June 8, 1992 |
He was picked up and brought in for questioning after a pollster provided a tip to the Media Patrol. They shoved him into a chair in an unused studio, aimed a bright light at his face, and a member of the Media Patrol said: "We have received a report that in response to a question from a pollster as to the level of your discontent, you said: 'I am quite happy.' Is that true?" The man smiled and said: "Yes, that's what I said, all right. " The interrogator glared at him, then barked: "Why did you say that?"
November 25, 1990 |
The economic slide of the 1990s is hitting middle-class America after a decade in which it ran harder to stay in place. That fact of economic life is causing considerable political discomfort for President Bush and the Republicans, as a growing body of research tarnishes the GOP's golden image of the '80s. Government statistics show that middle class has come to mean "middle crunch. " Widespread gains in prosperity were not to be had in the '80s. It was a decade in which middle-class families sent more workers into the labor force to maintain living standards, while the richest Americans accumulated more wealth than ever.
August 18, 1987 |
The Houston Housing Authority has been buying up foreclosed homes and renting them to low-income families. The novel program is, first of all, a clever attempt to reap some good from Houston's economic woes. In very few cities would it make economic sense to purchase middle-class housing for the use of the poor. In economically depressed Houston, the units are a bargain. Second, the initiative avoids one of the problems that has plagued public housing: the tendency to turn public-housing complexes into concentrations of failure.
October 27, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - The richest 1 percent of Americans have been getting far richer over the last three decades while the middle class and poor have seen their after-tax household income only crawl up in comparison, according to a government study. After-tax income for the top 1 percent of U.S. households almost tripled, up 275 percent, from 1979 to 2007, the Congressional Budget Office found. For people in the middle of the economic scale, after-tax income grew by just 40 percent. Those at the bottom experienced an 18 percent increase.
December 3, 2012 |
PRESIDENT OBAMA, during a visit to Montgomery County on Friday, argued that allowing taxes to rise for the middle class would amount to a "lump of coal" for Christmas, while in Washington, Republican House Speaker John Boehner declared that negotiations to surmount a looming fiscal cliff are going "almost nowhere. " Obama took his case to an audience in Hatfield, saying that a middle-class tax increase would present a "Scrooge Christmas" for millions of wage-earners. Speaking at a toy factory, Obama said Republicans should extend existing Bush-era tax rates for households earning $250,000 or less and allow increases to kick in for the more well-off.
February 18, 2008 |
The middle class in poor countries is the fastest-growing segment of the world's population. While the planet's total population will increase by about a billion people in the next 12 years, the ranks of the middle class will swell by as many as 1.8 billion - 600 million just in China. This is, of course, good news - but it also means humanity will have to adjust to unprecedented pressures. The rise of a new global middle class is already having repercussions. Homi Kharas, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, estimates that by 2020, the world's middle class will grow to include 52 percent of the total population, up from 30 percent.
May 6, 2005 |
Paul Krugman is a columnist for the New York Times By now, every journalist should know that you have to check out - carefully - any scheme coming from the White House. You can't just accept the administration's version of what it's doing. Remember: These are the people who named a big giveaway to logging interests "Healthy Forests. " Sure enough, a close look at President Bush's proposal for "progressive-price indexing" of Social Security puts the lie to claims that it's a plan to increase benefits for the poor and cut them for the wealthy.
March 11, 1993
Usually, when we think of fads, we think of something like pet rocks or coonskin hats, things that ultimately don't matter. There are fads that do matter. Like ruining the lives of working people, a fad of recent years. If you were a CEO who wasn't "downsizing," "outsourcing," "restructuring" or any of the other euphemisms for laying off workers, all the other big shots would shout "nyah, nyah" at you. It could be uncomfortable to go the the Rich Guys Club and feel an outcast because you kept together a happy, productive workforce.
October 19, 1986 |
There has been a great hullabaloo recently about an idea called "the vanishing middle class. " Simply put, the argument goes roughly like this: There are more rich people than before and the rich are getting even richer - and there are more poor people and the poor are getting even poorer. Therefore, it is said that the middle class is vanishing, shrinking, disappearing, squeezed or stagnating. You may choose your own adjective because no expert has ever come up with a definition of "middle class" that other experts will agree upon.
March 2, 2009 |
More than half of all Americans - about 160 million - think of themselves as middle class, according to a 2008 Pew survey. But recent events suggest officials in Washington have a much narrower definition, encompassing only the 16 million workers represented by a union. This definition gives new perspective to last week's first meeting of the Middle Class Working Families Task Force in Philadelphia. Headed by Vice President Biden, the task force certainly seems to be a high priority for the White House.