General Question

bitter_sweet_rose's avatar

What economic status would make you happier?

Asked by bitter_sweet_rose (115points) January 14th, 2010

poor, middle class, or rich? I personally would go for middle class or poor. Because rich people are greedy, and I have lived a good life for 14 years now. And I don’t want to live like that anymore. While the poor have a harder life, it’s only as hard as you make it. So probably middle class, which would you pick, why? Thanks.

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67 Answers

Seek's avatar

I’d just like to be able to pay my bills and no longer qualify for food stamps.

I’d much rather contribute to the system than be drawing from it. Though, I don’t feel guilty, as my husband and I have over 30 years combined input, and two of drawing.

frdelrosario's avatar

Picasso pretty well said he wanted to live like a poor man but with lots of money.

marinelife's avatar

I would like to live comfortably, which would be middle class.

AstroChuck's avatar

Rich! Of course. You guys are all either crazy or full of crap.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I’d be perfectly happy with about $10 million earning 5% after taxes. I’d have the financial stability to ensure I never want and enough $$$ to make available most anything I’d like… and most importantly the time to enjoy it.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m with @AstroChuck However I will say this—money is not what I need to be happy.

Snarp's avatar

Rich people aren’t automatically greedy. It’s just that you are much more likely to get rich if you are greedy. I mean really, if you’re not greedy, then you don’t have much motivation to get rich. If you don’t have much motivation you aren’t likely to put in the effort or the unethical behavior necessary to get rich. I don’t think any economic status can make you (or me) happy, but if I could just pick one? Darn tootin I pick rich.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have known greedy people from all walks of life.A person has every right to make as much money as they want to
.For me personally,I just want enough to enable me to do the things I want to do before I die.

shego's avatar

Where I am now is perfect. I don’t have a lot of money and shit I don’t even have a job right now, but volunteering at the shelter and making a difference in somebody eleses life is worth it. And knowing that I am with a guy who loves me is all I need. I don’t need money to be happy.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Rich(though money is not everything),you’ll have everything you wants to buy,and also not every rich people are greedy.

But I also appreciate poor-class,the poorer they are the higher their motivation to live. They also receive the most sympathy.

Middle-class people has the intermediate disadvantages and advantages between poor and rich class.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I have been poor enough to sleep in a truck and steal food. Now I can buy anything and do anythng I want and it’s just wonderful. Having lots of money is just great, can’t beat it. I am glad every single day.

ETpro's avatar

Not all rich people are greedy. All the great philanthropists are wealthy. You can’t help others when you haven’t the wherewithal to help yourself. Therefore, I would go for rich and generous to a fault.

beancrisp's avatar

Being greedy has nothing to do with how much money a person has.
I have known greedy people in every economic status.

tinyfaery's avatar

Realistically, if the wife and I could pull in about $40,000 a year more than we currently do, I’d be satisfied. I could buy a decent house in a fun part of L.A. for that. We’d be able to put more into retirement and still take our annual vacations and splurge every once in awhile. I think we can manage that in about another 10 years. But, in 10 years I might need more to accomplish the same goals.

Don’t get me wrong. I could be one of the idle rich. I am incredibly good at doing nothing. It’s a skill.

Snarp's avatar

Seems like if someone is poor and greedy (or even middle class and greedy) then they’re a complete screw up. At least in the U.S.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Rich beyond the dreams of Avarice would be nice.

Sampson's avatar


JONESGH's avatar

Being rich wouldn’t make me happier I don’t think, just less stressed

lilikoi's avatar

Just because you are rich does not automatically mean you are greedy. Sheesh that was a mighty generalization. If you are rich, perhaps you have the personality type to enjoy certain careers that pay extremely well like lawyer, doctor, etc. or perhaps you have come up with a truly great, multi-faceted idea, one that helps people and generates income, that you were motivated enough to enact. I’d expect an inventor to be motivated by something other than money, because he is likely going to turn out quite a number of failures for each major success.

I’d like to have enough money to do everything I want to do, and not a penny more.

JLeslie's avatar

Gosh. Here we go again with theh rich being greedy and awful. Well, I pick Rich. Not worrying about money sounds great to me. I would probably live like an upper middle class person more or less, as I do today. No one has to know how much money you have, you can associate with whomever you want. There are rich people all around you, who you do not even realize. Have you ever heard of the Millionaire Next Door?

They say the middle class has it the toughest, the most to lose, the most worry about losing their status. The rich have enough cushion that they will probably stay rich, the poor have nothing to lose, the middle class fight every day to maintain what they have.

JLeslie's avatar

How are you defining rich anyway? Is it multi-millions? Over $500K a year, what is your definition?

CMaz's avatar

Comfortable middle class.

If I want it and I cant afford it I know someone that has it and will share.

Seek's avatar

The poor have everything to lose.

Their health, their place to live, their food supply…

JLeslie's avatar

@ChazMaz Well, I have that set up now pretty much (although I would love to know someone who has a villa on Lake Cuomo) but the money is not about the things, it is about the independence and the security for me.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I mean they don’t have money to lose. They already are worried about their health, place to live, food, because they are poor. The middle class have all of those things and worry about dropping to a socio-economic status where they will have to worry. I was referring to the social class/status, more than anything. But your point is well taken.

Facade's avatar

I’ll take rich. I have everything else I need besides an abundance of money.

TexasDude's avatar

I wanna be poor!
Yeah, screw those rich people and all the vast amounts of money they give to charities, the jobs they provide, and the huge amount of taxes they pay~


Anyone who says they wouldn’t want to be rich is probably bullshitting you.
And what’s with all the “rich people are greedy” crap? Rich people provide more jobs and pay more in taxes and charity than anyone else. Also, there is a difference between wealthy and rich. I’d personally prefer wealthy, myself. I have expensive hobbies.

And for the record, I’m not rich. My yearly income is less than $4000.

Cute cat, by the way.

judochop's avatar

Rich, middle-class or poor and you’d choose poor because the rich are greedy? I have been at all ends of this spectrum and poor is the worst. I know plenty of rich people who are not greedy at all. Most of my friends and family are middle-class and they seem to be doing fine as long as they watch their dollars.
I choose rich because it provides freedom. Not just freedom to eat when and what you like but freedom to visit the doctor if you’d like and freedom to have comforting things in your home and around you. Just because you are rich does not mean you need to turn things in to a prick waving match.

ETpro's avatar

Here’s a plan. Those who want to be poor, since I’d prefer to be rich, send your money to me. We can both be happy. :-)

CMaz's avatar

Now are we talking about “rich” or “wealthy”?
Rich (prefer wealthy) would be the best and most logical choice.

But, I find the “rich” mostly douche bags. No disrespect to my “rich” friends. :-)

RAWRxRandy's avatar

With “rich” you mean like being born rich?

If so, I would rather work hard to get up there. :] Right now my fam’s middle class, and yeah i’d definitely want to have more money to be able to do things and due to my parent’s bad planning we as a family wont ever be able to reach that higher status but I could work hard and get there myself and be rich which is what i would want, then i’d understand the value of money rather than getting everything from a young age.

tedibear's avatar

I’d like us to have enough that my husband would quit worrying about money. I don’t know how much that is in his mind. Frankly, we have plenty and share a portion of that. I just want him to have one less thing to worry about.

kyanblue's avatar

Rich enough to be a full-time writer.

Failing that, I would like to be upper middle-class or moderately wealthy. I like having financial security. I want to be able to afford my retirement and help my parents if needed. If I have kids, I want to bring them up to be frugal but be able to provide them with the important stuff.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Being rich does not make someone greedy or an asshole. Some people who are greedy and/or assholes are also rich.

Having said that, I would much prefer to be rich because there is so much I want to do both for myself and for other people. Since I am such a greedy person for wanting this, perhaps I should list what I would do with this money? I would start a scholarship for children of single parents. I would leave 20 dollar tips in diners. I would re-gravel my mom’s driveway. I would give money to the local police force and hospitals. I would pimp my little Honda Fit out like nobody’s business.

And, hey, since I’m so damn greedy, I’d put my kids through college.

bitter_sweet_rose's avatar

look i’m sorry to anyone that took my cooment about rich people the wrong way. I am 14 and my family is rich they are greedy as hell that’s why I would not choose rich

Aethelwine's avatar

@bitter_sweet_rose You don’t want to be poor. Our house will be put up for sale in two weeks if we don’t get money to a lawyer to file for Chapter 13. Being poor is very stressful.

I don’t want to be rich. I’d be happy not having to live paycheck to paycheck.

@JLeslie We are classified as poor. We fight every day to maintain what little we have. We are very close to losing the only house that my children have known. That’s something to lose.

ETpro's avatar

@bitter_sweet_rose I hope you are wise enough not to alienate the more greedy, unpleasant members of your family, and inherit not only wealth from them but a sense of the hurt that greed and haughtiness can inflict on others, so that you become a good steward of that intheritnfe not only motivated to help others, but financially in a position oto do so.

beancrisp's avatar

@bitter_sweet_rose What is it about your family that makes them greedy?

wundayatta's avatar

Did we ever decide where rich is?

Snarp's avatar

It’s not so much a question of defining rich as defining middle class. Pretty much everyone thinks they are middle class. The phrase has no meaning, that’s why every politician claims to be a supporter of the “middle class”.

CMaz's avatar

I think they all, except for poor, have various shades of gray to it.
What I have crossed paths with as far as the difference between rich and wealthy is this.

