Pop Quiz: Who Is Living America's Middle-Class Dream?

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The Middle Class

For a country that doesn't officially have an aristocracy, the U.S. spends a lot of time talking about its middle class -- and the warfare that supposedly rages between it and "The 1 Percent." In recent months, this sometimes-seething, sometimes-hidden conflict has tumbled out into the open as the two presidential candidates have fought for the votes of average Americans. But while the middle class gets a lot of attention, few pundits and politicians have been able convincingly explain what, precisely, middle class means. Is it merely a measure of how much money a family brings in, as some economists assume, or is class in America still a measure of where you work, where you live, and where you went to college?

If you've ever wondered what the middle class is -- and whether or not you're a member of it -- take a peek at our middle class quiz!

Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.


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drmaxchartrand

Obama is for unlimited abortion, the teaching of gay concepts as if the norm in the public schools, legalization of marijuana, over-regulation of business, the closing down of the coal industry, expensive power, continued taxpayer financing of failed renewables, socialization of healthcare at all costs, disarmanent of both our military and of individuals, and a growing welfare state. His plans for four more years are much worse and more onerous for the economy than what he has done to date. It is time for Team Romney to come in and save our nation from the usurpers.

November 05 2012 at 12:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ragtopdaz

Obama needs to spend some time with Dr. Phil to work on his God complex, he still thinks that all of his followers still believe that he is their anointed one who can walk on water and provide Manna From Heaven
in the form of more food stamps and section 8 housing.

November 05 2012 at 12:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
arenadood

The Middle class is just a word. It all depends upon where you live not how much you make.

November 05 2012 at 11:30 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Jack Bunz

Like Pelosi said. We have to pass Obama care bill to see whats in it. We have to re-elect Obama to see his hope and change!!! Bush screwed up his first term!! And after that we can look for him to amend the 2 term limit on holding office so he can be president forever!!! God help us all if he gets one more day in office!! Oops!!! I 'm sorry I wasn't suppose to mention God!!

November 05 2012 at 10:38 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
luckycur

Having a middle class is the difference between us, and third world countries, all of whom lack a middle class. I'm not even in the top 1%, yet earning a little over $20,000 per month and having the financial stability to eat, buy, travel, or donate whatever I please is a great benefit. Yet, very few people achive high levels of earning, you are either born into money, or get extremely lucky in life, otherwise you toil until retirement. Everyone likes to believe hard work makes the man, well, thats wrong. There are tons of highly trained, hard working people in the country, but not being in the right place, at the right time, or knowing the right people will keep 99% of them from achieving wealth.

November 05 2012 at 8:55 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to luckycur's comment
ilm9p

Yes, I'm middle class, I work hard, and I save and invest in every single tax advantaged plan I can find. The less taxes I pay, the more I take home. But more importantly, the less taxes I pay the less that goes to all the dirty animals on welfare in this Country. The vermin that sit around all day in free Section 8 housing, with free utilities, free food, free healthcare, free phones, and free Cable TV. This free-loading scum that wants only a hand-out and feel "they" deserve it from the backs of the working man. Enough is enough.

November 05 2012 at 7:44 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ilm9p's comment
robaguilar3

I am middle class as well but in my opion there is a difference between people that take advantage of the system and people that need a helping hand. Many poor people are the victims of a viscious cyle. Their parents lacked education, or the quality of the educational system in a certain inner city schools is much less than a school in the suburbs. As a result many of these people will not be hired because of , lack of education, appearance, transportation and I am sure to some degree "racism". I am sure not everyone on food stamps or living in section 8 wants to be there. I truly believe that if some of these fathers and mothers had an opportunity to have a good paying job, move out of the projects and pay taxes they would. But in many cases they do not have the opportunities to break the cycle. The way I look at it, I am grateful I had the opportuity to go to college, own my home, have my own business and provide for my family....................Im not sitting here worrying about the dirty animals on welfare in this country.....................I am enjoying my life.....

November 05 2012 at 9:59 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to robaguilar3's comment
theycallmeroy3

Very smart.

November 05 2012 at 10:09 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
t_trevor2

Your post illustrates the differences in the intended role of society relative to the role of government. And more importantly, the havoc that is wrought when the proper role of the two get reversed.

Thomas Paine illustrated this most eloquently in "Common sense":

“Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices”

and

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

Nobody doubts that some are deserving of a helping hand, nor has anyone proposed outlawing the opportunity to come to the aid of your fellow citizens. Confiscating trillions of the fruits of citizens labor reduces the capacity for society to offer that helping hand to those truly in need, while simultaneously providing incentives for a segment to take advantage of the ill-begotten largess.

November 05 2012 at 10:25 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down
dvdfrnzwbr

I be vot'n fo Obama fo real. He gonng git us some free $H!T

November 05 2012 at 4:10 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to dvdfrnzwbr's comment
ilm9p

Word to your Mother. I know right?

November 05 2012 at 7:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
luckycur

Sorry bud, its the Congress & Senate that approve ALL spending and that includes on Social programs, not the President. Want change, change the way our politicians operate. The office of President could be held by a friendly golden retriever.

November 05 2012 at 8:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to luckycur's comment
smith65791

WE MAKE 40,000 AND WE WRITE CHECKS TO THE GOV'T. DO'IN SOMETHIN WRONG, PLEASE HELP GET MY MONEY COM'IN IN FROM UNCLE SAM, VERSUS GOIN OUT TO UNCLE SAM.

November 05 2012 at 3:01 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ha6ai

Watson is an ass.

There is no "class-warfare", only communist-style "progressive" Obama Democrats trying to divide the country.

Americans admire success, even that based on nothing but gab .... look at billionaire Oprah, who can buy and sell Romney more than 10 times over. (She is as rich as more than 10 Romneys - and how many tens of thousands of jobs has she saved and created?)

Watson, AOL/HuffPuff and Obama are asses.

November 05 2012 at 1:55 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to ha6ai's comment
worried man

The article is pure BS

November 04 2012 at 10:46 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply