Only 5.7% of Americans make more than 200k a year. 5.7% is nowhere near the middle. Median household income was $67,521 in 2020. There are a lot of people who say 200k is middle class in Manhattan or San Francisco. Being a millionaire in a town full of billionaires doesn’t make you middle class. It’s fine to make a lot of money. We’d all love to do it, but let’s not pretend such a small slice of the population is middle class.
Observation: No one in America wants to be considered poor or rich. We all want to be in the middle class, but logically that’s impossible. About a third of Americans make less than 40k a year. About a 3rd of Americans make between 40k and 100k a year. About a third of Americans make over 100k. 1% of Americans make over 500k.
Does it make sense to consider the bottom 1% poor, the top 1% rich and 2%-98% middle class? If not dived in even thirds, how should social class be measured?
The more you make, the more you consume, which is why rich people so often describe themselves as middle class.