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Who Is The Middle Class

It’s sad that Barak Obama had to be the first black to be elected president.

Ever since he got into office, Obama has been leaning over backward to avoid being patronising, or looking like it, to African Americans.

Why has the term “middle class” become the talking point about those the president wants to help?

The middle class supplies jobs and they fill jobs according to the rhetoric. The middle class deserves the tax breaks and need good educations at reasonable prices.

You never hear anything about a lower class; but how can there be a middle class without a lower class?

Middle-ClassIf the words “middle class” have any meaning, it resides somewhere between lower class and upper class, but you don’t hear references to the lower and upper classes.

T.H.C. Stevenson identified the middle class as that “falling between the upper class and the working class. Included as belonging to the middle class are professionals, managers, and senior civil servants.”

How do you know which class you belong to? Argues Stevenson, “The chief defining characteristic of membership in the middle class is possession of significant human capital.”

Here the lower class has been referred to as the working class. This has led sociologists and others to designating an upper middle class and a lower middle class. The reason can be discerned from a comment made by Dante Chinni:

“Everyone wants to believe they are middle class…But this eagerness…has led the definition to be stretched like a bungee cord — used to defend/attack/describe everything…The Drum Major Institute…places the range for middle class at individuals making between $25,000 and $100,000 a year.”

This has put one group of people Obama would like to help clearly in the lower class–not a lower middle class—but a lower class, though he avoided reference to the class level earning less than $25,000 as lower class.

Since college education is one of the main indicators of middle-class status, the importance that Obama attached to education is understandable.

Obama wanted to raise the lower class to the middle class, but since the lower class is mainly African Americans, Obama has never publicly said his goal was to raise people of colour to a higher class.

Writing in the National Journal, staff reporter Sophie Quinton remarked “Researchers cite a steady job and the ability to save for retirement, afford a home, and educate one’s children as components of what it means to be middle class.”

The headline for Quinton’s article reads “For Obama and Romney, ‘Middle Class’ Means Pretty Much Everyone.”

When Romney said “I will not, under any circumstances, increase taxes for the middle class,” who was he talking about?

Who was Obama referring to when promising “I want to give middle class families and folks who are striving to get into the middle class some relief?”

Global Post senior correspondent Jean MacKenzie observed, “The players in this election invoke the ‘middle class’ constantly, vowing to protect it, to save it, to rebuild it.”

On one occasion, Romney said middle income (not class) fell between $100,000 and $150,000 On another, he defined middle class as middle income between $200,000 to $250,000 and less.

With proposals that preserve tax cuts for those earning less than $250,000, Obama effectively defined the middle class all the way up into the mid-$200,000s.

Both candidates have been talking about income and class, though the words they have used to describe them have been designed to confuse the US electorate.

Hopefully, Obama will be clearer as he embarks on his second term in office.

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6 Responses to Who Is The Middle Class

  1. Deadbeat November 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Some observations

    Writing in the National Journal, staff reporter Sophie Quinton remarked “Researchers cite a steady job and the ability to save for retirement, afford a home, and educate one’s children as components of what it means to be middle class.”

    I agree with this and I think that pretty much describes the “American Dream”. After WWII, the government provide all kinds of assistance to build up the American Middle Class. Clearly African American were short changed from many of these programs. There is an excellent book When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson that explains this dynamic. Much of the middle class Black involvement in the Civil Rights Movement was to correct the imbalance in government programs preferences that favored whites over blacks. Thus “Middle Class” in many ways is a euphemism for whites however all Americans seeks to achieve this status for themselves and their families.

    What is also true is that the “middle class” has been under attack since the 1970′s. The standard of living has declined for many people who had achieve a high school education as they could work in factories and now college graduates seem to be facing a fate similar to high school graduates.

    Neo-Liberal policies introduced as a corrective to the Arab Oil boycott and U.S. support for Israel and the banks has shifted income, wealth and power to this group of parasites. Therefore it is a real concern of the “middle class” about their future and fate.

    The problem is not the income levels of the “middle class” but the standard of living and access to money. Because the government does not have sovereign money it cannot provide for the programs necessary to build a middle class.

    There is always going to be classes but what is important is whether people can meet their necessities and pursuit of happiness regardless of class. This was achieve under National Socialism as well as under the Libyan Jamahiriya — both destroyed by International Jewry.

    Obama as a “black” president is neither a “disappointment” nor is it “sad”. Most of the black leadership and the black “Left” is under the control of Jewry and misleads their own people by shifting the focus away from Jewish supremacy an onto “White” supremacy. So long as black leaders continue to do that Jewry is safe because it maintain the animosity among Blacks and Whites and prevents them from building the solidarity needed to challenge Jewish power.

    • Ariadna Theokopoulos November 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

      I agree completely.
      “Most of the black leadership and the black “Left” is under the control of Jewry and misleads their own people by shifting the focus away from Jewish supremacy an onto “White” supremacy. ”
      This was in the works from the beginnings with the NAACP funded almost exclusively by Jews. After the Jackson-Vanek Amendment did its job and especially after 1967, the blacks were no longer needed for anything other than creating and maintaining division. The “housing integration” so unselfishly promoted by Jews (while they were fleeing to all-Jewish suburbs) is not something you hear much about now although the segregation continues, it only moved in other zip code areas. The worst black ghettos in Chicago (Cabrini Green) were demolished when the Jewish real estate tycoons bought it for a song and “developed” it. The same nice families who funded Obama’s rise (Pritzker)
      Needless to say no poor blacks –or many blacks at all– live in those expensive condos. But the blacks are encouraged to view their misery as strictly a “white” problem, even if large swaths of the US (see west Virginia, just for one) are peopled by whites in equal or worse misery. “Reverends” preaching that kosher indignation– clowns and scoundrels like Sharpton–are given visibility in the press but I don’t recall seeing Farakhan’s speeches in the MSM.

      • Deadbeat November 17, 2012 at 7:42 am #

        I didn’t know about Jackson-Vanek which tried to undercut Nixon’s detante with the Soviets. In fact Nixon’s resistance to this amendment first proposed by Zionist Jacob J. Javitz in the interest of Jewish emigration from the USSR (and most notably to Israel and the U.S.) IMO may have been the primary reason why the Jews, especially the Liberals, wanted Nixon out as Ford signed another gift to the Jews into law. Ford, one may recall, was a member of the Warren Commission set up to conceal Jewry’s role in the Kennedy Assassination.

  2. Deadbeat November 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Oh another point I forgot to address …

    Obama wanted to raise the lower class to the middle class, but since the lower class is mainly African Americans, Obama has never publicly said his goal was to raise people of colour to a higher class.

    This is untrue. The lower class is mainly WHITE. Blacks DISPROPORTIONATELY comprise the lower classes which are highly concentrated in blighted urban areas. However WHITES make up the majority of the poor in the USA.

    The problem is that the Zionist controlled media painted poverty as “Black” making it easy for the Reagan coalition to attack poverty programs and gain power in order to use whites to bring the neo-cons into the halls of government. The neo-cons and neo-liberal Jews has been expanding their power ever since.

  3. David Holden November 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    income distributions

    • Deadbeat November 17, 2012 at 7:36 am #

      This is a nice chart showing the shift in Capital Gains starting in 1979. In 1978 it was the Democratic Senator Lloyd Bensten of Texas who pushed through the lowering of Capital Gain taxes that Democrat Jimmy Carter approved of. Thus the start of the neoLiberal policies began under Democrat Jimmy Carter and not Ronald Reagan as many on the Left suggests.

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