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What country has the richest middle class?
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:48 pm    Post subject: What country has the richest middle class? Reply with quote

For years and years and years, the answer was the United States (without a shadow of a doubt). Now, it appears to be a tie between the U.S. and Canada. For the upper 50% of the population, the United States is by far the best overall. But for those at the very middle (50th percentile), Canada may be the winner. Same for those mildly to moderately below average. As an American, it saddens me to see the U.S. no longer a clear #1 (but rather just a maybe at this point)…BUT…#2 in the world out of 201 countries is not bad. It's still pretty good. And maybe I could move to Canada and work there. AND maybe in the United States I could join the upper 40% of society, upper 30%, upper 20% or even upper 10% of wage earners. In that case, America can't be beat when it comes to highest after tax incomes. Anyways, I just wanted to share this good news for those of us who may one day move home to Canada or the United States. (Most of us do eventually.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/this-simple-table-summarizes-our-story-on-american-living-standards.html?action=click&contentCollection=The%20Upshot&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article
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aq8knyus



Joined: 28 Jul 2010
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:53 am    Post subject: Re: What country has the richest middle class? Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
For years and years and years, the answer was the United States (without a shadow of a doubt). Now, it appears to be a tie between the U.S. and Canada. For the upper 50% of the population, the United States is by far the best overall. But for those at the very middle (50th percentile), Canada may be the winner. Same for those mildly to moderately below average. As an American, it saddens me to see the U.S. no longer a clear #1 (but rather just a maybe at this point)…BUT…#2 in the world out of 201 countries is not bad. It's still pretty good. And maybe I could move to Canada and work there. AND maybe in the United States I could join the upper 40% of society, upper 30%, upper 20% or even upper 10% of wage earners. In that case, America can't be beat when it comes to highest after tax incomes. Anyways, I just wanted to share this good news for those of us who may one day move home to Canada or the United States. (Most of us do eventually.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/this-simple-table-summarizes-our-story-on-american-living-standards.html?action=click&contentCollection=The%20Upshot&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article


Wasn't the point of the study that whilst other major economies were growing massively and catching up with the US, the US was essentially standing still. Doesn't look good for the future to be honest.

Plus the outlook for the poorest percentiles suggests that the US is regressing or at the very least declining relatively.
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radcon



Joined: 23 May 2011

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:21 am    Post subject: Re: What country has the richest middle class? Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
For years and years and years, the answer was the United States (without a shadow of a doubt). Now, it appears to be a tie between the U.S. and Canada. For the upper 50% of the population, the United States is by far the best overall. But for those at the very middle (50th percentile), Canada may be the winner. Same for those mildly to moderately below average. As an American, it saddens me to see the U.S. no longer a clear #1 (but rather just a maybe at this point)…BUT…#2 in the world out of 201 countries is not bad. It's still pretty good. And maybe I could move to Canada and work there. AND maybe in the United States I could join the upper 40% of society, upper 30%, upper 20% or even upper 10% of wage earners. In that case, America can't be beat when it comes to highest after tax incomes. Anyways, I just wanted to share this good news for those of us who may one day move home to Canada or the United States. (Most of us do eventually.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/this-simple-table-summarizes-our-story-on-american-living-standards.html?action=click&contentCollection=The%20Upshot&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article


Decreasing living standards is good news for the US? And this is just the beginning. American after tax income is still fairly high but it's deceptive since Americans don't get much for their tax dollar: no health care (we'll see how Obamacare shakes out), no mandated vacation time or parental leave, no childcare or old age care, no cheap or free college tuition. But at least we have a kick ass military, right.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:03 am    Post subject: Re: What country has the richest middle class? Reply with quote

radcon wrote:
Decreasing living standards is good news for the US?

As much as you complain and put down the U.S., they are still #1 (or maybe #2 behind Canada).

The good news is Canada and the United States are some of the absolute best places on earth in terms of earning potential.

radcon wrote:
no childcare or old age care, no cheap or free college tuition. But at least we have a kick ass military, right.

Child care: Head Start
Old age care: Medicaid and Social Security
Universities: Heavily subsidized by the federal and state governments, and ranked as the best in the world.

America doesn't suck.
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radcon



Joined: 23 May 2011

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:14 am    Post subject: Re: What country has the richest middle class? Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
radcon wrote:
Decreasing living standards is good news for the US?

As much as you complain and put down the U.S., they are still #1 (or maybe #2 behind Canada).

