Graphik: Bulletpoint Abstracts issue 1/2020 (English)

Gunther Tichy: The Middle Class Under Pressure?

As a result of an analysis of income-classes, the OECD concluded that the middle class is squeezed and under pressure. This conclusion, however, is questionable, as the middle class is characterized more by sociological criteria, which the study completely neglects. Furthermore, the middle class in Austria turns out to be under less pressure than in other OECD countries. The discussion on the future of the middle class is important, but suffers from a confusion of terms. One never knows the criteria that are applied for demarcation. The value oriented traditional middle class is recently being separated from the education-driven and progress-driven new middle class; policy prefers an encompassing definition, comprising enterprises up to 500 employees. “Squeezed” is primarily the traditional middle class, which came “under pressure” by the new middle class. Given the heterogeneity of the middle class, policy must be group-specific.

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