Tuesday, June 10, 2008


From today's local newspaper:

Who's struggling the most?

The survey found that upwardly mobile, middle class families were amont those who had the most debt stress. Others were women, couples with small children, low-income working families, Democrats, and those who graduated from high school but haven't taken college courses.
Those least likely to be stressed from debt include men, retirees, empty nesters, college graduates and Republicans.



**Ya Think** said...

the whole thing is a bite. I wonder where this is going to stop. They take away the jobs and give them to foreign countries and then raise the prices of fuel, food, and other energy sources through the roof... And there you have it... Seniors, disableds, will definately suffer, but those in many markets have lost thier jobs to India and the manufacturing to China.

I fear we have seen nothing yet...

Gardenia said...

I've been pondering the meaning behind the meaning on this one....LOL, if I change my party affiliation will I become more affluent?

tweetey30 said...

Then I need to go to college I think but we still dont have a sitter to do even that.. I dont know whats going on in my life. Its a mess right now and I need to step back and look real hard.

Candy Minx said...

Well, this report sounds like almost everyone is suffering.

The world is in deep denial...I think people actually think the price of gas is going to get cheaper. It's not...not long term anyways. People are already finding new ways to get for transportation...kids are riding horses to school, cops ar strappingbikes onto their patrol cars to drive to their beats and then ride instead of using gas.

The sooner the middle class figures this out...to stop driving their cars for every errand, to shop local and organic, to buy second hand clothes...the sooner they will be more comfortable and paying off their debts.

I actually don't feel sorry for middle class.

Now working class...they already are struggling and no one cares...but at least they are more ready to adapt to conservation and change habits.

punxxi said...

What this country needs is a good revolution, I think the first one has worn out...

Biddie said...

LOL. WHY do they waste time with surveys and studies like this? I mean, are you KIDDING?
I don't anyone that is breathing that is stress free.

tshsmom said...

LOL, maybe they have something there. My parents are retirees, and Republican. So far, the only thing they're worried about is taxes increasing if the "evil Democrats" win the election....whatever. ;)

I do think that those of us who are used to tightening our belts and doing without, will have a better chance of surviving the current economy.

We have friends in their 30s who drive 30 miles to work and are paying $500,000 mortgages. They are also making payments on 2 new SUVs, a houseful of NEW furniture, boats, snowmobiles, and 4-wheelers. I don't know where they'll find the money to heat their huge homes this winter. I have a feeling that they will have a huge wakeup call in the near future. :(

**Ya Think** said...

Well how about those of us who tightened up long ago because we are on fixed incomes... For me, at least, it is now down to... Do I need TV at all... I already cut it back to the bare stations for $4.95 per month. I have gotten rid of every single frill other than the internet at this point, or scaled it back to where it is absolute necessity. There is truly nothing left to shave.. I have even traded my utility trailer for a used motorbike so I am not totally stranded. My mortgage is low and I don't waste energy at home. I am looking at wood heat now. I have no immediate family who can help me on this one.. Tiz mine to figure out.

Now I don't know where they are getting their data from, but I agree with Gardenia that the thought we can change party lines and it will change the results or consequences is absolutely silly...

Gardenia said...

I'm confused as to what the term "middle class" actually means - funny, I always thought of myself as middle class even when there wasn't money for medical care, eating out, even eating what we wanted to eat, haircuts, etc. To me, the ones tshsmom describes are UPPER middle class. I don't quite understand it - there are no jobs are but million dollar homes are abundant in this area.

To me, middle class is knowing that if you lose your job, then you can't make your house payment the next month. UPPER middle class is having six months living expenses in the bank for emergencies. And working class - well, we all work.....I just read that the average doctor sees patients until 2 o'clock to meet his expenses, then from 2 to 3 - he gets to have for living. Where does that put him? Oh....they don't all drive expensive little sports cars and SUV's.

I just found out that "H" will be unemployed in September. Now what. This will be a test for sure....who is the ultimate provider - well, I know Albertsons is not God, God is God...so we'll see what opportunity opens up.

Candy Minx said...

Working class is if you and your spouse/partner lose their job the rent OR mortgage will lapse.

It generally refers to income and type of spending.

Working class is usually frugal and common sense about money.

One can recognize middle class by how much they want to look and act like rich or upper class. Conspicuous consumption.

Some people may in fact be middle class but live outside of the consumption and materialistic realms of the middle class...conserve, recycle, live thin...and they would in a way be rich.
When I say I don't feel sorry for middle class...I mean that they have the option to decide how to spend their money. Working class doesn't have that kind of leeway.

Common sense I believe now separates the so-called classes heh heh!

Candy Minx said...

Ah...here we go from Wikipedia...take with a small grain of (sea?) salt:

In early industrial capitalism, the middle class was defined primarily as white-collar workers—those who worked for wages (like all workers), but did so in conditions that were comfortable and safe compared to the conditions for blue-collar workers of the "working class." The expansion of the phrase "middle class" in the United States appears to have been predicated in the 1970s by the decline of labour unions in the U.S. and the entrance of formerly domestic women into the public workforce. A great number of pink-collar jobs arose, where people could avoid the dangerous conditions of blue-collar work and therefore claim to be "middle class" even if they were making far less money than a unionised blue-collar worker.

In the United States by the end of the twentieth century, more people identified themselves as middle class than as lower or "working" class, with insignificant numbers identifying themselves as upper class. In contrast, in the United Kingdom, in recent surveys up to two-thirds of Britons identify themselves as working class. This can reasonably be attributed to the wish to avoid the pejorative connotation described above. Nonetheless the British Labour Party, which grew out of the organized labour movement and originally drew almost all of its support from the working class, reinvented itself under Tony Blair in the 1990s as "New Labour," a party competing with the Conservative Party for the votes of the middle class as well as the working class.

The size of the middle class depends on how it is defined, whether by education, wealth, environment of upbringing, genetic relationships, social network, manners or values, etc. These are all related, though far from deterministically dependent. The following factors are often ascribed in modern usage to a "middle class":

* Achievement of tertiary education.
* Holding professional qualifications, including academics, lawyers, engineers, doctors, and clergymen regardless of their leisure or wealth.
* Belief in bourgeois values, such as high rates of house or long-term lease ownership and jobs which are perceived to be "secure."
* Lifestyle. In the United Kingdom, social status has historically been linked less directly to wealth than in the United States, and has also been judged by pointers such as accent, manners, place of education, occupation and the class of a person's family, circle of friends and acquaintances.
* Cultural identification. Often in the United States, the middle class are the most eager participants in pop culture. The second generation of new immigrants will often enthusiastically forsake their traditional folk culture as a sign of having arrived in the middle class.