We are seeing the demise of the middle class but one has to wonder how much of this is self-inflicted. I mean, I grew up in a 1000 sq ft, 2BR, 1 bath home. I shared the bedroom with my brother who was 5 years older than me, so when he was older and had girlfriends, I was definitely crimpin’ his style. But we were middle class, probably upper-middle in fact (statistically) given the cost of living in north Jersey compared to the rest of the country. This was the old middle class just one generation ago. In today’s society, many families would consider this type of living arrangement to be poor or equate this to the middle class being squeezed.
We’re middle class now with our own family and admittedly, our way of life and expectations have changed from what we had as kids. Our home is more than double the size of the one I grew up in and we literally have the smallest home of everyone my wife and I are friends with from work, college and highschool days. They all have 3000+ square foot homes and they’re very nicely decorated I might add. We also drive the least expensive cars and don’t have expensive hobbies. Yet we hear everyone – friends, family, the press, co-workers, all saying the middle class is being squeezed. But are they?
Here are a few questions for the “Squeezed” Middle Class:
- Do both parents work because you HAVE TO or because you chose to take on a $650,000 home with $15,000 taxes so 2 incomes are needed to foot the bill? Or could you have lived like us on one income? The horror!
- Are you squeezed because you HAVE TO lease a BMW and can’t drive a practical Honda for 10 years? Works fine for us, why not you?
- Could you survive without BOTH having iPhones with expensive data plans or could you get by like people did for so long before smartphones with a simple voice plan?
- Do you NEED $200 designer jeans, $300 Coach purses and a closet full of shoes that I can’t even begin to contemplate the cost?
- Are you really unable to put anything aside for your kids’ education because of how “squeezed” you are? Really? Or did you just prioritize other things over your kids’ 529 plan?
Look, for people who are out of work or have played by the rules all these years and some tragedy has befallen them, I get that. That’s the exception though. What I see portrayed in the press is that people are mourning the loss of the American middle class when much of it just has to do with:
People’s Priorities are Screwed Up!
Everything in life is about choices…risks…decision-making.
People seem to make poor decisions and then look back and find ways to rationalize their poor choices to themselves while blaming others for their predicament.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Is the Middle Class Really Being Squeezed By America?
Or Are People Impairing Themselves with Poor Decisions?