What class are you?

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What class are you?

Über-rich
0
No votes
Rich
0
No votes
Upper Class
1
2%
Upper Middle Class
8
17%
Middle Class
18
38%
Lower Middle Class
6
13%
Upper Lower Class
2
4%
Working Class
8
17%
Working Poor
2
4%
Underclass
3
6%
 
Total votes: 48

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Yasna
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Re: What class are you?

Postby Yasna » 2019-06-13, 16:28

One aspect I think is salient here is the expected duration of the low living standard. If the aspiring actor gets to a point where he has no realistic prospect of escaping his low living standard, then he's taking a step down the class ladder. His higher class upbringing may spare him from simply falling down the ladder though.
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Re: What class are you?

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-13, 16:42

Yasna wrote:One aspect I think is salient here is the expected duration of the low living standard. If the aspiring actor gets to a point where he has no realistic prospect of escaping his low living standard, then he's taking a step down the class ladder. His higher class upbringing may spare him from simply falling down the ladder though.

Agreed, which is why I said "middle-class kid". At some point, if you never escape that squalor, you've moved down the class hierarchy. I think it's a bit soon for Vijay to be sure of his trajectory though. (It's also unclear to me whether he's talking about his own social class or the class of his family. These don't always move in tandem.)

I find it hard to accept someone with a four-year college degree as "lower-class" barring extraordinary circumstances (e.g. joining the ranks of the long-term homeless due to mental disability). Your "class" is not just your lifestyle but what others perceive you to be.
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Re: What class are you?

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-06-13, 16:46

md0 wrote:I would look at the poverty line for the US to decide between working class and working poor if I were you (and if variance is too extreme in the US, the respective statistic for your state).

Okay, I'm apparently above poverty line, but honestly, I was kind of surprised at how difficult it was for me to tell. I find it odd that this for example says things like "if you make more than $12,140 and live by yourself, you're above poverty level" while I'm thinking "$12,140 per what? Per month? Per year?" Because they don't specify that anywhere. :?
linguoboy wrote:It's also unclear to me whether he's talking about his own social class or the class of his family.

My own.
I find it hard to accept someone with a four-year college degree as "lower-class" barring extraordinary circumstances (e.g. joining the ranks of the long-term homeless due to mental disability).

Why? You've never heard of poor people with PhDs?
Your "class" is not just your lifestyle but what others perceive you to be.

Others seem to perceive me as having nothing.

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Re: What class are you?

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-13, 16:50

vijayjohn wrote:
I find it hard to accept someone with a four-year college degree as "lower-class" barring extraordinary circumstances (e.g. joining the ranks of the long-term homeless due to mental disability).

Why? You've never heard of poor people with PhDs?

Of course I have. A friend who used to be a full professor just got accepted to public housing. But poverty in old age isn't an unusual challenge for members of the middle class.

vijayjohn wrote:
Your "class" is not just your lifestyle but what others perceive you to be.

Others seem to perceive me as having nothing.

And how do you judge this? Do you find that people treat you badly in stores because they think you can't afford to buy anything and are just there to look around and/or shoplift?
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Re: What class are you?

Postby md0 » 2019-06-13, 17:06

vijayjohn wrote:
md0 wrote:I would look at the poverty line for the US to decide between working class and working poor if I were you (and if variance is too extreme in the US, the respective statistic for your state).

Okay, I'm apparently above poverty line, but honestly, I was kind of surprised at how difficult it was for me to tell. I find it odd that this for example says things like "if you make more than $12,140 and live by yourself, you're above poverty level" while I'm thinking "$12,140 per what? Per month? Per year?" Because they don't specify that anywhere. :?


It must be per year*. Over here it's 10320 EUR per year (for a single person living alone), which is only slightly lower.

* That number is not meaningful over shorter periods. As an example, most of my income comes in big chunks: twice a year when the student grant is paid, and once or twice a year when I finish a project-based work. My monthly salary is less than half of the poverty line divided by 12.
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Re: What class are you?

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-13, 17:18

vijayjohn wrote:Okay, I'm apparently above poverty line, but honestly, I was kind of surprised at how difficult it was for me to tell. I find it odd that this for example says things like "if you make more than $12,140 and live by yourself, you're above poverty level" while I'm thinking "$12,140 per what? Per month? Per year?" Because they don't specify that anywhere. :?

Income is normally expressed annually because that's how our taxes are assessed. If you've ever answered a survey (commercial, political, academic, or otherwise), this is how the question is always phrased. It's sloppy not to specify "annual" (what site was this?) but the vast majority of working folks would know what was meant regardless.
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Re: What class are you?

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-06-13, 17:52

linguoboy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
I find it hard to accept someone with a four-year college degree as "lower-class" barring extraordinary circumstances (e.g. joining the ranks of the long-term homeless due to mental disability).

Why? You've never heard of poor people with PhDs?

Of course I have. A friend who used to be a full professor just got accepted to public housing. But poverty in old age isn't an unusual challenge for members of the middle class.

Well, it's not limited to old age, either. People who just graduated with a PhD often have trouble finding jobs these days, and a lot of grad students are poor.
vijayjohn wrote:Others seem to perceive me as having nothing.

And how do you judge this? Do you find that people treat you badly in stores because they think you can't afford to buy anything and are just there to look around and/or shoplift?

