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jerryking : middle_class   50

The last days of the middle-class world citizen
October 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Janan Ganesh.
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what I think Janan Ganesh is talking about; the divide between the globally mobile elite and the locally restricted peasantry is getting increasingly stark, and the middle class is being hollowed out.
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'10s  Big_Tech  climate_change  decline  deglobalization  disposable_income  downward_mobility  dystopian_futures  frictions  future  globalization  Janan_Ganesh  lifestyles  middle_class  millennials  pessimism  societal_choices  subtractive  The_One_Percent  thought-provoking  travel 
16 days ago by jerryking
An equation to ensure America survives the age of AI
April 10, 2019 | Financial Times | Elizabeth Cobbs.

Alexander Hamilton, Horace Mann and Frances Perkins are linked by their emphasis on the importance of human learning.

In more and more industries, the low-skilled suffer declining pay and hours. McKinsey estimates that 60 per cent of occupations are at risk of partial or total automation. Workers spy disaster. Whether the middle class shrinks in the age of artificial intelligence depends less on machine learning than on human learning. Historical precedents help, especially...... the Hamilton-Mann-Perkins equation: innovation plus education, plus a social safety net, equals the sum of prosperity.

(1) Alexander Hamilton.
US founding father Alexander Hamilton was first to understand the relationship between: (a) the US's founding coincided with the industrial revolution and the need to grapple with technological disruption (In 1776, James Watts sold his first steam engine when the ink was still wet on the Declaration of Independence)-- Steam remade the world economically; and (b), America’s decolonisation remade the world politically......Hamilton believed that Fledgling countries needed robust economies. New technologies gave them an edge. Hamilton noted that England owed its progress to the mechanization of textile production.......Thomas Jefferson,on the other hand, argued that the US should remain pastoral: a free, virtuous nation exchanged raw materials for foreign goods. Farmers were “the chosen people”; factories promoted dependence and vice.....Hamilton disagreed. He thought colonies shouldn’t overpay foreigners for things they could produce themselves. Government should incentivise innovation, said his 1791 Report on the Subject of Manufactures. Otherwise citizens would resist change even when jobs ceased to provide sufficient income, deterred from making a “spontaneous transition to new pursuits”.......the U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to grant patents to anyone with a qualified application. America became a nation of tinkerers...Cyrus McCormick, son of a farmer, patented a mechanical reaper in 1834 that reduced the hands needed in farming. The US soared to become the world’s largest economy by 1890. Hamilton’s constant: nurture innovation.

(2) Horace Mann
America’s success gave rise to the idea that a free country needed free schools. The reformer Horace Mann, who never had more than six weeks of schooling in a year, started the Common School Movement, calling public schools “the greatest discovery made by man”.....Grammar schools spread across the US between the 1830s and 1880s. Reading, writing and arithmetic were the tools for success in industrialising economies. Towns offered children a no-cost education.......Americans achieved the world’s highest per capita income just as they became the world’s best-educated people. Mann’s constant: prioritise education.

(3) Frances Perkins
Jefferson was correct that industrial economies made people more interdependent. By 1920, more Americans lived in towns earning wages than on farms growing their own food. When the Great Depression drove unemployment to 25 per cent, the state took a third role....FDR recruited Frances Perkins, the longest serving labour secretary in US history, to rescue workers. Perkins led campaigns that established a minimum wage and maximum workweek. Most importantly, she chaired the committee that wrote the 1935 Social Security Act, creating a federal pension system and state unemployment insurance. Her achievements did not end the depression, but helped democracy weather it. Perkins’s constant: knit a safety net.

The world has ridden three swells of industrialisation occasioned by the harnessing of steam, electricity and computers. The next wave, brought to us by AI, towers over us. History shows that innovation, education and safety nets point the ship of state into the wave.

Progress is a variable. Hamilton, Mann and Perkins would each urge us to mind the constants in the historical equation.
adaptability  Alexander_Hamilton  artificial_intelligence  automation  diadaptability  constitutions  disruption  downward_mobility  education  FDR  Founding_Fathers  Frances_Perkins  gig_economy  historical_precedents  hollowing_out  Horace_Mann  Industrial_Revolution  innovation  innovation_policies  James_Watts  job_destruction  job_displacement  job_loss  life_long_learning  low-skilled  McKinsey  middle_class  priorities  productivity  public_education  public_schools  safety_nets  slavery  steam_engine  the_Great_Depression  Thomas_Jefferson  tinkerers 
april 2019 by jerryking
Is Thomas Goode a sleeping giant of British retail?
August 31, 2018 | Financial Times | by Horatia Harrod.

200 year old Thomas Goode & Co is a homewares powerhouse.... Outfitted in morning suits, the staff — many of whom have worked at Thomas Goode for more than two decades — are solicitous and impeccably well-informed. There’s only one thing lacking. Customers....Johnny Sandelson, is the property entrepreneur who acquired the store for an undisclosed amount in July 2018. .....Sandelson has set himself the task of waking the company up — and it’s going to take more than just turning on the lights. What is required is a 21st-century overhaul....Thomas Goode sells more over the phone than it does online, for the simple reason it has no ecommerce platform. Some 40 per cent of its £5m in annual sales comes from special orders — a loyal client outfitting their new yacht or private jet — but oligarchs alone are unlikely to keep the business afloat....The plan, Sandelson says, is to democratise. “Fortnums did it, Smythson did it. Those great British brands reinvented themselves to become relevant to the affluent middle classes, but Thomas Goode didn’t.”.......Sandelson hopes that, in an age of experiential retail, the shop’s peerless service will entice a new generation of customers. He’s also eyeing up collaborations to reach those for whom the Thomas Goode name has little resonance.......Parts of the business that had lain dormant are to be revived, with an injection of £10m-£15m in investment. There’s a voluminous archive to be mined for designs, and production of tableware in the Thomas Goode name is being restarted at factories in Stoke-on-Trent......Sandelson is committed to a revival. “We’re unashamedly proud of our British heritage and our British brand,” he says. “To honour that, you have to be involved with a very high standard of manufacturing in Britain. There would be cheaper ways of going about things, but the British way stands for quality. Stoke-on-Trent has been producing beautiful plates for 200 years. So it works for us.”....Almost inevitably, the top floors of the South Audley Street flagship are to be turned into luxury flats. “Will we be able to afford a shop of this scale in the coming years?” says Sandelson. “I think the brand is bigger than the premises. I’m pursuing the dream on the basis that the building will be developed over time and we’ll hope to have a space within it.”
21st._century  brands  commercial_real_estate  entrepreneur  experiential_marketing  gift_ideas  heritage  history  homewares  London  luxury  middle_class  property_development  real_estate  retailers  restorations  revitalization  turnarounds  United_Kingdom  Victorian 
september 2018 by jerryking
The decline of America’s middle classes | Financial Times
Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America, by Alissa Quart, Ecco $27.99, 308 pages

Rana Foroohar is the FT’s global business columnist.

the globalised, computerised, “always on” business world in which 40 per cent of Americans work non-traditional schedules driven by algorithmic efficiency. It’s just one of the challenges for a new class of Americans that Quart dubs the “Middle Precariat.” These people, who range from professors to nurses to caregivers to lawyers, aren’t destitute — they have some means, a degree or two, and have made decent life choices. And yet, they are struggling to stay ahead in an economy in which technology is exerting a deflationary effect on everything (including wages) except the things that create a middle-class life — namely affordable housing, education, healthcare and children.
Rana_Foroohar  books  book_reviews  downward_mobility  middle_class  on-demand  deflation  precarious 
june 2018 by jerryking
Should the Middle Class Invest in Risky Tech Start-Ups? - The New York Times
Farhad Manjoo
STATE OF THE ART SEPT. 27, 2017

Jason Calacanis, a start-up investor who has bet on Uber and others, cuts an unusual figure in Silicon Valley..... Calacanis’s frankness regarding his tech-fueled riches. He states plainly what many in Silicon Valley believe but are too politic to say — and which has lately been dawning on the rest of the world: that the tech industry is decimating the rest of the planet’s wealth and stability.

Its companies — especially the Frightful Five of Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, which employ a select and privileged few — look poised to systematically gut much of the rest of the economy. And while Silicon Valley’s technologies could vastly improve our lives, we are now learning that they may also destabilize great portions of the social fabric — letting outsiders wreak havoc on our elections, fostering distrust and conspiracy theories in the media, sowing ever-greater levels of inequality, and cementing a level of corporate control over culture and society unseen since the days of the Robber Barons.......Calacanis is offering a much more dismal view of the disruptions caused by tech — and a more radical, if also self-serving, plan for dealing with it. To survive the coming earthquake, he advises, you need to radically re-examine your plan for the future — and you need to learn Silicon Valley’s ways rather than expect to defeat it......“Most of you are screwed,” he writes in “Angel,” arguing that a coming revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence will eliminate millions of jobs and destroy the old ways of getting ahead in America. “The world is becoming controlled by the few, powerful, and clever people who know how to create those robots, or how to design the software and the tablet on which you’re reading this.”....His book is intended as a guide for getting into the business of investing in very young tech companies at their earliest stages, known as “angel investing.” Mr. Calacanis is peddling a kind of populist movement for investing — he wants doctors, lawyers and other wealthy people, and even some in the middle class, to bet on start-ups, which he says is the best way to prepare financially for tech change.
Farhad_Manjoo  middle_class  angels  books  Jason_Calacanis  social_fabric  Apple  Amazon  Google  Facebook  Microsoft  Silicon_Valley  financial_advisors  start_ups  risks 
september 2017 by jerryking
Self-Driving People, Enabled by Airbnb
JULY 26, 2017 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

Airbnb has a different goal: enabling what I call self-driving people.

And that’s why I won’t be surprised if in five years Airbnb is not only still the world’s biggest home rental service, but also one of the world’s biggest jobs platforms. You read that right. Very quietly Airbnb has been expanding its trust platform beyond enabling people to rent their spare rooms to allowing them to translate their passions into professions, and thereby empower more self-driving people.....To see what’s growing, go to Airbnb’s site and click not on “homes” but on “experiences.” You’ll find an endless smorgasbord of people turning their passion into profit and their inner artisan into second careers....Airbnb’s “experiences” site has grown tenfold this year.

Tourists visiting a foreign country try to understand the culture by going to a museum and viewing “art by dead people,” noted Chesky. “Why not learn how to make art yourself, taught by a living artist in that culture and immerse yourself in the artist’s world? These are experiences you can bring back with you!”

Chesky believes that the potential for Airbnb experiences could be bigger than home-sharing. ....“The biggest asset in people’s lives is not their home, but their time and potential — and we can unlock that,” he explained. “We have these homes that are not used, and we have these talents that are not used. Instead of asking what new infrastructure we need to build, why don’t we look at what passions we can unlock? We can unlock so much economic activity, and this will unlock millions of entrepreneurs.”...In America, though, there is a surplus of fear and a poverty of imagination in the national jobs discussion today — because “all we are focusing on are the things that are going away,” said Chesky. “We need to focus on what’s coming. Do we really think we’re living in the first era in history where nothing will ever again be created by humans for humans, only by machines? Of course not. It’s that we’re not talking about all of these human stories.”....Indeed, the beauty of this era is that you don’t need to wait for Ford to come to your town with a 25,000-person auto factory. Anyway, that factory is now 2,500 robots and 1,000 people. The future belongs to communities that learn to leverage their unique attributes, artisans and human talent.

There is no Eiffel Tower in Louisville, Ky., but there are amazing bourbon distilleries popping up all over, creating myriad tourist opportunities; there are no pyramids in Detroit, but there is a bountiful history of Motown music and all kinds of artists now creating boutique concerts and tours for visitors to experience it.....We have to do 50 things right to recreate that broad middle class of the ’50s and ’60s, and platforms like Airbnb’s are just one of them. (Having universal health care to create a safety net under all of these budding entrepreneurs would be another.) But you have to be inspired by how many people are now finding joy and income by mining their passions.

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COMMENTS
“A tourist is someone who does things that locals who live there never do,” said Chesky. Airbnb’s experiences platform is now enabling visitors to live like locals — even though they’re guests and, in the process, enrich the local community and create new employment. Any town can play.

So much of what companies did in the past, concluded Chesky, “was unlocking natural resources to build the stuff we wanted.” Today’s new platforms are unlocking human potential to “be the people we wanted.”

....
Airbnb  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  capitalization  entrepreneurship  experiential_marketing  gig_economy  human_potential  intrinsically_motivated  job_creation  middle_class  passions  platforms  self-actualization  self-starters  Tom_Friedman  tourism  unimaginative 
july 2017 by jerryking
Ultra-rich man’s letter: “To My Fellow Filthy Rich Americans: The Pitchforks Are Coming” – TIP
Ultra-rich man’s letter: “To My Fellow Filthy Rich Americans: The Pitchforks Are Coming”

By NICK HANAUER | politico

You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor. Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank. I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Like you, I have a broad perspective on business and capitalism. And also like you, I have been rewarded obscenely for my success, with a life that the other 99.99 percent of Americans can’t even imagine. Multiple homes, my own plane, etc., etc. You know what I’m talking about. In 1992, I was selling pillows made by my family’s business, Pacific Coast Feather Co., to retail stores across the country, and the Internet was a clunky novelty to which one hooked up with a loud squawk at 300 baud. But I saw pretty quickly, even back then, that many of my customers, the big department store chains, were already doomed. I knew that as soon as the Internet became fast and trustworthy enough—and that time wasn’t far off—people were going to shop online like crazy. Goodbye, Caldor. And Filene’s. And Borders. And on and on.

Realizing that, seeing over the horizon a little faster than the next guy, was the strategic part of my success. The lucky part was that I had two friends, both immensely talented, who also saw a lot of potential in the web. One was a guy you’ve probably never heard of named Jeff Tauber, and the other was a fellow named Jeff Bezos. I was so excited by the potential of the web that I told both Jeffs that I wanted to invest in whatever they launched, big time. It just happened that the second Jeff—Bezos—called me back first to take up my investment offer. So I helped underwrite his tiny start-up bookseller. The other Jeff started a web department store called Cybershop, but at a time when trust in Internet sales was still low, it was too early for his high-end online idea; people just weren’t yet ready to buy expensive goods without personally checking them out (unlike a basic commodity like books, which don’t vary in quality—Bezos’ great insight). Cybershop didn’t make it, just another dot-com bust. Amazon did somewhat better. Now I own a very large yacht.

