I’m tired of politicians defending the middle class and promising to fight for it. Class is a term not appropriate for our system as it implies a fixed position. We have people of varying incomes, so we have low income people, middle income people, and upper income people. In old Europe, and much of the rest of the world, people were classes – and couldn’t move between them. Here we have mobility, although perhaps not as much as we’d like.
I have met many upper income people that I’d call low class, and many lower income people I’d call classy. Class is a distinction of the individual, not a fixed group. Notice that the politicians never refer to the “lower class”, that would be an insult, they refer to the poor. Neither do they refer to the “upper class”, that would be to much of a compliment to many who don’t deserve it. But they do refer to the “middle class”, as everyone can identify with that. “I may make a couple of mill a year, but I’m middle class just like you”.
Class, as such, is a Marxian concept – an attempt to divide. Income is another misnomer, a family income of $100,000 may be a darned good life in some states where living costs are low, but nearly poverty level in places like Manhattan where the rent on a studio apartment is nearly $30,000 a year.
Class, as a defining word, is a classification. Classification is a form of fixing, or defining, a group. A rainbow is a splitting of the colors of light into discrete groups, our melting pot has historically mixed the various components into a culture that changes over time, but changes as the ingredients are added.