U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-11-2020, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Manhattan, NYC
1,097 posts, read 739,066 times
Reputation: 1086

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
1. You own a large, flat-screen TV, but it's NOT in the living room. Your living room perhaps contains books or a grand piano.

In one of our places, we have 2 TV, none in the living room, and yes, we have a grand piano.
In the other place, we have 2 TV and one of them is actually in the living... 60 and 42 inches for both places. The other one is in one of the rooms.


2. Your father went to college, your mother most likely went to college, all your brothers and sisters and cousins except the black sheep of the extended family attended at least some college, and your family's college education stretches back generations (except if you're newly upper middle class).

Yes for the parents, no for the grand parents.

3. When traveling, you prefer to choose destinations that are "not touristy" and give an "authentic" taste of local life.

Not sure about that, we just go where it's comfortable.

4. You listen to NPR in the car.

Definitely no.

5. If 35 or older, you participate in the community through being on the board of some local chapter of an organization, or extensively volunteering for it with your valuable free time.

Yes, board of a non-profit organization.

6. If you're male, you golf, if not for the love of it than because of social pressure.

I'm actually not a natural... I should try better.

7. You are familiar with the following food items, even if you're from flyover country: hummus, couscous, sashimi, banh mi, and risotto.

Yeah, I know them all. Like most of them too.

8. You sometimes watch foreign films, and consider dubbing an abomination - you would much prefer subtitles.

Yes, absolutely yes, European and Asian movies and TV shows! Subtitles broaden your horizon.

9. You strongly identify with your career.

Sure.

10. From preschool or a younger age, you enroll your children in a multitude of extracurricular activities - piano lessons, ballet, tennis, water polo, etc.

I was pretty bad at piano and after that, I didn't want to do anything... that would apply more for my wife, who's a soprano by trade. A soprano who can actually play the piano, so can train by herself!

11. Your children's academic success is paramount to you, and you set very high standards. If they get a "C" in a class, either their teacher or the child has much to answer for. When in high school, you make sure they take lots of AP courses, and unless they are the brightest of the bunch, you hire a SAT tutor. Deep down inside, there's a burning desire to boast that your children went to a high-ranked university, or at least NOT one of the lesser state colleges, and certainly not a community college.

No kids, just a dog. She didn't try to pass the SAT "yet".

12. You love "nature", the "outdoors", and the "wilderness", and like tread softly through the woods in your $250 hiking boots with your $250 bag and perhaps sleep in your $1,000 tent, or if a northern clime, in your expensive cross-country skis. It can suck losing iPhone connectivity, though.

Definitely not. Not our style at all.

13. If you're a female, you don sunglasses even when it isn't that sunny out.

N/A.

14. You drive only foreign cars, preferably Mercedes-Benz or BMW.

We owned a BMW in Paris, and now would rather go for Porsche if we bought a car again.

15. Staying in shape and in style is a priority to you. You have a gym membership, perhaps in addition to a road bike you paid a pretty penny for.

We do have a gym, a pool, a sauna, a steaming room and all of that in the building. We definitely don't use that that often. Maybe the sauna and the steaming room.

16. You like, or feign to like, the fine arts, and have attended a classical music concert, opera, or play at least once or twice (going on a field trip as a kid not included). You consider it perfectly natural to listen to classical music or jazz radio and patronize art-house cinema.

My wife does, and brings me along. Am ashamed to say that I am not really that refined, but with 12 years of marriage, you do learn a couple of things.

17. Planning for your retirement is important, and you fully understand such things as 401Ks and Roth IRAs. You might even have a financial advisor. You watch the stock market and probably participate in it somehow.

Yes, we have a 401k, deferred compensation plan and stocks received by the company.

18. If you're 40 or older, your house measures over 2,500 square feet in area. If you designed it, you made sure to implement "green" features. The kitchen is spacious. Especially if in a southwestern state, you probably have some paid help cleaning it, perhaps full-time.

N/A.

19. You probably don't live in one, unless you are in your 20s or early 30s, but you love "authentic" and "vibrant" urban spaces such as those found in New York City, San Francisco, and Portland, with plentiful pedestrian traffic, ample public transportation, narrow streets, and storefronts that are right up to the sidewalk rather than behind a sea of parking.

I do live in Manhattan, near Wall Street! And work in one of the World Trade Centers.

20. You don't like the homogenization of the United States through chain stores and franchises, but deep down you love Trader Joe's, REI, Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Chipotle, Macy's, IKEA, Target, and Fogo de Chao.

We don't bother with IKEA, Target, Barnes and Noble... but my wife still orders from Macy's online for some brands, and order from Whole Foods sometimes. We don't use any of the other brands.

