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Thread: What do you consider middle class?

  1. #51
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    I recall a time during one of the 1980s recessions that we were flat broke. We had a new baby, were both laid off from our jobs, lost our house and could not pay our bills. It was a horrible feeling but the experience made us fully appreciate finally getting our act together and feeling financially secure. The fear of reliving it though never quite leaves.

  2. #52
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    I've only ever been middle class really, not poor. Did I live like I was poor when unemployed? Somewhat. But that's just what ANY sensible person would do if they don't have work unless they are truly independently wealthy. And sure it sucked.

    My partner grew up poorer than me. It's not good, the ONLY time I stress about money almost is when unemployed or unstably employed (and once in a rare while with a big bill), so most of my life I'm not super stressed about it, for them it's just constant background anxiety, forever. It's not good. Money anxiety like that has few redeeming features.

    It took me 11 months to find a job in the Trump economy. My partner may get a job offer after 11 months of searching (granted they were searching while employed) in the Biden economy. I think people who debate which economy is better or worse are full of nonsense. Of course I know the Great Recession post 2008 economy was GENUINELY bad (though I personally was ok), and of course I think Trump would be vastly worse as President. I just mean the economy.
    Trees don't grow on money

  3. #53
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    My parents, were the first family members to make it to the middle class out of my fathers family (mom was an only child). I think her parents, were somewhere between lower and middle, at various times.
    The way my life went, I was lower class. Had a conversation with a friend of mine, who talked about mowing yards, odd jobs, etc. as a kid to earn money. He was shocked to learn that I was told if I wanted to mow, first I had to not try to get any jobs taken away from the kid up the street (don't compete), and then I had to get my own mower (couldn't start with dad's and save up to get one). So no tools to do the job, so no job.
    Want to go to the movies? Want to buy something? Don't eat lunch at school and save up your lunch money to go, and if your lucky, parents will give you a ride. (was a big deal to see Return of the Jedi) When we were little, we were given an allowance based on chores, that we never received because parents would borrow it (before we made "middle class"). I am still basically two meals a day mentality, because food or stuff.
    When I started taking care of my grandmothers house, that mower was off limits for making money as we had to make it last. On occasion she would pay me, I would leave that money in a cup in the medicine cabinet and use it to buy tools or supplies I would need to fix things around the house. A good part of the reason that as the second choice for a chance at the house, I was offered it at half price (effectively 1960 price when grandparents bought it in 57), to buy my mom out.
    Lived in it without a/c for the entire time I was there. Bought a unit, designed to cool the house to replace the dead one in the window, and my help that went to put it in with me, stooped over and ended up in emergency surgery, with an intestinal blockage that had to have a section cut out. Never tried again, as never had help again.
    By my neighbor's 1950 definition, I was middle class, but I was never more then an hourly employee, who at most may make $5 a day in tips, as everyone thought I was either one of the owners, or related to them. I was ecstatic one day when I actually received a $60 tip. (my highest for decades)
    Almost everytime I thought I had another, better paying job, it fell through before it even started. (one required me to move, another the day I was supposed to start, the contract was canceled, a third a friend wanted me to work for his restaurant and had a stroke that night, and it goes on). At one point I did work two jobs, 7 days a week, for 362 days a year, for three years straight. That was where I started to get ahead, until the bosses started having medical issues and I ended up stepping up and running the place. Then I was making good money, at the expense of 80+ hour weeks and really got ahead until the one boss passed and the other put me on his brothers salary (effectively a pay cut).

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Lunch lady tells kid that they can't get lunch because mom's check bounced.
    Need milk, solicit kids to help dig through couch cushions for change.
    Have only $11 to throw a birthday party for 10 year old and then feel the poignancy and shame to the core when the kid is effusively grateful for the gift--a bag of tube socks from Walmart.
    Kid asks you drop them off a block from school because they are embarrassed to be seen in old beat-up car.
    Neighbor drops off hand-me-downs, unsolicited, and clueless Mom dresses kid in one of his classmate's hand-me-downs, incurring ridicule from previous owner.
    Family comes home from a visit to grandma and, as usual, flicks on the light switch just to see if the electric company had shut them off again.
    When electric company comes to red-tag the meter, eldest street-smart kid engages the worker in conversation specifically to see how he put it on, so kid could take it off.
    Local library levies a judgement for overdue fines.
    Daughter lands in emergency room after a doctor visit and phone has been cut off so neighbor has to go to the house to inform DH.
    After having a miscarriage, mom unable to pay OB/GYN bill; OB calls to personally harass deadbeat patient.

