|Image via Minding the Campus|
So who is middle class? A good place to start is with the "third quintile." The Census Bureau divides income earners by five, so those in the middle—the third quintile—are those who earn more than the bottom 40% and less than the top 40%. As of 2009, that meant household (not individual) income of $39,000 to $60,000. The American middle class, it turns out, is, well, poor.
Where do those Washington politicos and Manhattan media types get the idea that a salary in the low six-figures—which means you're well into the top quintile—qualifies you as middle class?