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Rich (Now with the Upper Middle Class) Rich (Now with the Upper Middle Class)

07-20-2014 , 04:00 PM
We're moving away from traditional career paths. Yes, you can still be an accountant or a lawyer or a doctor or whatever, and there are definitely career paths that are defined and linear and with room for growth and advancement. But increasingly, people are switching fields, switching careers, freelancing, working as individual contractors, etc. The "corporate ladder" in its traditional form is dying, pensions are dying (dead), raises just for being there are dying as companies discover that they can just give a 2% cost of living raise with inflation and save money rather than promoting and giving raises for no reason.
07-20-2014 , 04:00 PM
Once again, we're talking about professional jobs, right? This talk of manufacturing jobs and staying at one company forever is strange to me. I don't know anyone who's worked at one company for their entire career.
07-20-2014 , 04:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by schu_22
Granted I live in Lincoln, NE, but 100K individual salary puts you quite decently ahead of basically everyone.
I mean this in the nicest way, but.. you live in Lincoln Nebraska, dude. Looking at a cost of living comparison, if you make 70k in Lincoln, you need to make 94k to live in Philadelphia (where I live).

I think if a lot of you put up your ages and where you live, a lot of this argument would come into light very quickly. My best friend who lived in NYC came down for lunch once and it was 15 dollars a person and he started laughing, I asked him what he was laughing at and he said for the same kind of lunch in NYC it would have cost 25 dollars a person.

A lot of this just has to do with the areas we live in.
07-20-2014 , 04:07 PM
Yes, and you choose to live in those areas. It's highly unlikely your job doesn't exist anywhere else. That's huge part of that COLA.
07-20-2014 , 04:08 PM
@ wil ...yes, which I have said multiple times and basically devoted that entire post to saying that simple fact.
07-20-2014 , 04:18 PM
Wheat, schu,

Fair enough. We just have different ideas of how we define different classes of wealth. My definitions are static, they are concepts in my own mind of what kinds of lifestyles certain terms refer to, and they are independent of the current job market or the overall economy.

Either way, I don't see the sense in arguing over it any further.

Hopefully someday soon you will both find yourselves trying to convince people on the internet that your current income level doesn't make you UMC/rich.
07-20-2014 , 04:28 PM
I understand.

Basically we're just back to the whole "keeping up with the joneses" thing where everyone sees themselves as middle class, and "well upper-middle class looks like THIS" where "THIS" is defined as "someone with more money than me".

I'm trying to use household and individual income distributions to try to make that a little more objective, that's all. Hey, if you still feel like you're living a middle-of-the road lifestyle and you make $100K, just remember that 94% or whatever of people make do with less.
07-20-2014 , 04:44 PM
Personally I think people who are rich act rich. They have really expensive designer suits, Rolex's, Porche's, fly first class, etc.

Maybe that's just me. I don't drink the drink specials, but I don't drive a 745 iL either.
07-20-2014 , 04:49 PM
I think we all agree that "rich" and "upper-middle class" are quite different
07-20-2014 , 04:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikestoys
Yes, and you choose to live in those areas. It's highly unlikely your job doesn't exist anywhere else. That's huge part of that COLA.
I choose to live here because I was born here, my family is here, my friends are here, etc. I don't know if I'd call that much of a choice.
07-20-2014 , 05:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wil318466
I choose to live here because I was born here, my family is here, my friends are here, etc. I don't know if I'd call that much of a choice.
Those are all reasons why you've chose to continue living in philly. No one is forcing you to stay there, and I'm guessing you'd have plenty of job prospects in other cities.
07-20-2014 , 05:24 PM
Ikes channeling Mr Burns itt:

Quote:
Family, religion, friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.
07-20-2014 , 05:27 PM
Could be that.... Could be that things aren't magically more expensive in certain areas. There's reasons for things being more expensive in major cities. People with money want to live there because it's a desirable place to live. When you live in a city like that and you have a job that can be done in other cities, you're choosing to pay for those qualities.

There's nothing wrong with choosing to live in higher cost areas, just don't come crying to me like its other peoples fault that you live there.
07-20-2014 , 07:11 PM
There's a huge gulf between the merely rich and the super-rich or whatever you want to call them. Like, if you've got an income in the top 5-10% range, you'll still have some of the same concerns middle class people have about saving for retirement, getting the kids to college, etc. Being rich doesn't necessarily mean you never have to worry about money --although of course there's that 0.01% that almost literally couldn't figure out how to spend all their money if they wanted to.

But there's nothing contradictory about a rich person in that 5-10% range who owns a nice house in Philly, has a college fund for the kids, a nice car, a good bit of retirement savings, electronic gizmos, yadda yadda, and still doesn't have money left over to buy a 10k watch or a shiny new Lexus.

And we have to be careful about our assumptions about what middle class spending or upper class spending really looks like. We're immersed in a consumer-driven culture that constantly bombards us with unrealistic images of what ordinary people like us are supposed to be buying. Like, there's that commercial that runs every year where some dude buys his wife a new Audi with a big bow on top as though that's a remotely normal Christmas gift. It's easy to feel like you've got less than what you've really got if you're trying to keep up with imaginary Joneses. Which naturally leads to situations like people buying homes they can't possibly afford because that's what they imagine folks like them do.

Last edited by Trolly McTrollson; 07-20-2014 at 07:16 PM.
07-20-2014 , 07:15 PM
Right. The guy flying first class for the family vacation to Paris is definitely rich, but the guy who takes the private jet on the same trip is in another universe in terms of lifestyle. Both are "rich" of course.
07-20-2014 , 07:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by schu_22
I understand.