    That's the short list. No more surprising to me than anyone else--me--the college-educated, nice suburban soccer-mom. But that's the way it was, until thankfully it wasn't.
    Not too much to say about this except that reality can really suck sometimes!
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  5. #55
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Lunch lady tells kid that they can't get lunch because mom's check bounced.
    Need milk, solicit kids to help dig through couch cushions for change.
    Have only $11 to throw a birthday party for 10 year old and then feel the poignancy and shame to the core when the kid is effusively grateful for the gift--a bag of tube socks from Walmart.
    Kid asks you drop them off a block from school because they are embarrassed to be seen in old beat-up car.
    Neighbor drops off hand-me-downs, unsolicited, and clueless Mom dresses kid in one of his classmate's hand-me-downs, incurring ridicule from previous owner.
    Family comes home from a visit to grandma and, as usual, flicks on the light switch just to see if the electric company had shut them off again.
    When electric company comes to red-tag the meter, eldest street-smart kid engages the worker in conversation specifically to see how he put it on, so kid could take it off.
    Local library levies a judgement for overdue fines.
    Daughter lands in emergency room after a doctor visit and phone has been cut off so neighbor has to go to the house to inform DH.
    After having a miscarriage, mom unable to pay OB/GYN bill; OB calls to personally harass deadbeat patient.

    That's the short list. No more surprising to me than anyone else--me--the college-educated, nice suburban soccer-mom. But that's the way it was, until thankfully it wasn't.
    I love that story about your street smart kid working the electric Meter game. Poor people have all kinds of skills I don’t have, I know that.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 3-9-24 at 10:08pm.
    I am not a serious person.

  6. #56
    Senior Member gimmethesimplelife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I love that bed by your street smart kid working the electric Meter game. Poor people have all kinds of skills I donít have, I know that.
    One of these skills that I retain with great pride and great common sense - the connections and the knowledge necessary to navigate much less expensive Mexican health care - though I do understand that this is not going to apply for all Americans with economic challenges, meaning that not all live three hours away from multiple lower costs as I do. There is such decency in offshoring all you can out of the US to save money. Look at it this way - corporations will offshore your job if possible in a millisecond - why not pay America back in kind and save money while you are at it? Rob

  7. #57
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gimmethesimplelife View Post
    One of these skills that I retain with great pride and great common sense - the connections and the knowledge necessary to navigate much less expensive Mexican health care - though I do understand that this is not going to apply for all Americans with economic challenges, meaning that not all live three hours away from multiple lower costs as I do. There is such decency in offshoring all you can out of the US to save money. Look at it this way - corporations will offshore your job if possible in a millisecond - why not pay America back in kind and save money while you are at it? Rob
    Yes, finding alternative and cheaper options for anything including healthcare is a good idea. Identifying good healthcare providers in Mexico is a good skill.

    I don’t understand “such decency “in the action tho. Do you think corporate America cares that you don’t use corporate America healthcare services? Do you think anyone cares besides yourself?

    You are participating in the most basic act of capitalism—shopping for best price of product. That’s what capitalistic corporate America thrives on, price conscious shoppers.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 3-10-24 at 10:27pm.
    I am not a serious person.

  8. #58
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    okay---I was in the deep-discount groc store last nite, just before closing time, and there was a mother-daughter duo in there, and mama was a hottie. She was a very classy lady, with looong brown hair and no tats and not dressed provocatively. Not trashy, like most a them, now. Or wore out, from too many cigarettes. See? Wish I'da had my cell along, to take a photo to show you kids. Yup. Hope that ansers your quession. Thankk mee.

  9. #59
    Senior Member gimmethesimplelife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Yes, finding alternative and cheaper options for anything including healthcare is a good idea. Identifying good healthcare providers in Mexico is a good skill.

    I don’t understand “such decency “in the action tho. Do you think corporate America cares that you don’t use corporate America healthcare services? Do you think anyone cares besides yourself?

    You are participating in the most basic act of capitalism—shopping for best price of product. That’s what capitalistic corporate America thrives on, price conscious shoppers.
    YES! On some level you get it, IL. Exactly! Offshoring is extremely capitalistic of me - I have no problem admitting this. It's also payback for the excessive costs inherent in this citizenship, terror of US healthcare (costs, not quality), and for short term profit trumping (word play honestly not intended) human life/human rights/human dignity. When I offshore, in a microscopically small kind of way (a point I do understand) I am voting against the United States of America and the much of it that is toxic and that works against the majority of US citizens.

    Jiminy Christmas, I accomplish all that by merely crossing an International border? And I save money, too? I'd say sign me up LOL but I signed up years ago. Rob

  10. #60
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gimmethesimplelife View Post
    YES! On some level you get it, IL. Exactly! Offshoring is extremely capitalistic of me - I have no problem admitting this. It's also payback for the excessive costs inherent in this citizenship, terror of US healthcare (costs, not quality), and for short term profit trumping (word play honestly not intended) human life/human rights/human dignity. When I offshore, in a microscopically small kind of way (a point I do understand) I am voting against the United States of America and the much of it that is toxic and that works against the majority of US citizens.

    Jiminy Christmas, I accomplish all that by merely crossing an International border? And I save money, too? I'd say sign me up LOL but I signed up years ago. Rob

    so, when I visit 16th century castles in the UK, and in Romania, I am “voting against the United States of America” rather than visiting the faux castles of Disney World and etc. I am voting against The “much of it that is toxic “in this country’s inability to preserve its historic buildings.

    Alrighty, then. Maybe.

    I just think of it as uncle Walt not getting my travel dollars because I think his product is stupid and boring.
    I am not a serious person.

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