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> Where does this idea that one is rich because they have a household income over $105K?

Sorry, I thought I explained that. I used the middle 50% income bracket (25 to 75 percentile) for the US in 2017.

> In some states, you would definitely be considered rich if you had an annual income of $105K.

Yes, My example was simplified. There are edge cases on both sides.

> In others, you would still be in the middle class until your income exceeded $150K.

MD, MA and AK.

Maryland has some of the richest suburbs in the world, and with exception of Baltimore (30th largest city in US) no major cities, I don't know that there are too many impoverished neighborhoods, so it is not supersizing that the median income is so high.

Alaska has a really high median household income because the state has a program where all individuals receive guaranteed income. So, yea, their median is going to be much higher than normal.

And the citizens of Massachusetts truly are better than everyone else. If you want to find out, just ask them, they will tell you.

I would wonder what the quality of life difference is for someone living in MD, or MA making 150k vs someone in one of the lower states? NM, MS and WV seem to be some of the lowest barriers to leaving middle class, but earning 150k in those states, although you would be 66% above the high end of middle class in those states, does not buy you good hospitals or world class theater. You can likely afford to send your kids to a local private school, but I don't see any schools from those states in the list of 100 best private schools.

Personally I would rather make 150k in MA, than WV. I know that says a lot about me, but it is what it is.

In the end, I am not all that upset at people who make 150 or even 160k per year and consider themselves middle class. Many of them are 3 months of unemployment away from not being able to pay their bills. Some are probably only one paycheck away from that.

My main point, that was certainly lost in all this, is that with the loss of collective bargaining and defined benefits (pensions) the median income is much lower than it was 40 years ago.

You can define middle class as two different ways.

1, median income plus and minus some value
2, ability to live a certain lifestyle

The first is well defined and changes based on measurable indicators. The second is subjective over time, distance and by comparing yourself to others. As long as you know others that are richer than you, you will likely think of yourself as middle class using subjective measures. That is how we end up with 97% of the country thinking of themselves as middle class.
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