Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Rich

I just did a quick search on the Internet and found the Working-Class Studies Association. There are people out there who actually study such topics and do conferences and provide links to other useful sites; and we at Wiscon are trying to redo their work.

Well, I think I will do a bit more thinking out loud; and then maybe I will go and join the WCSA.

The class structure we recognize in this country is the poor, the middle class and the rich.

The census defines poverty as having a household income of less than a certain amount: $10,787 for a single person and $21,386 for a family of four. I can't find a definition for rich.

The median household income is $44,389. Half of American households make less. This amount tells us nothing about how many people in the household are working. Many households have two adults working and maybe some kids as well.

The top 5% of the population makes a household income of $157,176 or more.

None of this tells us where richness begins. I would say it begins well above $157,000. A household making $157,000 can easily be destroyed by illness. You aren't rich, if you can lose everything because of a not very major illness.

Until the housing bubble began to deflate, many houses cost $400,000 and up -- not opulent houses, either, just houses in areas where the bubble was especially bubbly.

Tuition at a private college can now run $40,000 a year.

You aren't rich if you have to strain to buy a house or send your kids to college.


Blogger Josh said...

Working-Class Studies Association? I think Barzak knows some of its founders: you should ask him.

7:36 AM  

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