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A nation without a large middle class


feargach

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Joined
Dec 11, 2006
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4,995
The middle class is what allows a 3rd world country to become 1st world. The explosion of our mortgage bubble seems to have blown Ireland's middle away. A chunk of people, about a third, who are doing Okay but not enough to be properly rich.

I'm talking about economics, of course, not wishy-washy stuff like "values" and all that.

A lot of people ask me why, given that I never mortgaged up during the bubble, I want some kind of partial debt forgiveness for the people who did. The answer is not generosity, but rather that I really do not want Ireland to become a third world country. And in the absence of a large middle class, nothing else is possible. Right now, a large proportion of people who were born in the 1970s are underwater on the mortgage, and that's killing the economy.

We can see a similar process going on in Spain. Not only that, it's the same thing all over again for them. After Franco took over, a nascent middle class was wiped out and living standards went back to 1880s levels for most of Spain.

Even if you are upper-class, you really should be scared of Ireland taking the 3rd world route. Who's going to take care of you when you're old and sick? It's doubtful that, in a 3rd world situation, governments will be able to get away with subsidising high-quality private health care for the rich with doctors for the poor. The rich are going to have to pay the considerable costs of health care all by themselves. That means that unless you're in the top 1%, you will end up being thankful if you manage to get a trolley in the hall.

Health, infrastructure and other trappings of the 1st world set are all predicated on a large, prosperous middle class. With only a small middle class, those things will necessarily get scaled back.
 

Mad as Fish

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Dec 6, 2012
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24,449
I'm still awaiting a definition of 'middle class'.
 

Analyzer

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Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,201
In Ireland, the middle class is shrinking. The right incentives are in place to ensure that this trend stays in place, and accelerates.

The working class is being treated with contempt, and being lied to. And this looks certain to continue.

The underclass is growing. The correct incentives are in place to encourage this also.

And the tax exile class is feted by the media. This is looking like it is facing an economic problem, therefore the media wants more compulsory taxes from the middle class and the working class, so as to incentivize this also.

And the plutocrat class wants to congratulate the working class, and the middle class for doing the responsible thing (and bailing out their own irresponsibility).

The key to unravelling the lot, I reckon, is the media.
 

Analyzer

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Feb 14, 2011
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Eddie Hobbs uses the description "the muddle class".
 

Tin Foil Hat

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Mar 3, 2010
Messages
2,900
When we started describing those who pay their own way as 'privileged' and started treating those living off handouts as 'victims' was the point when we kissed this country goodbye.
 

frequency

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Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
943
I'm still awaiting a definition of 'middle class'.
It's the group that are not nobility but not working class. In Ireland, over 50% of the population receive some sort of benefits, the middle class is very small and getting smaller.
 

Northsideman

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Joined
Mar 7, 2010
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9,461
It's the group that are not nobility but not working class. In Ireland, over 50% of the population receive some sort of benefits, the middle class is very small and getting smaller.
Everyone with kids receive benefits including the middle and upper classes so that accounts for a massive chunk.
 

Niall996

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Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
12,142
I'm still awaiting a definition of 'middle class'.
I'll throw in a guess to start a firestorm. Probably that band of income between 40k and 70k is middle class. Obviously the word 'class' is an old colonial anachronism. It's really an income measurement now. So in and around that should be a reasonable stab.
 

RahenyFG

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Jun 17, 2010
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9,206
What would the OPer state as the minimum and maximum yearly income thresholds to be considered middle class?
 

Mr. Bumble

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Sep 7, 2010
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When we started describing those who pay their own way as 'privileged' and started treating those living off handouts as 'victims' was the point when we kissed this country goodbye.
I think we kissed it goodbye when we started describing people on dole/disability/lone parent's allowance/pensions as 'living off handouts'.
 

Northsideman

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Mar 7, 2010
Messages
9,461
What would the OPer state as the minimum and maximum yearly income thresholds to be considered middle class?
With some in Dublin it's not income just a deluded state of mind!
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Sep 28, 2009
Messages
11,840
There is no middle class in Ireland.

There is a section of the working class who call themselves 'Middle class' but really they are working class with delusions of grandeur.
 

Northsideman

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Mar 7, 2010
Messages
9,461
I'll throw in a guess to start a firestorm. Probably that band of income between 40k and 70k is middle class. Obviously the word 'class' is an old colonial anachronism. It's really an income measurement now. So in and around that should be a reasonable stab.
Fuk me I'm royalty.
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Joined
Sep 28, 2009
Messages
11,840
If you work, you are working class. The clue is in the word 'working'.

It does not matter what you earn.

Got it?

Now back to work...annual review next week..I'd hate to have to mark you down. :D
 

Colin M

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Jul 23, 2012
Messages
5,356
The middle class always vote for the wrong ones in elections, who end up screwing them through increasing taxation - FF under Bertie, FG last time around. They still buy into what the likes of the mainstream media say, far too much. 'Useful idiots', far too frequently.
 

Analyzer

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Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,201
In the current economic environment, it is important to distinguish between the superficial trappings of class (as indicated by consumer group belongingness spending) and income.

At tome point, the richest man in Ireland was telling us "I am just an ordinary man", and "I play poker for 50p a time".

On the other hand we had a large quantity of people living the high life, making reckless decisions, while racking up enormous debts.

Actually hold on....it is even possible to be in the two categories....
 
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