Approximately 70% of Americans regard themselves as middle-class; however, according to statistics, this class comprises slightly over 50% of the total United States’ population (Pressman 5). Although middle-class can be defined by aspects such as high-level of education or qualities such as hard work, I consider income to be the most significant gauge since it incorporates all factors that make an individual average, including consumption, relative social status, and education.
In the U.S., the middle-class is categorized into upper and lower sub-divisions. Individuals in the upper-middle-class hold bachelors and postgraduate degrees in courses, such as law, medicine, and business. Contrarily, lower-middle-class people hold an associate degree or bachelor’s degrees. Comfort is a fundamental idea to the middle-class; they work hard and lead relatively comfortable lives. Middle-class individuals have the propensity to undertake professions that offer them high incomes (Pressman 7). This category of persons provides their families with luxurious cars, large homes, high-quality education, and quality healthcare.
Although hard work and determination can make anyone who belongs to the U.S. middle-class climb the social and financial ladder, this is not easy, especially if one comes from a low-class family. However, attaining a higher-education level can influence a person’s occupation and income level. From this income, an individual can lead a comfortable life, access quality healthcare, and build significant savings.
Middle-class individuals and those yearning to be members of this category seek financial stability, a home, as well as a secure retirement. For people to attain the middle-class status, a lot of work and effort is required, including holding a top-class position, which may be detrimental to an individual. According to Pressman, contingent jobs have transformed the setting of employment, and currently, more than 15% of employees are in alternative occupations (8). Furthermore, steady jobs can feel less guaranteed since some positions no longer give workers the assurance of financial stability and upward mobility. This situation can cause strain and frustration to families, which leads to social problems, such as engaging in drug trafficking or other illegal businesses to attain financial stability.
Pressman, Steven. “Defining and Measuring the Middle Class.” American Institute for Economic Research, 2015, pp. 1-27.
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