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disneysteve
04-20-2006, 08:34 AM
I'm not clear that this will be a financial issue rather than a social issue, but tomorrow's show is about class: lower, middle, upper. What does it mean and why does it matter. Could be an interesting episode that I'm sure will at least tie in to some financial discussions.

Chicago526
04-20-2006, 08:56 AM
Sounds interesting! I've always thought of myself as middle class. To me, upper class means you can afford a mansion and a maid! Definatly not me! I just hope she doesn't clasify it by income, because a $100,000 a year living in Manhatten is a lot differant than $100,000 a year in Indiana.

EthansMom
04-20-2006, 09:12 AM
Sounds interesting! I've always thought of myself as middle class. To me, upper class means you can afford a mansion and a maid! Definatly not me! I just hope she doesn't clasify it by income, because a $100,000 a year living in Manhatten is a lot differant than $100,000 a year in Indiana.

There was an interesting article in one of the financial magazines a couple years ago about how people considered "affluent" didn't feel wealthy. I can't remember the definition of affluent, but I think it was an income of more than $100k or so.

The people in the article were pretty shocked that they were considered affluent. They still had to make priorities about spending and saving and weren't loaded down in bling bling like you might think.

From Wikipedia: "In the US the most commonly accepted defenition of upper-middle class is a household whose income exceeds $65k a year and whose net worth exceeds $250k.[citation needed] Another commonly used method defines the upper-middle class as those fitting into the second to the top quintile."

pearlieq
04-20-2006, 09:19 AM
I will agree that "middle class" has a very wide and fluid definition, mostly, in my opinion, because there's such a stigma associated with being anything but middle class in America.

I would tend to agree that income isn't a very good indicator, though net worth might be better. But isn't social class mostly defined in relative terms?

CheshireVal
04-20-2006, 09:20 AM
I consider myself middle class, but with upper class style. ;)

LauraR
04-20-2006, 09:21 AM
I think most people think of themselves as middle-class. I know I do.

aka-mad4themouse
04-20-2006, 09:29 AM
I'm interested in seeing how different people define the social classes, too. I always considered the "upper class" as people whose money worked for them (as in living off of the interest from investments or trusts) rather than one who works for their money (whether they are blue or white collar). I would define "lower class" as those persons who by choice or circumstance cannot meet their basic needs without assistance from someone. That would include the working poor. That would put the majority of of us in the "middle class" category.

My definition differs greatly from the one put forth by Wm. Lloyd Warner. He defines the classes as follows:
Upper-upper class. "Old money." People who have been born into and raised with wealth.
Lower-upper class. "New money." Individuals who have become rich within their own lifetimes.
Upper-middle class. High-salaried professionals (i.e., doctors, lawyers, corporate executives).
True-middle class. Professional with salaries and educational attainment higher than those found among lower-middle class workers (i.e.. professors, managerial office workers, architects)
Lower-middle class. Lower-paid professionals, but not manual laborers (i.e., police officers, non-management office workers, small business owners).
Upper-lower class. Blue-collar workers and manual labourers. Also known as the "working class."
Lower-lower class. The homeless and permanently unemployed, as well as the "working poor."
Although, to be honest, I also believe that social class is not merely defined by income but also by a number of other factors including education and "type" of work performed (ie does the individual perform the bulk of their work tasks with the mind or their hands?). It should be an interesting discussion to say the least.

Jon99
04-20-2006, 09:33 AM
So according to Warner, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett would be lower-upper class... :)

CheshireVal
04-20-2006, 09:41 AM
I always hated classifying people according to income. For me, character really plays into it a lot. There are some really rich people who are not decent people. To me, they are low class.

There are some really poor people who are decent, honest, people, and I would have a hard time calling them "low class."

Maybe I'm more comfortable with the division of "blue collar/white collar," which doesn't really indicate *class*.

Chicago526
04-20-2006, 09:55 AM
My definition differs greatly from the one put forth by Wm. Lloyd Warner. He defines the classes as follows:
Upper-upper class. "Old money." People who have been born into and raised with wealth.
Lower-upper class. "New money." Individuals who have become rich within their own lifetimes.
Upper-middle class. High-salaried professionals (i.e., doctors, lawyers, corporate executives).
True-middle class. Professional with salaries and educational attainment higher than those found among lower-middle class workers (i.e.. professors, managerial office workers, architects)
Lower-middle class. Lower-paid professionals, but not manual laborers (i.e., police officers, non-management office workers, small business owners).
Upper-lower class. Blue-collar workers and manual labourers. Also known as the "working class."
Lower-lower class. The homeless and permanently unemployed, as well as the "working poor."
Although, to be honest, I also believe that social class is not merely defined by income but also by a number of other factors including education and "type" of work performed (ie does the individual perform the bulk of their work tasks with the mind or their hands?). It should be an interesting discussion to say the least.


See, I have a hard time with a few of those definitions. My father only got a GED (droped out of high school at 17, joined the Air Force with his mother's permision and got his GED in the service). Once he got out, he worked in an auto factory for a few years, then got a job at Sears as the "Kenmore Man", yep, he's the guy that came to fix your Sears appliance! He worked his way up to department manager with Sears, got sick of being transfered all the time (I think we moved 4 times in 6 years) and wanted to make more money. So he got a job with Xerox fixing the big copiers (not the little ones that just make a copy or two, the big ones that makes thousands of copies). He retired from Xerox a millionaire. Dad wasn't educated, and while he wasn't a blue collar worker by the time he worked for Xerox, he wasn't a white collar profesional either. Mom also worked full time as a book keeper, she only had a high school diploma, so she was an office worker but had no advance skills or a degree of any kind. So, where would my family have fit in?

For that matter, where do DH and I fit in? We both also only have high school educations (I did go to college but did not finish and have no degree of any kind). DH is a press operator for a major newspaper, so I guess that makes him blue collar. I'm a corporate travel agent, and while I guess you could call that a skilled position, again I have no college degree. Last year, with DH's OT we grossed just over $100,000. I think we are solid middle class, by the above definition, we'd be lower middle class, I guess. But if you look just at our income, some would argue we are upper middle class!

I guess that's the problem with "deffinitions" in general. Not many people actually fit them!

dvcgirl
04-20-2006, 09:55 AM
Yes, I saw the preview for this show and it looked interesting. I think that they'll also get into things like assumptions made by what kind of car people drive, or that some view obese people as low class....that kind of thing.

I think it's interesting though....by the definitions posted in akamad4themouses post, not only would Bill Gates be lower upper class, but Paris Hilton would be Upper Upper class. Heh.

Also, I find it interesting that they have physicians and lawyers in upper middle class, and yet I'm sure that there are many folks who would be considered *lower* middle class who make far more.....like lots of small business owners for example. That really speaks to the "keeping with the joneses" component. Lawyers and Physicians are almost expected to live to a certain level, our very own DisneySteve being a very rare example. I see this with my own BIL who is an attorney. He really felt pressured to get a certain type of car....and he did, a Landrover. My own DH makes over double what my BIL makes, and loves his 9 year old 4-Runner to pieces.

mjbaby
04-20-2006, 09:57 AM
I've read some writings by sociologists and social anthropologists that describe class designations as only partly about money with the rest of the equation, as it were, more about behaviours and outlooks. Judging from the blurb on the Oprah preview ("how you discipline your children...") it sounds as if this idea will be part of the program rather than just classifications in cold dollar terms.

