Author Topic: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'  (Read 6217 times)

Scooby Doo

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People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« on: September 21, 2013, 02:38:58 AM »
According to Labour politicians here in the UK. For our North American friends, that is $96,000.

Discuss. :-)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24184473

HappierAtHome

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 03:05:13 AM »
We had politicians here recently saying that families on $250k are not rich. Aussie dollar was at parity with the US at the time.

In fact, my household is on just over $250k and we're eligible for welfare.

I'm starting to think that the vast majority of people earning an average or higher income never understand that they're not actually poor.

SnackDog

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 03:35:03 AM »
Rich in the UK means being born titled into a family with land, castles, and servants and never having worked a day in your life, perhaps never even touched real money.

Jamesqf

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 12:12:09 PM »
^ Yes, or having made the equivalent amount, so that you could live without working.  Making 60K or $250K from work is not "rich", it's upper middle class prosperity.

Now if you invested most of that amount for a few years, Mustachian-style, so that you then got the same amount in investment income, you would be rich.

seattlecyclone

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 12:27:47 PM »
Along the same lines, both parties in the US are pretty much in agreement that people who make less than $200k can't afford to pay any more in income tax, even though we still have a budget deficit that's the better part of a trillion dollars per year. The only real disagreement about taxation is whether people who make even more than that should have their rates raised.

arrow1963

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 03:05:08 PM »
I think you'll find that this discussion happens in most countries.  The interesting thing is at what level it happens at, and what that says about each society.  So, just borrowing from this thread:

Labour politicians in England referenced ~$100K USD equivalents as 'not rich'

A (different) Labour politiician in Western Sydney (a blue collar area) referenced $250K in the same way

In the discussion regading tax increases associated with the Affordable Care Act in the USA, 'not rich' thresholds were discussed at $250K and $400K, with many republicans arguing that these potential taxpayers were 'not rich'.


There are a couple issues at play in these discussions.  One is that 'rich' doesn't have a firm meaning, and everyone brings their own baggage to the term.  Does it mean 'has enough money to never work again' at a mustachian level of expenses?  Not to most people.  I think for a lot of 'of course you're rich' types, it means 'has a higher income than I do'.  For the 'I'm not rich on $1M a year crowd' it likely means ' never has to worry about money again'.

There's always the divergence between income and wealth, where discussion relating to tax policy for individual years can inaccurately assess an individual's financial position.


Albert

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 04:10:33 PM »
He was right, they are not rich - merely well-off if they are not blowing money on stupid shit or having too many dependants. That kind of income won't allow you to buy luxury cars or live in a fancy part of London without going into a massive debt.

daverobev

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 04:15:28 PM »
We had politicians here recently saying that families on $250k are not rich. Aussie dollar was at parity with the US at the time.

In fact, my household is on just over $250k and we're eligible for welfare.

I'm starting to think that the vast majority of people earning an average or higher income never understand that they're not actually poor.

Stupid question: if people making a quarter of a million dollars are welfare eligible, who the heck is paying for all those welfare benefits?

It's not that simple. If you're earning $250k you're probably paying $50k in tax - getting something like 'child benefit' at $100 a month might be termed a 'benefit' but it's still much less than you are 'paying in'.

Should people who earn a lot not get the.. I won't call them perks.. of situations just because they are rich? Ahem.. have a good remuneration package? They are already getting clobbered in the highest tax bracket...

I'm not saying they should, but rather it's not that simple. The system DOES adjust without government input. A bigger problem is the ways rich ("actual" rich, not salaried) folk get around paying much tax at all. But then - if the idea behind the world's various dividend credits (ie, if you live in Canada and invest in Canadian companies, the dividends you get are actually tax-positive for you) is that the company has already *paid* the tax.. well.. Not fair to take tax from that money again, is it.

The short is - if you piss your money up the wall, you're held into working. In most ways working is probably good for us, but not this 9-5, 5 days a week - for many people. We are generally lazy - lazy like animals, we'll work to make ourselves fed and warm, but if there is an easier way of being fed and warm, we'll take it. Why burn calories when you can bask in the sun?

There is a lot of moral judgement. I mean - I *despise* people who sit back and claim benefits because they are too lazy to work. But on the other hand, they are doing a very sane thing. The government keeps on giving them money!

I can work hard and save up for that car... or buy it on credit. The payment becomes background noise. I look shiny and flashy and might be able to procreate more easily. We forget, in our clever article-reading minds, that life is the explosion of two worlds meeting - our intelligent, logical one, and our reptile, emotional one.

And Labour? Well. The UK needs an infusion of upstanding, humble, hardworking politicians. Not Spin-Doctored, Flip-Flopping... ugh. I am sure many of them are decent, and many have their hearts in the right place, but the oily sleazy disgustingness of most that you see... Who argue to win points... I hate it. Hate it. The right answer is to become a politician, to agree with what you agree with, and oppose what you don't, regardless of party lines, but taking some account of your constituents' wishes.

