U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Happy Independence Day!
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 Yesterday, 01:18 PM
 
Location: moved
9,557 posts, read 5,889,082 times
Reputation: 16172

Advertisements

It's an amorphous and a bit daft topic, but it's fun to pursue it, no? And the posters who paraphrased Paul Fussell all deserve bonus points. The subject book is now knocking on 40 years, but remains as vibrant and amusing as ever.

To further complicate matters, "social status" depends heavily on, well, social skills... who adept we are, at managing relationships, at exerting influence and at getting people to like us. Raw money only goes to a certain extent. Real leverage comes only partially from paying people to do your bidding. The greater part is in garnering respect, confidence, and trust. Some of us, regardless of financial success or academic credentials or whoever many private-jets we own, simply aren't adept at people-skills, and so, our "social status" will suffer.

Neither does having a big portfolio, by itself, matter much. One might have a very healthy number of millions of dollars, and yet be mired in entirely quotidian (or even below-average) circumstances. Besides the aforementioned social skills, what matters is how we deploy that money. Two paupers sleeping on adjacent park-benches have equal status, even if one of them secretly owns the Ramjac Corporation. How big are your basketball shoes?

The wealth that we acquire, or don't acquire, is ultimately in the abstract service of a very private vanity, ours alone to husband or to abjure. What outwardly we do, depends much more on outward doings, than on the price-tag affixed to our persons.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old Yesterday, 01:21 PM
 
7,713 posts, read 3,630,221 times
Reputation: 21932
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffon652 View Post

Individual #1: A 39 year old ADN Nurse (2 year Associate's degree) who works at a hospital making $45K/year. However, she has made outside investments that nets her an additional yearly passive income of $155K/yr. Making her total yearly income $200K. Her net worth is $1.2 Million.

Or

Individual #2: The 49 year old director of operations at the same hospital making $140K/year. However, this individual holds a Phd in business management and a Masters in Economics. His networth is $900K.
Of course you'd have to meet both of these hypothetical individuals and get to know them to judge, but the nurse is PROBABLY high prole to middle-middle class and the hospital director is PROBABLY upper-middle.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 01:55 PM
 
3,579 posts, read 2,263,502 times
Reputation: 8080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
This is not something that's going to be meaningfully answered in a few hundred words by random strangers.

The first part of the problem is that the US long maintained that it was a classless society, which was nonsense on the face of it (like many national-pride declarations) but had an air of truth because of significant instances of social mobility. Yes, poor street kid could grow up to be a wealthy industrialist; a working class child could become a respected professional, etc. But we didn't really let go of this notion of "class free" society until quite recently, and it still warps most discussions. (As in the C-D trope "anyone can succeed if they really want to, no matter what their roots or situation" — which is demonstrably untrue.)

The other part of the problem is that class in the US is almost impossible to disentangle from current economic status — a well-groomed man in a tux whirling some female celebrity around a party floor will be seen as much higher class than the shabby guy standing outside... never mind that one started as a Philly street thug and the other is a world-class neurosurgeon fallen on hard times. From our earliest days, we've respected people on a hierarchy of wealth above nearly all else. (And since we're in the C-D barroom, see any of the current discussions where people who take 'intellectual' or classic college degrees are derided as idiots because everyone knows STEM will make you rich.)

So any attempt at analyzing social class has to overcome those two hurdles before the fine details can be sorted out or brought into meaningful focus.
I’ve achieved a state of quietude, and no longer see class.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
1,956 posts, read 2,484,747 times
Reputation: 5646
This is a stupid question. Class what class, I don't see it.

To me the only way separate people is by category (not class), There are 3 life styles, the first is the schooling years, then comes the working years, and then retirement years, that's it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Florida and New England
1,409 posts, read 1,565,462 times
Reputation: 1985
Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
Of course you'd have to meet both of these hypothetical individuals and get to know them to judge, but the nurse is PROBABLY high prole to middle-middle class and the hospital director is PROBABLY upper-middle.
LOL -- I was going to postulate "high prole" but wasn't sure how many fellow C-D forum readers were familiar with Fussell's formulations.

Pleasantly surprised that his book still is so widely known.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 03:35 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
32,376 posts, read 58,998,303 times
Reputation: 35418
One can have a net worth over a million and yet be struggling to pay the bills. One of my neighbors for example is a retires sales person, with only Social Security income. Yet his house is paid off, bought new in the 1970s and now worth $900,000. He's getting ready to sell now and pay cash for a smaller place in a less expensive area, but right now the property taxes and insurance plus medicare advantage are using up much of his income. Here in our city with a median family income now at $183k most of us are still considered middle-class. That income in many areas of the country would be upper class.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 04:00 PM
 
27,178 posts, read 55,045,123 times
Reputation: 21396
Class is something money can't buy is something my Grandmother would say...

Status is a mixed bag... a family friend of my Grandparents owned one of the largest ranches in Nevada and you would never have know him from the hire hands... drove and old pickup and dressed like a ranch hand even into his 70's

Then you have Steve Jobs catching a bite at the diner on Skyline Blvd... unless you recognized him you would never know.

Money can pay for a lifestyle and this is nothing new... old aristocracy weds new world wealth... a win-win some would say was not uncommon back in the day...

You just can't judge a book by its cover...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 04:46 PM
 
80,260 posts, read 78,608,722 times
Reputation: 56786
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
1.2 million net worth and a passive income of $155K does not mesh. At all.
I agree ,those number don’t jive ......I can see having a great year with that portfolio and generating 100k IN PROFIT ..... plus your pay ....but that is not the same as generating a regular passive income that size perpetually
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 06:25 PM
 
4,619 posts, read 1,951,524 times
Reputation: 2960
In America IMO the only thing that separates rich, upper-middle, middle and poor is the grooming and the clothes. You can drive a Mercedes and be neck-deep in loans, but grooming can show if you really "own" it.

And living in an apartment means you are poor and can't afford a house.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
10,786 posts, read 9,472,255 times
Reputation: 23866
It's all about the money, honey.

The more money, the higher your social status.

The only thing I can think of that defies that would be cleric. Rabbi, minister, or priest if you have any social graces about you at all.
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

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
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