I started worrying about the vanishing middle class in 2008. It was pretty clear that there were haves and have-nots there. I was working non-union television while my wife was finishing up medical school but we had a financial planner because our taxes were complicated. Thus we ended up taking advantage of some pretty weird corner-case things that paid off.
I've grown more worried over time as it became clear that expenses were rising faster than salaries for all but the most landed gentry and entire new luxury segments were springing into existence to leverage the concentration of capital. I started paying more attention to investments and started a business because it was pretty clear that the sooner you lit the rocket the higher above it all you'd be when the shit hit the fan.
I did not expect the pandemic to draw an indelible line at "provided health insurance, can work remotely" between the haves and the have-nots. Well, I did.
But I didn't BELIEVE it.
That line might be there for generations.