Basically we're just back to the whole "keeping up with the joneses" thing where everyone sees themselves as middle class, and "well upper-middle class looks like THIS" where "THIS" is defined as "someone with more money than me".

I'm trying to use household and individual income distributions to try to make that a little more objective, that's all. Hey, if you still feel like you're living a middle-of-the road lifestyle and you make $100K, just remember that 94% or whatever of people make do with less.
I think people who post in internet forums in general and 2p2 specifically are probably not a great representation of the general population. Like not only did we all get into poker but we also subscribed to a specific publisher of poker books. Something tells me that we don't have a truly fair representation of poor people here, hence why a lot of people think that a suburban lifestyle making somewhere between $50-$150K+ is like totally normal/average and can't fathom the staggering number of people living in poverty in the rest of the country and how those types of salaries could actually look like quite a lot.

In case it's not clear, I thought your post was good. I also don't think this discussion is going anywhere productive since the last time I popped in.
07-20-2014 , 07:25 PM
That's the difference between being 1% and being the 0.001%. The problem is that 0.01% own EVERYTHING.

The scale is screwed up.
07-20-2014 , 07:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiggymike
Something tells me that we don't have a truly fair representation of poor people here, hence why a lot of people think that a suburban lifestyle making somewhere between $50-$150K+ is like totally normal/average and can't fathom the staggering number of people living in poverty in the rest of the country and how those types of salaries could actually look like quite a lot.
I actually think it's the exact opposite. These forums lean incredibly towards the lower end of the income spectrum. If you look at the poker blogs, the amount of money they are playing with, the investments in econ forum, the 401k threads, etc etc, they are totally on the lower end.

There are indeed some people here who have some money, but the majority don't. They are younger people (20s, early 30s) with no significant assets or retirement accounts or investments.

Go look at some of the poker blogs. The amount of money they are grinding around with (5k-20k) and trying to "live" out of is almost comical. How could someone life out of a 10k liferoll, running around the country trying to grind it out playing 2/5? It doesn't make any sense, but people encourage it.
07-20-2014 , 07:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiggymike
hence why a lot of people think that a suburban lifestyle making somewhere between $50-$150K+ is like totally normal/average and can't fathom the staggering number of people living in poverty in the rest of the country and how those types of salaries could actually look like quite a lot.
This is a kind of a strawman. Living in the suburbs making 50-150k is totally normal and I understand that a ton of people live below that lifestyle.
07-20-2014 , 08:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wil318466
I actually think it's the exact opposite. These forums lean incredibly towards the lower end of the income spectrum. If you look at the poker blogs, the amount of money they are playing with, the investments in econ forum, the 401k threads, etc etc, they are totally on the lower end.

There are indeed some people here who have some money, but the majority don't. They are younger people (20s, early 30s) with no significant assets or retirement accounts or investments.

Go look at some of the poker blogs. The amount of money they are grinding around with (5k-20k) and trying to "live" out of is almost comical. How could someone life out of a 10k liferoll, running around the country trying to grind it out playing 2/5? It doesn't make any sense, but people encourage it.
Quite the opposite IMO. Maybe in the poker blogs and forums, but that's because of the current state of professional poker. Nearly everyone in Sporting Events, which is kind of my "home forum" or the golf forum or even the Video Games forum is doing quite well, because in order to be a successful poker player, you need a certain level of drive and confidence and intelligence. Most people have moved on from poker to other things, possibly even using poker earning to fund their college education or pay off debt or whatever. Rich is probably way too generous, but many people on the forums who aren't in poker are doing quite well for themselves. Hell, go to the advice thread in BFI. A lot of people with incomes above 50, 100, 150K are asking for investment advice.
07-20-2014 , 09:19 PM
It may be perception then. I agree the state of poker is pretty bad, but I really don't think those good days will ever be back again.

I've always said for so many guys who seem so smart, why don't they just put some effort into a good degree and work just a little bit and they could have a pretty good life. I dunno. Maybe it's just me.
07-20-2014 , 09:27 PM
Because they are ****ing degenerates?
07-20-2014 , 10:00 PM
There's no end to the "lack of perspective" game. For a starving Sudanese refugee, having your children go to school may seem unfathomably rich. For an ultra-exclusive billionaire's club, not being able to afford your own private island might mean you're not really rich. These perspectives would seem laughable to most of us, but somehow, declaring that the top 1% or 5% or whatever of the insular group called "Americans" is rich, now that's a non-arbitrary and totally objective definition? What's funny is that people here tend not to be of the (sincere) USA#1 America-centric slant.

If we are going to play the percentile game, let's do it for worldwide income. $25,000 USD a year puts you in the top 2% of income earners, so let's define anyone making that or above as "rich".

Of course, that sounds weird when applied in a US setting, as it would make most people around you "rich". But similarly so, $250k as rich might seem weird in a high-income neighbourhood. If I said we should apply income at the neighbourhood level, you would probably call that "insular", but using a somewhat less insular category is The Way It Must Be Measured?
07-20-2014 , 10:02 PM
Good post, Nich.
07-20-2014 , 10:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wil318466
It may be perception then. I agree the state of poker is pretty bad, but I really don't think those good days will ever be back again.

I've always said for so many guys who seem so smart, why don't they just put some effort into a good degree and work just a little bit and they could have a pretty good life. I dunno. Maybe it's just me.
Quote:
Wow, it's like it's the 70s all over again...

Who knew social mobility was so high nowadays and job security is rampant.

People just need to work a little harder...

<I can see why you don't understand some of these arguments>
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