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So elections are coming up, he we're hearing the usual talk of the economy etc. Of the many things our politicians talk about the keep referring to the middle class. and the Conservatives, Liberal and NDP all claim to be defenders of the middle class in various ways. American Politicians make the same claims.

However the more I hear about the dying middle class, or protecting middle class jobs. I ask myself what the heck is a middle class job. My parents lived under a definiton class where social and economic status where the same. Where the lower class was restricted to labourers and the uneducated mass. Middle Class was supposed to be the educated professionals and Upper class where the rich elite of businessmen and inherited wealth.

This saw that plumbers, carpenters, welders where considered lower class. Where marketers, salesmen, where considered to be middle class.

I don't think this model holds any value anymore. While Education remains the best predictor of Social/Economic Status. The labor market has shifted considerable since the 1950's. For one thing licensed trades have risen in both pay scale and prominence. Additionally we've seen an over saturation of graduates in fields with little to no employable skill the so called " Bachelor barristas". Additionally its seem more and more necessary to have a masters or PH D to get a "good job".

I think we live in a world that's become more strafied. There been a split were economic status does not equal social status. The traditional model of class is outdated and it needs to be reconsidered for a meaningful discussion the topic.

Any thoughts?

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there's no commonly accepted definition for 'middle class'... which causes no end of cycling through politicized commentary/rhetoric. How is the middle class determined? Does one rely upon a basic statistical median (after tax) single/family income level range? Is it determined by a definition of individuals/families meeting basic living expenses? Is it determined by how much discretionary income is left over after basic living expenses are met? Is it nothing more than some subjective declaration of being somewhere between relying upon social assistance and the 'fabulously rich & famous'? Or what?

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The middle class isn't defined because most of the upper class thinks they're middle class.

wealth distribution as a measure of the middle class? Just how does that mythical Harper Conservative fiscal prowess reflect upon a wealth gap... just how many Canadians have been left behind under Harper Conservatives?

per StatsCan data (as presented by the Broadbent Institute), under Harper Conservative watch:

- the median net worth of the top 10% was $2,103,200 in 2012. It rose by $620,600 (41.9%) since 2005.

- the median net worth of the bottom 10% was negative $5,100 in 2012, dropping more than 150% from negative $2,000 in 2005.

- the top 10% of Canadians accounted for almost half (47.9%) of all wealth in 2012.

- in 2012, the bottom 30% of Canadians accounted for less than 1% of all wealth; the bottom 50% combined controlled less than 6% of all wealth

- the top 10% held almost $6 in every $10 (59.6%) of financial assets, excluding pensions – more than the bottom 90% combined. The bottom half of the population held less than 6% of financial assets and the bottom 70% of the population only 16%.

- the concentration of wealth for the top 10% is highest in British Columbia at 56.2% and lowest in Atlantic Canada (31.7%) and Quebec (43.4%). Wealth inequality is also, on the whole, least pronounced in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

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The middle class isn't defined because most of the upper class thinks they're middle class.

Interesting idea. The Ontario Liberals decided $500,000 a year income made you wealthy when they created their new 'wealth tax', which is not unreasonable. Except they lowered it to $300,000 the very next year, and then to $150,000 the year after (this year).

Under this most recent definition I am wealthy, along with all doctors and lawyers. But if their fiscal incompetence remains unchanged, which I expect, the wealth tax will drop to $75,000 earners next year, and $40,000 the year after.

Think of all the wealthy people Ontario will have!

Personally, I'd say (exempting pensioners) if you need to work for a living you're probably not wealthy. That is to say, a bank CEO might 'work for a living' but he doesn't need to. He's already a multimillionaire and could simply quit and sit by a pool for the rest of his life.

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Personally, I'd say (exempting pensioners) if you need to work for a living you're probably not wealthy. That is to say, a bank CEO might 'work for a living' but he doesn't need to. He's already a multimillionaire and could simply quit and sit by a pool for the rest of his life.

Interesting criteria, Argus. Like many Canadians, if I sold all my assets (including my house) and if I were willing to live in a rented trailer in Alabama or a one-room place in, say, Manila, then I guess you could say that I'm wealthy. Edited by August1991
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According to Justin Trudeau, the middle class is "People who live off their incomes are middle class, and those that live off their assets, their portfolios, their trust funds are not".

So apparently, a CEO earning millions of dollars a year is middle class, but an old retired couple with a moderate pension are not.

The middle class is simply a political tool used to make the population think that the politician has their best interests in mind, when the politician never made any concrete claims. The vast majority Canadians think they belong to the middle class (lower and upper classes tend to have social stigmas). In reality, the whole 'class system' does not exist.

As far as I am concerned, there is only 1 class in Canada: the Canadian class. Anything else is a lie.

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I'm just saying it's a political thing. There's actual definitions in academia, but politicians avoid them because they want people to vote for them.

There is no consistent definition. Academics will make up a definition to test certain hypothesis about income inequality. But the middle class doesn't really exist.

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Interesting criteria, Argus. Like many Canadians, if I sold all my assets (including my house) and if I were willing to live in a rented trailer in Alabama or a one-room place in, say, Manila, then I guess you could say that I'm wealthy.

Okay, then do so. But clearly I wasn't talking about moving to a slum.

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As far as I am concerned, there is only 1 class in Canada: the Canadian class. Anything else is a lie.

There's clearly an influential class with way more sway than ordinary voters over politicians and governments when it comes to the development of policies that relate to just about anything that has to do with creating and or retaining wealth. That's why I said a definition of the term middle class should encompass power as much or even more than just wealth. Clearly the two are so intertwined as to be virtually the same thing.

I agree the term holds little meaning or relevance in the context politicians use it.

Edited by eyeball
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  • 1 month later...

According to Justin Trudeau, the middle class is "People who live off their incomes are middle class, and those that live off their assets, their portfolios, their trust funds are not".

So apparently, a CEO earning millions of dollars a year is middle class, but an old retired couple with a moderate pension are not.

The middle class is simply a political tool used to make the population think that the politician has their best interests in mind, when the politician never made any concrete claims. The vast majority Canadians think they belong to the middle class (lower and upper classes tend to have social stigmas). In reality, the whole 'class system' does not exist.

As far as I am concerned, there is only 1 class in Canada: the Canadian class. Anything else is a lie.

I agree with your class of Canadian the rest is just labels they use for what ever purpose they need.

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now that Harper has announced his income -splitting for some Canadians, I think by the time the opposition parties and others done telling what's wrong with it, it may wish he listened to the former minister of Finance. Not too many middle-incomers will see much, the more money you make the more you get back BUT what the NDP has said is the higher earners will have to pay it back through taxes and it just a way for the Tories to get votes by letting Canadians think they are getting a good deal...well they will, until tax time and CTV has a chart for different incomes for Canadians to learn more.

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