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  • Bertrand Badré

Middle class: essential or non-essential

We keep proclaiming the middle class is the backbone of our democracy and market economy. But was its rise simply an accident? The last crisis however already hit this critical group in many developed economies. Will the Covid one further accelerate the trend? The economic depression will take its massive toll. It has and will split the population in more and more distinct groups. The forever teleworkers, the generous billionaires, the inspired commentators, the essential service people (eg health), the important yet not fully recognized person doing essential tasks suddenly made visible etc ... and a growing number of people whose job is structurally at risk. Millions of jobs have been destroyed. Millions more will shift. How will this unprecedented reshuffle play out? Could it be the decisive step toward the hourglass society? With the upper class enjoying the benefits of the changes, being satisfied with providing the lower class with universal basic income? If we continue to be long “optimization” and sort out people possibly for good reasons (urgency, lack of resources...) it could be a collective suicide. Don’t let the distinction between “essential” and “non essential” bring us too far down a dangerous path.


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