“Middle class” as a category came into existence in the 19th century when the industrial revolution was accelerating. The 10% or so who were called middle class were correctly labelled, being halfway between the two main classes — the miniscule land-owning aristocracy and the vast working class.
Today, middle class has lost most of its meaning because — in this country and America particularly — the term has been has also been captured by sizeable quantities of the working class who have left their oil cans and overalls behind them and are now buying houses and cars — and often wearing ties on clean shirts every day — just like the real middle class of, say, 50 to 100 years ago.
Instead, we have an entirely different social structure. It’s impossible to describe accurately because the post-industrial era is still very early in its formation. It’s still a hierarchical, pecking order type of society but with many more specialisations than ever before. “Social elite” is probably the best term to use for the time being, making up about 25% of the population.
The social elite is comprised of the very rich plus all their back-up teams of supportive professional and technical specialisations. Each of them constitutes its own silo of political power, each of them with a pecking order of its own and each of them aspiring to spend time with the most influential politicians in the government in order to gain more privileges for itself. That’s as far as this writer can take it for now.