The Struggles of the Working/Middle Class(es)
There was a time that there were three classes: lower, middle, and upper. Now, there are subtypes such as working, lower-middle, and etc. I’ve done some research regarding my income and come to learn that I fall within the range of “middle” class. In the midst of research, I also came to learn that “working” class is typically referred to those who make their earnings via manual labor, also known as “blue collar” professions. Let’s not proceed any further on this topic without the understanding that this isn’t a post to slander any income class. However, there are some things that I’ve learned along the way. One of the most recent learning experiences is the struggle of the middle/working class.
Fresh out of college, no job experience, I was a frustrated member of the lower class-no questions asked. Jobs that offered higher salaries wanted experience (but wouldn’t provide any), and as a single woman without children, taxes were the hungry hippos in my life. Although I have never received public assistance, I believe it can be a huge asset to those who need and qualify for it. I’m so sure of this because I remember a time that dining out was a luxury. In order for my “adulting” to be effective, I had to cover the necessities; after the necessities were covered, I had a few dollars to spare. There were two things that I learned during that time: 1) education without experience has more “social” weight that economic and 2) a greater appreciation for having “enough.”
Later, I gained more experience and a better understanding of what I wanted out of life. I was ready for my next move. I transitioned to a job that placed me in a higher tax bracket with job skills that were sure to enhance the future I was dreaming of. Biggie had it right when he dropped “more money, more problems.” The more money I made, the higher taxes were. So, I have become “middle” class with continued struggles because I’m fighting against several hundreds of dollars taken out of my bi-weekly income before I ever see it. Years later, I am still frustrated because I have experienced two classes within two economic systems (lower and middle) and while one experience has been far better than the other I still boil over with frustration at times because the middle class seems to bear invisible burdens. The lower class receives various forms of assistance while upper class has no need for benefits but get them anyway. In essence, our economy has formed two extremes and you have to conform to one or the other to thrive. Isn’t that something?