This Tweet has gone viral and caught a lot of hate.
"1990s middle class lifestyle" means 3-bedroom house, 2 cars, annual family road trip holiday, every 5 years overseas holiday, the 2-3 kids go to solid 4-year colleges, something like home roof repairs is financially non-catastrophic.
In 2022 I've described a 400K/yr+ household.
— Jacob Shell (@JacobAShell) December 19, 2022
Jacob here is 100% right.
Unfortunately, almost all of the replies are 100% wrong.
If your parents were flying the whole family to Europe for vacations you weren't middle-class. You were UPPER-upper-middle class, or more probably lower-UPPER class. Let's have some realism here, please. Middle class *might* manage short road trips in the summer, but no more.
— Brad R. Torgersen (@BradRTorgersen) December 22, 2022
Someone explain to me exactly what the fucking purpose of Brad’s response other than some bullshit gatekeeping.
So the fuck what if Jacob was UPPER middle-class or regular middle-class? Doesit diminish his point at all?
I understand exactly where Jacob is coming from.
He got very close you describing my childhood.
My father was a lawyer in a small firm (about 10 employees total). My mother was a nurse.
We had a 3 bed/3 bath house, my dad drove a Chevy Suburban, my mom drove a minivan.
We road tripped to my grandparent’s house twice a year, summer and Christmas. I never went overseas, but did vacation in Canada once.
That was the lifestyle of all my friends. They had parents who were civil engineers, architects, accountants, one was a therapist, another was a dentist.
The federal government defines middle-class as single earners between $45,000 and $130,000 per year, family income between $65,000 and $250,000 per year.
I grew up towards the higher end of that range, but definitely within it.
We were solidly in the “professional white collar middle-class.”
Today I’m an engineer and my wife is a librarian. Again, solidly white collar professional middle-class. I make about the same on paper as my dad did.
Adjusted for inflation, my buying power is half of what his was in the 90s.
To buy a 3bd/3br house in California, South Florida, New England, Chicago, any major metropolitan area if going to start at half a million dollars and go up rapidly from there.
My parents bought the house I grew up in for $300K in 1995. It just sold for $1.2M.
I can’t afford my childhood home making the same salary as my dad.
To have the lifestyle I had growing up in the same city I grew up in I’d need to make a solid $500K.
What Jacob describes is the quintessential American Dream.
A decent house, two cars, enough disposable income to enjoy the occasional vacation.
And depending on where you live, that can be utterly impossible to have in the income range we call middle-class.
When it costs me $1,000 to fill my heating oil tank, there goes my budget for a road trip to grandma’s.
And yet the overwhelming response has been effectively “fuck you rich kid, you’re not middle-class.”
How the fuck does that help?
The response should be “hey you fuckers in DC, why the fuck is the American Dream priced our of the hands of the middle-class?”
The response I’m seeing is nothing more than the petty mean girl envy from people who grew up towards the lower end of the middle-class range.
It’s ugly and it’s counter productive.
Let me put it to you this way.
Nearly 100% of people who work for a living, regardless of where in the middle-class range they are, could say with complete accuracy:
“I make the same income as my parents did but to have the same buying power and quality of life as they did I would have to make double what they did.”
But no. People are too focused on telling a guy why he grew up too rich to have an opinion about middle-class lifestyles.
Guess what. It’s okay to have empathy for someone who grew up with more money than you did, and if his Tweet makes you angry, ask yourself why and who should you be angry at.
This guy because you’re envious of his childhood, which accomplishes nothing?
Or the people in charge who made the American Dream unaffordable?