Friday, 31 March 2017

The Middle Class Illusion

Are you middle class?

Do you know where the middle class falls within society? Is it someone who earns up to $120,000 or someone averaging around $50,000 annually? 

Surprisingly, many people do not really know, they believe they fall within the middle class, when in reality they may either be on the fringe of the upper tiers of society or just on the edge of being termed lower class or working poor.

This can be both confusing and very misleading when it comes to how people vote and more importantly, who they follow on the basis of the policies specifically targeted for the middle class.

The Canadian middle class has much like its American counterpart, helped sustain our country and also advance it. As a member of the middle class, an individual should have the ability to balance their finances between essential needs, luxury purchases and also savings.

I have come to the understanding that as a result of this definition, the middle class will naturally change as time progresses. For example, what we define as a wealthy sum of money today, may have once been defined as a lifetime worth 20 or even 30 years ago.

Where does this lead us though? How does a changing middle class affect the direction of our country? 

 If you simply look around at the average level of employment gained by the majority of Canadians and the quality of that employment, it is easy to see that we are approaching a major shift in how we classify our middle class.

Let's look at millennial's for example, they are currently working on average between 2-3 jobs in order to get by or balance their personal budgets. This means that money being put aside for savings is either very low or unavailable, which would also explain why debt levels among many Canadians is also skyrocketing. When you don't have enough funds to pay for the mortgage and keep up with the demands of your personal social life, coupled with the banks offering cheap loans, it is no surprise that many Canadians are biting in an attempt to maintain a certain standard of living.

Take this even further and I believe you can see how south of the border, Americans were able to elect someone like Donald Trump. Let me explain it for you in more detail, when you have individuals who believe they are apart of the middle class, who then either lose their employment or are faced with a reduction in employment, they become desperate. The label of middle class is not only an honour for many, but one with responsibilities to maintain a higher standard of living. Today that means you're buying that smart phone, purchasing a new car and ensuring you have the latest in decor and fashion for both yourself and your family.

Where this is getting us in trouble is regarding how unsustainable it is. We cannot continue to rely on cheap debt in order for us to fund the craze of our current society. How can we as a country guide the development of families and their children, when people cannot simply get by on their own without a reliance on cheap debt?

So, as a result, people will do whatever they can to keep the illusion going. They will vote for those who promise to make everyone middle class and who will fight for them, even if they happen to be a member of the very 1% that is currently supporting one of the largest divides in income known to mankind. They will resort to fear and distance themselves from others, because it is easier than accepting the fact that much of the problems we are currently facing regarding our economy, are problems that did not happen overnight. They are problems that stem from the greed of the few and the apathy of the many, where people accepted something not because they agreed with it, but rather because it came easy and with supposedly little baggage.

Now throw in a global economy and further automation and this problem becomes a much more dire issue for many. Statistics Canada estimates that within the next 10 years, between 1.5 and 8 million Canadians will lose their employment to some form of automation. While these numbers encompass a large range between them, they seem to be advancing the demise of our current way of life.

All is not lost though!!!!

In order to ensure that our economy does not further push itself over the cliff of bankruptcy, people need to do one simple thing...and that is take more accountability over themselves and their government.

Instead of going about their day believing they are the middle class or worse yet that they are rich and famous, people need to understand that it is perfectly fine to not have it all and be number 1.

Not everyone becomes a doctor, lawyer or wealthy CEO. Which means for the majority of us, we need to find employment that not only gives us some level of enjoyment, but also fits within our current lifestyle. More importantly, we need to begin living again, not like the Kardashians, but like human beings. Go for walks, talk to strangers on the street and demand more from those who lead you, further more, fight to become someone who leads if you believe you have solutions that can help others.

One side effect of believing we are all middle class and our reliance on this illusion of unlimited resources, is that we have also put more reliance on someone else to fix our problems. No longer are you seeing people taking accountability for their own actions or issues and this is a big problem. If you aren't happy, you need to figure out why and do something about it, not an easy task, but life isn't as easy as your credit card might sometimes make you believe.

Also, if you don't like your government, do something about that too. Take Justin Trudeau's Liberals, many people believe their direction for our country is too reliant on debt, while this belief is a blog post in and of itself, these same people rely on complaining about the issue, rather than taking action to contribute towards resolving it.

Keep fighting for what you want in life, but do not let people masquerade their own agenda in order to keep you bright eyed and dazed in an illusion. If we do not take charge of the direction our country is heading, someone else almost always will and that will most likely lead us further down the road of a reduced quality of life and more Canadians wondering what happened to it all.

Until Next Time!

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