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Seattle Bubble Forum Archive • View topic - Define middle class in Seattle

Define middle class in Seattle

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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Ubersalad » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:02 pm

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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Alan » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:20 pm

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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby TJ_98370 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:26 pm

Middle class means being able to maintain the same level of conspicuous consumption as what your middle class friends and neighbors do.
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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby WestSideBilly » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:31 pm

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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Dave0 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:32 pm

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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Civil Servant » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:36 pm

David M., what are PAW and UAW? I don't know those. (Anyone remember "UHB," from "Metropolitan"?)

I also know a lot of schoolteachers, and I work in the public sector. Say what you will about the public sector -- I have probably said it myself -- without it many many people without college educations would be barely hanging on in the workforce. In the public sector they can start around $35K as clerks or admins, and the regular pay bumps and COLA increases allow them to gain an increasingly solid financial foothold and also a non-financial investment in the community. I see single mothers making it work on $50K, even closer to $40K. I don't know how they're doing it, and they are certainly not property owners, but they are doing it, and I don't hear them complaining. (Which is a big part of the reason that poormouth lawyertalk chaps my *ss like it does.) As Elizabeth Warren points out, income stability is so key. I wonder how many junior real-estate agents will see their previously coursing income stream dry up in the next few years. Will they look with regret on stable office jobs they passed up or quit?

I like "working" class instead of "middle" class. More descriptive! For the same reason I liked David Losh's use of "worker housing units" in a comment thread the other day.
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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Dave0 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:38 pm

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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Civil Servant » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:40 pm

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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby WestSideBilly » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:40 pm

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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Dave0 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:44 pm

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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Civil Servant » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:54 pm

Dave0, I think you're right about the context in which the use of "working class" arose. The use I am endorsing reflects a recalibration of financial and socioeconomic realities and increasing class stratification. I mean, aren't large swathes of what we'd historically call the middle class working paycheck to paycheck these days? I sure wouldn't want to be supporting myself + a kid on $50K with a job that I couldn't count on a few months down the pike.
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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Dave0 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:00 pm

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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby TJ_98370 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:05 pm

.
If you Google "working class" you will get a wide variety of definitions. In my personal experience, terms like "working class" or the phrase "works for a living" have been used in a context to mean that the individual or group actually do "work" or physical labor for a living, as opposed to a cubicle dweller who sits at a desk all day.
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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Civil Servant » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:07 pm

A bit OT but for anyone looking for a more sociological (less strictly financial) excavation of class and class structure, this book is wonderful.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Class/ ... 251/?itm=1

OK sorry -- onward to the battlements.
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Re: Define middle class in Seattle

Postby Dave0 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:39 pm

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