this from the week in review, your countervailing theme:

“…Oddly, as the ranks of the well-off have grown, relatively few people identify themselves as affluent. In a 1993 New York Times/CBS News poll, 91 percent of people in families making at least $75,000 a year (about $100,000 in today’s dollars) described themselves as middle class.”

Just as you describe (though note the cut-off here is far lower). Stretched on the rack of authenticity v. consumption. The end of the statement “we’re the working class” is “and we’re not angry…”

Another thought: the terms middle class and working class aren’t really economic anymore, they represent only reified ideology and taste. The triumph of the middle class is complete in a way — it is a state of mind, not a relative economic reality — so the top 1% wallow in the same pool of vulgarity as the middle class. One could be super-rich and call themselves middle class, or middle class and call themselves rich, and it makes no difference. In other words, we have all (or 39% of us) gone biedermeyer. How’s that for false consciousness?