The Listening Post: Crowdsourcing The Holidays

Dec 22, 2015

Middle-income Americans are no longer in the majority
Credit Pew Research Center

A recent Pew Research Center report highlighted the fact that the United States is no longer a majority middle income country. We here at the Listening Post thought dropping this report during the holiday season made for some interesting questions.

So, we’re asking folks around New Orleans both how they’re feeling about their place on the economic scale, and how that impacts their gift buying this December.

How do you feel when you look at your bank statement this time of year?

I feel like my income isn’t enough and rent is too high. It makes me consider leaving my craft and picking up a better paying soul crushing job.

I try to finish my Christmas shopping by the end of October so there is no shock on my bank statement.


I know it’s going to be going fast because of the holidays




Like I’m way more privileged than I like to think I am

Totally depressed. Extremely depressed and immobilized.


Not great.

I have a conviction on my record frm 23yr ago. Not even Lowes for 10 an hour will hire me. They say black men don’t want to work! Excuses and lies.

Not sure about that

Are you joking? Take a guess. Have been unemployed for four months now!and it’s not because I choose to be.

Depressed. On paper, sure I’m middle class. Add kids and life; I’m just an ants hair from poor.

Depressed. On paper, sure I'm middle class. Add kids and life; I'm just an ants hair from poor.

Grateful, thankful and blessed


Fortunately, I am a hustler and work very hard for a GREAT company that pays decent. My husband also has great work ethic and owns his own business in New Orleans. We have kids and created a comfy lifestyle for them. Neither one of us finished college and together we make over 120k a year. We are not rich but we live well. It’s all about busting ass and not being lazy!!!



I find joy in many other things beside money, so I’m not affected by the number I see.

Depressed, stressed


I feel panic, regret, despair, and hopelessness- all year.


Not good

I work two jobs and still do not seem to be getting anywhere

Depressed. Supplemental taxes due. Sincerely, a California resident

I’m depressed when I look at my bank statement any time of the year, but the holidays is especially the pits.

I have no bank statement I live from pay check to pay check

I feel very lucky to be able to save a bit most months - no debt, no kids, low cost lifestyle - but this time of year I can’t save much.

I feel great, I don’t believe n go'en broke for tha holidays.

Sad and depressed.

Grateful but inspired to hustle in 2016

I feel fine

I feel poor and I’m not technically poor. Nor do I have outrageous expenses. I think “living wages” in this country need some serious fucking reassessment.

Where’s my bonus?

Feel ok

I’m fine with it. We’re on the upper end of the middle class

You know…how am I gonna make it all happen?

Disgusted. Due to the shift in the economy, we are not making it even with two full time jobs

I feel bad because of economy and no money no work and just trying to make sure that everything is going well

Been feeling anxious. Feeling even worse since signing up for affordable health care yesterday.

I live check to check. Nothing to see in my bank account.

Where did my life go so wrong

What happened to all my lofty savings goals


Good warm weather and little rain has been good llll the SOD Business

Depressed at the taxes I have to pay


Worried sick

I try to finish my Christmas shopping by the end of October so there is no shock on my bank statement.

How much will you spend on holiday gifts?

Probably around $200 only because I picked up some extra income this month

More than I can afford I’m sure. $200-300


Very little

Less than 150

Under $100



Zero or less.




Too much? Big family

Prob won’t buy any

I usually make gifts to make them more personal and economically feasible. This year I don’t have access to all my craft supplies because my house is being renovated and everything is packed up. So I’m buying gifts for the first time in a decade and am ashamed at how much I’ve spent.

I bought my kids gifts from my job with my employee discount, the most I spent was $16.99

I bought my kids gifts from my job with my employee discount. The most I spent was $16.99

I have spent about $300 on gifts

No more than $200

Not much, maybe a couple of hundred dollars

Ain’t nobody gettin’ presents this year. Uncle Sam caught up with Ol’ St. Nick

Less than $500



The going rate of hookers and Coke. About that much

Several hundred dollhairs between family and friends. Which is pretty friggin stressful.


Depends, about same as years past.



Less than $500

I will spend maybe $100.00 on my grand children




two gifts-$40 each



Will spend $600



$300 throughout the year

The cost of a seafood gumbo, which I’ll make with my aunt and share with friends and family - merry merry.

$300 for boyfriend and mother.

Around $400

30 for company exchange

Around $300

More than I should




That’s personal


Don’t have anything to spend.

What’s the gift you wanted most as a kid?

Ha! Ice skates I swore I was going to be a figure skater.


A robot.

An electric guitar



Holly hobbie doll. Jordache jeans.

A banjo.

To be rich

A Optimus Prime

My parent’s time and/or attention.

A dog


Don’t know.

A dog

A parent

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up. I was happy with new shoes and clothes.

power wheels, lol. I never got one my dad said they’re a waste of money and will break and he was kinda right

Power wheels, lol. I never got one. My dad said they're a waste of money and will break and he was kinda right

Star wars stuff

A mannequin


I don’t remember

A wolf



Toys that can be built - trains with tracks, cardboard cut out castles to sit in - or just a cardboard box

A unicycle!


A horse.

Unlimited gifts.

A bike

I most wanted a CD player/ sound system

An easy bake oven.


Baseball glove

A horse


A bike, roller blades, things to get me around!

A skateboard. And a carpentry set.

Magic potty baby

Berkshire Hathaway stock

A cabbage patch kid

Cabbage patch doll & mcdonalds cooking set

Hot Wheels Racing Track

Easy Baker oven and bicycle

Doll House

Big Wheels

Teen years was music (albums) before that I just wanted the day to come.

Drawing table

I wanted a Lionel train

Air Jordan’s

Slot Car Racer