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Translating class

I was reminded of how I have not been in America for a while when I stumbled on the introduction to a US senator's press release, about how educational reform is intended to "protect the middle class".

There's a phrase which would alienate an enormous swathe of class-conscious Britain. It left open the question of who could possibly be excluded if public education is for the "middle class". It took family members to translate for me.

The "middle class" is the 99%. The only people who aren't middle class, in current American political rhetoric at least, are the richest 1% of the population. Under the circumstances, it seems odd that there's still reason to use the word "class" with regards to distributions of Americans.


Oct. 16th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
Here are some good graphs showing just where the line might be drawn between the percentile that makes 'middle class' income and the percentile that makes more. Iirc, the line is really somewhere lower than the top 1% percentile, but still the picture is very very out of proportion.