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Old 06-30-2013, 05:28 PM
 
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Wow, not one of those applies to me. I guess I'm not as "middle classish" as I thought.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Huh? That applies to a lot of people. It could even apply to me except for the kids part because I don't have kids. I never spent that much on hiking boots either but my tent sure was expensive, as were my x country skiis. I'm not familiar with all the foods in #7.

#18 I do not believe in McMansions or any other huge wasteful houses.

I don't go to chain stores or eat in chain restaurants and I seldom set foot in Walmart. I also don't think I want to buy my food in the same store where I could buy a tv.

I'm already retired and money is scarce --nothing to do with poor planing, though just bad luck.)

I've always considered myself just plain old middle class.

Upper middle class have boats and maybe private planes, go to the "best" colleges and send their kids there too. Private school, not public school. Lots of family heirlooms, never had to buy furniture because they inherited it. Lots of expensive international travel, lots of eating out in very expensive restaurants. Probably a lot more but I'm not upper middle class so I'm not sure--they will know better than I do. Somebody should ask them, that is, if we even care.
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.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:47 PM
 
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Upper class probably sends kids to private school, believing all public schools are rotten. Lower class usually lives in neighborhoods where they are. Upper middle class has ability and knowledge to live where public schools are good.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:28 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
21,834 posts, read 20,945,438 times
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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.
Well, where I live the original post fits middle class. It also fits my sister who lives in Virginia and she is middle class. Her husband teaches in a college, probably not a full professor, and they're very middle class, not upper middle. Her kids did go to public schools but they took AP classes. Our parents both went to college and we fit the description--she backpacks and kayaks, etc.

We love art museums and her husband is interested in music--he directs a choir and plays some instrument. I've been to many classical music concerts and once, to an opera in NYC. We do it out of interest, though, not out of social pressure. I love museums of all kinds, especially art museums but it's out of interest, not to see and be seen. We're just middle class. But there is also a lower middle class and I guess there's a lower class and that class would also have its divisions. If there really ARE classes anymore and I think there are, at least where I live. Maybe a lot of lower middle class people are being considered middle class?

Upper middle class, from what I've seen, might have a small yacht and probably have two homes in nice places, travel extensively around the world, have the expensive foreign cars, a private plane. My husband knows a few--they share a private plane, they have a huge house, they have many foreign cars and just buy them whenever they feel like it for the fun of it, they belong to many country clubs--not just one. They fly their wives in the private plane to Martha's Vinyard to go shopping. They're not trying to keep up with the Joneses like the middle class, they ARE the Joneses. They do work though, they work a lot and are hardly ever home--their jobs seem very important. I have relatives who are upper middle--very successful lawyers who won't even speak to us, homes all over the place, extensive world travelers, extremely well dressed, etc.

Then there is the upper class who are mostly invisible. Probably most of us have probably never even met a true upper class person. I wouldn't even know who they are but they are the higher ups. From old money, dress and act a certain way, go to very very correct schools, even their prep schools are the best. Large second homes in extremely private areas that cannot be accessed by ordinary people. Maybe a third and a fourth home. Drivers to take them where they want to go. They have strong old ties to institutions like Harvard and Yale and belong to clubs that we don't even know about. They network and help each other to stay upper class and elitist. I don't thing there is much movement in or out of the true upper class, you are born into it. I'd say Rockefellers and people like that?

For the true upper class it's about elitism. For everybody else it's somewhat about money but more about what your interests are, how you conduct yourself, how you dress, your values, things like that. If I, as a middle class person, were put in a room with some upper middle class people, the differences would be obvious. My purse didn't cost $1000 and I would think it was stupid to pay that price. I'd go somewhere and get a much cheaper brand--and get it on sale. I think most people are versions of middle class.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:32 PM
 
Location: southern california
58,764 posts, read 77,664,847 times
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you dont own computers and devices. u pay people to do that stuff.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,973,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Well, where I live the original post fits middle class. It also fits my sister who lives in Virginia and she is middle class. Her husband teaches in a college, probably not a full professor, and they're very middle class, not upper middle. Her kids did go to public schools but they took AP classes. Our parents both went to college and we fit the description--she backpacks and kayaks, etc.

We love art museums and her husband is interested in music--he directs a choir and plays some instrument. I've been to many classical music concerts and once, to an opera in NYC. We do it out of interest, though, not out of social pressure. I love museums of all kinds, especially art museums but it's out of interest, not to see and be seen. We're just middle class. But there is also a lower middle class and I guess there's a lower class and that class would also have its divisions. If there really ARE classes anymore and I think there are, at least where I live. Maybe a lot of lower middle class people are being considered middle class?