I know several families who are "old money" in terms of name, habits, education and so forth (these are the "kinds" of people described in the Preppy Handbook from back in the day) but barely have two dimes to rub together. The Genteel Poverty set, you know? I know other families who have quite a bit of money but seem to be quite steady in their embrace of their lower middle class behaviours and viewpoints. Many social scientists believe that no matter what a family's bank balance, it's the adoption of another classes behaviours that would lead to acceptance by other members of that class - in fact, some say it's the only way to really climb or descend socially and that money is a very, very small part of the success or failure of one's attempt to be accepted by another class.

Anyway, should be an interesting show.

dcfromva
04-20-2006, 09:58 AM
So, where would my family have fit in?
..Right next to Bill Gates. :teeth:

-DC :earsboy:

Chicago526
04-20-2006, 10:03 AM
..Right next to Bill Gates. :teeth:

-DC :earsboy:

Dang! I knew Mom and Dad were holding out on me! I'll need to make sure I'm very nice to them so they won't write me out of the will! :rotfl:

aka-mad4themouse
04-20-2006, 10:17 AM
I guess that there needs to be a line drawn between what constitutes "social" class, as opposed to "economic" class. Social class has more intangible factors that come into play. In a society that founded itself on the lack of a "noble" class, it goes against our sensibilities to acknowledge the presence of any kind of social classes. Yet, an "economic" class is less subjective and much easier to define (based solely on income) without violating our innate understanding that we are all created equal.

It appears that Oprah's show will be focusing on the "social classes" issues. It could be a very hot topic of discussion. While Warner's definition lean more towards defining the social classes, let's all try to remember that this is simply one man's opinion and there is no one-size-fits-all perspective. I would hope that no one would take offense in the opinion of someone who has never met them, nor knows anything about their background.

hollyb
04-20-2006, 10:21 AM
I like to think we are in a "class" all by ourselfs. LOL :banana: Lower, middle upper. I honestly think that if your a good person. Who cares? :thumbsup2

Chicago526
04-20-2006, 10:23 AM
I would hope that no one would take offense in the opinion of someone who has never met them, nor knows anything about their background.

No offence taken, on my part anyway! I just thought those definitions were to "one size fits all", that's all!

disneysteve
04-20-2006, 10:37 AM
I always hated classifying people according to income. For me, character really plays into it a lot. There are some really rich people who are not decent people. To me, they are low class.

There are some really poor people who are decent, honest, people, and I would have a hard time calling them "low class."
This is so true. I work in a very poor area. Many of my patients live on SS, public assistance or disability. But many of them are the nicest people you would ever want to meet. I would never call them low class. Though from an economic standpoint they are, they certainly aren't from a social standpoint.

pearlieq
04-20-2006, 11:26 AM
I happen to heartily agree with Warner's definitions of class, as a measuring tool or a classification group, not as barometer of how "good" a person is.

There are low class jerks, middle class jerks, and upper class jerks--economic class has nothing to do with what kind of person someone is, but the ideas are so muddled in our society it's impossible to separate the two.

KelNottAt
04-20-2006, 11:59 AM
I like the definition of class = income + education.

That is, a multi-millionaire lottery winner without a high school diploma will always be middle class at best. Likewise, someone with 2 PhDs earning just over minimum wage is also middle class.

Their incomes alone would place them in classes at opposite ends of the scale. But, include education as factor, and they're both in the middle.

mlwear
04-21-2006, 11:30 AM
It will be interesting to see how the all-powerful Oprah defines class in our society ;)
I agree that you can look at it from a social stand point, but when I think about lower, middle and upper class (and the subsets) I do think about household income.
Politicians are always telling us that this or that forgets about the middle class or the upper class are the only ones benefiting from certain programs and so forth. Certainly, they aren't referring to a person's character or spending habits. It is about their income.
I think there are many people who may seem or hope to be perceived as if they are in a different stereotyped income based class bracket, which would be a social issue, I guess. We all know plenty of people who are drowning in debt just so everyone will believe they earn more $ than what they really do. We may know few in the upper class who seem to be in the middle class because they choose to be frugal.
I guess we will see today how the show approaches the topic.

powellrj
04-21-2006, 01:15 PM
I am sure someone around here has a copy of the post, but several years ago someone posted about how you could tell what class people were by what they "knew" how to do. Examples were lower class people knew how to apply and use public assistance, middle class people knew how to open and use bank accounts, upper class people knew all about investing. Another example was about how you order in resturants. Lower class people really didn't eat in resturants, middle class people were concerned with getting value for their money and upper class people were more interested in quailty over value.

I am not posting exactly how it was, but you get the idea.

mickeyfan2
04-21-2006, 01:47 PM
I just checked our information and it says our show is about a 3 year old and her looks.

imsayin
04-21-2006, 01:58 PM
I just checked our information and it says our show is about a 3 year old and her looks

That's Monday's show.

I didn't see the show, but oprah.com says: upper class income over $70,000, middle class income $25,000-$70,000, and lower class income under $25,000. Interesting.

I think I'll tape the 2 am showing. Looks like they cover things like class perception, as we've discussed here.

Amii
04-21-2006, 02:13 PM
I didn't see the show, but oprah.com says: upper class income over $70,000, middle class income $25,000-$70,000, and lower class income under $25,000. Interesting.

Ugh. I guess we just make it into the upper class and we are always broke.

mickeyfan2
04-21-2006, 02:21 PM
That's Monday's show.

I didn't see the show, but oprah.com says: upper class income over $70,000, middle class income $25,000-$70,000, and lower class income under $25,000. Interesting.

I think I'll tape the 2 am showing. Looks like they cover things like class perception, as we've discussed here.
Ummmm.....our TV digital guide must be wrong. I won't know until 4 pm.

Chicago526
04-21-2006, 03:04 PM
That's Monday's show.

I didn't see the show, but oprah.com says: upper class income over $70,000, middle class income $25,000-$70,000, and lower class income under $25,000. Interesting.

I think I'll tape the 2 am showing. Looks like they cover things like class perception, as we've discussed here.

Ummm, yeah. :rolleyes: Around here, $70,000 is middle class. So is $100,000 for that matter. Housing prices cause this, mostly. If house cost 2/3 less than they did, that would be a differant story!

KelNottAt
04-21-2006, 03:22 PM
I didn't see the show, but oprah.com says: upper class income over $70,000, middle class income $25,000-$70,000, and lower class income under $25,000. Interesting.

Those incomes seem low to me, too. I wonder if they're individual or total household amonts.

dvcgirl
04-21-2006, 03:26 PM
Ummm, yeah. :rolleyes: Around here, $70,000 is middle class. So is $100,000 for that matter. Housing prices cause this, mostly. If house cost 2/3 less than they did, that would be a differant story!

Oh, I totally agree....70K is *far* from upper class. Upper class to me means big money....and most importantly, not living paycheck to paycheck. We know a zillion people making over 100K who are living paycheck to paycheck. Try living in California on 70K...forget it.

musicotb
04-21-2006, 04:52 PM
I'm guessing that the standards Oprah is using are based on a standard normal curve of incomes in the United States. According the Census Bureau, the median household income in 2003 was about $43K.

I think the interesting thing about income level is that some people can be constantly broke but make upwards of $100K annually, while someone making $40K/year is always doign financially well. I think the problem is the lack of a solid financial education (about budgeting, savings, credit, investment, etc.). Because an individual's education on personal finance usually comes from his/her parents, it is so difficult to learn any better if you're parents can't manage money. Then, if you can't manage your own money, how can you teach your children how to do so? When I was getting my B.A., I ran up a lot of credit card debt because I didn't know a thing abotu credit. Now, in gradute school, and with a wonderful role model in my boyfriend, I am learning to manage money much more effectively. Unfortunately, I think that poor financial management skills can make a "rich" man very poor very quickly. It doesn't matter what you make if you can't spend it correctly.

DVCLiz
04-21-2006, 05:04 PM
Well, I thought the show was very interesting!!! I do think they should have tried to find two families with the same set up. I thought it was a little bit of a reach - I know what they were trying to do, but comparing discipline in a family with two children vs. five children seems to give an automatic advantage to the family with the smaller number of children. The children were also much older in the "wealthy" family - that mom with the two boys wasn't even at the age where she WOULD be driving around to soccer, even if she couldn't afford to anyway. I thought Oprah was trying to say that good old-fashioned discipline was being used in the "poor" family and the "wealthy" family wasn't doing a good job of disciplining their children.

Also, every mom I ever knew who didn't want to go back to work used the old "I wouldn't make enough to cover daycare" argument, and I'm not sure I buy that. If one of her children was already in school, and the other looked to be at least four, I think she could have found some kind of work, at least a few hours a week. I guess she felt trapped by minimum wage jobs and couldn't see a way to pay for any childcare.

Anyway, I'd be bummed if I were a Buffet grandchild!!!!

mjbaby
04-21-2006, 05:07 PM
I was kind of disappointed in the show. I felt that there was so much focus on the money and not really enough on the social factors or "cultural capital" that has such an impact on class and whether or not one truly can change one's class.

dvcgirl
04-21-2006, 05:22 PM
I just watched the show and thought that the best part of the show was the portion on the difference between the "working class" family and the "upper class" family, although, I must say that I really think that the "upper class" family was more "upper middle class".

Also totally agree with the fact that the separation between the classes is really widening. The loss of manufacturing jobs is making that even more inevitable. We're really seeing that here in Orlando. So many of the apartment complexes have gone condo, and for many of the people living in those apartments buying their home an impossible dream.

disneysteve
04-21-2006, 06:15 PM
I also thought the comparison between the 2 families was interesting, and sad... for the upper class family. They are totally allowing peer pressure to rule their lives. They are letting their neighbors dictate what kind of car they drive, what kind of furniture they own, what lawn service they use. They are letting their kids' classmates dictate what kind of clothes they buy. What a terrible way to raise your family. Talk about keeping up with the Joneses.

And what about the girl with the $200 jeans? I can't imagine why her sister calls her snooty. :lmao: I don't think my wife has spent $200 total on jeans in the past 5 years.

Jamie Johnson was interesting. Obviously the black sheep of the family - there's always one. I'd love to see his documentary. I'll have to remember to get it when it hits DVD. I also thought he made an interesting comment about how his father can't give a good reason to explain why they are so rich. The generation that created the business and earned the fortune certainly could. But the subsequent generations that merely inherited the fortune got it without doing all the hard work. Interesting to show how the different generations are affected by that.

As for Warren Buffet's granddaughter, she seemed pretty well grounded and only a little bit resentful of granddad. (And she was gorgeous - just had to throw that in).

And how sad that the African American guy they spoke to thought the only way for his kids to be successful was to become rappers. What fine role models.

An interesting show.

luvnmy2bys
04-21-2006, 06:16 PM
My husband and I make $140,000 combined salary a year. I feel strongly to be middle -middle class. We came from middle class and I feel that no matter how much money we make we will always be middle class. However my SIL's husband came from money with an upper class upbringing. They make less than us (about $100,00 combined) but are strongly upper class. I think it's all in the attitude we have about money and that is how we are defined and define ourselves. I just feel "middle-class". I shop at walmart and Target and Kohl's if I want something a little nicer. My SIL shops at Nordstroms. I drive a 4 year van. SIL drives a new Lincoln Navigator. You see what I am getting at. Education might play a role on income level but even with my Masters degree I still feel middle class. By the way my husband has a high school diploma and makes twice as much as I do.
Luvnmy2bys :) :)

disneysteve
04-21-2006, 06:21 PM
My husband and I make $140,000 combined salary a year... We came from middle class and I feel that no matter how much money we make we will always be middle class. However my SIL's husband came from money with an upper class upbringing. They make less than us (about $100,00 combined) but are strongly upper class. I think it's all in the attitude we have about money and that is how we are defined and define ourselves. I just feel "middle-class". I shop at walmart and Target and Kohl's if I want something a little nicer. My SIL shops at Nordstroms.
Very interesting comparison. So the lower earning couple shops at the luxury upscale stores while the folks earning 40% more are the discount shoppers. I wonder whose personal finances are in better shape. I have a feeling it is you and your husband.

kinntj
04-21-2006, 06:31 PM
[QUOTE=disneysteve]I also thought the comparison between the 2 families was interesting, and sad... for the upper class family. They are totally allowing peer pressure to rule their lives. They are letting their neighbors dictate what kind of car they drive, what kind of furniture they own, what lawn service they use. They are letting their kids' classmates dictate what kind of clothes they buy. What a terrible way to raise your family. Talk about keeping up with the Joneses.

And what about the girl with the $200 jeans? I can't imagine why her sister calls her snooty. :lmao: I don't think my wife has spent $200 total on jeans in the past 5 years.

[QUOTE]

Agree! We live in an upper middle class neighborhood and my neighbors don't dictate what I wear. Although, I have to admit that we do dress out DD's nicely, but because we buy out neighbors kids old designer clothes at the neighborhood garage sales.

Very interesting show and the angle they took. It makes you think. I was raised low working class, but my dad pushed higher education for us so that we would have choices.

aka-mad4themouse
04-21-2006, 06:56 PM
My DD15 was showing me a teen magazine that she reads. She pointed out the clothing ($85 jeans, $300 dresses, $100 shoes). She wants to know who has that kind of money to blow on clothes? She's perfectly happy with the cute jeans that we picked up at TJ Maxx for $12! I just love that kid! :love:

DVC Sadie
04-21-2006, 07:14 PM
Very interesting comparison. So the lower earning couple shops at the luxury upscale stores while the folks earning 40% more are the discount shoppers. I wonder whose personal finances are in better shape. I have a feeling it is you and your husband.


I see what you are saying or in this case not saying. ;) It seems that some lower income families have always bought more expensive and more often the things that they believe that the upper middle class buys. It's all a matter of perception.

