November 19, 2008
Downward Mobility: The Formerly Middle Class
UPDATE: my brief response to "The Formerly Middle Class" was published today as a letter to the editor.
The popular press (and to some degree academics as well) likes to focus on the middle class squeeze, see House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform page on the Middle Class Squeeze here, which when combined with the economic downturn will likely create a new category of people according to recent op-ed -- David Brooks, "The Formerly Middle Class," New York Times, Nov. 17, 2008 -- who he thinks are likely to generate the "next big social movement." An earlier op-ed has a similar focus, though it does so by focusing on particular affected individuals: Bob Herbert, "Climbing Down the Ladder," Oct. 17, 2008. The Herbert op-ed inspired a great letter to the editor by Amy Laiken, who noted: "While not trivializing the plight of the women profiled by Mr. Hebert, it is worth noting that there has not been enough public discussion of the problems of the millions of lower income who cannot climb up the ladder to the middle class . . ." Hopefully Daschle's appointment will be able to help.
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