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The Whelk (2)

"I collect spores, molds, and fungus."

"Hollywood's pathological fear of being political has made them blind to the changes that women's friendships have undergone over the last forty years. We're so far past women's relationships revolving around men that no one is even offended by the suggestion that women have relationships that don't revolve around men. Bridesmaids was a smash among women AND men, and so was [Paul] Feig's follow-up, The Heat, another female driven, non-romantic comedy." (Hat-tip: Mick LaSalle) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 25, 2014 - 47 comments

Costco: "It's a water-cooler conversation company."

Costco Wholesale, or just 'Costco', is a membership warehouse store and the second largest retailer in the United States. Here are some notable blogs, fan communities, articles and commentary (mostly U.S.-centric). [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 3, 2014 - 175 comments

It's only supposed to be 30% of your income

In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class. Here's What $800 in Rent Gets You in 11 Major Cities [more inside]
posted by desjardins on May 10, 2014 - 293 comments

I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with "flemerging."

No matter what time period you are referring to, no matter what country or region of the world you are referencing, there is a single claim that you can make that will always be true and will never be challenged, not even by Malcolm Gladwell himself: the middle class is always in the process of emerging.
posted by davidjmcgee on Sep 12, 2013 - 15 comments

"Through a revolutionary change in the way US income is distributed."

A look at the post-war middle class, brought to you by the editors of Life, and Fortune Magazines.

Opportunties Unlimited (via)
posted by timsteil on Jun 2, 2013 - 1 comment

"like most of the working class, I’ve developed a locust morality."

The Locust Economy
I was picking the brain of a restauranteur for insight into things like Groupon. He confirmed what we all understand in the abstract: that these deals are terrible for the businesses that offer them; that they draw in nomadic deal hunters from a vast surrounding region who are unlikely to ever return; that most deal-hunters carefully ensure that they spend just the deal amount or slightly more; that a badly designed offer can bankrupt a small business. He added one little factoid I did not know: offering a Groupon deal is by now so strongly associated with a desperate, dying restaurant that professional food critics tend to write off any restaurant that offers one without even trying it.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 11, 2013 - 73 comments

ENGLISHWOMEN: Express surprise that they can have pretty children.

You too can sound like tedious Second Empire bourgeois making small talk if you follow Flaubert's Dictionary of Received Ideas! A satrical collection of cant, cliche, and "expected" opinions of the French middle-classes around 1870 - List Of Entrees alphabetical - List by subject.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 28, 2013 - 14 comments

Buying useful things, like roads and universities and health care and solar energy and spaceships, should be better stimulus than fighting wars.

"Liberals have not always been very good at communicating why liberalism works. There’s many reasons for this, but part of it is that it can be hard to defend the obvious from an absurd and deceptive attack. For half a century you had to be a crank to oppose what Roosevelt accomplished; liberals got out of the habit of arguing for their beliefs. I hope this page will help. Liberals don’t need to apologize for their vision of how American society should work. Liberalism saved American capitalism and democracy, defeated Naziism, created a prosperous middle class, and benefited every sector of society, from the back streets to Wall Street. " Mefi's own Zompist (previously) on Why Liberalism Works.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 30, 2012 - 109 comments

Taxes and inequality

The comparative experience thus suggests that for inequality reduction, it is the quantity of taxes rather than the progressivity of the tax system that matters most. Affluent countries that achieve substantial inequality reduction do so with tax systems that are large but no more progressive than ours [America's]. [more inside]
posted by mattn on Aug 13, 2012 - 31 comments

Who is Fighting for the Middle Class?

Want to see how much more you'd pay if Mitt Romney becomes President? The Tax Policy Center has published a report (pdf) saying that Romney's proposed tax plan would result in lighter taxes for the rich -- and a heavier tax burden for middle class taxpayers. The Obama campaign has been quick to provide the on-line app which is the first link above, for voters to calculate the difference for themselves. They've also released an ad, vetted as quite accurate, on the issue.
posted by bearwife on Aug 3, 2012 - 221 comments

Rapid declines into poverty

The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America's Middle Class (via The Billfold) [more inside]
posted by peacheater on Jun 27, 2012 - 83 comments

DEAR AMERICA: You Should Be Mad As Hell About This

DEAR AMERICA: You Should Be Mad As Hell About This. Here is a helpful series of excellent visual aids that shed light on the state of our current American socioeconomy.
posted by Vibrissae on Jun 7, 2012 - 76 comments

Clown car counts noses

The Global Middle Class Is Bigger Than We Thought A new way of measuring prosperity has enormous implications for geopolitics and economics.[...] the number of passenger cars in circulation serves as the most reliable gauge we have about the size of a country's middle class.
posted by infini on Jun 2, 2012 - 26 comments

How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

“You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.” Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher of the NY Times give an in-depth report on Apple's migration of electronics manufacturing to Asia and its impact on middle class Americans.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 21, 2012 - 158 comments

Cars in India: The Middle-Class Dream

"Little is changing modern India more than the spread of cars, a four-wheeled reflection of its economic transformation and a window into the aspirations of the new Indian middle class."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Nov 27, 2011 - 23 comments

זו הכלכלה, טמבל

Over the past three weeks, Israel has experienced what may perhaps be the largest, spontaneous / grass roots social protest of the secular middle class that it has witnessed in decades. Thousands of demonstrators in cities and towns throughout the country have been protesting cuts in government funding to health care and education, and massive, exorbitant rises in taxes and housing costs -- and demanding change. Tent cities have sprung up in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and in public gardens and parks throughout the country. And they may not be going anywhere: polls indicate Israeli support is "exceptionally high". [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 3, 2011 - 58 comments

Sluggish growth is no mystery: No one has any money

The housing bubble was the last chance most middle-class families saw for grasping the brass ring. Working hard didn’t pay off. Investing in the stock market was a sucker’s bet. But the housing bubble allowed middle-class families to dream again and more importantly to keep spending as if they were getting a big fat raise every year. - How the Bubble Destroyed the Middle Class
posted by Slap*Happy on Jul 11, 2011 - 205 comments

“The gap between low and middle is collapsing.”

