Rich, middleclass, poor...where do we draw those lines?

Discussion in 'Economy' started by RodISHI, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Gold Member

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    I am wondering what everyone considers rich, poor or middleclass as far as finances go. I have often pondered this question through the years. I've met a few rich people(excluding bulti-billionaires), some middle class and a lot of poor people.


    What is rich?

    I would consider rich as those who do not have to work yet do. (I've never been that blessed myself)



    What is poor?

    I define the poor as those who are force to live in substandard conditions of any kind.



    What is middleclass?

    Isn't a middle class worker is one step away from poverty unless they have their own home paid for and some cash in the bank?
     
  2. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    First this is a fairly poor definition, as it would restrict your definition of rich to really just the ultra rich, and thus would skew the middle class way up as well probably into at least the high six figure income bracket.

    It has little bit to do with your mandated living wage argument. In that in determining what it should be it first must be determined what standard of living it is going to pay for and specifcally what goods it should pay for. it's related because generally as our finances increase we increase our standard of living and the cost of it. So for example while someone earning a six figure income might be able to not work on the basis of a living wage, he very well may need to continue to work to maintain his standard of living.



    Another bad definition. It rests on the presumption that anybody who lives in substandard conditions was forced into it. That just isn't the case. Many are poor as the result of poor choices. As to my definition that includes people with seemingly high incomes as well who still manage to spend beyond their means, so technically you can be poor at any income level.


    I suppose, but again this opens up your definition to people with large incomes as they can very easily fall into both of those categories.

    A better definition to define the classes by is net worth, that is the value of their assets.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  3. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Diamond Member

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    Rich means you don't have to work. You can live off the interest your money makes.

    Middle class ranges from people that make $200K a year to $50K a year. Rough numbers. But if you've got a couple million in the bank and you have a pension and you can retire and you did all that making $200k a year for the last 20 years, you might be upper middle class or even considered rich, to some people. If you can afford to retire at 65, then you are middle class. If you will pay your home off by the time you retire, you are middle class.

    My dad never made more than $13 hr, yet now he is upper middle class. He saved and has a pension from Ford. He has 2 homes. Now take his pension away and he might be screwed. But if he sold his vacation home, he'd survive. Of course that's IF he could sell his vacation home.

    What's poor? Anyone who has a family and only makes $40K a year and is $20k in debt. Too many college educated people are finding themselves in this category. It's not right. But if you talk to Republicans, that person did something wrong. Along with millions of other Americans who were doing just fine before Bush got into office and started sending jobs overseas.

    Many middle class people are not going to get a pension like our parents got, and they're social security is going to be cut because of all the GOP spending over the past 8 years. And our 401K's all got cut in half. And our homes lost value. So if we were going to be ok to retire at 65, we might have to rethink that. And with skyrocketing health care costs, I am afraid many people who are middle class now won't be when they go to retire.

    I know many friends who's parents are now going to be a burden on them because they lost their pensions or their homes are no longer nest eggs or they lost jobs because their companies went overseas. They thought they were middle class and found out they are poor.
     
  4. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    Another definition that shows how naive and ignorant people are when it comes to the wealthy. By that definition most professional athletes would be considered middle class

    In reality the problems are many. And they are mostly social, not political. First the bulk of our nation is financially illiterate. Another is that contrary to popular opinion college does not prepare you for life after college. You don't see "how to buy your first home" in many course sylabi.
     
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  5. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Diamond Member

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    OJ had $5 million. He could live off the interest.

    How many people who are considered financial experts got fucked? So please don't pretend to be a financial expert, or suggest that financial experts aren't getting fucked now. Did you hear that rich people are buying Treasury bonds that pay ZERO interest. That's right. ZERO. That's how bad this economy is.

    And the GOP as late as last year was encouraging home ownership, KNOWING home values were going to plumit.

    It's not just sub prime people losing their homes. Some people just lost their jobs and couldn't afford to keep up, so they had to let it go. It wasn't just "poor people" who lost homes. It's thousands of people all across America. And the GOP said the economy was strong and we were just being whiners.

    PS. Did you hear people are purposely falling behind on their house payments, even though they have the money, because then they can go renegotiate with their banks on the interest or terms. BRILLIANT.

    I'd try it, if my condo wasn't almost paid off. :eusa_shhh:
     
  6. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    Where did I pretend to be a financial expert?

    The GOP is made of politicians. the fundamental flaw of our election process is that no politician, Republicans included can afford to be negative toward any group of people. In other words, that statement is a bald faced lie.

    Evidence?
     
  7. Zoomie1980
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    Zoomie1980 Senior Member

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    All of this is subjective and depends as much on standard of living as it does income. If you define "rich" as anyone who does not need to work a wage earning job to afford their life style then the bum living in a box under a bridge is "rich". So that doesn't work.

    Poor in the US is rich in most of the third world. But "relative" poor in the US is basically anyone that requires permanent government assistance to pay for the essentials of life for themselves and their family.

    Rich? $150,000 is pretty good in parts of the rural Southeast and parts of Texas, but isn't worth much at all in Manhattan, Boston, Silicone Valley, etc.... Basically, if you can afford a "nice" house (something like 4000+ sq ft), a new luxury car every five years, a two week Hawaiin, European, or Carribean vacation every year, AND over half your income is from non-work sources, you are probably "rich".

    The rest are middle class.

    My wife and I do quite well but still over 85% of my income comes from W-2 work.....I'm most certainly NOT rich. I tend to classify myself as "upper middle" income.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008

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