Aw, the 1% Feels Poor

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There's an UrbanBaby thread making its way around Internet circles, inspiring a sense of both depression and horror. It is about money, and how we feel about what we make, particularly in New York City, where we all seem to need a little bit more than people who live anywhere else. Despite the reminder not to judge in the thread's title -- "What's your hhi and do you FEEL poor, middle class, upper middle class or rich where you live. No judging" -- there is, most definitely, judging going on. But how can there not be when someone says (and, really, trolls or not, they did) that they are "poor" making $700,000 a year, or, "upper middle class" making 13 million a year?

Or, with statements like these:

180K Greenwich Village. I feel wealthy compared to most of the world. I feel like I am doing my child a disservice when she cried at age 4 because I told her we will NEVER buy a country house.
$350K, so, so, so poor. Not being dramatic or anything, really poor. We totally struggle every day. UES.
One's sense of wealth is a relative phenomenon (like happiness). In the world of Manhattan private schools, someone with $250k of income is eligible for financial aid; in most places in the U.S., that person would be rich. As amazing as it sounds someone with $1m of income and a young family will feel strained keeping up with the Soros family in the UES (without inheriting a substantial balance sheet); they will be in the bottom half of their child's peer group in terms of wealth. Are they middle class? No. Do they feel middle class? Yes. The key to happiness is being a big fish in a small pond (or at least defining your peer group in a way that rationalizes your perspective)
Last year 2mm, prior year 1mm, before that 475. Feel middle class
I'm always amazed at how people bash others on this board. my dh earns a little over 500k and i have always felt poor in nyc. i was probably one of the poorest if not the poorest in dd's preschool class. in nyc 500k is not a lot of money. yes, i have ft nanny. i have 3 children under the age of 5. we manage to pay our bills. we are now living with no money in the bank as we were pushed out of the city and purchased a house for over a million dollars. we did minor renovations. minor became major as it cost much more than we anticipated. we can afford the small daily things. it's the big stuff that becomes problematic. it's easy to feel poor when so many are receiving help from family members to pay for nursery school or camp. overall, it's easy to feel "poor" in nyc.

Rich people -- feeling poor, just like the rest of us!

For the record, according to a recent Gallup poll that asked people how much annual income they'd need to consider themselves rich, almost half the people surveyed said they'd need $150,000 a year to feel rich; 23 percent said between $100,000 and $150,000 would do it; 12 percent said between $60,000 and $99,999 would; and 18 percent said less than $60,000 would be enough.

Also for the record, in 2009, per IRS statistics, you needed to make $343,927 to be counted as among the 1%.

We find it hard not to side with this commenter, regarding those who make that and still feel "poor":

Then figure it out and get a grip on reality. You are somehow plowing through the GDP of a third world country every year. You have a problem if you don't recognize that you are filthy rich. The vast majority of people in this country make about 1/33 what you make, so suck it up.

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

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43 comments
jjobie1969
jjobie1969

These people sicken me, and they should be ashamed of themselves.


"Poor????" at 500 grand a year?


Get a goddamn grip.


"Then figure it out and get a grip on reality. You are somehow plowing through the GDP of a third world country every year. You have a problem if you don't recognize that you are filthy rich. The vast majority of people in this country make about 1/33 what you make, so suck it up."

THIS, THIS, a thousand times THIS.

Now go get a reality check and then come back and cry to me.

zana
zana

wow! my husband and i make $33,000 per year (he is doing a work-study, i work full-time at a non-profit). I feel like WE are "comfortable." We live in Manhattan, go out often, travel occasionally...and no, there is no one sending us money except that yearly $10 check from grandma!

TroyBusot
TroyBusot

It's neither right, nor wrong. It's called ambition.

Guest
Guest

Disgusting, absolutely revolting the responses I've read. I live off of disability and am unable to work myself, and my wife works as a nurse -our gross income comes in around 70k a year combined. We do not own a house, we rent. We don't have children. We live comfortably and have far more than enough money to get extras every month (be it a new HD tv, entertainment system, couch, etc.) -This is superb living, there are so many people living below poverty-level it's appalling! And here I'm reading that people with over 500k a year are feeling poor? These people are disgusting, they have enough income to provide housing and food for four or more families other than their own -and they feel they are poor? Stick them in a cardboard box outside of a Walmart, then lets see who's laughing.

Judy Novak
Judy Novak

Full time nannies? Multiple homes? Private schools for your kids? Then freaking fire the nanny, put your kid in a public school and sell a home you whiny self aborbed twits because I don't care where you live..making $300-500K doesn't make you poor by any stretch of the imagination.

