What ever happened to the working class? In political campaigns and jargon, everyone who is someone, other than the rich, is in the middle class. No one wants to admit they work. Work is a bad word, especially if you’re a politician, but ironically, these same hacks want to create jobs for the middle class. Huh? Shades of Maynard G. Krebs of the Dobie Gillis Show!
Traditionally, the middle class, or “bourgeoisie,” are those folks nestled between the working class and the upper class, or rich. Now, the middle class works for a living, of course, but at a higher level, usually consisting of people with a tertiary education (college) working in professions and business. The working stiffs are wedged just below that between the poor and the middle class. So, the social hierarchy goes something like this:
THE POOR – They may or may not work, but earn or receive monies that are considered below an acceptable standard of living.
THE WORKING CLASS – These are people who used to be the “backbone” of our society back in the day, mainly the 1950’s through the mid-1970’s. They work for other people or companies, are family-oriented, and earn a socially acceptable wage that allows them to eat well and enjoy a few creature comforts.
THE MIDDLE CLASS – Folks in this class are usually professionals and/or business owners. Their earnings are varied from an acceptable social level to excessive.
THE UPPER CLASS – They’re rich and need not work, as they are often born into financial providence with enough cash to live comfortably for the rest of their lives.
So while it’s O.K. to be poor (apparently poverty is where the money is!), it is taboo to admit you belong to the working class. Myself? As a business owner and professional, I barely squeak into the middle class, sort of lower, middle class if you will. But when I was in the working class, I was a proud member. I didn’t need to figure quarterly taxes, social security and such as everything was neatly removed by my employers and I received the pathetic amount known as “net” pay. I never paid attention to ads, since I couldn’t afford anything, and when I went “window shopping,” I knew I couldn’t even afford the window. After eight hours or more of hard labor, I returned home, tired, but not exhausted, cooked supper, watched some TV and was glad that I was alive to do it again tomorrow. I suspect there are lots of other people doing the same thing today, but someone’s convincing them they are “middle class.” It’s not all it’s cracked up to be and if one politician admits he or she will help the working class, I’m voting for that politically incorrect crackpot!