Upper middle class, from what I've seen, might have a small yacht and probably have two homes in nice places, travel extensively around the world, have the expensive foreign cars, a private plane. My husband knows a few--they share a private plane, they have a huge house, they have many foreign cars and just buy them whenever they feel like it for the fun of it, they belong to many country clubs--not just one. They fly their wives in the private plane to Martha's Vinyard to go shopping. They're not trying to keep up with the Joneses like the middle class, they ARE the Joneses. They do work though, they work a lot and are hardly ever home--their jobs seem very important. I have relatives who are upper middle--very successful lawyers who won't even speak to us, homes all over the place, extensive world travelers, extremely well dressed, etc.

Then there is the upper class who are mostly invisible. Probably most of us have probably never even met a true upper class person. I wouldn't even know who they are but they are the higher ups. From old money, dress and act a certain way, go to very very correct schools, even their prep schools are the best. Large second homes in extremely private areas that cannot be accessed by ordinary people. Maybe a third and a fourth home. Drivers to take them where they want to go. They have strong old ties to institutions like Harvard and Yale and belong to clubs that we don't even know about. They network and help each other to stay upper class and elitist. I don't thing there is much movement in or out of the true upper class, you are born into it. I'd say Rockefellers and people like that?

For the true upper class it's about elitism. For everybody else it's somewhat about money but more about what your interests are, how you conduct yourself, how you dress, your values, things like that. If I, as a middle class person, were put in a room with some upper middle class people, the differences would be obvious. My purse didn't cost $1000 and I would think it was stupid to pay that price. I'd go somewhere and get a much cheaper brand--and get it on sale. I think most people are versions of middle class.
Your sketch may fit the lifestyles of the upper echelons of the Upper Middle Class, though I would not say it represents the upper-10% of the American income scale (of course, class and income can be separated, but let's just assume that they are not).

A yacht? My aunt, who co-owns a dental practice and I consider to be Upper Middle Class, has a sailboat. It's quite nice, but nothing unusual or extravagant. Here in Minnesota, by the way, all kinds of people own (motorized) boats. You even see them at trailer parks. A private plane? Maybe if their hobby is aviation, but I would not say it's typical. In the Upper or Capitalist Class - which comprises about 1% of the population - having a private plane is probably much more typical. And 3 or 4 homes that the household owns but does not rent out? I would definitely say UPPER class.

The thing that most differentiates the upper and upper-middle classes is whether they can maintain their lifestyle on returns from their assets, or whether they have to get up in the morning, go to job, and work. The former are upper class - even though many such individuals work many hours, they don't necessarily have to. The latter are upper middle class. They have to work, or their BMW X5 and sailboat will be repossessed, their 4,000 square foot home with the granite countertops, huge master bathroom, and geothermal heating will be foreclosed on, and they will not be able to pay the company that sends out the cleaning lady once or twice a week.

I tend to get a lot of my conceptions about social class from studies (both academic and private) and academics. Here's a good summary of current sociologists' thinking on class: Social class in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . I like Gilbert the best as his system best reflects my experience, and I also have his textbook, the previous version of which (copyright 2008) can be found CHEAP on Amazon.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
16,683 posts, read 15,674,381 times
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Hate to tell ya but many of those points describe plenty of ordinary middle class folks. I guess I'm working class, but I grew up playing golf. I typically buy craft beer, or occasionally brew my own. You didn't list it but I also have a humidor filled with $2-$10 a stick cigars. Yes, some of us have a little money to burn

NPR... Been listening to it since HS. Check

Don't own a TV and don't travel much, so ya got me there.

I do enjoy foreign films, particularly war and horror films. Subtitles don't scare me Stalingrad and The Winter War (Talvisota?) were up there on my favs, but I have seen tons. I have a hard time remembering foreign titles. I cannot locate a copy of The Brest Fortress with dubbed English so I guess I will have to locate the reading classes.

Don't have any children... That I know about

One of the things I love about the Chicagoland area is the abundance of quality museums. The museum of science and industry and the Fields museum are among my favorite in this area. My very middle class grandfather also gives tours in a museum. Very knowledgeable on the subjects he discusses, yet he didn't even graduate HS in his day.

Don't read as much as I did when I was younger. Last book read was 1919. I'd recommend it if you appreciate history.

No one in my family has a college degree beyond an associates, but we all make decent money. My brother is definitely upper middle class (+100K household income).

We live in a diverse nation where one can gain exposure to all difference sorts of leisure activity and culture. Many of these things are open to all different classes of society. We don't live in the dark ages any longer.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:05 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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andywire, I agree. As I said before, that list doesn't necessarily describe upper middle class. Lots of people have all or most of those attributes and are middle class, not upper middle. Good post!
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:09 PM
 
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I must be upper middle class! Minus the whole making money bit...
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:26 PM
 
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I got too bored to finish the list by #14. We're upper middle class if you go by income, education, and profession. I would have to answer no to almost all of those. Too many stereotypes. for instance, we don't know anyone who plays golf. The only foreign films we watch are Jackie Chan.
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