class divide

16 Stories

Record Numbers Call Themselves 'Lower Class'

Wealth gap may help explain phenomenon

(Newser) - For four decades, pollsters have been asking Americans to identify themselves by class; typically, most call themselves middle- or working-class. In the latest edition of the survey, however, a record 8.4% have dubbed themselves lower-class, the Los Angeles Times reports. That's a change from previous economic downturns, when... More »

Urban Sprawl Is Literally Stranding the Poor

Paul Krugman thinks social mobility is suffering, poor stay poor

(Newser) - Detroit spent the last decade spiraling into bankruptcy, while Atlanta spent it growing like mad. But the two cities have something in common: "Both are places where the American dream seems to be dying," writes Paul Krugman at the New York Times . Social mobility is low in both... More »

Who Makes It to Middle Class? The Advantaged

Two in three Americans get there, but it's a lot more likely if you're born in it

(Newser) - Roughly two out of every three Americans wind up in the middle class or higher by the time they turn 40, but it's a lot more likely to happen if you're born into wealthy family to begin with, according to a new study from the Brookings Institution. Children... More »

Nothing's Wrong With the 'Other America'

The poor aren't fundamentally flawed, they're just broke: Ehrenreich

(Newser) - Exactly 50 years ago a bestselling book entitled The Other America helped America "discover" the existence of an "invisible" class of poor Americans. It was an important book, but it contained a disastrous idea, writes author Barbara Ehrenreich in Salon : It envisioned the poor as essentially different, caught... More »

Worst Liars and Cheaters: Rich People

And they'll cut you off in traffic, for that matter

(Newser) - You might think that people who are comparatively well off would be less likely to lie and cheat to make a buck, but you'd be wrong. A series of experiments from UC Berkeley doctoral student Paul Piff found that time and again upper-class people were willing to do shady... More »

We Don't Hate the Rich, We Hate the 'New Upper Class'

Charles Murray says this powerful group calls the shots in the US

(Newser) - Americans see tensions over income inequality growing, but Charles Murray thinks they've got it all wrong. "Income inequality isn't really the problem," the libertarian author writes in Time . "A new upper class is the problem," a group denoted not by its wealth, but by... More »

Americans See 'Strong' Class Warfare

It now out-ranks racial, generational conflict

(Newser) - The number of Americans who think the rich and poor are in serious conflict has exploded over the past two years, with a whopping 67% now rating conflicts between the classes as either "strong" or "very strong," according to a new Pew Research poll —a 19-point... More »

No Katrina Recovery for Lower Class

Government efforts have helped the affluent

(Newser) - The government has poured $143 billion into Hurricane Katrina recovery, but most of that money has gone to the city’s predominantly white middle and upper classes, the Washington Post reports. A federal judge this month declared that Louisiana’s system for distributing funds to property owners to rebuild discriminated... More »

Thanks for the Generosity, You 'Robber Barons'

The rich-poor divide is getting even worse

(Newser) - It's "admirable" that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett got their billionaire buddies to pledge huge sums to charity, writes Robert Reich at Salon . Not so admirable is "what this reveals about how much money is now concentrated in so few hands," he says. "It’s more... More »

Generation of Rich Brats Sparks Chinese Anger

Lethal car accident, lenient sentence trigger wave of Internet outrage

(Newser) - Public outrage aimed at new generation of elites is widening class divisions as China prepares to mark 60 years of Communist rule, the Wall Street Journal reports. The sons and daughters of those who got rich after the economic reforms of the early '80s are widely seen as being above... More »

Wedding Military Means Divorcing Manhattan

High society is into service, Army wife says, but not armed forces

(Newser) - When her Manhattan colleagues found out Chloe Kamarck was marrying an Army officer, she got a lot of questions: “But why? So he supports the war? Is he a Republican?” This generation is into service—the recession has driven many to the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and the... More »

'Ecobarriers' Wall In Rio's Poor

(Newser) - They’re called “ecobarriers,” but critics say the walls being erected in Rio de Janeiro aren’t there to protect trees. The 10-foot cinderblock walls are supposed to prevent Rio’s favelas, or shantytowns, from expanding into the rainforest, but critics say they’re really a means of... More »

Berlin Protesters Torch Luxury Cars

Sardonically named 'BMW' claims responsibility for arsons

(Newser) - As the financial crisis inflames class tensions, economic protest in Berlin has taken the form of arson attacks on luxury cars, Bloomberg reports. Activists have torched more than 2 dozen vehicles this year, and the pace is increasing. A group puckishly calling itself “BMW”—an acronym for "... More »

Palin: Media Gives Kennedy Free Pass

Social status made for her own tough ride, says ex-candidate, also ripping Fey, Couric

(Newser) - Sarah Palin says the media is lobbing softballs at Caroline Kennedy because of the would-be New York senator’s class status, Politico reports. The Republican governor of Alaska speculates that “there is a class issue here also that was such a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy,”... More »

The Rich Get Richer, Work Harder

Wealth disparities are what's keeping big earners sweating

(Newser) - America’s higher earners are working harder all the time —but it’s not because of PDAs and laptops. It’s because of a fear of being “left behind” as wealth gaps widen among the upper classes, writes Dalton Conley in the New York Times. “Rising inequality... More »

Mexicans Chill on Free Rink

Populist mayor gives city residents world's biggest ice rink

(Newser) - People in sun-drenched Mexico City are waiting as long as six hours for the thrilling opportunity to skate on what officials say is the world's biggest ice rink—at no charge, the Washington Post reports. The free 34,000-square-foot rink—with free skate rental—highlights the class divide in Mexico,... More »

16 Stories