But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.

But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

_h3218_w4866_m2_bwhite(Image: news.msn)


Many of us think we’re special because “this is America.” We think we’re immune to the same forces that started the Arab Spring—or the French and Russian revolutions, for that matter. I know you fellow .01%ers tend to dismiss this kind of argument; I’ve had many of you tell me to my face I’m completely bonkers. And yes, I know there are many of you who are convinced that because you saw a poor kid with an iPhone that one time, inequality is a fiction.

The model for us rich guys here should be Henry Ford, who realized that all his autoworkers in Michigan weren’t only cheap labor to be exploited; they were consumers, too. Ford figured that if he raised their wages, to a then-exorbitant $5 a day, they’d be able to afford his Model Ts.

What a great idea. My suggestion to you is: Let’s do it all over again. We’ve got to try something. These idiotic trickle-down policies are destroying my customer base. And yours too.

It’s when I realized this that I decided I had to leave my insulated world of the super-rich and get involved in politics. Not directly, by running for office or becoming one of the big-money billionaires who back candidates in an election. Instead, I wanted to try to change the conversation with ideas—by advancing what my co-author, Eric Liu, and I call “middle-out” economics. It’s the long-overdue rebuttal to the trickle-down economics worldview that has become economic orthodoxy across party lines—and has so screwed the American middle class and our economy generally. Middle-out economics rejects the old misconception that an economy is a perfectly efficient, mechanistic system and embraces the much more accurate idea of an economy as a complex ecosystem made up of real people who are dependent on one another.

Which is why the fundamental law of capitalism must be: If workers have more money, businesses have more customers. Which makes middle-class consumers, not rich businesspeople like us, the true job creators. Which means a thriving middle class is the source of American prosperity, not a consequence of it. The middle class creates us rich people, not the other way around.

On June 19, 2013, Bloomberg published an article I wrote called “The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage.” Forbes labeled it “Nick Hanauer’s near insane” proposal. And yet, just weeks after it was published, my friend David Rolf, a Service Employees International Union organizer, roused fast-food workers to go on strike around the country for a $15 living wage. Nearly a year later, the city of Seattle passed a $15 minimum wage. And just 350 days after my article was published, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed that ordinance into law. How could this happen, you ask?

It happened because we reminded the masses that they are the source of growth and prosperity, not us rich guys. We reminded them that when workers have more money, businesses have more customers—and need more employees. We reminded them that if businesses paid workers a living wage rather than poverty wages, taxpayers wouldn’t have to make up the difference. And when we got done, 74 percent of likely Seattle voters in a recent poll agreed that a $15 minimum wage was a swell idea.

The standard response in the minimum-wage debate, made by Republicans and their business backers and plenty of Democrats as well, is that raising the minimum wage costs jobs. Businesses will have to lay off workers. This argument reflects the orthodox economics that most people had in college. If you took Econ 101, then you literally were taught that if wages go up, employment must go down. The law of supply and demand and all that. That’s why you’ve got John Boehner and other Republicans in Congress insisting that if you price employment higher, you get less of it. Really?

The thing about us businesspeople is that we love our customers rich and our employees poor.

Because here’s an odd thing. During the past three decades, compensation for CEOs grew 127 times faster than it did for workers. Since 1950, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio has increased 1,000 percent, and that is not a typo. CEOs used to earn 30 times the median wage; now they rake in 500 times. Yet no company I know of has eliminated its senior managers, or outsourced them to China or automated their jobs. Instead, we now have more CEOs and senior executives than ever before. So, too, for financial services workers and technology workers. These folks earn multiples of the median wage, yet we somehow have more and more of them.

140624_fatcats_grid_1160
The Art of the Fat Cat A century and a half of soaking the rich—with ink.
By MATT WUERKER – (politico)

The thing about us businesspeople is that we love our customers rich and our employees poor. So for as long as there has been capitalism, capitalists have said the same thing about any effort to raise wages. We’ve had 75 years of complaints from big business—when the minimum wage was instituted, when women had to be paid equitable amounts, when child labor laws were created. Every time the capitalists said exactly the same thing in the same way: We’re all going to go bankrupt. I’ll have to close. I’ll have to lay everyone off. It hasn’t happened. In fact, the data show that when workers are better treated, business gets better. The naysayers are just wrong.

Most of you probably think that the $15 minimum wage in Seattle is an insane departure from rational policy that puts our … [more]
economics  feudalism  politics  wealth  via:enochko  middle_class  minimum_wage  income_inequality  the_one_percent  social_fabric  worldviews 
september 2016 by jerryking
U.S. politics: The time for laughter is over - The Globe and Mail
LAWRENCE MARTIN
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016
Lawrence_Martin  Campaign_2016  Donald_Trump  politics  middle_class 
january 2016 by jerryking
Does a national food branding strategy make sense for Canada? - The Globe and Mail
DAINA LAWRENCE
Globe and Mail Update (includes correction)
Published Thursday, Jul. 23, 2015

Australia introduced the “True Aussie” brand into its Asian exports of red meat in the spring of 2014 with great success. Earlier this year other agricultural sectors came forward saying they wanted to reap the same marketing benefits by attaching the True Aussie brand to meat and vegetable exports. The strategy is still in the development stages, but is expected to be in full effect within a year to capitalize on the upswing in Chinese demand – China is Australia’s top purchaser of agricultural products.....The challenge of developing a popular national brand strategy lies in the fact that Canada’s food products are diverse – everything from apples, to meat to dairy and grain. On top of that, the country’s growers range in size from small family-run growers to massive agribusinesses.

“What we would have to do is create an umbrella strategy that is flexible enough that it can be used regardless of the organization that is part of it,” says John Miziolek, president and co-founder of Oakville, Ont.-based Reset Branding, “because there’s no way you could create one singular brand and hope that it would fit everybody’s needs.”

The solution could be creating smaller brands for each of those diverse products and then to develop an umbrella strategy to encompass the smaller classes, he explains. But he emphasizes that making it mandatory would be the strategy’s death knell.

“Just from a branding and marketing perspective that’s a horrible way to start a brand,” says Mr. Miziolek, “forcing people to comply with rules that they’re not very excited about.”
branding  howto  food  Canada  Canadian  China  geographic_ingredient_branding  middle_class  food_safety  competitiveness_of_nations  brands 
july 2015 by jerryking
Most Black Students at Harvard Are From High-Income Families</A>
In a 2004 interview Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard, told the London Observer, “The black kids who come to Harvard or Yale are middle class. Nobody else gets through.”

That same year Professor Gates, speaking at a public forum at Princeton University, stated his belief that 75 percent of the black students at Harvard were of African or Caribbean descent or of mixed race. According to Professor Gates, more than two thirds of all Harvard's black students were either the children or grandchildren of West Indians or Africans and very few of Harvard's black students were the descendants of American slaves.
Henry_Louis_Gates  Harvard  students  middle_class  Colleges_&_Universities  Afro-Caribbeans  African-Americans 
may 2015 by jerryking
America’s racial divide widens under Obama’s watch - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 07 2015,

African-Americans are sliding down an economic ladder they had been gradually climbing. Millions of black people who moved north during the Great Migration of the mid-20th century found jobs in bustling factories. Millions more found public-sector jobs – as teachers, postal employees or city workers – as black people took over city governments and congressional seats in places such as Baltimore and Detroit. These workers formed the basis of a black middle class.

But the previous recession hit black people harder than any other group. Manufacturing was shedding jobs before the crash; governments and the post office followed suit when it hit. As Bard College professor Walter Russell Mead has noted, black people accounted for less than 12 per cent of the U.S. work force in 2011, but 21 per cent of postal employees and 20 per cent of all government workers. But with government and manufacturing in retreat, black people faced bleak job prospects.

The new economy is largely a black-free zone. A USA Today analysis last year found that African-Americans occupied only 2 per cent of the jobs at seven big Silicon Valley companies. That’s not hard to understand given the state of public schools in places such as Baltimore, Detroit and Washington, where political nepotism and unions have stood in the way of reform.

Meanwhile, systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system – black people are far more likely than white people to be sentenced to jail for minor drug violations, ending up with criminal records that make them virtually unemployable – is so deep as to cry out for a national inquiry.
racial_disparities  Silicon_Valley  Ted_Cruz  Konrad_Yakabuski  Campaign_2016  digital_economy  race_relations  Obama  downward_mobility  African-Americans  public_sector  middle_class  Walter_Russell_Mead  systemic_discrimination  criminal_justice_system  joblessness  public_schools  Great_Migration  sentencing  downward_spirals  institutional_path_dependency 
may 2015 by jerryking
Hasta la vista, employment - The Globe and Mail
DOUG SAUNDERS
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 02 2015

Next week, right on time, will see the publication of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, by the Silicon Valley software guru Martin Ford. It doesn’t mention Mr. Rifkin, but it argues that new, even smarter technology is now impinging on the medical and educational work forces.

Our era “will be defined by a fundamental shift in the relationship between workers and machines,” Mr. Ford writes. “That shift will ultimately challenge one of our most basic assumptions about technology: That machines are tools that increase the productivity of workers. Instead, machines themselves are turning into workers, and the line between the capability of labour and capital is blurring as never before.” As a result, he concludes in a déjà vu-inducing passage, “the virtuous feedback loop between productivity, rising wages and increasing consumer spending will collapse.”
Doug_Saunders  unemployment  middle_class  productivity  consumer_spending  books  joblessness  automation  robotics  artificial_intelligence 
may 2015 by jerryking
The lost art of political persuasion - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Apr. 25 2015

Talking points are hardly a 21st century political innovation. But they have so crowded out every other form of discourse that politics is now utterly devoid of honesty, unless it’s the result of human error. The candidates are still human, we think, though the techies now running campaigns are no doubt working on ways to remove that bug from their programs.

Intuition, ideas and passion used to matter in politics. Now, data analytics aims to turn all politicians into robots, programmed to deliver a script that has been scientifically tested...The data analysts have algorithms that tell them just what words resonate with just what voters and will coax them to donate, volunteer and vote.

Politics is no longer about the art of persuasion or about having an honest debate about what’s best for your country, province or city. It’s about microtargeting individuals who’ve already demonstrated by their Facebook posts or responses to telephone surveys that they are suggestible. Voters are data points to be manipulated, not citizens to be cultivated....Campaign strategists euphemistically refer to this data collection and microtargeting as “grassroots engagement” or “having one-on-one conversations” with voters....The data analysts on the 2012 Obama campaign came up with “scores” for each voter in its database, or what author Sasha Issenberg called “a new political currency that predicted the behaviour of individual humans.
Konrad_Yakabuski  persuasion  middle_class  politicians  massive_data_sets  political_campaigns  data_scientists  data_driven  data_mining  microtargeting  behavioural_targeting  politics  data  analytics  Campaign_2012 
april 2015 by jerryking
The changing face of employment - FT.com
January 30, 2015 12:41 pm
The changing face of employment
Gillian Tett

One widely cited statistic at the World Economic Forum was a projection that automation would end up replacing some 45 per cent of jobs in the US in the next 20 years. And the consensus was that it would be the middle tier of jobs that would disappear. The future of employment — at least according to Davos — is a world bifurcated between low-skilled, low-paid service jobs (say, dog walkers and cleaners) and highly skilled elite roles (computer programmers, designers and all the other jobs that Davos luminaries do). Everything else is potentially vulnerable....What is still critically unclear is how all this investment in infrastructure and training is going to be paid for. Philanthropy? Taxes? It is also unclear how mass access to the internet will recreate those disappearing mid-tier jobs. Given that, it is perhaps no surprise that when I asked a group of Davos grandees for a show of hands on whether income inequality would get worse in the coming years, almost everybody in the room voted “yes” — without hesitation. That is deeply sobering.
Gillian_Tett  WEF_Davos  innovation  middle_class  unemployment  mobile_phones  job_destruction  job_displacement  downward_mobility  hollowing_out  MIT  Erik_Brynjolfsson  automation  Andrew_McAfee 
january 2015 by jerryking
How Black Middle-Class Kids Become Poor Adults
JAN 19 2015 | The Atlantic | GILLIAN B. WHITE.

A 2014 study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which looked at factors like parental income, education, and family structure, shows a similar pattern: Many black Americans not only fail to move up, but show an increased likelihood of backsliding. According to the study, “In recent decades, blacks have experienced substantially less upward intergenerational mobility and substantially more downward intergenerational mobility than whites.”...The explanations for this phenomenon are varied, but largely hinge on many of the criticisms that already exist in regard to socioeconomics and race in the U.S. Economists cite lower educational attainment, higher rates of single-parent households, and geographic segregation as potential explanations for these trends.
African-Americans  middle_class  children  single_parents  downward_mobility  geographic_segregation  social_mobility  social_classes  racial_disparities  unemployment  generational_wealth 
january 2015 by jerryking
Paradise lost - FT.com
December 19, 2013 5:03 pm
Paradise lost

By Robin Wiggleswort

The Caribbean is suffering from crippling government debt, endemic crime and a middle-class brain drain that have contributed to an economic meltdown of alarming proportions...

Persaud blames an “anti-growth coalition” for the Caribbean’s plight, a tight-knit nexus of politicians, business interests and unions that benefit from the status quo – one of the invisible flaws of small states where everyone knows one another. “The Caribbean is at a crossroads, it desperately needs political leadership,” he argues. “It can overcome these challenges, as other small states have, but it requires courage.”

Some fear that the erosion of the local middle classes – both the backbone of civil society as well as the most demanding voters – eases the pressure on politicians to shape up. “The depletion of our brightest graduates, our middle class and some of our most enterprising workers has drained the foundations of our society,” laments Trevor Munroe, a Jamaican academic, former union leader and founder of National Integrity Action, an anti-corruption watchdog. “Remittances are a big plus, but the big minus is the weakening of society’s internal drivers for reform.”
Caribbean  criminality  brain_drain  emigration  small_states  anti-growth  anti-development  tourism  cultural_detachment  middle_class  leadership  courage  civil_society  crony_capitalism  business_interests  cronyism  demanding_voters  debt 
december 2013 by jerryking
Old Ways Need New Thinking - WSJ.com
Nov. 20, 2013 | WSJ | By Neena Rai.

