Social Question

jca's avatar

What economic class are you in (check according to location, income and household size)?

Asked by jca (36059points) September 26th, 2016
18 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

You don’t have to post it if you don’t want to, of course.

I was googling the definition of “upper middle class” for another thread and found this site.

I’m going to check my own soon.

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ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

“upper tier” whatever the hell that means. There is a lot of old money in this town so there are a lot of people who can afford not to work. This drives up housing where it’s out of reach for many. We are in the 20% of (JOB) the Just Over Broke crowd according to that poll. We sometimes have a dual income but not presently. If we live modestly it’s comfortable. We can afford our mortgage, pay for groceries and have a little put back for a rainy day. Took 15 years of working, saving and five college degrees between the two of us to get here though.
Thing is, all that could go away in a real hurry with job loss or health issues.

SmashTheState's avatar

I live in an unheated, unfinished, bare, concrete and cinder block basement in a hundred year old building which used to be a factory and was abandoned for a decade. I sleep on an old piece of foam, and for the first few months I lived here, I didn’t have even that; I slept in a chair. I have two pieces of furniture: a desk and a chair, and both were salvaged from the trash. I don’t have a fridge or stove, and I have to take sponge baths in the sink because there’s no shower or tub. My income for the past 20 years has not exceeded $10k US per year. My food budget is between $50 and $100 per month. My shoes are patched the duct tape and I haven’t bought clothes new, off the rack, in more than a decade—I buy it all second hand.

Most people would consider me below even the level of utter destitution, living in conditions very few people outside of a native reservation experience in the developed world. And yet, despite this, I have managed to found two NGOs and am currently renovating this building by hand to act as a union hall and cultural centre for promoting the traditional hobo arts. The last time we looked at the books, I had pumped $6000 out of my own pocket into this place over a period of two years. In order to be able to do that has meant having no luxuries whatsoever: meals are eaten raw or from a can, no movies, no books, no haircuts, no trips, no restaurants, no new shoes, no cough medicine when I get sick, and when my clothes wear out they get patched or duct-taped and pressed back into service.

Yet despite all of this, I would consider my existence reasonably comfortable. For entertainment I have my computer and the Internet, and to relax I have my pipes and tobacco (which I now purchase raw and process myself to save money). Income alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Certainly my existence is considerably more satisfying and life-affirming than that of most of the people on Fluther, as near as I can tell. I’ve sacrificed entire years of my life in order to accomplish things someone with a middle class income could have done in 15 minutes with a Mastercard, but would they have the same satisfaction I’ve gotten? I think not.

Certainly my life would be much more pleasant with, say, access to a shower. Or a warm and comfortable place to sleep. Or hot food. Or enough money to buy socks without holes. But I can and do make do without, and I need comprimise for no one. My life is my own.

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”Friedrich Nieztsche

Coloma's avatar

^ Certainly my existence is considerably more satisfying and life-affirming that that of most of the people on Fluther, as near as I can tell.

Really? There you go again making wild blanket statement ass-umptions about the Fluther community members.
I don’t think most of us here would consider our lives to be satisfying without the base essentials of a shower and bed and having to patch together our clothing with duct tape. Of course, in your warped opinion anyone that lives even slightly above your condition is hopelessly “Bourgeois.”

Hey, if you want to wear your poverty “status” as some sort of badge of elitism fine, but don’t tell the rest of us that because we aspire to live above the poverty line, prefer a hot shower, a comfortable bed and take our meals on plates instead of straight out of a can we are capitalist pigs.
Would we be worthy of your elitist Hobo club if we all buy jackknifes to open our cans of beans while sitting around a barrel of burning trash whittling sticks tonight? Pffft!

Coloma's avatar

I am now in the lower tier after being wiped out in the recession between 2010–13.
Living at the poverty line for a single person, around 16k a year income.
While lacking the safety net of savings I once had, I am, surprisingly, living quite comfortably, for the most part, on a very low income. I am receiving state medical assistance at this time as I do not have healthcare via my employment situation and can no longer afford the premiums of a private policy as I had for many years as a self employed person.

I am living in a creative living situation working as a pet/house/property sitter/caretaker/personal asst. in exchange for my housing and some months come out ahead of the game by a few hundred extra dollars. I also babysit on the side and do pet/house sitting for another family around the bend here that brings in bonus income at various times. I manage quite nicely on less than a $1000.00 a month average, sometimes less.
I won’t say I don’t miss the freedom of my former financial solvency and the freedom from worry that an emergency will be unmanageable, but…I have a nice little place to live in a beautiful and peaceful surroundings, am very appreciated for what I do and am slowly re-building a bit of savings.

Easy come, easy go, these are the times we live in.
I plan on collecting my SS early at age 62 and am completely done with the great “out there”, and “marketing” myself at age 57.

jca's avatar

@SmashTheState: I’m not quite sure how you can make an assumption about other Jellies’ satisfaction with their lives based upon their income, the way we can’t make that assumption about your life. Just because I (and the majority of us) aspire to physical and financial comfort doesn’t make us any less worthy or satisfied than you are.

jca (36059points)“Great Answer” (3points)
Seek's avatar

I’m lower tier. I have a great husband and an awesome kid and a bunch of basic creature comforts like hot water (even if I can’t drink the stuff from the faucet) and manage to eke out some fun since fun is more affordable than healthcare – especially if you keep your ear to the ground and take advantage of promotions.

I’m starting a work-at-home temp job next month which will hopefully lead to enough financial solvency to put the investment into starting a better, permanent work at home job at the start of next year. If I had an extra $500 or so I could probably go straight to the permanent job, but I’m already that much or more behind the 8-ball. I’ll get there. Whatever.

Am I satisfied with my life? Not particularly. I don’t feel bad about it, I just got dealt a shit hand as a kid, and it messed up my life plans. So, at 30 years old I have a lot more work to do, and I have to re-evaluate my goals. At this point, I don’t know what those goals are beyond the immediate “get my kid into a better home” plan. The whole country is in such a weird place, and local and national economics are in such a weird place that it seems making any sort of plans is futile.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m going to decline to respond directly to the poll question, except to say that in terms of the world at large I am, along with nearly every other jelly, in the top 1%. I admit to being a capitalist pig, but at least I don’t exactly wallow.

On the other hand, I’m now thinking of starting a foundation to build and support a Museum of Panhandling to recognize that dying noble prevalent art in our society. Maybe we’ll have an annex for swindlers, snake oil salesmen and politicians in a few years.

anniereborn's avatar

I’m in the lower tier…and…
Among all American adults with your education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status, 5% are lower income, 37% are middle income and 58% are upper income.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@SmashTheState You’re obviously intelligent, well meaning and I envy the level of freedom you have but I don’t exactly envy your lifestyle. Living within or below your means is a good thing but failing to plan, prepare and put back for the future is just irresponsible. You can’t be much help to those who need a hand when you’re barely standing up on your own. The system you seem to want to shed will be what supports you when you are old, infirm, broke and ideology has failed you…if you’re lucky.

Coloma's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Standing ovation!

SmashTheState's avatar

Amou Haji seems to be doing okay for himself. (He’s my hero.)

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I think Amou is pretty fucking far from ok.

Coloma's avatar

@anniereborn Haha, no shit, well, he probably has plenty of shit on his body after 80 years without a bath. shiver Yeah, nothing like your hero being a dirty old man, literally, with mental health issues.

SmashTheState's avatar

Why? Because he doesn’t want a mortgage and a flock of geese? Look at his smile. The man is happy, content, and completely self-reliant. He’s 80 years old, active, and in good health without a doctor or health insurance. If that’s misery, then may I never be happy.

Coloma's avatar

@SmashTheState He hasn’t bathed in 60 years because he fears being clean will make him sick and he lives in a hole in the ground. It’s no secret that mentally unwell people often neglect basic hygiene.
He may be happy but he is also, insane. He fled reality in his youth due to “emotional setbacks”.

Translation, he is, most likely, Schizophrenic. He is not some guru on a mountain top who has renounced all his worldly goods in pursuit of ultimate truth. He is just a crazy old man living in the dirt and smoking animal shit but you can idolize him if you like.

SmashTheState's avatar

In Victorian England, disobedient or overly emotional women were said to be suffering from the mental illness of hysteria, caused by improper positioning of the womb. They cured hysteria by “vaginal massage.” The first electric vibrators were developed by psychiatrists to treat women with hysteria so that doctors, nurses, and nuns wouldn’t have to administer vaginal massage by hand.

Coloma's avatar

@SmashTheState ......and your point is?
What does Victorian ignorant, patriarchal, psychiatry have to do with a reclusive old man that lives in a hole in the ground and is fearful of cleanliness?

josrific's avatar

I’m in the lower tier. We were doing ok until I got sick and had to get on disability. But my family is blessed and we have all that we need.

And is it not obvious that @SmashTheState is just baiting everyone?

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