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Old 03-21-2009, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 3,059,480 times
Reputation: 555

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcashley View Post
I NEVER said that the middle class was growing as a fraction of the society. I said it has more wealth now. If you want to take those statements and refute them, you cannot do so with the data you've presented. By the way, as I said before, my data comes from the census bureau and the bureau of labor statistics.

A bell curve doesn't really work with incomes unless you eliminate the very wealthy and the very poor...and in doing so you end up with a truly goofy statistical analysis--one not founded in any sort of reality. Gaussian statistics simply do a poor job of analyzing income. A better statistical tool is non-parametric statistics. Unfortunately, non-parametric statistics are usually not taught in introductory statistics classes--unless you take the course that I teach at the university.
yes, and I agree, median personal incomes have increased (31% in 30 years or 1.06% per annum). But on a relative scale, it pales in comparison to how much incomes have risen for the upper 20 percentile (upward of 7% per annum). I don't refute that fact. Furthermore, as you mentioned as you get older, your incomes should grow.... but, the US has aged, but median personal incomes have not kept pace.

So, essentially real median incomes have not really grown if you account for a discount on median age increase toward peak earning power (49 years old?)

Anyhow, my point above isn't that incomes can fit a bell curve, because obviously there are so many variables including demographics, but more to show that income distribution has increasingly moved away from the median - which means more people are poor, more people moving into the upper middle, and therefore less people are part of the "middle" or median income earner - more bluntly a shrinking middle class. And that is exactly what the GINI index is measuring - the disparity of wealth in the population. Obviously if there is less disparity, there would be more people in the middle (ie, a larger middle class).

-chuck22b

Last edited by chuck22b; 03-21-2009 at 12:12 PM..
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge.
3,196 posts, read 5,003,724 times
Reputation: 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck22b View Post
yes, and I agree, median personal incomes have increased (31% in 30 years or 1.06% per annum). But on a relative scale, it pales in comparison to how much incomes have risen for the upper 20 percentile (upward of 7% per annum). I don't refute that fact. Furthermore, as you mentioned as you get older, your incomes should grow.... but, the US has aged, but median personal incomes have not kept pace.

So, essentially real median incomes have not really grown if you account for a discount on median age increase toward peak earning power (49 years old?)

Anyhow, my point above isn't that incomes can fit a bell curve, because obviously there are so many variables including demographics, but more to show that income distribution has increasingly moved away from the median - which means more people are poor, more people moving into the upper middle, and therefore less people are part of the "middle" or median income earner - more bluntly a shrinking middle class. And that is exactly what the GINI index is measuring - the disparity of wealth in the population.

-chuck22b

Ah...we DO agree...we have a MAJOR societal problem. But the problem is not that the middle class is disappearing...the problem is that as a proportion of our society the middle class is shrinking. This is being caused by two factors: concentration of poverty at one end of the scale and a concentration of wealth at the other end. Interestingly, the concentration of wealth causes the data to become non-gaussian. So, if you ignore that data, you see what? You see the percentage of people in the middle class still shrinking. Even though there are more people in the middle class-and they are doing better--we have a smaller percentage. What this means for our society is that wealth is becomming more concentrated, and may be dividing into the rich and the poor--kind of like China, or Mexico. This is a dangerous trend for the future of our society.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge.
3,196 posts, read 5,003,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedNC View Post
Bill Gates came from a wealthy family.
but he did not use his family's wealth in building his own business.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 3,059,480 times
Reputation: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcashley View Post
Ah...we DO agree...we have a MAJOR societal problem. But the problem is not that the middle class is disappearing...the problem is that as a proportion of our society the middle class is shrinking. This is being caused by two factors: concentration of poverty at one end of the scale and a concentration of wealth at the other end. Interestingly, the concentration of wealth causes the data to become non-gaussian. So, if you ignore that data, you see what? You see the percentage of people in the middle class still shrinking. Even though there are more people in the middle class-and they are doing better--we have a smaller percentage. What this means for our society is that wealth is becomming more concentrated, and may be dividing into the rich and the poor--kind of like China, or Mexico. This is a dangerous trend for the future of our society.
Yup, and that is why it is harder for the poor to rise up, and it is also easier for the newly upper middle class to fall down.