Кабель HDMI
Кабель HDMI

  Poor me... Cant afford a 10 million dollar home. Im so sad we are not making more then a million dollars. Lol. These people are a joke and need a phyciatrist to fix what ever complex they have. I hope they read this and weep. We as a country do not count you as poor. Start paying taxed at the same percentage rate like the rest of the americans and get a clue. Your life right now is good. Manage your money better and you should have a percentage chart showing your money is going toward keeping up with the joneses. Reality check here take your cheese and wine somewhere else. You make the 99% sick.

eFarther
eFarther

That's a loaded question - how much annual income they'd need to consider themselves rich(?).  I used to think $50k would be enough. Then I realized that about half of that goes to taxes - income, sales, excise, vehicle registration, driver's license, toll roads, speeding tickets, Social Security, 911 surcharge on my phone, etc., etc., etc. In other words, the answers don't fit the question since the income doesn't match the take-home pay. So, in my case, once you deduct for the government extortion costs, $25k of take-home pay just doesn't cut it. The question should be How much take home pay do you need to feel rich? In my case, here in Texas (not in the big city) I'd say that about $50k would do it, at least for a few years until I got used to it. ;-)

Capa
Capa

Yeah its called living within your means. If you can't afford something don't buy it or buy into the mind set. I'm sure these Upper crust wanna bees and hangerons would be just as happy living in the suburbs or urban communities of the relatively cheaper surrounding areas. Instead they insist on living in an area that will strain them financially because that's the group they either came from or aspire to be a part of. However, that's their problem not ours and given the stupidity of their rational I can't feel any compassion for them.

Travis JB
Travis JB

folks, keep in mind that $500K after 37% fed, 5% state, property, local, fica, etc adding up to 65% means they only have ~$175K to spend.  If they are saving 15% each year, then discretionary is more ~$150K.  It costs $4K a month to rent a reasonable family apartment, so then there's $100K to spend on everything else.  That is NOT a fortune in NYC.  Any family should be able to live on that, but it is not 'rich'.

Rich should be defined based upon net worth, not income.  So many folks that move out of lower-middle classes and start earning serious income find themselves just keeping up and living comfortably, not buying expensive things.  

gooblez
gooblez

with parents that make something in the 75k-150k in NYC, I feel rich, sure NYC can really dwindle your savings, all you have to do is make smart buying decisions and refuse to spend on frivolous things like $4 bottled water when you have the best tap water in the world...

Anish Majumdar
Anish Majumdar

Wow. Although having lived in NYC, I can totally believe that there are people there who make 500K+ and still manage to feel "poor". Honestly, if you genuinely can't make ends meet on HALF A MILLION DOLLARS per year, no amount of money is going to help. 

hengdoo
hengdoo

That actually looks like it might just work. Wow.www.Total-Privacy dot US

Mikoe Wozz
Mikoe Wozz

 

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Matthew 'Raving Rendal' Ulmen
Matthew 'Raving Rendal' Ulmen

Is it sad that I would be happy with 24k a year tops? two thousand a month would be way more than I would need to live and be comfortable.

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet

Reminds me of a song I was listening to this morning: "The rich declare themselves poor/ and most of us are not sure/ if we have too much/ but we'll take our chances..."The thing is, it's a song from 1990. ("Praying For Time", fyi). 22 years later, here we are.

The more things change...

Nota99Nota1
Nota99Nota1

I feel that I'm not part of the 1% and I'm not part of the 99%.  I feel comfortable.  Some days I feel middle class, other days I feel upper middle class.  I go to school, my husband makes only about $155k, we have three dogs, a home in Manhattan, and one on Long Island, we have amazing health insurance, and we are not planning on having children.  We give to charity.  We eat wherever we want.  We shop where we want.  We don't waste our money on frivolous things.  If we had children everything would be different.  We would barely be able to make ends meet if we stayed in Manhattan.  We would have to give up the home in Manhattan.  I'd feel like we've gone from comfortable to poor and if I had to live in suburbia full time I think I might wind up shooting my brains out from boredom.  Children cost a lot albeit that is not the main source of why I am not having any.  The main reason is a whole different ball of wax. 

reader
reader

In the last excerpt, I know that "dh" is short for dear, or darling, husband. What is "dd" short for?

Also, the person who wrote the first one ("180K Greenwich Village") sounds decent; it's his or her daughter who sounds entitled, but she was just four years old.

jjobie1969
jjobie1969

@TroyBusot No, it's called needing a goddamn reality check.

Ichi
Ichi

Who the hell is your accountant that you pay 50% of 50k in taxes? Also, since when are speeding tickets and phone bills a tax? You have to be a troll...

nateware
nateware

Yeah, this is some ridiculous math by Travis.  Anyone with a $500k income paying 65% in taxes needs a new CPA.

