Monday, February 23, 2009

What is the "Middle Class"?

Ok, I was poking around on the White House website, just looking at what is going on. Looking to see if there was anything new upm, etc. So I see a bit about the new Middle Class Task Force. Hmmm, ok, let's take a look.

Run by Vice-President Joe Bidet... oh um, I mean Biden. The goals of this task force are:

*Expanding education and lifelong training opportunities
*Improving work and family balance
*Restoring labor standards, including workplace safety
*Helping to protect middle-class and working-family incomes
*Protecting retirement security

Hmmm, I guess this sounds ok. (Not really, but hey, I will go with it to get to my point).
Now, this is to help the Middle Class. Riddle me this... Who Are The Middle Class????

Look it up online, there is no set definition for this. For salaries it can range from 25,000/year to over 100,000/year. Now, I've never made 100k a year, but I have made 25-30k per year. I wouldn't have considered myself middle-class. I knew I wasn't poor (I was doing computer work for a free care clinic, so I got to see the truly poor), but I didn't feel like middle-class. Of course, I wasn't thinking about labels either! Now, I can imagine how much 100k/year would be. If I compared the two, I would have to say that they aren't in the same league, but we are being told that they are both the Middle Class. Ok, even if I swallowed that... Can you tell me how something that would help the person making 25k/year is going to help the 100k/year person? If they are making 100k/year they might just be doing a teeny bit better financially. But then again, the 100k/year person is paying a significantly higher amount of their income in TAXES!!! hmmm, maybe that "evens things out"..

I would have to say salary is not exactly a good indicator of social standing, but for the "average" person, I guess it works ok. I say this because as a homesteading and self-sufficiency seeking family, I can see having NO DEBT at all, and working a part time job making 25k to pay for toys and extras, but having the necessities covered. This works at the bottom and the top ends of this range.

So let's take some time, and think about what this means. Until we have a definition of terms like these, whenever the government tosses out things like the "Middle Class Task Force" can be used for whatever they want and they will just shove more into the "Middle Class". Let's make sure we are all on the same page here, folks.


mmpaints said...

Expanding education is great for those that can afford it but what about the ones that can't afford to not work so they can have schooling? Night school time isn't overflowing in a household that works 60 hours a week to keep the bills paid.
Hand in hand with how is that protecting my income???
Again, work and family balance... I work 60 hours a week because the government takes 35% of my paycheck... quit stealing my money and I won't have to work so much and have more time for my family.......

HermitJim said...

Never thought about it much...but I guess I always just considered myself "average"...made enough to pay my bills and buy some food!

It seems to be dependent on what you are happy with. To me, time was more important than money...

FarmerGeek said...

I agree with you both. My main reason for asking/ranting about this is because that's all we hear about and all everything is focused towards in the government right now. The Middle-Class this, the Middle-Class that, and so on. I am just curious who exactly that entails.

Thanks for the thoughts, guys.