America’s Upper Middle Class Feeling the Pinch Too

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  ephemeral 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #14690

    Crow Bar

    I have to wonder are they feeling the pinch due to actual economic reasons, or did they live beyond their means?

  • #14822

    James Mitchner

    I think I mentioned elsewhere about walking into a new ‘McMansion’ with two new cars in the driveway but hardly any furniture in the house.  The couple couldn’t afford to furnish the house!  I think a lot of that is going on throughout the upper-middle class. Throughout the lower economic strata, too. Living payday to payday has become a way of life for many while using debt to fill in any gaps.

  • #14859



    Definitely living beyond their means.

    James, you’re on to something with your post. Status within the group is very important to people, so important that they will hurt themselves financially to achieve the perception of high status …….. unfurnished McMansion,lol.

    The competition for status pervades many of our interactions, it drives the sale of the latest clothing fashions, I see it being employed in the sales pitches for the latest, greatest, high speed low drag tactical gear …..gucciflage, a must have for the real operator, more macho than all other camouflage, lol. People stab friends and potential allies in the back to gain status. It even appears on obscure internet forums, resulting in needless bickering and hurt feelings …… LOL!

    I majored in Anthropology in college, I particularly enjoyed cultural Anthropology. From that perspective meet the “Potlatch”, an interesting custom practiced by the indigenous peoples, the Indians, of the northwest.

    “In the <i>potlatch</i>, the host in effect challenged a guest chieftain to exceed him in his ‘power’ to give away or to destroy goods. If the guest did not return 100 percent on the gifts received and destroy even more wealth in a bigger and better bonfire, he and his people lost face and so his ‘power’ was diminished.”<sup id=”cite_ref-9″ class=”reference”></sup>       …….. Yeah OK, wikipedia is good enough to get a feel for what this is about.

    This was referred to as conspicuous consumption, proving status by “consuming”, giving away or destroying valuable assets, including the killing of slaves …… they had a special club just for that purpose.

    We cannot help it, the drive for status is hardwired, part of the survival instincts, the need to achieve the highest status possible to reap the rewards, of which breeding rights was the foremost. If we understand these things we can control, to a large degree, the drive to act out on it, especially when it is inappropriate, for example, when it is tantamount to financial suicide.

  • #14959

    Crow Bar

    Yeah, I had a co-worker who insisted she needed a 2400sqft home, for her and her one child.
    I think a lot of Americans replace the word want with the word need.
    And, a lot of Americans dont really understand money management.

  • #15000


    Crow Bar, as I post in response to subjects being brought up, I see certain patterns of behavior emerging, it being obvious.

    I will employ an oblique approach rather than being personally confrontational, which would result in defensiveness and denial, rather I will deal in analogy.

    I have German shepherds, male and female, and I enjoy observing their behaviors. The behaviors of dogs have parallels in human behaviors, no matter that it makes some people uncomfortable to admit such. We are both social animals, and as such status is important to our survival. In dogs the status seeking, pack hierarchy behavior is without pretense, honest as such, whereas in humans we commonly attempt to obscure such behavior behind a wall of rather disingenuous justifications.

    I have observed my male German shepherd discovering where a stray has come through the yard at night, into his territory, and peed on something, thereby marking it as his territory with his scent. My dog cannot ignore this intrusion into his area of control, he must pee upon the other dog’s scent in order to reestablish his dominance over the territory. This behavior is never ending, it happens every time a strange scent is discovered. My dog is compelled by his survival instincts to act in this manner, he cannot control this behavior.

    Humans have, or should have if they are aware and honest as to the motivations for their actions, the ability to control to a large degree their own survival drives, instincts (yes we have them), or at least modify them in light of social acceptability. The sad state of affairs is that very few people can admit to themselves the why of their actions, what is behind the dances we play out with each other. The actual naked motivations for human behaviors are quite embarrassing for the majority to accept, and therefore, in this state of denial, we come up with endless justifications for doing what we do.

    Once a person becomes aware of these things, and gets over the ego bruising that results in the acceptance of what we are, and what really motivates us, these bizarre little repetitive dances get tiresome.

    It gets wearisome but so what, too bad, it is what it is, and it will never stop, because people cannot divorce themselves from the comfortable, self-aggrandizing illusions they create in order to replace the godawful actuality of the reality of our existence. This is why we fight over inconsequential things, this is why we cannot/will not accept the differences inherent to the peoples of this world.

    Just a little something to consider.


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