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The Fallacy of the Middle-Class: Overcoming Social Resentment (XIV). Without Education there is no Middle-Class.

I was planning to write this article by following answers to this question: How can I prove to my readers that education is the reason why the Middle-Class exists and has expanded since the 19th century? And I thought of using the methodology that I have taught you to utilize in several of my past sagas. As you already know, Eleonora Escalante Strategy has adjusted and modified the strategic innovation framework from my LBS professor Costas Markides. We have used this method since I started to write publications in this blog. By this point I am completely convinced that you know this methodology, and you are by now used to see it, in my sketching and final strategic reflections/thoughts for you.

Nevertheless, when I started to conceptualize my draft ideas for today, it was in parallel painting this oeuvre about an Heliconia Rostrata cluster of flowers over the weekend:

“Quatre Quiddité X”, an aquarelle handmade with love over Fabriano 5 – 310 GSM paper. If you wish to buy it contact me through this inbox directly.

Being Elysian. Do you know that human beings become “Elysian” when practicing artistic expressions on a “do -it yourself” hand-made basis (no digital technologies here please)? Before proceeding further, let´s define what is to be Elysian? Elysian means to be blissful, delightful. We become elysian when we arrive to a condition of ideal happiness. At least that is the case with me when I paint and write. For others, the inspiration comes when they sing, or when they compose music, or when they create sculptures or ceramics, or when they play the guitar, the violin, the piano or the maracas… Since I started to paint, I believe that I have started to become more elysian.

Being Elysian is to be a content, educated and integral Middle-Class human being.

Education helps us to be elysian. When I was painting over the weekend, my appreciation to write strategically changed completely in relation to my perspective or approach for today´s topic. Why did my analytical process of reasoning towards this theme changed entirely, when I was painting this raceme of colorful bracts and flowers?  Let me explain: When we paint realistically – no abstracts, and regardless the medium, if watercolors, or oil or pastel or acrylics, we learn to establish a chronologically, structurally, deductively and comparatively thinking.  When painting, our minds have to drill our mental faculties of setting up a time order (chronological) of pigment applications. in our search for a wished painting structure. And these painting glazes layering need to be categorized, by order of importance over a sketch (a graphite drawing).  If the drawing is not done correctly, the application of painting is useless, because the final result won´t be harmonious at all. That is why excellent art visual painters need to be trained in how to draw and compose the drawing figures well. In one phrase, if your drawing is not jolly, the final outcome won´t be pretty.

After the sketching is done with a pencil, once we start to paint over the drawing, these four mental activities: reasoning deductively, working out cause-and-effect relationships, dividing a whole into its parts and categorizing by priorities are all analytical activities that we exercise when we apply layers by layers of pigments over the canvas. Visual artists reach these capacities to their own. They get better with practice, with the amount of time they dedicate to their oeuvres, and by trial and error. Through practice, we exercise the latter mental faculties year over year. If we find an emerging painter with a super gifted brain, it is possible he or she will develop the expertise to paint to a high exquisite quality level in 3 years, in comparison to other artists that could develop these painting mental faculties taking longer time (sometimes 20 years).

By painting this Heliconia flower layer by layer, I was able to compare that I do the same mental analytical processes when writing strategic consulting publications… The level of mental logic and abstraction required in consulting is very similar to the one that we apply when painting. In strategic consulting, when working-out cause-and effect-relationships, it is required a deductively capability to organize a set of ideas, so we can deliver our premises and conclusions to the readers when they read our final strategic reports.  What we see and read with our eyes in these strategic studies or reports, is a sum of different layers of analysis of information and knowledge. And before the next layer of analysis, our consulting job as humans is to refine them. As when we paint. Layers by layers. And that proceeding, triggered to me the urgent desire to go back to the basics of this saga.

Analytical Integral minds require integral education. As I have already told you, we have been exploring knowledge of the experts, including our own, kind of peeling an onion, trying to find the truth in our quest to define the global Middle-Class. And we started with the reality of a sample country, a LMIC or Low-Middle-Income-Country (El Salvador) using an example of a low-middle income class family that earns US$28,800 dollars per year (before income taxes) in El Salvador. We started to analyze from a bottom-up perspective, by showing you a budget 50/30/20 with specific amounts in dollars spent in wants, needs and savings of this family. And when doing all these calculations we discovered that this family suffers of multidimensional poverty. We proved with numbers, and with evidence, that an average Salvadoran LMIC family barely covers its basic wants-needs-savings with an annual salary of US$28,800/year, and that discovery send us again to review the definition of the Middle-Class.

The experts in poverty, demographics and social global stratification: World Bank, OECD, Pew Research Center, Ernst & Young, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, and many top research universities, have defined the Middle-Class as “Comprising those households with per capita incomes between $11 to $110 pppd in 2011 PPP terms”. But Eleonora Escalante Strategy believes this definition is not accurate because this framework is based only on income distribution factors, and it doesn’t fit well with reality when it comes to a LMIC family ($28,800/annual income) with a budget 50/30/20.  

The Global Middle-Class is smaller and less well-off than we think. Rakesh Kochhar, Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. wrote an article that sumarizes the middle-class definition of all the experts in the topic, and he told to the Financial Times: “The global middle class is smaller than we think, it is less well off than we think, and it is more regionally concentrated than we think” based on the above definition income range for Middle-Class families. So we reviewed the Kochnar report, and here are our changes:

Eleonora Escalante Strategy believes that the Middle-Class global range has to change to US$20 to US$120 pppd in 2020 PPP terms. It is unachievable, unattainable, impossible or hopeless to be considered a low middle-class all over the world with less than US$28,800 dollars annual income per year. And this reality. Even with a LMIC category, the Low-Middle-Class is still poor (all over the world). If we are part of the Middle-Class group, no matter our multidimensional poverty level, and knowing that we are only 12% of the global population that lives with a range of US$20/day pppd to US$120/day pppd (for a Four person household standard terms), this world requires educated mindsets to be transformed.

Why is Integral Education the key of the Middle-Class Upraise? An integral of good quality education helps us to develop our mental faculties to our highest potential. And this is a process that takes time. I wouldn’t be here writing to you all these things without all the education I have received formally (school, university, sports, art activities as music, painting) and the education that I develop on a daily basis through my own research-consulting and art activities. I am 50 years old by now, and my brain´s knowledge is simply starting to reap all what I have planted with education. Since my mother took me to maternal-kindergarten at my 2 years old, that means that it has taken me 48 years to begin to produce good philosophical integral material of this elysian caliber.

Without educated people it is impossible the existence of a Middle-Class. Integral education defines the Middle-Class at its core. It is in the Middle-Class that you find the truth, the mental curiosity, the capacities and integral capabilities that can be shaped and are required, in order to begin to resolve our global issues with dedicated and integral elysian frameworks. We won´t be able to continue strengthening and expanding the global middle class without new educated minds that are trained integrally and balanced, that can help to solve the social inequality and poverty. It is not with wars or out of mind extreme disruptive technologies that we can solve our issues, but through integral and elysian education that can help us to understand the real causes. Only through integral education and a life-time training, we can get beautiful brains that can focus all their energy and resources to find solutions to our top priorities as poverty, climate change disasters, racial and religious conflicts, health pandemics, etc.

It is impossible to elevate our societies from poor to middle income class without integral elysian education.

To be continued.

Sources of reference utilized for this publication:

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

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