Thursday, March 04, 2010

Class Matters

Some insights about class. In attitudes and circumstances I think I am on the border between the middle class and owning class. I try to be a non-conformist, think outside the box, and do something different, but in the end fall back on being an employee out of neccessity and lack of ability I guess to do some of these other things. I think the class structure in this article is too broad. There are "middle class" business owners with employees who don't have a high net worth and so aren't in the owning class as well as professionals and managers. And there is a difference between a self-employed professional and an employed professional in attitudes about government, taxes, regulation etc.

Some of the people around me find my relaxed attitude to my current situation rather puzzling. I don't tell them of course that we have more than $A200k in liquidish assets. I do tell them that we can live OK on one salary and while we want to have two salaries in the long-term there is no emergency at the moment.

The deeper question is why we've saved so much money outside of retirement accounts and why we live frugally when we could spend more when many (most?) people expand their spending to match their income. I think it is largely a result of learned attitudes (at least on my part) that relate to these class issues. It isn't so easy to do these things that many personal finance gurus and bloggers promote without deeply embedding the right attitudes, so it's no longer a question of discipline in keeping spending under control.

This isn't the whole story on this complex issue of course. You can see more of my posts on class here.

No comments: