How average is perceived as being over

Tyler Cowen

If you actually take a close look at the numbers, it turns out that of the people who identified as middle class in 2008, nearly a third of them now identify as lower middle or lower class.1 This is even more dramatic than it seems. Class self-identification is deeply tied up with culture, not just income, and this drop means that a lot of people—about one in six Americans—now think of themselves as not just suffering an income drop, but suffering an income drop they consider permanent. Permanent enough that they now live in a different neighborhood, associate with different friends, and apparently consider themselves part of a different culture than they did just six years ago.

There is more here, from Kevin Drum.