We the MIDDLE CLASS and I love being identified with this class. However always struggled to offer an comprehensive definition of Middle class - a paragraph from the article by David Brooks in NY Times beautifully summarizes what it means to be Middle class. Another one by the same author articulates the idea further
"To be middle class is to have money to spend on non-necessities. But it also involves a shift in values. Middle-class parents have fewer kids but spend more time and money cultivating each one. They often adopt the bourgeois values — emphasizing industry, prudence, ambition, neatness, order, moderation and continual self-improvement. They teach their children to lead different lives from their own, and as Karl Marx was among the first to observe, unleash a relentless spirit of improvement and openness that alters every ancient institution."
"19th century whn Ralph Waldo Emerson & other lesser lights offered audiences recipes for self-improvement, man and woman of character, they said, must possess a well-furnished mind. You may be a salesman or a farmer or a housewife, but you have a responsibility to be familiar with the best that has been thought and said.To be respectable, it is necessary to spend your leisure time sampling the great masterworks of culture. To fight off the grubby materialism of American culture, it is necessary to be conversant in philosophy, theology and the great political events of the wider world."
Though the entire article may not be of much interest to everyone here is the link to the full article: