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Old 26th November 2019, 08:29 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I'm sure some would. But statistics don't tell you much. Someone on 80k can't buy an aston martin and probably won't stay at the Hilton.
No, but they also are unlikely to live in fear of the sound of envelopes dropping through the letterbox or hold their breath waiting for their card to be accepted or declined in Tesco.
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Old 26th November 2019, 08:34 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
No, but they also are unlikely to live in fear of the sound of envelopes dropping through the letterbox or hold their breath waiting for their card to be accepted or declined in Tesco.
Yes, that's the definition of middle-class, not rich.
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Old 26th November 2019, 08:57 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, that's the definition of middle-class, not rich.
...then I think there is a fundamental difference between the US/North American definition/usage of middle class and the one in the UK.

Here in the UK, middle class has (or at least had) an expectation of a professional (as opposed to manual or clerical) occupation, a career rather than a job, and an aspirational outlook. Income is a factor, but it's not the sole factor. I

Middle class people are doctors and lawyers, the owners of larger businesses and other people of that ilk. There is a term "lower middle class" that was coined to include people like teachers, clerical workers and so on. Engineers are a tricky group to classify but historically unless you owned and ran an engineering concern then you were classed as working class (which speaks volumes to the low esteem in which the UK tends to hold engineers).

Despite earning paying myself well and being very comfortably off, I'm likely lower middle class at best due to the facts that I don't work in a profession, I wasn't privately or grammar school educated and the business I own isn't that large. Our lifestyle has some of the trappings of middle class existence, we ski, our toaster is a Dualit, we can keep drink in the house but we'll never be middle class.

Had we had children, they might have had a shot at being in the middle class if we sent them to private school and they had gone on to study law, medicine and the like.
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Old 26th November 2019, 09:18 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
...then I think there is a fundamental difference between the US/North American definition/usage of middle class and the one in the UK.

Here in the UK, middle class has (or at least had) an expectation of a professional (as opposed to manual or clerical) occupation, a career rather than a job, and an aspirational outlook. Income is a factor, but it's not the sole factor. I

Middle class people are doctors and lawyers, the owners of larger businesses and other people of that ilk. There is a term "lower middle class" that was coined to include people like teachers, clerical workers and so on. Engineers are a tricky group to classify but historically unless you owned and ran an engineering concern then you were classed as working class (which speaks volumes to the low esteem in which the UK tends to hold engineers).

Despite earning paying myself well and being very comfortably off, I'm likely lower middle class at best due to the facts that I don't work in a profession, I wasn't privately or grammar school educated and the business I own isn't that large. Our lifestyle has some of the trappings of middle class existence, we ski, our toaster is a Dualit, we can keep drink in the house but we'll never be middle class.

Had we had children, they might have had a shot at being in the middle class if we sent them to private school and they had gone on to study law, medicine and the like.
USA would be middle class for almost anyone with a college degree, or someone with a decent tradesman position. Upper middle class would be someone in the professions: engineer, doctor, lawyer, or a successful small business owner. Salary wise, I would say around 80 to 90k is the dividing line between the two in "middle america". More to much more in the more pricey areas.

Working class would be under 40k year in middle America, probably poor health insurance. Working poor would be someone hanging on by working multiple part time jobs in food service etc, no insurance.
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Old 26th November 2019, 09:24 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
...then I think there is a fundamental difference between the US/North American definition/usage of middle class and the one in the UK.

Here in the UK, middle class has (or at least had) an expectation of a professional (as opposed to manual or clerical) occupation, a career rather than a job, and an aspirational outlook. Income is a factor, but it's not the sole factor. I

Middle class people are doctors and lawyers, the owners of larger businesses and other people of that ilk. There is a term "lower middle class" that was coined to include people like teachers, clerical workers and so on. Engineers are a tricky group to classify but historically unless you owned and ran an engineering concern then you were classed as working class (which speaks volumes to the low esteem in which the UK tends to hold engineers).

