What’s It Take To Be Middle Class Now?
Can an economy in which 10% of the households qualify as middle class claim to offer widespread opportunities for secure prosperity? No, it cannot.
Defining the middle class is a perpetually popular parlor game because it’s well-known that the foundation of widespread prosperity is a broad-based middle class and a sturdy ladder of social mobility that enables those below the middle class to work their way up to middle class security.
Here’s an example of a typical trope on the subject: What Does It Take To Be Middle Class?
The topic is also a perennial favorite because the middle class is losing ground. By basic measures of income, it’s slipped from 60% of the populace to 50%.
A strong case can be made that assessed by characteristics of middle class security and prosperity rather than income, the middle class has effectively shrunk to 10% of households as only the top 30% of households earn enough to afford what was within reach of the top 60% in decades past.
By definition, the top 20% cannot be “middle class.” The top 20% is comprised of the upper-middle class, the wealthy and the super-wealthy (the 80% to 95% bracket, top 5% and the top 1%).
Attempting to define the middle class by income alone is futile due to regional differences in costs and purchasing power. $100,000 annual household income that will bare
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LewRockwell.com is a libertarian website that publishes articles, essays, and blog posts advocating for minimal government, free markets, and individual liberty. The site was founded by Lew Rockwell, an American libertarian political commentator, activist, and former congressional staffer. The website often features content that is critical of mainstream politics, state intervention, and foreign policy, among other topics. It is a platform frequently used to disseminate Austrian economics, a school of economic thought that is popular among some libertarians.