February 26, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA'S middle class has withered over the past four decades, creating challenges for a city facing budget cuts and a need not to shortchange its burgeoning poor, a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts finds. In 2010, 42 percent of the city's adults were middle class, compared with 59 percent in 1970 - a time when Philadelphia had 400,000 more residents. Philadelphia "used to consist of entirely majority middle-class neighborhoods,re" but that is no longer the case, Larry Eichel, project director of Pew's Philadelphia Research Initiative, said yesterday.
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?"
February 26, 2014 |
The Philadelphia middle class, a backbone of economic vitality that once made up the majority of residents in most of the city's neighborhoods, has declined in steep numbers since 1970, from 59 percent to 42 percent by 2010, according to a report released Monday, the first of its kind. The precipitous decline of adults within this long-celebrated class occurred widely across the city and most sharply before 2000, sparing only chunks of Far Northeast Philadelphia and Roxborough and smaller pockets elsewhere.
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.
February 27, 2014
AT FIRST glance, the latest Pew report on Philadelphia's middle class looks like mostly cloud and little silver lining. For starters, as the report notes, the number of people who could be considered middle class fell from 59 percent of the population in 1970 to 43 percent today. For another - as the maps that ran with the report show - while most Philadelphia neighborhoods were middle-class blue in 1970, only a relative handful remain blue today. But a second look at the report tells a different and certainly more hopeful story.
January 30, 2015 |
PRESIDENT OBAMA flew into Philadelphia last night to invigorate a diminished House Democratic caucus and sketch out the party's national agenda for the next two years. Speaking to a somewhat rowdy crew at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel, on Dock Street below 2nd, Obama called for new infrastructure investment and middle-class tax relief, closing special-interest tax loopholes and ending the across-the-board "sequestration" cuts in effect since 2013. "The ground that middle-class families lost over the last 30 years still has to be made up, and the trends that have squeezed middle-class families - and those striving to get into the middle class - those trends have not been fully reversed," Obama said.
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.