upwardly mobile

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pages: 297 words: 89,206

Social Class in the 21st Century by Mike Savage

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call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clapham omnibus, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, precariat, psychological pricing, The Spirit Level, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, very high income, winner-take-all economy, young professional

Yet, despite the fact that there seems to be a lot of movement into this middle part of the class structure, mobility into the upper echelons and traditionally high-status professions is markedly more difficult. Moreover, even when the upwardly mobile are successful in obtaining a privileged position, they still often fail to amass the very highest levels of economic, cultural and social capital. Those upwardly mobile into the GBCS’s elite category, for example, are paid less, are less well-connected and less engaged in traditionally high-status culture than those from the stable elite echelons; and, when the upwardly mobile do participate, it is less likely to be in the traditionally elite arenas, such as the opera house or après-ski. This might explain why a lingering sense of deficit rooted in those from a lower-status background often underpinned the experiences of the upwardly mobile among those who felt they lacked the requisite cultural and social equipment to belong to the very top – even when, in fact, they had been successful.

Table 6.1 identifies four social groups from which respondents may come, those from the highest-status (senior managerial and traditional professional) occupational backgrounds; those from slightly less high-status backgrounds (middle managerial and modern professional), categorized as short-range upwardly mobile; those from intermediate and technical occupational backgrounds, categorized as mid-range upwardly mobile; and finally those from low-status occupational backgrounds (manual workers and those who have never worked), who are categorized as long-range upwardly mobile. Returning to our mountaineering metaphor, we might view the first of these as having a base camp in the lofty mountain passes, the second group as having base camps well up the valley sides, the third as having a base slightly above the valley bottom, and the final group having to start out from the valley floor.

The size of this difference varies, however. In medicine, average incomes are relatively evenly spread, regardless of social background. It appears that there is only a minor discrepancy between the incomes of doctors according to their social background. Upwardly mobile doctors do not seem to struggle, despite a lower social background, to reach the highest levels of income within their profession. In contrast, there are a comparatively high number of upwardly mobile respondents in academia, but such academics are paid an average of up to £13,000 less than those from more privileged backgrounds. Perhaps the upwardly mobile academics are less likely to work at elite universities where pay tends to be higher. More generally, among lawyers, barristers and judges, CEOs and financial intermediaries, income differences by origin are particularly pronounced.


pages: 255 words: 75,172

Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, full employment, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

Republicans and southern Democrats exploited this new vulnerability among the white working class by appealing to their racial anxiety, epitomized by Nixon’s “silent majority” strategy and Reagan’s very deliberate and often not-so-silent dog-whistle appeals to white working-class voters. As the cultural distance between the hard hats and the activists widened, economic populism became decidedly passé, and cultural and consumer issues rather than labor captivated a burgeoning population of newly credentialed, upwardly mobile professionals. Major new membership groups such as Common Cause and Public Citizen captured the attention of these newly affluent white professionals, who were increasingly alienated from the white working class ideologically and culturally. More and more public activism was aimed at environmental protection, governance reform, and consumer protection. It’s not that these interests were antithetical to the working class.

In the private sector, this kind of exclusion is known as right-to-work, and it has essentially made unionization in right-to-work states exceedingly rare. From Smokestacks to Barbed Wire When America’s great industrial factories were locked up and denuded of equipment, some of our nation’s biggest cities were left with barren stretches of wasteland. What once symbolized productivity and ingenuity would become an anachronistic remnant of blue-collar America, either destined for decay or converted into expensive lofts for a new, upwardly mobile professional class. The pace of job losses was swift, a hard jerking away of people’s livelihoods and dignity, leaving a reverberating pain that would last for decades. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 opened up opportunities for black men to work in the reigning industrial sector of the time, but predominantly in the hardest, lowest-paid jobs—the very jobs that were most susceptible to being replaced by machines.43 As a result, black men experienced more than their fair share of dislocation as a result of deindustrialization.

There are real issues there, but when you compare those issues—doubling or tripling up in an apartment in a hip neighborhood to afford rent, say—to those of a thirty-something working as a cashier with unstable hours, struggling to find and pay for child care, it’s the mom in a crumbling neighborhood who needs much more of our political attention and public concern. And it’s her challenges that are faced by many more Americans than the issues confronting an upwardly mobile urban professional. Unless we can coalesce around the need for a much higher quality of life for the new working class, then anyone who is not truly affluent and upper-class will remain living on a precipice of economic anxiety and insecurity. Why? Because the philosophy that allows employers to schedule their hourly workers week to week, with little advance notice, is the same philosophy that allows employers to expect their salaried workers to be “on” 24/7, responding to emails and taking conference calls that disrupt family and leisure time.

From Satori to Silicon Valley: San Francisco and the American Counterculture by Theodore Roszak

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Buckminster Fuller, germ theory of disease, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet Archive, Marshall McLuhan, megastructure, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, Silicon Valley, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

In its time, persona of ragged independence - or some reasonable facsimile thereof - was a proud and their prominent emblem of cultural disaffiliation blos- soming major in the streets of every city, campus of every minor college and high was a stance that claimed to The "organic", a style purported principled to rejection that be ruled in favor of a return to folk origins and lost traditions. A bit of the rebel, a bit of the noble savage. who assumed the "natural", of antiseptic, upwardly mobile middle-class habits bohemian It have broken irrevocably with the urban-industrial culture world. on the school. Those the identity spoke of themselves as "freaks" and assembled in hastily improvised and 3 ephemeral "tribes" where simple and funky living was the At the Morning Star Ranch rule. the residents called their way of life in Marin, "voluntary primitivism", a design for living beyond both excessive affluence and minimal hygiene.


pages: 879 words: 233,093

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, planetary scale, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, supply-chain management, surplus humans, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, working poor, World Values Survey

From now on, from the beginning of the Christian era, the individual is the point of departure for all coming events, and the new developments are directed toward building up worldly communities of individuals, toward the formation of collectives in the true sense of the word.20 Who were the Christians? The archaeological evidence suggests that the early Christians came neither from the landed gentry nor the impoverished urban and rural poor. Rather, they were drawn from a heterogeneous group of upwardly mobile urbanites—freemen and freedmen—who enjoyed a modicum of status by dint of their skills, education, and newly acquired wealth but who were regarded with disdain and contempt by the traditional aristocracy. Although increasingly important in the commercial life of Rome, these upstarts were systematically barred from advancement into the upper reaches of political and social power by the traditional hereditary elite that that had long enjoyed a lock on Roman rule.

Besides Rome, early Christian associations grew in cities like Philippi, Petra, Gerasa, Beroea, Bostra, Philadelphia, Ephesus, and Corinth. While by modern standards these cities were small, their populations were packed together in dense living spaces, not unlike the urban tenements and slums characteristic of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in London and New York City.23 The preponderance of evidence, then, shows that the early Christian converts came from a relatively small upwardly mobile middle class of free artisans and tradespeople—along with some former slaves—whose education level was high compared to the average Roman.24 While men made up the leadership in the early Pauline Christian movement, women played a contributing role as compared to the Jewish community and other cults and associations. If there is a single striking feature of the early urban Christian communities, it is the emotional intensity, affection, and goodwill among the members.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.30 In one of his last utterances, while bleeding to death on the cross, he pleads with God to forgive his executioners, “for they know not what they do.”31 And finally, for all those who suffered in silence and anguished over an unsure future, Jesus offered the ultimate reward, eternal salvation in the world to come. By being part of an extraordinary story—the birth, life, death, and resurrection of the only son of God—thousands of upwardly mobile Roman middle-class individuals could leap beyond their ambivalent social status and become part of a cosmic narrative that transcended the power even of Caesar. At the same time, their individual, existential search for love, affection, intimacy, and companionship in a highly differentiated and estranged urban environment found an empathic friend in Jesus, who understood their vulnerability and the oppression they suffered and who “felt their pain.”

The Rough Guide to Prague by Humphreys, Rob

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active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, clean water, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peace of Westphalia, sustainable-tourism, trade route, upwardly mobile

It’s an incident which the Allies have always billed as a great success in the otherwise rather dismal seven-year history of the Czech resistance. But, as with all acts of brave resistance during the war, there was a price to be paid. Given that the reprisals meted out to the Czech population were entirely predictable, it remains a controversial, if not suicidal, decision to have made. The target, Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich, was a talented and upwardly mobile anti-Semite (despite rumours that he was partly Jewish himself), a great organizer and a skilful concert violinist. He was a late recruit to the Nazi Party, signing up in 1931, after having been dismissed from the German Navy for dishonourable conduct towards a woman. However, he swiftly rose through the ranks of the SS to become second in command after Himmler, and in the autumn of 1941 he was appointed Reichsprotektor of the puppet state of Böhmen und Mähren – effectively, the most powerful man in the Czech Lands.

NOV É M Ě S TO | Ke Karlovu Vila Amerika (Muzeum Antonína Dvořáka) A more rewarding place of pilgrimage, set back from the road behind wroughtiron gates, is the salmon-pink Vila Amerika (April–Sept Tues, Wed & Fri–Sun 10am–1.30pm & 2–5pm, Thurs 11am–3.30pm & 4–7pm; Oct–March Tues–Sun 10am–1.30pm & 2–5pm; 50Kč; W www.nm.cz), now a museum devoted to Czech composer, Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904), who lived for a time on nearby Žitná. Even if you’ve no interest in Dvořák, the house itself is a delight, designed for the upwardly mobile Count Michna as a minuscule Baroque summer palace around 1720 and one of Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer’s most successful secular works. Easily the most famous of all Czech composers, for many years Dvořák had to play second fiddle to Smetana in the orchestra at the Národní divadlo, where Smetana was the conductor. Among the various items of memorabilia are Dvořák’s golden honorary degree gown from Cambridge and some furniture from his Žitná flat.

Hidden in the woods a little higher up the hill there’s also a spectacular, new, curvaceous greenhouse, Fata Morgana (same hours but Tues–Sun only; 120Kč), with butterflies flitting about amid the desert and tropical plants. Fata Morgana, incidentally, means “mirage” in Czech. Dejvice and the northwest suburbs Spread across the hills to the northwest of the city centre are the leafy garden suburbs of Dejvice and neighbouring Střešovice, peppered with fashionable modern villas built in the first half of the twentieth century for the upwardly mobile Prague bourgeoisie and commanding magnificent views across the north of the city. Dejvice is short on conventional sights, but interesting to explore all the same; Střešovice has one compelling attraction, the Müllerova vila, a perfectly restored functionalist house designed by Adolf Loos. Some 4km further west, the valley of Šárka is about as far as you can get from an urban environment without leaving the city.


pages: 268 words: 89,761

Unhealthy societies: the afflictions of inequality by Richard G. Wilkinson

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attribution theory, clean water, correlation coefficient, experimental subject, full employment, fundamental attribution error, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, land reform, means of production, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, upwardly mobile

(Although heights at each age are closely related, people grow at different speeds so that not all short 7 year olds become short adults, nor all tall 7 year olds tall adults.) This important finding forces a fundamental reappraisal of what is going on, and it is all the more important because it has always been clear that height is also very closely related to health. Here the assumed explanation seemed to be that taller people were simply better physical specimens all round. But if tall people were upwardly mobile because everyone was impressed by their physical presence, then their social mobility would have been most closely related to adult height. That it turns out to be more closely related to height in childhood means that adult height is merely a distant reflection of something in childhood which affects both childhood height and future social mobility. The two questions which then arise are: what are the determinants of childhood height?

We can now see not only that height is influenced by psychosocial factors during childhood, but also that these same psychosocial factors are likely to explain the greater occupational success and upward social mobility of taller people. Basically they are taller because they have escaped some of the emotional trauma 200 How society kills and psychological stress (often resulting from family conflict) which other children have suffered, and they are more likely to be upwardly mobile during their working lives because they are in better emotional and psychological shape than shorter people. Their greater emotional security probably means that they fit in better and function better. The use of parental height to control for genetic influences on height is important. Twin studies suggest that in developed societies genes explain a much larger proportion of the differences in height than they do of most other important developmental and health variables.

With the body geared for ‘fight or flight’ less often, more time and resources would have been devoted to the claims of the immune system, growth and tissue repair. Linking the work of Bartley, Montgomery and Power on the 1958 British birth cohort, to that of Sapolsky and his colleagues who have identified some of the most important endocrine and neurological pathways through which psychosocial influences affect health, and linking that to Hayakawa’s study of cognitive ageing in twins, we arrive at a fairly clear indication of why taller people are upwardly mobile, are healthier and live longer. Stress levels early in life (as indicated by things such as family conflict and bed-wetting) reduce growth and affect stress responses throughout much of life. People who were brought up in a less emotionally secure environment as children are likely to suffer higher levels of stress as adults. Their chances of moving up through the occupational hierarchy, their social functioning and their health are damaged by their sense of insecurity and its emotional consequences.


pages: 340 words: 91,387

Stealth of Nations by Robert Neuwirth

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, full employment, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, pirate software, profit motive, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, thinkpad, upwardly mobile

Now, David’s deals are bigger—sometimes $150,000 at a time. He regularly ships full containers back to Nigeria, and, instead of a penny, he gets 2 percent off the top thrown his way by Chinese manufacturers (on a deal worth $150,000, that would be $3,000) and at least an equal amount from his Nigerian clients. With his success, David has moved out of the Sanyuanli hotel he used to occupy. Today he lives in an upwardly mobile neighborhood not far from the Garden Hotel, the city’s premier destination for foreign businesspeople. By Guangzhou standards, he is positively middle-class. Still, David knows that, by comparison with many Nigerian dealers, his operation is extremely small. He’s amazed that anyone would find the business he did in generators to be noteworthy. “There was an opportunity, that’s all,” he said as he sipped a draft beer in the dark and quiet coffee bar/restaurant across the street from the apartment complex where he lives.

Indeed, she might do this every month, if she found styles she really liked that matched an outfit she planned to wear. She would do this even if the expense ate up 10 percent of her monthly salary. By contrast, most Americans balked at paying that much for a bag, and Ethan found that U.S. wholesalers wanted to pay far, far less. (Though the Chinese still typically save a larger percentage of their income than Americans do, the growing number of upwardly mobile Chinese teens and young adults are far more consumerist and willing to spend on certain items than their American counterparts.) Ethan keeps his costs superlow. He has no permits. His firm is not registered. He pays no taxes. Indeed, he doesn’t even have the houkou, or residency permit, required to live in Guangzhou. He runs his design studio and pattern-making shop out of two connected ground-floor apartments in a gated community in Sanyuanli.

But the most surprising aspect of smuggling at Lo Wu is that it goes the other way, too—bringing goods that were made in China back across the border. The back channel exists because, though China is the manufacturing powerhouse of the high-tech global economy, it still has a highly controlled retail market. Though it makes many of the components that go into iPods, iPhones, and laptops, consumers in China often don’t have the opportunity to buy these high-tech devices. For instance, with the growth of an increasingly upwardly mobile middle class, the demand for smartphones—high-tech mobiles that can browse the Web and shoot video, among other things—has grown in China. But, until recently, the best smartphones weren’t available. Smugglers came to the rescue, and police have uncovered tunnels under the Sham Chun where products moved across the border with no control. Another aspect of Hong Kong–to–China smuggling involves laptop computers.


pages: 440 words: 108,137

The Meritocracy Myth by Stephen J. McNamee

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, collective bargaining, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, estate planning, failed state, fixed income, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, job automation, joint-stock company, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, occupational segregation, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, prediction markets, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, school choice, Scientific racism, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, white flight, young professional

Class endogamy through education can occur in two ways. One way is that those of the same social-class background (class of origin) are more likely to go to the same kinds of schools and have the same levels of educational attainment. A second way is that those who are from lower social-class origins who are upwardly mobile are more likely to end up in educational and work settings that increase the prospect of marrying someone from a higher social class of origin compared to those who are not upwardly mobile. Historically, the prospect for upward mobility through marriage has been greater for women than men. In what might be referred to as the “Cinderella effect,” early research seemed to show that women could sometimes trade attractiveness in a marriage market for access to higher-status men (Elder 1969).

After graduating with a JD magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago, where he practiced law and also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. Through his elite Ivy League education, Barack Obama further enhanced his cultural capital and acquired upper-class credentials. Today, Obama and his family qualify as “marginally rich.” His wife, Michelle, is from a modest family background, having grown up in an African American working-class family in Chicago. She was perhaps even more upwardly mobile than her husband. Michelle Obama graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School and became a successful lawyer in her own right as an attorney for a large Chicago hospital. In December 2007, Money magazine estimated the Obama family’s net worth at $1.3 million. Their 2007 tax return showed a household income of $4.2 million, up from $1.6 million in 2005. The Obamas’ net worth in 2012, as reported by Forbes, is approximately $6 million, slightly down from 2011 (Carlyle 2012).


pages: 251 words: 63,630

The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World by Shaun Rein

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business climate, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, high net worth, illegal immigration, income per capita, indoor plumbing, job-hopping, Maui Hawaii, price stability, quantitative easing, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, trade route, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional

No one wants to be middle class in the American or British sense, where upward socioeconomic mobility is difficult. The few Marks & Spencer stores in China remain devoid of high-spending Chinese consumers. Most shoppers at its flagship Huai Hai Road location in Shanghai are foreigners and older Chinese. Similarly, hypermarket retailer Walmart continues to lose market share to specialty shops in China, because its motto of everyday low prices does not appeal to their main buyers, who tend to be upwardly mobile middle class and wealthy consumers seeking quality and good value rather than a better price. There are always lower prices than Walmart’s at roadside stalls and mom-and-pop stores, so positioning itself this way is not a sustainable, long-term strategy. Walmart’s market share plummeted to 5.5 percent in 2011 from 8 percent three years earlier as organic fruit shops and other specialty stores took market share.

She was so confident of her future career earnings that she did not save any of her $1,000 monthly salary at her entry-level business development job with a consulting company; she spent it all on shopping and eating at restaurants with friends. She had just signed up for a credit card, so instead of having to save up for two months before buying the latest iPhone, she could buy it on credit. She told me she changed her mobile phones every nine months, selling old ones through online e-commerce sites like Taobao. There are millions of young, upwardly mobile women in China just like Melanie. They are showered with love and are taught to believe they can achieve anything. Their parents are doing whatever they can to help them achieve the goals they had for themselves, but were not able to achieve due to the disruption of the Cultural Revolution. And they are optimistic that their personal and professional lives will continue to get better and better and better.


pages: 709 words: 191,147

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

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back-to-the-land, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, Copley Medal, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, full employment, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, joint-stock company, land reform, land tenure, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Like the blue-collar ethnics in northern cities who switched their allegiance to the Republican Party, marginally middle-class southerners hated the “weak, lazy, good-for-nothing ones who whine all month until the relief check comes in.” Seeing themselves as hardworking and self-reliant, the upwardly mobile sons of white trash parents believed, as Smith put it, that “he is responsible for himself and himself alone.” The same self-made man who looked down on white trash others had conveniently chosen to forget that his own parents escaped the tar-paper shack only with the help of the federal government. But now that he had been lifted to respectability, he would pull up the social ladder behind him. So suburban white animosity toward blacks was repeated in the treatment of poor whites. Smith found that the formerly poor southern white and the upwardly mobile immigrant population had something in common: “What everyone has always wanted in this country, what most came here for, was to get away from all those others who smell bad, are sleeping in a shanty, and are eating fatback and are going to loaf tomorrow because there is no job to go to.”

The Ewells, then, are not bit players in our country’s history. Their history starts in the 1500s, not the 1900s. It derives from British colonial policies dedicated to resettling the poor, decisions that conditioned American notions of class and left a permanent imprint. First known as “waste people,” and later “white trash,” marginalized Americans were stigmatized for their inability to be productive, to own property, or to produce healthy and upwardly mobile children—the sense of uplift on which the American dream is predicated. The American solution to poverty and social backwardness was not what we might expect. Well into the twentieth century, expulsion and even sterilization sounded rational to those who wished to reduce the burden of “loser” people on the larger economy. In Americans’ evolving attitudes toward these unwanted people, perhaps the most dramatic language attached to the mid-nineteenth century, when poor rural whites were categorized as somehow less than white, their yellowish skin and diseased and decrepit children marking them as a strange breed apart.

Socialist Michael Harrington, whose book The Other America (1962) was instrumental in shaping policy debates, noted that the poor occupied an “invisible land,” a territory hidden from the social awareness of a middle class now living in safe, segregated suburbs. Harrington discussed the economic “rejects,” whom he identified as expendables, exiled from mainstream America’s pleasingly productive, upwardly mobile workforce. The old English idea of dumping the poor in a distant colonial outpost was not quite buried. Out of sight, out of mind.89 In his consideration of the ill-served underclass, Johnson, too, thought in terms of soil. The poor were, in his words, the “little folks living on little lands who want what we already have.” He had in mind the sharecropper of history who dreamt of acquiring a meaningful tract of land.


pages: 82 words: 21,414

The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working-Class Jobs (Provocations Series) by James Bloodworth

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Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, cognitive dissonance, Downton Abbey, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, income inequality, precariat, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%

Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants to see a more socially mobile Britain … where no matter where you come from … you can get to the top in television, you can get to the top in the judiciary, get to the top of the armed services, get to the top in politics and get to the top in newspapers. Cameron made the same point more succinctly in 2013 when he stated that ‘I believe in equality of opportunity’.5 Both Cameron and his Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne have talked repeatedly about helping ‘strivers’ and those who ‘aspire to get on’. These upwardly mobile flag-bearers of the meritocracy have typically been contrasted with ‘shirkers’ – the Burberry-clad layabouts who supposedly skulk behind net curtains glancing fearfully at their aspirational peers as the latter head off to work. With the creation of a meritocracy in mind, in 2008 the Conservatives released a report entitled ‘Through the Glass Ceiling: A Conservative Agenda for Social Mobility’.


pages: 366 words: 117,875

Arrival City by Doug Saunders

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agricultural Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, call centre, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, guest worker program, Hernando de Soto, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, megacity, microcredit, new economy, pensions crisis, place-making, price mechanism, rent control, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, working-age population

This, as the Los Angeles sociologist Dowell Myers has explained, is actually a result of the American arrival city’s success: Because it is constantly sending its educated second generation into more prosperous neighborhoods and taking in waves of new villagers, in a constantly reiterated cycle of “arrival, upward mobility, and exodus,” the neighborhood itself appears poorer than it really is. “At a given point in time, measurement of residents’ characteristics includes the most disadvantaged newcomers to a city but not the more advantaged ‘graduates’ from the place,” Myers says. “When the influx of disadvantaged newcomers is growing or when the departure of upwardly mobile residents is increasing, the city’s average economic status will decline over time. This leads to an odd paradox: The downward trend for the place is the opposite indicator of the upward trend enjoyed by the residents themselves.”5 This paradox has created a sense among outsiders that the city’s immigrant districts are poorer or more desperate than they really are, which leads to a misunderstanding of the forms of government investment they really need—a serious policy problem in many migrant-based cities around the world.

Something has changed, and it isn’t just the land prices. Kemal and a good number of his customers seem to have done well in the optimistic years of the early twenty-first century, making the slow march into the lower ranks of the middle class in Turkey’s fast-reviving economy. And they weren’t hurt by the recession that began in 2008, whose effects on credit and employment largely bypassed Turkey. These are upwardly mobile arrivals. Nevertheless, they have little sympathy for the idealists who built this place—in fact, most of what they express is scorn. And no wonder: what is visibly, painfully missing here is the assistance of the state, the good schools, transit networks, and social services that allow villagers to turn their children into full-fledged urbanites. Without a significant government role, this laissez-faire development has made the neighborhood a distinctly uncomfortable place for those on the lower rungs.

It has meant that the arrival city is sometimes treated with respect, since the slum-based Shiv Sena has granted land ownership, sewage, and water supplies, and municipal services, such as schools, clinics, and parks, to deserving (Hindu) slums, in ways that sometimes follow the best practices of urban land reform and turn the self-built settlements into truly thriving neighbourhoods. It has also meant that the worst sort of practices—bulldozer slum clearance, high-rise replacement of upwardly mobile arrival cities, complete neglect of the most basic sanitary and health needs, and criminal-gang control of services—have continued, and have even been amplified, in slums that are not part of that privileged group. It is a dangerous, divisive form of politics, one that retains the power to take over the Indian state and one that could have been avoided if governments had kept the needs of the arrival city in mind from the beginning.


pages: 459 words: 123,220

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam

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correlation does not imply causation, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, full employment, George Akerlof, helicopter parent, impulse control, income inequality, index card, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, school choice, Socratic dialogue, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the built environment, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel, white flight, working poor

Simone, Carl, and Desmond Simone, Carl, and their son Desmond greet us at the door to their sprawling home in a lovely suburban neighborhood of manicured lawns and large brick houses, three stylish cars parked in the driveway next to a basketball hoop. Simone, a teacher just returned from work, wears a tweed business suit, while Carl and Desmond lounge on the couch in tennis shirts and shorts. All three are strikingly fit, their words welcoming, their body language relaxed. (Desmond’s two siblings are not at home during our visit.) Simone grew up in an upwardly mobile, middle-class family in the New York City area. Her family started out in Harlem, moved through increasingly comfortable parts of the city, and finally crossed the river to a New Jersey suburb. Her father was recruited out of NYU to become a manager at Merrill Lynch; her mother was a medical secretary. “I don’t think I ever really had a want for anything,” Simone reflects. Her parents were happily married for more than 50 years and became what she describes as “amazing grandparents,” part of a strong extended family.

A 2004 report by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government identified Santa Ana as the Most Troubled City in America because of its high unemployment, high poverty rate, undereducated population, and crowded housing. Latinos in Orange County are more likely to live not only in poverty but also amidst street violence and gang activity. Santa Ana alone is home to 29 street gangs.4 However, many upwardly mobile middle-class Latinos (mostly second- or third-generation descendants of immigrants) are moving rapidly from impoverished Latino areas in Los Angeles and Orange County into formerly white Orange County communities. Between 1990 and 2010, the percentage of Latino residents in each of the county’s predominantly white, affluent cities increased. In north Fullerton, the home of Cal State Fullerton, where the median household income was roughly $100,000 in 2012, the percentage of Latinos more than doubled from about 10 percent to 25 percent.

Quite the contrary, Earl and Patty and Carl and Clara and Ricardo and Marnie were each the first in their families to go to college.3 Roughly half of them came from broken homes. Each has toiled exhaustingly to climb the ladder, and they have invested much time, money, and thought in raising their kids. Their own modest origins—though not destitute—were in some respects closer to the circumstances facing poor kids today than to the circumstances in which their own kids have grown up. These parents were able to be upwardly mobile in part because the era of their youth was relatively favorable to upward mobility. Though it might seem natural to label them “self-made,” in many unnoticed ways they benefited from family and community supports that are nowadays less readily available to kids from such modest backgrounds. They grew up in an era when public education and community support for kids from all backgrounds managed to boost a significant number of people up the ladder—in Bend, Beverly Hills, New York, Port Clinton, and even South Central LA.


pages: 311 words: 130,761

Framing Class: Media Representations of Wealth and Poverty in America by Diana Elizabeth Kendall

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Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, David Brooks, declining real wages, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, ending welfare as we know it, framing effect, Georg Cantor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, haute couture, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, lump of labour, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working poor

Betty Crocker, a fictitious middle-class woman, became the model of the ideal homemaker, even if her store-bought mixes were not as tasty as the madefrom-scratch variety. The image of Betty Crocker personified hearth and home, suggesting the importance of family values and supporting the positive role of the homemaker who performed kitchen magic for the benefit of her family. Over the years, the media generally have supported the American Dream and encouraged their audiences to view themselves as upwardly mobile. The 1935 New York Times book review quoted above, for example, describes what the reviewer believed to be the ultimate aspiration of members of the U.S. middle class: In the United States there is an individualist tradition, a belief in progress, which has made most men unwilling to accept the label of “worker” for more than a short time. One does not need to be a sociologist to know that Americans as a lot live in hope of a lucky break which will place them or their children on Park Avenue.

I Love Lucy serves as a classic example of a show that seeks to depict women’s tension when torn between remaining a housewife and pursuing a career. In numerous episodes, Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) attempts to break into show business while her husband, Ricky (Desi Arnaz), a Cuban American bandleader, attempts to keep her at home, a story line that becomes the show’s staple plot. As the series progresses, the Ricardos not only have a child but become upwardly mobile, transforming themselves from a struggling, lower-middleclass family in a New York City apartment into a solid (although slightly inane) suburban family that lives in a well-appointed country home in Connecticut. The story lines in I Love Lucy frequently involve issues such as home economy, child rearing, and postdating checks; however, the undercurrent of activity often questions what constitutes family values and a woman’s “appropriate” role in the family.

EFFECTS OF MEDIA FRAMING ABOUT THE MIDDLE CLASS When I began my research into how the media frame news articles and television entertainment story lines about the middle class, I assumed that 9781442202238.print.indb 205 2/10/11 10:47 AM 206 Chapter 6 I would primarily find data to support a representation of the middle class as “us”—the vast category into which almost everyone in the United States supposedly fits. I also expected that the media would focus on positive attributes of the middle class, such as people’s values and lifestyles. Based on the popularity of books like Brooks’s Bobos in Paradise and Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class, I anticipated depictions of the middle class as “in charge” and upwardly mobile. Instead, I found that although some journalists and television writers extol the virtues of this group, many others focus on the constant peril it faces, and they have done so for more than 150 years. This type of framing has become more prevalent given the economic climate of the United States in the early twenty-first century, and even more stories are found in all forms social networking and mainstream media.


pages: 384 words: 89,250

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade

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Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, women in the workforce

He chose Great Neck because it was well away (seventeen miles) from the hustle and bustle of his Manhattan apartment. After that firs internment, Ben wanted a home with the ample space and privacy he had dreamed about as a boy. Like many other upwardly mobile Americans of the 1930s, he was drawn to the openness and seclusion of Wright’s Usonian homes, and it is not difficul to imagine why. Alfred Levitt paid $10,000 to observe Wright’s construction of the Rehbuhn home. He knew that open-plan Usonian houses would be popular with the same upwardly mobile second-generation families who had bought the two hundred homes in Strathmore-at-Manhasset that the Levitts had built in 1934. But the ideas Alfred took away from Great Neck allowed him—ten years later—to design even simpler houses for the company’s veteran and working-class clientele.


pages: 309 words: 91,581

The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It by Timothy Noah

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autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, Branko Milanovic, call centre, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Gini coefficient, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, manufacturing employment, moral hazard, oil shock, pattern recognition, performance metric, positional goods, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, upwardly mobile, very high income, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War

Climbing the ladder is not impossible, but neither is it as common as it was during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when Horatio Alger and James Truslow Adams formulated notions about American opportunity that persist today. In the national discussion about income inequality that grew out of the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests, there were inklings that this message was starting to break through. It was even mentioned in the GOP presidential debates that the United States had become less upwardly mobile than Europe.2 But when Welch gave his lecture, word of this development had not yet reached him. He claimed that “if there is a consensus” about intergenerational mobility in the United States, “it is that opportunities abound, much more than, say, three decades ago.” Echoing this theme, Representative Paul Ryan (a Republican from Wisconsin) gave a speech in October 2011 that contrasted America’s “ladder of opportunity” with a Europe in which “top-heavy welfare states have replaced the traditional aristocracies, and masses of the long-term unemployed are locked into the new lower class.”

My source for historical median income data here and in most instances throughout this book is the Census Bureau’s Web page for historical income tables at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/household/index.html. It is possible to argue that the black/white wage gap grew worse during the past three decades, for instance, by factoring in blacks’ higher incarceration rate and lower participation in the job market. And as we saw in chapter 2, blacks are less upwardly mobile than whites. But the Great Divergence is a phenomenon that’s typically measured according to median household or family income, and by those measures the black/white wage gap is virtually unchanged. 3. Some people prefer to compare median weekly incomes because women are more likely to take time off over the course of the year. But weekly incomes followed a near-identical trend. Among part-time workers, women now enjoy a higher median weekly income than men.


pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

At the same time, a critique of inequality has also been ubiquitous, growing louder during some periods (the Depression years, for example) and more muted in others. Cyclically, the topic of inequality in the United States has emerged again in the twenty-first century. The New York Times in 2005 ran a series of articles on class, pointing out for its readership that, contrary to popular belief, the United States is not the most upwardly mobile country in the world.9 A number of recent books question the notion that deregulation, budget cuts to safety nets, free trade promotion, and privatization have promoted growth to benefit all.10 Despite its length and serious subject matter, economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014) was widely read and reviewed. Historian Steven Fraser’s Age of Acquiescence (2015) compared the modern American public unfavorably with Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, who were not afraid to call out class warfare against the working poor when they saw it.11 Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s documentary Inequality for All (2013) reached a wide audience, with an accessible message: the prosperity of the United States hinges on the middle class having an income to spend.

Restrictive covenants and social norms among real estate agents blocked African American movement into “white areas.” Blue-collar white workers who had their own modest homes saw any black movement into these neighborhoods as detrimental to their property values.19 Even when African Americans could get their mortgages guaranteed by the federal government, as with GI Bill–entitled veterans, banks were reluctant to extend credit. The upwardly mobile black middle class pushed the boundaries of urban settlement, leaving behind the poorest black people concentrated in areas that then became neglected ghettoes. The construction of highways, and “urban renewal” without replacement of destroyed housing, left formerly prosperous black neighborhoods disconnected and devastated; evicted residents had nowhere to live. Public housing was also racially segregated, and needy white families were placed into public housing more rapidly than were black families.20 The drive for racial equality in the 1950s focused on the legal and social realms rather than the economic realm.


pages: 598 words: 140,612

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser

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affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, European colonialism, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, global village, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Home mortgage interest deduction, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job-hopping, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

They came north to experience freedom and pursue prosperity, but when they arrived, they found color barriers that, while less obvious than those in the South, could still be terrible. Just like building a factory, enacting a law has fixed costs, so Northern racists didn’t bother to enact laws when there were only a handful of urban blacks, but as their numbers increased, so did discriminatory legislation, and Northern cities increasingly found ways to isolate their growing African-American populations. George W. F. McMechen would seem to be the ultimate upwardly mobile African American at the start of the last century. He graduated from Morgan College and Yale Law School and came to Baltimore, where he formed a successful legal practice with another African American, W. Ashbie Hawkins. McMechen wanted to live in one of Baltimore’s more affluent neighborhoods, which were in those days overwhelmingly white. In 1910, Hawkins bought a house at 1834 McCulloh Street and leased it to McMechen.

Ten years later, in New York City, a powerful coalition of blacks, Jews, and other ethnicities pioneered the nation’s first fair-housing law that banned discrimination on the basis of religion or race in private dwellings. Other areas followed New York’s lead, and after another ten years, a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which barred discrimination in all American housing. These legal triumphs made it possible for upwardly mobile African Americans to leave the ghetto and to move to previously all-white neighborhoods. Between 1970 and 2000, segregation declined almost everywhere in America, primarily because formerly lily-white areas acquired a few mostly well-off African Americans. Between 1970 and 1990, the segregation level of African-American college graduates declined by about 25 percent, while the segregation level of high school dropouts declined by less than 10 percent.


pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

The Official Sloane Ranger Diary, published in 1983, contains multiple references to ‘noovos’ (nouveau rich), but no yuppies. By the end of 1984, the word ‘noovo’ had disappeared, elbowed out by an American import, which was originally short for ‘young urban professionals’ and used to describe those who backed Senator Gary Hart against the more conservative Walter Mondale in the contest for the Democrat nomination in the 1984 presidential election. The Americans had a separate acronym ‘yumpie’, meaning young and upwardly mobile, but only ‘yuppie’ crossed the Atlantic, taking on both meanings. It was so popular that it spawned other new acronyms, such as ‘dinkies’, meaning ‘double income, no kids’, and ‘nimbies’, short for ‘not in my backyard’, which applied to homeowners who accepted in principle the need to build roads, houses, shopping centres, but not near their properties. The sociologist Laurie Taylor noted in 1985: The pressure to categorize yourself has become obsessive.

Filofax was one of the characteristic 1980s toys and gadgets that advertised that their owners were busy, go-ahead people. Peter York wrote: ‘From 1985 onwards, we began to get more and more obsessed with the toys of the age – mobile phones, in-car faxes, Sony Walkmen and tiny TVs, lap-top computers – because they said that we were well-heeled busy people, people whose time was in short supply.’32 These toys included the Amstrad computer, which advertised that its owner was busy and upwardly mobile. Soon, Britain was welcoming the American expression ‘quality time’, which is what exceptionally busy parents reputedly set aside for their children. This phrase, seized upon by working mothers or two-income couples who felt vulnerable to the charge that they were allowing their children to grow up as strangers, had been in use among upper middle-class Americans since the late 1970s. However, even in 1986 it was heard rarely enough in the UK for the Guardian to report that the ‘latest in tooth-gritting New York terminology is the phrase Quality Time, as in “I’m spending with my kids at the weekend” – that is, as opposed to Quantity Time, which is what stay-at-home housewives give their children’.33 By 1987, it was no longer necessary to go to New York to hear the phrase; it had infiltrated the English language, at least in the metropolis.


pages: 525 words: 153,356

The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 by Selina Todd

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call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, manufacturing employment, New Urbanism, Red Clydeside, rent control, rising living standards, strikebreaker, The Spirit Level, unemployed young men, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, young professional

The few who managed to climb the social ladder, like Forster herself, also played a pivotal role. They did not look like their parents and they led very different sorts of lives – to many journalists and politicians they symbolized a prosperous, meritocratic society in which working-class people could play significant roles. If a generation of teenagers played an important part in this transformation, so too did a small number of upwardly mobile writers, actors, journalists and television entrepreneurs. They brought working-class heroes of the post-war generation to an audience of thousands, and at times millions, of ordinary people. They created ‘angry young men’ like Joe Lampton in Room at the Top and Billy Fisher in Billy Liar, and Coronation Street’s duffel-coated Ken Barlow, whose Oxford degree and frequent fits of pique distinguished him from the other characters on Britain’s most successful soap opera.

‘I don’t think the north was so much ignored as patronized,’ she said.14 In 1961 Tony Richardson brought A Taste of Honey to the big screen, and sided with Shelagh Delaney against the powerful production company who wanted to use Audrey Hepburn as the lead. Richardson and Delaney successfully argued that an ‘unknown’ would do a better job and a nineteen-year-old Liverpudlian, Rita Tushingham, got the part.15 A small but smart coterie of upwardly mobile journalists and writers assiduously promoted these working-class heroes. In The Uses of Literacy Richard Hoggart suggested that working-class communities championed values that Britain was in danger of losing: neighbourliness, mutual help, sincerity and integrity.16 Hunter Davies was a generation younger than Hoggart, and preferred to promote working-class pioneers of change. In 1964 Davies, who hailed from a working-class home in Carlisle, was a journalist on the Sunday Times.

Trend Commandments: Trading for Exceptional Returns by Michael W. Covel

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Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, commodity trading advisor, correlation coefficient, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, family office, full employment, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market microstructure, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Nick Leeson, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Sharpe ratio, systematic trading, the scientific method, transaction costs, tulip mania, upwardly mobile, Y2K

The corporate quarterly earnings “seasons” are attempts to push up stocks by slicing and dicing statistics to portray companies in their best possible light. 106 Tre n d C o m m a n d m e n t s Similarly, each time an administration changes the government, watch closely how the quarterly and monthly labor and GDP statistics change and are recalibrated to portray the incumbent political party in the best possible light. Quarterly measure and benchmarks are not behind trend following fortunes. Trend following in its purest form is about absolute returns—making the most money possible while not tied to some random calendar date. I know this all might seem pedantic, but look at how much of our economy is tied to this backward way of thinking. In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile and the rest of us are f***ed until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. We owe that to ourselves and our crippled self-image as something better than a nation of panicked sheep.3 This page intentionally left blank Life is tough. Wear a cup.1 Haters Big events allow huge money to change hands and that often brings public whinings and floggings.


pages: 266 words: 67,272

Fun Inc. by Tom Chatfield

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Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, credit crunch, game design, invention of writing, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, upwardly mobile

Other rivals to Sega and Nintendo had come and gone, including a belated and ill-advised attempt to re-enter the games console market from Atari. But the Sony PlayStation was different. Sleek, grey, expensively marketed and blisteringly powerful, it offered CD-quality sounds and gorgeous graphics at a heavily subsidized low price. It was something more than a must-have toy for teenagers: a desirable consumer product for young, upwardly mobile adults, complete with soundtracks designed for its launch titles by some of the hottest DJs on the global club scene. The PlayStation was a bet on the claim that Stephen Russell had made three decades previously – that games were for everyone, and that their natural place was at the forefront of society’s relationship with technology. Astonishingly to most observers, Sony’s gamble was rewarded by its transformation into the world’s most influential games company, with the PlayStation going on to sell 102 million units during its lifetime, and its successor enjoying still greater success.


pages: 189 words: 64,571

The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager

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asset allocation, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, index card, job satisfaction, late fees, mortgage debt, new economy, payday loans, Skype, upwardly mobile, Zipcar

In fact, it’s kind of cool and rather pretty in its own Hobbit-treehouse-ish way. It’s just that it’s a house designed to please the people who live in it, and not necessarily the people who live next door to it. According to Jacquie, it’s also the couple’s personal attempt to help “stem the seemingly inevitable shift of the neighborhood from a cozy place, filled with humble homes” into one of “investment (properties) for upwardly mobile but of course deeply-in-debt people” who have no time to become part of the community—and no intention of staying there once they can afford to move on and gentrify the next modest-but-content neighborhood. Will Rogers once said, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” Well, he wasn’t talking about the cheapskates next door.


pages: 256 words: 76,433

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline

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big-box store, clean water, East Village, feminist movement, income inequality, informal economy, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, megacity, race to the bottom, Skype, special economic zone, trade liberalization, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, upwardly mobile

During the Christmas shopping season of 1902, Whitaker notes that department stores sold enormous volumes of lace and embroidery, as women opted to just make their own versions of the lingerie style.25 Department stores of the day had bigger fabric departments than ready-to-wear sections, and affordable patterns, some inspired by couturiers, were available in publications like the Vogue Pattern Book. Women who could afford it took illustrations clipped from newspapers or fashion magazines along with bolts of fabric to a dressmaker. As income distribution started to even out after the Great Depression, upwardly mobile Americans started to flex their buying power. Store-bought clothing was widely embraced; early problems with sizing and uneven quality had been corrected. But there was little virtue in buying cheap. As Whitaker explains in her book, the middle class looked to department stores as places where they could buy better-quality goods that allowed them to show off their newfound economic status. And department stores marketed to consumers’ increasingly highbrow tastes.


pages: 381 words: 78,467

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison

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23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize

They argue that “religiosity is systematically related at the individual level to the distribution of income groups in postindustrial societies: the poor are almost twice as religious as the rich.”25 Even though many poor people are religious, so are many wealthy people. Consider that the $27 million Creation Museum in Kentucky was not bankrolled by poor people.26 Indeed, as The Economist’s John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge argue in their book God Is Back, “In much of the world it is exactly the sort of upwardly mobile, educated middle classes that Marx and Weber presumed would shed such superstitions who are driving the explosion of faith.”27 The two seasoned journalists discuss their journey around the world examining the resurgence of religion. Along the way, they find middle-class Brazilian housewives who meet for exorcisms, the new bourgeoisie in Turkey and India fervently embracing religion, and young technologists in China downloading sermons and other religious material over the Internet.


pages: 291 words: 81,703

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

It broke cleanly for Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections and it is somewhat more Democratic than Republican in terms of party support, although the region still is not conducive to the more radical sides of the Left such as you might find in, say, Berkeley, California. Or look at where Occupy Wall Street has been strong as a movement. It holds great appeal for well-educated young people from the upper middle class, especially if they are underappreciated liberal arts majors who do not have the option of stepping into the highest-paying or most upwardly mobile jobs. It is not a broader American phenomenon that is catching fire on the docks of Elizabeth, New Jersey, or in the ailing Appalachian regions of Ohio or with religious homeschoolers in Idaho. If we extrapolate these trends into the future, we can expect the higher earners to identify with the values embraced by today’s moderate Democrats. They will believe in progress, diversity, and social justice, although they may not be huge fans of radically progressive taxation.


pages: 274 words: 66,721

Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Shaped the Modern World - and How Their Invention Could Make or Break the Planet by Jane Gleeson-White

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, British Empire, carbon footprint, corporate governance, credit crunch, double entry bookkeeping, full employment, Gordon Gekko, income inequality, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Islamic Golden Age, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Naomi Klein, Ponzi scheme, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile

The first signs that double entry would be equal to the task of monitoring and directing this new industrial world of factories, wage labour and large-scale capital investment were found in the north of England, in the pottery works of Her Majesty’s potter, Josiah Wedgwood (1730–95)—a factory called Etruria, named, by chance, after the ancient Italian region home to Pacioli’s Sansepolcro. An entrepreneurial and marketing genius, Wedgwood built the world’s first industrialised pottery manufactory. He found his customers among the new upwardly mobile classes whose insatiable wants were described by political economist Nathaniel Forster in 1767: ‘the perpetual restless ambition in each of the inferior ranks to raise themselves to the level of those immediately above them’, he said, caused fashionable luxury to spread ‘like a contagion’. Among the most coveted fashionable luxuries of the day were Wedgwood’s vases. So ravenous was the appetite of the cashed-up classes for his vases that Wedgwood described it as a ‘violent Vase Madness’.


pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

The idea, essentially, is to drill down until we discover the particular weighted node that best captures our fancy. For some, their vegetarianism might be a defining characteristic and, therefore, a “must have” demand. For others it is nonessential, or even incidental. Online, not only is everyone a formula, as argued in the previous chapter, there is also a formula for everyone. Love in the Time of Algorithms There is a scene in the 2009 comedy film Up in the Air in which Natalie, an upwardly mobile businesswoman just out of college, describes the qualities she is looking for in a partner. She calls this her “type.” “You know, white collar,” she says, listing her ideal mate’s attributions. “College grad. Loves dogs. Likes funny movies. Six foot one. Brown hair. Kind eyes. Works in finance but is outdoorsy, you know, on the weekends. I always imagined he’d have a single-syllable name like Matt or John or Dave.

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich

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airport security, Silicon Valley, upwardly mobile

At six-five, he towered over everyone else at the table, and if he back-spotted his way into a shoe, he almost had to squint to see the cards. It was impossible for him to vanish into a crowd, and he couldn’t wander unnoticed through an airport. If someone was looking for him, they’d find him—in a club, in a bar, in a crowded casino. Likewise, Jill and Dylan Taylor stood out in the average Vegas crowd. They were upwardly mobile professionals: Jill was enrolled in the most elite business school in the country, while Dylan drew a six-figure salary from one of the highest profile advertising agencies in Boston. They traveled like newlyweds, staying in honeymoon suites and eating in five-star restaurants. People remembered them—because of her fiery halo of red hair, because of his buttoned-down look and serious manner, because pretty couples stood out in a crowd.


pages: 296 words: 76,284

The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher

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Airbnb, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collaborative consumption, Columbine, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tony Hsieh, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, young professional, Zipcar

Maybe one day we get back there.” That means Toll is completing whatever homes it sold in those markets and isn’t developing new communities there right now. Toll doesn’t build homes unless they’re sold, so it doesn’t have an inventory problem there; it’s just not expanding outward. That said, Yearley still thinks there will be a strong market for what he calls the “suburban move-up” home buyer—the upwardly mobile young family that still wants to live in a subdivision. “I think for most families, once the kids hit kindergarten, most people still want to move to the suburbs and have their own home with their own backyard with the swing set and the little league team playing down the road and with a great school district,” he says. And unlike people like Kunstler or Chuck Marohn in Minnesota, Yearley thinks there will one day be a revived market in some places where the company has stopped expanding, if only because there’s limited land available.


pages: 232

Planet of Slums by Mike Davis

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barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, centre right, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, failed state, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, jitney, Kibera, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent control, structural adjustment programs, surplus humans, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor

Instead, deindustrialization and the decimation of male formal-sector jobs, often followed by male emigration, compelled women to improvise new livelihoods as piece-workers, liquor sellers, street vendors, lottery ticket sellers, hairdressers, sewing operators, cleaners, washers, ragpickers, nannies, and prostitutes. In a region where urban women's labor-force participation had always been lower than in other continents, the surge of Latin American women into tertiary informal activities during the 1980s was especially dramatic. In her detailed study of "adjustment from below," social anthropologist Caroline Moser describes the impact of eight successive SAPs between 1982 and 1988 on a formerly upwardly mobile shantytown on the swampy edge of Guayaquil. Although open unemployment doubled in Ecuador, the major impact of the 1980s crisis was an explosion of underemployment estimated at fully half the workforce in both Guayaquil and Quito. In the barrio Indio Guayas, husbands who had previously enjoyed full-time work found themselves casualized and idle for up to a half a year; households, as a consequence, were forced to send more members out to work, both women and children.


pages: 230 words: 71,320

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

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affirmative action, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, medical residency, popular electronics, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, union organizing, upwardly mobile, why are manhole covers round?

Daisy Ford's ambition for her daughters did not come from nowhere, in other words. She was the inheritor of a legacy of privilege. Her older brother Rufus, with whom she went to live as a child, was a teacher and a man of learning. Her brother Carlos went to Cuba and then came back to Jamaica and opened a garment factory. Her father, Charles Ford, was a produce wholesaler. Her mother, Ann, was a Powell, another educated, upwardly mobile colored familyand the same Powells who would two generations later produce Colin Powell. Her uncle Henry owned property. Her grandfather Johnthe son of William Ford and his African concubinebecame a preacher. No less than three members of the extended Ford family ended up winning Rhodes Scholarships.If my mother owed W. M. MacMillan and the rioters of 1937 and Mr. Chance and her mother, Daisy Ford, then Daisy owed Rufus and Carlos and Ann and Charles and John.


pages: 249 words: 73,731

Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business by Bob Lutz

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corporate governance, currency manipulation / currency intervention, flex fuel, medical malpractice, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, shareholder value, Steve Jobs, Toyota Production System, transfer pricing, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile

What the car lacked was any charm or warmth in the form of tasteful chrome accents to offset the unfamiliarity of the “stealth-fighter” sheet metal. The interior, the element that can make or break the sale if the potential customer is attracted to the exterior, can only be described as a failed experiment in attracting the computer generation. Someone had apparently decided that the young, upwardly mobile like computers, so why not make the instrument panel look like one? Not like the workstation, mind you, but the ugly, upright rectangular lump that’s under the desk or in the cabinet. Most didn’t know what this leaning tower of black plastic in the center stack of the instrument panel was supposed to represent, and hardly anybody liked it.The rest of the interior was deliberately sparse, though made of high-grade materials.

Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel R. Delany

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Jane Jacobs, Network effects, Silicon Valley, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban renewal

Again and again, however, such confusion causes people who should know better to decide that, because they have located some pervasive superstructural pattern (a prevalence of petty street crime in neighborhood X, say), superstructure here is actually producing all the visible infrastructural changes (“There was an influx of Puerto Ricans in neighborhood X, and a subsequent rise in drugs and petty street crimes; because of this, eventually the neighborhood was driven down till it became an all but abandoned slum where nobody, not even the Puerto Ricans, would live anymore . . .”), when, at the infrastructural level, what has actually happened is that landlords-as-a-class have realized that the older buildings in neighborhood X require more maintenance and thus a greater expenditure, so that they concentrate all their economic interest on newer properties with larger living units in neighborhood Y to the east, which is popular with young white upwardly mobile executives. The result is the decline of neighborhood X, of which street crime, drugs, and so on are only a symptom—though, as superstructural elements, those symptoms stabilize (i.e., help to assure) that decline and combat any small local attempts to reverse it by less than a major infrastructural change. Finally, there is an important rider to the corollary: In much the same way as are contact and networking, infrastructure and superstructure are finally relative terms.


pages: 780 words: 168,782

Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century by Christian Caryl

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, Deng Xiaoping, financial deregulation, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet Archive, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, special economic zone, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, Yom Kippur War

In the 1940s, Iran was a feudal backwater where the central government could barely collect taxes. Three decades later, it was an industrial powerhouse with a strong, centralized state. Its growth rates—averaging 9 to 10 percent for the decade between 1963 and 1973—were astonishing. It boasted modern communications networks and health care systems, car factories, and hydropower dams. Literacy was expanding. Iranian universities were filled with upwardly mobile youth—almost as many women as men—and thousands of others were studying overseas, all aspiring to join the ranks of the ever-expanding middle class. Iran’s military was the envy of the Middle East, well trained and armed with the latest weaponry. And it was all the achievement—or so you thought if you were an aspiring despot like Afghanistan’s Mohammed Daoud—of a single wise leader. The shah’s rule had started off in uncertainty.

Known in the mysterious argot of British pollsters as “C2s,” these workers had long been considered automatic Labour voters. Thatcher disagreed. She believed that many union members resented the undemocratic ways and the cynical tactics of their leaders, and she surmised that many working-class voters would be correspondingly receptive to her calls for greater constraints on union power. She also felt that upwardly mobile workers would welcome her proposals to allow the tenants of public housing to buy their homes. She reasoned that many C2s were also tired of inflation and runaway spending. This was why she staged her first big election rally in the traditional Labour stronghold of Cardiff in Wales. “Labour, the self proclaimed party of compassion, has betrayed those for whom it promised to care,” she told her audience.

When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures by Richard D. Lewis

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Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, business climate, business process, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, global village, haute cuisine, hiring and firing, invention of writing, Mahatma Gandhi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, profit maximization, profit motive, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, trade route, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Culture Values conservative European-oriented intellectual humility avoidance of dogmatism compromise royalist nonchauvinist common sense flexibility avoidance of confrontation Contrasting Flemish and Walloon values can be described as follows: Flemish Walloon egalitarian consensual decision making approachable bosses delegation of responsibility relaxed relationships few status symbols dislike speaking French upwardly mobile authoritarian autocratic decisions large power distance little delegation of power vertical structure status symbols important French speakers conscious of rank BELGIUM 253 Concepts Leadership and Status Flemish Walloon Bosses are relaxed and low-key. Responsibility is delegated downward to a considerable degree. Leadership is exercised in a manner close to that of the French, where all final decisions rest with the boss.

Having heard this description, non-Italians, when visiting the south, are usually pleasantly surprised to meet people who are friendly, hospitable and generous, trustworthy and loyal, perceptive and essentially human. Differences are, however, striking: North South experience factual modern meritocratic industrial prosperous law-abiding affinity with Austrians, Germans often secular small families family closeness upwardly mobile respect officialdom scientific truth identification with company generalist value for money imaginative traditional patronage system agricultural poor authorities coexisting with the Mafia affinity with Mediterraneans, Africans church-guided extended families family dominance mentor-guided key connections contextual, situational truth identification with in-group particularist How to Empathize with Italians Italians like to share details of families, vacations, hopes, aspirations, disappointments, preferences.


pages: 255 words: 90,456

Frommer's Irreverent Guide to San Francisco by Matthew Richard Poole

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Bay Area Rapid Transit, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Loma Prieta earthquake, Maui Hawaii, pez dispenser, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, Torches of Freedom, upwardly mobile

The best part is when the Chinese woman behind the bar answers the phone: “HELLO BUDDHA!!!” NIGHTLIFE 188 that complained about wheat beers and apple beers, asking: “How about beer-flavored beer?” Now the city has settled into a comfortable old friendship with its many brewpubs, and you just don’t hear the word “microbrew” anymore. Gordon Biersch’s loud, yuppie-infested brewpub is generally avoided by non-upwardly-mobile locals, but the beers are well crafted and it can be a lot of fun if you don’t mind yelling to be heard by the person The Great American Music Hall next to you. Thirsty Bear In New York, blues singer Billie Brewing Company was named Holiday had to fight to perafter an escaped circus bear form at uppity Carnegie Hall. who, in 1991, bit the hand of a That never would have hapUkrainian pub patron and ran pened in San Francisco, where the closest thing to off with his beer (or at least Carnegie Hall is an ornate, that’s the story).


pages: 273 words: 93,419

Let them eat junk: how capitalism creates hunger and obesity by Robert Albritton

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Bretton Woods, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, land reform, late capitalism, means of production, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, the built environment, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile

Corporations need to be large in order to afford sustained television advertising, and oligopoly generally facilitates passing on the costs of advertising to the consumer. Television in the United States started out not only as highly commercial, but also as highly concentrated. The centrality of profit making has meant that television networks must always strive to accumulate the maximum possible audience for their flow of commercials. In other words, they aim to capture audiences who have money to spend now or will have in the future, primarily the white upwardly mobile middle and upper middle classes.72 Today, the bulk of prime time television shows are produced in Los Angeles by a small number of companies, and the 100 top US advertisers pay for two-thirds of all network television. As a result television tends to homogenize the cultural environment. In the 1950s and 1960s American television was dominated by ABC, CBS and NBC, whereas today it is dominated by a small number of global media conglomerates.


pages: 316 words: 105,384

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

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Cass Sunstein, high batting average, placebo effect, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, systematic trading, the scientific method, upwardly mobile

The left fielder, having overrun it, will have to turn around and chase after it. Halfway down the first-base line, Jeremy Brown has one thought in his mind: I’m gonna get a triple. It’s a new thought for him. He isn’t built for triples. He hasn’t hit a triple in years. He thrills to the new idea: Jeremy Brown, hitter of triples. A funny thing has happened since he became, by some miracle, the most upwardly mobile hitter in the Oakland A’s minor league system. Surrounded by people who keep telling him he’s capable of almost anything, he’s coming to believe it himself. He races around first (“I’m haulin’ ass now”) and picks up the left fielder, running with his back to him, but not the ball. He’s running as hard as he’s ever run—and then he’s not. Between first and second base his feet go out from under him and he backflops into the dirt, like Charlie Brown.


pages: 325 words: 99,983

Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language by Robert McCrum

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Alistair Cooke, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, colonial rule, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, invention of movable type, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, jimmy wales, knowledge economy, Livingstone, I presume, Martin Wolf, Naomi Klein, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile

But if the fluttering of a butterfly’s wing in the Amazon forests can cause a hurricane in the Caribbean, then these trillion textings must make some contribution to the English language, however small. Allowing for the fact that such abbreviations occur in all the world’s main languages, including Chinese, which uses the Pinyin convention, the requirements of texting have begun to make a decisive contribution to Globish. In China today, for instance, the popularity of the BlackBerry has had a dynamic, transformational effect on upwardly mobile, middle-class Chinese who have enthusiastically embraced Globish to exploit the opportunities of the BlackBerry keypad. Before the advent of the BlackBerry, Rob Gifford, author of China Road, described Chinese texting as follows: ‘Write the character you want in romanised letters (mao, xia, zu, wang, or whatever), then hit Return, and a selection of all the characters that fit that sound comes up, and you highlight the one you want, and hit Return again.


pages: 358 words: 106,729

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram Rajan

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business climate, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, diversification, Edward Glaeser, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, illegal immigration, implied volatility, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, medical malpractice, microcredit, moral hazard, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, price stability, profit motive, Real Time Gross Settlement, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Someone who has had an indifferent high school education cannot even dream of getting a range of jobs that the new economy has thrown up. For Americans, many of whom “define political freedom as strict equality but economic freedom as an equal chance to become unequal,” inequality of access to quality education shakes the very foundation of their support for economic freedom, for they no longer have an equal chance.23 If Americans no longer have the chance to be upwardly mobile, they are less likely to be optimistic about the future or to be tolerant of the mobility of others—because the immobile are hurt when others move up. When others in town become richer, the cost of everything goes up, and the real income—the income in terms of its purchasing power—of the economically immobile falls. Matters are even worse if the immobile measure their worth in terms of their possessions: my Chevrolet becomes much less pleasurable when my neighbor upgrades from a Honda to a Maserati.24 Envy has historically been un-American, largely because it was checked by self-confidence.


pages: 317 words: 84,400

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World by Christopher Steiner

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23andMe, Ada Lovelace, airport security, Al Roth, algorithmic trading, backtesting, big-box store, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, dumpster diving, Flash crash, Gödel, Escher, Bach, High speed trading, Howard Rheingold, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, medical residency, Narrative Science, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Sergey Aleynikov, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

Algorithms have already written symphonies as moving as those composed by Beethoven, picked through legalese with the deftness of a senior law partner, diagnosed patients with more accuracy than a doctor, written news articles with the smooth hand of a seasoned reporter, and driven vehicles on urban highways with far better control than a human. And what will become of our duties as humans, our employment? Algorithms will have a say here too. Jobs we once blamed other countries for stealing are now being snatched away by faceless piles of computer code. It’s no coincidence that the most upwardly mobile people in society right now are those who can manipulate code to create algorithms that can sprint through oceans of data, recognize millions of faces, and perform tasks that just a few years ago seemed unthinkable. HACKERS: THE NEW EMPIRE BUILDERS There seem to be two divergent definitions of the term hacker floating about the modern lexicon. To some, hacking has come to mean something inherently criminal—a programmer traversing electronic property meant to be off-limits.


pages: 142 words: 18,753

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Community Supported Agriculture, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

—Gary Rosen, Commentary “Written with compelling insight, extraordinary felicitous language, cunning wit, and great affection …. Explains numerous paradoxes of the late 20th and embryonic 21st centuries.” —Carlo Wolff, Fort Worth Star-Telegram “A serious social critic wittily dissects an American elite that blends Woodstock hedonism with corporate values.” —Chris Waddington, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) “A thoroughly entertaining shellacking of our most upwardly mobile friends and neighbors.” —Arthur McMaster, The Tampa Tribune “Erudite and readable. Delivers densely packed cultural history and observation sprinkled with gut-busting passages. Brooks’s eye is superb.” —Frank Bentayou, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) “I tried to resist Bobos in Paradise … but once I started, I was reading big chunks of it out loud to passersby.” —Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press TO JANE Simon & Schuster Paperbacks Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 2000 by David Brooks All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.


pages: 309 words: 86,909

The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkinson; Kate Pickett

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Berlin Wall, clean water, Diane Coyle, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, impulse control, income inequality, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, offshore financial centre, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey

Maybe obese young women suffer more discrimination in labour markets and the marriage market, than obese young men. Or maybe low social status is more of a risk factor for obesity in women than in men. Two studies within British birth ‘cohorts’ offer some clues. These studies are surveys of large samples of people born at the same time, and followed from birth. A study of people born in 1946 found that upwardly mobile men and women were less likely to be obese than those whose social class didn’t change between childhood and adulthood.129 In the 1970 cohort obese women, but not men, were more likely never to have had gainful employment and not to have a partner.130 In the USA and in Britain, female obesity in adolescence has been linked to lower earnings in adulthood.131–132 Although not limited to women, a recent survey of more than 2,000 Human Resource professionals found that 93 per cent would favour a normal-weight job applicant over an equally qualified overweight candidate.


pages: 308 words: 98,729

Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte

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clean water, Maui Hawaii, Parkinson's law, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, working poor

I had seen the garbage piles and the trucks they rode around on, and heard the anger and frustration of citizens who live at the margins where garbage settles. Two hundred thirty-two million tons of municipal solid waste a year, the EPA’s national figure for 2003, isn’t a small pile. But the more important point is that the 2 percent is not unrelated to the 98 percent, which has everything to do with the back end of our upwardly mobile lifestyles. Remember William McDonough: “What most people see in their garbage cans is just the tip of a material iceberg: the product itself contains on average only 5 percent of the raw materials involved in the process of making and delivering it.” And remember Paul Hawken: for every 100 pounds of product that’s made, 3,200 pounds of waste are generated. No one’s numbers agreed, but the multiplier effect nonetheless kept me working to return steel and paper, if not always plastic and glass, to manufacturers.


pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

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back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

A 2009 study by Ann Huff Stevens and Jessamyn Schaller of the University of California at Davis found that when a parent loses his or her job, it increases the chances of a child being held back a grade by 15 percent.5 Young people out of school and burdened with debt—many of whom move back in with their parents or share a crowded apartment while they hold down several jobs in their twenties—will find themselves, in their thirties, still stuck in low-paying jobs with few prospects. Without important connections, indulgent parents, or extraordinary talent the days of meandering from college to several years of “finding oneself” while driving cabs or waiting on tables to eventually jumping back on track to an upwardly mobile professional career are over. With not enough professional jobs to go around, large numbers of college-educated people will remain stuck in doing work for which their education was unnecessary. Even so, they will have an advantage in the competition. Everything else being equal, employers would rather have a college graduate waiting on tables, grooming and walking dogs, and mowing lawns. As a result, the demand for the majority of workers who are not college graduates will decline even further.


pages: 284 words: 85,643

What's the Matter with White People by Joan Walsh

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, clean water, collective bargaining, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban decay, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, women in the workforce

He lacked a certain empathy for the white ethnic communities of the city. . . . The mayor who wanted reconciliation so deeply accidentally created contention and white backlash.” That could be the epitaph of the Democratic Party somewhere around the same time. We watched from Long Island with optimism as the mayor vowed to unite the city. By the mid-1960s, New York had already become two New Yorks: one for upwardly mobile white-collar workers, and one for the declining working class of every race. My family had a foot in each. In 1945, New York had been solidly blue collar across all five boroughs, giving my working-class family its boost into the middle class. Yet Manhattan, where my father wore a suit and a tie to work, was becoming overwhelmingly white collar by 1965, and Lindsay was most definitely the mayor of white-collar Manhattan.


pages: 537 words: 99,778

Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky

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Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor

In other words, it’s no surprise that Reed doesn’t give any voice to the blacks or Latinos involved in Occupy/Decolonize Oakland; the arguments his op-ed makes, and the class position it expresses, depend upon the silence of those potentially dissenting voices. I was at a general assembly for Occupy/Decolonize Oakland last night, as I have been a few times in the previous two-and-half weeks, and while there is certainly a prominent core of white activists who are present, there is no shortage of folks of color participating, offering leadership, and directing the conversation. A lot of those folks of color are, like me, upwardly mobile and college-educated. That is a good thing and that is also a real problem. Many of us are not the most vulnerable of – to use a formulation that I don’t love but can live with for now – the 99%. The perception that this is somehow a white movement not only underestimates the ways in which the movement is actually in flux and shifting from day to day, but also the ways in which it may represent a genuine political opportunity for communities of color more broadly if they/we can find ways to mobilize themselves/ourselves, and to tell black petit bourgeois folks like Ishmael Reed and the folks who believe him that they/we have an alternative political vision and actually don’t need to be spoken for, thank you very much.


pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Ewald Professor of biology, Amherst College; author, Plague Time: How Stealth Infections Cause Cancer, Heart Disease, and Other Deadly Ailments When I was a kid growing up in Illinois in the early sixties, my mother took me on weekly trips to the Wilmette Public Library. It was a well-stocked warren of interconnected sand-colored brick buildings that grew in increments as Wilmette morphed from farmland to modest houses interspersed with vacant lots, to an upwardly mobile bland Chicago suburb, and finally to a pricey bland Chicago suburb. My most vivid memory of those visits was the central aisle, flanked by thousands of books reflecting glints of “modern” fluorescent lights from their crackly plastic covers. I decided to read them all. I began taking out five books each weekend with the idea that I would exchange them for another five a week later and continue until the mission was accomplished.


pages: 317 words: 101,475

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

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Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Etonian, facts on the ground, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Occupy movement, pension reform, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, rising living standards, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population

'New Tories make no bones about it: we are class warriors and we expect to be victorious.' At the centre of this crusade was a concerted attempt to dismantle the values, institutions and traditional industries of the working class. The aim was to rub out the working class as a political and economic force in society, replacing it with a collection of individuals, or entrepreneurs, competing with each other for their own interests. In a new, supposedly upwardly mobile Britain, everyone would aspire to climb the ladder and all those who did not would be responsible for their own failure. Class was to be eliminated as an idea, but itwas to be bolstered in practice. There has been no greater assault on working-class Britain than Thatcher' s two-pronged attack on industry and trade unions. It was not just that the systematic trashing of the country's manufacturing industries devastated communities--though itcertainly did, leaving them ravaged by unemployment, poverty and all the crippling social problems that accompany them, for which they would later be blamed.


pages: 342 words: 94,762

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy

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algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nick Leeson, paper trading, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, six sigma, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel

After World War II, labor economists predicted that the role of hourly pay in the US economy would decline.10 They were correct for a couple of decades, but since the 1970s the number of American workers paid on an hourly basis has steadily increased.11 Today more than 58 percent of all wage and salary workers in the United States are paid at hourly rates.12 The average size of hourly pay is increasing, and hourly wages are increasingly common among the middle class and in upwardly mobile professions, including not only law, accounting, and consulting but increasingly medicine. Although one-fifth of hourly workers are under age twenty-five, fewer than 5 percent of hourly jobs are at or below the minimum wage.13 To many people, independent hourly work seems an ideal alternative to working for a large organization. In a 1998 article for Wired magazine and in a subsequent book, Free Agent Nation, author Dan Pink eloquently describes how tens of millions of workers have become frustrated with work politics, incompetent bosses, and unfair treatment and left the organized workplace to go it alone, make more money, and have more control over their time.14 As Pink explains, free agent workers benefit from increased autonomy and control.


pages: 375 words: 105,067

Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen

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asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, Cass Sunstein, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, game design, greed is good, high net worth, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, London Whale, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, éminence grise

Banzai, a Utah-based firm, promises on its Web site to the credit unions who purchase its junior high and high school financial literacy curriculum that it will “provide a steady, targeted and engaged audience of young people to your credit union. They will be exposed to your branding and message in class and at home.” Similarly, the National Financial Educators Council, creator of Money XLive, a live celebrity concert/financial literacy pep rally, promises content that “creates an experience that will connect you with upwardly-mobile participants,” not to mention hearing such C-level celebrities as Wilmer Valderrama of That 70s Show and former J-Lo husband Cris Judd opine on the need for students to learn how to manage their finances. Even Operation Hope, a perennial Wall Street favorite whose financial literacy efforts are targeted at minority communities, is not above this sort of salesmanship. When donations fell by 20 percent in early 2011, founder John Hope Bryant, in the words of the New York Times, “reworked his boardroom pitch to highlight the economic benefits of charity,” specifically, the economic benefit of adding to the donor bank’s customer base.


pages: 349 words: 112,333

The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con by Amy Reading

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Frederick Winslow Taylor, glass ceiling, joint-stock company, new economy, shareholder value, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile

Lloyd knew Latin and Greek, which Franklin found humbling because he was struggling to teach himself Latin on the side. After the schoolmaster had departed, Franklin saw with dismay that he’d helped himself to a “fine … ruffled” shirt and a handkerchief “mark’d with an F in red silk.” His guest was no schoolmaster, and his name was not Lloyd. Franklin had been duped, almost certainly by Tom Bell, the most notorious impostor of the American colonies. Like Franklin, Bell was the son of an upwardly mobile family in Boston. Like Franklin, he had attended the Boston Latin School and obtained an excellent education, advancing even further than Franklin, who was forced to leave at age ten when his father could no longer afford the tuition. Bell’s diploma gained him entry to Harvard, but in 1729, the year before he matriculated, his sea captain father unexpectedly died, throwing the rest of the family on hard times.

Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence by Paul Feig

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index card, Saturday Night Live, upwardly mobile

They, like my fellow male elves, all looked like they had been professionally outfitted by the costumer of the Ice Capades. Each girl was wearing a red or green short dress with white fur on the hem and on the ends of her sleeves. They had on matching stockings and shoes that all seemed to have just the right amount of curl. Their shoes also made their feet look actual size. I guess even in Christmas Town, obscenely big feet are a no-go for the upwardly mobile female elf. When the girls spotted me, they stared in disbelief. I saw a few of them stifle laughter. Amanda, despite her Coke bottle glasses, blinked at me and said, “You look weird.” “I’m an elf who doesn’t know the meaning of Christmas. I’m sup-posed to look this way,” I said in a haughty tone. “You look like a booger that doesn’t know the meaning of Christmas,” piped in Michelle. It got a huge laugh from both the girls and the guys, even though Mike had already gotten a laugh with the same lowbrow reference earlier.


pages: 313 words: 95,361

The Vast Unknown: America's First Ascent of Everest by Broughton Coburn

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, medical residency, mutually assured destruction, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile

The expedition foreman received sixteen rupees per day (just more than a dollar in 1963), and a high-altitude porter less than half that—though they could earn substantial bonuses. The Sherpas were fed and clothed. The society also functioned as a labor union, protecting the Nepalese Sherpas from the more experienced Darjeeling Sherpas, who might otherwise corner the best expedition jobs. The upwardly mobile Darjeeling Sherpas had immigrated to India from Nepal a generation or more before, leaving their subsistence, pastoralist Khumbu relatives behind. The Nepal-based Sherpas treated their Darjeeling Sherpa brethren courteously, but warily. Sherpas in one group tended to be related to Sherpas in the other, anyway. In Khumbu as in Darjeeling, Sherpa internal hierarchy was based on family ties. Kin were proffered for jobs before strangers, because a kickback or reciprocity likely would be involved.

Dear Fatty by Dawn French

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affirmative action, British Empire, carbon footprint, clockwatching, Desert Island Discs, upwardly mobile

I started by giving money to everyone, but of course that caused further begging, more insistent and louder, until I was forced to retreat inside in utter shock. Meanwhile, David and I would be invited to posh dinners inside lavish homes with dozens of servants providing for our every need. Or there would be more bloody balls – Caledonian balls with only white people there, and again I never quite looked or felt or was the part. The part of a company wife, quietly supporting her upwardly mobile company man of a husband. Who was I? Who was he? Where was the spirited young Irish lad I had known? He was certainly highly prized by the company and I was often told by his colleagues that he was tipped for great things. I was proud of him, for him, but Dad, I didn’t belong. So, this final unmarried visit to Sri Lanka mattered. We would arrange the teaching job I was going to take, we would hire staff together, we would hang out with all the people who would be our friends for the next couple of years.


pages: 323 words: 95,939

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff

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algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K

It’s why an economy once based on long-term investment and interest-bearing currency can no longer provide capital to those who plan to put it to work for future rewards. It’s why so many long for a “singularity” or a 2012 apocalypse to end linear time altogether and throw us into a posthistoric eternal present—no matter the cost to human agency or civilization itself. But it’s also how we find out what’s happening on the streets of Iran before CNN can assemble a camera crew. It’s what enables an unsatisfied but upwardly mobile executive to quit his job and move with his family to Vermont to make kayaks—which he thought he’d get to do only once he retired. It’s how millions of young people can choose to embody a new activism based in patient consensus instead of contentious debate. It’s what enables companies like H&M or Zara to fabricate clothes in real time, based on the instantaneous data coming from scanned tags at checkout counters five thousand miles away.


pages: 299 words: 89,342

The Places in Between by Rory Stewart

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Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, Khyber Pass, out of africa, trade route, upwardly mobile

Islam does not encourage strong social distinctions, and the war and social revolutions in villages had destroyed many of the old feudal structures in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, villagers were very aware of one another's backgrounds. A multitude of points of etiquette, tradition, and tribal identities differentiated a servant such as Wazir from a feudal lord like Haji Mohsin and Haji Mohsin from a middle-class vet like Dr. Habibullah Sherwal or an upwardly mobile mullah such as the young commander of Obey. Class did not necessarily reflect education and experience. My current host, Seyyed Umar, was a wealthy man from a respected family of landowning clergy, but he could not read or write and had never been abroad. Abdul Haq, who was from a much humbler background, was literate and had traveled. What mattered was power and that depended on allies. Many of my hosts had been war leaders.


pages: 353 words: 110,919

The Road to Character by David Brooks

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Cass Sunstein, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, follow your passion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, New Journalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile

The Wrong Life In 1886, Leo Tolstoy published his famous novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich. The central character is a successful lawyer and magistrate who one day is hanging curtains in his fancy new house when he falls awkwardly on his side. He thinks nothing of it at first, but then he develops an odd taste in his mouth and grows ill. Eventually he realizes that at age forty-five he is dying. Ilyich had lived a productive upwardly mobile life. Tolstoy tells us he was “capable, cheerful, good-natured and sociable, though strict in the fulfillment of what he considered to be his duty: and he considered his duty to be what was so considered by those in authority.”28 In other words, he was a successful product of the moral ecology and social status system of his time. He had a good job and a fine reputation. His marriage was cold, but he spent less time with his family and regarded this as normal.


pages: 326 words: 94,046

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician's First Year by Matt McCarthy

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cognitive dissonance, index card, sensible shoes, upwardly mobile

Our orientation leaders, a peppy group of second-and third-year residents, had instructed us to exude a demented degree of enthusiasm at all times, which wasn’t difficult now that my blood was more caffeine than hemoglobin. “Just relax,” he said, “and take a look around.” Together we scanned the fluorescent room, an enclosed space the size of a tennis court containing critically ill patients and upwardly mobile Filipino nurses bustling between them. The perimeter, painted a regrettable shade of yellow, housed the patients in glass cubicles, while the center, where we were sitting, was mission control, filled with chairs, tables, and computers. “It’s just you and me tonight,” Baio said, whipping his stethoscope back and forth around his neck. “And eighteen of the sickest patients in the hospital.” Every night an intern and a second-year resident presided over the CCU.


pages: 320 words: 96,006

The End of Men: And the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin

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affirmative action, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, edge city, facts on the ground, financial independence, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, Results Only Work Environment, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, young professional

But she turned them down to work here, because it’s a “better place to live.” She makes less money, but her standard of living is higher and the schools are amazing. Her three best girlfriends are a consultant, a lawyer, and an engineer, and they have all worked out deals where they can work remotely. They love this place, but they will never be homegrown Southern belles; they could be from anywhere; they are part of the army of upwardly mobile women in search of a good job and a better life, wherever they happen to find it. Does any place still belong to the men? The manufacturing plants at least? I paid a visit to Briggs & Stratton, a plant that produces generators and small engines for lawn mowers and snowblowers. The factory is only a few miles away from where Norma Rae was filmed, the movie that won Sally Field her memorable Academy Award for her portrayal of a union organizer in a textile factory.


pages: 329 words: 95,309

Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner

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algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, demand response, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Google Glasses, high net worth, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, margin call, mass affluent, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, Y2K

People who like their contact with the staff in the branch? People who want to feel there is a physical space to see where there money is? People who are resistant to change? People who have not been introduced to the alternatives? People who are unsure of the alternatives and need education as to what they can do? A little like the many people who resisted getting a mobile telephone as they were just for yuppies (young, upwardly mobile, professionals), but now depend upon them; or the folks who thought they didn’t need the internet until it became a consumer proposition; those who are not using mobile or internet banking are doing so for a variety of reasons: fear, insecurity, distrust, lack of access, lack of knowledge and more. My suspicion therefore is that if banks put in a concentrated program to migrate customers from branch to remote channels, with immersion workshops and programs offered to show people how they work, then they would find far faster take-up of their remote channel offers and far simpler abilities to reduce branch-based costs and operations.


pages: 327 words: 102,361

Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder

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desegregation, index card, pattern recognition, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban renewal

He had Puerto Rican friends, South American friends, white and black North American friends, and though he had no interest in being a boss of any sort and mainly kept company with working men, he could travel easily in most of the worlds of balkanized Holyoke, including that of the country club—he was a marvelous, mainly self-taught golfer. He could wear an oxford shirt and necktie and speak the local language, in every sense, and never act obsequious or look as though he felt out of place. And yet this upwardly mobile and versatile traveler—skilled in all ways of contending—still had Some jibaro in him. He had a good job, and so did his wife. He could afford to live elsewhere. He chose to live in the Flats. When puzzled friends asked him why, he said, "I want to know what's going on with my people." He could afford a telephone, of course, but he thought phones were a nuisance. It bothered him that his hometown in Puerto Rico seemed more Americanized each time he visited—in shorthand he'd explain that his hometown in Puerto Rico had two Burger Kings now, whereas Holyoke had only one.


pages: 281 words: 86,657

The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City by Alan Ehrenhalt

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anti-communist, big-box store, British Empire, crack epidemic, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Frank Gehry, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, manufacturing employment, McMansion, New Urbanism, postindustrial economy, Richard Florida, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, white flight, working poor, young professional

Their populations have turned over numerous times in the past half century, sometimes maintaining a consistent middle-class status, but sometimes sliding down a few notches on the socioeconomic ladder as new buyers replace the old ones. Middle-class African Americans wishing to flee the more troubled communities in the first category often settle here. The other troubled variant of postwar inner suburbia is the industrial working-class suburb, mass-produced after World War II for upwardly mobile blue-collar workers employed in factories nearby. The most serious problems faced by these suburbs are easy to describe, although they are profoundly difficult to solve. They include a disappearing manufacturing base, a supply of bungalow housing whose units are too small for the tastes of most modern buyers, and an aging population incapable of paying for the services that the suburban government is expected to perform.

Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks by Susan Casey

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Maui Hawaii, upwardly mobile, young professional

“It’s been twenty-eight days,” he moaned. Russ and Pete looked at each other, ungroomed for weeks, facial hair running amok. “It’s been seventy-eight days!” Russ yelled at the screen. Even so, the five of them were loving their time here, never mind that they had to work fourteen hours at a stretch to keep up with the birds. Simply put, they were happy. There was no whiff of the driven, anxious, upwardly-mobile-or-die young professional. They’d made a career choice that had nothing to do with money and everything to do with the fact that they’d never lost the child’s sense of amazement about nature. It was as though the “career goal” entry on their résumés read: “To stay as far away from an office cubicle as humanly possible.” In the early evening I sat at a desk by the front window of the living room, flipping through old logbooks.


pages: 319 words: 103,707

Against Everything: Essays by Mark Greif

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1960s counterculture, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, crack epidemic, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, Desert Island Discs, Donald Trump, income inequality, informal economy, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, Ronald Reagan, technoutopianism, telemarketer, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, white flight

At sixteen, pregnancy entailed a special power, and glamour, and if one had courage and low expectations enough to persist in it, it was better than the shit job one had after school. It was super fun to go shopping for baby clothes. Pregnancy at sixteen justified being followed by an MTV crew—no small declaration on behalf of the wider culture. This was no lame Frontline crew, mind you, reporting a social problem. Because a baby when you were young and energetic and fertile was what other people couldn’t have. It was an odd reward for not being rich and upwardly mobile—a new, alternative source of media fascination. Of course, teen pregnancy didn’t lead to car keys; quite the opposite, as when we saw new mother Farrah unable, despite begging and tears, to get her mom to help her lease a Ford Focus so she could get out of the house sometimes on her own. Early pregnancy was declassing. Even this unusually wealthy-ish cheerleader had to surrender plans for college, eliminate her social life, and spend her time caring for the kid.


pages: 338 words: 92,465

Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the Twenty-First Century by Katherine S. Newman, Hella Winston

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blue-collar work, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, desegregation, factory automation, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job-hopping, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, performance metric, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, two tier labour market, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Wolfgang Streeck, working poor

While other countries linked skilled manufacturing to international trade dominance with almost nationalist zeal, Americans pushed the blue-collar training agenda into an educational corner and virtually ensured that anyone who ventured there would be tarred by stigma. The route to middle-class status ran through the managerial, white-collar, or professional world and getting a ticket was the ambition of the upwardly mobile. As far back as the 1950s, the United States had developed a high-powered academic curriculum for elite students—the fledgling system of AP examinations was its national flag bearer. But this was the pathway of the few. Ordinary students were stuck with vocational or general education tracks that offered little more than watered-down versions of academic courses. Since manufacturing firms routinely drew their labor directly from high schools before World War II, whatever stigma this road entailed was largely canceled out by the stable jobs it led to.


pages: 378 words: 102,966

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H Naylor, David Horsey

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big-box store, Community Supported Agriculture, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, McMansion, medical malpractice, new economy, Ralph Nader, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, The Great Good Place, trade route, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra, young professional

“Go home and go to bed, take some aspirin, and call me in the morning.” (They don’t want you to call them anymore in this age of HMOs, but that’s a different issue.) Well, a case of affluenza calls for bed rest, too. We just define it a little differently. But the point is the same: Stop what you’re doing. Stop now. Cut back. Take stock. Give yourself a break. FORCED TO REASSESS Sometimes we have to hit bottom to do that. Fred Brown was once upwardly mobile, the personnel director of a large company. He was earning $100,000 a year. On the outside, it looked as if he had everything—a great job, a big home, and a beautiful family. But on the inside, Fred felt like a prisoner in golden handcuffs. He worked long hours and found little time for his wife and two daughters. Then his marriage broke up. His job was stressful: It was his responsibility to tell other employees they’d been laid off.


pages: 287 words: 87,204

Erwin Schrodinger and the Quantum Revolution by John Gribbin

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Arthur Eddington, British Empire, Brownian motion, double helix, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Solar eclipse in 1919, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, trade route, upwardly mobile

The Viennese loved opera and music, and in the nineteenth century the tradition of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven was carried forward here by Schubert, Liszt, Brahms, and Bruckner. And, of course, the Strauss family. But the people who now enjoyed these cultural delights were increasingly, like Rudolf Schrödinger, the new bourgeoisie, rather than the old aristocratic class. Among the most important of these upwardly mobile groups were the Jews. Like all non-Catholics in Austria, they had had few rights (let alone privileges) before 1848, but as the grip of the authorities eased, Jews from all over the empire were among the people attracted to the capital. They made an economic and artistic impact out of all proportion to their numbers, in a society where casual anti-Semitism was common and “the Jews” often got the blame for anything wrong with society.


pages: 278 words: 83,504

Boeing Versus Airbus: The Inside Story of the Greatest International Competition in Business by John Newhouse

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airline deregulation, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Build a better mousetrap, corporate governance, demand response, low cost carrier, upwardly mobile

In designing the 777, Boeing brought in engineers from eight customer airlines: American, United, Delta, ANA, JAL, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airlines. “They all wanted the inside of the airplane to be different,” said Little. “The differences turned on the size and shape of the seats and on the location of the galleys and lavatories.”12 “The lavs and galleys are designing the airplane,” said Alan Mulally, who was then a vice president and one of the company’s other highly regarded and upwardly mobile engineers. He had succeed Condit as manager of the 777 program.13 “ANA,” he continued, “contributed 215 ideas, of which 160 were incorporated. Inevitably, one involved the lavatory, in this case the toilet seat. ANA worried about the ‘problem hit sound’—the falling seat. A rubber bumper on the seat, they felt, wasn’t good enough, and they recommended a mechanical bumper.” Boeing agreed, but designing one that did the job and satisfied all requirements was a massive problem and required a lot of engineering and testing before the task was completed.


pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham

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3D printing, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, Y2K

They have paved the way for the entire world to live similarly without considering the global resource implications. When research took me to Jakarta, Indonesia, I was struck by the number of cranes dangling over towering, hollow concrete shells. These budding high-rises peered over slightly shorter ones constructed just a few years before. These new buildings will provide homes for increasingly wealthy, upwardly mobile Indonesians who are striving to live the technological-advanced dream, with all its attendant accoutrements. The people of Indonesia will be no different from the billions of others in the developing world, from South America to China, who are heading toward the same resource-intense existence. This means the global demand for metals, especially rare ones, will increase as countries follow a well-worn economic path.


pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, market bubble, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

By the sixth century all that the popular “Heaven-Man Teaching” required was for devotees to walk laps around statues of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, worship relics (especially the many teeth, bones, and begging bowls said to have belonged to the Buddha), chant, act compassionately, be self-sacrificing, and follow the Five Precepts (thou shalt not kill, steal, commit adultery, drink, or lie). Its teachers conceded that this would not actually lead to nirvana, but it would deliver health, prosperity, and upwardly mobile rebirth. The “Pure Land School” went further, claiming that when believers died, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, working with the Amitabha Buddha, would interrupt the cycle of rebirth and guide them to a Western Paradise where they could pursue nirvana away from the cares of this world. Indian seekers after nirvana regularly took to the road, begging as they went. Holy wanderers (as opposed to well-heeled hermit-poets) were alien to Chinese traditions, and did not catch on, but a second Indian path toward enlightenment—monasticism—did.

The closest thing to a protest about women’s subjugation may be Li Ruzhen’s bizarre satire Flowers in the Mirror, in which a male merchant is forcibly feminized, even to the point of footbinding. (“His feet lost much of their original shape,” Li wrote. “Blood and flesh were squeezed into a pulp … little remained of his feet but dry bones and skin, shrunk, indeed, to a dainty size.”) Dickens’s upwardly mobile heroes are just as hard to find, and Samuel Smiles’s self-made men still more so. The mood of Shen Fu’s heartrending Six Records of a Floating Life—romantic and moving, but crushed by a rigid hierarchy—is much more typical. The really new thing about the West, though, was that the more it sped itself up and raced down paths utterly unlike those the rest of the world was strolling along, the more it forced the rest of the world to follow its direction and frenetic pace.


pages: 341 words: 116,854

The Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square by James Traub

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Anton Chekhov, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, fear of failure, Jane Jacobs, jitney, megastructure, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, rent control, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal

In 1921 she formed her own production company, planning to churn out a series of two-reelers—Texas of the Mounted, The Soul of Tex, The Claws of Tex, and so on. The venture never quite panned out, and Tex returned to New York, from which she had never been absent for long. Nils Granlund claimed that he discovered her emceeing a show at a club called the Beaux Arts, and introduced her to Larry Fay, an upwardly mobile gangster. In 1924 he opened up the El Fey—no one ever knew why he chose to misspell his own name—with Tex as hostess. The club, on 45th Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, was a tiny room located at the top of a narrow staircase and behind a door with a peephole cut into it. Most of the chorus came from the Ziegfeld Follies at the New Amsterdam; the girls came over after the show closed up at eleven.


pages: 467 words: 116,902

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

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affirmative action, cognitive bias, Columbine, deindustrialization, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, friendly fire, illegal immigration, land reform, large denomination, low skilled workers, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, women in the workforce

As an example, she mentioned nights when she works late: “I tell my boss all the time, I say, ‘If you want me to take a taxi you go down there and flag one for me. I’m not going out there and stand twenty minutes for a cab when they’ll run over me to get to you.’ ... He’s white and, see, he don’t know the difference because he’s from Seattle, Washington. He looks at me real strange, like, ‘What are you talking about?’”73 Many ex-offenders and families of prisoners are desperately attempting to be perceived as part of the modern upwardly mobile class, even if their income does not place them in it. Ex-offenders lie (by refusing to check the box on employment applications), and family members lie through omission or obfuscation because they are painfully aware of the historically intransigent stereotypes of criminal, dysfunctional families that pervade not only public discussions of inner cities but of the black community in general.


pages: 487 words: 147,891

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Misha Glenny

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anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, colonial rule, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Firefox, forensic accounting, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, place-making, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Skype, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, trade liberalization, trade route, Transnistria, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile

No longer is it primarily an exotic and ballyhooed indulgence of high-gloss entrepreneurs, Hollywood types and high rollers, as it was only three or four years ago—the most conspicuous of consumptions, to be sniffed from the most chic of coffee tables through crisp, rolled-up $100 bills. Today, in part precisely because it is such an emblem of wealth and status, coke is the drug of choice for perhaps millions of solid, conventional, and often upwardly mobile citizens—lawyers, businessmen, students, government bureaucrats, politicians, policemen, secretaries, bankers, mechanics, real estate brokers, waitresses.” There had been little research into the drug since it had been pilloried and then banned by the American government during the 1920s. Most people thought erroneously that it was not very addictive and that it had no serious side effects.


pages: 790 words: 150,875

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

As early as the 1830s the Mormon leader Brigham Young had denounced trousers with button flies as ‘fornication pants’. In 1944 Life magazine caused a storm by publishing a photograph of two Wellesley College women in jeans.88 By the time Levi’s competitor Lee introduced zippers, the reputation of jeans as sexually arousing was established – a curious outcome, considering how very difficult it is to have sex with someone wearing tight-fitting jeans. Jeans were upwardly mobile. They began on the backsides of ranch-hands and convicts; were mandatory for defence workers during the war; moved on to the biker gangs of the post-war years; were adopted by West Coast and then Ivy League students; graduated to ‘beat’ writers, folk singers and pop groups in the 1960s; and ended up being worn publicly by all presidents after Richard Nixon. Levi’s growth was spectacular. In 1948 the company sold 4 million pairs of jeans; by 1959 it was 10 million.


pages: 467 words: 154,960

Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets by Michael W. Covel

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Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, backtesting, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Clayton Christensen, commodity trading advisor, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elliott wave, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, fixed income, game design, hindsight bias, housing crisis, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, mental accounting, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Nick Leeson, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, South Sea Bubble, Stephen Hawking, systematic trading, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility arbitrage, William of Occam

That excerpt unfolded just like a movie script with trend traders again winning big. My next prediction is that the excerpt will probably unfold again in the years to come just as it did in 2008. Will you be ready? Will you have a plan? Or will you be sitting there, like so many, as Hunter S. Thompson once so sadly noted about the condition of human herds: “In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile and the rest of us are [screwed] until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. We owe that to ourselves and our crippled self-image as something better than a nation of panicked sheep.” Key Points • Seykota: “Trends become more apparent as you step further away from the chart.” • Trend followers are generally on the right side of big moves. • The most interesting aspect of the Barings Bank blowout was who won.


