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Author: mendomann Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19221  
Subject: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 2:56 PM
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In last night's Democrat debate both candidates said that they would not raise taxes on the middle class, which they defined as those making up to $250K.

Do you consider $250K middle class?
Yes
No

Click here to see results so far.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12865 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 3:01 PM
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Here in CA...yes.

In Wyoming, probably not.

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Author: CABob Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12866 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 3:02 PM
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I responded "No", but, I don't think income is the best charistic to define middle class or other socio-economic group. Net worth might be a better charactistic, but, even that may not be completely definitive.

Bob

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12868 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 3:10 PM
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If you contrast middle class with upper class, then I think you can make quite a bit of money, certainly more than $250k, and still not be considered upper class. Private jet, anyone?

OTOH, how much you have stashed away enters into it. If you have $15M but you're still working for the fun of it, then you're not middle class anymore.

--fleg

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Author: CindyC72 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12869 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 3:19 PM
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I think a lot of whether pulling down 250K/year makes you middle class or not depends on where you live. In a very expensive area, that could very well be middle class, other places, you'd definitely be considered upper class.

Cindy

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Author: DorothyM Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12870 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 5:44 PM
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Here in CA...yes.

Also here in NY.


In Wyoming, probably not.

Agree.

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12871 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 6:05 PM
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Gingko100 writes,

Here in CA...yes.

In Wyoming, probably not.


I don't know. An income of $250k doesn't go very far in Jackson Hole, WY

intercst

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Author: PKnudsen Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12872 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 6:44 PM
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Whaaaa??? If you have 16 children, maybe.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12873 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 7:16 PM
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In Calif? NOt with two working in a family.....

In MD? Probably not...not with two working in the family. Same for NYC area. Heck, even garbage collectors make over $100K there. Oh, that is 'santitation workers'.

In TX, outside of downtown Dallas and Houston, you can live very well on $250K a year. Of course, with two working people, you are probably paying $60 to $80K in taxes..maybe more...like $135K in taxes. Likely get clobbered by AMT.

I guess that leaves out Hillary and Obama.....with their multi million dollar incomes. I'm sure they 'really feel the pain'.....and poor Ms Obama with $350K plus salary....and more $$$ for the boards she now sits on.

Let's see...Bill Clinton just got 1 million bucks for one speech. Oh, I'm sure they 'really feel the pain' of the struggling workers in PA and OH.....




t.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12874 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 9:21 PM
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<<I guess that leaves out Hillary and Obama.....with their multi million dollar incomes. I'm sure they 'really feel the pain'.....and poor Ms Obama with $350K plus salary....and more $$$ for the boards she now sits on.

Let's see...Bill Clinton just got 1 million bucks for one speech. Oh, I'm sure they 'really feel the pain' of the struggling workers in PA and OH.....
>>



Isn't this more evidence of a racist America? Here are two families of smart politicians, one white and one black. The white family is making 10X the deprived black family ---- must be due to institutional racsism.


The Clinton's seem to be drawing the line on how far affirmative action should go ---- not as far as the Presidency, at least as long as Hillary is in the race.


And how unfair that that nice Mr. Obama is being attacked as an elitist by that rude woman. Perhaps he should get some lessons on whining from Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson.


And how about that Hillary? She's redefining what it means when someone says "She fights like a GIRL!" No wonder Obama kept some distance in the debate last night. He probably should wear a Kevlar jockstrap just in case.



Seattle Pioneer

Always finds politics and politicians entertaining

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12875 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 9:53 PM
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Yes, professionals of all kinds are usually considered (upper) middle class, but still middle class.

I have heard those who think it takes $200K of income to live middle class in New York City. And be able to keep up with the Joneses.

Yes, high net worth individuals who live off a family trust funds can be considered wealthy. And so can corporate CEOs and Senior executives.

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12876 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 10:42 PM
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Say tele, How come you talked about only the democrats and didn't mention Mrs. McCain? She is worth millions.

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12877 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 10:52 PM
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Say tele, How come you talked about only the democrats and didn't mention Mrs. McCain? She is worth millions.

The Dems are the ones waging class warfare and the politics of envy and talking about the unfairness of it all and striving to punish the successful, thus it is fitting to point out that they themselves are very, very rich. McCain isn't interested in doing any of that, thus his financial condition is not relevant to this particular discussion.

--fleg

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12878 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 10:54 PM
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Yes, professionals of all kinds are usually considered (upper) middle class, but still middle class.
Oh my.

I started as an architect. As a starting out architect I was making $20K year in New York City. OK, that was the late 80's. By today's standards that might be $30K or $35K. In New York City that's lower class. I was indeed a professional. But upper middle class? Oh no. I shared a 2B rent-controlled apartment with 3 people, knew all the cool free stuff to do in the city, and could only dream of ever taking a taxi. I cooked and ate at home most of the time. I had a $25 member so I could soak in the A/C in the summer. At any rate, I loved being there, loved my life, and had a great time. But upper middle class.....um.....no.

My brother is a social worker. He'd probably make more at Starbucks.

Professionals are hardly all upper middle class. Doctors and Lawyers, yes. But I don't think the generalization applies.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12879 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 10:55 PM
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I had a $25 member so I could soak in the A/C in the summer
Ohhhhhhhh...the curse of lazy editing...

I meant to say, "I had a $25/year membership to MoMA, so I could soak in the A/C in the summer."

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12880 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 11:02 PM
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"The Dems are the ones waging class warfare and the politics of envy and talking about the unfairness of it all and striving to punish the successful, thus it is fitting to point out that they themselves are very, very rich. McCain isn't interested in doing any of that, thus his financial condition is not relevant to this particular discussion."

McCain is for tax cuts (with spending cuts) and not bailing out the irresponsible.

Hillary and Obama want to bail out everyone, confiscate mortgage lenders money.

Obama says 'no new taxes' up to 200K, then turns around and says SS withholding will go from 96K to infinite...for someone making 200K, that is a 20K increase between the employee and the employer. And you can bet salaries won't rise since employers need to recoup that extra 10K in taxes they now have to pay.

And 100 million Americans own stock. Many of them earning well under 200K. Now, all of a sudden, cap gains rates nearly double.

Clinton cut tax rates from 28% to 20%. Revenues increased.

Bush cut tax rates from 20% to 15%. Tax revenues increased.

Obama could care less that if he raises the cap gains rate, tax revenues will plummet.

He is out to 'punish the rich'. And the middle class, so he can fund all his pet programs for 'the poor people'


t.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12881 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 11:08 PM
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"Professionals are hardly all upper middle class. Doctors and Lawyers, yes. But I don't think the generalization applies. "

Heck I retired in 1999. I was making $90K as a telecom engineer. Some were making more. If I were still working, I'd be making over 100K a year. If I had an equally trained wife, she'd be making 100K.

That would be 200K of family income. Middle class.

My nephew graduated college. Started at 55K in computer science. Now making well over 100K. His wife to be making theh same. THey live in Wash DC. 200K is 'middle class' at that pay level in Wash DC. Houses in the suburbs go for 800K.

Yes, many are making a lot less. Civil servant type engineers might be making 70-80K. BUt they get fat benefit packages, work 25 or 30 years and out with fat pensions.

You can be 'middle class' in IA with 40-50K income. Depends where you live, but for Obama to try to assert that a certain income cuts off middle class from 'lower income' is blind and stupid. It depends where you live, rural or city or town , west coast, east coast , resort or boom town, boonies or Cleveland rust bucket.

t.




t.

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12882 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 11:09 PM
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In last night's Democrat debate both candidates said that they would not raise taxes on the middle class, which they defined as those making up to $250K.

Don't know about Hillary but I believe Obama is speaking with forked tongue here. He is still pushing a hike in the cap gains tax. Yet millions of taxpayers making less than $250k pay cap gains taxes, which he wants to rise from their current 5%/15% (depending on AGI) to as high as 28%. That's a big hike.

Oddly enough, he admitted to Charles Gibson last night that when cap gains taxes go down, tax collections go up due to increased economic activity. But that doesn't matter to him. He's more interested in "fairness" (= punishment).

Plus he wants to lift the income cap for SS taxes so that someone making $200k will pay approximately an additional $6200 in SS taxes (double that if he's self-employed), without getting any additional retirement benefits.

On the home front, we got one of those homes-for-sale catalogs in the mail today. Even though we live in Portland, it includes homes in the areas of WA that are considered part of the Portland metro area. When I explained to DW that the Dems might raise taxes enough to impact our lifestyle and that trading the OR state income tax for the WA sales tax would make up for the hit, she seemed open for the very first time to the possibility of heading a little further north. That's very encouraging--it means that between starting our SS benefits at age 62 in a couple of years and moving across the river, we may be able to Democrat-proof our lives.

--fleg

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12883 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/17/2008 11:27 PM
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fleg: "Plus he wants to lift the income cap for SS taxes so that someone making $200k will pay approximately an additional $6200 in SS taxes (double that if he's self-employed), without getting any additional retirement benefits."

Don't forget employers would also have to fork over another $6200 per employee! Kiss those raises goodbye..... remember, Obama is out to 'tax those fat cat corporations' that 'can afford' to pay those 'high sslaries'.


t.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12884 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/18/2008 3:44 PM
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If they take the income cap off of SS taxes, will they also take the cap off of max SS benefit?

Or is this just a tax for these people to pay more of with no benefit to them?

Remember SSI is an insurance plan.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12885 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/18/2008 3:50 PM
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"Professionals are hardly all upper middle class. Doctors and Lawyers, yes. But I don't think the generalization applies."

Any time you start talking about classes, drawing the lines gets complicated. Middle class is the group between the poor and the wealthy. The lower limit of middle class is usually taken as the Federal poverty line, which varies with family size, but is about $18K income.

The line between upper middle class and wealthy is a lot fuzzier, and as people say would be more likely drawn by net worth than by income. But $250K income is a reasonable number. Or perhaps $10MM in assets.

Yes, professionals cover a wide range of incomes, but nearly all are still middle class. It is possible for them to be poor or wealthy, but a typical professional is middle class.

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12886 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/18/2008 8:35 PM
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Based on Paul's income numbers, what percentage of the American population is "Middle Class"? Anybody know? I'm in a hotel with limited inet access and can't do much research at the moment.
Ted

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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12887 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/18/2008 9:35 PM
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Say tele, How come you talked about only the democrats and didn't mention Mrs. McCain? She is worth millions.

BTW: she's not Mrs. McCain.

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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12888 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/18/2008 9:36 PM
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Not the first Mrs. McCain.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12889 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/18/2008 9:42 PM
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<<If they take the income cap off of SS taxes, will they also take the cap off of max SS benefit?
>>



<<Remember SSI is an insurance plan.
>>



Heh, heh! Hoo hoo! Wow, that's a real knee slapper!



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12890 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/18/2008 10:47 PM
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The current wife, is the one to which I was referring. Why can't she be called Mrs. McCain? It's not like they just got married or anything. Does she use some other last name.
Ted - confused

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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12891 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/19/2008 1:58 PM
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The current wife, is the one to which I was referring. Why can't she be called Mrs. McCain? It's not like they just got married or anything. Does she use some other last name.
Ted - confused


I simply meant to say that the present Mrs. McCain is not the first Mrs. McCain.

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Author: Follydolly Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12892 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/19/2008 5:01 PM
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A yearly salary of $250K would go a long way in NE Ohio.

According to government data, the average salary for jobs in Akron, Ohio is $32,100, and the median income of households in Akron was $32,937.

Household Income for Akron
Less than $10,000 14%
$10,000 to $14,999 9%
$15,000 to $24,999 15%
$25,000 to $34,999 15%
$35,000 to $49,999 18%
$50,000 to $74,999 15%
$75,000 to $99,999 7%
$100,000 to $149,999 6%
$150,000 to $199,999 1%
$200,000 or more 1%

Household Income for Hudson OH (where I live)
Less than $10,000 2%
$10,000 to $14,999 1%
$15,000 to $24,999 3%
$25,000 to $34,999 4%
$35,000 to $49,999 9%
$50,000 to $74,999 16%
$75,000 to $99,999 15%
$100,000 to $149,999 23%
$150,000 to $199,999 11%
$200,000 or more 15%



~Birgit

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Author: Follydolly Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12893 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/19/2008 5:06 PM
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"Professionals are hardly all upper middle class. Doctors and Lawyers, yes. But I don't think the generalization applies."


Many Doctors don't make the money they used to. High insurance payments cut into their income. I read somewhere that the average doctor is earning about $150K now. There are so many lawyers, some of them must be in the lower end of earnings.

~Birgit

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12894 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/19/2008 5:48 PM
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Follydolly posts,

Household Income for Hudson OH (where I live)
Less than $10,000 2%
$10,000 to $14,999 1%
$15,000 to $24,999 3%
$25,000 to $34,999 4%
$35,000 to $49,999 9%
$50,000 to $74,999 16%
$75,000 to $99,999 15%
$100,000 to $149,999 23%
$150,000 to $199,999 11%
$200,000 or more 15%


With a Median income of about $100k, Hudson must be the Beverly Hills of Ohio. <LOL>

intercst

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Author: ibnana Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12895 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/19/2008 6:37 PM
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With a Median income of about $100k, Hudson must be the Beverly Hills of Ohio.

It's a bedroom community between Akron and Cleveland and it always has been considered "Upper-Middle". There used to be jokes or snide comments about the snooty Hudson denizens often published in the Akron Beacon Journal.

Carol....grew up in Hudson and lived there for 40+ yrs

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12896 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/19/2008 7:20 PM
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Here is a reference from the Wikipedia "Middle Class" article. A govt study for Congress concluded that middle class is approximately $40K to $250K annual household income.

http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RS22627_20070320.pdf

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12897 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/19/2008 7:30 PM
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Exellent article from Wikipedia on American Middle Class--

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

The subject seems controversial. The lower middle class income bracket populations are getting smaller, but higher ones are growing. So people are still moving up the income scale. But poverty numbers vary. Increased to late 90s and then decreased.

So then where are the off the books workers? The gray market? The illegals who work for cash?

Looks like most immigrants who get admitted legally arrive with jobs that put them in the middle class.

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12898 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 1:03 PM
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US household income by quintile (each quintile represents 20% of US households; i.e., quintiles are of equal size) from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

1st = up to $18,500 (poor and working poor)
2nd = $18,500 to $34,738 (lower middle class)
3rd = $34,738 to $55,331 (middle class)
4th = $55,331 to $88,030 (upper middle class)
5th = > $88,030 (upper class)

top 5% = > $157,176

Top 1% household income from the Tax Foundation = > $364,657
http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

I regard the middle class as the 3 middle income quintiles (omitting the lowest and highest 20% in household income). I cannot agree with describing household income above the 5th percentile as middle class, no matter how the income is earned or how high the expenses. Obviously the upper class has important subdivisions--below the top 5% can be justifiably in the middle class (although I don't regard it so). I regard the top 1% as the truly wealthy by income--I suppose they might live paycheck-to-paycheck, or rather interest/dividend/cap gains-checks-to-interest/dividend/cap gains-checks.

Median net worth by quintile:
http://oregonstate.edu/instruction/anth484/wpsipp.html

ANECDOTE A 60-year-old acquaintance has been receiving $10k/month from her parents for at least 10 years, but was told this is coming to an end this year. She and her husband own 2 homes that are mortgaged to the hilt (possibly underwater on one of them and own little of the other) and 2 expensive cars. They are about to put in a pool at the home they're living in <eyes roll>. Interestingly, they used to be very hard working and have owned & sold several successful businesses, although they apparently spent it all. Their plan for picking up the pieces? Convince Daddy to continue his economic outpatient care <that's why the word chutzpah was invented->. Failing that? Inheritance <ay caramba!>.

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12899 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 1:15 PM
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Their plan for picking up the pieces? Convince Daddy to continue his economic outpatient care <that's why the word chutzpah was invented->. Failing that? Inheritance <ay caramba!>.

Even if Daddy keeps up the support until death and leaves them his entire estate they'll be broke 6 months after he dies. The Right argues that some people just can't handle money. They're correct in this case.

Phil

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12900 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 1:30 PM
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"I regard the top 1% as the truly wealthy by income--I suppose they might live paycheck-to-paycheck, or rather interest/dividend/cap gains-checks-to-interest/dividend/cap gains-checks."

YOu really think Bill Gates gets only interest income and dividend distribution?

Or the Clintons who make 10 million or more a year giving speeches at a million a pop are claiming 'cap gains' income on that?

Or book royalties for Obama and wife?

You gotta be joking.

Most business folks, entrepreneurs, are paying top tax brackets for exercising options, for 'profits made' in their business.

I'd venture much of the 'wealth' is in real estate - personal real estate. Live in CA or NY or MD, and your house is 'worth' 800K or a million, even if you have lived in it for 40 years and paid $10K for it, and now get to pay real estate taxes on a million dollar house at $15K or 20K a year. Yeah, you could sell it, but to buy an equivalent house in the same area would cost the same.

It seems like this website was nothing but 'wealth envy' and how can we redistribute it! (confiscate wealth).


t.

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Author: TurkeyBreath Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12901 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 2:14 PM
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...I read somewhere that the average doctor is earning about $150K now...

Ditto.

I read someplace that the average plumber earns more money than the average doctor from his working years. The explanation was that plumbers start earning in his trade before doctors starts medical school.

TB

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12902 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 2:31 PM
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There are so many lawyers, some of them must be in the lower end of earnings.


yes. large disparity among lawyers .. ranging from small-town solos to public defenders to lobbyists to Wall-St partners ( George Clooney may have made less making "Michael Clayton" than a real-life MichaelClayton would make )


-
..... probably about the same (inflation adjusted) ..when i graduated LawSchoo, the average was low 30s. I started at a small, successful firm for 50-something, the partners there were making 1-2mill ( and people wonder why i was pissed when i didn't make partner )

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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12903 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 3:28 PM
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There are so many lawyers, some of them must be in the lower end of earnings.

I could look it up, but I'm on the run now. I would bet that at least 50% of all attorneys make less than $100K per year. The largest employers of attorneys are state, local, and national governmental agencies, where most of the highest paid attorneys make less than $100K. Heck, the average state court judge makes less than $100K per year. Yes, many attorneys make high six-figure salaries, and some make many millions per year, but those are the minority when you look at the nation as a whole.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12904 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 3:36 PM
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You might not be a lawyer, but you can google to see what salaries are.

You can't earn less than $125K in TX, plus you get stipends for this and that...

http://www.courts.state.tx.us/pubs/AR2006/jud_branch/7-judge-salaries-fy07.pdf

t

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12905 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 3:38 PM
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There are more than a million laywers.. Most of them aren't poor

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Attorney_%2f_Lawyer/Salary

After 10 years, most of them doing very well, thank you

t.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12906 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 4:31 PM
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I would agree professionals are almost always middle class. I understood (or maybe misunderstood) the post to say they were all UPPER middle class, which is not the case.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12907 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 4:40 PM
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most professional couples are upper middle class....two incomes...<g>

t

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12908 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 4:52 PM
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1st = up to $18,500 (poor and working poor)
2nd = $18,500 to $34,738 (lower middle class)
3rd = $34,738 to $55,331 (middle class)
4th = $55,331 to $88,030 (upper middle class)
5th = > $88,030 (upper class)



Oy.
There is no way I consider myself upper class.
That's just silly.

We measure "class" in this country by other things than money.
College professors are, for example, in a higher "class" than truck drivers -- yet truck drivers make a lot more money than college professors.

If we are just talking about percentage of money defining your "place" - that's one thing. But if we are talking about true social class, that's something else entirely.

The truly upper class wouldn't even see me or my friends - even if we are in the 5th level of the above chart. I'm just not buying that division.

AM...definitely somewhere in the middle class...

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12909 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 5:17 PM
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5th = > $88,030 (upper class)

I just can't see an upper class person not being able to afford a tiny house in many major metropolitan areas.

--fleg

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12910 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 5:19 PM
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But if we are talking about true social class, that's something else entirely.

It seems to me this discussion is about economic status, not who's invited to the cotillion. If we're talking upper social class, how old your money is, IOW, the last time anyone in your line worked for a living, is infinitely more important than how much of it you have. The slur "the type who buy their silver" exists in these circles. Try as he may, Donald Trump is nothing more than nouveau riche trash.

I'm reminded of a wonderful story about Bea Lillie, the English music hall star who happened to be married to Lord Peele. She was appearing in Chicago and decided to treat the girls in the show to a morning at a fancy beauty salon. Miss Armour, high Chicago society as the daughter of the meatpacking magnate, appeared with her entourage and complained loudly about "show people" being in the establishment. As Bea and the girls were leaving she said, loudly, "You may inform the butcher's daughter that the Lady Peele has finished." Now that's upper class!

Phil

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12911 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 5:23 PM
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It seems to me this discussion is about economic status, not who's invited to the cotillion. If we're talking upper social class, how old your money is, IOW, the last time anyone in your line worked for a living, is infinitely more important than how much of it you have. The slur "the type who buy their silver" exists in these circles. Try as he may, Donald Trump is nothing more than nouveau riche trash.


Well, in THAT, I'm afraid that I have to agree with the upper classes.

However, I still don't think a salary in the 80's makes one upper class by ANY definition.

AM

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12912 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 5:38 PM
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I still don't think a salary in the 80's makes one upper class by ANY definition.

Well, I have to disagree on that one. If the term "middle class" is going to mean anything in a given discussion it has to have a rational definition. In ordinary usage just about everyone describes herself as middle class, so that's pretty much a useless definition for serious discussion.

I too was surprised by the breakdown by quintiles, but I don't see an intellectually honest way around it without lowering the poverty level, which looks pretty low to me to start with. If you want to arbitrarily say that under $5,000 is lower class, you can certainly expand middle class much higher, but then you're moving a lot of poor people into the middle class when they probably don't see themselves there.

One thing I don't remember from the quintiles discussion was exactly what was included in its definition of income. I seem to recall a mention of the "working poor." What I don't know is whether all sources of funds, including welfare, etc. were included in the calculations.

But really, since "middle class" is a term for which people are never going to agree on a definition it's pretty much meaningless in a Nationwide context. Besides, the standard of living that can be attained on a certain amount of income varies widely depending on where one lives.

Phil

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12913 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 5:40 PM
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I too was surprised by the breakdown by quintiles, but I don't see an intellectually honest way around it without lowering the poverty level, which looks pretty low to me to start with. If you want to arbitrarily say that under $5,000 is lower class, you can certainly expand middle class much higher, but then you're moving a lot of poor people into the middle class when they probably don't see themselves there.

Are you saying that it has to have a symmetrical normal distribution? Why can't there be more lower-class people than upper-class ones or vice versa?

--fleg

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12914 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 6:11 PM
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Are you saying that it has to have a symmetrical normal distribution?

Yes, for it to make any sense to me. But like I said, it's pretty much a meaningless general term.

Phil

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12915 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 6:23 PM
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AM whines: "
We measure "class" in this country by other things than money."

When it comes to discussing taxes, the tax man could care less whether you are a blue blood whose relatives came over on the Mayflower or not. If you live in Boston and want to be in 'high society' you better have a pedigree equivalent to that. Who cares about 'high society'.

The discussions are all about INCOME LEVELS.

IN Europe, the whole system there 'reeks' of status. You got lords and ladies and barons and bishops and a gazillion other status positions which you inherit. Along with titles sometimes comes property and in the past, the ability to tax and confiscate wealth.

The USA was all about equality. No lords. No ladies. Of course, the blue bloods of New England and Virginia never gave it up and to this day, folks go around parading 'their heritage'. 99.999% of the US population could care less, other than read about the scandals.



AM mis states: "College professors are, for example, in a higher "class" than truck drivers -- yet truck drivers make a lot more money than college professors."