We do believe that in most cases you will become the same class as you were born. Of course there are some exceptions.

The level of education is a large factor. The college or university that a person receives their diploma plays a very important role in how the person is not only perceived but has the added bonus of connections that are usually invaluable.

What was surprising to us was the fact that neither Oprah or the former secretary of labor Mr. Reich discussed the overwhelming amounts of money that is donated by the 1%, to fund all different types of programs that benefit all classes of people.

jonestavern
04-21-2006, 07:19 PM
I had to laugh--or cry--at what those who thought of themselves as upper class using for definition--as disneysteve said-- material objects.
Is that crass or class? :rotfl:

IMHO,the waitress who was class conflicted--I respect her job as a waitress, it's the other portion of dedicated, relentless consumption portrayed, I find trashy.
Does she have another side?
Or did the show define 'class' as strictly monetary?
I know it mentioned diction, appearance in reference to a healthy body.

Pride of class: is contributing to a community, helping others, being useful & helping your children to live constructive, healthy, disciplined lives.

I thought what was said about the upper 1% of Americans' wealth being greater than the income of all other Americans combined is stunningly gross~
In many cases the charity seems pretty left handed, the right hand being involved in, for generations, working fast & loose to preserve & perpetuate that wealth by any & every means possible~This is not to smack those that are legitimate Samaritans, I just personally believe that number to be very low. How about the rest of us who give to charities, I'll bet the relative percentage is higher--let's talk the Widow's Mite~

A higher education doesn't necessarily gain entree into the upper class as it may have done even 40 years ago--
I don't see how anyone earning $100,000 per annum could be considered upper class--that designation must have been put in place to have our economic picture look better than it actually is~
We earn over that & like the luvinmy2boys said, we shop at Target, Costco clip coupons. We drive used & economic cars--Hondas--, no private schools & our house was a fixer upper~Our big luxury is DVC~Other than my engagement ring, I have no serious jewelry & if I spend $200 on a pair of jeans, you'll know I'm ready for the nursing home- :crazy:

Jean

MrsPete
04-21-2006, 07:37 PM
I think it's interesting though....by the definitions posted in akamad4themouses post, not only would Bill Gates be lower upper class, but Paris Hilton would be Upper Upper class. Heh.I think the problem is that "class" can mean financial status OR the way one behaves. A low-income individual could easily behave in a high-class manner; likewise, an affluent person who is slovenly and uncouth could be considered "low class".

As long as we use the term "class" to define both money and behavior, we'll have arguments.

mickeyfan2
04-21-2006, 07:49 PM
I thought what was said about the upper 1% of Americans' wealth being greater than the income of all other Americans combined is stunningly gross~
I thought it was the top 1% has 40% of all the wealth and that is the same as the bottom 90%. So the 2-10% own 20%.

disneysteve
04-21-2006, 08:25 PM
I don't see how anyone earning $100,000 per annum could be considered upper class--that designation must have been put in place to have our economic picture look better than it actually is~
We earn over that & like the luvinmy2boys said, we shop at Target, Costco clip coupons. We drive used & economic cars--Hondas--, no private schools & our house was a fixer upper~Our big luxury is DVC~Other than my engagement ring, I have no serious jewelry & if I spend $200 on a pair of jeans, you'll know I'm ready for the nursing home- :crazy:
Same here. We're also apparently upper class (news to me) and shop at Target, Wal-Mart, thrift shops, yard sales. I drive a '98 Camry that I plan to keep at least another 3 years. We drive to Disney, stay offsite and eat breakfast in our room. Sounds real upper class to me - not.

MyGoofy26
04-21-2006, 08:26 PM
My DD15 was showing me a teen magazine that she reads. She pointed out the clothing ($85 jeans, $300 dresses, $100 shoes). She wants to know who has that kind of money to blow on clothes? She's perfectly happy with the cute jeans that we picked up at TJ Maxx for $12! I just love that kid! :love:

I can't remember which magazine of mine it's in. . . Glamour maybe? But they always have the Splurge vs Steal section where they show a designer brand with it's price and then how to get the same look cheaper. . . the "steal" ones are almost always still a LOT more than I'd ever pay!

I prefer to take the idea of what the new "style" is and find it cheaper myself somewhere else. Heck, I just bought a pair of close to $200 jeans a couple weeks ago. . . but I paid $10 for them, brand new. I love Gabes. I actually have a few pair, and there certainly is a difference - the material is better than my Levi's and they are more flattering. . but not $200 flattering. I'd rather be patient and stock up when I find them at Gabes, LOL.

Helene
04-21-2006, 08:32 PM
This discussion reminds me of a game that was played in Grad School. It was called "Star Power". I do not remember all of the rules exactly, but basically, at the beginnng of class, each person took 3 coins randomly out of a bag. There were 5 different colors and each color had it's own point value. Everyone added up up their points and were grouped into 3 separate groups based on the value of their coins. There were various rules of engagement and tactics to get the most out of your "lot". Several rounds were played and at the end of each bargaining round, points were totaled and individuals would move between groups based on how many points they accumulated.

Bottom Line: There were only 2 people that moved from one group (class) to another and they only moved up or down 1 level. Not one person who started out in "lower" class ever made it to "upper" nor "upper" to "lower". Those who started out with the power ($$/points) were able to retain it because having more points always allowed them the upper hand to create rules to maintain their wealth. I was lucky enough to be in the "upper group" from the start and the folks who stayed "stuck" in the middle and lower levels voiced extreme frustration at not having the opportunity to "get ahead".

It was a great way to demonstrate the fact that, although not impossible, the ability to truly move between classes for the MAJORITY of folks is extremely difficult.

Helene

DVC Sadie
04-21-2006, 08:33 PM
I thought it was the top 1% has 40% of all the wealth and that is the same as the bottom 90%. So the 2-10% own 20%.


Please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought they were saying the top 1% of the United States had 40% of all the wealth by U.S. standards.

When they showcased the Johnson&Johnson grandson and the grand daughter of Warren Buffet they were in the top 1% of the world. Huge difference.

I can see how some people can be confused in the economic equation of the classes especially since they showed a income of 34,000.00 to be lower class and a income of over 800,000.00 as being upper class.

Using those figures I see most people as being middle class. :teeth:

LauraR
04-21-2006, 08:38 PM
What was surprising to us was the fact that neither Oprah or the former secretary of labor Mr. Reich discussed the overwhelming amounts of money that is donated by the 1%, to fund all different types of programs that benefit all classes of people.

Actually I find the amount the top 1% gives underwhelming. If there were more that followed the Bill Gates model of charitable giving on a large scale, I'd feel differently. But the really rich could give SOOO much more before feeling any kind of pinch, and they don't. Most seem to prefer to hold onto their wealth.

imsayin
04-21-2006, 08:50 PM
But the really rich could give SOOO much more before feeling any kind of pinch, and they don't. Most seem to prefer to hold onto their wealth

Or spend it. Imagine if Paris Hilton lived frugally. The money saved on clothes alone could do wonders to help the world.

MyGoofy26
04-21-2006, 08:54 PM
Or spend it. Imagine if Paris Hilton lived frugally. The money saved on clothes alone could do wonders to help the world.