I think we have a problem with symantics. I think your definition of the middle includes both the upper middle (which did increase as a proportion of the population), and the lower middle (which also increased as a proportion of the population). My definition of middle is the concentration of people around the median income (or relative rise of median personal incomes).

So at the end, there is something fundamentally wrong with the system. As capitalism over compensates for the stead fast and those that can create monopolies, but leaves the rest of the population fending for themselves. Wealth has been transferring from the middle (median earner) and the poor to the upper middle and the uber wealthy. With most of the purchasing power transferred by using debt vs. having higher incomes (which would of been a more sustainable, balanced means).

Now, the poor, middle, and lower middle has had enough and are defaulting en mass. The upper middle and middle be wary Because we all know the uber wealthy, upper 5 percentile aren't going to take as much of a hit. Although they're the ones that by far benefited the most out of their schemes and took the most risks.

-chuck22b
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge.
3,196 posts, read 5,003,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck22b View Post
capitalism over compensates for the stead fast and those that can create monopolies, but leaves the rest of the population fending for themselves.
This is why "personal responsibilty" is soooooooooo important. We ALL have to learn how to take responsibility for ourselves in such a manner that as individuals we cannot be "defeated." Only by doing this will we be able to prosper. We may be mad as hell, but we've finally learned, that nobody's going to help. If we are going to prosper--it will be because we did it--on our own--without help.
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 3,059,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcashley View Post
This is why "personal responsibilty" is soooooooooo important. We ALL have to learn how to take responsibility for ourselves in such a manner that as individuals we cannot be "defeated." Only by doing this will we be able to prosper. We may be mad as hell, but we've finally learned, that nobody's going to help. If we are going to prosper--it will be because we did it--on our own--without help.
Yes, of course personal responsibility is important. But, you also have to take responsibility by pointing out the flaws in the system and voicing change.

How the system works, those who have been responsible, steadfast, etc. are also going to be punished in the current and coming future (either through layoffs, diminishing savings returns, pay cuts, furloughs, 401k drops, higher taxes, definition of who is "wealthy", etc. etc.)

It's the monopolies, uber rich (upper 5% percentile), that really control the game. Upper middle class is nothing. Your wealth most likely still relies on an income and can easily be taken away.

What needs to be done is a better equalization of wealth, incomes, jobs, etc. that allows for the use of higher incomes rather than debt for the poor/lower middle classes. As it is, this shift, sadly, is going to be taken from the middle, upper middle to the poor, lower middle, rather than where it should be, from the upper 5 percentile to the poor, lower middle.

The upper middle class are the puppets and the scape goats of the uber wealthy.

-chuck22b
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:38 PM
 
1,735 posts, read 4,383,282 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcashley View Post
but he did not use his family's wealth in building his own business.
not even possible?
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:49 PM
 
48,508 posts, read 88,668,363 times
Reputation: 18188
What has really happened is the number of rich people ahs increased and the rich have gotten rich. At the same tiome what middle class is in terms of lifestyle has changed. I mean even the life style of lower middle class makes those in the past seem like poverty. Another way of puuting it is now days is not whether a kid has tennis shoes its more rather if he has $125 Nikes.
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge.
3,196 posts, read 5,003,724 times
Reputation: 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
What has really happened is the number of rich people ahs increased and the rich have gotten rich. At the same tiome what middle class is in terms of lifestyle has changed. I mean even the life style of lower middle class makes those in the past seem like poverty. Another way of puuting it is now days is not whether a kid has tennis shoes its more rather if he has $125 Nikes.
The US is probably the only country where the poor drive their cars to the laundramat.
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,856 posts, read 46,325,770 times
Reputation: 58669
I've done so much with so little for so long......until I guess I'm in a SAFE economy class.
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