In a reversal of stereotypes, “Democrats have become a party of the wealthy” admits Fredrik deBoer in the Washington Post. Meanwhile, Republicans–much to the chagrin of some Republican “elites”–have become a party of the working class.
The Antiplanner was reminded of this when I saw a report saying that 29.4 percent of Americans were now “upper middle class,” which the report defines as having incomes of $100,000 or more for a family of three (or roughly $82,000 for a family of two, $115,000 for a family of four, etc.–see page 3 of the report). This highlights something the Antiplanner has said several times before: the real social divide in America is not between the 1 percent and the 99 percent, but between the 30 percent and the 70 percent. Specifically, about 30 percent of working-age Americans are “knowledge workers,” and generally have college degrees, while 70 percent do physical labor, and generally don’t have college degrees.
As the Antiplanner has previously noted, there is a lot of confusion about the term “middle class.” Surveys show that nine out of ten Americans consider themselves to be middle class, but in fact, six of them are wrong. Class is not distinguished by income, though it certainly influences income. The Antiplanner spent the first 20 years of my career earning a very low income, but I was college educated with college-educated parents and definitely had middle-class attitudes (never mind the fact that many of my peers scorned the “middle class” even as they formed a part of it).