Now even tax preparers aren't immune to charges of taking sides in the Class War.
TIME's Martha C. White reports
on the squabble between TurboTax and H&R Block over the former's depiction of the latter as staffed by itinerant workers and wannabe professionals. Indeed, one Turbo Tax commercial
stars a yuppie-type couple expressing disappointment that their plumber is the same guy who'd done their taxes (with the implication that the plumber-cum-accountant is from H&R Block).
The ads have apparently triggered an online duel, with some criticizing the class-based assumptions on display in the ads.
"Why did these commercials touch such a nerve?" asks White. "Because we're confronting prejudices about the competence and intelligence of people who work certain jobs."
It's a prejudice exacerbated by an increasingly educated society suffering from "degree inflation." A college degree is now considered essential for many jobs that haven't traditionally required it. This makes the realization that someone hasn't been to college almost scandalous for some.
"There's a class distinction in the labor market," says one researcher. "Anything you do with a bachelor's degree is a profession, anything with a high school diploma an occupation."