This weekend The New York Times looked into what it takes to be middle class in Manhattan. As can be expected, there were an incredible range of answers. According to the story, the mid-range of income in Manhattan is between $45,000 and $134,000. But defining middle class by lifestyle (what your money gets you) requires a significant upward adjustment due to the high cost of housing. By that measure middle class Manhattanites earn between $80,000 and $235,000. The writer found a Columbia University professor who could only make ends meet for herself and her 9-year-old son on a likely salary of $125,000 thanks to heavily subsidized university housing. One basic definition of middle class came from Desiree Gaitan, a social media manager quoted in the story: “Middle class, to me, is having a pretty good job, enough money to pay bills and rent, and then a little extra.” According to the Census Bureau, median household income in Brooklyn is $45,593 about $21,000 lower than it is across the river. Is it easier to be middle class in Brooklyn than in Manhattan? What is middle class here?
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