Public Job as Only Route to Middle Class. 'While that might not seem like much, jobs' 'with benefits and higher-than-minimum wages, are considered plum in' the town of Gallipolis a 'depressed corner of southern Ohio. Decades of industrial decline have eroded private-sector jobs here, leaving a thin crust of low-paying service work that makes public-sector jobs look great in comparison.''Now, as Ohio’s legislature moves toward final approval of a bill that would chip away at public-sector unions, those workers say they see it as the opening bell in a race to the bottom. At stake, they say, is what little they have that makes them middle class.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Mar 16, 2011 - 183 comments

The Potential Power of Organized People

Amid the financial headlines (about new banking reforms, more bank failures, the need for more lending by the fat-cats, the question of whether a European-style bonus-tax might be possible here, and the shrinking of the middle class), on PBS yesterday Bill Moyers wondered, in an in-depth segment (with organizers from here and here), whether a new wave of populist economic activism is perhaps, despite all odds, beginning to make a dent after all.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 on Dec 12, 2009 - 31 comments

Let's Blow This Popstand

Yet another study says the middle class are fleeing New York City. What happened to the previous studies and solutions? Bloomberg to Middle Class, "Get Out."
posted by Xurando on Feb 6, 2009 - 78 comments

America's Middle Class

Livin' Large - To hear the Lou Dobbses and Bill O'Reillys of the world--not to mention politicians ranging from Ron Paul to Hillary Clinton--the middle class of America (however you define that term) has never had it so tough. Between credit squeezes, out-of-control immigration, rising costs of education and health care and everything else, it's all darkness out there for those of us who are neither millionaires nor welfare cases, right? (A video presented by Drew Carey and reason.tv)
posted by blue_beetle on Feb 5, 2008 - 120 comments

Bottom of the Class

The Guardian examines "nu snobbery" and the social acceptability among the British press and middle class of ridiculing the working class. The chav phenomenon has been discussed many times on MeFi, but if anything it has gotten more widespread, and as documented in the article, even spawned Chav Discos. Where will it all lead? Has Britain slipped completely back into class snobbery - in both directions - or did it never really go away?
posted by LondonYank on Apr 11, 2006 - 90 comments

Who needs a middle class anyway?

Middle-Class 2003: How Congress Voted (executive summary) Who is doing better under the a Republican White House and Congress? If you're part of the vast majority...the middle class...it isn't you. So finds a very useful new report out today from the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a non-partisan think tank. Full report here. (PDF) The study defines middle class as Americans with incomes between approximately 200 percent of the federal poverty threshold and those of the top 5 percent of earners -- roughly $25,000 to $100,000 a year. (Which excludes Congresscritters, who have consistently given themselves raises to well over 150k a year.)
posted by dejah420 on May 21, 2004 - 13 comments

Are We Still A Middle-Class Nation & A Poor Cousin Of The Middle Class

...According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are among the occupations with the largest projected job growth from 2000 to 2010: combined food-preparation and serving, including fast food; customer-service representative; registered nurse; retail salesperson; computer-support specialist; cashier, except gaming; office clerk; security guard; computer-software engineer, applications; waiter; general or operations manager; truck driver, heavy and tractor-trailer; nursing aide, orderly, or attendant; janitor or cleaner, except maid or housekeeping cleaner; postsecondary teacher; teacher assistant; home health aide; laborer or freight, stock, and material mover, hand; computer-software engineer, systems software; landscaping or groundskeeping.     Are We Still a Middle-Class Nation? comes from The State Of The Union section in The Atlantic. Compare and contrast A Poor Cousin Of The Middle Class
posted by y2karl on Jan 21, 2004 - 19 comments

Miss a Payment, Triple Your Interest Rate

Americans are not going broke over lattes! Salon (warning: ad click-through required) interviews the author of a book who contends that American middle class overconsumption is a myth. This made me really think about how I relate to my $$$, and what I think is pushing me deeper into a hole. According to this author, kids are forcing people into bankruptcy, and it's not because we buy them gameboys and expensive clothes. The author also claims that credit card companies and mortgage lenders need to be regulated by the govt., as they are feeding off of middle class hardships. It's also making me wonder why real estate developers aren't building small homes anymore, at least in my state of the union.
posted by archimago on Oct 14, 2003 - 91 comments

Brother Can You Spare a Prewar 7-Room Apt?

Brother Can You Spare a Prewar 7-Room Apt?
Will NYC ever be rid of a system that favors a select few, drives up housing costs for all, unfairly subsidizes vacation homes for the middle class and in general just doesn't work?
posted by nobody_knose on Jun 10, 2002 - 31 comments

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