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Old 02-13-2014, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
I grew up white and upper middle class. I'm sure social mobility is no myth; I've seen people move down.
I should clarify I meant upward social mobility. These days especially it is really easy to move down. I have seen it happen many many times.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:32 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Shouldn't downward mobility = upward mobility, since it's measuring relative income?
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I grew up black and middle class. A rarity in both SC and CA being completely honest. Sadly I think social mobility is a myth. My high school peers? Most are in the same station in terms if income as their parents. A handful broke out and went to college and entered the middle class. Most didn't although quite a few did complete some college. I am over 15 years out if high school at this point so things are pretty set.
Just to be clear - i'm not debating the validity of your experience, just how relative it is to the experience of people in the rest of the country. Nor am I trying to say that pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is easy when you're barefoot or that the US is a highly mobile society. Hyper-capitalism all but ensures the opposite. I'm just saying that moving up or down the income ladder happens with decent frequency in the US - just not the rags-to-riches stuff peddled on TV.

So anyway, there's been almost no wage growth for anyone not in the 1% since the 2000-2001 recession. Average wages have actually been stagnant since the early 70s. That probably sounds confusing but wages have actually contracted for men since the early 70s, wages have grown for women but only enough to cancel out what men have lost . . . But the top 1% are still winning and it would appear that most of that is coming out of the pockets of everyone in the bottom 90%.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/20...ype=blogs&_r=0

Daily chart: The rich get richer | The Economist


Quote:
My college peers and professional peers? Well 80% had college educated parents. To be honest the black ones are more likely to have college educated parents than the white ones. That's reality. Upward mobility? Not a whole lot, most of us are matching the station of our parents. I probably know 10 people where they actually increased a class compared to their parents. And I know quite a few people.
This is not really surprising. There's a correlation between going to college and living in larger metros. The rural/small town/small city parts of the US are dominated by whites (except for a few areas of the south). College enrollment for whites is shrinking slightly (it's mostly white males skipping the degree), stagnant for asians, while it's growing for blacks and latinos.

A lot of people from the 60s are still active in politics and academia and they have a lot invested in a 1960s narrative of racism, oppression and so called "white privilege" and while they may have had it dead on 50 or 60 years ago the pace of change over the last 40 years has left them behind. I'm not saying that the change is fast enough but the modern reality is that what makes people able to move around that bottom 99% has little to do with race anymore when compared to who you know, where and how you were raised and your level of education.

If you're in the top 3-5% then privilege begets privilege. If you're in the bottom 12-15% then poverty begets poverty. For the other 80-85% of Americans of all races life is a daily struggle to hold on to what you have.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:38 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,953,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Shouldn't downward mobility = upward mobility, since it's measuring relative income?
FYI - treasure trove of data here if you have the time to wade through it

Historical Income Tables - Families - U.S Census Bureau
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:05 AM
 
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This is another interesting chart in terms of income inequality: Income inequality is a problem everywhere, but especially in the South - Buffalo - Business First
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
I didn't read anything in the article that said that income levels are normalized for costs of living.

...I'd dare say that $76,843 buys you a much better lifestyle in 27615 than $118,713 buys you in 95032. Why do I say this???? Well, let's compare two homes in the area using the assistance of Zillow.

The home my parents owned in 95032 is now worth $946,257 (they bought it for $21,000). It's a cookie cutter home where every other home in the neighborhood is the same plan with a slightly different facade. It's 1769 SF and it's on a 6098 SF lot.

The home my parents bought and still own in 27615 is now worth $273,502. It's a 2176 SF house on a .29 acre lot in a two golf course country club neighborhood ...
Though comparison of adjacent zip codes is pretty compelling a general cost-of-living comparison (especially if comparing different states) is difficult to ascertain. In a wealthier jurisdiction, taxes on a percentage basis might be lower, because the tax-base is higher. This means that if an affluent person moves from a wealthier to a poorer jurisdiction, his/her taxes might actually rise, increasing his/her cost of living.

I good example is the zip code where I went to high school (which is around 90th percentile) and the one where I currently reside (around 50th percentile). Houses in the former easily cost 3X of those in the latter, but the property taxes between the two, on an annual dollar basis, are comparable. Income taxes in my current zip code (combination of state, local and ďschool districtĒ) are actually higher.

Another factor is real estate appreciation. The more affordable zip codes are affordable because, well, housing prices didnít go up as quickly as in the less-affordable zip codes. Assuming that past trends continue into the future (disregarding gentrification or neighborhood decline), the less affluent zip codes will have less home-equity appreciation. This comparative dearth of home equity growth can be regarded as an increase in cost of living. If my $150K house remains at $150K in 10 years, while a comparable super-zip house rises from $450K to $600K, thatís a considerable capital-gain that I didnít realize. Itís a penalty for living in the less affluent zip code.

Itís certainly true that folks with lower incomes could afford a decent house in a lower-ranking zip code, and would struggle in a costlier one. But thatís only part of the picture. The other part is that thereís an economic penalty for more affluent people NOT to live amongst other affluent people. In other words, they wonít save money by moving to a lower-cost zip code. That exercise in mingling and egalitarianism might actually end up costing them money!
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:42 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
This is not really surprising. There's a correlation between going to college and living in larger metros. The rural/small town/small city parts of the US are dominated by whites (except for a few areas of the south). College enrollment for whites is shrinking slightly (it's mostly white males skipping the degree), stagnant for asians, while it's growing for blacks and latinos.
I should clarify. I am going to use my high school as my point of reference (I went to high school in the south, not a metro area.) My white peers were more likely to go off to college than my black peers. No matter what their parents college attainment was. And the vast majority of people didn't have college educated parents.

On the flip side, in the Bay Area, it is mostly unilateral, my work peers have college educated parents. Very few do not.

Quote:
A lot of people from the 60s are still active in politics and academia and they have a lot invested in a 1960s narrative of racism, oppression and so called "white privilege" and while they may have had it dead on 50 or 60 years ago the pace of change over the last 40 years has left them behind. I'm not saying that the change is fast enough but the modern reality is that what makes people able to move around that bottom 99% has little to do with race anymore when compared to who you know, where and how you were raised and your level of education.
I disagree. Yes, "technically" it is who you know. But people mostly only know people like them. One of the hot topics here in the Bay Area is "where are all the non white males running startups." Reality is, the people with money only pick white males (age 23-29 or so who went to Stanford, MIT or Harvard). Everyone else gets dissed. And these founders hire their friends. People who don't meet the pattern don't get the money, don't know the people with the money. So they are excluded. It isn't blamed on race anymore, but it is still an indirect function of race and lack of opportunity for some groups. As long as we have institutional bias, there isn't much opportunity.

Good article about the higher levels of unemployment for black people, even those with college degrees:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/01/us/01race.html?_r=0

Another similar, more recent one: Blacks still struggling in job market - The Philadelphia Tribune | The Voice of the African American community.

Although times are tough for the 99%, the pain isn't spread equally due to systemic racism.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:10 AM
 
56,515 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
Though comparison of adjacent zip codes is pretty compelling a general cost-of-living comparison (especially if comparing different states) is difficult to ascertain. In a wealthier jurisdiction, taxes on a percentage basis might be lower, because the tax-base is higher. This means that if an affluent person moves from a wealthier to a poorer jurisdiction, his/her taxes might actually rise, increasing his/her cost of living.

I good example is the zip code where I went to high school (which is around 90th percentile) and the one where I currently reside (around 50th percentile). Houses in the former easily cost 3X of those in the latter, but the property taxes between the two, on an annual dollar basis, are comparable. Income taxes in my current zip code (combination of state, local and ďschool districtĒ) are actually higher.

Another factor is real estate appreciation. The more affordable zip codes are affordable because, well, housing prices didnít go up as quickly as in the less-affordable zip codes. Assuming that past trends continue into the future (disregarding gentrification or neighborhood decline), the less affluent zip codes will have less home-equity appreciation. This comparative dearth of home equity growth can be regarded as an increase in cost of living. If my $150K house remains at $150K in 10 years, while a comparable super-zip house rises from $450K to $600K, thatís a considerable capital-gain that I didnít realize. Itís a penalty for living in the less affluent zip code.

Itís certainly true that folks with lower incomes could afford a decent house in a lower-ranking zip code, and would struggle in a costlier one. But thatís only part of the picture. The other part is that thereís an economic penalty for more affluent people NOT to live amongst other affluent people. In other words, they wonít save money by moving to a lower-cost zip code. That exercise in mingling and egalitarianism might actually end up costing them money!
Interesting points.....I think what makes this tough is that there is variation, in this regard, even within municipalities and zip codes. For instance, I live in an affordable zip within a good school district, but the median HH income for the census block group I live in is around the national/state median HH income. So, it may be a matter of specific location.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,650,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Interesting points.....I think what makes this tough is that there is variation, in this regard, even within municipalities and zip codes. For instance, I live in an affordable zip within a good school district, but the median HH income for the census block group I live in is around the national/state median HH income. So, it may be a matter of specific location.
I live in a super zip too. The zip adjacent to me is not quite super zip status, and the average income is 20-25% less! but the number of college grads is only off by a a few percentage points and is still way above the national!average.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Long Island/NYC
11,334 posts, read 17,087,987 times
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My zip is a "12", so no.
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