Tag Archives: working class

This is Not Your Parents’ Economy


Illustration: Jonathan Bartlett Inequality is putting the American Dream in peril.

By Rebecca Beyer

M elissa Agnew lives in Charlotte, N.C., a city that ranks high on affordability scales. It’s said to be one of the most desirable places to purchase a home, and a top destination for job-seeking college graduates and newlyweds.But Agnew doesn’t own a home or have a college degree. She went through a painful divorce several years ago, and, even though she was working at the time, the city was anything but affordable for her when she suddenly became the sole breadwinner for her two […]

Rhetoric & Reason: The health of nations


The U.S. political system faces a monumental challenge to its capacity fight off parasitic disease in the form of the Republican Party’s attempt to dismantle Obamacare and use the proceeds to enrich its biggest donors. Historically, it is rare for democracies to establish a widely beneficial entitlement, then to have a major political party attempt to simultaneously roll back those services and redistribute resources to the most affluent members of society, intentionally exacerbating inequalities that have been growing for decades.

It is all the more ironic given that the president of the United States, who campaigned on the claim that […]

We can’t improve social mobility when working class children’s only inheritance is austerity


The government’s latest social mobility report fails to address core problems Yet another government report on social mobility falls short of identifying the real problem with modern Britain – rapid growth in inequality since 1979 ongoing austerity since 2010.

The report, Time for Change , has charted two decades of failure and few successes. It points to how new divides across English regions, between social classes and between generations have fragmented society further.

Governments from New Labour onwards have sought to promote social mobility and meritocracy in the face of rising inequality in incomes, wealth, opportunities and life chances, proposing solutions […]

Social mobility is the wrong goal – what we need is more equality


Time to Change, the latest Social Mobility Commission report, states that radical reform is needed to repair a divided Britain, arguing that decades of policy failures have left the poor behind ( Report, 28 June). But increasing social mobility would not repair this divide, it would increase it. Effective social mobility leaves the poor even further behind, as it depletes the working classes of those who are able to achieve educational success against the odds. The remorseless focus on aspiration and bettering oneself results in a phenomenon that the report also highlights: the large numbers of graduates from working-class […]

Opinion: Privileges of race and class perpetuate inequality, limiting America’s potential


Blacks demanded “decent housing now” at the March on Washington in 1963. They are still waiting. All Americans have been promised the right to pursue their own happiness. Implicit in that promise is a guarantee that we should all have the opportunities to make the most of our abilities and our effort.

The promise of the Declaration of Independence isn’t the certainty that we will all live happily ever after, but that we’ll have just the chance to pursue our happiness. It’s the opportunity, not the outcome, that’s an inalienable right.

But, sadly, our nation is still a long way from […]

Labour and Tories have both failed on social mobility, report finds


Social mobility policies have failed to significantly reduce inequality between rich and poor despite two decades of interventions by successive governments, according to a highly critical new report.

The study by the government’s Social Mobility Commission warns that without radical and urgent reform, the social and economic divisions in British society will widen even further, threatening community cohesion and economic prosperity.

And it highlights new divides that have opened up in the UK, further fragmenting society – geographically, and between income groups and different generations.Alan Milburn, chair of the commission, said that for two decades Labour and Conservative governments had not […]

White Americans’ Mortality Rates Are Rising. Something Similar Happened in Russia from 1965 to 2005


In 2015 Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton published a stunning finding : The mortality rates for working-age white Americans have been rising since 1999. For mortality rates to rise instead of fall is extremely rare in developed countries except as a result of war or pandemic. However, history does offer a recent example of a large industrialized country where mortality rates rose over an extended period: Russia in the decades before and after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Although there are important differences between the two phenomena, there are also sobering similarities. From 1965 to 2005 the mortality […]

The Aristocracy That Let Me In


Via WikiCommons . Over the past seven years, I received over $330,000 of need-based financial aid, and it gave me a one-way ticket to the new American elite.

I grew up attending public schools in Iowa and Ohio until increasing frustration with my schooling led my family and me to reply to a flier that we received alerting us to the existence of boarding schools. Up until then, I believed boarding schools only existed in England; I had never heard of “Exeter” or “Andover.” I applied to four schools and chose to attend the Middlesex School of Concord, Massachusetts, despite […]

Widespread job loss puts college in jeopardy for next generation


Financial and emotional stress lowers college attendance.

In a new Science study , researchers have found that the negative effects of job loss aren’t limited to the families of those that have lost their jobs, but extends to the entire community. Children in these communities suffer mental health challenges that lowers their test scores, and their chances of attending university. African-American students and those from the poorest families are most affected.

We spoke to one of the authors, Elizabeth O. Ananat from Duke University about the study. ResearchGate: What motivated this study? Elizabeth O. Ananat: Many economists had claimed that […]

The Hoarding of the American Dream


There’s a certain type of financial confessional that has had a way of going viral in the post-recession era. The University of Chicago law professor complaining his family was barely keeping their heads above water on $250,000 a year . This hypothetical family of three in San Francisco making $200,000, enjoying vacations to Maui, and living hand-to-mouth. This real New York couple making a six figures and merely “ scraping by .”

In all of these viral posts, denizens of the upper-middle class were attempting to make the case for their middle classness. Taxes are expensive. Cities are expensive. Tuition […]