Have newspapers created their own middle class?

The National Post published an interesting article by Armine Yalnizyan, senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, yesterday.

On the whole, the article is about RRSPs and TFSAs and dispelling the middle class myth. Here’s what’s interesting: Yalnizyan blames the media.

She writes:

“Newspapers make their living by writing around the facts. But most Canadian media outlets have created a fictional middle that’s wildly out of step with the facts … Stories on how to bundle up on the value offered by RRSPs, RESPs and TFSAs abound, written as if generous tax-sheltered advantages are available for anybody with a bit of pluck and thrift. But you’d need at least $100,000 to take full advantage of all three preferential tax options. So is that the middle class? How could it be? Roughly 80% of Canadian households make less.”

The Financial Post‘s Jonathan Chevreau later questions her $100,000 figure on his blog, Wealthy Boomer. (An interesting exchange follows.) But, manipulations of math aside, Yalnizyan does raise an interesting questions: Have financial reporters created their own definition of middle class? And are we out of touch?