1. They Value Credentials Over Income
Last but not least, studies have shown that people in the middle and upper classes value someone’s credentials more than the amount of money they make. For example, if you had an HVAC repairman or a plumber making $70,000 per year, they are making enough to be considered “middle class,” but most people would think of their occupation as “working class” or “blue-collar.” On the flip side, a professor with a Ph.D. might struggle to pay their bills making just $30,000 per year. But they would still be considered “middle class” because they have a high-level degree and academic accomplishments.
People in the lower class tend to respect someone’s income more than their credentials, especially in this specific case. They would see the plumber or HVAC worker and see a hard-working man who makes great money. And they might think that the professor’s career as a bit frivolous. The poor would tend to focus on the fact that the professor has tons of student loan debt, and isn’t making much more than other working-class jobs.