Sadly she probably doesn't even buy half of her clothes - people like her get that stuff thrown at them because of the "advertising" if she wears it. Most of the clubs she goes to, she gets paid to be there because it generates such huge buzz for the club.

mjbaby
04-21-2006, 09:13 PM
From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_class):

[The] view that one can move into the upper class simply by bourgeoise money-making reflects a middle-class outlook that overlooks the importance of the adoption of the aristocratic values that distinguishes the genuine upper classes from the merely rich.

The presense of an historic upper class in American society since the 17th century has meant that new arrivals in the ranks of the rich or socially aspirant will eventually encounter the genuine upper class that will make the decision as to whether the aspirants will be accepted. This decision will be made largely on the basis of the arriviste's conformity to and acceptance of traditional aristocratic values.

and

There is considerable debate as to how the upper middle class might be defined (whether by education, wealth, or the prestige or skill level of their profession).

All very interesting in light of the discussion and today's show.

cats mom
04-21-2006, 09:20 PM
My DD15 was showing me a teen magazine that she reads. She pointed out the clothing ($85 jeans, $300 dresses, $100 shoes). She wants to know who has that kind of money to blow on clothes? She's perfectly happy with the cute jeans that we picked up at TJ Maxx for $12! I just love that kid! :love:

DD and one of the local country club set wore the same shirt to school one day. (a mortifying thing in middle school)
When someone asked where they got them, the other girl said she got hers at Neiman Marcus... DD said she got hers at Ross.
Country Club girl actually made the comment, in an effort to put DD down, that she obviously paid way more for hers since it was from a high end store and she would never buy anything at Ross.
DD said the way she saw it the fact that she paid less for the exact same shirt just made her smarter, no matter where she shopped.
CC diva left in a huff since all the kids she was trying to impress were laughing so hard.

Honestly though, around here membership in the Country Club definitely means something as far as social rank goes.
I have no doubt that some of those CC members are drowning in debt while other folks who are not accepted into that elite group are much better off financially.

dvcgirl
04-21-2006, 09:21 PM
I also thought the comparison between the 2 families was interesting, and sad... for the upper class family. They are totally allowing peer pressure to rule their lives. They are letting their neighbors dictate what kind of car they drive, what kind of furniture they own, what lawn service they use. They are letting their kids' classmates dictate what kind of clothes they buy. What a terrible way to raise your family. Talk about keeping up with the Joneses.


I felt for the "upper class" family too, although, like I said I really see them as upper middle class. Seeing that family brought back lots of memories of the neighborhood we used to live in.....which was similar to the one this family lived in, but a little nicer. There was a lot of pressure to dress a certain way, drive a certain car, throw a certain kind of party for your kid's BD. We didn't give in to that at all, but we really didn't feel like we fit in there either. Boy, did I have neighbors just like that woman, shuttling their kids from one activity to the next...almost all of them cost extra $$. It all felt so empty to us, everyone just seemed to be going through the motions most of the time.

The comment that the woman made about the neighborhood discussions about what car this one got, who cuts that ones lawn, where this one went on vacation....boy do I remember those incredibly boring conversations at some of the parties we attended. I remember one party where there was a conversation about a couple who wasn't there.... regarding their pool contractor. It wasn't *the* pool contractor to use....and I remember people actually rolling their eyes over this. It was really something.

musicotb
04-21-2006, 09:41 PM
A higher education doesn't necessarily gain entree into the upper class as it may have done even 40 years ago

A friend of mine has a grandparent who received only as high as a 7th grade education, but by luck and then hard work, developed a business that made him millions.

When I finish school, I will have 9 years of education and a doctorate in Audiology, and may make $70K a year after 20 years.

Who is more successful? Either? I think that if you enjoy your life, and you have balance between family and career, and you treat those around you with respect, and are able to manage your money so that you will never have to suffer, you are successful. I've always said I would prefer to never step out of the middle class - and I will always be middle class, no matter how much money I make. What is it that they say - "it's not the clothes who make the man"?

...I'll tell you who hurts, who class matters to: the lower class. The ones who suffer, and who will continue to suffer as the government cuts programs to help them, the lower class is a growing class and will continue on that path. Not at any fault of their own, but at the hands of lawmakers who send jobs overseas and buy non-american-made products, who make higher education more expensive and intangible for the poor and so very feasible for the rich.

DVC Sadie
04-21-2006, 09:52 PM
Actually I find the amount the top 1% gives underwhelming. If there were more that followed the Bill Gates model of charitable giving on a large scale, I'd feel differently. But the really rich could give SOOO much more before feeling any kind of pinch, and they don't. Most seem to prefer to hold onto their wealth.


I guess I see things a tad differently. You may hear of the Bill Gates model of charitable contributions but there are so many more people who donate huge sums every year relative to their earnings. Some do prefer to hold on to their wealth but some donate all of their money to charities after their death.

mickeyfan2
04-21-2006, 10:03 PM
Please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought they were saying the top 1% of the United States had 40% of all the wealth by U.S. standards.

When they showcased the Johnson&Johnson grandson and the grand daughter of Warren Buffet they were in the top 1% of the world. Huge difference.

I can see how some people can be confused in the economic equation of the classes especially since they showed a income of 34,000.00 to be lower class and a income of over 800,000.00 as being upper class.

Using those figures I see most people as being middle class. :teeth:

From Oprah's site:

" According to The One Percent, since 1979

* The top one percent of Americans own roughly 40 percent of the country's wealth.
* The top one percent possesses more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined."


So I think my original post was correct.

cats mom
04-21-2006, 10:16 PM
...I'll tell you who hurts, who class matters to: the lower class. The ones who suffer, and who will continue to suffer as the government cuts programs to help them, the lower class is a growing class and will continue on that path. Not at any fault of their own, but at the hands of lawmakers who send jobs overseas and buy non-american-made products, who make higher education more expensive and intangible for the poor and so very feasible for the rich.


I agree about the the lower class really being in a world of hurt.

However when it comes to higher education, I think you'd better expand those concerns to include the middle class.

ASU started a new program where low income kids have tuition, fees, room, board, and books all paid for completely - all 4 years. They have around 280 kids enrolled right now with no plans to cap the number accepted into the program.

At the same time they are proposing an 8.5% tuition increase.

The very rich won't even blink an eye at that and those kids will complete their educations.

Grants and work/study programs will be increased to help kids who don't quite qualify for the free ride deal, but still need help, eek out an education.

But what about kids from middle class families?
I guess the option is to pile on the loans and graduate deep in debt or be squeezed out.

DVC Sadie
04-21-2006, 10:27 PM
From Oprah's site:

" According to The One Percent, since 1979

* The top one percent of Americans own roughly 40 percent of the country's wealth.
* The top one percent possesses more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined."


So I think my original post was correct.


