The Middle-Class Curse

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Last updated on February 4th, 2024 at 08:55 pm

There’s a breed of human out there that’s doomed to mediocrity. Not rich enough to do as they please, but wealthy enough to constantly worry about descending into poverty, the middle-class is to society what the middle sibling is to a family: neglected, uncharacteristic and craving attention.

I’m from the ‘burbs, born and raised—never really been rich or poor due to hard-working parents and a number of fortunate circumstances that came my way. But I’ve had enough friends—both rich and poor—to have a taste.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the playing field.

Everyone’s got their own problems, but the wealthy—the TRULY wealthy—can buy their way out of situations. They’ve been running things for quite a while, with no signs of releasing the reins anytime soon. They get the huge tax breaks. They play by different rules. They can be anything they want to be, since they can afford the private tuition and the lifestyles, luxuries and connections that it affords. They’re the ones who find their way into the spotlight, and for better or for worse, they STAY there.

On the other end of the spectrum, it sucks to be poor. You have to work harder than anyone to escape the gravity of your surroundings—gangs, drugs and other illicit activities are a constant threat. On the other hand—and this is especially true here in Canada—a good number of our tax outflows are the (much-needed) programs for the poor. Social housing, free clinics, drop-in centres—we’ve devised a system that allows the poor to survive, even if it’s next to impossible to escape the box that poverty has assembled for them.

Then we have the middle class—living comfortably in 3- or 4-bedroom houses with a few kids, a couple of cars, some pets, and some well-paying jobs. But here’s wherein the problem lies—the middle-class is stuck, for it does not have ambition enough to exceed its bounds nor can it work past its apathy to work collectively to improve.

The knowledge that they’re in a demographic that’s wide enough in range for earning potential, yet near impossible to surpass without putting in a ridiculous amount of time at a company or getting very lucky keeps the middle-class in check right where it is.

But should they be so apathetic? Should they automatically resign themselves to a lifetime within a box that is imagined, yet quite constricting?

Definitely not. As my blog has shown, one can be just about anyone they want to be, given that they actively sharpen their tools to be the best of the best.

This DOESN’T mean that you need to step all over others to succeed.

This DOESN’T mean that you need to live a life obsessed with money in order to improve your financial station in life.

All it means is that you need to do what you do best, and ALWAYS do it to the best of your ability. In my opinion, if we all took Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand theory to heart and nurtured a community of people working together to maximize their abilities—and by extension, their gains in life—well, the middle-class curse just might be lifted.

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad



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