It makes me want to cry. But, in the mean time, the world continues. The economic system adapts; so what, the real rich hold 95% of the wealth? They just lock it away, act as a giant sponge so there isn't too much lubrication. It's ok - it's self adjusting (else where would we be after the last ten years?).

MrsPete

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2013, 06:25:23 PM »
In my mind, there's rich . . . and then there's wealthy.  Here's my definition:   

Wealthy is what SnackDog described:  Born into money, never needed to work.  We in the US can't really relate to the castles and titles, but the overall concept is still the same.   

Rich means you have enough to live well -- and, in fact, might have as much as the wealthy person -- but you worked for it.  A rich person may accumulate enough that he can quit working, but he still won't be wealthy. 

A friend and I were discussing money once, and she said that she and her husband describe themselves (only to each other usually) as "The Working Rich".  By that, she means that they're very, very comfortable financially, but they worked for what they have, and they're not quite "done yet", meaning they're not quite ready to say, "This is enough, and we're going to retire."  If they quit, they don't have castles and family money to fall back upon.  They have a nice house and savings, but it all came from the sweat of their brows. 

Regardless, an American who earns 96K/year is rich.  Perhaps people in a few locations would disprove this generality, but the vast, vast majority of us could live quite well on that amount. 

SwordGuy

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2013, 07:08:57 PM »
An American family living on $96,000 a year can live extremely comfortably in any metropolitan or rural area anywhere in the USA.   

An American family living on $150,000 a year is very definitely rich.  It's way more than anyone needs to live on and still have a very high quality life.


cats

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2013, 07:47:31 PM »
In my mind, there's rich . . . and then there's wealthy. 

This.  I think a lot of people equate rich with having so much money that you never have to consider whether or not you can afford something, and frankly, by that metric, only a very select few people are rich, because even multi-millionaires probably do have to sit down and crunch the numbers on whether or not they can really afford that fifth luxury car, or whatever.  Basically, if your definition of rich is having a totally unending supply of money, you'll never be rich.  Every time you jump up a bit you'll just think of something you still can't afford to include in your lifestyle.

Deimyts

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2013, 11:34:07 PM »
An American family living on $96,000 a year can live extremely comfortably in any metropolitan or rural area anywhere in the USA.   

An American family living on $150,000 a year is very definitely rich.  It's way more than anyone needs to live on and still have a very high quality life.

As some other people in this thread stated, it's not really an absolute metric. It's less about whether you have lots of money than it is about whether you have more or less money than other people.

In America, if you (or people in your household) make between about 40K60K per year, you're right square in the middle of incomes. If you make more than 62K, then a majority of people make less money than you do. That makes you, if not ridiculously rich, than richer than most households in America. In my book, that makes you rich, even if there are still countless people richer than you are.

It's just that people's views get distorted because it's harder to see the things that you have which other people don't, than it is to see the things that you don't have that other people do.


Albert

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2013, 11:45:59 AM »
Maybe I'm missing some fine points of English (not my first language), but I would have said exactly the opposite - wealthy person is someone living a very comfortable life on a modestly high salary and rich is someone who doesn't need to work at all, can live on investments and business income alone and has a yearly income of at least half a million dollars (more if in very expensive area or with a bunch of kids).

daverobev

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2013, 12:15:50 PM »
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rich

60k does not make you rich. It means you have a very good salary.

Rich and wealthy are synonymous. Wealthy and rich are about how much you *have* not how much you *earn*.

Jamesqf

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2013, 10:50:46 PM »
Maybe I'm missing some fine points of English (not my first language)...

I don't think you're missing anything that most native speakers wouldn't.  It's one of those fine distinctions, like that between envy and jealousy.  But I think if you look at it linguistically, wealthy literally means having wealth: that is, one can live on the income from an accumulated fortune.  Whereas rich merely means having a lot of money...

makincaid

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2013, 06:19:38 AM »
It seems like pretty much everyone has a different definition of "rich" and "wealthy". Here are mine:

Rich - A person who has a high income, with high disposible income, and who buys a lot of fancy stuff. These folks may are may not have high networth. (i.e. Football players and Paris Hilton.)

Wealthy - A person of large wealth, who has high net worth. The lifestyle may or may not be fancy. (i.e. Warren Buffet and Mr. Money Mustache).

mpbaker22

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Re: People on 60,000 a year are 'not rich'
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2013, 07:27:20 AM »
Along the same lines, both parties in the US are pretty much in agreement that people who make less than $200k can't afford to pay any more in income tax, even though we still have a budget deficit that's the better part of a trillion dollars per year. The only real disagreement about taxation is whether people who make even more than that should have their rates raised.

No, that's not what the parties agree on at all.