The good news is Canada and the United States are some of the absolute best places on earth in terms of earning potential.

radcon wrote:
no childcare or old age care, no cheap or free college tuition. But at least we have a kick ass military, right.

Child care: Head Start
Old age care: Medicaid and Social Security
Universities: Heavily subsidized by the federal and state governments, and ranked as the best in the world.

America doesn't suck.


Head Start is only for poor people not the middle class. Medicaid is also only for poor people not old people. I think you meant Medicare which is a form of healthcare not old age care per se. US universities are swell but also very expensive and students graduate with the highest debt burden in the world. Social Security is a pension scheme that pays out around 33-40% of the final pay where as the European Union average is around 65%

Are you telling us that the US tax payer gets just as much or more bang for their buck than European tax payers? It's not even close.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe they get as much "bang for their buck" considering they are paying less bucks in the first place. U.S. taxes are very low. Taxes for the middle class are very low. Average working Joes aren't forced to finance the life of poor people as much as is the case elsewhere. Is that bad that there is less forced wealth redistribution from the middle class to the lower class? If people want to go to college, they must pay for it themselves (partly). That is fair. (Why should others have to pick up the tab?) Same with other things like child care and health care. I'm glad the U.S. is more libertarian than socialist. It's part of what makes the country so great.

https://www.facebook.com/yaliberty/photos/a.420478680196.191456.13187955196/10152052657615197
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bobbyhanlon



Joined: 09 Nov 2003
Location: 서울

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Median household income by PPP is a pretty good indicator http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_household_income
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Who's Your Daddy?



Joined: 30 May 2010
Location: The joy's in the ride.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe mortgage interest is tax deductible in the US. It isn't in Canada.

Canada is great for health care. You pay for it with taxes, but if you have a catastrophic illness, it doesn't affect your finances like it would in the US.

But apart from the health care, the US has a lot of advantages for college educated people vs. Canada.

Employers usually pay more for the same job, and there are more job opportunities. [The same is true for the UK vs. Canada.] There are so many large companies.

The cost of living in the US (except health care) I think is cheaper. Food is cheaper, as are clothes, and consumer goods, and cars, and gasoline.

I'd guess for cities of similar size to Canadian cities you'll get a lot cheaper housing (e.g. Vancouver vs. Seattle, Toronto vs. Atlanta?)
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wishfullthinkng



Joined: 05 Mar 2010

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

weird rambler your pro-american threads are getting a bit tired. don't you have anything else in your decidedly small bag of tricks?
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radcon



Joined: 23 May 2011

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
Maybe they get as much "bang for their buck" considering they are paying less bucks in the first place. U.S. taxes are very low. Taxes for the middle class are very low. Average working Joes aren't forced to finance the life of poor people as much as is the case elsewhere. Is that bad that there is less forced wealth redistribution from the middle class to the lower class? If people want to go to college, they must pay for it themselves (partly). That is fair. (Why should others have to pick up the tab?) Same with other things like child care and health care. I'm glad the U.S. is more libertarian than socialist. It's part of what makes the country so great.

https://www.facebook.com/yaliberty/photos/a.420478680196.191456.13187955196/10152052657615197


US taxes are lower than European countries, but not by much. Tell us what middle class Americans get for their taxes? They don't get health care, child care, college tuition, vacation time, or parental leave.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But they have a kick-azz armed forces, metal detectors at the doors of the schools, bankrupt school districts, NCLB, the TSA, the NSA, a broken banking system that is allowed to plunder and pillage with impunity, corporations that have more rights and governmental protections than citizens, etc....

They get lots for their tax dollars.

.
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Jongno2bucheon



Joined: 11 Mar 2014

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sucks being American. All of a sudden you have to use the term North American so that other people can get employed.
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Brooks



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How can Canada be the winner? The sales tax is high, plus high taxes.
You do get health insurance.

America may be getting worse. America is a meaner country with so many so-called Christians who don`t want to turn the other cheek.
Gun owners and a bloated defense budget.

America`s problem is the rise in inequality and the Wall Street folks who get a free ride.

Things like NAFTA hurt the middle class in the US, but probably in Canada as well.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brooks wrote:
How can Canada be the winner?

Is it though? Five and a half brackets went to the United States; two and a half brackets went to Canada. (I guess it depends on how you read the numbers; regardless, both countries are doing very well.)
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

radcon wrote:
Tell us what middle class Americans get for their taxes?

Clean air, environmental protection, infrastructure, safety standards, protection, etc. There are a lot of good things. It's not all bad.
http://www.numbeo.com/pollution/rankings_by_country.jsp
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