The middle class

It long ago became tiresome to listen to whining about how tough the middle class has it. I’m not even sure it’s the people in the middle class doing the whining, so much as politicians trolling for votes by going off about how hard they have it and how much they’ll do for them. Spend an hour watching the masses trundle through the cash registers at Costco on a Saturday and you might suspect that even if all these people are barely scraping by from one paycheck to the next, it isn’t because they’re carefully scrimping and saving to buy only the bare necessities.

Speaking of which, John Robson has a good column where he attempts to help Mr. Trudeau out with his clumsy attempts to define what “middle class” means.

Remember when politicians promised to do something for the poor, appealing to our compassion? Now they promise to do something for the middle class, appealing to our self-interest… and self-love. Because the thing about “middle class” is that it is, and always has been, primarily a sociological not a financial category.

The term middle class, or “bourgeois” if you’re sneering, refers to people whose main aspiration is comfortable security. It excludes rich people who seek adventure (think Richard Branson or Donald Trump, if you can bear to), poor people trapped in chaos through ill luck or bad habits, and “Bohemians” of any decile or quintile who prefer excitement to stability. And through cunning if not careful analysis, Trudeau’s appeal to the “middle class” relies on his being in the third category.

Read the whole thing. Particularly the last line.

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