06-05-2023, 08:37 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Irishgirlyc58 View Post
Copied from post #11- maybe I interpreted what the person is saying incorrectly.
ďĎClass' denotes behavior. There is no intrinsic correlation between income level and class, i.e. behavior.Ē

I said nothing about changing the terms lower class, middle class, etc soÖ

Eating ramen because you are broke is not the type of generational behavior that I was referring to regarding people who live in poverty.

Thatís all Iím going to say at this point.
Okay, me too.
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Old 06-05-2023, 09:01 PM   #53
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Iíve always taken issue with using class to define income level (maybe itís my upbringing where class was something to aspire to and that meant comportment and character). I prefer to use the terms low income, middle income and high income. While class and income sometimes correlate, often they donít (the poor aristocrat comes to mind). Class denotes behavior including proper manners. Anyone can get money but class is learned from what youíve seen modeled in your upbringing.
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Old 06-06-2023, 04:00 PM   #54
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Iíve always taken issue with using class to define income level (maybe itís my upbringing where class was something to aspire to and that meant comportment and character). I prefer to use the terms low income, middle income and high income. While class and income sometimes correlate, often they donít (the poor aristocrat comes to mind). Class denotes behavior including proper manners. Anyone can get money but class is learned from what youíve seen modeled in your upbringing.
Wow, getting into proper manners and modeling. Everyone has their own definition. lol High class people can have bad manners. And who defines what manners belong to what class? You can see that complicates things compared to the easy calculator in the OP that is more clear cut on middle class, although not perfect.
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Old 06-06-2023, 04:20 PM   #55
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Heh, heh, I'll just revert to my old adage. I have enough.
I prefer to say: "I'm doing okay."...
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Old 06-06-2023, 04:23 PM   #56
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Income for me is very little but doesn't show the whole picture with the calculator. I'm a pauper in a sense but is a false view.

I'm by no means a rich person financially.
Ok, but owning several thousand acres of Montana is nothing to sneeze at...
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Old 06-06-2023, 05:57 PM   #57
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Wow, getting into proper manners and modeling. Everyone has their own definition. lol High class people can have bad manners.
Lol. Then they donít have class. You do have a point. The definition varies.
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Old 06-06-2023, 07:06 PM   #58
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I always thought of myself as middle class, or working class.
Very much identified with the Rush song Working Man.


Now retired, if I just look at income, we are at poverty level.
Income does not mean everything. We are still middle class.



And a lot of rich people have no class at all. Some are downright nasty.
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Old 06-06-2023, 07:34 PM   #59
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Copied from post #11- maybe I interpreted what the person is saying incorrectly.
“‘Class' denotes behavior. There is no intrinsic correlation between income level and class, i.e. behavior.”

I said nothing about changing the terms lower class, middle class, etc so…

Eating ramen because you are broke is not the type of generational behavior that I was referring to regarding people who live in poverty.

That’s all I’m going to say at this point.
Ramen is actually a fantastic dish and we enjoy it often. Ramen noodles by themselves on the other hand, which is probably what you meant is just a bowl of carbs.
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Old 06-06-2023, 10:35 PM   #60
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Ramen is actually a fantastic dish and we enjoy it often. Ramen noodles by themselves on the other hand, which is probably what you meant is just a bowl of carbs.

Is there a point to this?
I donít like either so to me all you are doing is nitpicking.
Any particular reason for that?
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