No, because I rarely go to stores in the first place, and when I do, it's almost always with my dad who dresses like someone going to work in India in the seventies (i.e. he dresses pretty formally). :P But okay, maybe they don't perceive me as having nothing; they (depending on who "they" are, at least) may even be jealous that I still get to live with my parents. They also tell me I could easily be getting a better job than I have, though I've never found that to be the case. Some people say I let people take advantage of me too easily (at work, so I suppose they don't think I'll make much money or anything). Some people who I worked with don't understand how I could possibly like my job (I'm not sure whether this has anything to do with social class at all, but who knows. Having a job you like is probably a luxury in some sense, right? Yet if your job doesn't appear desirable, does that mean people also think you're working there because you can't afford anything better? Or is it just completely unrelated to class?).

I'm just curious as to whether my class has changed over time or something. Maybe it hasn't, but I don't really understand how that works.
what site was this?

Well, I found this on two: both here and here. The second one was even more puzzling to me because they give plenty of information on how to interpret their figures yet don't specify "annual."

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Re: What class are you?

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-13, 18:06

vijayjohn wrote:Well, it's not limited to old age, either. People who just graduated with a PhD often have trouble finding jobs these days, and a lot of grad students are poor.

linguoboy wrote:class ≠ income
class ≠ wealth
class ≠ employment status


vijayjohn wrote:But okay, maybe they don't perceive me as having nothing; they (depending on who "they" are, at least) may even be jealous that I still get to live with my parents. They also tell me I could easily be getting a better job than I have, though I've never found that to be the case. Some people say I let people take advantage of me too easily (at work, so I suppose they don't think I'll make much money or anything). Some people who I worked with don't understand how I could possibly like my job (I'm not sure whether this has anything to do with social class at all, but who knows. Having a job you like is probably a luxury in some sense, right? Yet if your job doesn't appear desirable, does that mean people also think you're working there because you can't afford anything better? Or is it just completely unrelated to class?).

Apart from the suggestion that you could get a better job, I really don't see what any of this has to do with class perceptions.

vijayjohn wrote:I'm just curious as to whether my class has changed over time or something. Maybe it hasn't, but I don't really understand how that works.


vijayjohn wrote:
what site was this?

Well, I found this on two: both here

"Income" above refers to "modified adjusted gross income" (MAGI). For most people, it's the same or very similar to "adjusted gross income" (AGI). MAGI isn't a number on your tax return.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Your total (or “gross”) income for the tax year, minus certain adjustments you’re allowed to take. Adjustments include deductions for conventional IRA contributions, student loan interest, and more. Adjusted gross income appears on IRS Form 1040, line 7.


vijayjohn wrote:and here. The second one was even more puzzling to me because they give plenty of information on how to interpret their figures yet don't specify "annual."

Yeah, that is an odd omission.
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Re: What class are you?

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-06-13, 18:20

linguoboy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Well, it's not limited to old age, either. People who just graduated with a PhD often have trouble finding jobs these days, and a lot of grad students are poor.

linguoboy wrote:class ≠ income
class ≠ wealth
class ≠ employment status

But class = whether you have a university degree, barring extraordinary circumstances?

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Re: What class are you?

Postby Car » 2019-06-13, 19:19

linguoboy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Okay, I'm apparently above poverty line, but honestly, I was kind of surprised at how difficult it was for me to tell. I find it odd that this for example says things like "if you make more than $12,140 and live by yourself, you're above poverty level" while I'm thinking "$12,140 per what? Per month? Per year?" Because they don't specify that anywhere. :?

Income is normally expressed annually because that's how our taxes are assessed. If you've ever answered a survey (commercial, political, academic, or otherwise), this is how the question is always phrased. It's sloppy not to specify "annual" (what site was this?) but the vast majority of working folks would know what was meant regardless.

Also, how likely is it that a 5-digit number in US dollars for the US could be per month if we're talking about poverty? If you have any idea what the minimum wage (in countries where it exists) or the average wage are where you live or if you have at least some idea what some people you know are earning, that's not very likely, is it? It should be mentioned, of course.
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Re: What class are you?

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-13, 19:32

vijayjohn wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Well, it's not limited to old age, either. People who just graduated with a PhD often have trouble finding jobs these days, and a lot of grad students are poor.

linguoboy wrote:class ≠ income
class ≠ wealth
class ≠ employment status

But class = whether you have a university degree, barring extraordinary circumstances?

University education is one of the hallmarks of the middle class in the USA. If you grow up middle-class (or upper-class) here, it is expected that you will attend a four-year university unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. severe disability). Historically, attending university was seen as a gateway to the middle class for people from lower-class backgrounds and currently it is difficult to find paid work that can support a middle-class lifestyle unless you at least have a bachelors degree.

Vijay, what--if anything--have you read on the formation of social classes in general and in the USA in particular? There's a sizable body of literature there and I'm not qualified or prepared to sum it all up in a few Internet posts.
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Re: What class are you?

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-06-13, 19:39

Car wrote:Also, how likely is it that a 5-digit number in US dollars for the US could be per month if we're talking about poverty?

I have no idea.
Historically, attending university was seen as a gateway to the middle class for people from lower-class backgrounds and currently it is difficult to find paid work that can support a middle-class lifestyle unless you at least have a bachelors degree.

And currently, it's hard even if you have a PhD.
Vijay, what--if anything--have you read on the formation of social classes in general and in the USA in particular?

Nothing.

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Re: What class are you?

Postby Johanna » 2019-06-15, 1:38

Four years to attain a bachelor's degree in a country that is already charging tuition is robbery. Just sayin'.

But to be a little bit more serious, we delve right into the subject, since you are supposed to have finished anything more general in high school. There is likewise no "pre-med" or "pre-law", instead, there are the same kind of minimum requirements, plus you get on-the-job training once uni is over. Job, as in being paid a living wage.
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