The Middle Class

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

  1. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
    #76
    Is this honestly a thread about a person upset that they aren’t middle class even though they “feel” that they are?

    What a world.

    Join us in lifting the working class up instead of being offended that you’re part of the vast majority of Americans.
     
  2. Rhonindk macrumors 68040

    Rhonindk

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    #77
    Or "just what is middle class?" and what the term really means. I can say I was very surprised where I was plotted especially based on where I live.
     
  3. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #78
    This sounds like some bleeding heart statement my wife would have said 8-10 years ago.

    My wife is a very empathetic person, which is one reason she is a really good social worker and psychotherapist. So, the fact that she does not use benefits doesn't discredit her experiences with working with the low-income population.

    BTW, I don't think I have said that all her former clients were ones to take advantage of the system. There were some that were put into their position due to life changing events, like lose a job, a death, sickness, some type of trauma, that used the government benefits for its intended purpose, as a safety net. My wife was very happy when we was able to help families get back on their feet.

    But, the majority of her former clients were just in it for the benefits, and has no intentions of ever being off of benefits or getting a job. There are multiple generations within a family that are on benefits and living in the same home.

    I feel particularly bad for the children in these families, because chances are, they will be on benefits too.

    That is one reason I mentioned the 15 year old that ended up getting pregnant at her mother's encouraging because she seemed like one that may have gotten out of the viscous cycle of multigenerational welfare recipients.

    So, no, my wife's rosy reality doesn't disqualify her from her experiences working with this particular population.

    I have to call BS on this one.

    Of course there are people out there that want a better life for themselves, but are having a hard time finding the opportunity to do this.

    Most of those former clients of my wife do not fit those description.

    I like safety nets, and think it is necessary for the government to help people to better themselves. But, the people I was referring to do not want this. They just don't want to work. They want to know what government benefits/programs they qualify for, and how they could qualify for more.


    It is funny, an iPhone was involved when I found out about my wife's changing opinion of this population.

    She had an iPhone 5, which she loved, but sadly, she dropped and cracked the screen on it. My wife, always frugal with her money, especially back then while I was still in school and we didn't have a lot, she decided to keep her cracked phone for a while. I put packaging tape on it to prevent her from cutting her hand, and she used it for almost a year like this.

    One day, she came home and said she was annoyed by everyone asking her about her phone. If you ever used a cracked iPhone, you probably experienced this before, it seems like strangers would just come up to you and ask "what happened".

    I told her that the new iPhone would be out soon, and maybe I would try a larger screen (6s Plus) and she could have my iPhone 5s. She was happy about that, and then told me what really annoyed her about the situation.

    She said that she works long hours, for not that much pay with someone with her level of education, and she puts off spending the money that she didn't have for a new iPhone after she cracked hers.

    Out of frustration, she confessed that almost all of her low-income clients have new iPhones. She really didn't talk about stuff like this prior, but she went on to say that her clients don't have money to pay for their electric bills, but they all have smart phones, smokes, and booze.

    At the time, it was strange to hear her talk like this.

    Now, she works with a different type of population, people with trauma. She says that she much rather work with people that want to better themselves, than just work the system.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 4, 2019 ---
    I didn't really see it that way.

    But, the majority of Americans are middle class.....
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #79
    If “middle class” is newly defined as living paycheck to paycheck, sure.
     
  5. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    Scotland
    #80
    It's as perverse as as a system can get: (1) it taxes income not earned through labor less than income from, you know, actual work (let us subsidize the idle rich); and (2) after an initial stock offering the price of the stock does not contribute directly to the capital available to a company. What does happen though is that a good stock price encourages stock owners not to ask for new management. So stock price are the managerial calls and the idle rich class engaged on one gigantic self-reinforcing toxic feedback loop of short-termism. Stock by-backs are an example of this - good for the stock holders (who can abandon the stock at any point) and bad for the investment in the business and hence the workers.
     
  6. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    Apr 11, 2011
    #81

    That is correct. But that's not the end of the story when it comes to capital liquidity. There need to be willing buyers and sellers. If the cost of selling, ie taxes, is too high, owners will require a higher price. A level which buyers might not be willing to pay. This hurts liquidity. Not for Amazon or Microsoft as they trade millions of shares a day. But for smaller startups, a lack of liquidity can hurt future investment and therefor potential future growth.
     
