ROTHENBURGER – What, exactly, is this ‘middle class’ everyone’s talking about?


(Image: Finance Dept, Govt of Canada)


It’s a pretty big tent, this middle class, but our government — pick one; doesn’t matter which government — is there for us.

In recent years, governments at all levels have taken to talking about “protecting the middle class.” It’s as if the middle class has become some sort of chosen set of people who represent all good things Canadian.

Everybody wants in. If you aren’t part of it already, you’re “working to get into the middle class.”

Justin Trudeau is all about “fairness for the middle class.” John Horgan’s prime objective is “a break for the middle class” and “affordability” for the middle class. The media judge provincial and federal budgets on what they do for “the middle class.”

So I started thinking about the middle class a couple of days before federal finance minister Bill Morneau delivered his budget this week.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (7631 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on ROTHENBURGER – What, exactly, is this ‘middle class’ everyone’s talking about?

  1. Well I suppose politicians use the words “middle class” to avoid using terms like “average people” because it sounds condescending. But that’s essentially what their aiming at: the thickest part of the bell curve — people with average incomes, average IQ, average age, average … everything. Is it really true that we’re all desperately clawing our way to live in a dull, uninspiring world where people have an average family, live in an average house, drive an average car? Honestly, I gag every time “middle class” is mentioned. It’s pablum served up by marketeers.

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