Vito Martielli, senior grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabobank, says that traditional producers of olive oil must seek out new export markets, such as Asia, in order to counter issues of oversupply.

"Markets like China, Japan and India, which all have a growing middle class, are starting to demand more exotic ingredients and this should be tapped into," says Mr. Martielli. Asian countries are now seen as a gateway by the Mediterranean olive-oil producers who seek to capitalize on the oil's status as a luxury cooking product.
olives  oilseeds  China  Japan  India  middle_class  new_thinking  Mediterranean  gourmet  Asia  food  foodies 
november 2013 by jerryking
Pros and Cons of Concierge Medicine
Nov. 10, 2013 | WSJ | By Jen Wieczner.

A new and growing generation of concierge doctors who, in this era of health reform, see more opportunity in the middle class than they do in the jet set. The trend has bifurcated the retainer medicine industry: On one end, patients pay thousands of dollars a month for lavish celebrity-type treatment at traditional concierge practices. On the other, pared-down clinics charge roughly $50 to $100 a month for basic primary-care medicine, more accessible doctors, and yes, money savings for those looking to reduce their health spending.

Of the estimated 5,500 concierge practices nationwide, about two-thirds charge less than $135 a month on average, up from 49% three years ago, according to Concierge Medicine Today, a trade publication that also runs a research collective for the industry. Inexpensive practices are driving growth in concierge medicine, which is adding offices at a rate of about 25% a year, says the American Academy of Private Physicians.
concierge_services  healthcare  medicine  doctors  middle_class  concierge_medicine 
november 2013 by jerryking
How Technology Wrecks the Middle Class - NYTimes.com
August 24, 2013, 2:35 pm 30 Comments
How Technology Wrecks the Middle Class
By DAVID H. AUTOR AND DAVID DORN

In the four years since the Great Recession officially ended, the productivity of American workers — those lucky enough to have jobs — has risen smartly. But the United States still has two million fewer jobs than before the downturn, the unemployment rate is stuck at levels not seen since the early 1990s and the proportion of adults who are working is four percentage points off its peak in 2000…. Have we mechanized and computerized ourselves into obsolescence?... Economists have historically rejected what we call the “lump of labor” fallacy: the supposition that an increase in labor productivity inevitably reduces employment because there is only a finite amount of work to do. While intuitively appealing, this idea is demonstrably false. In 1900, for example, 41 percent of the United States work force was in agriculture. By 2000, that share had fallen to 2 percent, after the Green Revolution transformed crop yields…. Fast-forward to the present. The multi-trillionfold decline in the cost of computing since the 1970s has created enormous incentives for employers to substitute increasingly cheap and capable computers for expensive labor. These rapid advances — which confront us daily as we check in at airports, order books online, pay bills on our banks’ Web sites or consult our smartphones for driving directions — have reawakened fears that workers will be displaced by machinery. Will this time be different?
A starting point for discussion is the observation that although computers are ubiquitous, they cannot do everything. … Logically, computerization has reduced the demand for these jobs, but it has boosted demand for workers who perform “nonroutine” tasks that complement the automated activities. Those tasks happen to lie on opposite ends of the occupational skill distribution.
At one end are so-called abstract tasks that require problem-solving, intuition, persuasion and creativity. These tasks are characteristic of professional, managerial, technical and creative occupations, like law, medicine, science, engineering, advertising and design. People in these jobs typically have high levels of education and analytical capability, and they benefit from computers that facilitate the transmission, organization and processing of information.
On the other end are so-called manual tasks, which require situational adaptability, visual and language recognition, and in-person interaction….. Computerization has therefore fostered a polarization of employment, with job growth concentrated in both the highest- and lowest-paid occupations, while jobs in the middle have declined. Surprisingly, overall employment rates have largely been unaffected in states and cities undergoing this rapid polarization. Rather, as employment in routine jobs has ebbed, employment has risen both in high-wage managerial, professional and technical occupations and in low-wage, in-person service occupations….…workers [can] ride the wave of technological change rather than be swamped by it [by] investing more in their education.…The good news, however, is that middle-education, middle-wage jobs are not slated to disappear completely. While many middle-skill jobs are susceptible to automation, others demand a mixture of tasks that take advantage of human flexibility.…we predict that the middle-skill jobs that survive will combine routine technical tasks with abstract and manual tasks in which workers have a comparative advantage — interpersonal interaction, adaptability and problem-solving….The outlook for workers who haven’t finished college is uncertain, but not devoid of hope. There will be job opportunities in middle-skill jobs, but not in the traditional blue-collar production and white-collar office jobs of the past. Rather, we expect to see growing employment among the ranks of the “new artisans”: licensed practical nurses and medical assistants; teachers, tutors and learning guides at all educational levels; kitchen designers, construction supervisors and skilled tradespeople of every variety; expert repair and support technicians; and the many people who offer personal training and assistance, like physical therapists, personal trainers, coaches and guides. These workers will adeptly combine technical skills with interpersonal interaction, flexibility and adaptability to offer services that are uniquely human.
productivity  middle_class  automation  algorithms  interpersonal_interactions  downward_mobility  hollowing_out  MIT  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Andrew_McAfee  Luddites  problem_solving  job_destruction  job_displacement  barbell_effect  technological_change  blue-collar  white-collar  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts 
august 2013 by jerryking
As America unwinds, Canada rewinds - The Globe and Mail
Lawrence Martin

Special to The Globe and Mail

Last updated Tuesday, Jul. 23 2013

The Unwinding by George Packer.

It tells the story of the descent of inner America, the collapse of structures as a result of deregulation, the rampant insecurities with the decline of permanent jobs, debates overtaken by extremes of opinion. Mr. Packer’s theory is that the United States has been Wal-Martized. Lower wages, lower prices, lower standards. It’s been good for the company, and as he says: “Eventually six of the surviving Waltons would have as much money as the bottom 30 per cent of the country.”

But the decline of the big economic middle is ominous, as is the seizure of the national discussion by polemicists. How can a country move forward without a rallying consensus? Not even Barack Obama, with his balanced mind, his instinct for compromise and his eloquence (as most recently manifested on the topic of the Trayvon Martin verdict) can stop the fraying.

The book’s author is not an American declinist. There have been other unravellings; rebuilds inevitably follow. But the context is different now. America’s greatest century is behind it. Its degree of dominance will likely never be the same.

In response to all this, how does Canada, the big neighbour to the north, position itself?...Canadians are divided in their view of the monarchy. I’m not an enthusiast. As was well argued on these pages Monday by Ratna Omidvar, swearing allegiance to the Queen is an outmoded pastime. But the British heritage is an integral part of our definition, our identity. A stronger etching of it in the public consciousness and a greater reach to other markets is not unhealthy at a time when American paramountcy is fading, when our dependency on the United States is diminishing, when a distance in the bilateral relationship is growing.

It may be the beginning of a big turn. There are still major stakes in play, such as the Keystone XL pipeline, but Canadian trade volumes with the United States are in decline after a century of continual growth.

