People socializing over drinks at a party.

Internet rages over opinion that upper middle class ‘isn’t your enemy’

A claim that those who are considered the “upper” middle class” being “not your enemies” has sparked controversy among users of reddit

In a post titled “The upper-middle class is not your enemy”, which at the time of writing had 18,900 votes, Reddit user VVVVagabond wrote:: “The people who make 200k-300k, who drive a Prius… [a Toyota Prius car] and owning a 3 bedroom house in a nice neighborhood are not your enemies.

“When I see people talking about class inequality or ‘eat the’ [rich]Do they somehow think it’s about the more affluent middle class? No, it’s about the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent. I’m closer to the person making minimum wage in terms of lifestyle than those guys,” the user added.

According to the Pew Research Center’s analysis of government data, published in April 2022, “the middle class, once the economic stratum of a clear majority of American adults, has shrunk steadily over the past five decades.”

People having fun together over a drink at a party.
This stock photo shows a group of men and women having drinks and socializing in an upscale party setting. A Reddit user’s claim that the “upper middle class is not your enemy” has sparked heated debate among users of the online forum.
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According to the analysis, the proportion of adults living in middle-class households had fallen from 61 percent in 1971 to 50 percent in 2021.

The Pew Research Center report states, “Household income has increased significantly since 1970, but that of middle-class households has not increased nearly as much as that of higher-income households.”

In 2020, the median income of middle-class households was 50 percent higher than in 1970 ($90,131 versus $59,934), “measured in 2020 dollars,” according to the center.

The latest Reddit post received a deluge of comments from users, with some agreeing there’s no difference whether you earn “20k or 200k a year”, while others disagreed.

shp865 said, “The most unpopular opinion in America, because if it was a popular opinion on both sides, the rich would suck in their shorts,” in a comment that got 2,200 votes.

GenericFatGuy said, “There are only two classes. Working class and owner class. If you have to work to survive, you are working class. It doesn’t matter if it’s 20k or 200k a year.”

ATX_native said the original poster’s comment was “So true”, explaining that: “When you make $300ka a year, you have more in common with someone who earns minimum wage than you do with Elon [Musk, the founder of Tesla and other corporations]† There are those who walk among us who have so much wealth that even generations of mismanagement cannot squander it. These people you speak of are not those people.”

Clemario agreed, adding: “The difference between the middle class and the upper class is not income, it is influence. Doctors, lawyers and engineers still have to work hard to maintain their lifestyle.”

DualtheArtist also said that influence plays a role in class differences, stating, “People like Musk and other celebrity realms are seen as very distasteful to the people who REALLY have damn influence and not just through their wealth, but through systematic generational efforts to to rot the system for the benefit of their families…”

SensibleReply, who said they are a surgeon still paying off their loan at age 37, commented, “I earn well, but I promise I’m not ‘rich’…I’m a W-2 worker he has to be in the office and I make every dollar physically. Sure, one day my capital may earn more than I do, but I’ve been grinding all my life.”

Other users disagreed with the original poster’s claim, explaining that there is a difference in “quality of life” when you have a six-figure salary.

Alexander1899 said, “Food security, health insurance, [being] be able to afford a car that is not about to break down, [being] can afford good quality housing, can invest and plan for their retirement. There’s a huge jump in quality of life from 20K a year to even 100K, let alone 200 or 300.”

TheWorstMasterChief said, “Well. I think there is one difference. My wife and I make about $450,000 together. And we just don’t worry about money. By that I mean worrying about money doesn’t keep me up at night. That’s a HUGE difference with people earning minimum wage.”

Commenting on TheWorstMasterChief, user _Ayrity_ said, “Absolutely true. It still doesn’t make you the enemy. I think that was the OP’s main point.”

FabulousLettuce2721 explained that: “Income at that level brings people [with] luxuries and privileges that people making $50k and less would love to have. You are an absolute clown if you think that someone making $300k is the same as someone making minimum wage. Of course they are not Elon Musk‘s level, but you’re not in the same category as someone making $50k or less.”

karmander karmander I think the question is, are the people who make $300k in touch with the struggles of people who bring poverty wages home? Are they in solidarity with the working class? Or have they abandoned them because they think that their class interests are more aligned with Musk and Bezos?”

ClapBackBetty said, “This is why we can’t have a revolution. People will burn doctors and lawyers at the stake while the rich just laugh from their underground bunkers.”

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