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Old 02-07-2013, 04:59   #1
Restless28
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The Eminence Front of The "Middle Class"

I've had some interesting conversations with some folks who are in the "middle class". These people have vehicles financed for more than my home is worth, boats and ATV's, zero turn mowers, and large homes that are easily 5 to 10 times their gross income. They are faking "living large." It's an eminence front. (It's a put on)

Several work in the defense industry in Huntsville. If sequestration comes, the pain is going to be rough.

Those who don't work in the industry, and earn less, live just as large.

I have a feeling that the bursting of the bubble or a balck swan event will cause a shift in class structure. These middle class folks won't be able to maintain the status quo.

I imagine this scenario exists in every community in America.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:42   #2
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Yeah and your local welfare mom is driving a $50k suv with $20k in rims and tires and another $5k in aftermarket stereo crap and lives in a government subsidized apartment.

Borrowing too much and living beyond your means has sadly become the brainwashed-so-called-American way.

What a change 50 years makes. In my youth my friends parents who were professionals (Drs, Lawyers, Engineers) or successful blue collar business owners lived in cheap or modest track homes, drove modest cars, purchased their clothes at Sears, took car-camping vacations in the station wagon and saved money for for a rainy day, retirement and possibly the kid's college fund.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:56   #3
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Originally Posted by Cali-Glock View Post

Borrowing too much and living beyond your means has sadly become the brainwashed-so-called-American way.
So true. I'd say that the ease of buying big items on credit (without sufficient financial backing for said credit) and the inability of people to delay gratification are largely responsible. I grew up knowing that if I wanted something, I had to "save up" for it. That hasn't been a common approach for many years.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:01   #4
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So true. I'd say that the ease of buying big items on credit (without sufficient financial backing for said credit) and the inability of people to delay gratification are largely responsible. I grew up knowing that if I wanted something, I had to "save up" for it. That hasn't been a common approach for many years.
Yep. Debt makes America run.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:50   #5
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I imagine this scenario exists in every community in America.
It does. I've seen a few of them crash and burn over the years.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:18   #6
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It does. I've seen a few of them crash and burn over the years.
agreed, got a bunch at my work like this make $60-75 a year(with OT) and have $250,000 houses, 2 car payments,kids,etc,etc one guy mentioned to pay his bills he needs one overtime a pay period...some of these guys just built these big expensive houses have 30 year Mortages and can only(at our job MANDITORY retirement is 57) work another 15 years max....when you ask them how are you gonna pay off that last 15 years of the mortage when you retire..they say "we will cross that bridge when we come to it"...in other words they have absolutely no idea how they will afford it then..this is the instant gratification generation(thats what ive been calling it for a while now) as long as they have something they want right now even though they cant afford it in the long run..if they have it NOW they are happy.


I consider myself middle class. My house will be paid off in 5-7 years we are down to 1 car payment(paid mine off this last summer) and now we will wait till one is paid off before getting another never have 2 again. I can retire in as little as 6 years and work as long as 13 more if I choose to do so at my current job. I make around 60K a year, I dont work OT id rahter spend the time i have off actually being OFF.


Oh and a great proportion on this spending way too much especially on houses&vehicles is perpetuated by the lending institutions that try to assure these brain dead people that cant think or do a budget for themselves that they CAN afford far,far more than they actually can.. When we went in to get a mortage(get "pre approval" I had the VA loan but we went in to talk to some financial lady that was supposed to help us plan how much house we could afford) and talk to some lady thats supposed to help with that...we had already sat down and knew we(this was back in 1994/95) could actually AFFORD a mortage on anything $150,000 or LESS. 150K would be pushing top end and comfortable would be around $115-125K. When we told the lady that she added some stuff up on her machine and shook her head and she assured us we could "easily" afford $225K of house on what we both made...we knew that was not right and we got REAL LUCKY and got a house for $57K on a estate sale...but had we took her advice we would never have been able to afford the payments when we had a kid.

I think the financial institutions purposely mislead people now days just to get them to take aout a loan..they dont care that the people cant pay it off in the long run as long as they have the loan on the books in the short run...again....instant gratification at the expense of looking at the big picture even in business....

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Old 02-13-2013, 08:34   #7
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agreed, got a bunch at my work like this make $60-75 a year(with OT) and have $250,000 houses, 2 car payments,kids,etc,etc one guy mentioned to pay his bills he needs one overtime a pay period...some of these guys just built these big expensive houses have 30 year Mortages and can only(at our job MANDITORY retirement is 57) work another 15 years max....when you ask them how are you gonna pay off that last 15 years of the mortage when you retire..they say "we will cross that bridge when we come to it"...in other words they have absolutely no idea how they will afford it then..this is the instant gratification generation(thats what ive been calling it for a while now) as long as they have something they want right now even though they cant afford it in the long run..if they have it NOW they are happy.
Just read the OP and a page back, so sure I missed a ton and if this has been put out there then sorry...

What is wrong with someone living large while they can afford it and then selling down when they can't?

Life is short, you only get one shot to enjoy it, so why feel bummed out that you can't have something nice that you can have now?

Maybe to him it's worth putting his resources into that nice house he wants to live in. Busting your hump all week, mandatory OT as you say (I love that part of work) is definitely made easier with a nice place to relax in off the clock.

I manage my resources to have the things I need/want. Some big expensive house or astronomical car payment aren't attractive to me - I don't like to carry debt. For some carrying that debt is worth what they get in return.

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Old 02-07-2013, 05:55   #8
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Originally Posted by Restless28 View Post
I've had some interesting conversations with some folks who are in the "middle class". These people have vehicles financed for more than my home is worth, boats and ATV's, zero turn mowers, and large homes that are easily 5 to 10 times their gross income. They are faking "living large." It's an eminence front. (It's a put on)

Several work in the defense industry in Huntsville. If sequestration comes, the pain is going to be rough.

Those who don't work in the industry, and earn less, live just as large.

I have a feeling that the bursting of the bubble or a balck swan event will cause a shift in class structure. These middle class folks won't be able to maintain the status quo.

I imagine this scenario exists in every community in America.
The middle class has been getting hammered for decades. Since the 70s the middle class has lost pensions, health benefits, wages haven't kept up with inflation and jobs have been sent overseas. What is called middle class now - was lower middle class in the 60s/70s

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Old 02-07-2013, 06:00   #9
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The middle class has been getting hammered for decades. Since the 70s the middle class has lost pensions, health benefits, wages haven't kept up with inflation and jobs have been sent overseas. What is called middle class now - was lower middle class in the 60s/70s
They have also done it to themselves. They are not innocent.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:15   #10
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They have also done it to themselves. They are not innocent.
How so?
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:19   #11
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How so?
Seriously? Look around.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:33   #12
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Seriously? Look around.
You said they did it to themselves. I was asking how. I don't understand what you were saying.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:39   #13
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The middle class has been getting hammered for decades. Since the 70s the middle class has lost pensions, health benefits, wages haven't kept up with inflation and jobs have been sent overseas. What is called middle class now - was lower middle class in the 60s/70s
How do you figure global competition works?
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:50   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMason View Post
The middle class has been getting hammered for decades. Since the 70s the middle class has lost pensions, health benefits, wages haven't kept up with inflation and jobs have been sent overseas. What is called middle class now - was lower middle class in the 60s/70s
Utter BS.

You take a cop married to a nurse(or just about any 40-60K a year couple) in a medium to large city...without getting over their head, they are living the lifestyle that used to be UPPER middle class in the 60s and 70's.

People live better now. The POOR in this country live the life that blue collar folks used to live.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:17   #15
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Utter BS.

You take a cop married to a nurse(or just about any 40-60K a year couple) in a medium to large city...without getting over their head, they are living the lifestyle that used to be UPPER middle class in the 60s and 70's.

People live better now. The POOR in this country live the life that blue collar folks used to live.
True - but in the 60s and 70's it only took one wage earner to do that; now two as you say.



Do your homework - research 1960s to now

Percent of workers covered by defined pension plans

percent of workers provided with health benefits

wages & inflation

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:30   #16
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The average American's budget looks similar to the US Government's budget. Coincidence?
Bullbutter! See below. Completely patently false.


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True - but in the 60s and 70's it only took one wage earner to do that; now two.
As I said yesterday in a different thread, we all have affordable toys that NO ONE had in the 60's and 70's. How many TV's does the average house have? How many vacations that AREN'T camping at $3/night? Home in the 'burbs with 1.2acres of land and 2,000 sf of living area? Latest/greatest toys and activities for Jr? All this cost money. We didn't trade lower anything for that. We traded an at-home mom for livin large, yo.

Couple that with the skyrocketing divorce rate and the need for 1.5 households per "baby-makers" and you HAVE to have them work. Staying married is cheaper than getting divorced.


The bottom line is this: The original post is an anecdotal story, not statistical fact. Statistical fact is debt is FALLING in this country as people get MORE responsible. Just look it up. Of course, it trumps the "this country going to hell handbasket yada yada" so you have to find something else to grouse about.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:41   #17
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Originally Posted by Dennis in MA View Post
The bottom line is this: The original post is an anecdotal story, not statistical fact. Statistical fact is debt is FALLING in this country as people get MORE responsible. Just look it up. Of course, it trumps the "this country going to hell handbasket yada yada" so you have to find something else to grouse about.