There are copious studies showing the exact opposite to be true: People in the top 1% pay a smaller percentage of their income to taxes than those in the bottom 99%.

Ryan
Ryan

Gigantic LOL at total taxes adding up to 65% of salary. Show your work Travis.

Random Traveler
Random Traveler

Is that $24k/yr gross (i.e. $18.2k/yr net) or $24k/yr net?

KittyDelAmour
KittyDelAmour

 I hear ya. If someone's making over 150k a year and feels "poor", they're doing something wrong. It's the same thing when people talk about winning the lottery - I don't want to win the mega millions; I'd be perfectly set with say, 50k... "350k, so so so poor"? Really? Are you on food stamps? Are you struggling to pay your mortgage, and living out of boxes on the off chance you'll be evicted this month, or the next, or the next? I want to just go ballistic on these out of touch morons...

MGeneM
MGeneM

Yup, those darn children. A real drag on the joie de vivre. At least you take responsibility for the fact that all the money in the world won't make you a decent parent.

JDoll
JDoll

dear daughter?

eFarther
eFarther

You can rationalize it anyway you like, but when you break it down to the final crumb in the test tube - any money you give the government, for any reason, is tax money.

Speeding tickets, and lotteries, toll road fees, etc. are all taxes. No, not mandatory, but voluntary. Why you pay something has nothing to do with the purpose for collecting the charge. They are all funds used to "enhance" government control over you.

And, take a look at your phone bill and then reanswer the question. Subtract everything that isn't a phone call (text, etc.) and things that constitute business expenses for your cell company (wires, cell towers, labor costs, etc.) and then see what's left. If it's something that goes into a government coffer, it's a tax. Plain and simple.

Cedee
Cedee

$500K minus all taxes AND ZERO deductions plus 3 kids brings home about $5500/week. EVERY WEEK.

1 check goes to rent (similar to normal people) and I really hope 1 check covers everything else and those poor suffering souls are left with $11000/month, every month for stupid shit they don't need. The soul of NYC is not a moron who can't do math or morons who can't live on $11k spend cash per month. When 99% get their say, you'll see

poorer
poorer

I don't have enough money in my bank account to cover the $3.99 monthly fee.  When a bank charges you overdraft fees for not having $4 in your account at the end of the month, it makes you take it out on the homeless who assume you have a dollar to give them.

BuyAClue
BuyAClue

I feel like these overpaid cretins must make poor decisions.

One of them being, to actually make known their risible opinions on "fair" income.

Bluestocking
Bluestocking

Seriously!  $350K a year is "so, so poor"?!?!?  Give me a freakin' break, lady!!  In comparison with whom...Warren Buffett???  Considering the fact that at least 50% of American families live on far less than that -- and also the fact that according to GlobalRichList.com, $350K a year places a person among the world's top 0.001% (most of the world lives on less then five dollars per day) -- this person needs to get over herself, learn something about the real world, and then start being thankful for her good fortune instead of whining like a self-pitying crybaby.  Speaking as someone who has lived in New York City for more than ten years, much of that time on less than $50K per year, anyone who considers themselves poor on $350K(!) is almost certainly one or more of three things: a spoiled brat, a "conspicuous consumption" snob, or a spendthrift who has far more dollars than sense.

reader
reader

First of all, she (or he) doesn't say anything bad about children per se. Second of all, s/he doesn't state "that all the money in the world won't make [me] a decent parent." Stop being a (possibly jealous) hater.

Those Maggots at the Airport
Those Maggots at the Airport

And I guess "hhi" is "house hold income" (a la the kountry kids' "main stream media"). It really is tragic: These people are so poor they can't even afford hyphens anymore. And my kid cried, too, when I told her we would NEVAR buy a country house. But I was talking about the Barbie Three-Story Country House from Mattel.

reader
reader

That makes sense if she left out the mom in poorest mom in dd's preschool class.

Ftpwd5
Ftpwd5

So you feel entitled to judge people on their choice to have or not to have children.  You must have a serious personality problems to imply that your own values are some how true or somehow applicable to the larger society.

So what if people decide not have children because it is not convenient for them? They are not asking you to contribute to their welfare or give them charity. To feel morally superior stop pointing fingers at others and go look into your own life and mind.

MGeneM
MGeneM

Firstly, it takes real courage to anonymously respond to his/her (your own) post. Secondly, it is not what he/she (you) said per se, but what was implied. It doesn't take a genius to read between the lines to infer that he/she (you) prefer a life of convenience and fun to one of sacrifice. Lastly, stop being a spoiled (possibly entitled) brat.

reader
reader

Household and mainstream are single words, no hyphens necessary.

Atheistpolitic
Atheistpolitic

I think she's saying that she feels like the poorest parent of any of the parents of children in her darling daughter's preschool class.

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