Rich = Having above the common need.
Wealthy = Having it all.

The wealthy have a false sense of reality. Or should I say their reasoning operates on a level much different then the “average” person.
I tend to define “wealthy” people as having a tendency for suffering from Michael Jackson Syndrome.


Snarp's avatar

@ChazMaz See, here’s the problem with these terms. I would reverse your definitions of “rich” and “wealthy”. : )

CMaz's avatar

@Snarp – So you are saying the word “rich” is a higher social /monetary status then “wealthy’?

Snarp's avatar

@ChazMaz That’s the way I see it, yes.

CMaz's avatar

The simple difference between a rich person and a wealthy person is that a wealthy person has sustainable wealth. In other words, a wealthy person will always be wealthy, whereas someone who is merely rich will only be so for a short period of time until the money is gone.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@ChazMaz: I once heard what I think is a pretty accurate description of the difference between the rich and the wealthy. The rich have a lot of money. The wealthy sign their checks.

Snarp's avatar

So apparently I’m in the minority here? To me wealthy is just a nice way of saying rich, really. So wealthy is to rich as overweight is to fat.

Here’s what Webster’s dictionary has to say, somewhat ambiguously: Rich implies having more than enough to gratify normal needs or desires. Wealthy stresses the possession of property and intrinsically valuable things.

CMaz's avatar

I would say wealth is to rich as obese is to fat.

Rich implies having more than enough to gratify normal needs or desires.
I said that. “Having above the common need.”

Wealthy stresses the possession of property and intrinsically valuable things.
In other words “having it all” through security.
“possession of property and intrinsically valuable things.”

So I see it as you agreeing. :-)

Snarp's avatar

@ChazMaz Well, maybe Webster’s is agreeing. To me that “normal needs or desires” part is what makes rich “worse”. These are people who can go on to fulfill abnormal needs or desires.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond if you notice I said, “they say” not really what I would say. I understand your point perfectly. I guess maybe that statement was really a comment on people on public assistance and in public housing?? I don’t remember where I heard it. I should have been more knowledgable about the statement before I wrote it. I really think, as I said that it was a comment about moving between the clases more than anything. Not as specific as losing your house. The midle class has different levels lower-middle, middle-middle, upper-middle; upper does also, lower-upper and upper-upper (depending on the scioligist they might dvide it up more according to psychographics, education level, and other parameters. I would guess lower class is divided up also? I have said on other threads there is poor and there is poor.

@all I don’t understand anyone who is saying they wouldn’t rather be rich. They are making a judgement about the people, rather than the reality about having financial security. If someone gave me a choice, you can make $1million a year, but someone else will make $30K, or everyone can make between $80K and $150, I would go with the latter. Fundamentally, I don’t want to take money from other people, or to have tons of cash and things, I would rather everyone live well. But, I do want to feel secure that I have a roof over my head, food to eat, healthcare if I am sick, and can afford some “luxuries” that make me happy. But, in Amereica it does not work that way.

I still wonder how the OP defines rich? I agree with @ChazMaz wealthy is different than rich. For me wealthy is having enough money that you never have to work again, you can live solely off of interest and never have to touch the principle, and even if the market goes up and down, there is enough there that you can ride it out. It tends to be assciated with old money, but not necessarily. I think technically upper class, some might say rich, starts at $250K a year (excluding very expensive cities) and to me $250K a year is not rich. You might be able to make that much and be rich if you have a lot of assets and have saved and invested well over time. Because, wealth, is not just salary, but assets, investments, and savings.

DominicX's avatar

“Because rich people are greedy.”

Insert eye-roll.

I’ve noticed that generalizations are okay as long as they’re against a “common enemy” like rich people. Ugh.

I was raised in a wealthy family. I liked it. I would take anything from middle-class to rich, as long as I don’t have to worry about money all the time. Life is too short to spend the whole time worrying about money.

And don’t get me started with the whole “wealthy vs. rich” thing. The words are interchangeable according to their dictionary definitions and that’s how I use them.

CMaz's avatar

“I would take anything from middle-class to rich, as long as I don’t have to worry about money all the time. Life is too short to spend the whole time worrying about money.”
Not that there is anything wrong with that. :-)

I hear ya, I totally respect what you said… But…
There is really nothing wrong with rich people being greedy. I for one want to and will greedily hang on to what ever I have and I am not rich.

It is nice that you do not understand the concept or have the need to worry about money. Do everything in your power to stay that way.
Most of us and honestly how the world turns is biased on what we do not have and what we want.

I just see a connection with the “working class”, that I do not see with the rich. Not because of the money but because of what the money allows you to avoid.
Having a truer understanding as to the saying, wealthy get rich on the backs of the poor.

In general, you can and do remove yourself from situations where you would normally have to cope and understand. Truly understand what make a hungry person tick.
That “separation” does tend to give the air of superiority and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Not all but plenty (with the means to) embrace that corruption due to having the power (wealth).

trailsillustrated's avatar

wealthy = family money. trust fund. generations.
rich = large income

TexasDude's avatar

@trailsillustrated, ding ding ding, we have a winner.

I’ve talked to plenty of people who work in the finance industry. Wealth = liquid assets and portfolios. You have stuff that will bring you more wealth. Rich = you have a crapt ton of money that won’t last for years.


JLeslie's avatar

I said this once on another thread. I hope that you all who are so negative about people with money don’t pass it down to your children. I know people who grew up poor, and when they decided to go to college or started making money and climbing to the next class up, their families made them feel bad, or they carried some guilt or negative voices in their head that they were becoming the very thing they had always heard should carry some shame. You discourage your children from doing well or being upwardly mobile. I just don’t get it.

And, I have people with not very much money all around me who speak badly about the rich and at the same time support the Republicans blindly on issues of not taxing the rich more, and being freaked that we might have and type of socialized system in this country, that GREED and capitalism is what makes this country great. HELLO?! The irony is overwhelming to me. I don’t mean to assume or imply that anyone who answered here fit into any of these things I have stated, I am just talking about what I have observed here in the Memphis area. They sound like idiots.

judochop's avatar

I think that some people assume the rich as greedy because it appears that they have soo much more than others and often times that is true. It does not mean that they should share everything they have! Rich people stil have bills and still pay taxes and most still have debt. Why just because you have money do you have to share it?

JLeslie's avatar

@judochop Look, if the poor are going to tell me that having money is a bad thing, then I don’t see why they want my money? :)

judochop's avatar

I totally agree with you. Envy is hard to admit to sometimes.

CMaz's avatar

Money does not = freedom

Freedom is what you make of it.

But it sure don’t hurt to have. Money that is.

JLeslie's avatar

Money = freedom True. You can quit if you hate your job, travel when you want, buy what you want, and more.

CMaz's avatar

But then you would be a slave to your travel agent. :-)

Snarp's avatar

Yes, the rich have it so bad with everyone thinking bad things about them. They can’t get the best jobs or go to the best schools just because they don’t have the right connections or can’t afford it. They often go without health care, many are homeless, they serve disproportionately in the military, they get less favorable rates and pay more fees at banks just because they have so much money in their accounts, their tax rates keep going up – Oh, no wait, that’s all backwards.

Yeah, I don’t fell much sympathy for the rich suffering a little guilt. I have associated with rich people. Some of them are quite nice. Some might even say members of my family are rich. I bear no malice toward anyone because they are rich, but you don’t get to be really stinking filthy rich without a little greed.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Snarp: Funny, my grandfather got to be filthy stinking rich by being one of the best engineers of his time. How selfish and greedy of him to want to be better at what he did…

People hate on the rich because they are jealous and it’s easy to hate someone who has more, financially speaking, than you do. My family has a fair amount of money and as such, I didn’t apply for any scholarships when applying for college. People would get so angry at me for not applying because I was “flaunting” my money. My thinking was that I was one of the top students at my school, had great SAT scores, had a buttload of extra curriculars and I would have gotten those scholarships when I didn’t need them. Tell me, which is more selfish, going to college with no financial aid because I can afford it or taking that financial aid away from someone who genuinely needs it to go to school?

From people’s reactions, they would have preferred that I take the scholarships away from them rather than use my own money to go to school.

DominicX's avatar


That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. I’m beginning to think much of this hatred of the rich is hysterical and irrational. It sounds like in that case, the people didn’t even understand what they were angry at. Maybe they should look inward…

I didn’t apply for any scholarships, either. I didn’t need them. Why should I take them away from people who really did need them? One of my best friends had two parents out of work and he needed all the scholarships he could get. I would never want to take them from people like that if I didn’t need them.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@DominicX: Thank you for being so rational! This hatred of the rich is positively ridiculous. There are some awful people in the world who also have a lot of money but there are also a lot of wonderful people who also have a lot of money. I agree that it can get a little ridiculous when someone has a huge house and they live alone or if they drive a hummer and live in suburbia but that speaks less to someone’s economic status and more to someone’s sense of entitlement.

philosopher's avatar

My dream come true would be to be wealthy enough to move by my Son’s school. He could than have their Adult program after he finishes school in the near future. I could help our Director expand the program; and help other Autistic people. I could fund research for a cure.
Everyone may wish to be more comfortable but I wish to help my Son;and a population who currently are not getting enough appropriate help.
I wish to inform the world about how many people in the spectrum never meet their potential; because our education system fails them; and job training is unavailable.

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