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Feedback: Your ideas on what rich is

Mmmmmoney. Counting money.

Next week on Marketplace Money, the show will concentrate on one number: $250,000. It's the current line in the sand in the debate on whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts. An income of $250,000 makes you wealthy, says one side. Oh no it doesn't, says the other.

We'll hear from people like you across the nation on the topic. Some say, "A household of $250,000 is not wealthy." Others say, "Yes, in many places in the country its." What do you think?

We'll also hear from people like Robert Frank, whose book "Richistan" chronicled a dozen or so folks worth millions of dollars who say they don't feel rich.

"I had a couple, they're worth $200 million. They said to me, 'Wow, I love reading that book about those people. I couldn't believe those people in your books.' So the wealthy they don't see themselves as wealthy," says Frank. "There was a billionaire I talked to who said, 'I'm not rich. Now let me tell you about this guy who is rich.' And he genuinely meant it because, again, we're always looking at those above us and comparing ourselves to the people that we'd like to be rather than looking down at the reality."

We want your feedback: What is rich to you? Leave a comment here or at our Facebook page.

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CORRECTION TO MY PREVIOUS COMMENT:

Wouldn't it be fair to tax people based on their net-worth instead of their income? Taxes could be much lower. If you had 20 times as much stocks, bonds, gold, real estate, and business ownership as another person shouldn't you pay 20 times as much in taxes? That isn't how it works today. Instead of paying 20 times as much, you probably will pay less than 5 times as much.

CORRECTION OF MY PREVIOUS COMMENT:

Wouldn't it be fair to tax people based on their net-worth instead of their income? Taxes could be much lower. If you had 20 times as much stocks, bonds, gold, real estate, and business ownership as another person shouldn't you pay 20 times as much in taxes? That isn't how it works today. Instead of paying 20 times as much, you probably will pay less than 5 times as much. Why? It's because your income isn't even close to your net-worth worth and taxes are based partly on your income and when you get really wealthy your income to net-worth gets smaller and smaller and smaller.

Wouldn't it be fair to tax people based on their net-worth instead of their income? Taxes could be much lower. If you had 5 times as much stocks, bonds, gold, real estate, and business ownership as another person shouldn't you pay 20 times as much in taxes? That isn't how it works today. Instead of paying 20 times as much, you probably will pay less than 5 times as much. Why? It's because your income isn't even close to your net-worth worth and taxes are based partly on your income and when you get really wealthy your income to net-worth gets smaller and smaller and smaller. A

Wealth consists has two parts: What you have (your net/gross worth) and what your are getting (your net/gross income).

The tax burden when you add up sales tax, income tax, real estate tax, and fees falls disproportionally on people of average net/gross worth and allows people of the top 5% of net/gross worth to pay less proportionally.

I cannot emphasize too much that our tax system is inversely progressive and increasingly so.

The urban myth of the U.S. having a progressive tax system falls apart when you consider both both parts of wealth.

Let me put it this other way: Your children and grandchildren cannot inherit your income, but they can inherit your stocks, bonds, property, and businesses. Is your income really a measure of your wealth? Does it give you the same security that stocks, bonds, property, and businesses ownership give to you?

If you make $250,000 and are living within your means, saving money and investing carefully, then you are rich. If you make $250,000, trying to live the high life beyond your means, not saving, and deep in debt, you are not rich.

If I understand the Obama proposal correctly, the income figure used for the tax is net taxable income. The 250K figure is not gross income, which is usually not explained but should be mentioned. Yes, I believe that a net income of 250K would be considered rich by most Americans' standards.

Our family income is over 250,000 but we live in Norway and pay a 48% income tax plus 24% on all goods and services. Are we rich? Maybe not but we are comfortable. In this society you pay high taxes but you get good univeral health care, secure fully funded pensions and University Education is paid for by a combination of no tuition and state provided student loans for living expenses. I do not mind paying taxes because taxes pay for the services everyone wants and needs. I don't understand my countrymen when they whine about both taxes and lack of services when the two are connected.

The US national Median income is about $55,000(has it ever gone above 60?). If you make twice the average, you are just barely able to afford everything. If you make 4 times the average income, you are considered middle class. 5 times the median income(250K) is wealthy, or very well off, no matter how one looks at the wealth question. What we should concentrate on is why cost of living is so expensive; We should focus on why people who make twice what the rest of the country earns are struggling.

$250,000 does not go as far in NY as it does in other states, especially in the south. In upstate NY we pay over $10,000 in school/property taxes. Relatives in VA pay just over $2,500. So no, I don't think $250,000 is rich in NY but I do in other parts of the country.

Rich? Enough money in a savings account equal to at least a year of pay. Paid-for house with reasonably ample space. 2 cars--paid for. Paid-for annual vacation anywhere in the world. Good medical insurance.

As you can see, most people in America who think they're rich really aren't. There are the truly rich (a tiny percentage of the population) and then there's the rest us, the WORKING CLASS. MIDDLE CLASS is an illusion--if you can't survive without your job, you're working class.

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