The Middle Class

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iTurbo, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. iTurbo macrumors 6502

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    #1
    The "Middle Class" has turned into a very political term lately. It probably has been for a while, but now especially more than ever.

    An MSNBC anchor recently said that the US middle class barely even exists. It didn't sound right to me. So I found a "Middle Class Calculator" from CNN's website (oh gosh...).....All it does is ask for your yearly income and what county/state you live in. Pretty stupid if you ask me. Two points of data was it.

    So I plugged in my info, and sure enough, I fall below "middle class" by a long shot. I would have to make about $15k more per year to even get there, and that will never happen at my job.

    I personally think all of this is a load of BS and I have no intention of drinking the swill and promises of those darling democrats. It seems they want to pretend the middle class doesn't exist and "feel sorry" for the lower class and champion their own upper class as long as they agree with their viewpoints.
     
  2. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

    jkcerda

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  3. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

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    #4
    I am assuming that it is for an individual? Or is it for a household?
     
  4. vipergts2207 macrumors 68020

    vipergts2207

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    #5
    In my county in the midwest the middle class range was $34,500-$103,000. That lower number seems pretty generous to me to call someone middle class, so perhaps you’re really not middle class. A reasonable guess to me is that the lower number would apply to people living alone and the upper figure, to a two income household. Attempting to support two people, or especially a family, on $34,500 per year would be rather difficult I think. To me that level of income would only result in what most would consider a middle-class lifestyle if you’re supporting only yourself and had no debt other than a mortgage and maybe a modest car payment. If you have to support others or have any other kind of debt, you’re not going to live a middle class lifestyle on $34.5k per year.
     
  5. chown33, Jan 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019

    chown33 macrumors 604

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    #6
    From the calculator's web page:
    For this calculator, we define middle class as two-thirds to two times median income for the county. In counties where two-thirds of median income would fall close to the poverty line, we set the lower end of middle class at $28,500, which is 1.5 times the national poverty level for a three-person household.​

    They presumably have demographic data for every county in every state. I would expect this data to be generally available, and probably not that hard to find. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the figures were produced by some US govt entity.


    So given the median income for a county, and your income, the calculation is trivial. Does your income fall within the range of 2/3 median income to 2 * median income? If it does, then you're middle class, at least as far as the calculator is concerned. (I'm intentionally ignoring the other part of the calculation, where 2/3 of median would fall close to the national poverty level, because it doesn't significantly affect the complexity of the calculation, and certainly doesn't need any additional input data from you.)

    This says nothing at all about whether the chosen range relative to median income (2/3 MI .. 2 * MI) for a county is an accurate indicator of middle class membership. In other words, all the calculator does is tell you whether you're within the stated range for your county. It doesn't tell you whether the range itself is justified, nor what that justification might be.

    So perhaps you were putting too much faith or too great an expectation on a web page. Hard to say without more research into what the calculation is based on.
     
  6. Vanilla Ice macrumors 6502

    Vanilla Ice

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    #7
    Middle class in Los Angeles for me. Not sure if I’m lucky to be part of the few? Or the anchor is taking out of her, you know what.
     
  7. Solver macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    We eeked into the middle class.

    It’s so lonely here. I’ve been told we barely exist.
    :(
     
  8. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a

    GermanSuplex

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    #9
    The terms are too blurry now. I know single people who make $40,000 a year. That may sound like a lot, but after taxes, your rent, electric/gas, cell-phone, food, transportation, health insurance, whatever else... that's not truly that much.

    Not all, but a lot of people I know even in their late-20's and into their 30's have their parents paying their cell-bill, car-note, insurance, maybe all of the above and even more. I consider myself lucky to have the job I'm in because everyone else is of a totally different class...

    So I see people who make very little money living great and those making barely a living wage who have to live paycheck to paycheck because "living wage" means less as times goes on, even while that amount goes up. It used to be one working man could support a family of three or four with a car, a house, etc. Now, a "living wage" means one person has shelter and a job.
     
  9. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #10
    We’ll be back to the old tradition of 3 generations living under the same roof so our CEOs can afford one more Château to vacation in. :oops:
     
  10. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #11
    While the definition of middle class is varies around the world by those trying to push political ideals it's especially twisted in the country U.S. where the obvious most numerous class the working class is seldom even acknowledged as existing.

    "In modern American vernacular usage, the term "middle class" is most often used as a self-description by those persons whom academics and Marxists would otherwise identify as the working class which are below both the upper class and the true middle class, but above those in poverty. This leads to considerable ambiguity over the meaning of the term "middle class" in American usage. Sociologists such as Dennis Gilbert and Joseph Kahl see this American self-described "middle class" (i.e. working class) as the most populous class in the United States.[2]"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_class

    So when you hear a non political scientist in the U.S. refer to the "middle class" generally they mean the working class.
     
