Canadian middle class wealthier than American middle class

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Aristophanes
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01 May 2014, 2:54 pm

NobodyKnows wrote:
^^^^^^^^^^ I'm sympathetic, but who would you replace those robber barons with?
Our middle class isn't any more honest. They let rich kids with no talent buy their way into our colleges. There are two or three generations of middle class "professionals" who didn't even pretend to study when they were in school, and they feel completely comfortable paying themselves ten times what an equally talented person from a poor background could hope to make.
When I lived out West, we'd sometimes hear a coyote yelping while a mountion lion ate it. I could feel sorry for it, but it's probably eaten rabbits with just as much cruelty. That's how I feel about our middle class: They slept just fine when they were stealing from the poor, and now somebody did it to them. Poor dears :roll:


Oh forgot to add Google in my rant, ye of the "do no harm" that only paid a 2.5% tax rate last year due to offshore shenanigans. Anyhow, I agree completely with you about a lot of the middle class as well, there's a bunch of white collar middle class out there that have the same attitude as our current robber barons. Example, throughout the 90's I remember a lot of programmers/techies not really giving a damn about manufacturing going overseas, or even claiming it was good because it lowered costs; but around 2000 when a lot of tech companies started shipping programming jobs to India and China all of a sudden outsourcing was bad. Western society's morals have become corrupt from top to bottom.

The good news is that I see a future where that's not really a problem. In a hundred years I'm going to be so bold as to say I don't think "currency" or "money" are really going to exist. When we have robots that do virtually every task for us and machines that print off any good we want in the comfort of our own homes what need is there for some made-up concept like "money" to prove we're more "valuable" than the next person? I kind of view the future like Star Trek, where Picard mentions: people don't work for "money", they work to better themselves and the community around them.



visagrunt
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03 May 2014, 11:04 am

Let's be clear--middle class isn't "average." Middle class is well-above-freakin'-average in North America these days.

"Average" in North America are those who can earn enough through work to remain above the poverty line. The numbers of the working poor are now so scandalously large, that middle class has become the preserve of, perhaps, the 20th percentile.

I didn't aim for average. I aimed to have a rewarding career that paid me enough to be able to secure a comfortable retirement, at a reasonable age, with enough money to ensure that the cheque to the undertaker bounces.

I could work far harder than I do, and I could earn vastly more money than I do. But to what end? I own my house, I drive a Tesla, I travel when I want to, and I have a define benefit, index linked pension that will be available to me in 13 years. Why would I sacrifice my work-life balance in order to accumulate more than that?


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LoveNotHate
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03 May 2014, 11:37 am

Where I work in the U.S., experienced employees generally earn around $150,000 USD / year before taxes (+- / $15,000 USD)

I think these people consider themselves to be middle class, yet, this amount of income puts in them in top 5-10% of income earners.

Because, after expenses , the money is mostly gone ...

- they pay 20-30% in taxes
- they buy expensive homes
- drive a nice car
- pay expensive mortgage interest
- they have all the expenses of kids to take care of
- live in very nice neighborhoods with expensive property taxes
- contribute 15% of income to their 401k/IRA
- contribute to their pension / medical accounts
- go places and go out to eat


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starvingartist
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03 May 2014, 1:34 pm

Aristophanes wrote:
NobodyKnows wrote:
^^^^^^^^^^ I'm sympathetic, but who would you replace those robber barons with?
Our middle class isn't any more honest. They let rich kids with no talent buy their way into our colleges. There are two or three generations of middle class "professionals" who didn't even pretend to study when they were in school, and they feel completely comfortable paying themselves ten times what an equally talented person from a poor background could hope to make.
When I lived out West, we'd sometimes hear a coyote yelping while a mountion lion ate it. I could feel sorry for it, but it's probably eaten rabbits with just as much cruelty. That's how I feel about our middle class: They slept just fine when they were stealing from the poor, and now somebody did it to them. Poor dears :roll:


Oh forgot to add Google in my rant, ye of the "do no harm" that only paid a 2.5% tax rate last year due to offshore shenanigans. Anyhow, I agree completely with you about a lot of the middle class as well, there's a bunch of white collar middle class out there that have the same attitude as our current robber barons. Example, throughout the 90's I remember a lot of programmers/techies not really giving a damn about manufacturing going overseas, or even claiming it was good because it lowered costs; but around 2000 when a lot of tech companies started shipping programming jobs to India and China all of a sudden outsourcing was bad. Western society's morals have become corrupt from top to bottom.

The good news is that I see a future where that's not really a problem. In a hundred years I'm going to be so bold as to say I don't think "currency" or "money" are really going to exist. When we have robots that do virtually every task for us and machines that print off any good we want in the comfort of our own homes what need is there for some made-up concept like "money" to prove we're more "valuable" than the next person? I kind of view the future like Star Trek, where Picard mentions: people don't work for "money", they work to better themselves and the community around them.


me too! :D i think if we're going to survive as a species the concept of money (and the way we artificially gauge value by it) has to go.

Picard is the s**t.



sonofghandi
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03 May 2014, 5:42 pm

LoveNotHate wrote:
Where I work in the U.S., experienced employees generally earn around $150,000 USD / year before taxes (+- / $15,000 USD)


Wow! Where do you live?
I have tons of experience and a fistful of degrees in a highly technical scientific field and I don't make half that.
I am solidly in the "middle class," though, even after you consider that I make an above average wage.


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LoveNotHate
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03 May 2014, 6:04 pm

sonofghandi wrote:
LoveNotHate wrote:
Where I work in the U.S., experienced employees generally earn around $150,000 USD / year before taxes (+- / $15,000 USD)


Wow! Where do you live?
I have tons of experience and a fistful of degrees in a highly technical scientific field and I don't make half that.
I am solidly in the "middle class," though, even after you consider that I make an above average wage.


