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lsu777
LSU Fan
westlake
Member since Jan 2004
14265 posts

Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
So i keep hearing that the middle class is shrinking and other bull shite from the MSM, but its such BS. I know this article is from 2016, but it clearly shows the whole premise is stupid. The upper middle class has continued to grow in both % of population and in income.

Since 2016, it has grown even more. LINK


but because the top 1% have continued to grow income wise, the media has continued to beat the drum of the shrinking middle class which is horse shite.

If the middle class is growing or atleast holding % wise when you consider middle class to be 67% to 200% of median, why the hell does it matter what the top 1% of the country is doing.

Especially if more and more are falling in the three person household equivalent of $126,000 to $188,000?

isnt it a good thing if the overall numbers of those in the middle class is holding or growing and that more of that middle class is now in the top of that bracket?

Wanted others thoughts, I realize the media is going to do what they do, but when the hell did a growing upper middle class suddenly become a bad thing?

what is middle class

example of what i am talking about
This post was edited on 9/16 at 3:11 pm


lsu777
LSU Fan
westlake
Member since Jan 2004
14265 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
nobody wants to discuss?

is the middle class shrinking?


NC_Tigah
LSU Fan
Carolinas
Member since Sep 2003
101252 posts
 Online 

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
quote:

nobody wants to discuss?
You are 100% right.
It's a topic which has been discussed here repeatedly

What is the US middle class?
Well, it sure as hell is not the same as Europe's middle class.

The US measures "poverty" at a level equal to Italy's median income.
Let that sink in.
European middle class income would rate as poverty-level in the US.

Yet the media has somehow convinced you that our middle class is woebegone.

Factually the US middle class is doing better by nearly EVERY METRIC than it was during its supposed MiddleClass Golden Age in the 1950's, 60's and 70's.
In 2020 the US middle class lives in nicer, larger and better appointed homes.
In 2020 the US middle class has more and nicer appliances and TVs.
In 2020 the US middle class pays less of its paycheck for groceries.
In 2020 the US middle class out earns its 1960-70's brethren by as much as 20%, and enjoys luxuries it could not have dreamed of in the past.
This post was edited on 9/16 at 4:00 pm


TDcline
Navy Fan
American Gardens building 11th flor
Member since Aug 2015
8030 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
Not gonna lie, I’m going to vote Trump, and will continue to vote R down the line because the left is so damn deranged; but I really don’t see much that the Republicans have done to make the middle class better off. I’m struggling more now than I ever have, and I don’t have a lot of debt. This is just month to month stuff. The Democrats are fricking insane, but the Republicans need to be doing more. I’ve about had enough of this protect the rich shite that both sides are doing.


NC_Tigah
LSU Fan
Carolinas
Member since Sep 2003
101252 posts
 Online 

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
quote:

I don’t have a lot of debt.
At these rates, debt might be something to reconsider in some ways.


cwill
Member since Jan 2005
44681 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
From the linked paper:

quote:

It is remarkable how often people talk about the upper middle class and how little we know about this group. This study found that the proportion of the population in the upper middle class went from under 13 percent in 1979 to over 29 percent in 2014. The effect of this growth was magnified by the greater income differences between this group and the rest of the population. Although wealthier people always have a greater share of total income, this report documents a major shift in the distribution of economic resources. In 1979, the bottom three income groups controlled 70 percent of all incomes, and the upper middle class and rich controlled 30 percent. By 2014, this distribution shifted to 37 percent for the bottom three groups and 63 percent for the upper middle class and rich groups. The middle class alone saw its share of income decline from 46 percent in 1979 to 26 percent in 2014.

Any discussion of inequality that is limited to the 1 percent misses a lot of the picture because it ignores the large inequality between the growing upper middle class and the middle and lower middle classes. This difference has a physical dimension in that most metropolitan areas differ greatly by the size and price of the homes in their neighborhoods and communities. We try to limit segregation by race or ethnicity, but segregation by income (which is growing) is accepted as a fact of life.


This paper is basically saying the inequality argument shouldn't be hyper-focused on the 1% but should include the Upper MC which grew and combined with the 1% saw all of the income growth while the MC and lower did not...the growth wasn't equal. It dovetails with Charles Murray's point(s) in The Bell Curve and Coming Apart.


cwill
Member since Jan 2005
44681 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
quote:


Not gonna lie, I’m going to vote Trump, and will continue to vote R down the line because the left is so damn deranged; but I really don’t see much that the Republicans have done to make the middle class better off. I’m struggling more now than I ever have, and I don’t have a lot of debt. This is just month to month stuff. The Democrats are fricking insane, but the Republicans need to be doing more. I’ve about had enough of this protect the rich shite that both sides are doing.


I listened to a recent Sam Harris podcast with Daniel Markovitz, Yale law prof...he was saying that the rich in this country aren't really the family wealth transfers but that it comes from work and the rich now work their asses off to the detriment of their quality of life.


Gtmodawg
Georgia Fan
PNW
Member since Dec 2019
2291 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
An upper class income is defined here as $100K for a family of three. That would be equivalent to two people earning $25 an hour 50 weeks a year with a child. The average hourly wage in the US for people between the age of 22 and 45, what most would consider "young families" is $21.16 an hour.

At $100K a family of three with normal tax situations would see what, $20K withheld for state and federal income taxes and payroll taxes (10% IRS, 3% state, 7% payroll taxes) which would mean about $80K a year in disposable income. That is about $6667 a month in take home pay. Conservatively $1200 of that is spent on housing (taxes and insurance included) and another $500 on utilities. Add in the costs of owning 2 vehicles (hard to earn a wage without one) and you looking at another $500 or so a month, conservatively. Health Insurance is another $800 a month and probably another $200 out of pocket for uncovered expenses / deductibles etc. At a minimum they should be saving $600 for retirement and what, maybe $100 for unsuspected expenses (thats less than a months salary a year, many people claim you need a month in reserve). Groceries will run $75 a week...$300 a month. Clothing themselves will run what, $75 a month? Kids shoes ain't cheap. One would suspect since they are upper middle class they probably want to take a week off every year and go on a little vacation, say $1800 a year or $150 a month. They will also need some entertainment other than making babies or watching TV....maybe $100 a month for dinner and a movie twice? They are going to need childcare most likely, that'll cost em another $100 a week. That leaves about $390 a week to meet their needs outside of those listed above. That is pretty damn good, considering. The "Average" family of three, based on age, would see that reduced to $156 a week...less of a barrier to over spending. Of course none of this leaves any money to pay off student loans but maybe this family didn't get caught up in that trap or managed to get some training somehow that allowed them to earn $25 an hour.

The question that I would ask is if this is truly an upper middle class life style? It seems like a pretty basic existence to me. I think it is typical of a LOT of young families, but are young families really "upper middle income"? The upper bound of the paper is $349K a year, most definitely in most people's mind upper middle class or income....but $100K??? I wouldn't want to try to live on it again.

It really should come as no shock that the number of people included in this report and counted as upper middle income as defined in this report, a family of three defined any way you want to slice it, is greater in 2020 than it was in 1979. We are MUCH older as a nation now. We have way more experience on average and are more valuable to our employer or customers than the average worker was in 1979. In 1979 a heaping pile of Americans still worked in manufacturing and had little or now skill. Anyone who isn't below the poverty line today in the US would have been a highly skilled worked in 1979 considering what most of us do now compared to then.

Finally, this little tidbit from the report is interesting:

"This study used 1979 as a starting point because it was the last business cycle peak before income
inequality grew dramatically in the first half of the 1980s."

Wonder what happened in the first half of the 1980's which could have lead to a dramatic growth of income inequality. That is something someone ought to look into....


gthog61
Georgia Tech Fan
Irving, TX
Member since Nov 2009
61346 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
quote:

Wonder what happened in the first half of the 1980's which could have lead to a dramatic growth of income inequality. That is something someone ought to look into....



We recovered from the worst president in modern history?

It was so much better when the economy sucked for everybody in the late 70's!


Gtmodawg
Georgia Fan
PNW
Member since Dec 2019
2291 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
quote:

We recovered from the worst president in modern history?