  11. vipergts2207 macrumors 68020

    vipergts2207

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    #12
    A few months after graduating from college I got a job making $42k per year. Even though that was significantly more than I’d ever made before, it really isn’t all that much, especially with student loan payments. Though since I also had access to overtime I made quite a bit more than that and was able to buy a decent starter home.
     
  12. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a

    GermanSuplex

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    #13
    That's great. If you have a job that pays overtime, that's huge. Lots of jobs are salary and you make a flat rate. I think overtime at such jobs would really make them more beneficial to employees, but hey.
     
  13. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #14
    So median income in the UK is about £25k. So middle class would be £16k to £50k. Feels about right.
     
  14. vipergts2207 macrumors 68020

    vipergts2207

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    #15
    I actually took a promotion to one of those flat-rate salaried positions awhile back. Absolutely everything thing about the new job was better except for no longer having access to OT. Even though I got a quite a healthy bump in base pay and get larger bonuses, it still didn't make up for all the OT wages I gave up. I was still willing to make that trade though, as I didn't know when another opportunity for a promotion would come. You're right though, overtime certainly is quite a benefit for those with access to it and who are willing to work it.
     
  15. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    #16
    We had this discussion back in grad school related to Jack Welch who made $16M/yr. Divide that up between GE's 300K employees and everyone of them will get a great vacation on their.....

    wait for it......

    $53.33.

    Well hey, it's a dinner out at a chain steakhouse.

    Even if you take his severance of $410M/300K workers, they would get as Nancy Pelosi calls it "crumbs" of $1,366. And that is a one-time thing. So even if you divvied up all the execs salaries and spread it among all the employees, it is not going to change any employees life materially.
     
  16. vipergts2207, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019

    vipergts2207 macrumors 68020

    vipergts2207

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    #17
    It's not only about executive pay, though that's certainly part of the equation. What about GM the company? GM pays out $1.52 per share of GM per year. GM has 1.4 billion outstanding shares. That means last year they paid out $2.128 billion to shareholders. Only roughly half of the country is invested in the stock market, quite obviously mostly the richer half. If GM gave just half of the money paid out in dividends to their employees instead, their workers would receive an extra $3,500 every year. I don't know about you, but I certainly wouldn't turn that down. Not knocking the stock market entirely, as it basically paid for my honeymoon in six months on a small investment (weed stocks are the sector to be in), but there's no arguing that it serves primarily to benefit the wealthy to the detriment of the working class.
     
  17. yaxomoxay macrumors 68040

    yaxomoxay

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    #18
    This would assume that investors would be willing to invest the same.
     
  18. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    #19
    What about people's 401(k)'s? Pension plans? Life insurance policies?

    Every public employee in the state of CA is part of CALPERS, which invests in the market. So if CALPERS investments do well, that is less taxes the state taxpayers have to come up with.

    Also, people invest in GM for those dividends. So right now if GM wanted to build a new plant, they could issue stock because of their dividends. If they weren't paying them, they would have a harder time raising capital, as would all public companies. And tight capital markets lead to recessions. Want that?
     
  19. Rhonindk macrumors 68040

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  20. vipergts2207, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019

    vipergts2207 macrumors 68020

    vipergts2207

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    #21
    So the wealthier half of the country will get slightly less rich? Oh no..

    I say that as a member of the wealthier half, at least for my age bracket.

    When did I say to eliminate them? As with most things, it's all about a balance. They can be reduced some to the benefit of the workers, and still allow investors to make good returns on their investment. By the way, GM can issue stock regardless of whether they pay dividends. Issuing new stock also results in dilution which hurts investors already holding the stock, so clearly some things are worth the cost of a negative impact to investors, even according to you.

    These worker pay increases also wouldn't occur in a vacuum. Maybe that extra $3,500 a year enables some of them to buy a new car every 4 or 5 years instead of every 7 or 8 years. Presumably, they'd buy from their own company, meaning that money gets reinvested in GM anyway. A millionaire getting extra dividends probably isn't going to make them go out an buy a Chevy Malibu all of the sudden.
     
  21. yaxomoxay macrumors 68040

    yaxomoxay

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    #22
    The market and the industry are just slightly bit more complex than that...
     
  22. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I never said to eliminate.

    But at half of the $1.52 leaves a return of 1.95% vs the current 3.9%. You won't get investors at that rate as that would bring the 5-year return in at around 3.36% with a downside risk of losing 20+% (stock dropped below $30 3 times from the 1/1/14 price of $36.30). You can get that almost that rate with long-term treasuries (3-3.5%) without any of the downside.

    Sorry the math just doesn't work.
     
  23. vipergts2207 macrumors 68020

    vipergts2207

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    #24
    Clearly, yet that doesn't detract from the primary point of fact that the wealthy benefit far more from the stock market than the working class does.
     
  24. Solver macrumors 6502a

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    #25

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