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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:55 AM
Original message
Middle Class? Low Class? NO class?
found this oldie & it seems MORE applicable than ever.


Middle Class? Low Class? NO class?
Posted by SoCalDem in General Discussion Fri Feb 01st 2008, 01:08 PM

Most people you talk to daily, still consider themselves "middle class"...but what exactly IS middle class?

Middle class, to me at least, means you make enough to be "comfortable".

It means you can go to the grocery store without that unpleasant knot in the stomach when the cashier announces what you owe.

It means that when the electric bill arrives, you don't have to sit down with a bottle of tranquilizers before you open it.

It means that your house-payment is affordable (less than 1/3 of your take home pay)

It means that you have a savings account for emergencies.

It means that you can raise a child or two, and know that when the time comes, they WILL be able to go to college without having to apply for every funky $250 scholarship on-line.

It means that if the car breaks down, you can get it fixed, and still be able to eat that month.

It means that you can plan a family vacation every year, and actually GO.

It means that you can take your kid or yourself to a doctor when necessary.

It means that your kids get to go on field trips, even if they cost money.

It means that you can count on not running out of money before you run out of month.

It means that you don't HAVE to use credit cards, because your bank account is empty.

My uneducated guess is that more middles are actually "lower" these days, but no one dares to think of themselves as "low class"..

Even "lower-middle" just sounds bad. It feels like you might soon lose the "middle".. that you are trending downward.

America has always pretended to be a classless society, but we all know better.. We learn that in grade school. Everyone automatically "measures" their family against families of the other kids, and many of us grow up feeling insecure, and feeling like our own families don't quite measure up to those of our friends..

We all think that once we arrive at "middle-classiness", we will be OK. If your feet are firmly planted in middle-class-land, you can always aspire to get to a higher class, but no one ever plans to go lower.

We have always been hopeful, but it's becoming a painful reality, that our expectations are not all that great anymore.

More and more of us actually expect to be poor or poorer.

Confidence built our country & made us what we are, and as we hemorrhage confidence, it's not surprising that we are turning on each other, as we flail around looking for some one, something to blame for our suffering.
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muffin1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. Definitely low-class - or no class
I'm petsitting right now, and I can't tell you how thrilled I was not to have to buy a Sunday paper ($2.00), since the owner of the house has it delivered. I only buy it for the coupons, and my client doesn't use coupons (upper middle-class).

I also have a tooth infection, and I'm staving it off by rinsing with hydrogen peroxide. And yes, I've read about the poor man who died from a tooth infection. :cry:
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Do you have a dental school near you - call to see what it would
cost for a visit.
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muffin1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. We have one in Richmond,
but it costs roughly half of a regular dentist - still way too much. Several months ago, when I had a different dental issue and was unemployed, I got help from a private dentist (an absolute 'angel' helped me find him). He agreed to help me with emergencies (extraction if I had pain, etc) - no charge. The very next day, I kid you not, I got a full-time job. I never went back to him because I felt guilty doing so while working. After five months I lost the job. He would probably still see me, but the problem now is the tooth in question is under a bridge (similar to my previous issue). If I have him extract that tooth, I lose the bridge - three teeth gone. I already lost three "teeth" with my last problem. I really need to either keep the bridge, get implants or a plate.

I will never find another job missing all these teeth. And it's terribly embarrassing - I almost never smile anymore.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. "Middle Class" actually has been what was "Lower Middle Class" for years
We've adjusted our definitions because, dammit, poverty is a sin
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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
3. "Turning on eachother...." I was wondering about that very thing
this morning. Why is it that when one of the weathliest men in the world urges more contributions to society by the rich, people ignore this and target the police officers, firefighters, teachers in their own communities...people who have faces and are neighbors, who protect their lives and educate their kids. I just don't get it.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
4. There are only 2 classes, the Capitalist Class and the Working Class.
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 11:12 AM by Odin2005
The notion of a "middle class" is Capitalist propaganda used to split the Working Class.
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BOG PERSON Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. the Middle Class is Real
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petite_bourgeoisie
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Most people that think of themselves as "middle class" are not Marx's "Petite Bourgroisie".
In fact, as Marx predicted, Capitalism is more and more pushing the "petite bourgeoisie" (the small business owners, doctors, lawyers, etc.) into the ranks of the proletariat.
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BOG PERSON Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. doctors and lawyers are not proletariats.
only those workers directly involved in the production of material use-values are proletariats.
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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
5. wow, even MORE appropriate now...scary
I grew up middle class, but haven't seen that lifestyle in decades.

I'll add a few...

It means that you can buy your kids shoes when the seasons make it necessary

It means you can go to the dentist before things start to hurt

It means that you can get tylenol when your kid has a fever

It means you don't have to scrape for change to get a half gallon of gas just to eeek through the week

It means that you have enough in the bank to NOT get dinged overdraft fees that put you in a perpetual HOLE
~~~
So many things that define us, money seems to be the one most important.

It looks like it's futile, but i refuse to let it keep me down.

I will continue to struggle and muddle through...and plan my escape to some semblance of independence.

My dreams are the things that cost nothing, and nobody can take them from me....
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. We have three incomes coming into the house
That is the only reason that many but not all of these apply to our situation. But, my ex husband is poverty stricken because of the loss of his and many other jobs in Texas so on this coming Wednesday, he will be coming to live with us for a while because his work prospects are better. When (we need to be optomistic!) he gets a job he's going to save his pennies so he can bring his wife, their cats and their belongings. It reminds me of the stories I heard about the Great Depression. Yeah, I know it seems strange to being doing this with my ex, but except for the tumultuous year after our break up, we've been good friends and I want him to be able to get a job and have some economic security. Watching from afar these last couple of years (and sending as much money as I could) has just been awful and he resisted coming up here because, well, many reasons but I think he still has that bootstrap thing. I'm sorry, but the way it is these days, we've got to stick together.

I really mean my current sig line.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Combining incomes is a very good idea. I also commend you for
understanding your ex. When I was young in the 1940s many people combined ration stamps to be able to afford to live. It was not unusual for adult children to live with and work in their parents business. Especially in farming. My parents and several cousins took vacations by combining gas ration stamps - of course we were piled into cars so that we did not have to take more than two cars. Today that would not work because of the seat belt/child seat laws. I also remember many a family picnic that would not have happened without combining food rations.

I live with my grandson and I know that many on DU are sharing housing with others.

Not exactly the American Dream but still making the best with what we have. That attitude will get us a long way in this economy.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. I have always considered myself "working class" and I always will.
Working people are the conscience and backbone of the world.

We are currently being trampled by both Republicans and Democrats alike
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. When Nancy gave her big speech before the debt deal
I got a stomach ache because she kept talking about protecting the middle class -- as if there was no other group, let alone another much large group absorbing the people who have been / are being kicked out of the middle class by the rolling crises. :(
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Being in the lower class - poor - I agree but if she had said she was
protecting the poor she would have been laughed out to the building. That idea went out with JFK and LBJ. One thing I have learned is that what protects the worker also protects the poor. No matter what class I am in I support the worker. They stand between me and certain starvation.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
11. Middle class is an illusion.
Most people are working class.
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
17. The Middle Class is a myth. The only classes that exist are workers and capitalists.
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