I am amazed at the plethora of jargon in the news about the "middle class" and how these folks are going to be helped over the hurdle to the wonderful Land of Oz. I recall, when I was a youngster growing up in the city, dad worked every day and mom stayed home to take care of us kids, making dinner, doing the wash and helping us with our homework. Dad was a police officer during the depression and worked strange hours. As you recall, or have read that time in our history, our life was tough. We had liked all of you reading this; dinners were always on the table and clean clothes in your dresser. Perhaps there were some hand me downs from your siblings, but never the less you appreciated every thing you had. I never gave a thought to what or if there were various CLASSES of folks, I knew some of my relatives were better off than one another but who really cared.
Today, everyone wants to believe or wants to be in the middle class, but do you know what that is and how are you going to be helped by our Washington politicians. If you want to fall into that category you probably make from $25,000 to $100,000 a year. Even as I married, had children, my goal was to set values for my family that were equal to how I was raised. That is until this election. I have never seen a focus by folks who are trying to help the "middle class." I suspect in my naivety, we have become a class society like some of the Middle East countries. I've learned that our middle class is a social society; depending on the model used are about 25 to 60 percent of households. That's a pretty big number and a very wide range. Now to top all of that off there are subdivisions of the middle class. The lower middle class has lower educational attainment, less workplace authority and lower income that the upper middle class. The term middle class had become, a more who, at one time point to folks earning $40,000 to $95,000. Now this does not count those making less than $25,000 a year, struggling with two or three jobs to put food on the table. Nor does it include retired folks living on social security, working as a food checker at Wal-Mart or pumping gas for minimum wage to survive.
Now when you're watching the rhetoric on the television commercials that they're going to help the middle class. Who in the hell are they talking about. And how are they going to do that? With trillion dollars in debt, a failed stimulus program, millions of folks on unemployment, my prescriptions produced in India and everything we buy comes from China, and a health care bill that sponsors end of life counseling. And you have to ask yourself am I or my grandchildren better off today than we were four years ago? Then vote with full knowledge that perhaps you're not the middle class and the Land of Oz does not exist.
From the pen of Ken Treger, Lehighton