Middle Class is a State of Mind

020609graf1

Good timing, this was new Center for an Urban Future study details exactly what I was talking about yesterday. How New Yorkers that would have middle class salaries in most of the country are practically poverty stricken. $50,000 in Houston is the same as $123,000 in NYC. Queens is the fifth most expensive urban area in the country and by most people’s standards (not mine) it’s an Archie Bunker shit hole.

Just this morning one of those virtual coworkers who moved to a far-flung state mentioned meeting with a mortgage broker today. I’m sure that she’s saved up enough to buy now that she’s been out of the city for a year and a half (I’m still wondering when my company will figure out that they’re supposed to adjust incomes based on a city’s cost of living. I’m 100% certain that if by some miracle I could convince James to move to Singapore, his salary would decrease accordingly).

I’m actually surprised these numbers are so high across the board or else I’m super warped and only know poor people. These aren’t household incomes but individual incomes and nothing is lower than $50,000. The median household income in America is almost exactly $50,000 (that’s not per person unless you’re living alone, obviously—most Americans do not live alone, Manhattan takes first place with 50.6% single-individual households. Also, I was disturbed to just calculate that I only bring in 19% of my household’s income. No wonder I am not marriage material). I think perceptions of what constitute middle class vary wildly. This group surveyed has high standards.

Last year there was a Pew study that found that essentially everyone believes they are middle class, 40% of those with household incomes under $20,000 as well as one-third making $150,000+. The label is meaningless.

Ok, now back to finding the statistics and surveys I am being paid to look for (just not feeling e-commerce in France at the moment) or else I won’t even be low class; I’ll be unemployed.

16 thoughts on “Middle Class is a State of Mind

Leave a Reply