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March 26th, 2009

The value of an MBA...

So I was at lunch with some co-workers the other day, and we were discussing my move to my new role. I commented, as I'm wont to do, that _finally_ I'll have an opportunity to put my MBA to use, nine years after receiving it. I'd been disappointed at how useless it had been to date.

He pointed out politely that that piece of paper may have caused me to receive a higher salary than I would have otherwise, even in a role in which an MBA wasn't particularly useful. In thinking further, I may have gotten jobs because I had that piece of paper, even if it wasn't particularly useful for that specific job.

So, in a sentence, my co-worker pointed out a perspective that I hadn't considered, and now considering it, he's probably right.

I'm really glad people cause me to consider other perspectives, periodically. Thank you, Brian.

Economic class differentiation...

I was asked in a comment about what I meant in my recent entry, regarding thinking like a lower-middle class person versus thinking like an upper-middle-class person.

In answering, it dawned on me that I really want to discuss this subject with everyone. I want other opinions, and I hope you'll share yours.


In my mind, there are three primary economic classes, the lower class, the middle class, and the upper class. It is very important that I state right now that an economic class does _not_ indicate what kind of person someone in that class is. It is not a judgment about the person, it is a statement about that person's wealth.

Defining the primary classes:
Lower-class people struggle to afford basic needs in life. Food. Rent. Transportation to/from work. They tend to live paycheck to paycheck and have difficulty acquiring all of their needs, often having to go without a portion of one in exchange for a portion of another.

Middle-class people have their basic needs covered and have to shuffle around their wealth in order to pay for their wants, usually via savings and small investments. A car. Private and/or advanced education. Internet. Summer vacations.

Upper-class people have their basic needs and wants covered and shuffle around their wealth in order to maintain and expand their wealth. Estates. Business ventures. Hedge funds.


Each class has a secondary differentiator, also lower-, middle-, and upper-, however the secondary differentiation is most commonly applied to the middle-class (because everyone knows the lower-class has it rough any which way you slice it and the upper-class is just wealthy). Here's my differentiation:

Lower-middle-class people have very little savings, no investments, and only infrequently acquire enough wealth to spend on their wants. Often, a lower-middle class person is a hard worker with no college degree who struggles at a manual job in order to pay for their childrens' college degrees.

Middle-middle-class people, or middle-class people, have some savings and some investments, are usually college educated, and struggle in order to provide the same for their children.

Upper-middle-class people have savings and investments and can usually pay for their wants without too much re-shuffling of accounts. Buying a mid-range car (like a Camry or an Accord) isn't that big of a deal with a modest down-payment and not-terribly-difficult-to-arrange financing.


I reserve the right to re-define these as you convince me to. :)

So, what do you think?

Pretend time!

Rozz plays pretend quite often. It's a game he started by himself, but now, every time I take him to the library (every other week), we spend time in the amphitheatre, each of us calling out for what the other should pretend to be while on stage.

Today, Rozz pretended to be a plumber, and was using a tinker toy apparently as a snake to unclog a toilet. Rozz exclaimed loudly, "I'm drilling the poop-hole!!!"

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