Most truck drivers barely make $30K to $50K, and many now a lot less due to fuel prices. I'd venture that most tenured professors make a lot more than that, for a lot less work, plus make $$$$ on the side from writing books, summer work, and consulting.

from Wiki:

"The overall median salary for all professors was $73,000, placing a slight majority of professors among the top 15% of earners age 25 or older.[10] According to the U.S. Department of Labor,

Salaries for full-time faculty averaged $73,207. By rank, the average was $98,974 for professors, $69,911 for associate professors, $58,662 for assistant professors, $42,609 for instructors, and $48,289 for lecturers. Faculty in 4-year institutions earn higher salaries, on average, than do those in 2-year schools. In 2006-07, faculty salaries averaged $84,249 in private independent institutions, $71,362 in public institutions, and $66,118 in religiously affiliated private colleges and universities.[11]
"



AM : "If we are just talking about percentage of money defining your "place" - that's one thing. But if we are talking about true social class, that's something else entirely."

Not really. In the USA, other than 'high society' in a few big cities like NYC, Bawhston, Baltimore, Atlanta and a dozen others, no one gives a darn.

And all the discussions are about 'income' - since all the discussions are about taxes and what tax rates folks should pay - and 'fairness'.





AM " The truly upper class wouldn't even see me or my friends - even if we are in the 5th level of the above chart. I'm just not buying that division."

There are a lot of lower class folks that likely wouldn't even see you or your friends. You don't share their interests.

I'm sure a lot of 'blue bloods' in those cities who are down on their luck or over extended wouldn't see you either.

Yep, Teddy Kennedy isn't likely to meet with you. Then again, if you are a Republican, he's not likely to meet with you, and if you are "lord whatever' of some British journal wanting to interview him on 'his accident' decades ago to 'get to the bottom of it', that meeting likely wouldn't happen either.

And if you came to Dallas, I might not rush out to meet you either. So?



"AM...definitely somewhere in the middle class..."

That is good. If you make what defines the 'upper middle class', get set to be screwed by Obama and Hillary as they raise your taxes 20% or more to pay for all that 'free' stuff. If you have cap gains, nearly a 100% increase in the taxes you pay on dividends and mutual fund distributions.

t. (solidly in the 'middle class'. About to see his taxes nearly double.

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12916 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/20/2008 8:52 PM
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I still don't think a salary in the 80's makes one upper class by ANY definition.

Well, I have to disagree on that one. If the term "middle class" is going to mean anything in a given discussion it has to have a rational definition. In ordinary usage just about everyone describes herself as middle class, so that's pretty much a useless definition for serious discussion.

I too was surprised by the breakdown by quintiles, but I don't see an intellectually honest way around it without lowering the poverty level, which looks pretty low to me to start with. If you want to arbitrarily say that under $5,000 is lower class, you can certainly expand middle class much higher, but then you're moving a lot of poor people into the middle class when they probably don't see themselves there.




I don't see why you just can't increase the range in the opposite direction -- pulling more people down from the "upper" into the middle.


But really, since "middle class" is a term for which people are never going to agree on a definition it's pretty much meaningless in a Nationwide context. Besides, the standard of living that can be attained on a certain amount of income varies widely depending on where one lives.

Phil



Yes, that much is definitely true.

AM

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12917 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 9:40 AM
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..."middle class" is a term for which people are never going to agree on a definition...

I think we're getting hung up on the various meanings of the term "class." I guess I stress the term "middle" more--too much of a stretch for me to think about something that's in the top 10% as being in the middle. Yes, I do recognize an enormous disparity on innumerable parameters between $100k in annual income and $1 MM. (Not to mention net worth--e.g., I'm in entirely different "classes" based on income vs net worth.)

I wonder if Bill Gates is considered truly upper class by old-line blue bloods...but perhaps his children will be ;-) Maybe I spend too much time watching Jane Austen-type British movies ("he's rich to be sure, but who is he--who are his parents, who are his connections?").

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12918 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 10:18 AM
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" wonder if Bill Gates is considered truly upper class by old-line blue bloods...but perhaps his children will be ;-) "

Do you think he even spends six seconds a year thinking about it?

When he goes into a hotel anywhere in the world, I'm sure the folks there take extra special attention of his needs. WHen his staff sets up speaking engagements, he doesn't need to be introduced as 'Sir Gates' with a 30 second list of titles to follow.

When it comes to the top 50 wealthy individuals in the world, he is one of the many who have just become gazillionaires by themselves at the top of the list. You really think those folks really care?

We don't live in England or Europe, where they are still steeped in royalty (although most people are totally bored of anything but the show and tell residuals of the old monarchies - they are the soap operas of Europe).

How many Americans can even recite the Kings and Queens of the various European countries that still have them? Sweden? Netherlands? Norway? England? Who else?

Yes, they still have 'castles' around - and about the only way most stay out of bankruptcy is by taking in tourists and tours and similar. to be able to pay the taxes on the 'estates' they inherited...or they sell it off bit by bit.

In the USA, Elvis was King..... our movie stars are what people think about and look to for soap opera type following...who is doing what to whom with whom on what and where?

England doesn't have the movie star mania....so they worry about their 'royalty' like Diana and others......

There isn't any royalty here, and the socialites in Boston and NYC and elsewhere are fading away fast. They used to control the money and power. Now, most are 'has beens'. 70 years ago it was Vanderbuilts and Fords and Astors and Carnegies. Now, they have for the most part self destructed. A lot of the money went into foundations.

The US isn't great because of the socialites. It is great because of the industrialists and entrepreneurs, inventors, and those who create business and products.

SOcialites and 'social status retainers' are relics of the times 1000 years ago.

t.

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12919 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 11:42 AM
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You seem to have missed my winkie-face on the Bill Gates comment, tele. Not to mention that I'm a proponent of looking at income quintiles rather than "class." My interest in "socialites" is purely historical, and I expect I've met about the same number of 18th- as 20th/21st-century socialites <dare I add a winkie? perhaps not!>

The US isn't great because of the socialites. It is great because of the industrialists and entrepreneurs, inventors, and those who create business and products.
Wow-doncha think our country is great for more than industrial and business entrepreneurship? (we could use a little less financial industry creativity, it seems to me-) IMO what makes us great (indeed, one of the greatest) is our constitution. I rank business innovation & expertise a bit lower, but perhaps equal to our public support of education, health care, and basic research in contributing to our greatness. I also think our laws and regulations help make us great--not all of them of course, but things like building codes, food & product safety regulations, and more or less fair taxation. Not to mention that our laws & regulations also make it relatively easy to start a new business, and our public support for education helps make businesses more likely to succeed.

