Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How CBC weasels now define the "middle class"

Here's a CBC story that implies households making $120k per year are more than middle class.

The implication being that the "feds" are overly generous in demarcating $120k per year as a "middle class" income.

I guess I'm sticking up for the "feds" on this one... that's a first!

Frankly, I think $120k/yr is where the middle class starts, not where it stops.

Over my lifetime I have witnessed a continual debasement of where the cut-off point is on who is "middle class."

In his State of the Union address the other night, Obama himself more or less acknowledged that in the USA the "middle class" means folks who are making minimum wage.

In the pre-WWII era, "middle-class" meant you had household help. That would have meant a nanny or a gardener or more likely both.

The fact that Obama legitimises a re-imagining of the "middle class" as folks making minimum wage seems to inform that CBC story.

A $120k household income in Canada means two people working $30/hour jobs. That's nice working class income. Those are folks who might, MIGHT be able to buy a house in a country where the average house price is now in the half a million dollar range.

The working class/ middle class divide got seriously out of whack back in the 60's and 70's. You had your scholarly types a generation behind in what they knew about actual working people and actual incomes.

Your "Sociology of Labour" types would classify a clerk at the mall as a "white collar worker," but the blue-collar welder making three times that income was classified as something lesser.

That same prejudice rears its head in today's headlines, where $120,000 per year income in a household in which both partners are working is allegedly something beyond "middle class."


On the other hand, these stereotypes suit the preconceptions of the day; middle class families making $200,000 a year or thereabouts are "one percenters."

If your household brings in $120,000 per year you may not be a "one percenter," but you're obviously rich.

And if you've got two minimum wage earners pulling in 35k per year between them, they're the "middle class."

It's a shame that we see this kind of apologia for the status quo at CBC.

We used to be able to count on them to be better than that.

Households making $250K/yr in Canada today are not one percenters; they're middle class.

Households making $120K/yr are struggling.

And anybody at or near Obama's definition of middle class is just poor.

Nevertheless, the fantasy CBC now peddles about a household income of $120,000 per year being beyond "middle class" serves a useful purpose...

And I'll let you figure out what that might be...

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