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  • Professor Vexer

Cutting Class


It starts to bug me when I hear certain folks shout about the one percent while they sip macchiatos and sport the newest trends as they drive their gas guzzling war machines with fancy spinning rims.

Who are these people? Am I them? What are their struggles? Are they really shouting about the inequity that the homeless and poverty stricken face daily without an escape route? Are they starting a business and finding it a bit rough or are they looking for a relative to crash with because they just lost their job and consequently their home?

It strikes me that lots of people are crying poor and screaming, ''THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!!!" No, really. I saw it on a cable TV commercial ast their ad campaign. That shit started as a hood mantra when facing the truth about some hardship or the other and soon became a joke for all to use. It lost its tooth much like the identification of the factoid about the 1% controlling all the wealth.

It's annoying. VEXING. So I did a little wikipedia research. (I am a slacker nerd. )

This year Unemployment is at 4.9%. Down from almost 10% in 2010.

But...

  • In 2014, the official poverty rate was 14.8 percent. There were 46.7 million people in poverty. Neither the poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the 2013 estimates.

  • For the fourth consecutive year, the number of people in poverty at the national level was not sta­tistically different from the previ­ous year’s estimates.

  • Unemployment was then at 6.6%. So... Yeah. Job creation.

work·ing class

noun

  1. 1.

the social group consisting of people who are employed for wages, especially in manual or industrial work.

"the housing needs of the working classes"

"Wages" not " Salary".

Salary is yearly and negotiated. Wages are hourly rates

Middle class is different from working class. The "middle class" can be described by median or average income per household.

According to generally available information on the topic, (Wikipedia)" household income is measured in various ways. One key measure is the real median level, meaning half of households have income above that level and half below, adjusted for inflation. According to the Federal Reserve, this measure was $51,939 in 2013, below the 1999 peak of around $57,000.[1] The Census Bureau estimated real median household income at $53,657 for 2014 and $54,462 in 2013. Household income varies by race, with Asians the highest in 2014 at over $74,000 and African Americans the lowest around $35,000.[2]"

Of course the regional cost of living, number of family members contributing, and several other factors play into this picture of wealth vs poverty but the middle is what I'm concerned with." About half of American adults – 120.8 million out of 242.1 million – live in middle-income households as of early 2015, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 50% of adults now live in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households, and 21% in upper-income households." The calculator tool on the Pew Research website is helpful for framing this- even though it defines me as upper middle class and I can't afford a home in this city.

(http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/12/09/are-you-in-the-american-middle-class/)

If $55k is average nationally, @14% of the nation doesn't make close to that, we keep hearing that "1% of the population controls 90%+ of the wealth...", and "the middle class is suffering from over taxation.", what part of the population is "working class", "working poor" or "upper class"? Almost 30% of people in this country are living with income below the median we agree is needed to live. From the liquidity of this data and the ebbs and flows of life and the economy and job markets it's safe to say that plenty more in the middle class are struggling to not slip below the median themselves.

This helps me understand who should be considered the middle class. It seems to be a moving target. People use the term when they want to identify with oppression via taxation. It occurs to me that many who put blame for our economic troubles on the 1% needs to take ownership for their own role in how wealth and poverty are assigned to groups and populations as well as understanding the fluidity of the barriers of between these ephemeral categorical distinctions.

Maybe there should be another distinct category we talk about called the "stable class" so the "struggle class" can advocate for the social and economic development they need without the disingenuous participation of the well off but greedy.


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