We had this discussion before ... I told you where I work ... and I told you to consider changing to my agency, because you could double or triple your pension . :)

We are voted #1 place to work at for the federal government in 2013.

We cap out at about $175,000 /yr if you do all the bonuses.


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sonofghandi
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03 May 2014, 7:32 pm

LoveNotHate wrote:
sonofghandi wrote:
LoveNotHate wrote:
Where I work in the U.S., experienced employees generally earn around $150,000 USD / year before taxes (+- / $15,000 USD)


Wow! Where do you live?
I have tons of experience and a fistful of degrees in a highly technical scientific field and I don't make half that.
I am solidly in the "middle class," though, even after you consider that I make an above average wage.


We had this discussion before ... I told you where I work ... and I told you to consider changing to my agency, because you could double or triple your pension . :)

We are voted #1 place to work at for the federal government in 2013.

We cap out at about $175,000 /yr if you do all the bonuses.


I remember. I do not qualify for any jobs with the patent office that my experience and education should qualify me for. I exceed all minimum and desired pre-reqs by miles, but the time in grade requirements are something that I can never meet unless I quit my federal job for a year or more. I've talked to some people in the department, who all have made it clear that any application would need to go through HR, who assured me that my application would go straight into the trash.

I meant my post to be more along the lines of saying that your experience is hardly a norm.


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LoveNotHate
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03 May 2014, 8:06 pm

sonofghandi wrote:
LoveNotHate wrote:
sonofghandi wrote:
LoveNotHate wrote:
Where I work in the U.S., experienced employees generally earn around $150,000 USD / year before taxes (+- / $15,000 USD)


Wow! Where do you live?
I have tons of experience and a fistful of degrees in a highly technical scientific field and I don't make half that.
I am solidly in the "middle class," though, even after you consider that I make an above average wage.


We had this discussion before ... I told you where I work ... and I told you to consider changing to my agency, because you could double or triple your pension . :)

We are voted #1 place to work at for the federal government in 2013.

We cap out at about $175,000 /yr if you do all the bonuses.


I remember. I do not qualify for any jobs with the patent office that my experience and education should qualify me for. I exceed all minimum and desired pre-reqs by miles, but the time in grade requirements are something that I can never meet unless I quit my federal job for a year or more. I've talked to some people in the department, who all have made it clear that any application would need to go through HR, who assured me that my application would go straight into the trash.

I meant my post to be more along the lines of saying that your experience is hardly a norm.


"Time in grade requirements" statement does not make sense to me. People can make GS-15 in 6-7 years. My present boss made GS-15 in seven years. They promote people up to gs-12 every six months, and thereafter, every year. So, "time in grade" does not seem to apply.

Sounds like they don't want to lose you. :) I work with someone who worked at NASA then changed jobs intra-government. I have heard from people being in the military for 20+ years, then decline their military pension, and use those 20+ years towards a much, much better civilian pension.

It is not a great job, but it is great for someone with an ASD. I was fired, or had to quit every job I ever held because of functioning problems. I work from home now, and rarely interact with another person.

I don't know why you say my experience is "hardly the norm". I asserted that people where I work think of themselves as "middle class". They buy $350,000-400,000 house or condo, and have huge mortgage payments to make. They pay a lot of taxes. I generally pay about $40,000 per year to combined federal, state, social security and medicare taxes.

I have read a lot of stories of people making over a six figure salary who pay no federal tax, because of the mortgage deduction and a lot of kids to support.

So, to the point of this thread, if "middle class" is determined based on income then is not consistent with how some people see themselves.


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sonofghandi
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03 May 2014, 8:19 pm

LoveNotHate wrote:
"Time in grade requirements" statement does not make sense to me. People can make GS-15 in 6-7 years. My present boss made GS-15 in seven years. They promote people up to gs-12 every six months, and thereafter, every year. So, "time in grade" does not seem to apply.


It is a matter of structure. I cannot advance to a higher grade in my present position (it is capped). To get a job at the GS level for their entry positions that I would need, I would have to jump one grade more than is allowed by federal laws that are meant to prevent people from promoting their pals. It's a flaw in the system. If I didn't work for the federal government, then my work experience would be all that mattered. I had the same issue when I was trying to apply for a nearly identical position as my current one but at NASA. Their position structure is similar to the patent office, so that didn't work out. The problem is that my current position in the VHA counts as one grade below middle management by the OPM's HR guidelines. I guess scientists here are less important than people who do billing entry.

If only I could afford to quit working for a year, it would knock me out of that catch 22 loophole in the system.


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03 May 2014, 8:23 pm

sonofghandi wrote:
If only I could afford to quit working for a year, it would knock me out of that catch 22 loophole in the system.


Thanks for explaining. Stupid bureaucracy!

Your other plan of getting a PHD in physics and going into "medical physics" sounded better anyways. (I have a good memory :) )


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sonofghandi
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04 May 2014, 7:12 am

LoveNotHate wrote:
sonofghandi wrote:
If only I could afford to quit working for a year, it would knock me out of that catch 22 loophole in the system.


Thanks for explaining. Stupid bureaucracy!

Your other plan of getting a PHD in physics and going into "medical physics" sounded better anyways. (I have a good memory :) )


I am already in medical physics, but I am looking to get a PhD. Taking 1 or 2 classes at a time. Just finished 2 and taking one this summer.


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04 May 2014, 7:51 am

starvingartist wrote:
Picard is the sh**.


Well of course, he's bald, smart, has a british accent, and he's captain of a galaxy class spaceship. I'm as heterosexual as a man can be and even I'd sleep with him.