As a millennial who makes more than they probably should, I feel like this state tows a liberal ethos but it’s totally fake.
I couldn’t afford to have 2 kids, a non working spouse, health insurance for the family, a single family detached home, a car, and maybe helping put my kids through school.
So I meagerly pick and choose what parts of that “middle class” life I can make reality. I’m bitter, maybe rightfully or wrongly so, that it was much simpler for prior generations.
I make 200,000 a year. How much should it take? It’s frustrating to do the damn best I can (which is still generously better than many Americans) yet feel like I’m so far behind. Am I crazy to feel that way? Am I unreasonable in my desire to live archetype middle class life?
As a millennial who makes more than they probably should, I feel like this state tows a liberal ethos but it’s totally fake.
- Inequality is correlated with how progressive your taxes are.
The only successful changes that have ever decreased inequality are massive natural disasters (floods, the plague, etc) and civil wars that made everyone equally poor. Inequality has never in history decreased without massive death.Jan 24 2
- New ffffuuuuunDepends on your definition of liberal.
If you mean liberal as in liberal democratic then yes, it's kind of the perfect description given the free market capitalist society that is CA.
If you mean liberal as is often misused to imply left wing (which are entirely unrelated) then absolutely not as it is about as far from a socialist society as one could imagine.
- This state pretends to have a strong social safety net, but like the rest of America, they do jack for actually middle class people to get ahead.
There’s a couple policies I like. Capital gains are taxed at marginal rates. But they do nothing for renters. Prop 13 doesn’t do shit for me as a young person who couldn’t buy a house decades ago.
- You make $200k. You're not middle class, you're upper class. The "safety net" you're thinking of is costing you money, not benefiting you.
CA/Progressive policies do not create wealth. They take wealth to fund the political machine, and a little leaks out for the poor. Nobody with a job benefits from it.Jan 23 11
- Is it really upper class though? Maybe this is a discussion of semantics, but when I think upper class, I think vacations to other continents. A second home. Expensive hobbies, like skiing or golfing or whatever. Things I don’t have. I want something fun to do, I’ll go play disc golf. That’s like, $6 for the disc rental and to play the course.
- Google / Eng चाचा चौधरीmoreBruh, that percentile calculator is bs because it didn't take col into account. 200k is _maybe_ the floor of middle class. No way it is upper middle class. Fyi in sf and parts of South Bay, 100k is considered "low income". Rent here is crazy, so income levels here have drastically different meanings. E.g. a buddy of mine is a cafeteria server at hospital and he earns 80k. He lives in his parent's place.
Long story short, yes 200k is barely middle class family income and yes, it doesn't go far.
- Apple sKdnNsjxjdThis is part of the stretch between the lower and upper class, the growing income inequality. $200k/year absolutely sounds like it should be upper class, especially if you’re earning $50k/year. 4 times more means 4 times the wealth, right? What it means is better schools for the kids, owning a house, and some nanny help because you’re working so much. That’s the difference from 50k->200k. I think it’s upper middle class for the area, but upper class means not working and still bringing in money. You can earn more per year as upper middle, but you still need to work. Lower upper class is living off of passive income, and spending your time growing it.
- Livingwage.mit.edu for a 2 adult (1 working) 2 child family: living wage in SF metro is $75k. Austin TX is $54k.
Take home pay after all taxes is $146k in SF @200k. $43k for TX @50k
So yes you have about $80k difference in money after adjusting for cost of living. Note that you could support an additional family with that extra money in both metros.
Majority of America can’t afford a $500 surprise. Don’t live in your victim fantasy.
- $200k/yr for an individual (OP) in SF is 100% upper class, not middle class. Look up the income distribution & percentile yourself.
If you define "upper class" as so rich you don't have to work and get to do fun things we tech workers can't afford to do, then there are so few people in your "upper class" that it effectively doesn't exist. The only people in that boat are retired and can't go on vacations or live lives of luxury.
- Liberal policies in California are there for poor low income class, not upper middle class which you certainly are, if not upper class. You are paying taxes for those liberal policies so that low income class can have those benefits and safety nets.
So either shut up and be a liberal and sponsor the poor with your tax money.
Or be a conservative and do not vote ultra left liberals in CA.
Or quit your job and become a homeless bum to receive those safety net benefits.
You don't get to cry about wanting a liberal state and at the same time only want benefits for yourself.
And yes with your income if you save enough and live responsibly, you can afford all that you listed except the home where may be you have to settle for a town home or a very long commute.
- I want benefits for everyone except people earning more than 10 million per year. That covers blue collar folks and people like me who earn 2-4x blue collar wages in tech. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is onto something. Her vision will be the mainstream democratic platform in 20 years.
- If the benefits are only payed by 10 million holders, it will not be enough. They are much fewer in number. If you tax them too high like 70% still not enough. But they are not going to suck it up and pay 70%, they will simply move to a different state and taking all the business and jobs with them. Its risky business to tax the heck out of rich people. You need to strike a balance.Jan 23 5
- The AOC tax (70% over $10M) would raise less than $20B/year federally. That's a rounding error on the CA budget, not to mention the ~$1T federal deficit. You couldn't pay for anything with that.
Americans currently spend more on taxes than on housing, food and clothing *combined*. If you want more money, you need to lower taxes, not increase them. The govt is mostly waste. I've worked in it.Jan 23 4
- Salesforce :w!Why AOC's tax in the US would end up any different that Holland's tax in France?
12000 millionaire left France after the supertax was introduced.
"the sums obtained from the supertax were meagre, standing at €260m in 2013 and €160m in 2014, and affecting 1,000 staff in 470 companies. Over the same period, the budget deficit soared to €84.7bn."
"A total of 3,744 people who earned 100,000 euros per year or more left France in 2013, a 40 percent increase compared to 2012, French financial newspaper Les Echos revealed citing figures from the national tax-collecting office.
Furthermore, 659 people who earned 300,000 euros or more annually said ‘au revoir’ in 2013, a 46 percent rise on the previous year. By comparison, the overall French migration rate in 2013 increased by only 6 percent."
- It’s what my friend calls a limousine liberal state = hypocritical. We pay some of the highest taxes (fed, state, local) and get crappy schools, expensive healthcare, poor public transport and crazy college debt. Property prices keep rising faster than our pay checks. And we elect the same clowns with a different promise. Remember it’s always socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor
- You might be right but that doesn’t make me want to make me vote Republican. I don’t trust them. Republicans gifted trillions to the upper class in tax cuts. And when I say upper class, I mean people making much more than me. Neither party offers anything for the middle class. All the benefits go to the top. I will say Democrats almost always have better social policy.
- The Republican tax cuts lowered taxes for almost everyone. Only 5% of Americans got tax increases, and they're all the highest earners in high-tax states.
Ignore the BS headlines you've read. This was a tax cut for everyone except the rich.
https://taxfoundation.org/tcja-one-year-later/Jan 23 4
- TI CantCatchMDon't the tax cuts for us mere mortals phase out as well while corporations and truly high earners don't phase out over time?
Regardless, it's all a bit funny money since we have huge national debt and now an even larger deficit. We'll all pay for it somehow some day. The truly Rich will be the ones who can avoid it by moving abroad when shit goes down.
- No, that's not correct. The corporate tax changes (which catch the US up to the corporate tax rates that so-called socialist Europe has had for decades) were permanent. Those primarily benefit workers, not investors.
The individual tax changes (which benefitted the poor and some rich, alike) expire in ~9 years, because the GOP would have needed a few Democrats to vote for it to make them permanent, per a Senate rule. They could make them permanent at any time, if the Democrats choose.
But yes, out of control deficit spending and pension liabilities will soon cause structural collapse to both the federal and CA budgets. Have your bags packed when that happens.
- PSA: for those who feel unsuccessful, like their TC isn't good enough for Blind, check your income percentile:
You're all upper class, not middle class.
- So if what I said is unrealistic, am I the only delusional one? I would’ve thought upper class life would’ve been able to provide more, to be honest. I mean, I’m not trying to sound greedy saying that because I don’t think my original post outlined a crazy list of things. Healthcare, a home, a car? The system is unsustainable if upper class life can’t support all of that. Something must be broken.
- I guess drawing the line of middle and upper class is where we disagree then, and I realize it may be my definition of upper class that is wrong. If upper class isn't the tier that gets all the stuff (btw Ferrari is obviously an extreme but a bunch of people drive around in 90k SUVs and trucks and whatever), then which tier is?
- 2 points:
1) there's aren't enough people that meet your image of "rich" to make up a class. They're extremely rare anomalies.
2) flashy displays of wealth are usually not the richest folks around. Read some of the profiles of the ultra-rich. They don't drive those sports cars. Those are usually financed by people who can't afford them, with something to prove.
- I read an article that stagnant middle class wages weren’t a problem for stock markets because spending on luxury goods has filled the gap. Now I don’t keep that kind of company, but I’ve driven down Rodeo Drive and seen a bunch of very luxury vehicles. I’m sure most of them weren’t financed. There’s a very small class consuming premium things, enough so to counteract a declining middle class. So I think your point about not having enough rich people isn’t quite right. It doesn’t take many rich people to generate large amounts of spending since they’ll drop a lot more cash than the average person would on, say, a car.
- The stagnant wages claims are lies built on unrealistic inflation estimates. The poor are getting richer.
I know people who recently made 8 figures and still live like plain middle class engineers. I also know people who make 5 figures and drive much nicer cars than I do, living in houses much bigger than mine. Income doesn't predict spending very well.
That's one of the reasons progressive sales taxes work much better than progressive income taxes at really hitting the people you think of as rich.
- Google WoopsyWith 200k you should have 131k after taxes. An employer sponsored healthcare shouldn’t be more than 3k/y, renting a 3 or 4br house in Mountain View is doable under $60k/y, and a Tesla Model 3 with a 6y loan is $10k/y.
