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Old 02-28-2018, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
1,641 posts, read 743,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massnative71 View Post
Again, I agree. Far more utilitarian than pleasing to the eye.


Are we saying there can't be a middle ground? In my mind the extinction of the middle class is a far greater threat to the character of Eastern Mass than the loss of any "quaintness" a little more mass development will bring.
No, I agree. There should be middle ground.

I think it just needs to be done responsibly. Unfortunately, because everything is so localized, I'm not sure any town or city will be willing to take a step in that direction. I suppose towns like Billerica, which is starting to rebrand itself and repurpose a lot of the space, may be a candidate. But it's tough to have the look and feel of an Arlington Heights without the walkability, which can't be created at this point..Grid neighborhoods, small lots, and proper downtowns can't just appear.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:20 AM
 
7,027 posts, read 6,715,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
Why do you think the middle class is going extinct? How are you defining the middle class?
Because most houses inside 495 are now out of reach to households earning between $40,000 and $150,000. It is only going to get worse too. I am talking people starting out today, not those grandfathered in. Renting a closet doesn't cut it for the majority, most will just say screw it and bail for FL, NC, TX, CO or NH. Many already have, it's certainly not the same Boston I grew up in.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
No, I agree. There should be middle ground.

I think it just needs to be done responsibly. Unfortunately, because everything is so localized, I'm not sure any town or city will be willing to take a step in that direction. I suppose towns like Billerica, which is starting to rebrand itself and repurpose a lot of the space, may be a candidate. But it's tough to have the look and feel of an Arlington Heights without the walkability, which can't be created at this point..Grid neighborhoods, small lots, and proper downtowns can't just appear.
Since there are no county governments, they at the state level need to acknowledge that the situation has now reached crisis level and that each community needs to decide whether they want to remain part of the problem or become part of the solution. Communities that choose to adopt pro-growth models should be rewarded with new infrastructure money and more for education. This will not happen with the current flock running the state, and I suppose most voters are OK with that. Things will continue to grow worse.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:34 AM
 
32,778 posts, read 22,716,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massnative71 View Post
Because most houses inside 495 are now out of reach to households earning between $40,000 and $150,000. It is only going to get worse too. I am talking people starting out today, not those grandfathered in. Renting a closet doesn't cut it for the majority, most will just say screw it and bail for FL, NC, TX, CO or NH. Many already have, it's certainly not the same Boston I grew up in.


No place is how we grew up in. Everyplace changes over time.


But I have no idea how you came up with 40-150k. Is that based on a percentage of median income for the region? Or what multiplier? $40k is two people working a very low end service sector job, not exactly what I think of as middle class.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:00 AM
 
7,027 posts, read 6,715,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
No place is how we grew up in. Everyplace changes over time.


But I have no idea how you came up with 40-150k. Is that based on a percentage of median income for the region? Or what multiplier? $40k is two people working a very low end service sector job, not exactly what I think of as middle class.
Never said they are, but the changing of demographics and middle class squeeze had been far more dramatic in the Boston area compared with most other cities (to include Chicago).


For a single person, $40k is now around the baseline starting salary for a middle class worker. For a full family, no that would be like "working poor" (for the region).
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:02 AM
 
32,778 posts, read 22,716,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massnative71 View Post

For a single person, $40k is now around the baseline starting salary for a middle class worker. For a full family, no that would be like "working poor" (for the region).


Well one doesn't expect to buy a house or even a condo being a 20 something just out of school alone, either! We all lived with multiple roommates for years, and that was in much cheaper parts of the country. Nothing wrong with that at all.


But yes, Boston has become more affluent as there hasn't been the pull back that many areas have had with recessions (this is a good thing) and there has been an expansion of top end jobs (also a good thing) which has increased salaries on the high end. It seems like people are mostly complaining about the impacts of the region's successfulness.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:49 AM
 
Location: New England
1,936 posts, read 1,074,088 times
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You can afford a home around here with a 150k salary. Using the general rule of thumb that a home can't be more then 3x your gross yearly salary that means a 150k house could possibly afford a 450k home.

It won't be in the best school district, or in the best location or the most updated. But they certainly exsist within commuting distance to Boston.

But yah in other regions you can afford an updated single family home in the best school district and close to the city center for 450k. It all depends on what your expectations are.

Still though I'm not sure that looking at the Nationwide middle class definition is the right idea. The average salaries in Boston for many industries are a good bit higher. For example some teachers in the Boston area are starting to get close to 100k in some places. Nurses get paid close to 6 figures. Policeman can often make over 6 figures. These are all what I think of when I think of middle class professions. If you have two earners in the house hold with many of these professions then you could say some middle class households in the area make 200k.

40k for a household is definitely not middle class in this area. A minimum wage worker in Massachusetts who works 40 hours a week makes roughly 23k a year. So a household with two minimum wage workers would have 46k in income. And minimum wage employees aren't middle class imho.
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:02 PM
 
32,778 posts, read 22,716,611 times
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Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post

Nurses get paid close to 6 figures. .


Close? Over! I have three nurse friends in Boston, two union, one non union, all have made well over 100k for many many years.
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:10 PM
 
Location: New England
1,936 posts, read 1,074,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
Close? Over! I have three nurse friends in Boston, two union, one non union, all have made well over 100k for many many years.
True.

But that's the type of job that I think of when I think of middle class. In the Boston area a 200k household income I would still consider middle class. In Ohio it's rich. Different regions do have variations in cost of living and salaries.

I think this does create an issue with the federal tax code in that some Massachusetts families pay a good bit more then a similarly wealthy (though a lower gross salary to coincide with a lower cost of living) family in Ohio.

And with my examples I used a lot of government based jobs in the middle class. That's just because it's easier to look up the salaries of government employees. The salaries of the private sector most likely mirror this, though maybe at a slightly lesser extent.

I think service workers are usually not in the middle class. A middle class job usually requires a skill set or qualification. Basic service jobs or "mcjobs" are working poor or working class jobs. Middle class requires some sort of certification (either college or something like electrician). Even something that requires a CDL (eg trucker) I'd probably consider lower middle class, as they do make a good bit more then minimum wage. I believe that most commercial truckers make between 50-100k.
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:13 PM
 
32,778 posts, read 22,716,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
True.

But that's the type of job that I think of when I think of middle class. In the Boston area a 200k household income I would still consider middle class. In Ohio it's rich. Different regions do have variations in cost of living and salaries.

I think this does create an issue with the federal tax code in that some Massachusetts families pay a good bit more then a similarly wealthy (though a lower gross salary to coincide with a lower cost of living) family in Ohio.


Of course, that is one reason why judging what is middle class based on percentage or segment of the median regional salary makes much more sense that comparing it to absolute dollars. Those nurses aren't earning 135k in Pittsburgh, or Ashland OH, or Albuerque NM.
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