Stef (firecat) wrote,

It's so hard to think about class in the United States

[personal profile] snippy posted about an interactive feature on that attempts to determine whether you, a person residing in the US, can correctly identify whether you count as "middle-class."

Here is the gist of the comment I left over at [personal profile] snippy's post:

Income is not a great gauge of class by itself. Net worth matters a LOT.

Have you read The Millionaire Next Door? One of the main themes is that some professionals with high incomes believe that appearing wealthy is an important part of their professional reputation. So they have big houses, expensive cars and clothes, and are deep in debt. Some rich people think it's important to save money, so they have lots of assets but they don't live in fancy houses, drive beat-up cars, etc. (The book is rather simplistic in its judgements but I agree that those patterns exist.)

Those rich folks and professionals might have similar gross incomes. But are they the same class?

They are defining "middle class" where I live as a household income of $68,420—$107,815.

They're counting it as the middle fifth of income, which means they're assuming five classes. One wonders what the results would be like if they took the middle third of income (I suspect the results would be more boring, although I'm sure some people would define themselves as middle class when they aren't in the middle third of income).

This entry was originally posted at, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.
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