21. You want your children to be creative, imaginative, think out-of-the-box, and tolerant of differences. You perhaps even enjoy when they question one of your rules.

N/A as we have no kids.

22. You regularly go to or host dinner parties. You have separate kitchen and dining rooms.

We went or had hosted, indeed.

23. You have read, for leisure, at least one non-fiction title that does not fall into the category of self-help, automotive/technical, or religious books in the past year, and are familiar with authors, whom you often name-drop at above parties.

That I am not sure, as I've noticed I read less and less anything that's not related to my work!

24. When your children are young, intellectual stimulation and creative expression is the primary goal of your toy-buying practices. No or limited cheap electronic playthings or radio-controlled monster trucks.

N/A as we have no kids.

25. You have a rather refined taste in alcohol. You are familiar with local breweries, micro-brews, >$10 / bottle wines, and refined cocktails with non-obscene names.

Sure, my preferred bottles are red wine from St Emlion, grand cru classe. We still have a case left for the year 2007.
Strange to revive such an old thread but here we go! I certainly do not check all the items!

Last edited by Gasolin; 05-11-2020 at 08:37 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-15-2020, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Boston
13,743 posts, read 4,050,275 times
Reputation: 10051
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasolin View Post
Strange to revive such an old thread but here we go! I certainly do not check all the items!
ever notice who revives these old threads....usually newbies that don't look at the dates,
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-15-2020, 02:07 PM
 
807 posts, read 249,937 times
Reputation: 966
Born upper middle class. Seems fairly accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
1. You own a large, flat-screen TV, but it's NOT in the living room. Your living room perhaps contains books or a grand piano.
Living room had 2 grand pianos back to back.

2. Your father went to college, your mother most likely went to college, all your brothers and sisters and cousins except the black sheep of the extended family attended at least some college, and your family's college education stretches back generations (except if you're newly upper middle class).
Great grandfather went to Harvard in the 1800s. Other closer family members went to Hopkins, Cornell, Yale, etc.

3. When traveling, you prefer to choose destinations that are "not touristy" and give an "authentic" taste of local life.
I was always sent to summer camp for 4-8 weeks while my parents would go on vacation in Europe.

4. You listen to NPR in the car.
Dad did.
5. If 35 or older, you participate in the community through being on the board of some local chapter of an organization, or extensively volunteering for it with your valuable free time.

6. If you're male, you golf, if not for the love of it than because of social pressure.
Dad was never into golf, but I grew up playing squash with him which is way more preppy/snobby.

7. You are familiar with the following food items, even if you're from flyover country: hummus, couscous, sashimi, banh mi, and risotto.
Of course.

8. You sometimes watch foreign films, and consider dubbing an abomination - you would much prefer subtitles.
French/Italian art house
9. You strongly identify with your career.
Dad retired in his forties so he didn't talk about work that much.
10. From preschool or a younger age, you enroll your children in a multitude of extracurricular activities - piano lessons, ballet, tennis, water polo, etc.
Of course
11. Your children's academic success is paramount to you, and you set very high standards. If they get a "C" in a class, either their teacher or the child has much to answer for. When in high school, you make sure they take lots of AP courses, and unless they are the brightest of the bunch, you hire a SAT tutor. Deep down inside, there's a burning desire to boast that your children went to a high-ranked university, or at least NOT one of the lesser state colleges, and certainly not a community college.
What is a "C"? That didn't exist.
12. You love "nature", the "outdoors", and the "wilderness", and like tread softly through the woods in your $250 hiking boots with your $250 bag and perhaps sleep in your $1,000 tent, or if a northern clime, in your expensive cross-country skis. It can suck losing iPhone connectivity, though.
I guess?
13. If you're a female, you don sunglasses even when it isn't that sunny out.
N/A
14. You drive only foreign cars, preferably Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
BMW
15. Staying in shape and in style is a priority to you. You have a gym membership, perhaps in addition to a road bike you paid a pretty penny for.
Sure why not.
16. You like, or feign to like, the fine arts, and have attended a classical music concert, opera, or play at least once or twice (going on a field trip as a kid not included). You consider it perfectly natural to listen to classical music or jazz radio and patronize art-house cinema.
Had season tickets to musicals and would go to music concerts from time to time.
17. Planning for your retirement is important, and you fully understand such things as 401Ks and Roth IRAs. You might even have a financial advisor. You watch the stock market and probably participate in it somehow.
Of course.
18. If you're 40 or older, your house measures over 2,500 square feet in area. If you designed it, you made sure to implement "green" features. The kitchen is spacious. Especially if in a southwestern state, you probably have some paid help cleaning it, perhaps full-time.
Had live-in help while I was young.
19. You probably don't live in one, unless you are in your 20s or early 30s, but you love "authentic" and "vibrant" urban spaces such as those found in New York City, San Francisco, and Portland, with plentiful pedestrian traffic, ample public transportation, narrow streets, and storefronts that are right up to the sidewalk rather than behind a sea of parking.
N/A
20. You don't like the homogenization of the United States through chain stores and franchises, but deep down you love Trader Joe's, REI, Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Chipotle, Macy's, IKEA, Target, and Fogo de Chao.
Only Trader Joe's. While growing up that was a very local chain
21. You want your children to be creative, imaginative, think out-of-the-box, and tolerant of differences. You perhaps even enjoy when they question one of your rules.
N/A
22. You regularly go to or host dinner parties. You have separate kitchen and dining rooms.
Of course.
23. You have read, for leisure, at least one non-fiction title that does not fall into the category of self-help, automotive/technical, or religious books in the past year, and are familiar with authors, whom you often name-drop at above parties.
Who needs to name-drop authors? That's so tacky.
24. When your children are young, intellectual stimulation and creative expression is the primary goal of your toy-buying practices. No or limited cheap electronic playthings or radio-controlled monster trucks.
N/A
25. You have a rather refined taste in alcohol. You are familiar with local breweries, micro-brews, >$10 / bottle wines, and refined cocktails with non-obscene names.
Beer was for blue color shlubs when I was growing up. Craft beer scene hadn't hit yet.
Couple of things it's missing:

Attended private school
Familiarity with Greek/Latin (rare these days, but definitely a marker of upper middle class)
Vacations to foreign countries
Connections to internships/jobs

Last edited by bad debt; 05-15-2020 at 02:15 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-17-2020, 12:21 AM
 
301 posts, read 82,405 times
Reputation: 686
I'd like to hear Dave Ramsey's take on this (Financial Freedom Guy). I think he'd offer a really great rebuttal(?) or other...
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-17-2020, 01:01 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
8,371 posts, read 2,659,132 times
Reputation: 10773
Quote:
Originally Posted by sholomar View Post
You call yourself a "young professional." I've always thought that was sort of a pretentious term.
The term for that is called “yuppy.”

Quote:
a young, ambitious, and well-educated city-dweller who has a professional career and an affluent lifestyle.
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/yuppy
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-17-2020, 05:15 PM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
22,515 posts, read 21,546,314 times
Reputation: 40136
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyCitay View Post
I found this thread by Googling, and I'd like to revive this, though the last comment was from 6 years ago. The OP's post as well as the New England woman's applies to me. I grew up very, very middle class, and nowhere near upper middle by anyone's standards.

I'm Asian American, though. Asian Americans do tend to be more "bougie," cultured, and sophisticated in interests because our parents often came as grad students, we read and consume a lot of media, we value education, and we tend to live in the coastal elitist areas. I'm from San Francisco, so the pretense and eclectic, artsy, non-mainstream vibe is everywhere here. This vibe is often not recognized when it's in an Asian, though, because that set of interests and tastes is known as a white people thing. Asians are generally dismissed and relegated to robots with no taste or sophistication, when Asians usually think in much more deep, creative, intuitive, and nuanced ways than others.

The OP's comment and other comments were written in 2013-14, so that applies more to people from back then. On sites with lots of teens and 20-somethings these days, they can come from that same cultured area but have an entirely different set of interests and worldview.

People can be upper middle class from more rural and suburban areas that are Trump Country and have a completely different set of interests and worldview.
Probably the "New England woman" is me! Still here, still middle class, and still consider class to be more based on values and interests than on money and possessions. Thank you for reviving this long lost thread. There's nothing wrong with reviving old threads as long as they are still pertinent.

In quickly reading over the past posts it's become apparent as to how flexible the definitions are and how mixed a person can be. It's hard to stick someone into a specific social class.

The poster back in 2014 named christian5327 seemed to know a lot about social class. Could have been a sociologist, perhaps, but most of what he/she said is pretty true. Correct about me with this: Your "upper middle class relatives" are newly minted members. It is natural for the first generation of UMC members to spurn contact with other relatives that are not UMC. As the generations pass, it comes full circle; a generation realizes that family history is important and that the past harbors unique stories and traditions.

It's true--my UMC relatives spurned the rest of us for being mere middle class teachers. They had married millionaires or were big time lawyers and such. And when I wanted to delve into the family history they told me not to! They were ashamed because our grandparents came over in 1912 from Industrial Revolution England where there was nothing to do except work in Hellish mills and live in poverty. Being lowly middle class, I've found the family history interesting--and THEY might have found it interesting too if they had stuck around because go back 150 years in England and WOW, we were the drs and lawyers and acquaintances of the rich and famous. Things happen. Illness, early deaths, thievery, bad luck, social changes--and there you go, descending downward into the lower classes through no fault of your own. And it doesn't make you a bad person either.

So many little nuances between the classes that were noted back in this thread. I agree about the woman who owned a sailboat; lots of people own sailboats and are only middle class or even upper lower class. But the sailboats I see in some of the harbors of the very wealthy coastal villages are not of the middle class. You could cross the ocean in these boats and it must take a professional crew to maintain them. Upper middle class, not middle class.

In the years since we wrote in this thread, I have seen some of the richest lower class people I've ever seen in my life. Where we lived for a while there were very rude and crude people who had money. Money probably gained when a rich relative died, that's all, because you could tell by the way they dressed and the flashy cars they drove, the loud voices and ignorant behavior, they were the lowest of the low.

I guess there's a difference between low class and working class? My factory worker grandparents were working class but to me "low class" connotes poor behavior, mean, nasty, rotten. However, my grandparents were hardworking with hearts of gold. After arriving in 1912, working in the mills, they put all of their kids through college in the 1930s--that's during the Depression. Education is the traditional way out of the working class into the middle class.

Their kids all became teachers or engineers and played golf and most enjoyed dinner parties--so not all of it fits into strict class definitions. They were not UMC even if they joined the country club. They were middle class. It was their kids who aspired to UMC, some of them, not all of them. I never cared about money or social status--just give me my art and my gardening, my pets, and throw in some books and some travel. Not for status but because I like it.

I still believe that there is only a slim layer of upper class in this country. We don't have an official aristocratic class here and we do have some old monied upper class, but just being a super billionaire doesn't make the grade. In fact, a lot of us are losing our respect and awe toward what we now call the 1%. Most of them didn't get that way in the most respectable manner, as we now can see.

Anyone else want to keep this thread going?
__________________
my posts as moderator will be in red. Moderator: Health&Wellness~Genealogy. The Rules--read here>>> TOS. If someone attacks you, do not reply. Hit REPORT.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-17-2020, 08:12 PM
 
301 posts, read 82,405 times
Reputation: 686
This is an interesting topic.

To me, class is engaging in things you truly enjoy, having genuine compassion for others, and having good manners. Most people I know partake in events or take trips only to add selfies to their carefully curated Facebook life only to impress others. People with class tend to have a good work ethic, and practice ethical business practices even if it doesn’t work in their favor.

I believe non-material things impress people with class more than expensive brands. But that's just my opinion. Anyone can make money, but not everyone has class.

Last edited by DaneThornberg; 05-17-2020 at 08:35 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-17-2020, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Boring suburb in the North
5,645 posts, read 2,391,487 times
Reputation: 4541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
What's your point?
Fake it till you make it?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-18-2020, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,616 posts, read 1,706,440 times
Reputation: 8520
If you don’t care that the economic indicators show a downward projection, or that the markets are up or down. You don’t need to work in order to live a reasonable lifestyle. You can buy anything and not require financing but will take advantage if it makes financial sense. You live in a nice neighborhood and assume all of your neighbors are on equal footing, and finances are never discussed.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2020, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA
1,094 posts, read 652,468 times
Reputation: 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
That description sounds like UPPER class, not Upper Middle Class. The upper middle class makes up about 10% of the population - they're your average attorneys, physicians, some professors, etc. They may send their children to private schools if the local public schools are sub-par, but the American way of funding education - largely through property taxes - means the communities in which they are most likely to live have good public schools.
In our neighborhood, not one family is even remotely destitute, but the low income kids from across the highway are bussed into our local elementary school, which is now considered a title IX school, and is poor performing (3/10). This has the effect of lowering real estate values, so the only families that move in to our area send their children to Catholic school, which is still affordable. This is a poor solution; I would spread the pain around, and send the lower income kids to all of the elementary schools.

In my former "good" neighborhood in another city (same state), the "gerrymandering" was similar. The children in politically favored neighborhoods were able to attend good schools (7 or 8 out of 10), but our neighborhood was not so politically favored, so its children had to attend a school that was so poor performing that it was taken into receivership by the state. So, people moved when their children were of school age.

Lest you think that I am racist or a snob, I grew up in the housing projects, but I was able to attend excellent schools having students with a variety of races and incomes, and was the better for it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top