Thursday, November 29, 2012

Caste Offs


All during the interminable 2012 Election, I kept hearing about “the middle class.” I could never figure out which Class I’m in. I’m pro-choice and I wasn’t satisfied with three choices; Lower, Middle and Upper.

Even in India they have four well-known caste system categories: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. Of course certain people are excluded altogether, ostracized by all other castes and treated as untouchables. Unfortunately we have some of those untouchables in America. And I’m not including Elliot Ness.

All of my research ended with the upper UPPER class Atlantic Monthly Magazine.

I became more familiar with The Atlantic in 1999 only because David G. Bradley, my daughter Ruth’s boss when she was at The Corporate Executive Board in Washington, DC, bought the magazine (not a copy, the entire Atlantic Monthly corporation). It was founded 155 years ago in 1857 as The Atlantic Monthly in Boston. The founders included Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., John Greenleaf Whittier and James Russell Lowell. In August 1963, The Atlantic published Martin Luther King, Jr.'s defense of civil disobedience in "Letter from Birmingham Jail." The magazine published many of the works of Mark Twain, including one that was lost until 2001. 

The Atlantic website introduced me to Derek Thompson, a senior editor who looks more like a junior high-school editor, but seems to agree with my concerns about the lack of classes to choose from.

“One plausible definition of ‘middle-class’ is those households in the middle quintile of the income distribution, or between the 40th and 60th percentiles,” Thompson writes. “Under this view, 0-20th percentile is lower class, 20th-40th is lower-middle class, 40th-60th is middle class, 60th-80th is upper middle class, and 80th to 99th is upper class. The lower classes make under $20,262, in this view, and the upper classes above $101,582, according to the latest Census data.” 

That's good. A major percentage gain in Classes, from three to five.

Get it? If you do, go to the head of the Class.

But if you're not from the correct Class be prepared to be caste out.

No comments:

Post a Comment