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Old 09-13-2010, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Apparently, you have missed my point. People who make money faster than they can spend it are irrelevant to the discussion, and their existence doesn't make a family earning $250k middle class.

The median income for a four-person household in the U.S. last year was ~$70k. During the same period, the median house price was highest in the northeast at $263,800. The lowest was in the south at $156,300. I think those numbers are more relevant to the discussion.
No. I'm really disagreeing with .. not missing your point. And those numbers don't tell a very accurate story, and the proof is demonstrated by the drop in net worth of middle income earners as their debt has increased significantly, while earnings have declined relative to inflation.

By most measurable data points, the middle income class has been dying a very slow, incremental death for 4 decades because the costs on high ticket items have increased more rapidly than the either the inflation rate or rates of increases in income. To further compound the problem, average income levels have failed to keep pace with the inflation rate itself. Much of this goes unnoticed because of it's slow incremental nature (like growing old). But if you are old enough, and still maintain your mental faculties, you can't be bull $hted into believing what you are trying to say here.

As just one example, in 1977, I bought a brand new Pontiac Trans Am for $5200. And since it was my first car purchase, I suspect I was clubbed like a baby seal (paid full MSRP), as I simply asked how much, and said OK (later I learned the error of this way to purchase automobiles )

Now today, that car is no longer available, but a comparable car "Chevy Camero SS" is. And a similarly configured model is around $35,000 MSRP. Which is almost double the adjusted for inflation number of $18,700 that Camero should cost relative to the $5200 Trans Am of 1977.

My income back then was 14,000 or just shy of 3 times what the car cost ... if you apply that same formula to the $35,000 Camero today, I'd have to earn roughly $100,000 per year to maintain the same standard (drive the same car) as my $14,000 income provided then. I was not wealthy then .. I was a 20 year old working in a warehouse driving a forklift. And I don't think there are many 6 figure forklift drivers around today ... I would say, the 40-50K range would be the upper limit ... or roughly the same as my $14,000 would be, adjusted for inflation.

This is one example, and almost any big item ... car, house, etc. works out to be the same. Some other items like Healthcare have dramatically exceeded those rates exponentially compared to 1977 where mine was absolutely free and first rate, including dental.

Now, add to this the higher taxes, social security withholding, and medicare ... all of which have exceeded the inflation rate (and don't let anyone BS you into believing it hasn't), means that the net spending power of your income has declined dramatically over the past 30+ years.

Now around about that same time frame, my step father worked for one of the US Government agencies earning roughly in the 50-60K range, and at the time, that was very good money, but not even close to RICH & Wealthy .... but adjusted for inflation, that comes out to around $200+K now. The house he purchased then at $50,000 appraised for $480,000 in 2004-5 even though the adjusted for inflation value would have only dictated a $155,000 figure ... 3 times the inflation rate!! By the time he retired in the late 90's, his income may have doubled, yet his house increased by 6-8 fold. What does that tell you?

Now if you are following me here ... this is where it gets real hairy ... if you take a Quarter ... 25 cents ... from say 1964 (the last 90% silver Quarter) that 25 cents equates to $1.76 in 2010 value. But guess what? Today's melt value of that sliver quarter is about $3.70 which is again more than double the published inflation rate ....

So what does that all mean? It means very simply, that the value of your money is worth about half of what it's claimed to be worth, even after being adjusted for inflation .... and all it takes is to actually look at the historical costs of items like cars, and houses and health care costs from the late 60's to today, and also the median incomes. You see that the purchasing power has indeed declined. And this is a result of the devaluation of the currency (a hidden tax).

So when it comes to buying power, there has been a continuous decline that doubles the the inflation rates admitted .. which is why the middle class really doesn't exist for all practical purposes today.

There are the ultra wealthy, and the rest. The $250kers are just at the higher end of that rest of us, and they are the last of the upper middle class, and the next in line to fall ... apparently, much to delight of many who think that they are members of the Wealthy Club, and must fall for the sake of everyone.

I suppose this proves that indeed, misery loves company.

Last edited by GuyNTexas; 09-13-2010 at 11:27 PM..
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