Despite earning paying myself well and being very comfortably off, I'm likely lower middle class at best due to the facts that I don't work in a profession, I wasn't privately or grammar school educated and the business I own isn't that large. Our lifestyle has some of the trappings of middle class existence, we ski, our toaster is a Dualit, we can keep drink in the house but we'll never be middle class.

Had we had children, they might have had a shot at being in the middle class if we sent them to private school and they had gone on to study law, medicine and the like.
We covered all that a few years back:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=312229

I think for the purposes of this thread, the income-level rubric (poor, middle, rich) is going to be more useful than the social-class rubric.
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Old 26th November 2019, 09:33 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
We covered all that a few years back:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=312229

I think for the purposes of this thread, the income-level rubric (poor, middle, rich) is going to be more useful than the social-class rubric.
Quite possibly, but the UK's disjoint between income and class may go some way to explain why this individual thinks that they cannot be in the top 50% of earners.

He feels that he's working class so how could his income possibly be in the top 5%.

OTOH he could just be an ass
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Old 26th November 2019, 09:39 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Quite possibly, but the UK's disjoint between income and class may go some way to explain why this individual thinks that they cannot be in the top 50% of earners.
Thanks, that's an interesting insight. It seems plausible to me.

Quote:
He feels that he's working class so how could his income possibly be in the top 5%.

OTOH he could just be an ass
OTOH, being in the middle class income band may mean that his sense of financial security is more circumstantial than it would be if he were truly rich. Combine with the perception that the top 5% are "truly rich" and it goes a long way to explaining the disconnect.
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Old 26th November 2019, 09:45 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
We covered all that a few years back:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=312229

I think for the purposes of this thread, the income-level rubric (poor, middle, rich) is going to be more useful than the social-class rubric.

Income + assets, I think.

The difference in lifestyle, at the same income level, between owning a house and having to pay a mortgage is massive.
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Old 26th November 2019, 09:49 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Income + assets, I think.

The difference in lifestyle, at the same income level, between owning a house and having to pay a mortgage is massive.
So many people fail to understand how much cheaper one can live the more money one has. Income is just one part of it.
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Old 26th November 2019, 09:52 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
OTOH, being in the middle class income band may mean that his sense of financial security is more circumstantial than it would be if he were truly rich. Combine with the perception that the top 5% are "truly rich" and it goes a long way to explaining the disconnect.
The disconnect I find hard to understand is the one that led him to believe he's not even in the top 50% of earners. I simply can't imagine a level of confusion that could lead to that belief.

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Old 26th November 2019, 09:56 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
The disconnect I find hard to understand is the one that led him to believe he's not even in the top 50% of earners. I simply can't imagine a level of confusion that could lead to that belief.

Dave

He lives in a bubble. His poor mates are on 40K and the rich people he knows earn bucketloads.

He doesn't interact with people on an average salary. Given his unworldliness, I suspect he doesn't even see the little people, cleaners, shop staff, servers, etc.

He's never had any cause to go looking at the wider shape of the world and, because he's successful, he doesn't need to, he's worked it all out from first principles on a 'it stands to reason' basis.

In short, he's ignorant, lives in a bubble, is far more privileged than he thinks he is and has no understanding of just how hard life can be for some folks.


He still gets to vote though.
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Old 26th November 2019, 10:04 AM   #132
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The ability to buy a property is an important factor, IMO. You could probably buy the whole of Bolton for that amount. Note: both my parents were from that town

The extreme rich are, in my view, those who would have few financial worries if their source of income suddenly stopped.

I manage on about 1,000 / month net but am mortgage free, which makes all the difference. As far as class goes, I am middle class, I suppose, as I went to a reasonably good school. I also wasted my chances - which makes me an idiot.
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Old 26th November 2019, 10:33 AM   #133
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I've got a friend who's a butler. He works for a bank in the City.
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Old 26th November 2019, 10:51 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
.... Our lifestyle has some of the trappings of middle class existence... we can keep drink in the house ...

