[Marxism] What is the so-called "middle class"?

Chris Brady cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Sat Feb 7 02:30:34 MST 2004

Tonight Bill Moyers presented a segment on his PBS program “NOW” (not to
be confused with the National Organization of Women) called “Who is the
Middle Class?”  In light of a Marxist class analysis, this “middle
class” analysis seems so weak that we can only wonder why people don’t
see right through it.  Those living in other-than-G-7 countries might
find the $$$ amounts interesting.  See what I mean:

Who is the Middle Class?

NOW (PBS), 02.06.04
America is sometimes called a "middle-class country," but nobody — not
economists, sociologists, or the U.S. Census Bureau — seems to have a
clear definition of who the middle class actually is. The notion of
where a dividing line between "middle class" and "working class" might
be is an elusive one. In November 2003, Chris Baker of THE WASHINGTON
TIMES reported in "What is middle class?"
<http://www.washtimes.com/specialreport/20031129-105855-7412r.htm> that
the Census Bureau shows the middle 20% of the country earning between
$40,000 and $95,000 annually. The Drum Major Institute for Public
Policy, a non-partisan and non-profit organization, reports that the
middle class has conventionally come to mean families with incomes
between $25,000 and $100,000 each year.

But if you ask the American people, you'll get yet another response.
According to statistics from the National Opinion Research Center, as
reported by Baker, large numbers of American define themselves as
"working class" or "middle class," including:

     50% of those families who earn between $20,000 and $40,000 annually

     38% of those families who earn between $40,000 and $60,000 annually

     16.8% of those families who earn over $110,000 annually

As NOW reported in "Middle Class Squeeze" (December 13, 2002), the shape
of income distribution in America is changing and many are finding it
increasingly difficult to afford housing while keeping up with
necessities such as food, clothing, transportation, and health care. In
Baker's article, Anirban Basu, chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions
Group, explains, "Based on those [income data] numbers, the statistical
middle class can't afford the middle-class lifestyle. I think that's why
there is so much confusion about what it is and why so many people have
trouble identifying themselves as anything but middle class."

Sources: United States Census Bureau; Drum Major Institute for Public
Full “overview” (just another paragraph, barely relevant):

Now, how about an economically functional categorization of class?
Back to Braverman?

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