TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 26: An ice sculpture reading Middle Class is displayed as people gather to protest before the beginning of the Republican National Convention on August 26, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. The convention starts the week of August 27th. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Many countries have had “citizen classes.” A definition used to pigeonhole people by the levels of their education, income, social standing or general knowledge and skill levels.

Once you were assigned one of these classes you rarely were able to work your way out of it. You were either a worker bee or a queen and never the twain shall meet.

What Is The Definition Of "Middle Class?"

The middle class, or any American class, is very difficult to define. Most people define the middle class by income but what does that really mean?

“Median Household Income” is defined by dividing all incomes into two equal parts with the Median being the exact middle between the top and bottom incomes.

If the top pay was $100 and the bottom $1.00 the median would but $50.00.

Millionaires and billionaires would be included in this equation.

The last census defines the median household income at $51,017 or a little over $24.00/hr. Individual median income in 2014 is $28,595 or about $27.00/hr.

By this monetary definition if your household income is $51,000 you would be considered middle class if income was the only measurement.

What Other Factors Define The Middle Class?

There are many definitions of middle class. Education, wealth, environment growing up, social networks and friends, manners, and moral values are often common criteria to define the middle class.

Historically the middle class was defined as the area between workers and the aristocratic class. These were professionals such as doctors, lawyers and other professionally educated people.

Parental Guidance Suggested

Parents who fall into the middle class place a high value on education. They feel their education gave them an edge in society and instill that idea in their children.

As a result, a sense of entitlement was developed. Middle class kids are much more likely to feel entitled to the good life than working class or lower class children.

Having lived the good life they don’t want to give it up but they also feel that the world owes them something as well.

Some Final Thoughts

Most of today’s battles are being fought in the media. “Who can we make feel bad today?” Let’s pick on income because there are a lot of people who are wealthy and more that are not. So let’s point out how unfair that is.

Unemployment, food stamps, poverty programs stifle the incentive to work and progress in life. Your chances of grabbing the golden ring are reduced particularly if you are older with no college degree or marketable skills.

It’s not easy making a “living wage” in today’s society of robotics and computer controlled workplaces. Knowledge is power.

I would like to believe that the middle class is growing rather than shrinking but the figures don’t really bear that out. Until business is allowed to thrive again the workforce will continue to stay dependent on others.

I hope we can locate the middle class some day soon. I miss them.

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