It was so much better when the economy sucked for everybody in the late 70's!


You mean the one who intentionally slowed the economy down, along with the Fed Chair, who served one year in 1979, to halt runaway inflation and save the economy? The same Fed Chair who served the next president for 8 years? Yeah, I think everyone alive at the time liked the idea of smoking a $50 cigar but no one wanted to pay that for a $5 cigar....yet that's where we were.

No, what happened was we cut taxes and spent money like never before in the early to late 1980's. It was party time in the US but as is the usual when you are on a drunken bender all good things must come to an end. That hangover is still lingering......but it was the dude who stopped inflation in its tracks who is to blame. Riggghhhttttt. And also privatized government services and cut regulations like a mad man....that dude is to blame.


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gthog61
Georgia Tech Fan
Irving, TX
Member since Nov 2009
61346 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
quote:

No, what happened was we cut taxes and spent money like never before in the early to late 1980's.


When you go years without performing basic maintenance on your house, you spend more the fix it up. Carter let the military rot for example.


Gtmodawg
Georgia Fan
PNW
Member since Dec 2019
2291 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
quote:

When you go years without performing basic maintenance on your house, you spend more the fix it up. Carter let the military rot for example.


No doubt the fellow who took office 9 months after a war that lasted 20 years is to blame for allowing the military to rot.......


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35
uppermidwestbama
Member since Nov 2014
1666 posts
 Online 

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
Meh, the numbers they use are nothing to brag about for upper middle class. $100k as a barrier is a low entry point. It simply takes two married nurses or two married managers at whatever industry and you are basically at the $100k gross.

Trust me, I've gone from $10/hr labor work to making over $325k this year (on path for it).

There is a major difference between buying power at $300k vs $100k.

Real money doesn't start until you pass the $300k mark.

Anything around $150k or lower and you can be dead broke pretty easily.


uppermidwestbama
Member since Nov 2014
1666 posts
 Online 

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
quote:

I listened to a recent Sam Harris podcast with Daniel Markovitz, Yale law prof...he was saying that the rich in this country aren't really the family wealth transfers but that it comes from work and the rich now work their asses off to the detriment of their quality of life.


True. BUT it allows one to buy nicer things to enjoy when the time is available. I am always busy from 6am to 10pm Monday through Thursday and leave work around 4pm on Friday's and I get to enjoy the weekends more than I ever before but I also miss out on more things during the week.

Get to afford more sporting events though.


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10
concrete_tiger
Member since May 2020
168 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
Italians don't demand as much shiat as the average "poor" here in 'merica. They live more austere lives, whereas our folks have no issue spending 150% of their earnings on tattoos, addictions, clothes, car payments, rental furniture, high interest loan payments, etc etc... It's maddening.


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11
RICHIE APRILE
Rutgers Fan
Essex County, NJ
Member since Aug 2020
446 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
Democrats hate the middle class. They only want two classes - the rich upper class educated intellectual wealthy elites, and the serfs. They want no in between.


wutangfinancial
LSU Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Sep 2015
4534 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
Blaming inflation on policy makers when in fact the policies are always reactionary in nature and the inflation dynamics are driven by things for upstream and more important than the letter of the person in charge.


Mo Jeaux
LSU Fan
NYC
Member since Aug 2008
42127 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
quote:

why the hell does it matter what the top 1% of the country is doing.


It matters in relation to the other portions of income earners. Not sure why you would say it doesn’t.


Taxing Authority
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Feb 2010
41674 posts
 Online 

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
quote:

The US measures "poverty" at a level equal to Italy's median income. Let that sink in. European middle class income would rate as poverty-level in the US.
When you go outside of the tourist areas in Europe this is no surprise. Rural Italy and especially France are very, very poor by US standards. With none of the economic mobility and opportunity we have here.

If you’re born poor in Europe, you’re dying poor. There’s no escape.


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40
Mo Jeaux
LSU Fan
NYC
Member since Aug 2008
42127 posts

re: Growing Size and Income of the Upper Middle class
Income gains going to the top 1%:

1954-1957: 5%
1975-1979: 25%
2009-2012: 95%


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