...
Eh?
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Old 27th November 2019, 01:43 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Not being a servant, being too poor to afford servants means one certainly isn't middle class by any traditional definition of the word.
I'm assuming this is sarcasm.
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Old 27th November 2019, 01:57 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
If you read the post in context it's very clear that he wasn't talking about class, but about income. Feel free to read it again. Does the context of the post seem to you to be discussing class?

If you are saying "he shouldn't have used the term 'middle class'", that's a fine little correction. If you are saying that the meaning of the post was lost because he wrote "middle class" instead of "middle income", then I honestly don't believe you.
What he said: "The way I see it, there's basically three broad categories of personal wealth: Poor, middle class, and rich."

Other posters objected that "middle class" was inappropriate in a UK context, before I said he should have simply put it in terms of income solely. The problem in a UK context is that there are plenty of working class people who are - by definition, neither poor nor middle class, and similarly the upper end of middle class would count as rich.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:01 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, that's the definition of middle-class, not rich.
Not in the UK it isn't.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:05 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
USA would be middle class for almost anyone with a college degree, or someone with a decent tradesman position. Upper middle class would be someone in the professions: engineer, doctor, lawyer, or a successful small business owner. Salary wise, I would say around 80 to 90k is the dividing line between the two in "middle america". More to much more in the more pricey areas.

Working class would be under 40k year in middle America, probably poor health insurance. Working poor would be someone hanging on by working multiple part time jobs in food service etc, no insurance.
Sorry, but that just underlines the fact that the US definitions are completely skewed compared to the UK ones (which I understand are more in line with the rest of Europe).
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:06 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
I'm assuming this is sarcasm.
It is using more historic definitions of class.

Like how Agatha Christie never imagined being so poor as to not have live in servants or so rich as to have a car.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:10 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My bad. Apparently there is actual confusion after all:
I think that most Brits here have always been aware that the US definitions of class don't match up with the UK ones; it only seems to be Americans who are unaware of the differences, and seem incredulous that they exist.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 27th November 2019 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:14 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
It is using more historic definitions of class.

Like how Agatha Christie never imagined being so poor as to not have live in servants or so rich as to have a car.
She also imagined everyone was constantly murdering everyone else, so really she was decades ahead of her time in prophetic vision.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:20 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Quite possibly, but the UK's disjoint between income and class may go some way to explain why this individual thinks that they cannot be in the top 50% of earners.

He feels that he's working class so how could his income possibly be in the top 5%.

OTOH he could just be an ass
I don't think he's an ass. He's at least 7 grades beyond that.
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Old 28th November 2019, 03:06 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
I think that most Brits here have always been aware that the US definitions of class don't match up with the UK ones; it only seems to be Americans who are unaware of the differences, and seem incredulous that they exist.
If you were aware of it, you, and all the other brits, could easily translate "middle class" in his post to "middle income", since he was very clearly not talking about class, but about income. Having done that mental translation, do you have any objection to what he said?
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Old 28th November 2019, 03:17 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Eh?
In the Iain Banks novel Espedair Street, the character Daniel Weir (aka Weird, Jimmy Hay and Gerald Hlasgow among other names) says that one of the reasons that he thought the other members of the band Frozen Gold must be middle class (in contrast to his own working class upbringing) because their parents could keep alcoholic drinks in the house as opposed to buying them and immediately consuming them.
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Old 28th November 2019, 03:29 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
If you were aware of it, you, and all the other brits, could easily translate "middle class" in his post to "middle income", since he was very clearly not talking about class, but about income. Having done that mental translation, do you have any objection to what he said?
Are we talking about Belz... in post #8? If so, then I think it's quite a stretch describing someone in, or at least very close to being in, the top 5% of earners, as "middle income". I'd class him as high income rather than rich, a class I'd also place myself in; but all this is relative, and I suspect that, compared to most people in most countries throughout most of human history, he and I are both rich beyond their wildest dreams.

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Old 28th November 2019, 03:31 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
OTOH, being in the middle class income band may mean that his sense of financial security is more circumstantial than it would be if he were truly rich. Combine with the perception that the top 5% are "truly rich" and it goes a long way to explaining the disconnect.
That is also an interesting perspective.