  7. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #82
    Companies can raise money by loans or issuing new stock. The price of old stock only has an indirect impact. In short those holding stocks aren't really investing in the company. They're gambling there will be dividends or that the stocks will change in price. Neither of these directly helps a company invest in its future or staff. I see the case for limiting capital gain taxes on startups and only on their initial public stock offering, but that's not the way the tax code is written. And it is perverse.
     
  8. vipergts2207 macrumors 68020

    vipergts2207

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    #83
    Pretty hard to do those things on $32k or less. Cost of living will eat up almost all of your income.
     
  9. Rhonindk macrumors 68040

    Rhonindk

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    #84
    Was just listening to a Schumer speech saying that Trump has failed the Middle class via taxes and healthcare.
    Why do I suspect that Schumer has no real clue what is really being called "Middle Class" these days. :cool:

    The Middle Class apparently has become a label for politicians to wave willy-nilly.
     
  10. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #85
    I guess it is kind of like the definition of "middle class". There is no clear definitive meaning of it, only what one wants it to mean, and usually to fit their agenda.

    Living "paycheck to paycheck" could mean many different things.

    Usually the data for stuff like this is a simple question like "Are you living paycheck to paycheck?" or "If you suddenly had an expected bill of $random$, could you afford this?".

    These really are not a good way of measuring the real number of people living paycheck to paycheck, and here is why:

    There are plenty of people that would identify themselves as living paycheck to paycheck, but maybe they are saving some money, setting some aside for a 401K, have the latest iPhone, maybe they recently opt for a 4K TV over a much cheaper 1080p one, they are never without cigarettes, booze, and a lotto ticket, have a new car and/or one that is much more expensive than one that could suite their needs, buy expensive sport shoes....etc........

    And, I don't have a problem with someone doing this, especially if they are using their own money.

    My point is, how do you define "paycheck to paycheck", and is that how everyone else defines it? Just think how differently this would be defined outside of the US?
     
  11. JagdTiger macrumors 6502

    JagdTiger

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    Dec 20, 2017
    #86
    What middle class?
     
  12. Solver macrumors 6502a

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    USA
    #87
    Is this the “middle-class” people here are taking about?

    “The socioeconomic class between the working class and the upper class, usually including professionals, highly skilled laborers, and lower and middle management.“
     
  13. JagdTiger macrumors 6502

    JagdTiger

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    #88
    The middle-class is almost extinct.
     
  14. Rhonindk macrumors 68040

    Rhonindk

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    #89
    According to whom? The "Middle Class" was redefined a couple of times....

    For the current calculator see Post #20.
     
  15. JagdTiger macrumors 6502

    JagdTiger

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    #90
    The new world order will not allow a middle class just poor and wealthy.
     
  16. macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

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    Aug 3, 2007
    #91
    It's just a mathematical definition, though. Say you have 100 people. 10 have no income. 10 make 10 million. The remaining 80 make 30000. That means 10 % of the people have 98 % of the income.

    However, the median is 30000. That means 2/3 of the median to twice the median is 20000-60000. In other words, 80 % is in the middle class, and yet they only have 2 % of the income.
     
  17. Rhonindk macrumors 68040

    Rhonindk

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    #92
    Don't disagree just this is now what is being used to define middle class. :(
     
  18. macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

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    #93
    I guess my question is: Is the definition useful? Say 10 years go by. Everyone's income stays the same except for the 10 people in the upper class. They now make 20 million each. The middle class hasn't shrunk but somehow they now hold only 1 % of the income. Some would probably argue that this particular society is moving in the wrong direction, and yet the middle class measure does not seem to capture this.

    Maybe it would be more meaningful to talk about the income distribution as a whole or look at social mobility. That might be a more interesting discussion. Then again, maybe not.
     
  19. Rhonindk macrumors 68040

    Rhonindk

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    #94
    Due to an absence of a definable definition for "middle class" ...
     
  20. Chew Toy McCoy macrumors regular

    Chew Toy McCoy

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    May 13, 2016
    #95
    I saw a recent report about some billionaires getting nervous and acknowledging the huge wealth gap. Of course they don’t have any solution to offer. I think they just want to be known for the acknowledgement for the time when the peasantry finally snaps and starts attacking them instead of each other. If that happens I don’t think there is going to be a good billionaire/bad billionaire list that anybody is going to pay attention to.
     
  21. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    UK
    #96
    As a social worker you are working with the least deserving.
     

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