I have this thing against bad arguments, especially those ones which are clearly inconsistent (we tell our children that those things are called "lies") which are purposely made to counter a common sense.
The practical problem of the bumbling middle class (in Malaysia) is that of stagnant incomes (except those in speculative activities such as the stock market or the property market and some would even say the financial services including banking) in the face of rising cost of living.
Obviously, when we say things like this, we mean that to a middle class individual person or family (earning by some definition as RM5,000 per month), he and his family is facing higher and higher cost of living. For those who are unemployed, they are not in the middle class - they are in the under class, if they persist in their unemployment or unemployability. So, one cannot go about making a counter-argument by saying that - we are creating more jobs of these salaries which put them into the middle class jobs.
At the same time, one cannot go about arguing that the cost of living is low because Malaysia has one of the biggest subsidies in the world and therefore it is justified for the subsidies to be removed (whose removal obviously will cause retail prices to rise - which is the original argument). The removal of subsidies and the rise of retail prices hit every body.
It is not an logical argument to conclude that, therefore, the only thing to do is for the middle class to become an entrepreneur - assuming that entrepreneurs are those who are entitled to make huge sums of money in no time through some activities whose ethical values are not an issue. Afterall, entrepreneurs are made up mainly of "school dropouts," so goes that argument. I think that is a totally irresponsible statement.
I have spent almost all my hard-earned savings on the proper education of my children (just like any other middle class parent), and I am not asking my children to become filthy rich. I want my children to be educated so that they grow up to be decent human beings and decent citizens to their nation who are respectably to their fellow countrymen. I expect my children to be hardworking and productive in their work - by finding a decent employer or a decent boss - and by their education will learn to be happy with little and will work hard so that the extra they earn can be used to help their neighbours who are less fortunate than they. This is the middle class value and dream. It may sound stupid, but decency doesn't have to be clever and smart. It only has to be truthful and honest.
I suppose we cannot hope to enjoy decent policies when we have people who are badly educated taking the rein of things.