There are people I know that, due to a combination of having no debt and a modest lifestyle are financially secure although their income is very modest.

There are others, quite a few in the City who were living hand-to-mouth despite having, in dollar terms, a low seven figure income. It's difficult to be too sympathetic but as one bank vice president told me, having four children at Eton, a large sailing yacht and a three million pound mortgage to support means that half a million before taxes doesn't cover the "basic" costs. - that's why large bonuses are so important.

Of course those kids could be at a cheaper (or even state) school, he could not have bought the yacht (I think he had finance payments, crippling mooring fees and high ongoing maintenance costs) and he could have had a smaller and/or cheaper home but that's the lifestyle he had bought into.

So I suppose it might make sense that someone finds it difficult to believe that they're in the top 5% of earners if their perception is that the top 5% earn millions annually (as opposed to 80k) and that, due to their lifestyle and spending decisions, they're not feeling financially secure on that figure.
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Old 28th November 2019, 06:48 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Are we talking about Belz... in post #8?
No, we're talking about this post, #33:

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The way I see it, there's basically three broad categories of personal wealth: Poor, middle class, and rich.

If you're poor, you're poor anywhere. You're poor in London. You're poor in Bolton. There's nowhere you can go, that you'll be able to climb higher than the second level of Maslow's hierarchy, without government assistance or charitable aid.

If you're rich, you're rich everywhere. Even in London, you have enough wealth to live life at the top of Maslow's hierarchy.

If you're middle class, you're rich or poor depending on where you are. In London, where the cost of living is high, your fat paycheck thins out pretty fast, just paying the rent. In Bolton, that same paycheck has enough left over to put a bit of decadence in your lifestyle.

It's pretty clear that theprestige is talking not about social class, but about personal wealth. So while he used the term "middle class" in the post, the context is very clearly not discussing class. As such I think it's pretty obvious what he was trying to say.

If the words "middle class" were replaced with "Giggynick", reading the post I'd be able to figure out what Giggynick meant.
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Old 28th November 2019, 06:49 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Not in the UK it isn't.
Sorry, Canadians don't have defined social classes.
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Old 28th November 2019, 07:16 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
So I suppose it might make sense that someone finds it difficult to believe that they're in the top 5% of earners if their perception is that the top 5% earn millions annually (as opposed to 80k) and that, due to their lifestyle and spending decisions, they're not feeling financially secure on that figure.
Mrs Tolls might be one.
I have tried to explain to her that, income-wise, we are really quite well off. She generally has none of it...
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Old 28th November 2019, 09:24 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Sorry, Canadians don't have defined social classes.
What's that got to do with the price of fish? We're talking about the UK. There is a class system, though somewhat less well-defined than it once was, and introducing class into a discuss of earnings is, to someone in the UK, nearly as jarring as saying, for example, to an American: "The way I see it, there's basically three broad categories of personal wealth: Poor, Hispanic, and rich." * You might think it's just a case of substituting different words, but it's introducing something from an orthogonal category.


*It's an analogy, it's not perfect, and it's not meant to be.
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Old 28th November 2019, 09:39 AM   #151
theprestige
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
What's that got to do with the price of fish? We're talking about the UK.
No, we're talking about relative wealth generally, in terms of poor-middle class-rich. Then the UKians decided we couldn't talk about that because of language localization problems that prevent them from understanding the terminology.
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Old 28th November 2019, 09:47 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
What's that got to do with the price of fish? We're talking about the UK. There is a class system, though somewhat less well-defined than it once was, and introducing class into a discuss of earnings is, to someone in the UK, nearly as jarring as saying, for example, to an American: "The way I see it, there's basically three broad categories of personal wealth: Poor, Hispanic, and rich." * You might think it's just a case of substituting different words, but it's introducing something from an orthogonal category.


