Who are the middle classes? The national average wage for full-time work is around £22,000 per annum. Yet we are nightly assailed by television programmes in which “ordinary” people with decidedly extraordinary incomes cook, garden, travel, and purchase and renovate houses far beyond the means of most viewers.
Hard-working, tax-paying people who might define themselves, or be defined by others, as middle-class are constantly encouraged, on pain of losing their often hard-won bourgeois status, to identify with super-rich tax-dodgers rather than with hard-working, tax-paying people who might define themselves, or be defined by others, as working-class, a term used to mean people who professionally do not work, just as “middle-class” is used to mean people who are not actually in the middle of anything. Meaningfully defined, “middle-class” and “working-class” now arguably refer to the same people, more or less.
The day that this is generally realised, with enormous beneficial ramifications, cannot possibly come too soon.
Thursday, 20 April 2006
Who are the middle classes?
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