That slide is expected to continue as Asian powers and others take up greater market share. U.S. reliance on Canadian energy resources is on the wane; some project a dramatic falloff. Although 9/11 has dragged Canada more deeply into the U.S. intelligence-gathering network, we no longer rely on U.S. defence protections, as we did in the Cold War days. Culturally, the workings of time have brought us a stronger, more distinct stamp. As for our border, it has thickened rather than easing away. We now need passports to cross it.

While Americans undergo their unwinding, so do we. In recognition of new realities, we unwind from them.
Lawrence_Martin  bilateral  crossborder  America_in_Decline?  middle_class  books  downward_mobility  demoralization  Keystone_XL  beyondtheU.S.  national_identity  George_Packer 
august 2013 by jerryking
The middle class is good politics but a curious crusade
Aug. 03 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Konrad Yakabuski.

A “thriving middle class” won’t come from new programs hatched in Ottawa. It will come from the innovators and entrepreneurs who harness Canada’s abundant human capital and natural resources to create wealth.

as TD Economics has shown, Canada has not experienced the same wage polarization that has led to rising income inequality south of the border. Social mobility is higher here and our tax system is more progressive. The after-tax income of the top 10 per cent of Canadians was 4.1 times that of the bottom 10 per cent in 2010. The U.S. ratio was 6 to 1.

There is no doubt that globalization and technological change have rendered thousands of middle-class Canadian jobs obsolete. But there is no reversing this trend, no matter how much would-be federal policy-makers aspire to meddle. Besides, globalization’s upsides outweigh its downsides. And Canadians, among the best-educated people on the planet, stand to benefit.

“Rewards to education, to innovation and to creativity are higher than they have ever been,” notes Princeton University economist Angus Deaton in The Great Escape, his forthcoming book on the history of inequality. “Perhaps the greatest escape in all of human history, and certainly the most rapid one [is] the reduction in global poverty since 1980 … The world has done much better than the pessimists predicted.”
Konrad_Yakabuski  globalization  Chrystia_Freeland  obsolescence  middle_class  technological_change  social_mobility  Toronto  expatriates  inequality  books  income_inequality  capitalization 
august 2013 by jerryking
A new challenge for the new Mandelas
Jun. 29 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Doug Saunders.

Most of this improvement is propelled by the continent’s extremely rapid economic growth. Economies and real incomes have grown about 5 per cent annually for most of the past decade, and are now beating China and are projected to grow even faster in the coming years. At least some of this is reaching the people: Three out of four Africans now own a cellphone, a significant possession in poor countries.

All this being said, there is a disturbing lack of more lasting progress on the ground. It has become popular to claim that there are now 300 million “middle-class consumers” in Africa, almost a third of the population. This is not true in any meaningful way.

“Across Africa,” Ghanaian businessman Bright Simons wrote recently in the Harvard Business review, “incomes are rising fastest among those engaged in brokering trade in goods and services across fragmented markets … These people are rarely well-educated, though, and they share none of the cultural traits seen in the West and Asia as prerequisite to middle-class life.” Meanwhile, young and educated Africans are unable to earn anything close to the incomes that would be considered “middle class” elsewhere.

In other words, almost nobody in Africa is actually middle class: most countries are sharply polarized between a very wealthy elite and a poor who, while rising just above the level of hand-to-mouth poverty, are still unable to purchase more than the most rudimentary goods....Africa’s problems are largely self-created. Much of the continent’s new wealth comes from resource extraction (which is twice the size of any other industry). But, with a few important exceptions, governments remain unable or unwilling to keep much of this wealth within their borders or use it to create other, more lasting economies.

Now that Africa is close to solving the old problems of absolute poverty and democratic stability, it needs to overcome the new challenge of creating a real middle class – a challenge that will require another generation of Mandelas.
Doug_Saunders  Africa  middle_class  movingonup  natural_resources  resource_extraction  commodities  cultural_values  leaders  politicians  fragmented_markets 
june 2013 by jerryking
The Problem With Too Many Millionaires - NYTimes.com
June 20, 2013 | REUTERS | By CHRYSTIA FREELAND.

The rich are getting richer....the very, very rich are doing best of all. The ranks of the ultrarich, whom the report defines as people with investable assets of at least $30 million, surged 11 percent, an even greater rate than the mere millionaires....“We are increasingly becoming a ‘winner-take-all’ economy, a phenomenon that the music industry has long experienced,”...The lucky and the talented — and it is often hard to tell the difference — have been doing better and better, while the vast majority has struggled to keep up.”... the problem is that the rise of the ultrarich isn’t occurring in isolation--it takes place in lock step with a darker phenomenon — the hollowing out of the global middle class. What is worrying is that: (a) labor productivity — which used to be the secret sauce for making everyone better off — has a diminished impact on wages.
(b) declining social mobility. The 1 percent is very good at passing on its privilege, and those born at the bottom are finding it harder to climb up.

That is the great paradox of today’s winner-take-all economy. At its best, it is driven by adopted dropouts like Steve Jobs or struggling single mothers like J.K. Rowling, who come up with something amazing and manage to prosper — and to enrich us all. But the winner-take-all economy will make such breakthroughs for anyone who didn’t make the wise choice of being born into the 1 percent harder and harder in the future, which is why we urgently need to come up with ways to soften its impact.
breakthroughs  Chrystia_Freeland  compounded  elitism  high_net_worth  hollowing_out  income_distribution  inequality  middle_class  paradoxes  productivity  self-perpetuation  social_mobility  special_sauce  The_One_Percent  winner-take-all 
june 2013 by jerryking
How Canadian companies can tap into Asia’s consumer boom
Jun. 03 2013 | G&M | by DOMINIC BARTON.

Possible send to Earl Davis of Teachers.

To capture this opportunity, Canadian companies need an intimate understanding of the new Asian consumers. First, on the consumption and services front, they need to locate these consumers, with forensic precision....Second, Canadian companies need to understand the diverse and evolving tastes of Asian consumers. Across the region, the number of higher income households is rapidly expanding. These consumers are often young, are more international in their outlook, and are more willing to pay a premium for quality products. They consume more services, from education and health care to foreign travel....Third, Another significant opportunity for Canada is the provision and delivery of food, energy, and natural resources. By 2030, global demand for food is expected to rise by more than 25 per cent, mostly in Asia, and fertilizer demand will grow by 50 per cent.
Dominic_Barton  McKinsey  China  Canadian  target_marketing  consumer_behavior  shifting_tastes  China_rising  booming  Asia  Asian  Asia_Pacific  BRIC  middle_class  inland  affluence  infrastructure  forensics 
june 2013 by jerryking
My Little (Global) School - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: April 2, 2013

So what’s the secret of the best-performing schools? It’s that there is no secret. The best schools, the study found, have strong fundamentals and cultures that believe anything is possible with any student: They “work hard to choose strong teachers with good content knowledge and dedication to continuous improvement.” They are “data-driven and transparent, not only around learning outcomes, but also around soft skills like completing work on time, resilience, perseverance — and punctuality.” And they promote “the active engagement of our parents and families.”
education  high_schools  globalization  middle_class  benchmarking  Tom_Friedman 
april 2013 by jerryking
A tech-powered end to the middle class
Feb. 21 2013 | The Globe and Mail | CHRYSTIA FREELAND.
One way to divide people is into those who think this time is different and those who believe there is never anything new under the sun. That split can be a matter of temperament, of politics or even of religion. But today it is relevant for another, more urgent reason: It describes how people think about the most critical economic problem in the industrialized world – the dearth of well-paying middle-class jobs....
"thanks to the tech revolution, the traditional link between rising productivity and a rising standard of living (i.e. wages) for the middle class has been broken. Gore worries that severed link may be causing the economic slowdown in the developed economies: A weakened middle class lacks the spending power to drive growth.

One of the smartest academics studying this phenomenon is Erik Brynjolfsson, a management professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The co-author of a new book, Race Against the Machine, believes the tech revolution is having a powerful and unprecedented impact. “Most of the debate … is missing the tectonic changes in the way the economy works, which are driven by technology,” he said recently. “This is the big story of our time, and it is going to accelerate over the next 10 years.”

Like Mr. Gore, Mr. Brynjolfsson thinks the canary in the coal mine is the decoupling of gains in productivity and in wages. “Productivity since 2000 has grown faster than in the 1970s, ’80s or ’90s,” he said. “But starting in the late 1990s, we’ve had this decoupling of wages from productivity.” He sees this as a historic watershed, noting that there is “no economic law” that productivity and jobs go together.

That change has tremendous implications. Productivity and innovation, the focus of policy makers and business leaders, no longer guarantee widely shared prosperity. “Digital technologies are different in that they allow people with skills to replicate their talents to serve billions,” Mr. Brynjolfsson noted. “There is really a drastic winner-take-all effect because every industry is becoming like the software industry.”

The danger isn’t structural unemployment (as many feared during the depths of the financial crisis). The problem is what kind of jobs, at what kind of salaries, the tech-powered economy of the future will generate.
Chrystia_Freeland  Albert_Gore  books  Erik_Brynjolfsson  MIT  downward_mobility  seismic_shifts  middle_class  winner-take-all  Al_Gore  Kleiner_Perkins  Luddites  productivity  innovation  hollowing_out  the_Great_Decoupling  economic_stagnation  '90s  This_Time_is_Different 
february 2013 by jerryking
Global solution needed to save the middle class - The Globe and Mail
CHRYSTIA FREELAND

NEW YORK — Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Oct. 11 2012
middle_class  Chrystia_Freeland 
october 2012 by jerryking
U.S. political debate stuck in the past -
Aug. 30 2012 | The Globe and Mail | CHRYSTIA FREELAND.

The argument between the Democrats and the GOP about the size of the state comes with little regard for the economic realities of this era. Like generals fighting the last war, U.S. politicians are solving the economic challenges of the past century....Thanks to smart machines and global trade, the well-paying, middle-class jobs that were the backbone of Western democracies are vanishing. The paradoxical driver of this middle-class squeeze is not some villainous force – it is, rather, the success of the world’s best companies, many of them American (i.e. Big Tech, the major platforms)....the knottiest economic problem of our time: Figuring out how to manage an economy whose engines of growth are enriching the few but squeezing the many....It took more than the spinning jenny or the steam engine to transform local, agrarian, family-based communities into national, urban, individualistic ones. New political and social institutions will be needed to midwife the latest shift into global and virtual communities. Inventing those institutions is difficult, and talking about them can be frightening, but that is the political conversation the Western world should be having.
Big_Tech  Chrystia_Freeland  Campaign_2012  globalization  Outsourcing  institutions  middle_class  job_destruction  job_displacement  job_loss  institution-building  downward_mobility  hollowing_out  backward_looking 
august 2012 by jerryking
Guns, gangs and Boston's miracle & Race is the elephant in the room
November 24, 2005 | G& M | Margaret Wente.

Mr. Rivers argues the black middle class has failed its poor by refusing to confront the cultural catastrophes that sweep boys into thug life. First, there's father absence, which leaves them unmoored and out of control. "The failure of black men to discipline their sons has created a generation of de facto orphans." Next, there are the toxic messages of gangsta rap that glorify outlaw life.

Gangsta rap and hip-hop -- which have spread to the slums of Paris,
Brixton and Rio -- moved into the void left by the decline of the
civil-rights movement. "The globalization of thug life," he says, "is
the direct result of the failure of the black middle class to engage
the crisis of the underclass." Tough words....Boston's anti-crime initiative has three legs: prevention, intervention
and enforcement. There are a lot of strategies to intervene with
high-risk kids before they turn into thugs. When it doesn't work, the
reverend is unequivocal about the consequences. "The thugs must be
locked up for a long time. They must be made an example of." One of his
challenges was to bring on board the people he calls the "hug-a-thug
liberals" -- those who see only victims, never criminals.

But he also challenged the law-and-order crowd -- the ones who see a
thug in every kid. All sides had to get past the rhetoric and focus on
what works. By now, there are strong networks among Boston's community
leaders, police and politicians; they regularly work together on crime
issues.
Margaret_Wente  pastors  Toronto  Eugene_Rivers  guns  gangs  Boston  fatherhood  African_Canadians  leadership  hip_hop  churches  voids  middle_class  African-Americans  thug_code  crisis  underclass  race  outlaws  toxic_behaviors 
august 2012 by jerryking
School Colors - WSJ.com
February 5, 2003 | WSJ | editorials.

A recent study by the Civil Rights Project, a liberal outfit housed at Harvard, uses the racial composition of inner-city schools to allege that the U.S. is undergoing resegregation. Our reading is that their findings say much more about the state of inner-city public education.

For starters, the U.S. is less segregated today than ever before....The racial makeup of our schools results not from the return of Bull Connor but from economics, immigration and birth rates. Middle-class blacks, whose ranks continue to grow, have moved into mixed neighborhoods.

Left behind in the major big cities is a minority underclass, whose numbers are inflated by recent arrivals who traditionally settle first among their own ethnic groups. During the 1990s, 11 million foreigners immigrated to the U.S., and more than half came from Latin America. Poor minorities are also the youngest members of our society. And they're having most of the children, which explains their high enrollment numbers. White enrollment rates have been steadily declining for decades.

The answer to today's increasing self-segregation is to fix the inner-city schools. Their dreadful quality is a major motive behind white -- and now middle-class black -- flight.
editorials  segregation  schools  urban  cities  public_education  underclass  self-segregation  African-Americans  middle_class 
august 2012 by jerryking
Three big questions for the 21st century
Jun. 21 2012 |The Globe and Mail |CHRYSTIA FREELAND, Special to The Globe & Mail.

it is no accident that so many economies are sputtering at the same time, or that so many people around the globe are angry.

One reason for the synchronized gloom is the synchronization of the global economy. Another is that everyone is trying to figure out three big questions, the answers to which will shape the 21st century.

The first is how nation-states fit into a globalized world economy.
The second question is even knottier. Why is 21st-century capitalism failing at the very important task of delivering jobs and rising incomes to the middle class in rich countries.
The third question is one we speak about the least and should probably worry about the most: Can rich women be persuaded to have children? Why, once a country achieves middle-income status, its middle-class women stop having many children.
Chrystia_Freeland  21st._century  middle_class  demographic_changes  job_destruction  job_displacement  think_threes  global_economy 
july 2012 by jerryking
How the Global Middle Class Can Save the American Middle Class
May 25 2012 | The Atlantic | David Rohde.