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12920 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 12:46 PM
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I've met about the same number of 18th- as 20th/21st-century socialites

I have met one, and it's one of my favorite memories of my tax collector days. The setting: Chicago, early 1970's. The socialite: an elderly woman whose surname is on one prominent Chicago institution and countless plaques in the metropolitan area. This family is "old money" by New York standards. Think along the line of Brooke Astor.

My assignment was to resolve a $39,000 penalty and interest bill on a quarterly gift tax return. To avoid going into tax law, take my word for it that we were talking about beaucoups bucks being given away, and not to charity. As was SOP when four notices had left the bill unresolved, I called unannounced at her Gold Coast apartment.

The doorman wasn't about to let me go up unannounced, so he rang. He kept trying to tell the person on the other end of the line my business, but finally gave up with, "She says come right up." I was greeted in the elevator lobby by an old Swedish woman who had, evidently, been a longtime family retainer. I didn't even have a chance to show her my identification before she was ushering me through the apartment to a rear room, where the taxpayer awaited.

"There it is," she said, pointing to an Electrolux vacuum cleaner lying in the middle of the floor. I managed to piece together that they had been expecting a repair man, not a tax collector. When I identified myself and we got things straightened out, she was the one who was embarrassed and apologetic. Since she knew nothing of her financial affairs she got on the phone and arranged a next-day appointment for us with "Henry," a partner in a Big Eight firm.

At the appointed hour I was slogging through knee-deep carpeting in Henry's office in my cheap suit and in obvious need of a haircut. It quickly became clear that Henry was responsible for the delinquency, but he kept doubletalking, and I couldn't just come out and say, "He's hosing you." She may have been old, but she was far from addled. Shortly after I caught on she did and, interrupting Henry, said to me "How much do I owe?" I gave her the figure, and she said, "You'll have it this afternoon. Now, if there's nothing else, I'd like a few words alone with Henry." I hauled patootie.

She called later to tell me the check was on its way by messenger and to thank me. She had suspected that Henry wasn't doing everything he was supposed to, but it was my contact that had given her confirmation.

Now that's noblesse oblige.

Phil

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Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 1:35 PM
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"Oy.
There is no way I consider myself upper class.
That's just silly."

Well said, AngelMay. Of course the mere words "upper class" imply a lifestyle. Immediately we visualize the well dressed individual relaxing on the veranda. And then the upper class activities: sailing, golf, polo, etc.

There are those who live the lifestyle. There are those who make the income. They are not the same in many cases. There are plenty of wannabes out there who do not make the income. "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." There are also the laid back upper class who feel no need to flaunt their wealth.

I wonder how many of those $88K plus people are sitting in front of their computers in shorts or blue jeans. (I am.)

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Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 1:42 PM
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"I just can't see an upper class person not being able to afford a tiny house in many major metropolitan areas."

Yes, fleg. And they do tell us this is one of the effects of the recent housing bubble. Many people can now no longer afford to buy the house they live in if they had to make mortgage payments based on their current income.

One result of that is that reassessment and high property taxes based on appreciated value prices traditional owners out of the market. So its easy to end up mortgaging your property to pay the property taxes.

The bubble forces dislocations.

I was driving through Ladue in St. Louis County yesterday. That is an old money area from the '50s. I am amazed to see who many houses are for sale there. Are they in mortgage trouble? Meanwhile, the old mansions are being torn down and replaced with modern McMansions. Others are getting old enough to require major renovation.

Looks like the bubble has affected the "upper classes" too.

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Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 1:44 PM
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<<At the appointed hour I was slogging through knee-deep carpeting in Henry's office in my cheap suit and in obvious need of a haircut. It quickly became clear that Henry was responsible for the delinquency, but he kept doubletalking, and I couldn't just come out and say, "He's hosing you." She may have been old, but she was far from addled. Shortly after I caught on she did and, interrupting Henry, said to me "How much do I owe?" I gave her the figure, and she said, "You'll have it this afternoon. Now, if there's nothing else, I'd like a few words alone with Henry." I hauled patootie.

She called later to tell me the check was on its way by messenger and to thank me. She had suspected that Henry wasn't doing everything he was supposed to, but it was my contact that had given her confirmation.

Now that's noblesse oblige.

Phil
>>


That's an example of what I'd call upper class behavior.


As a furnace repairman, I occasionally was invited into the homes of some of the welathiest people in the area --- usually via the front door, since servants entrances are rare around here.

Usually such people are very gracious, in my experience.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12925 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 2:01 PM
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I too was surprised by the breakdown by quintiles, but I don't see an intellectually honest way around it without lowering the poverty level, which looks pretty low to me to start with. If you want to arbitrarily say that under $5,000 is lower class, you can certainly expand middle class much higher, but then you're moving a lot of poor people into the middle class when they probably don't see themselves there.

Are you saying that it has to have a symmetrical normal distribution? Why can't there be more lower-class people than upper-class ones or vice versa?

PMFJI, but I gotta speak up. First off, income is ususlly considered to have a log normal distribution, not normal. Log normal has a looooon tail on the right.

Second, the income statistics reported are AGI - taxable income after a lot of deductions.

cliff

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12926 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 2:04 PM
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alstroemeria asks,

I wonder if Bill Gates is considered truly upper class by old-line blue bloods...but perhaps his children will be ;-) Maybe I spend too much time watching Jane Austen-type British movies ("he's rich to be sure, but who is he--who are his parents, who are his connections?").

I think Gates was born to a blue-blood family.

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

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His family was wealthy; his father was a prominent lawyer, his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way, and her father, J. W. Maxwell, was a national bank president. Gates has one older sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had dropped his own "III" suffix.[6] Early on in his life, Gates parents had a law career in mind for him.[7]

At thirteen he enrolled in the Lakeside School, an exclusive preparatory school.[8] ....

</snip>


intercst

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12927 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 2:11 PM
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<<I think Gates was born to a blue-blood family.

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

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His family was wealthy; his father was a prominent lawyer, his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way, and her father, J. W. Maxwell, was a national bank president. Gates has one older sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had dropped his own "III" suffix.[6] Early on in his life, Gates parents had a law career in mind for him.[7]
>>



One of my furnace repair customers claimed to have been present when Bill Gates broke the news to his Mom that he was planning to drop out of Harvard in favor of starting his own software company. His Mom was on the board of the University of Washington at the time.

Said Mom in this story, "Bill, I know you like computers, but when you graduate from Harvard you can go to work for IBM!"



My cousin baby sat for Bill Gates when he was an infant. My cousin's brother remarked when she told this story, "Yeah --- she dropped Bill on his head and the rest is history!"



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12928 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 3:11 PM
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"I wonder how many of those $88K plus people are sitting in front of their computers in shorts or blue jeans. (I am.) "

Well, after taxes, I might not be at $88K, but that is by choice. Taking less than my 4%.....and now, after nearly 10 years retirement, still not taking any inflation adjuster....and likely only have to plan on another 20 years.

Plus SS starts hitting my bank account in Aug.....for some extra spending cash.

I'm sitting here in shorts and tee-shirt and bare foot. About 80 deg here, windows wide open. Was in the pool yesterday...about 70 in the pool but should warm up nicely this week.

Got the TV on in the other room and the ham radio on in this room.....

Got an errand to run, so will have to put on the comfy shoes and socks and run them before rush hour traffic.

I never got into 'high consumption' lifestye. Golf? Yuk. I didn't take one job because the group went out to play golf every Wednesday.....part of the 'management team'. I figured any job where they had that much spare time in the telecom industry was going to get 'right sized'....a few years later, the ax fell...there...I was elsewhere in much more enjoyable job...and made more money....

Oh, but I do love my Prius......I don't drive it enough to justify it, but like filling it up once a month....

I got burned out travelling the first few years after retirement. I was on the road 33% of the time. Europe...Asia....Caribbean....Latin America..... then made it to finish my visit to every county in the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska...lots of fun.... now kick back more and enjoy myself.....travel 25,000 miles a year...all of it by car now....airlines too much hassle.....

I do have a maid come in every two weeks and clean..... so I guess I'm headed toward beingi 'upper'? Horrors? And the grass gets cut by lawn service, but that has been going on for 10+ years. Not worth the hassle....and I'm gone a lot.... I cut my backyard just to remember what it is like.

t.

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12929 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 3:51 PM
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One result of that is that reassessment and high property taxes based on appreciated value prices traditional owners out of the market. So its easy to end up mortgaging your property to pay the property taxes.

I began serving my California sentence after Proposition 13 was adopted, but soon enough after that it was still the occasional topic of conversation. A co-worker whose thoughts I valued said he had voted for it, despite its flaws, because he saw too many old people on fixed incomes being taxed out of their homes, and the Leg refused to address the problem.

Phil

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12930 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/21/2008 3:55 PM
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My cousin baby sat for Bill Gates when he was an infant. My cousin's brother remarked when she told this story, "Yeah --- she dropped Bill on his head and the rest is history!"

LOL! My late first cousin once removed Elizabeth baby sat Hugh Hefner. I wonder what she did.

Phil

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Author: malaoshi Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12931 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/22/2008 12:59 AM
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Hugh Hefner LOL... :-)

Just to mention how times have changed...

One of our babysitters when we were kids, had been a close friend of Prince Charles and Princess Anne's nanny, and visited the nursery as a friend. But people who were at the Palace in those days either promised not to talk to the Press and others, or did not, out of courtesy. So we would have liked stories, and we did see drawings they'd done for Jackie, but NO GOSSIP or nursery doings were ever mentioned.

Nowadays, if you so much as see the inside of the palace, you write a huge, trashy news item about it and attach some scandal and make pots of money.

I like Jackie's way better. Classy.

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Author: mendomann Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12942 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/23/2008 3:42 PM
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He is out to 'punish the rich'. And the middle class, so he can fund all his pet programs for 'the poor people'


t.


"the poor people"? Is that a code word for the blacks? It sounds racist to me.

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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12943 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/23/2008 5:09 PM
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"the poor people"? Is that a code word for the blacks? It sounds racist to me.

Everything sounds racist to a liberal who support Obamawama.

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Author: SirTas Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12944 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/23/2008 8:08 PM
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"the poor people"? Is that a code word for the blacks? It sounds racist to me.

How do you get racist out of this? Is the idea that blacks are inferior and unable to rise above the status of "poor people"?

I think I have a pretty good grasp of the concept of racism (as here http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/racist ), but I'm not sure how it connects.

Is the idea that the poster is racist? that Obama is racist?

--SirTas

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12946 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 4/23/2008 8:46 PM
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""the poor people"? Is that a code word for the blacks? It sounds racist to me."

If you mean 'poor in opportunities' because some of the great great great grandparents might have been slaves, yes.

If you mean 'poor in opportunities' because they grew up with depressed, angry people who knew people who knew people who had great grandparents who might have been slaves in the USA or elsewhere at one time, yes

If you mean 'poor' because they skipped school, dropped out, joined a gang, had a rap sheet 20 pages long by 21, and can't hold a job because they are crooked and lazy, yes

Poor means anyone who makes less than someone else. Regardless...of whether they are welfare leeches, minimum wage workers, or make less than the boss does while they make $50K a year, yes....

Poor is anyone other than those fat 'rich cat hedge fund managers' who pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries, who by definition are 'poor' since they make less than someone else.

You got it!

If you have popped out six babies by six fathers who don't pay child support because someone really doesn't have a clue to who the father is.....they are 'poor'....and stupid...but are 'entitled'.....


ALl those who feel they are 'entitled' are 'poor' by definition. Rich folks don't have to be 'entitled' to something.....other than paying high taxes....


t.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12994 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 5/7/2008 2:53 PM
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Everything sounds racist to a liberal who support Obamawama.
Claptrap.

I wholeheartedly support Obama. He gets my money and my vote. He's a great candidate. I have no truck with the sort of blathering nonsense about racism either in your post or the post you reference.

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12995 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 5/7/2008 3:18 PM
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I wholeheartedly support Obama.

I hope you have enough saved to weather the downturn in your business that's likely to occur due to his economic policies.

