working class

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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 »

Why Working Class Americans Vote Republican

Gary Younge investigates a conundrum that vexes liberals

(Newser) - Nothing frustrates liberals more than poor Republicans. They are, after all, generally voting against their economic self-interests—government dependency is consistently higher in right-leaning counties. "To many liberals, these are turkeys voting for Christmas or lemmings off for a leap," writes Guardian columnist Gary Younge, who set out... More »

In Today's America, Death of a Salesman Is Dead

Because we have no middle class to celebrate

(Newser) - Philip Seymour Hoffman gives a bravura performance in the new revival of Death of a Salesman, but as he watched, Lee Siegel wondered "why the play was revived at all," he writes in the New York Times . After all, Salesman is about the delusions of the middle class,... More »

Minimum Wage in SF Now Tops $10

That's nearly $3 above the wage set by the federal government

(Newser) - In San Francisco, the minimum wage is getting a little bit less minimal. Come Jan. 1, the city will be the first in the nation to require that employers pay employees more than $10 per hour, the AP reports. "It's a psychological boost," says one city dweller... More »

Investors, Not Laborers, Are Now the Heroes

EJ Dionne: Today should really be called 'Capital Day'

(Newser) - "Labor Day" is a misnomer, and we're the ones who have made it so, writes EJ Dionne for the Washington Post . Today, and every day in America, we no longer celebrate workers "as the real creators of wealth." We reserve the highest praise for "capital,... More »

We've Made It a Crime to Be Poor

10 years after 'Nickel and Dimed,' author Ehrenreich says things are even worse

(Newser) - A decade after her expose on America's working poor, Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich has a sobering assessment: "Things have gotten much worse, especially since the economic downturn that began in 2008," she writes in Salon . For one thing, the economy was booming around 2000 when she... More »

Battered Middle Class Reports Struggling, Stalling

Those with college educations doing far better than others

(Newser) - The middle class is feeling the pinch. Of the 45% of Americans who consider themselves middle class—a fraction that's pretty much held steady for 4 decades—four in 10 say they’re struggling to remain there, according to a new ABC News poll. The biggest factor: education. Among those... More »

Blue-Collar White Women Shift to Obama

Economic worries overcome key group's reservations about Obama

(Newser) - America's "Jane Sixpacks" are leaning toward the Democratic ticket in growing numbers, the Wall Street Journal reports. White, working-class women voters make up nearly a quarter of the electorate, and polls are finding that the economic crisis is convincing more voters in this vital group to back Barack Obama,... More »

Working Women Leery of Palin

Female solidarity aside, it's the economy, stupid —and Obama's feeling their pain

(Newser) - Working-class women may decide who makes it to the White House, and while Sarah Palin piqued the interest of many undecideds, her gender isn’t enough to override their main concerns over soaring food and gas prices, unaffordable health care, and record-high unemployment. The Los Angeles Times takes the pulse... More »

'Ivy Retardation' Curse of Elites

Inflated self-worth, narrow view of smarts disadvantage of life at top

(Newser) - Its advantages are undeniable, but an elite education can also cause a crippling case of “Ivy retardation,” as William Deresiewicz realized while struggling, despite fluency in several languages, to make small talk with his blue-collar plumber in Boston. “The best and the brightest” develop an inflated sense... More »

To Court Blue-Collar Vote, Light Up

Fellow Nicorette user urges Obama to take up smoking again

(Newser) - Everyone has ideas about how Barack Obama can attract the working-class white voters that eluded him in the primaries. Author Tony Horwitz goes for the throat: Start smoking again. West Virginia and Kentucky, where Hillary Clinton clobbered Obama, lead the nation in cigarette consumption among whites, and lighting up could... More »

George Will Knows the Working Class?

Scribe slams GOP pundit for his stance on 'Bittergate'

(Newser) - George Will knows blue collar America? Probably not, Jonathan Chait writes in the New Republic, but the "fabulously wealthy, bow tie-wearing, pretentious" pundit still blasted Barack Obama for saying rural voters "cling to" firearms and religion. And Will is not alone—US leaders have long treated blue collar... More »

'Screw 'Em,' Hillary Said of Working-Class Whites in '95

She was bemoaning setbacks in South

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton has criticized Barack Obama for talking down to low-income voters, but the Huffington Post digs up a quote from 1995 that appears to offer a different stance. Strategizing on how to win back working-class voters in the South, she told her husband: "Screw 'em. You don't owe... More »

NAFTA Casts Wide Shadow on Ohio Vote

Clinton, Obama look to score points bashing trade pact

(Newser) - As Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battle for votes in Ohio, each pushes a simple theme: NAFTA is bad. Ohio has been hit hard by free trade, which is why Obama reminds voters that Bill Clinton backed NAFTA. And both hopefuls have mined each other's comments for anything that favors... More »

Teamsters Endorse Obama Over Clinton

It's another troubling sign for Hillary and her base

(Newser) - The Teamsters union endorsed Barack Obama today, giving him a chance to make further inroads into Hillary Clinton's base of blue-collar workers. Obama met with Teamsters chief Jim Hoffa today, who afterward gave Obama the backing of the 1.4-million-member union, the Chicago Tribune reports. The move could help in... More »

Blue-Collar Voters Not Sold on Obama

College grads prefer him by 20%; working class goes for Clinton

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s camp has spotted Hillary Clinton’s edge among working class voters, the Chicago Tribune reports. A recent Obama campaign memo said he expects to lose in states where collars are more blue than white. And numbers support the Dem divide: Workers picked Hillary over Obama by 60%... More »

Class Reigns Supreme in Britain

(Newser) - Britain’s Labour Party says a classless society can be a reality in England, but after 10 years in power, their country still feels deeply divided by class. According to a Guardian survey, 89% of Britons felt they were judged by their class, with almost half saying it counted for... More »

Coney Island on Track for Ritzy Makeover

Fans grumble at cyclone-speed gentrification

(Newser) - Landmark Brooklyn amusement park Coney Island is set to undergo a major makeover as an upscale techno-theme park with ritzy retail space and timeshare towers, the Washington Post reports. Thor Equities bought much of the six-block thrill park and officials hope to launch the $1.5B renovation in 18 months—... More »

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