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Old 06-21-2010, 09:22 AM
 
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Lots of talk about "Middle Class", "Upper Class", "Elite", and "Lower Class" going on these days...

I'm having trouble figuring what defines these Classes of American's.

First off, how many "Classes" are there? From what I know, there are:

Lower Class
Middle Class
Upper-Middle Class
Upper Class
Elite

Would you agree?

Defining these "Classes" is a little blury for me...Here's how I would define them:

Lower Class: Dependent on Gov't Social Services
Middle Class: Not depending on Gov't Social Services, but mainly working paycheck to paycheck
Upper-Middle Class: Same as Middle Class, but stable enough to build significant Retirement Fund
Upper Class: Full Retirement funding, able to withstand Recession without going broke.
Elite: Lots of "Old Money", Billionaires, etc.


Would you agree?
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
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I don't think it's blurry (that's how you spell it) at all for you. I'm guessing you're solid middle class and full of resentment towards the government for doing anything to help the lower classes. Why don't you hop over to a less personally biased source of definitions than C-D? Might be instructive. For one thing, I suspect the Middle Class is a lot more dependent on Gov't services than you allude. Just about every Middle Class person I know is living in a house or stands to inherit one from their parents. Just because the Middle Class is presently under attack is no reason to go all revisionist. In short, I'm not much on labels but if you move the Middle Class up a couple of places in your table and add a couple more under 'Lower Class you would have a more objective table.

H
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Arizona High Desert
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The classes can change overnight. Paupers can hit the lottery, and the elite can bite the big one, and go to prison for 30 years.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I don't think it's blurry (that's how you spell it) at all for you. I'm guessing you're solid middle class and full of resentment towards the government for doing anything to help the lower classes. Why don't you hop over to a less personally biased source of definitions than C-D? Might be instructive. For one thing, I suspect the Middle Class is a lot more dependent on Gov't services than you allude. Just about every Middle Class person I know is living in a house or stands to inherit one from their parents. Just because the Middle Class is presently under attack is no reason to go all revisionist. In short, I'm not much on labels but if you move the Middle Class up a couple of places in your table and add a couple more under 'Lower Class you would have a more objective table.

H
thanks for the spelling correction!

i'm not sure why you guessed what you did...if you don't mind, please share what caused that assumption.

i created this thread mostly because i hear many people, including MSM, Politicians, and everyday folks, use those terms "midle class", "lower class", etc., but i my concern is, there aren't any real hard defenitions for those terms they're using...at least from my pov.

would you care to give your thoughts on how each class is defined? i think what i provided is pretty simplified...i didn't use income, not sure why other than i think Classes can be defined without using it.

also, if i were to add a couple more under "Lower Class", the only other I could think of is Homeless. what may you use??
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,590 posts, read 9,279,050 times
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Social class in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:32 PM
 
8,268 posts, read 10,256,536 times
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People don't always have the financial strength that they seem.

Someone living in a big house with fancy BMW and six figure salary might have zero savings and be one paycheck away from not being able to pay the bills. Someone making 20k living in an apartment with two roommates and driving a beater car might have the savings accumulated to weather quite a financial storm.

Interesting thread though, I'd be interested to see how people do define these classes.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slackjaw View Post
People don't always have the financial strength that they seem.

Someone living in a big house with fancy BMW and six figure salary might have zero savings and be one paycheck away from not being able to pay the bills. Someone making 20k living in an apartment with two roommates and driving a beater car might have the savings accumulated to weather quite a financial storm.

Interesting thread though, I'd be interested to see how people do define these classes.
very true, i guess that's one reason i left income out of my description...
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:08 PM
 
5,767 posts, read 9,923,265 times
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Quote:
The classes can change overnight.
They usually don't, though. It's interesting, but class mobility has actually been declining over time. If you are in the lowest wealth quintile, you are more likely to remain there than you would have been back in the 50's or 60's.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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very interesting...thanks for the link, although i think the information does nothing but overcomplicate things.

for instance, you rarely ever hear politicians using the majority of those "classes" in the link you provided...it's usually the "Middle Class" or "Lower Class/Poverty stricken".

i believe they use the term "middle class" most frequently because, like your link provided, people WANT to be considered "Middle Class"...and if they can grab the attention of most of America, maybe they'll score higher in polls and voting...which sucks, because, in reality I don't see them following up a whole lot on what they promise...

also interesting, that you just provided a link, and no substance...you make an assumption about me, and i asked why...that's very conservative of you.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:15 PM
 
19,217 posts, read 12,274,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugerjitsu View Post
Lots of talk about "Middle Class", "Upper Class", "Elite", and "Lower Class" going on these days...

I'm having trouble figuring what defines these Classes of American's.

First off, how many "Classes" are there? From what I know, there are:

Lower Class
Middle Class
Upper-Middle Class
Upper Class
Elite

Would you agree?

Defining these "Classes" is a little blury for me...Here's how I would define them:

Lower Class: Dependent on Gov't Social Services
Middle Class: Not depending on Gov't Social Services, but mainly working paycheck to paycheck
Upper-Middle Class: Same as Middle Class, but stable enough to build significant Retirement Fund
Upper Class: Full Retirement funding, able to withstand Recession without going broke.
Elite: Lots of "Old Money", Billionaires, etc.

Would you agree?
I think I might be in some sort of basement class.

There's not much light down here, so I can't be sure.
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