Add an extra 10k or 20k on food and that is still way under $100k for living well in the bay, with an extra $30k or $40k for leisure.
- Fitbit jRn41Nobody is forcing you to live where you live. You can easily move to a state where they pay you $70k, and that's plenty in that state.
- Health care and other items (cars etc) don’t decrease in price in America’s cheaper areas. You get cheaper housing for much proportionally less salary. California is still a better deal than coding in Montana. I’ll give this state that: there are certainly worse options than being in California as an upper middle class earner.
- New / Eng hYw82bsosmoreYeah but pay and cost of.living can be better elsewhere. You can easily make 150k in a city like Austin or minneapolis and still have a much lower cost of living.
If you aren't making over 300k in the bay you're wasting your money and could make a better life in a cheaper city. It's all hype if you aren't making it happen.
- You’ve discovered why there is no middle class in California.
After tax, your $200K is what, $120K?
- Probably more like $100K Net. Don’t forget state taxes, property taxes, sales tax, registration, gas tax. When you add it all, we pay taxes similar to socialist countries such as Denmark. But wait, they have free healthcare, childcare and generous retirement and other govt benefits. Our $$ goes to pay for Unwinnable wars :)
- You are not crazy...in fact neoliberalism failed the world...
What you are noticing is that despite topline compensation, the real American middleclass lifestyle is unaffordable today.
These were traded away for cheap junk made in china to appease the lower class masses.
- We were sold out for that stellar growth in the 90s stock market. I hate to be anti-trade, since that sounds too Trumpian. But free trade has seemed to be zero sum. It enriched already wealthy people in the US upper class, it reduced poverty in countries like China, but it did it at the expense of the American middle class.
- Except after-tax wages haven’t stalled for four decades; they’ve gone up for every income quintile.
And yes, I will take flat wages if goods/services continue to get better/cheaper.
The point is standards of living continue to increase; trade actually makes it better, not worse, because productivity increases.
- Google w61MqhLiberal isn't the same as "well managed". Case in point: San Francisco's board of supervisors are liberal as hell but I wouldn't trust them to run a hotdog cart.
- Regarding middle class vs upper class: we seem to have this idea that "middle class" means working to live. I think the definitions which fit people's imaginations the best would be:
Lower class / poor: can't get a job, live on welfare
Middle class: have a job that they can live off of; must work to live
Upper class / rich: don't need to work
But think about the (earned) income distributions for those 3 groups:
Income taxes only apply to income, which means those with jobs pay all the taxes. By this definition, 97% of pre-retirement families are middle class. That's so broad, it can't be a class definition.
- Lower class: mostly receives tax benefits
Middle class: pays mostly wage income taxes
Upper class: pays mostly capital gains taxes
97% is correct...even doctors earning $400k have to work to earn and really have no power over society. It is the top 0.5% and above who have power over others.
- Apple 6’3” sweNot so easy to label. It depends on the area and the issue. The Bay Area is split into many different counties, which makes large transportation projects impossible because we can’t get each county to vote to pony up the money and work collectively on a mass transportation project. Case a point, look at the original BART map when it was proposed and what was actually built. It’s night and day, and 💯 because of this issue. The original BART would have been a dream.
In contrast, LA actually would have a much easier time building a worthwhile BART system because LA county is enormous and has billions of tax dollars under a single umbrella and people to vote for such a thing.
California is liberal socially. But it’s still a economically conservative state overall. And that reflects the views of the people here.
And our tax situation is 💯 due to prop 13 years ago. We decided we’d rather have lower property taxes for higher income taxes. Because only a great fool would believe you could eliminate a massive tax revenue for a state this large and not have to raise it elsewhere.
- Amazon / Eng bobbyhillmoreRemember, y’all just a few paychecks from being poor like the rest of America. The infographics in this video puts your TC in context.
It’s funny how y’all think you’re actually making money, I sure don’t 🤣
More taxes plz
- In all seriousness, people do it with 1/4 of your income , you’re just not understand what middle class really is.
You probably want a nice car , to have kids , and to live in a great location , with good schools for them and the best healthcare there is.
I had discussions like this with friends in their early 30s getting depress by the same thing and it sucks but not even in the good ol’ days people could afford that
- I can't speak for conservatives, but as a classical liberal, I want a healthy market for housing, uncorrupted by burdensome zoning laws, building regulations, red tape, compliance costs, low income housing mandates, and rent/price controls.
Housing is most affordable when entrepreneurs are free to solve problems without government in the way.
- Bloomberg / Eng iVX372California will always be expensive because it's the most in-demand place to live in the US and is already densely populated, period.
Eliminating the policies that perpetuate the housing shortage would not solve this problem, but they would help significantly.
Btw the housing shortage policies have little to do with liberal politics. NIMBYism is perpetuated by liberal and conservative SF homeowners alike