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The Myth of the American Middle Class


Most poor Americans consider themselves middle class.  America is a society in which citizens chase illusions.  This fact has made us one of the greatest countries on earth because chasing dreams, even though they may not be realistic, is the stuff that invention and progress is made.  One of the staples of this illusion chasing is the concept of the “middle class”.   The struggle for the media is the definition of middle class as well as the definition of poverty.  This problem was further aggravated by the introduction of the upper and lower middle class definitions introduced in the 1960’s.

The actual income level for middle class is not defined by the government, but the income level for “poverty” is set at $22,050 for a family of four.  Anyone who lives in America will agree that a family of four trying to survive on $22,050 a year is impossible and therefore can be defined as poverty.  This is where the logic ends.  Poverty at much higher income levels is the reality, but everyone from the government to the media is not willing to define it.  So let me help end this confusion.

The American dream is the concept of middle class or higher.  To be middle class is to house a family in a home (not an apartment), with individual transportation for each adult.  For this example of a family of four, we will assume that the kids are not of driving age.  In addition to shelter and transportation, the middle class family has the ability to save at least 10% of their take home pay, save another 10% for higher education for their kids, have full health care coverage, car insurance, cell phones for each member of the family, an Internet connection, cable television, food for everyone including at least 2 meals out at restaurants each week, the ability to take at least one week of vacation for the entire family once a year, and to have at least 20% of their income as disposable cash.  If you set the 10% of savings for higher education for your kids and 20% of disposable cash to just $10,000 you can come up with an exact amount to attain the American Dream of Middle Class.

So what is the magic income number to be a middle class family of four?  The answer is $152,000.

The annual expenses are shown on the following table.

Income $152,000.00
Taxes $38,000.00
Mortgage $30,000.00
Auto Loans $12,000.00
Auto Insurance $2,400.00
Life Insurance $600.00
Cell phones $1,800.00
Cable TV $720.00
Internet $600.00
Dining $5,200.00
food $15,600.00
savings $15,200.00
College fund $10,000.00
Disposable cash $20,000.00

So now that you understand that you are NOT middle class, but rather a member of the American poor, exactly how many people are there in the American Middle Class?  The truth is that less than 6% of Americans earn more than $100,000.  So much for the over hyped American middle class!  The fact is that Middle Class America is a myth.  So few Americans qualify financially for the American Dream of middle class that it is fair to say that it does not exist.

Welcome to the new 3rd world concept of middle class.  All the McDonalds you can eat.  All the busses you can ride.  All the t-shirts and shorts you can wear.  What about the ability to build a future for your family?  Forget about it.

Help, I am ItiA

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