All posts by inequality

The Middle

By Tim Schilling

I have lived comfortably my entire life. My family is not filthy rich, but we are also not struggling. I don’t hear much about money in my house, and I never really ever thought why. Is it because my parents do well enough that we don’t have to discuss what we can and can’t have, or is it that we aren’t doing so well that it could be embarrassing for my parents to discuss it? So when I was asked to define what the middle class means to me, I wasn’t really sure what to say. Is it living in a house just big enough for your family, or a house with two extra bedrooms and a pool? Is it owning all new cars, or keeping the one you bought just five years ago that still works well?

After thinking about it for a while, and still not sure how to define what the middle class is to me, it made me realize: that’s what the middle class is. It is relative to anyone you ask, but the middle class is what I have grown up in comfortably my entire life. The house I live in is just big enough for my family. Until my grandma moved in with us three years ago, we had an extra bedroom. We used it as an office for my mom who works at home. We have a pool. It’s not in ground, but it has a nice deck that goes around the outside. We don’t own any Mercedes or BMWs; we have Nissans and Jeeps that were all made within the last decade. My parents don’t discuss money around me very much because they can afford what we need and a few things that we want, and that is what the middle class is to me.

Welcome all!

photoWelcome to our blog.

The above photo was taken by me (Susan Campbell) during a recent outing with the Hartford Homeless Outreach team. This is a team of dedicated individuals who go out to try to reach people who are chronically homeless, starting at 6 a.m. every Thursday. This photo was taken at the open door of a detached tractor trailer, where at least five men were making a home. None of the men were there at the time.

But it’s not just men who are homeless in Connecticut. There are women who are homeless. There are even children.

When we talk about wealth and income inequality, we’re talking about things like this:

wealthdistributionand this:

IncomeWealthBut pie charts only tell part of the story. With this blog — and with our other class assignments, as well — we intend to tell the story of economic inequality from the ground up.

Join us.

— Susan Campbell