--fleg

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12996 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 5/7/2008 4:46 PM
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I wholeheartedly support Obama. He gets my money and my vote. He's a great candidate. I have no truck with the sort of blathering nonsense about racism either in your post or the post you reference.

Admittedly we all apply our own filters, but I'm less sanguine than you. FTR, I voted for Obama in our 2/12 primary, but that was largely because I was so thoroughgoing peeved at Billary's campaign tactics of the moment I thought they needed a slap upside the head, and partially because my favorite, Joe Biden, had dropped out. With the clarity added by the rear-view mirror, I wish I'd gone ahead and wasted my vote on Biden.

From the outset I didn't think either of the remaining Democratic candidates had the requisite experience to be President. The campaign has not changed that impression, although I give kudos to Obama for his response to the silly pander of a gas tax holiday.

Call me racist if you like, but I find Obama's long-term association with Rev. Wright troubling. Obama's chief appeal to me, perhaps largely because of his lack of experience, has been as a "new" politician more interested in together than apart. We got that sales pitch from Dubya, and look what it's gotten us, even after his bonus boost from being at the helm for 9/11.

Toss in, unfairly or not, some intemperate comments from Obama's oppressed Ivy League wife, and I'm inclined to see an Angry Black Man. DGMW, black men, as well as all women, have more than enough cause to be angry. It's just that even without drinking the lunatic fringe's reparations Kool-Aid this impression leaves me with just another skilled politician, to be judged by the standards I apply to all same.

The good news is that I don't really have to pay attention until after the Dem's have settled on a nominee, and there's no way I'm going to count Hillary out until the last dog has marked the last bush. Come September I'll resume listening. Who knows, I could wind up voting for Bob Barr, the chief sponsor of the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act.

Phil

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12998 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 5/8/2008 10:19 AM
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Obama is a ultra left wing liberal....who is out to punish the 'successful' and reward the 'poor' and 'deserving'. He is of the 'I"m a victim' Jesse Jackson school.

Ms Obama is even worse..never having felt 'proud to be an AMerican' until she realized she might be living in the White House. Until then, she and hubby were 'struggling' to live on $500K or $800k/year income to 'afford ballet lessons' for their kids and pay off student loan debt to Harvard, Princetom and Yale where they got multiple degrees enabling them to earn high six figure salaries.

His choice of 'associates', his support of folks like Farahkan, and his attendence at a rascist, anti-American spewing church leave a lot of questions about his judgment and suitability.

His taxation policy (tax the rich - which means middle class) with 10-50% tax increases while much of his 'victim class' pays not a penny in income taxes is nothing but commie redistribution of assets.

As shown around the world, it leads to stagnant societies that don't work. Cuba, Russia, North Korea, and what much of Europe is headed for as business flees from mainland EUrope, or is no longer competitive with the arising Far East tigers.

t.

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 13000 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 5/8/2008 11:09 AM
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Telegraph: Obama is a ultra left wing liberal....who is out to punish the 'successful' and reward the 'poor' and 'deserving'. He is of the 'I"m a victim' Jesse Jackson school.


You still drinkin' Rush's kool-aid? You would know a real liberal if you met one walking down the street.

cliff

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 13001 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 5/8/2008 11:15 AM
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You would know a real liberal if you met one walking down the street.

cliff



I don't think he would.
I can't believe that trash post received 3 whole recs.
No wonder this nation is in the toilet.

AM

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 13002 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 5/8/2008 11:39 AM
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<<Telegraph: Obama is a ultra left wing liberal....who is out to punish the 'successful' and reward the 'poor' and 'deserving'. He is of the 'I"m a victim' Jesse Jackson school.


You still drinkin' Rush's kool-aid? You would know a real liberal if you met one walking down the street.

cliff
>>


I would characterize Obama as a left wing Democrat.

I would distinguish him from Jessie Jackson, who foments black racism as a way of garnering and maintaining Black Power. He's of the George Wallace school of politics.

Obama is a more sophisticated politician with a broader appeal.

It will be interesting to see if Obama can really build bridges to a broader coalition than that of liberal Democrats. He's done a lot of talking about that, but he's done little or nothing to forge broader coalitions, which is what McCain is famous for having done and why McCain is distrusted by the conservative Republican base.


On the face of it, McCain ought to be a shoe in. The reason he's not is Bush's legacy of troubles. Whether Obama's handicaps are enough to overcome that handicap of McCain's is what the fall election will be about.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 13003 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 5/8/2008 11:43 AM
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Obama is a more sophisticated politician with a broader appeal.



He's also just as white as he is black.

AM

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 13005 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 5/8/2008 12:25 PM
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You would know a real liberal if you met one walking down the street.

He's the one with his hand in my wallet, trying to take something out to give to someone else because it makes him feel good.

--fleg

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 13013 of 19221
Subject: Re: Poll: The Middle Class Date: 5/8/2008 2:14 PM
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Obama is the one now proposing

a) 39.4% tax rate on dividends (because only the 'rich' get dividends'

b) tax rates up to 39.4% on the 'rich' (translation - anyone making over $100K a year singly or jointly)

c) Raising SS taxes to extend up to infinity.....

Then he proposes

270 billion in new spending programs

and a

mortgage income tax credit....!....now, this would almost make it worthwhile getting the biggest mortgage you could afford, even if owning your own home outright now...since you would save taxes..a credit is worth a whole lot more than a 'deduction'......

Talk about perverse incentives. Housing prices will skyrocket as people realize they can borrow 50% more, and Obama will pay for it.....
and the 'poor' will be locked out of the housing market since they won't be able to get credit and prices will go up 50%.....

dumb! dumb lib thinking.....nothing but give aways.....

Obviously he needs to implement at least 270 billion in new taxes.

After CA raises taxes 20% to cover their shortfall, there is going to be enough screaming from there....then Obama will add another 15-20% increase to federal taxes to pay for all his give away programs and tell you how great his 'free' healthcare and 'free' mortgage subsidies and 'free' education grants' and 'free' this and that are so good!....

Yes, his tax proposal shows he is a ultra left wing commie type lib.....willing to confiscate the assets and income of anyone who has any and redistribute them to the irresponsible and those that don't have any assets.

Just read his tax plan on his web site.


t.

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