In politics the middle class 'has all but' swallowed up the ends.

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raintal

Member
Chinese(Mandarin&Cantonese)
Hi,all!

Here's the context from a commentary Hollywood's Class Warfare:

The idea of the universal middle class is a pervasive expression of American egalitarianism---and perhaps the only one left. In politics the middle class has all but swallowed up the ends. Tax cuts aimed at the wealthy and social programs that largely benefit the poor must always be presented as, above all, good for the middle calss, a group that thus seems to include nearly everyone.

What does the sentence in bold means? Can I interpret it like this: In politics, the middle class almost include the upper class and underclass?

Thanks!
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    No. It means that measures that will in fact benefit either the very wealthy or the very poor are presented to the public by politicians as if they will benefit the "middle class", which is presumably what almost all Americans consider themselves to be. No Americans (with the possible exceptions of, say, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett) actually consider themselves very rich or (with the possible exception of the homeless) very poor; the "middle" is everyone. Thus, in your quote, the "ends" of the range (rich and poor) have been "swallowed up" by the "middle".
     

    raintal

    Member
    Chinese(Mandarin&Cantonese)
    No. It means that measures that will in fact benefit either the very wealthy or the very poor are presented to the public by politicians as if they will benefit the "middle class", which is presumably what almost all Americans consider themselves to be. No Americans (with the possible exceptions of, say, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett) actually consider themselves very rich or (with the possible exception of the homeless) very poor; the "middle" is everyone. Thus, in your quote, the "ends" of the range (rich and poor) have been "swallowed up" by the "middle".
    Thank you first. I get your point. So presumably the poor and the rich are also included in the middle class although in reality they are not, right?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thank you first. I get your point. So presumably the poor and the rich are also included in the middle class although in reality they are not, right?
    That's about right in reality, but your interpretation of what was said was correct:

    Original: In politics the middle class has all but swallowed up the ends.
    Interpretation: In politics, the middle class almost include the upper class and underclass.

    We're interpreting what was said, not what the reality on the ground it. The initial "In politics" makes all the difference because that's the viewpoint that we're interpreting from.
     
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