Last week, 41 American companies received awards at a little-noticed White House ceremony. Despite the recession, the companies -- most of them small and medium-size businesses -- have experienced rapid growth and handsome profits in recent years. And they've beaten Chinese, Indian and European competitors at their own game.

How? By selling to a burgeoning global middle class expected to grow by 1 billion people -- primarily in Asia -- over the next decade...The awards -- and the places these companies have found customers -- show that the gravest threat to America's prosperity isn't the rise of middle classes overseas. It is Washington's blind adherence to dated ideologies that handicap our innovative small businesses. The world is changing, but Washington is not.
globalization  small_business  awards  exporting  middle_class  Asian  SMEs  Washington_D.C. 
may 2012 by jerryking
The professional-class bubble is bursting - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Apr. 28, 2012
professional_service_firms  middle_class  bubbles  career_paths  automation  Margaret_Wente  downward_mobility 
april 2012 by jerryking
Economic recovery leaving middle class behind
Apr. 12, 2012 | Globe and Mail | CHRYSTIA FREELAND.

More bad news for the middle class: When the economy recovers, jobs in the middle won’t. That is the conclusion of an important new study that connects a long-term trend in the labour market with the business cycle of recession and rebound....Job polarization... accounts....for the disappearance of those in the middle who were once both the compass and the backbone of our societies.
Chrystia_Freeland  middle_class  downward_mobility  bad_news 
april 2012 by jerryking
Average Is Over - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: January 24, 2012
the reason we have such stubbornly high unemployment and sagging middle-class incomes today is largely because of the big drop in demand because of the Great Recession, but it is also because of the quantum advances in both globalization and the information technology revolution, which are more rapidly than ever replacing labor with machines or foreign workers.

In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is officially over. Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation and cheap genius. Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment. Average is over.
averages  Tom_Friedman  unemployment  middle_class  globalization  automation  value_propositions  economic_stagnation  Tyler_Cowen  the_Great_Decoupling  Pablo_Picasso  cheap_revolution 
january 2012 by jerryking
Apple, America and a Squeezed Middle Class
January 21, 2012 | NYTimes.com | By CHARLES DUHIGG and KEITH BRADSHER.
Apple  middle_class  Outsourcing  China  manufacturers  supply_chains  Tim_Cook 
january 2012 by jerryking
As Public Sector Sheds Jobs, Black Americans Are Hit Hard - NYTimes.com
November 28, 2011 |NYT | By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS.

The central role played by government employment in black communities is hard to overstate. African-Americans in the public sector earn 25 percent more than other black workers, and the jobs have long been regarded as respectable, stable work for college graduates, allowing many to buy homes, send children to private colleges and achieve other markers of middle-class life that were otherwise closed to them.
public_sector  African-Americans  layoffs  middle_class  downward_mobility  college-educated  home_ownership  overrepresentation 
november 2011 by jerryking
Africa's Middle Class Seen Booming, But Risks Remain - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 13, 2011| WSJ | By PATRICK MCGROARTY. Fast Economic Growth Projected to Lift Continent but Risks Remain, Report Says.
Africa  middle_class  risks  south-south 
october 2011 by jerryking
Is Marriage for White People? — By Ralph Richard Banks — Book Review - NYTimes.com
September 16, 2011 | NYT | By IMANI PERRY

"...The impediments to marriage for black people are daunting and
multifaceted.

Black women significantly outperform black men in high school and
college. As a result, the black middle class is disproportionately
female and the black poor are disproportionately male, and the gap is
widening. Extraordinary rates of incarceration for black men, and the
long-term effects of a prison record on employment, exacerbate this
situation. Banks refers to studies indicating that “in evaluating
potential mates, economic stability still matters more for
African-Americans than for other groups.” Yet they may never find that
security, and therefore never marry.

Moreover, the benefits of marriage don’t accrue as readily for
African-Americans as for other groups precisely because of their
economic instability."
marriage  relationships  African-Americans  book_reviews  outperformance  women  racial_disparities  mass_incarceration  unemployment  stigmatization  middle_class  disproportionality 
september 2011 by jerryking
Unknown Cities in Brazil and Russia Are Getting Richer -
September 30, 2010! BusinessWeek ! By Mehul Srivastava. A
growing middle class in lesser-known towns presents a huge opportunity
to marketers. Most multinationals build a large presence in the top 10
cities of emerging-market countries such as Brazil, China, India, and
Indonesia, so Rio, Shanghai, Delhi, and Jakarta get their
state-of-the-art autos, cell phones, and retailers. Yet this focus comes
at a cost. In a survey of multinationals, BCG found that most of the
companies ignored cities with smaller populations and less apparent
potential. Cities such as Aurangabad, Curitiba in Brazil, Xiaochang in
China, and Yekaterinburg in Russia get lumped together, BCG found, with
the mostly poor, rural populations that few companies, with notable
exceptions such as Unilever (UL), are eager to pursue. "The next billion
consumers, who are far above the poverty line, have high consuming
power, and they are just not coming onto people's radars," says Sharad
Verma, a partner at BCG.
BRIC  middle_class  inland  affluence  internal_migration  cities  BCG  unknowns 
october 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - The New Untouchables - NYTimes.com
October 20, 2009 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. The
economic downturn has coincided with an education breakdown on Main
Street — precisely as a 'Flat World' enables so many more people to
compete with Americans for middle-class jobs. "“... education failure is
the largest contributing factor to the decline of the American worker’s
global competitiveness, particularly at the middle and bottom ranges,”
"...those [professionals] who have the ability to imagine new services,
new opportunities and new ways to recruit work [will be] retained. They
are the new untouchables." .......A Washington lawyer friend recently told me about layoffs at his firm. I asked him who was getting axed. He said it was interesting: lawyers who were used to just showing up and having work handed to them were the first to go because with the bursting of the credit bubble, that flow of work just isn’t there. But those who have the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work were being retained. They are the new untouchables...........Survival means actively engaged in
developing new ideas or recombining existing technologies or thinking
about what new customers want......those who have some interpersonal skills — the salesperson who can deal with customers face to face or the home contractor who can help you redesign your kitchen without going to an architect — have done well.”.....Just being an average accountant, lawyer, contractor or assembly-line worker is not the ticket it used to be. As Daniel Pink, the author of “A Whole New Mind,” puts it: In a world in which more and more average work can be done by a computer, robot or talented foreigner faster, cheaper “and just as well,” vanilla doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s all about what chocolate sauce, whipped cream and cherry you can put on top. So our schools have a doubly hard task now — not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.
interpersonal_skills  Tom_Friedman  Daniel_Pink  schools  education  individual_initiative  decline  non-routine  Managing_Your_Career  imagination  skills  special_sauce  idea_generation  Flat_World  unarticulated_desires  middle_class  new_thinking  intrinsically_motivated  winner-take-all  entrepreneurship  innovation  creativity  Lawrence_Katz  mental_dexterity 
october 2009 by jerryking

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