I stand corrected. :thumbsup2

MyGoofy26
04-21-2006, 10:38 PM
Along the topics of the top 1% having 40% of the wealth. . . I was flipping through new the other night and there was a "panel" of people on Fox news talking about income tax that I got sucked into for a minute. Not really a whole lot came out of it since no one was actually speaking, just people trying to speak louder than the others. One thought that did manage to get spoken before the "I'm louder than you so I'm right" section of the segment, LOL, was one guy discussing how most of that 1% live off of the interest of that 40% of wealth, so basically that 40% of the money in our country isn't being spent or taxed. Interesting thought. . . I'd have like to have heard where he was going with it and hear more about how that effects the economy, but it was like a 30 second segment, with (like I mentioned) everyone talking over each other and he didn't get much farther than just saying what that one statement.

bnhasak
04-22-2006, 12:04 AM
I have to agree that the middle class is really disappearing and those that are "stuck" in it (whether transitionally or permanently) are being hurt. Honestly, there are more incentives to make less money when you are right on the brink of lower middle class. Ex. if we have one more child we would qualify for government subsidy for formula, diapers, etc.... Also my husbands second job (teaching at a career school) has bumped us up $$ just enough to disqualify us for state grants for his masters degree tuition. It almost doesn't "pay" to work the second job.

My husband and I both have TONS of student loans. Both of our parents were right on the edge. They made "too much" to qualify for any aide/grants.

I don't know what it says for our country that the divide between the upper and lower classes is becoming so wide. I know it isn't a good commentary for sure though. :sad2:

mskani
04-22-2006, 08:07 AM
I watched the show yesterday and found it very interesting. My dh and I have a combined gross income of over $120k, which according to all of the "experts" makes us upper class. :rotfl2: We definitely don't fit into that category.

I think that it is all about perception. I used to watch the Brady Bunch as a kid and I used them as the "perfect" family. They had a nice house, always did things together, went on vacations, and even with all of those kids, you never got the impression that they had any money issues. Even then, I knew that they were not rich by no means, but they were comfortable and that's what I wanted.

Growing up, both of my parents worked, but didn't make a great deal of money. No we weren't considered "working poor" because we owned a home, had cars, nice clothing (bought at outlet stores) extremely nice furniture, etc. We even took several vacations. My dh on the other hand, his dad was a police officer and his mom worked at the post office and they lived in a much better neighborhood than I did. BUT...before we got married, dh had never taken a family vacation, wore Toughskins until he was in high school, had really cheap furniture, and they ate and/or consumed a lot of generic food and/or products.

When we married, I had this idea in my head that we would somehow strike a balance. And after almost twelve years, I think that we have done okay. We own our own home in a solidly middle class neighborhood surrounded by decent law-abiding folks. We take our kids on vacation yearly (if not to Disney, then somewhere else). We both drive cars that are over four years old and shop at Target, Walmart, etc without giving it a second thought. Our kids participate in sports at the park district and for the most part we are very happy.

musicotb
04-22-2006, 10:10 AM
Something that I think is interesting is the childcare issue. Earlier, someone posted about how it's not a valid excuse to say "I don't work because I'd spend more more than I'd make to pay for childcare" and said that can't be true.

Well, let me tell you, as someone who has worked at a goverment subsidized daycare where they try to make it "affordable" to parents... I would keep my kids at home. FIrst of all, a lot of those types of centers only pay their employees about $7/hour. I make more than that scooping ice cream at my part time job. So, who is going to want to work there? People who are desperate for a job or think that $7/hr is great money... certainly not anyone who has a degree or any education in child care. And those places are kept at maximum capacity (I personally had 7 1.5-2.5 year olds in my care on my own), don't send kids home if they're sick, and threaten to fire employees if they stay home when they're sick. I say again, if I was the parent of one of these children, my kids would stay at home.

Also, in response to: ASU started a new program where low income kids have tuition, fees, room, board, and books all paid for completely - all 4 years. They have around 280 kids enrolled right now with no plans to cap the number accepted into the program.
...I'm not sure which school "ASU" is, but that is NOT a common program. The government does offer Pell Grants, but those are being cut left an right, as ar the criteria to get them. And if you are trying to work and go to school at the same time? The big state school in our area cut out a LOT of their evening classes, especially their core classes, so if you want to get your degree, you have to go to a private college instead.
Also, I would include the financially "middle class" that has to take out a lot of loans to go to school as "lower class" educationally. To clarify, there are families that are financially middle class that make saving for college a priority before they even have kids, and I think that puts them in a different class from families like mine (where my sibling and I would be first generation degree holders), where when you wanted to go to school it became a story of "get a scholarship or else." I got a scholarship; my siblings haven't thus far.

I think that what this thread has pointed out is that "class" can be dependent on income, education, behavior, a host of other factors, or merely the eye of the beholder.

DVCLiz
04-22-2006, 11:01 AM
Something that I think is interesting is the childcare issue. Earlier, someone posted about how it's not a valid excuse to say "I don't work because I'd spend more more than I'd make to pay for childcare" and said that can't be true.

Well, let me tell you, as someone who has worked at a goverment subsidized daycare where they try to make it "affordable" to parents... I would keep my kids at home. FIrst of all, a lot of those types of centers only pay their employees about $7/hour. I make more than that scooping ice cream at my part time job. So, who is going to want to work there? People who are desperate for a job or think that $7/hr is great money... certainly not anyone who has a degree or any education in child care. And those places are kept at maximum capacity (I personally had 7 1.5-2.5 year olds in my care on my own), don't send kids home if they're sick, and threaten to fire employees if they stay home when they're sick. I say again, if I was the parent of one of these children, my kids would stay at home.


Actually, I didn't say "that can't be true," I said I wasn't sure I would buy that. I've never heard ANYONE with a job in childcare who felt that the pay was adequate, no matter what kind of center it was. My point was that the mom was making a really "expensive" choice not to use childcare so she could do some sort of work, and in their situation it didn't seem to me that she could afford to make that choice. Since you have the experience, could that mom have worked at your ice-cream scoop job, used your daycare center, and made any profit???

pooh4evr
04-22-2006, 11:06 AM
For my 2cents-

I am one of those Moms who quit working after D#2 was born because my income would not have covered daycare- I was a science teacher at a small catholic middle school. aT that time for the employee daycare (hospital where DH was doing resicency) we would have been paying more than 14K a year for 2 kids. You talk about making a profit well no -after taxes and gas to go to my job. We amke a good amount now because DH is a Doctor but because of the way we both grew up (his family farming mine single mom widowed with 4 kids at 27 food stamps and welfare) I would not ever consider us more than middle class.

Debbie Jean
04-22-2006, 11:36 AM
I found this a very unsatifying discussion of "class" but pure "Oprah". :rolleyes: I'm frankly tired of hearing how "po" she was, how successful she is now and how this is the result of hard work on her part and not luck. Did she work hard? Absolutely! But she is where she is today through the grace of God ALONG WITH hard work... call that luck, if you wish, but hard work does NOT guarentee success in financial terms which is really what she was emphasizing... how much money you have and how many things you own. :sad2:

The saddest moment in that program for me was when that "lower class" African American gentleman was talking in his film clip about how he felt people looked away from him and ignored him in public. We see him sitting in the audience and Oprah, with that soulful look she has cultivated so well, says "gosh, tell me how that makes you feel?" After he sees himself in the clip, he looks like he is ready to cry and says, "it makes me feel invisible". Oprah looked right through him and, reading the teleprompter says, "OK, we'll be right back to talk some more about class and what it means"... cut to commercial. I nearly choked, I was laughing so hard :rotfl: I guess he really WAS invisible at least to Oprah :rolleyes1 She never came back to the fellow... I noticed him several times when the camera panned the audience.

