Middle class

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The Middle class is a social class - a "class of people intermediate between the classes of higher (upper class or aristocracy) and lower social rank or standing (working class); the social, economic, cultural class, having approximately average status, income, education, tastes, and the like. It is the the class traditionally intermediate between the aristocratic class and the laboring class."[1]

[mid-l-klas, -klahs] -- of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the middle class; bourgeois: Origin: 1890-95. "Middle class" as a term first appeared in a 1745 pamphlet by James Bradshaw called "Scheme to prevent running Irish Wools to France."[2]

Points about the Middle Class:

  • The Middle class is America's (and indeed the Western World's) largest socioeconomic group
  • The median, or middle, household income in the United States today is $50,054 as of early 2013.
  • Popular vision of middle class is rooted in 1950s, when a generation found solid jobs, bought houses in the suburbs and took modest family vacations.[3]

The Republican McCain-Palin campaign applied "Joe the Plumber" as a metaphor for middle class Americans.

Joseph Schumpeter, perhaps the most relevant economist of the Austrian School in the post-Cold War era and an anti-Marxist who refutes socialism using Marxist's own terminology, pointed out the susceptibility and weakness of the middle class, or bourgeoisie, in defending its own interests both domestically and in the area of foreign relations:

"the bourgeois class is ill equipped to face the problems, both domestic and international, that have normally to be faced by a country of any importance. The bourgeois themselves feel this in spite of all the phraseology that seems to deny it, and so do the masses. Within a protecting framework not made of bourgeois material, the bourgeoisie may be successful, not only in the political defensive but also in the offensive, especially as an opposition. For a time it felt so safe as to be able to afford the luxury of attacking the protective frame itself; such bourgeois opposition as there was in imperial Germany illustrates this to perfection. But without protection by some nonbourgeois group, the bourgeoisie is politically helpless and unable not only to lead its nation but even to take care of its particular class interest. Which amounts to saying that it needs a master."[4]

See also


  1. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Middle%20Class
  2. James Bradshaw (1745). A scheme to prevent the running of Irish wools to France: and Irish woollen goods to foreign countries. By prohibiting the importation of Spanish wools into Ireland, ... Humbly offered to the consideration of Parliament. By a Merchant of London. printed for J. Smith, and G. Faulkner. pp. 4–5. https://books.google.com/books?id=AJdbAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA4 Retrieved 2 December 2014
  3. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/04/14/middle-class-hard-define/2080565 Middle class a matter of income, attitude Dan Horn, The Cincinnati Enquirer April 14, 2013
  4. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, p. 138.

External links