*It's an analogy, it's not perfect, and it's not meant to be.
Except that "middle class" is a scrutable synonym for "middle income", and "hispanic" isn't. So the former makes much more sense in this context than the latter. It's not actually an orthogonal category, especially not in context, where the meaning is both plainly implied and explicitly stated.

I honestly don't understand why you, IA, and others, are having so much trouble with this.
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Old 28th November 2019, 09:49 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
No, we're talking about relative wealth generally, in terms of poor-middle class-rich. Then the UKians decided we couldn't talk about that because of language localization problems that prevent them from understanding the terminology.
How about we call the categories poor, white collar and rich?

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Old 28th November 2019, 10:21 AM   #154
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
How about we call the categories poor, white collar and rich?
At this point? Call it whatever you like. I expressed the idea to my satisfaction, and I'm satisfied that it was well understood and raised no serious objections. I've done what I set out to do.
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Old 29th November 2019, 10:27 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
If you were aware of it, you, and all the other brits, could easily translate "middle class" in his post to "middle income", since he was very clearly not talking about class, but about income.
Better to be safe than sorry. I know you lot don't like having your errors/misassumptions pointed out, but tough.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 29th November 2019 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 29th November 2019, 10:35 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
No, we're talking about this post, #33:

It's pretty clear that theprestige is talking not about social class, but about personal wealth. So while he used the term "middle class" in the post, the context is very clearly not discussing class. As such I think it's pretty obvious what he was trying to say.

If the words "middle class" were replaced with "Giggynick", reading the post I'd be able to figure out what Giggynick meant.
Except that, unlike "Giggynick," "middle class" actually means something. In a UK context, it means something other than purely income. In the US it seems to be mostly about income, but also other factors that are incompatible with the UK definition. This is not a purely American site, and one would think that, just for once - especially in a UK-orientated thread - some American might just try to understand that the rest of the word doesn't work to their definitions.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 29th November 2019 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 29th November 2019, 12:52 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Except that, unlike "Giggynick," "middle class" actually means something. In a UK context, it means something other than purely income. In the US it seems to be mostly about income, but also other factors that are incompatible with the UK definition. This is not a purely American site, and one would think that, just for once - especially in a UK-orientated thread - some American might just try to understand that the rest of the word doesn't work to their definitions.
Class means the same thing here, just that the American myth depends so much on social class not being a barrier to advancement that people will deny it or pass it off as a matter of money.
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Old 29th November 2019, 05:23 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Better to be safe than sorry. I know you lot don't like having your errors/misassumptions pointed out, but tough.
What error have I made that you think I'm unwilling to accept?

And who is "you lot"?

Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Except that, unlike "Giggynick," "middle class" actually means something. In a UK context, it means something other than purely income. In the US it seems to be mostly about income, but also other factors that are incompatible with the UK definition. This is not a purely American site, and one would think that, just for once - especially in a UK-orientated thread - some American might just try to understand that the rest of the word doesn't work to their definitions.
Did you actually think he was talking about class and not income in that post?
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Old 30th November 2019, 01:39 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Did you actually think he was talking about class and not income in that post?
He made a reference to income in relation to class in the US. In a thread about the UK. Other posters called him out on it, so it wasn't just me - I merely pointed out after the others that if he was talking about income, he should have referred only to income.

Saying, "poor, middle-class, and rich" makes little sense because it implies middle class people cannot be either or poor or rich, or that only people who are not middle class can be either. Lots of working class people are not poor; some can be relatively rich. Middle class people can be poor, comfortable, well off, or rich. So can upper class people.

This seems to be classic example of Americans projecting their own world view, but when asked not to do that, they double down and make it far more of an issue than it was. It's just cultural arrogance. Then someone comes in with a brainless comment about a 30-odd year old sitcom, as if that's somehow relevant (at the time, let alone now). Maybe next time we should respond with some bollocks about Sanford and Son, but I daresay most Americans would miss the supreme irony of such a reference.
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Old 30th November 2019, 04:10 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
This seems to be classic example of Americans projecting their own world view, but when asked not to do that, they double down and make it far more of an issue than it was.
Chavs, eh?
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