From the Annals of Those Who Just Don’t Get It:
Neale, 33, says he surpassed the $100,000 mark last year but says that between mortgage payments, the high price of heating fuel, gas, food and everyday items in life, his salary doesn’t go as far as he thought it would. Neale is married with three children and says that his extracurricular real estate and investment activities help them buy the extras in life.
“Now that I’ve made (a $100,000 salary), it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. We make sacrifices. It’s not like I tell my kids we’re going to have to eat peanut butter and jelly every night. We live well, but I wouldn’t consider it anything extravagant,” says Neale.
Many now consider $250,000 the new $100,000 income. Adam says that level of income is typically required to provide what many have before expected of a six-figure salary. Adam also points to other expenses that are not necessities but are considered part of a middle class lifestyle — things like cellphones, high-speed internet access, vacations, karate lessons, iPods, laptops and digital cameras.
At a time when millions of Americans are still struggling to find work, when the number of people on food stamps has doubled in the past five years, and when the per capita income in the United States is around $41,000, it’s hard to feel terribly sympathetic for the plight of those who are struggling to pay for karate lessons.
In Romney-Rehberg world, perhaps, a $100,000 income does not make one wealthy, but in the real world of most Americans, that kind of income provides remarkable comfort and privilege. Wouldn’t it be nice if the media spent more time covering the impact of real poverty instead of lifestyle pieces for the upper middle-class?