The Okie Corral

Household debt is falling the last couple of years only because of recession and inability to get loans. Look at the trend over the last 30 years and explain the trend based upon you statement.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:27   #18
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Bullbutter! See below. Completely patently false.




As I said yesterday in a different thread, we all have affordable toys that NO ONE had in the 60's and 70's. How many TV's does the average house have? How many vacations that AREN'T camping at $3/night? Home in the 'burbs with 1.2acres of land and 2,000 sf of living area? Latest/greatest toys and activities for Jr? All this cost money. We didn't trade lower anything for that. We traded an at-home mom for livin large, yo.

Couple that with the skyrocketing divorce rate and the need for 1.5 households per "baby-makers" and you HAVE to have them work. Staying married is cheaper than getting divorced.


The bottom line is this: The original post is an anecdotal story, not statistical fact. Statistical fact is debt is FALLING in this country as people get MORE responsible. Just look it up. Of course, it trumps the "this country going to hell handbasket yada yada" so you have to find something else to grouse about.
Do you know the divorce rate? Any stats to show that it is much higher than in the 60-70s.

I remember it being around pretty low. According to this website it is 3.5 per 1,000 people.

http://www.divorcerate.org

Wikipedia has different stats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce_demography

But either way I don't believe it is skyrocketing.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:20   #19
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Originally Posted by PaulMason View Post
True - but in the 60s and 70's it only took one wage earner to do that; now two as you say.



Do your homework - research 1960s to now

Percent of workers covered by defined pension plans

percent of workers provided with health benefits

wages & inflation
It would only take one wage earner now....if such a person lived in the exact same way as a person did in the 60's.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:32   #20
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It would only take one wage earner now....if such a person lived in the exact same way as a person did in the 60's.
Exactly!!

Kind of hard to do in some places like much of urbanized/suburbanized California, BUT it is possible.

I look at people making less than me, living a higher standard of living than me and complaining about the economy and the evil banks taking people's homes. These people are nuts!!! Live within your means... Wait I should have said, live well BELOW your means!
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:48   #21
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It would only take one wage earner now....if such a person lived in the exact same way as a person did in the 60's.
Not true. Depends where you live.

I know plenty of houses/locations in SoCal (where I was born and lived for over 30 years) that where built in the 60's, where very middle class affordable back in the 60s on 1 income families and now cost 600k+. I don't think getting rid of your TV/Cell phone/1 car is going to make it affordable for a 1 income middle class family.

When my wife and I graduated we where able to afford a nice house in SoCal on our entry level salaries. Today, that house costs 3 times as much, 600k+, and entry level salaries for the same positions are almost exactly the same as they where 15 years ago. No way we could afford that house today if we just graduated.

Even if we get rid of TV/Cell Phone/extra car, it still would not be affordable and this is on 2 incomes not 1.

Cost of living vs income is definitely worse today compared to 15 years ago and as well as when my dad was my age even with the same standard of living.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:51   #22
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It would only take one wage earner now....if such a person lived in the exact same way as a person did in the 60's.
Economically, middle class isn't a lifestyle.

It is economics and the numbers associated with it.

Go to Figure #6 - click on the title below to go to the site.


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Old 02-07-2013, 09:40   #23
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True - but in the 60s and 70's it only took one wage earner to do that; now two as you say.



Do your homework - research 1960s to now

Percent of workers covered by defined pension plans

percent of workers provided with health benefits

wages & inflation
Which is the Catch-22. All the good paying manufacturing jobs have moved to Mexico and then to China, which lowered average earnings, but also made products cheaper to buy. Decades of raiding Social Security and pension funds kept taxes lower than they should have been and also offset lower paying jobs.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:43   #24
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All the good paying manufacturing jobs have moved to Mexico and then to China
No, they haven't. The US manufactures more stuff now than it ever has, by absolutely any measure. Manufacturing jobs pay more, on average, now than they ever have.

The difference is that many of those jobs require skills--robots have taken over the unskilled parts of those jobs. There aren't many "good paying" unskilled manufacturing jobs anymore, and frankly, that is what it is. The era of being able to get a "good paying" unskilled job in America was a historical accident, nothing more.

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:41   #25
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Utter BS.

You take a cop married to a nurse(or just about any 40-60K a year couple) in a medium to large city...without getting over their head, they are living the lifestyle that used to be UPPER middle class in the 60s and 70's.

People live better now. The POOR in this country live the life that blue collar folks used to live.
A cop and a nurse here would make 120k+.
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