Cost of living, student loans and every other expenditure is on the rise and so is the average hourly rate that’ll qualify as middle class, right?
Gone are the days when the notifications of salaries being credited into accounts would put smiles on people's faces. Now, as fast as the bank balance is credited, it’s also debited towards the many EMIs, loans, debts, expenditures, insurances, etc. However, the rate at which expenditures are rising is disproportionate to the earnings that people are making today. This fact is highlighted by realtor Freddie Smith (@fmsmith319) in his viral TikTok video, where he talks about the new hourly rate that would actually qualify as “the new middle class.” Smith begins by saying, “Is $50 an hour the new middle class? I know that sounds so outrageous to say, but I almost think it’s necessary for people to live with these costs of living and what’s bizarre is the hourlies are not matching up at all.”
He then explains that there are some employees at fast-food joints with no experience at all but can begin their earnings at $16 an hour. However, when it comes to certain job postings where they want qualifications like a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, “starting you off at $17 an hour” is “minimum wage,” in his opinion. He further said, “That is $23,000 a month after taxes, rent is two grand, groceries is a grand, childcare is two grand, not to mention everything else. $2300 people cannot survive on and that’s what they’re starting bachelor’s and master’s degree people on?"
He shared his experience of speaking to a bartender whom he became acquainted with over the weekend while he served drinks and he shared that he used to be a school teacher but quit his job “because he was only making $50,000 a year” and compared to bartending, he is able to make “over a hundred grand” which makes him question, “Why did I even go to college and do all that?" Smith then adds, “That’s why this whole thing is out of whack. The companies that just seem to be out of touch. They’re so excited about starting at $17 an hour, even if you work your way up to $35 an hour, it’s still barely enough to get by.” He calculates and reveals that it’s not enough to even “buy a house on $35 an hour” and “that’s what’s out of whack, even more than inflation.”
The man’s got a point, looking at the rates at which inflation is rising and expenditures are not looking to go down anytime soon. The comment section agreed in unison with Smith. @robertrhinehart41 commented, “America needs to redefine the middle class and change the tax bracket.” @kaylanpaige14 followed up on the fast-food example and said, “‘Get a degree so you don’t have to work in fast food’ turned into ‘you’ll make the same either way and at least in fast food, I won’t have student loans.’" @sunnymfy4mp pointed out the average that a bachelor’s or master’s degree holder should start off and said, “Bachelors and Masters should start at a minimum of $65 hour.”
Smith had some great points to highlight and while things are not going to change anytime soon, it does bring to light whether the traditional route of professions makes sense or doing what makes you more money should be the new way to look at it.