I guess she... or her producers... figured it was more important to spend the last half of the program focusing on the 1% with the REAL wealth and whether their grandchildren deserved trust funds. :confused3

dvcgirl
04-22-2006, 12:01 PM
I guess she... or her producers... figured it was more important to spend the last half of the program focusing on the 1% with the REAL wealth and whether their grandchildren deserved trust funds. :confused3

I have to agree that they wasted time with the Johnson and Buffet grandkids. Personally, that 1% is *so* far above where the rest of us mere mortals are living that it's just not even relevant to well....99% of us.

DVCLiz
04-22-2006, 01:19 PM
I agree about the "luck" comment. Where does Oprah get off saying she doesn't believe in luck, and then saying it's a matter of preparation meeting a moment of opportunity? What's a "moment of opportunity" if not a lucky occurence? It's not like you can go to the "Moment of Opportunity" store and buy one....

disneysteve
04-22-2006, 01:34 PM
most of that 1% live off of the interest of that 40% of wealth, so basically that 40% of the money in our country isn't being spent or taxed.
I'm not so sure about that. Unless all of that money is invested in tax-free instruments, which I doubt, it is certainly being taxed: interest, dividends, capital gains.

Is it being spent? Well, not in the direct sense that you may have been thinking, but it certainly doesn't just sit in a vault somewhere. That money is the source of funds for loans made by banks, brokerages and mortgage companies. Much of that money is "invested" in various companies, often companies that are not publicly traded, so these wealthy folks actually own some or all of the company. So that money gets spent running the company, buying equipment, computers, supplies, etc. So it does get spent, just not at your local supermarket or mall like money from you and me.

disneysteve
04-22-2006, 01:39 PM
I have to agree that they wasted time with the Johnson and Buffet grandkids.
I don't know that it was a waste. How could you do a show on class and not include all the classes? They showed the lower class. They showed the middle class (maybe upper middle). I think they needed to show some truly upper class folks, not just the over $100,000 people but the truly wealthy. I agree that Nicole Buffet really didn't fit, though, because she does not have her grandfather's wealth. At least Jamie Johnson has a trust fund.

disneysteve
04-22-2006, 01:47 PM
I agree about the "luck" comment. Where does Oprah get off saying she doesn't believe in luck, and then saying it's a matter of preparation meeting a moment of opportunity? What's a "moment of opportunity" if not a lucky occurence? It's not like you can go to the "Moment of Opportunity" store and buy one....
I happen to agree with Oprah here. When presented with the exact same circumstances, one person may seize the opportunity and take full advantage of it while others will hesitate or ignore it. Does that make the first person lucky? I don't think so. It makes them smart, aggresive, risk-taking, whatever term you want to use. But that person made some conscious decision to act when that "moment of opportunity" presented itself.

Now if you are talking about luck in the sense of buying the winning lottery ticket or hitting the jackpot on the slot machine, that's different since the outcome was totally random. That person just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Thousands of other people did the exact same thing and bought tickets for the drawing and didn't win through no fault of their own. I'd have no problem with using the term "lucky" there.

MyGoofy26
04-22-2006, 01:51 PM
I'm not so sure about that. Unless all of that money is invested in tax-free instruments, which I doubt, it is certainly being taxed: interest, dividends, capital gains.

Is it being spent? Well, not in the direct sense that you may have been thinking, but it certainly doesn't just sit in a vault somewhere. That money is the source of funds for loans made by banks, brokerages and mortgage companies. Much of that money is "invested" in various companies, often companies that are not publicly traded, so these wealthy folks actually own some or all of the company. So that money gets spent running the company, buying equipment, computers, supplies, etc. So it does get spent, just not at your local supermarket or mall like money from you and me.

That's why I wished the guy actually had time to go further and discuss what his point was. . . it was an interesting thought interrupted by some annoying guy yelling, "they aren't making their money off of the backs of the poor!!" and the guy trying to make the point giving him a funny look and saying, "uhh, no one said anything about that. . ."

Since the topic was the income tax, and he did get a few phrases out, it seemed he was referring to people with millions/billions of dollars that are just living off of the interest and the principle never getting touched. So while the interest and dividends may get taxed, that principle is never touched and hasn't been taxed since it was first earned whereas you take a poorer person and their taxed income is going right back into the system for someone else to earn and get taxed on. Since the topic was just the income tax, they weren't really discussing the other effects that money has elsewhere in the economy.

Bravosntha2g
04-22-2006, 02:04 PM
Robert Reich is 4'10"! That's the most interesting thing about this show!

He was also overly pessimistic, I had a hard time listening to the guy.

disneysteve
04-22-2006, 02:29 PM
it seemed he was referring to people with millions/billions of dollars that are just living off of the interest and the principle never getting touched. So while the interest and dividends may get taxed, that principle is never touched and hasn't been taxed since it was first earned
Well, this is true, but not just for those with billions of dollars. It's true for any of us who have savings. The money in your 401K or IRA isn't being taxed. The money you have in US Savings Bonds or CDs or even in your checking account isn't being taxed. And it is true for millions of retirees who are living off their investments, like my mom whose portfolio is far, far under a million dollars. So he's right, but I'm not sure what his point was.

DVCLiz
04-22-2006, 03:49 PM
I happen to agree with Oprah here. When presented with the exact same circumstances, one person may seize the opportunity and take full advantage of it while others will hesitate or ignore it. Does that make the first person lucky? I don't think so. It makes them smart, aggresive, risk-taking, whatever term you want to use. But that person made some conscious decision to act when that "moment of opportunity" presented itself.


But I still think those circumstances with which people are presented can sometimes be the result of nothing more than luck. How they react is a different matter entirely.

Debbie Jean
04-22-2006, 05:32 PM
Robert Reich is 4'10"! That's the most interesting thing about this show!

He was also overly pessimistic, I had a hard time listening to the guy.

His height is the result of a congenital condition.

I didn't find him pessimistic though his perspective clearly differed from Oprah's. He wasn't saying that people couldn't move "up the ladder" in terms of whatever we define as "class"... only that studies show it has become much more difficult than in the past.

Debbie Jean
04-22-2006, 05:43 PM
But I still think those circumstances with which people are presented can sometimes be the result of nothing more than luck. How they react is a different matter entirely.

::yes::

MyGoofy26
04-22-2006, 05:52 PM
But I still think those circumstances with which people are presented can sometimes be the result of nothing more than luck. How they react is a different matter entirely.

That's what I've always believed. I guess it depends on how someone defines "luck" but no one is guaranteed that moment of opportunity and you can prepare all you want but you can't predict when/if it will happen. You just need to be ready when it does. I think even Oprah had a good bit of that "luck" on her side to get her to where she is - it doesn't matter how talented or driven a person is, when she was starting out if she didn't have people who recognized her talents and backed her financially and professionally. There are a lot of people out there who wouldn't have taken the risk - she got "lucky" by meeting the ones that WOULD take the risk. It's not like there's a handbook they give you when you graduate college that lists all the people willing to network with you and help you get the jobs you want/need - sure, it takes a lot of personal effort to go out and make those connections, but it's "lucky" for someone to find the connections that DO work.

DVCLiz
04-22-2006, 07:15 PM
That's what I've always believed. I guess it depends on how someone defines "luck" but no one is guaranteed that moment of opportunity and you can prepare all you want but you can't predict when/if it will happen. You just need to be ready when it does. I think even Oprah had a good bit of that "luck" on her side to get her to where she is - it doesn't matter how talented or driven a person is, when she was starting out if she didn't have people who recognized her talents and backed her financially and professionally. There are a lot of people out there who wouldn't have taken the risk - she got "lucky" by meeting the ones that WOULD take the risk. It's not like there's a handbook they give you when you graduate college that lists all the people willing to network with you and help you get the jobs you want/need - sure, it takes a lot of personal effort to go out and make those connections, but it's "lucky" for someone to find the connections that DO work.
Yes, that's exactly what I meant, but you did a much better job of explaining it!!!!

cobbler
04-22-2006, 09:20 PM
It was an interesting show. According to income guidelines we are middle class. But according to Lloyd Warner we are lower / middle class. Lower because dh is a laborer and middle because I have business degree. I am a SAHM now so not sure where that really puts us.

We have nice things and only thing we have for debt is mortgages. Although I know people who make more than we do, would probably be true middle class and are in debt up to their eyeballs and don't really have anymore to show for it than we do.

So it really is a gray area as to what class you might fall into. Just because you have nice things doesn't mean you are middle or upper class when you are in so much debt and in one paycheck you are living in the poor house. While those that may be lower class, if something happens to them they are ok.

There just doesn't seem to be a clear cut line of either you are in this class or you aren't.

FreshTressa
04-23-2006, 12:40 PM
I'm not sure where we fit in...I think we are pretty mixed up!

We both have college degrees and live in an affluent suburban neighborhood.

DH makes an income that would put us in upper middle class, and we have accumulated quite a bit of wealth...

BUT...

I'm a redneck on the inside!! I still buy my clothes at walmart, buy store brand cereal in the bags, forget to mow my lawn and would love to own a motor home.

I have NO desire to be 'upwardly mobile' or yuppyish....would never drive an SUV unless it was an old beat up one I took out in the woods.

I like to have fun, and a true upper class lifestyle would never suit me. I guess we are mixed up...we own $2000 bicycles each and a $1000 dog and I must own $4000 in hiking clothes. Yet, we pack our lunches when we go out for the day and I would never pay for a manicure.

I think most people are like us...they don't fit into a 'class'. I have friends that make way less money than us, but they are always in designer clothes with perfect make-up and brand new cars and live like the upper class. Then there is us, who make a lot of money, but live "a little on the trashy" side. I know how to not be rednecky, but I don't want to be. I like it, lol.

disneysteve
04-23-2006, 12:52 PM
I'm not sure where we fit in...I think we are pretty mixed up!

I think most people are like us...they don't fit into a 'class'. I have friends that make way less money than us, but they are always in designer clothes with perfect make-up and brand new cars and live like the upper class. Then there is us, who make a lot of money, but live "a little on the trashy" side. I know how to not be rednecky, but I don't want to be. I like it, lol.
Except for the bikes and dog, I could have written this post - LOL!

FreshTressa
04-23-2006, 01:29 PM
Except for the bikes and dog, I could have written this post - LOL!

Woot! Glad to know I'm not alone in my insanity :goodvibes

Aisling
04-23-2006, 03:26 PM
Making over $100,000 a year makes you upper class? This is SO not true. Our income is over $100,000 and I consider our family middle class. DH's father is a physician who makes a lot more than $100,000 a year, and is still middle class. Who came up with this? Class surely can't be determined by income, as maybe it could have been 100 years ago. Look at the Beverly Hillbillies! Are they upper class? I'd say no! :rotfl2:
I guess I think of the movie Titanic when I think of class...Rose was actually broke, but she was still upper class in my mind.

Alice28
04-23-2006, 03:50 PM
I find this thread fascinating. I guess DH and I are pretty solid middle class. I feel like we're always struggling to make ends meet, but we own our home, make decent money,enough to pay the bills anyway and both have college educations. (Well, DH makes enough money so I can stay at home with the kids- a true luxury in this day and age). We also contribute monthly to our children's college funds.

Our parents are both middle class too, but according to some, I guess they would be considered upper, as they are millionaires. But millionaires like so many people have said on here- my MIL would die before paying Nordstrom prices on ANYTHING. She loves to shop at the discount stores and outlets. She and my FIL were teachers with master's degrees. They made their fortune by buying real estate in the CA Bay Area in the 70s, and now own several homes. My parents also had middle class jobs- mom a managerial position as a nurse (MS), my dad no college education and worked manual labor. But again, scrimped and saved, and worked hard, and now they are millionaires.

I would say the neighborhood I live in is working class ---> middle class and I love it. There is no pretentiousness here, like what we grew up with in San Jose. no keeping up with the Jones's. Everyone works hard, tries to keep their yards nice looking, and is genuinely friendly and caring. I am glad we are raising (ok, rearing) our chlidren in a nice, working class community, than move 5 miles over and live in snobville, USA. I've been there, done that, and I hate that feeling of 'not good enough.'

DVC Sadie
04-23-2006, 06:41 PM
Making over $100,000 a year makes you upper class? This is SO not true. Our income is over $100,000 and I consider our family middle class. DH's father is a physician who makes a lot more than $100,000 a year, and is still middle class. Who came up with this? Class surely can't be determined by income, as maybe it could have been 100 years ago. Look at the Beverly Hillbillies! Are they upper class? I'd say no! :rotfl2:
I guess I think of the movie Titanic when I think of class...Rose was actually broke, but she was still upper class in my mind.


Rose was considered in the genteel poverty class who had no choice (parents) but to wed a newly rich young man to infuse money into Roses family. The man Rose was going to marry was buying his way into what was once considered the upper class benefiting both families. Believe it or not that still happens today but no one discusses it openly.

Aisling
04-23-2006, 07:31 PM
Rose was considered in the genteel poverty class who had no choice (parents) but to wed a newly rich young man to infuse money into Roses family. The man Rose was going to marry was buying his way into what was once considered the upper class benefiting both families. Believe it or not that still happens today but no one discusses it openly.
If Rose was considered poverty class, I don't she would have been given the royal treatment and respect which first-class passengers obviously got. Her poverty was a secret, that only she and her mother knew. If she were considered gentile poverty class, why would a newly rich man want to take a wife from that state of social inferiority? Tell me.lease, I love that movie! OMG it seems like that movie has been on so many times lately, I have to stop watching it!

You said it happens today, but isn't talked about openly. That breaks my heart that someone is told who they must marry.

Does anyone want to give an opinion about the Beverly Hillbillies? Were they upper class? (Doesn't this discussion make you think how foolish the whole "class" thing it? :crazy: )