30+ examples of justified middle-class privilege
- Politicians pay attention to our class, and fight for our vote in election seasons, BECAUSE our class is likely to show up to the polls, and because our class is big enough to be worth paying attention to. The same is true of the working class. Haven't you heard of labor politics?
- You can advocate for your class to politicians and not have to worry about being seen as looking for a handout BECAUSE our class does not often seek handouts, and certainly does not depend on them. When we advocate for our class, we seek regulations needed to preserve public health, safety and morals and the people's rights, and sometimes measures of investment that allow our class to contribute more to society.
- You can readily find accurate (or non-caricatured) examples of members your class depicted in films, television, and other media BECAUSE our class either make media or communicate with those who do. So can the working class.
- New products are designed and marketed with your social class in mind BECAUSE our class buys new products. The working class generally buys what is tried and true.
- If we see something advertised that we really want, we will buy it BECAUSE we have earned the money wherewith to buy it.
- We can swear (or commit a crime) without people attributing it to the low morals of your class BECAUSE our class generally has high morals. In fact, part of how we got to be above the ordinary working class is by way of our high morals.
- If we find ourselves in a legally perilous situation, you can hire an attorney to ensure your case is heard justly BECAUSE we have earned the money wherewith to do so. Furthermore, we are usually educated enough to not need a lawyer in smaller cases.
- You can talk with your mouth full and not have people attribute this to the uncivilized nature of your social class BECAUSE the nature of our class is civilized. When we talk with our mouths full, people attribute that to the uncouthness of us personally, which is much less forgivable than low origins.
- We can attend a “fancy” dinner without apprehension of doing something wrong or embarrassing the hosts BECAUSE we are intelligent enough to learn the manners needed to abide a "fancy" dinner. So are some members of the working class, whose positions in the union or community demand they attend "fancy" dinners.
- We can walk around our neighborhoods at night without legitimate concern for our safety BECAUSE we maintain the types of communities and the types of properties that discourage legitimate threats to our safety.
- In the case of medical emergency, you won’t have to decide against visiting a doctor or the hospital due to economic reasons BECAUSE we earn enough money to visit the doctor. Poor children get Medicaid, so they can go to a clinic which provides a basic floor of emergency, urgent and ongoing health care. The law requires
- We have visited a doctor for a “check-up” BECAUSE we make our health a priority.
- Our eyesight, smile, and general health aren’t inhibited by our income BECAUSE we earn enough income that this is so. Children of the poor get Medicaid and therefore have the same thing until they are old enough to work.
- If we become sick, we can seek medical care immediately and not just “hope it goes away” BECAUSE we have earned those resources. Children of the poor get Medicaid.
- If you choose to wear hand-me-down or second-hand clothing, this won’t be attributed to your social class, and may actually be considered stylish, BECAUSE our social class does not normally need to wear second-hand clothing, and because when we do, it is usually part of a fashion statement.
- You can update your wardrobe with new clothes to match current styles and trends BECAUSE we earn enough money to buy an updated wardrobe.
- As a kid, our friends’ parents allowed our friends to play and sleep over at our houses BECAUSE we lived in a community where neighbors and friends know each other. Poor families don't work as hard at raising their kids, as shown by sociologist Annette Lareau.
- We don’t have to worry that teachers or employers will treat us poorly or have negative expectations of us because of our class BECAUSE the characteristics of our class do not give rise to negative expectations or earn poor treatment.
- The schools we went to as kids had updated textbooks, computers, and a solid faculty, BECAUSE our mothers held bake sales and attended PTA meetings to make that happen. My father donated a computer discarded by his work to the schools.
- Growing up, college was an expectation of us, whether we chose to go or not, BECAUSE our intellects were such that anything less than college would be a waste, even if we chose to go into trades.
- Our decision to go or not to go to college wasn’t based entirely on financial determinants BECAUSE we didn't give birth to any financial determinants before we started college. Financial aid was and is available for those who qualify.
- People aren’t surprised if they realize you are intelligent, hard-working, or honest BECAUSE our class is generally intelligent, hard-working and honest.
- We are paid by the year, not the hour; and
- Our pay rates are high enough that a 2-3% cost-of-living adjustment and 2-4% step increase amounts to more than a dollar.
- We’ve likely never looked into a paycheck advance business (e.g., “Check Into Cash”), and have definitely never used one, because we are self-disciplined enough to live within our means and make our money last the month. Furthermore, we are creditworthy enough to get less expensive credit.
- You are never asked to speak for all members of your class BECAUSE our class has enough articulate people to make that unnecessary.
- Whenever we moved out of your home it has been voluntary BECAUSE we met our duties in full and on time. We had other homes to move into BECAUSE we planned ahead and found other homes to move into.
- It’s your choice to own a reliable car or to choose other means of transportation BECAUSE we earn enough money to buy them.
- Regardless of the season, we can count on being able to fall asleep in a room with a comfortable temperature BECAUSE we earn enough money to buy climate control technology.
- When we flip a light switch in your house, we don’t have to wonder if the light will come on or if our utilities have been terminated BECAUSE we meet our financial responsibilites in full and on time.
- The “dream” of a house, a healthy family, and a solid career isn’t a dream at all, but simply a plan, BECAUSE our natural exertions tend to produce the same. The American Dream is only a "dream" for the working class, which is the "dream" of joining our class.
- People do not assume based on the dialect you grew up speaking that you are unintelligent or lazy BECAUSE speakers of that dialect are not often unintelligent or lazy.
- If we choose to use variants of language (e.g., slang terms) people chalk them up to plasticity in the language rather than assuming our particular dialectical variants deserve ridicule and punishment BECAUSE we are well enough educated to know the correct language, and that fact is well enough recognized that we can engage in "reverse snobbery" or linguistic improvisation.
We understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy food BECAUSE we paid attention in 9th grade health class. We can choose to eat healthy food if we wish BECAUSE we make informed choices. So can the working class, as long as they live responsibly, don't have illegitimate children, and spend enough of their income, in addition to their Food Stamps if any, on food.
18.As a kid, you were able to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities (field trips, clubs, etc.) with school friends BECAUSE we tax ourselves to fund Departments of Parks and REcreation, including fee waivers for low income children.
An annual raise in pay at our job is measured in dollars, not cents BECAUSE: