Between the rich and the poor
Why Ukraine’s middle class has not yet become a socio-economic foundation of the country
Imagine an average middle class representative. What do you see? A farmer in a clean shirt behind the wheel of an imported tractor, his hands not stained with oil, his face not expressing uncertainty in the future? A doctor in a neat white coat, focused on the patients' problems, without an absent look betraying annoying thoughts on how to scrounge a bribe to provide for his family? A professor, who is so immersed in his studies that sometimes he loses touch with reality, but not over where to find candidates for tutoring or how to make his students pay for his study guides? A small entrepreneur, owner of a cozy coffee shop, where hipsters flock at night?
Finding a collective image of a middle class Ukrainian is not an easy task. Practically no activity and no profession in Ukraine guarantee a stable and decent level of income that is typical of the middle class. This problem is so complex that it is difficult to spell it out completely.
To begin with, what is the middle class? It is a rather intellectual, abstract category. Defined simply, the middle class is formed by those who earn enough to meet the usual