The Associated Press reports that in his first State of the Union address of his second term on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama urged Congress to embrace his plans to use government money to create jobs and strengthen the nation’s middle class. He gave the Nation an optimistic (in my opinion) pep talk, and his references to the Middle Class caught my ear several times.

Obama’s not the only leader interested in the Middle Class. China wants to “grow” its Middle Class, too… you may have heard about (Google if you have not) those “Chinese ghost cities” – far from the conspiracy theories that have sprung up around them, they evidently built for people – new “inductees” if you will to the Middle Class. These people, it is theorized, will be plucked from areas of China that, similar to certain areas in North America, seem to be in the crosshairs of climate change.

When you think “Middle Class” think “Commerce Class” or “Trading Class” – the citizens of both nations who will buy and sell, need and consume. There will still be “the rich” and “the poor” but their numbers will be greatly diminished, if plans come together. “Getting there” is half the battle. The bigger half involves the “leveling” of classes and neigborhoods and communities – China may have the ticket with those brand new “Ghost Cities” – everybody moving in will, theoretically, be on equal ground. The U.S. has for several years been reviving dead downtowns, cleaning up brownfields, and rebuilding run down neighborhoods. Primarily in the Northeast and throughout the Rust Belt. And soon places prone to climate change-related devastation will be purged of buildings and people. So both countries are prepping for the eventual emergence of practical societies. Not Utopias, not Orwellian, just pragmatic.

I posted the SOTU transcript here. Paul Krugman has the last word on the Republican response.