7 Things The Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore

Broken Vehicle - Public Domain

In its discussion of historical middle class societies, The Economist reports, “Their members are neither rich nor poor but somewhere in-between…’Middle-class’ describes an income category but also a set of attitudes…An essential characteristic is the possession of a reasonable amount of discretionary income. Middle-class people do not live from hand to mouth, job to job, season to season, as the poor do.”

Some argue that the most sensible income amount to attach to the middle class would be the median household income, of around $54,000. Perhaps, anyone who earns between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile is a member of the middle class.

Diana Farrell, once Deputy Director of America’s National Economic Council, told The Economist she thinks a middle class income begins at the point where a person (or family) has one-third of their income left over for discretionary purposes after they’ve provided themselves with food and shelter. In other words, someone who earns $3,000 per month would have $1,000 left after they’ve paid their mortgage or rent, utilities, and grocery bills.

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1 thought on “7 Things The Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore”

  1. Part of the problem is if you earn $18,000 a year you qualify for all kinds of government aid.
    If you make $21,000 a year a lot of that aid goes away. So why work past the minimum you have to have to qualify?
    This is not a level playing field at all. You would have to make a lot more money to make it worth your while to go to a much larger salary.
    Also you would have to pay a lot more taxes if you did so.
    The low wage earner has all sorts of things paid for by the government.
    If on paper you had $20,000 in savings and got sick, who pays the bills first? You do. Then if you go through all your savings, the government is likely to pick up the tab. I speak of old people more than young because that is how Medicaid in this country works.
    First we steal everything that you have ever earned. Then we pay for things.
    Under the system you are allowed to keep a car that is worth approximately $2,000. Anything over that, you have to sell your car to pay the bills.
    While the average housewife struggles to make ends meet. Struggles to take care of those babies, our Congress sits on an enormous paycheck and wealth of benefits. The certainly took good care of themselves. But the person out there in the REAL WORLD is not taken care of at all.
    Take cars for instance. The average person no longer can afford a new car every 3-5 years. I am driving a 1997 Honda Accord that I inherited from my Dad when he went back to social medicine in England. Why? Every hospital visit here cost him about $6 grand out of pocket. In England, due to him working there in his younger days, it was mostly free. Oh, they paid for it. The hidden and not so hidden tax system of England put retail goods at 4 times what they are here.
    The only reason that Honda is still running is access to parts and repairs.
    Our current group of car engineers thinks putting the starter motor where no one outside a shop could ever get to it is the way to go. Steal from the public that buys your cars. But that is exactly what the average person is driving. Cars that are anywhere from 7-15 years old that happen to be repairable by the barnyard mechanic. That is quickly going away as they design cars with super computer junk on them that only a $30 an hour tech can afford. The company he or she works for charges $90 or more an hour for the work done on a car or truck.
    The other reason to own an ancient wreck of a car is it falls under that cradle to grave welfare system. It is worth less than $2,000 on the open market. I would never sell it for that because I can keep it running.
    If a car payment averages $250 a month, your mortgage or rent is at 500-800 a month, your utilities average about $250 a month for electricity and gas, and your other bills amount to about $200 a month, you are an average American. In a lot of areas it is much much higher than that. Figure at least $100 a week for groceries of any kind. Those are ballpark numbers.
    Your shelter should cost you no more than 1/4 of your average monthly income. Your car should not cost you more than 1/3 of your monthly income. Utilities can scalp you blind with high costs in the winter. If you have $50 left a week to pay everything else that comes up you are doing well. Most people do not. So something has to go. Usually it is the cable company that is the first thing to go. Then everything else has to be culled down.
    That is why most people are head over heels in debt. Medical expenses can do that to you in a heart beat. They are not part of your daily budget in most cases.
    Christians that tithe 10% of their income often have to dip into that tithe to live. People that do not put back 10% or more of their income in life are doomed to go broke.
    A realistic number is to tithe on whatever you net not gross. That means after you pay all your bills and feed your family, then tithe on what is left. I have seen some remarkable luck from individuals that do that. Only because it is the only way to make ends meet. Those that depend on faith to make the tithe are tempting the Lord their God.
    The problem with all of this is that the common average American Family is not making it financially on the low wages they are forced into earning because the Congress sold us all down the river years ago with international trade agreements. They did have no problem taking care of their own benefits and wages.

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