HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Terms: "Working Class" vs...

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 02:33 PM

Terms: "Working Class" vs "Middle Class"

Which term is more useful for describing the (vast) majority of Americans, and why?

17 replies, 1445 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Terms: "Working Class" vs "Middle Class" (Original post)
YoungDemCA Jul 2013 OP
Warpy Jul 2013 #1
FarCenter Jul 2013 #2
YoungDemCA Jul 2013 #3
Populist_Prole Jul 2013 #4
byeya Jul 2013 #5
Donald Ian Rankin Jul 2013 #6
noel711 Jul 2013 #7
NutmegYankee Jul 2013 #8
SoCalDem Jul 2013 #9
hfojvt Jul 2013 #10
loyalsister Jul 2013 #13
PennsylvaniaMatt Jul 2013 #11
Demeter Jul 2013 #12
loyalsister Jul 2013 #17
Starry Messenger Jul 2013 #14
Gidney N Cloyd Jul 2013 #15
Nikia Jul 2013 #16

Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 02:37 PM

1. Since the former middle class is now one or two paychecks

away from utter disaster, I think it's pretty safe to say we're all working class these days.

It takes a six figure income to achieve any sort of middle class lifestyle and that assumes there is no double burden of massive student loan debt plus an exorbitant mortgage payment on some "executive style" heap of masonry one retreats to in order to grab a few hours of sleep.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 02:42 PM

2. The true middle class is the professional, managerial, and entrepreneurial class

What is called the "middle class" in the US is actually just a well paid working class. Anyone who is paid by the hour is not middle class.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FarCenter (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 02:44 PM

3. Good point

Of course, the "well-paid" part of the working-class is shrinking more and more....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 02:50 PM

4. Working Class

First: There's nothing low-brow or derogatory about the term.

Second: It means anybody that works, that is must work to live, even if one lives well.

Third: Middle Class is too broad a term anymore. To me it's used more by corporatist concubines to make the the working class feel elevated so as to align their interests with the supply siders, as if they were up and coming players that will eventually make the big time if they just keep those boot straps pulled up ( and keep their mouths shut )

Basically, unless you are a rentier, or a wealthy member of the idle rich; You're working class. Be prideful, maybe even swagger a little. WE built that!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 02:51 PM

5. Working Class or Middle Income

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 02:57 PM

6. Both are actively harmful to political debate.

If your goal is to inform people, as opposed to sounding good to them, use terms like "Americans earning between $X a year and $Y" a year, or at least "people in such-and-such a type of job", or similar non-loaded terms.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 03:05 PM

7. I was brought up in a working class neighborhood...

on Chicago's south side, and 'working class' was a proud term.

Most of our neighbors immigrated either before/after WWII,
and faced difficult issues, but all were proud to have a working dad,
a stay-at-home mom; Proud to have a house in which to live, even if
it was rented, but most were obtained with decent mortgages.

Our task? Go to school, get an education, play sports or play an
instrument. Belong to community organizations, like scouts;
be active in whatever church floated your boat (mostly along
ethnic traditions)-

Get a shop, even part time; working was honorable,
and IF you got into a labor union, you were mighty proud,
and the neighbors respected you for your efforts.

shop locally, especially at places that served the community,
places that employed our neighbors.

Neighbors were invested in their communities, and people got along.

Middle Class? Those were families on the other side of town,
who owned 2 cars, who could send their kids to college,
whose fathers worked white collar jobs downtown.
But no one thought they were better than anyone else.

Nothing wrong with being working class; there was pride
in working, in having a family, and being a working person.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 04:25 PM

8. I prefer Working Class

More inclusive overall. I also fit into the Middle Class, since I'm a Mechanical Engineer, but that's far more narrow a definition.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 04:30 PM

9. working class..shower after work

middle class..shower before work

upper class...have an employee draw your bath

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 04:37 PM

10. I hate the term middle class

because it always seems to include people who make over $100,000 a year even though they are less than 10% or so of the population.

But then again, some people seem determined to put the same group of people (those making $80,000 to $400,000) into the working class as well.

A moron (such as my brother (sorry bro)) can be one or two paychecks away from disaster on an $80,000 a year income.

But I guarantee you that they are living a more lavish lifestyle than somebody making $16,000 a year. (which is almost minimum wage).

A person who makes $90,000 a year and gets themselves in a bind by trying to keep up with the Joneses, does not suddenly become a poor person. Just a moderately rich person without much sense or perspective.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hfojvt (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 05:58 PM

13. Me too

When you throw in "wage earners," I think you may have a group desperately trying to avoid one and trying to achieve the other. I really dislike the two terms.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 04:48 PM

11. Since a big number of American's live paycheck to paycheck....

I would say "working class".

To me, "middle class" describes people that don't have big incomes, yet have enough for the bills, enough in savings, enough for decent gifts around birthdays and holidays, and enough for a decent vacation maybe once a year or two.

I am not giving up hope that with a growing economy, we will see a growth in the number of people considered "middle class."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 04:51 PM

12. "Debt Serfs" comes to mind

Last edited Sun Jul 21, 2013, 07:03 PM - Edit history (1)

"Impoverished" is another helpful category.

On edit: I cannot see the response to this post, as that member is on my Ignore list. Just so we are all dealing with a complete set of facts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demeter (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 06:46 PM

17. Helpful, but

those are labels that would probably be rejected by people who would likely be classified in either of those categories by talking heads and campaigns.

Ed's use of the term "wage earners" is interesting, but I see it as divisive. They might be desperately be trying o avoid lower class, and trying to get into the middle class. Either way, I think that most of those labels are not very helpful as they translated.
Upper class= genius who works hard vs. lower class genius who is a waste of their intelligence.
or
Celebrated hard working person who was born into middle class or lower class and worked hard to pull themselves "up by their bootstraps."
Then there's the rarely mentioned legacy "upper class."

I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones that stand out to me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 06:06 PM

14. I think working class is more correct

 

Middle class is a catch-all term for a certain standard of living in the US, but is not a true class in the sense of the way it gets used here.

I use it when I mean workers who have gotten the package of gains referred to as "the American Dream", which is also a term I'm not fond if but carries a certain meaning that most understand.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 06:27 PM

15. I took a Social Foundations of Education class for my MSEd 20 years ago and there were 9 classes...


These were the economic classes:

Upper Upper
Middle Upper
Lower Upper
Upper Middle
Middle Middle
Lower Middle
Upper Lower
Middle Lower
Lower Lower

No "working class." Like Blue Collar and White Collar it was just kind of a cliche that implied more to do with how you earned a living than what your economic circumstances were.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 06:45 PM

16. Not sure, but there are definitely class differences in any organization

I don't know if there is really a one size fits all thing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread