How to define the 'middle class'?

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How to define the 'middle class '?
Published: Mar 15 2013 8:50 Email | Print | Share
Text Size The definition of “middle class” has been debated recently in Hong Kong. One simplistic definition would be to take the median or average income and those who received the middle” level of income are the “middle class”. Such a definition is easy to understand in mathematical terms, but is naive and has a number of drawbacks. Firstly, how close the income level to the “middle” would be included as the “middle class”? Would 10% below and above the average or “middle” income be regarded? The problem is to draw the dividing line. Secondly, people’s income changes over time, or drops in an economic downturn. How do the
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This has a lot to do with the education system an economy has. Intellectually able youngsters would obviously be given the chance to study. But academically weak students should best be given the opportunity to learn a skill so that the person would be equipped with some marketable endowment. Economic policies should best be used to address preventing people to enter the poverty pool, though welfare activists would love to see more poor people as that would give them more job opportunities. Social workers and welfare activists would not be needed if there is no poverty in the society.
A free and progressive society should allow upward social mobility and there should not be a clear demarcation between different social classes. Upward mobility would allow individuals to move from one social class to another. But how different the earnings between individuals from different classes or individuals within the so social class is not so much a concern, as there are differences in the rewards to individual endowments. To the society, the size of both the “middle class” and “upper class” are no concern as these individuals would have the economic ability to after their own welfare. The concern is the individuals in the “lower class” that could have a problem in economic survival. Other than the provision of needed social welfare, the better solution is to ensure
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