If you listen to an American politician talk for long, you're bound to run into the phrase "middle class". Democrats, Republicans, doesn't matter. The middle class is apparently this great thing that characterizes our society, built the country, and is under attack.
This doesn't sit well with me. First of all, who the hell is in the middle class? It doesn't have any precise definition. Obama and McCain famously disagreed in a debate about how much money you have to make before you're rich ($250,000 and $5,000,000 annually respectively) and they didn't even talk about how little money you have to make before you're poor.
"Middle class" is not only vague, but it implies that if you're poor, you don't deserve any sympathy. You're not part of the productive part of the country or something. Usually political rhetoric about the poor has to do with getting them into the middle class. In other words, they're only legitimate to the extent that they are "pre-middle-class" or something like that.
Now consider this. In most American cities, suburban homeownership is the housing of the middle class and driving is the transportation of the middle class. Since the middle class is this sacrosant thing, the implications are frightening. Things like rental housing, public transportation, or even forms of homeownership besides detached houses, in short, much of urban life in general, seems to be outside the sphere of "middle class".
This is enough to sour me on the whole concept of the middle class. I want someone to prove to me that it isn't just about throwing the poor under the bus, throwing the bus under the car, and throwing the city under the suburb.