pages: 385 words: 117,391

The Complete Thyroid Book by Kenneth Ain, M. Sara Rosenthal

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follow your passion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, place-making, placebo effect, Post-materialism, post-materialism, randomized controlled trial, upwardly mobile

• • • • • • • • • • An unexplained fatigue that is “new” Poor memory or concentration* Sore throat (possible if you have inflammation of the thyroid gland)* Mild or low-grade fever Tenderness in the neck and underarm area (tenderness in the neck may occur with an enlarged thyroid gland)* Muscle pain*† Pain along the course of a nerve A strange and new kind of headache you have never suffered from before You sleep but wake up unrefreshed* You feel tired, weak, and generally unwell for a good twenty-four hours after you have had even moderate exercise* *Signs of hypothyroidism †Signs of thyrotoxicosis muscle and joint aches and pains) and CFS. The term rheumatism, now outdated, was frequently used as well to describe various aches and pains with no specific or identifiable origin. What we now call CFS was once considered to be a chronic infection with EpsteinBarr virus. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a mysterious virus, known as EpsteinBarr virus, was diagnosed in thousands of young, upwardly mobile professionals—at the time known as yuppies—the so-called baby boom generation. People called this condition the yuppie flu, yuppie virus, yuppie syndrome, and burnout syndrome. Many medical professionals were stumped by it, and many disregarded it as a phantom illness or psychosomatic illness, especially in women. In the early 1980s, two physicians in Nevada who treated a number of patients who shared this curious condition (after a nasty winter flu had hit the region) identified it as chronic fatigue syndrome.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Tanzania: the diagnosis. http://www.ild.org.pe/en/wnatwedo/diagnosis/tanzania. p. 326 ‘Bamako in Mali could build upon its strong musical traditions’. Schulz, M. and van Gelder, A. 2008. Nashville in Africa: Culture, Institutions, Entrepreneurship and Development. Trade, Technology and Development discussion paper no. 2, International Policy Network. p. 326 ‘Micro-finance banking, mobile telephony and the internet are now merging’. Talbot, D. 2008. Upwardly mobile. Technology Review, November/December 2008: 48–54. p. 326 ‘opportunities to the poor of Africa that were not available to the poor of Asia a generation ago’. Rodrik, D. (ed.). 2003. In Search of Prosperity. Princeton University Press. p. 327 ‘a study of the sardine fishermen of Kerala in southern India’. Jensen, Robert T. 2007. The digital provide: information (technology), market performance and welfare in the South Indian fisheries sector.


pages: 523 words: 143,639

Red November: Inside the Secret U.S.-Soviet Submarine War by W. Craig Reed

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Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, cable laying ship, centre right, cuban missile crisis, en.wikipedia.org, nuclear winter, operation paperclip, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, upwardly mobile

No amount of ventilating could ever scrub away the acrid, oily, fuel-laden, mechanical, electronic, fart-filled odors that could only be called “the boat smell.” The Haddo’s crew consisted of just over one hundred enlisted men and a dozen officers. Commander Norman Mims Jr. served as our CO. He was a seasoned veteran with gray hair and had been on a few diesel boats before progressing to CO of the Haddo. Under him, our executive officer projected the haughtiness of an upwardly mobile, by-the-book leader who lived in constant fear of making a mistake. Like all submarines, our command consisted of several divisions, including engineering (nuclear and machinist disciplines), navigation, sonar, fire control (weapons), and other operational functions. My division chief, FTGC (Chief Fire Control Technician–Gunnery) James T. Lane, took charge of a small team of two fire-control technicians—and now three with my arrival.


pages: 376 words: 121,254

Cocaine Nation: How the White Trade Took Over the World by Thomas Feiling

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anti-communist, barriers to entry, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, illegal immigration, informal economy, inventory management, land reform, Lao Tzu, offshore financial centre, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, upwardly mobile

Initially, that meant the executive class of Hollywood and the music business, whose operators were typically young, highly paid and obliged to work for long hours in pampered but high-pressure environments. But cocaine soon became every ambitious young American’s favourite accessory. Like Dom Pérignon, cocaine was a mass market product with bona fide upper-class cachet. Time magazine called it ‘the drug of choice for perhaps millions of solid, conventional, and often upwardly mobile citizens’. Unlike a lot of other drugs, cocaine was regarded as a fitting accompaniment to both work and leisure. It had none of the counter-cultural connotations or mind-bending potential of LSD or cannabis and it was too expensive to be more than an occasional treat for all but a small constituency of wealthy acolytes. Poor people couldn’t afford it, and cocaine addicts were non-existent in 1975.


pages: 621 words: 157,263

How to Change the World: Reflections on Marx and Marxism by Eric Hobsbawm

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anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, labour market flexibility, market fundamentalism, means of production, new economy, Simon Kuznets, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile

Socially speaking – and abstracting for the moment from national variations – the Western intellectuals of the 1930s were, in the main, either the children of the established bourgeoisie (which might or might not contain a recognised stratum of the Bildungsbürgertum, which owed its status to a tradition of 276 In the Era of Anti-fascism 1929–45 higher education), or they represented an upwardly mobile stratum drawn from the poorer classes. In the most simplified terms, they belonged to those for whose children a non-vocational higher education was already taken for granted, or to those for whom it was not. Since the old-established institutions for education past the age of, say, fifteen or sixteen years were still largely confined to the children of the established upper strata, the two types often had a different educational formation as well as social background.


pages: 363 words: 123,076

The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution by Marc Weingarten

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1960s counterculture, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, Donner party, East Village, Haight Ashbury, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Menlo Park, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, pre–internet, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, working poor

Felker had tapped into something essential about the city, and he knew it. Wolfe’s big subject—status anxiety and its manifestations-would be the organizing principle of the magazine. Manhattan’s inhabitants were obstinately proud to call themselves New Yorkers, but they were also urban survivalists; their self-preservation skills were a crucial test of their commitment to enduring the best city on the planet. New York would be a how-to guide for this white, upwardly mobile demographic segment. A subscription solicitation that ran in the magazine in early 1969 trumpeted New York’s attributes. “We’ll show you how to get a rent-controlled, semi-professional apartment, even though you’re not a semi-professional person,” the copy read. “We’ll tell you how to go about getting your kid into private school with confidence, even though you graduated from P.S. 165.” Previous issues had addressed status (the December 9, 1968, cover featured a white-collar beggar in a Burberry coat holding a tin cup and a sign that read I MAKE $80,000 A YEAR AND I’M BROKE), but now Felker would push it harder.


pages: 484 words: 120,507

The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel by Nicholas Ostler

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barriers to entry, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, open economy, Republic of Letters, Scramble for Africa, statistical model, trade route, upwardly mobile

The fact is that all mother tongue speakers of English are more or less sociolinguistically sophisticated: they can recognize some foreign accents and dialects, and have attitudes to them, which are probably only partly related to their actual experience of people who use them. These attitudes will in quite complex ways condition their propensity to accommodate and imitate others. Traditionally, where sense of social class was strong, members of lower classes who aspired to be upwardly mobile affected features of higher-class speech; but if they did it too much for their peers, they might have been called affected or la-di-da; yet if they did it too little, they might have been called common, rustic, or down-home. With comparable motives but in opposite direction, many people, often adolescents (sometimes individually, sometimes as a group) now have a contrarian, rebellious tendency to diverge from their own elders, whom naturally— by the usual process of language acquisition—they might have been expected to imitate.


pages: 538 words: 121,670

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--And a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig

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asset-backed security, banking crisis, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, correlation does not imply causation, crony capitalism, David Brooks, Edward Glaeser, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, invisible hand, jimmy wales, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, place-making, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

In the 1970s the executives at the S&P 500 made thirty times what their workers did, and today make three hundred times what their workers make.108 Their average salary was more than $10 million in 2007, about 344 times the pay of “typical American workers.”109 Likewise, as their salaries have skyrocketed, the position of the self-employed has collapsed. Between 1948 and 2003 “the self-employment rate in the United States fell from 18.5% to 7.5%”110—the second-lowest among twenty-two rich nations according to an OECD study.111 The nation of our parents was defined by makers and innovators. We’ve become a nation defined not by the upwardly mobile entrepreneurs, but by Wall Street fat cats—the nation predicted by the apostle Matthew (13:12): “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance.”112 So let’s repeat the point in a single line, because it is critical to everything in this book: changes in government policy, Hacker and Pierson argue, account for the radical change in the distribution of American wealth.


pages: 458 words: 134,028

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark Penn, E. Kinney Zalesne

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, big-box store, call centre, corporate governance, David Brooks, Donald Trump, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, haute couture, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, life extension, low skilled workers, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, the payments system, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Y2K

When Israel was destroying the houses of its suicide bombers, the interesting point was that they had houses. The impoverished and uneducated may just be too smart to blow themselves up for this cause. In a 1980 study of radical Islamists being held in Egyptian jails, researcher Saad Eddin Ibrahim found that the typical offender was a male in his early 20s; from a normally cohesive, rural, or small-town family; educated in science or engineering; upwardly mobile and had high achievement and motivation. Not poor and desperate, but educated and rising. In 2002, professors Alan Krueger and Jitka Maleckova compared 129 Hezbollah fighters who had died in the 1980s and early 1990s to the Lebanese population from which they were drawn. Whereas the Hezbollah militants had a 28 percent poverty rate, the overall population’s was a higher 33 percent. And whereas 47 percent of the militants had gone to secondary school, only 38 percent of the general population had.


pages: 419 words: 119,368

Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

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cuban missile crisis, language of flowers, Malacca Straits, sensible shoes, South China Sea, upwardly mobile

“He’s done that before, hasn’t he?” “Oh yes, he’s done that before. But never on this scale.” Pat sighed. “My father gave me fifty pounds last week,” she said. “How much did you get? A hundred?” Matthew looked down at the desk and picked up a photograph of a painting. It was of a sheep-dog chasing sheep; the sort of painting that nineteenth-century artists loved to paint, on a large scale, for upwardly mobile purchasers. Nobody painted sheep-dogs any more, it seemed. “Four million,” he said quietly. There was complete silence. Matthew put down the photograph, but did not look at Pat. She was staring at him, her mouth slightly open. Four million. At last she spoke. “Four million is a lot of money, Matthew. What are you going to do with it?” Matthew shrugged. He had no idea what he would do with four million pounds, other than to put it safely away in the bank.


pages: 452 words: 150,785

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales From the World of Wall Street by John Brooks

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banking crisis, Bretton Woods, business climate, cuban missile crisis, Ford paid five dollars a day, invention of the wheel, large denomination, margin call, Marshall McLuhan, Plutocrats, plutocrats, short selling, special drawing rights, tulip mania, upwardly mobile, very high income

More than half the families in the nation would have incomes of over five thousand dollars a year, and more than 40 percent of all the cars sold would be in the medium-price range or better. The report’s picture of America in 1965, presented in crushing detail, was of a country after Detroit’s own heart—its banks oozing money, its streets and highways choked with huge, dazzling medium-priced cars, its newly rich, “upwardly mobile” citizens racked with longings for more of them. The moral was clear. If by that time Ford had not come out with a second medium-priced car—not just a new model, but a new make—and made it a favorite in its field, the company would miss out on its share of the national boodle. On the other hand, the Ford bosses were well aware of the enormous risks connected with putting a new car on the market.


pages: 406 words: 113,841

The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives by Sasha Abramsky

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, big-box store, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, job automation, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Variations on the stories from Appalachian Pennsylvania could be encountered in cities and regions across America. After all, an economic free-fall of the kind that the United States underwent after the housing market collapse and then the broader financial meltdown leaves carnage in its wake. For those born into poverty, the hardship is magnified. For millions of others who thought of themselves as upwardly mobile, with middle-class aspirations and middle-class spending patterns, the crisis flung them down the economic ladder, replacing a precarious fiscal stability with a continuous struggle to survive. In the working-class, immigrant community of Pomona, a few miles east of downtown Los Angeles, in fall 2008 five eleventh-grade and ten twelfth-grade students in Village Academy teacher Michael Steinman’s English classes began compiling their stories of poverty for a video project.


pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, Zipcar

Of course, today’s scorned neighborhoods and designs could be tomorrow’s status symbols if the culture was to send us a different set of messages about their worth. This is already happening. For years, television largely depicted American family and social life as suburban, but in the past two decades the hip protagonists of programs such as Friends and Sex and the City were shown in downtown apartments. Formerly low-status neighborhoods such as Manhattan’s East Village have been invaded by the upwardly mobile, and condominium towers designed by starchitects are sprouting between the tenements. New generations are growing up with a different mental library of stories that shape their domestic tastes. Errors from Above Unfortunately, when choosing how to live or move, most of us are not as free as we think. Our options are strikingly limited, and they are defined by the planners, engineers, politicians, architects, marketers, and land speculators who imprint their own values on the urban landscape.


pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles

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call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, packet switching, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, South China Sea, stem cell, technological singularity, telepresence, The Chicago School, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, web of trust, Y2K

He was expecting a ten-point drop mediated via an options trade – payment for the use of the anonymous luggage remixer that routed his old suitcase to Mombasa and in return sent this new one to him via the left-luggage office in Luton – but this is more serious. The entire reputation market seems to have been hit by the confidence flu. Annette bustles around busily, pointing out angles and timings to the forensics team her head office sent in answer to her call for back-up. She seems more angry and shaken than worried by the intrusion. It's probably an occupational hazard for any upwardly mobile executive in the old, grasping network of greed that Manfred's agalmic future aims to supplant. The forensics dude and dudette, a pair of cute, tanned Lebanese youngsters, point the yellow snout of their mass spectroscope into various corners and agree that there's something not unlike gun oil in the air. But, so sorry, the intruders wore masks to trap the skin particles and left behind a spray of dust vacuumed from the seat of a city bus, so there's no way of getting a genotype match.


pages: 466 words: 146,982

Venice: A New History by Thomas F. Madden

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big-box store, buy low sell high, centre right, colonial rule, Columbine, Costa Concordia, double entry bookkeeping, facts on the ground, financial innovation, indoor plumbing, invention of movable type, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Murano, Venice glass, spice trade, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning

Pickering suggested that Cipriani found his own high-end bar and further suggested that he name it Harry’s Bar. It opened in May 1931 and quickly became popular with well-to-do tourists. Hemingway had his own corner table, where he drank more than a few martinis. By the mid-1950s droves of Americans were lining up to get into Harry’s Bar and drink a Bellini—the house specialty originally made of Prosecco, pureed white peaches, and a bit of raspberry juice. They still do. For the upwardly mobile Americans of the 1950s and 1960s, Venice came to rival Paris as the most romantic city in the world. Guidebooks poured out of New York presses advising visitors where to eat, stay, and soak up the local charm. American movies reflected this pervasive image. In the very successful Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), American secretary Maria Williams (Maggie McNamara) is swept off her feet by the dashing Prince Dino di Cessi (Louis Jourdan), who whisks her away to Venice in his private plane.


pages: 493 words: 145,326

Fire and Steam: A New History of the Railways in Britain by Christian Wolmar

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Beeching cuts, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, cross-subsidies, financial independence, hiring and firing, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, railway mania, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, strikebreaker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, working poor, yield management

Even today, there is no plan to electrify one of Britain’s major routes, the lines out of Paddington to the West Country. By 1959, it was clear that the Plan was not sufficiently focused on the railway’s strengths, such as rapid connections between major cities and London commuting and as a result, it inevitably failed to turn around railway finances. While British Railways managers were concentrating on creating huge marshalling yards and doing little to improve services for passengers, the upwardly mobile British public were taking to the roads. By 1960, one in nine families owned a car and most of the other eight were saving to buy one. As both freight and passenger traffic went down, losses increased from £15.6m in 1956 (a slight improvement on the previous year) to £42m four years later17 and questions on the viability of the railways began to be asked in Parliament. A comprehensive report on British Railways’ finances, published by the House of Commons Select Committee on Nationalized Industries in July 1960, suggested that most of those £42m losses had been incurred on passenger services, particularly on branches and lightly used services.


pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

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3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Each society will offer slightly different packages in this initiative, depending on the culture and the level of technological sophistication, but the essentials of the process have a universal appeal: free top-of-the-line devices, cheap text and voice plans, credit to purchase apps, and data subsidization that allows people to use the Internet and e-mail inexpensively. These smart phones would be of a better quality than much of the population’s and cheaper to use, as well. They could be front-loaded with appealing vocational applications that would provide some momentum for upwardly mobile ex-combatants, like English-language instruction or even basic literacy education. A former child soldier in a South Sudanese refugee camp, who had been forced to leave his family at a young age, could have access to a device that connected him not only to local relatives, but also to potential mentors from the Sudanese diaspora abroad, perhaps young men who had successfully sought asylum in the United States and built wholly new lives for themselves.


pages: 504 words: 143,303

Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War

There will be some relation between individual ability and effort and what they get in economic rewards, but ability and effort are themselves influenced by the unequal division of labour and other sources of inequality in society, so we should focus our attention on those, and on their effects on the shaping of individuals. Although these acquired dispositions can be changed in later life, it’s a slow and difficult process, one that depends on repeated practice at new behaviours. Not surprisingly, where people from working-class backgrounds are upwardly mobile they often say that they still don’t feel they quite fit into their new role and fear that one day they will be ‘found out’. So our upbringing – shaped by our parents’ position in the unequal division of labour – has a significant influence on our aspirations and what we regard as attainable; it shapes what is familiar and, hence, what we feel comfortable with. Even our degree of motivation may be shaped by the lottery of birth into an unequal society: middle- or upper-class young people have more and better opportunities than their working-class counterparts, and motivation and aspirations are likely to vary correspondingly, though there will always be exceptions, for a host of possible reasons.


pages: 590 words: 153,208

Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century by George Gilder

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, capital controls, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, minimum wage unemployment, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, non-fiction novel, North Sea oil, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, volatility arbitrage, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, yield curve

The woman gives him access to his children, otherwise forever denied him; and he gives her the product of his labor, otherwise dissipated on temporary pleasures. The woman gives him a unique link to the future and a vision of it; he gives her faithfulness and a commitment to a lifetime of hard work. If work effort is the first principle of overcoming poverty, marriage is the prime source of upwardly mobile work. It is love that changes the short horizons of youth and poverty into the long horizons of marriage and career. When marriages fail, the man often returns to the more primitive rhythms of singleness. On the average, his income drops by one-third, and he shows a far higher propensity for drink, drugs, and crime. But when marriages in general hold firm and men in general love and support their children, Banfield’s lowerclass style changes into middle-class futurity.


pages: 390 words: 114,538

Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet by Charles Arthur

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AltaVista, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, gravity well, Jeff Bezos, John Gruber, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, PageRank, pre–internet, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, software patent, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, upwardly mobile

Gartner’s worldwide figures for the period show that a shade over 4 million Android phones were sold – only 7 per cent of the 53 million smartphones sold that quarter, but neck and neck with Windows Mobile, which had a last high before beginning its final fade. (The iPhone made up 16 per cent of world smartphone sales, snapping at the heels of RIM’s 20 per cent.) Android phones found a particularly receptive market in China, where upwardly mobile buyers liked having something that looked to all intents and purposes like an iPhone, but was a lot cheaper; the Chinese grey market importers who would throw down hundreds of pounds (or more usually dollars, as the exchange rate was more favourable) in Apple Stores in the UK and the United States for an armful of iPhones couldn’t keep up with demand. As Apple sliced off the top of the market, different Android phones from various manufacturers began to chew, termite-like, at the bottom.


pages: 413 words: 119,379

The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa's Wealth by Tom Burgis

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Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, British Empire, central bank independence, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, Gini coefficient, Livingstone, I presume, McMansion, megacity, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, purchasing power parity, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, structural adjustment programs, trade route, transfer pricing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks

Kukah’s voice needles the mighty as few others can. The demise of Kaduna’s textile industry had drained the life from the city, he told me, sitting in a sweltering office above his sacristy and dressed in a simple black vestment. ‘We’ve gone backward twenty years,’ he said. ‘Back in the seventies there were textiles, people were energetic. But that generation was not able to produce the young, upwardly mobile elite. That’s what their children should have been.’ Kaduna’s impoverished inhabitants had retreated into their ethnic and religious identities. ‘Kaduna is now a tale of two cities,’ said the priest. ‘This side of the river is Christians; the other is Muslims.’ Kaduna’s decline was only one symptom of Nigeria’s descent into privation, Kukah went on. The national political class had abandoned civic duty to line its own pockets instead.


pages: 444 words: 151,136

Endless Money: The Moral Hazards of Socialism by William Baker, Addison Wiggin

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Andy Kessler, asset allocation, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital asset pricing model, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, debt deflation, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, housing crisis, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, McMansion, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, naked short selling, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, reserve currency, riskless arbitrage, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, time value of money, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra, young professional

In this modern world of Internet transparency, unaided by reporting from the mainstream media, eventually the citizenry of the United States might discover that the Democratic Party is a party heavily influenced by the super rich and the financial institutions that most deeply embraced moral hazard. Chapter 8 Sharecroppers he American Dream, a phrase coined in 1931 by author James Truslow Adams, is to aspire to a successful life, particularly one with an improved economic status compared to one’s parents. Consider this: Two upwardly mobile upper-middle class citizens marry and start a business or rise in their professions to earn a combined $360,000 annually, which places them in the top 5 percent of earners. The marginal federal tax rate this household would pay is 35 percent. Much of the U.S. population resides in high-tax states, which would extract 5 to 10 percent additional tax (this has been deductible, but a 28 percent ceiling was recently introduced).

Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United States by Francis Fukuyama

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Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus

The Civil War and the Glorious Revolution led to a dramatic change in the balance of power and the emergence of a limited, constitutional monarchy.49 Why? Two key processes seem to have been at work. One, first discussed by Tawney, was the rise of the gentry. Tawney pointed out that, after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 by Henry VIII, a large amount of land came onto the market and was purchased by a new breed of capitalistic farmers. These upwardly mobile producers had a vested interest in secure property rights, abolishing monopolies and restrictions of trade, and reining in the powers of the king.50 Another complementary factor, emphasized by Acemoglu et al., was the creation of a new breed of mercantile and capitalistic interests as the result of the expansion of overseas trade.51 Their institutional interests were similar to those of the gentry, and they combined in the eighteenth century to change British institutions.


pages: 424 words: 115,035

How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open borders, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, post-industrial society, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

As the welfare state then loses growing segments of its middle-class constituency, public programmes will turn into programmes for the poor which, according to an American adage, will make them poor programmes. 4. Privatization of investment in physical and social infrastructures gives rise to a growing private industry operating in what used to be the public sector. While typically subject to regulation, private providers are likely soon to become powerful players in the political arena where they will ally with the upwardly mobile middle class and its liberal-conservative political parties. The evolving connections of the new firms with the government, often taking the form of a revolving-door exchange of personnel, and their campaign contributions will further cement the shift from a redistributive towards a neoliberal state that abandons to civil society and the market its responsibility to provide for social equity and social cohesion.


pages: 399 words: 116,828

When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson

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affirmative action, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, desegregation, Donald Trump, edge city, ending welfare as we know it, full employment, George Gilder, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, income inequality, informal economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, school choice, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

The dudes, they do a lot of ripping off around here, they do a lot of stealing, put it that way. They rip off people. Then they got the drug traffic running through in these buildings. It’s all messed up, man. Many of the respondents described the negative effects of their neighborhood on their own personal outlook. An unmarried, employed clerical worker from a ghetto poverty census tract on the West Side stated: There is a more positive outlook if you come from an upwardly mobile neighborhood than you would here. In this type of neighborhood, all you hear is negative [things] and that can kind of bring you down when you’re trying to make it. So your neighborhood definitely has something to do with it. This view was shared by a 17-year-old college student and part-time worker from an impoverished West Side neighborhood. I’d say about 40 percent in my neighborhood … I’d say 40 percent are alcoholics.… And … only 5 percent of the alcoholics have homes.


pages: 565 words: 164,405

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein

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Admiral Zheng, asset allocation, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, call centre, clean water, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, domestication of the camel, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, Gini coefficient, ice-free Arctic, imperial preference, income inequality, intermodal, James Hargreaves, John Harrison: Longitude, Khyber Pass, low skilled workers, non-tariff barriers, placebo effect, Port of Oakland, refrigerator car, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, working poor

Long before Adam Smith and David Ricardo popularized the virtues of free trade, Henry Martyn realized that by importing the produce of other nations, it was possible to "reap the harvest of every country in the world." Josiah Wedgwood's technical skill and marketing savvy made his cups and pots, filled with tea and sugar from opposite sides of the globe, the essential totem of England's upwardly mobile masses. From the Granger Collection, New York. Before 1757. the English East India Company's territorial presence in India was limited to small trading colonies needed to support the cotton trade. In that year, a young colonel, Robert Clive, defeated a French-supported native force at Plassey and gained for the Company its first substantial conquest in India, a huge swath of territory in the Bengal.


pages: 444 words: 138,781

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

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affirmative action, Cass Sunstein, crack epidemic, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, desegregation, dumpster diving, ending welfare as we know it, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, late fees, New Urbanism, payday loans, price discrimination, profit motive, rent control, statistical model, superstar cities, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, working poor, young professional

Consequential and costly policy decisions have been made based on the collective assumption that poor people lack connections to kin and friends who are gainfully employed, college educated, and homeowners. Mixed-income housing is intended to “provide low-income residents with exposure to employment opportunities and social role models.” Neighborhood relocation programs, such as Moving to Opportunity, are designed to connect low-income families to more “prosocial and affluent social networks.” But many poor people have plenty of ties to the upwardly mobile. Roughly 1 in 6 Milwaukee renters lives in a neighborhood with above average disadvantage but is embedded in networks with below average disadvantage. But simply having ties to the middle class is insufficient. Likely because of the popularity of the term “social capital,” researchers tend to think of prosocial connections to important or resource-rich people as something you “have” and that, like money, can be used whenever you’d like.


pages: 403 words: 125,659

It's Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong

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Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, Kibera, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shock, out of africa, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, upwardly mobile, young professional, éminence grise

By his mid-teens John was, in typical adolescent fashion, searching for an identity, trying on various personalities. He flirted with Islam, buying a Muslim cap and reading the Koran with typical singleness of purpose. ‘John never did anything just for the heck of it. There was always a reason,’ says his sister. When that belief system failed to fit, he swung the other way, in a direction less calculated, this time, to outrage family and friends. In upwardly mobile families, sociologists say, it is the mother who serves as moral and spiritual compass. The Githongo family was no exception. Statuesque, grave and as imposing as a granite outcrop, Mary Githongo had always played a steadying role in the partnership, slamming the ethical brakes on when Joe, the flighty, less scrupulous one, showed signs of getting swept into one of his businessmen friends' dodgier schemes.


pages: 537 words: 135,099

The Rough Guide to Amsterdam by Martin Dunford, Phil Lee, Karoline Thomas

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banking crisis, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, spice trade, sustainable-tourism, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, young professional

The Old Jewish Quarter and Eastern docklands | The Plantagebuurt Laid out in the middle of the nineteenth century, the pleasant, leafy streets of the Plantagebuurt, falling to either side of Plantage Middenlaan boulevard, were developed as part of a concerted attempt to provide good-quality housing for the city’s expanding middle classes. Although it was never as fashionable as the older residential parts of the Grachtengordel, the new district did contain elegant villas and spacious terraces, making it the first suburban port of call for many upwardly mobile Jews. Nowadays, the Plantagebuurt is still one of the more prosperous parts of the city, in a modest sort of way, and boasts two especially enjoyable attractions – the Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Gardens) and the Verzetsmuseum (Dutch Resistance Museum). Nearby, just over the Plantage Muidergracht canal, and stretching west to the River Amstel, is a small parcel of old Amsterdam, dating back to the late seventeenth century.


pages: 821 words: 227,742

I Want My MTV by Craig Marks

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Bernie Sanders, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, haute couture, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile

I think John has always represented himself as being a bigger player in this than he was. JOHN LACK: When I left, Bob did an even better job than I did, but he didn’t invent the thing. He was great at implementing the vision. But it wasn’t his vision. After I left, he took the vision and went left and right with it, God bless. That’s what all good executives do. But he was married to a strange, upwardly-mobile lady by the name of Sandy. A famous, controversial character. She was obsessed with building his image as a media giant. They lived above their means in an apartment they couldn’t afford. She was a social climber. They’re long divorced now. CHARLIE WARNER: A lot of people expected, when somebody did a story about MTV, for Bob to say, “Well, it wasn’t my idea, it was John Lack’s idea and he gets all the credit for hiring me.”


pages: 389 words: 210,632

Frommer's Oregon by Karl Samson

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airport security, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Works Progress Administration

The crowd is upscale, the view one of the best in town. 309 SW Montgomery St. & 503/220-1865. www.mccormickand McCormick and Schmick’s Harborside Pilsner Room schmicks.com. 820.com. One of the Pearl District’s most popular drinking spots, this big bar/Nuevo Latino restaurant has a tropical feel despite the warehouse-district locale. After work the bar is always packed with the stylish and the upwardly mobile taking advantage of great happy-hour deals. Don’t miss the tropical-fruit margaritas! 555 NW 12th Ave. & 503/228- ¡Oba! 5 PORTLAND AFTER DARK Mint/820 Mixologist Lucy Brennan, owner of this swanky place, has single-handedly turned Portland into a town full of cocktail connoisseurs. Using fresh fruit juices, purees, and unusual ingredients, Brennan has reinvented the cocktail. How about a beet-infused martini or a creamy avocado cocktail?


pages: 725 words: 221,514

Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber

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Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, colonial rule, corporate governance, David Graeber, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, double entry bookkeeping, financial innovation, full employment, George Gilder, informal economy, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, oil shock, payday loans, place-making, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit motive, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, upwardly mobile, urban decay, working poor

Children of both sexes were given up for debt pledges or sold for “adoption.” Out of such practices, the prostitution of female family members for the benefit of the head of the family could readily develop. Women might end up as prostitutes because their parents had to sell them into slavery or because their impoverished husbands might so use them. Or they might become self-employed as a last alternative to enslavement. With luck, they might in this profession be upwardly mobile through becoming concubines. By the middle of the second millennium B.C., prostitution was well established as a likely occupation for the daughters of the poor. As the sexual regulation of women of the propertied class became more firmly entrenched, the virginity of respectable daughters became a financial asset for the family. Thus, commercial prostitution came to be seen as a social necessity for meeting the sexual needs of men.


pages: 356 words: 186,629

Frommer's Los Angeles 2010 by Matthew Richard Poole

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AltaVista, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, Maui Hawaii, Saturday Night Live, sustainable-tourism, upwardly mobile

Vincenti Ristorante NORTHERN ITALIAN Despite newer trends sweeping L.A., finely ex ecuted northern Italian cuisine is still going str ong, as evidenced b y this Westside standout. The menu, praised as “ authentically Italian,” offers cr eative far e— gnocchi in tomato-squab sauce, sage-enhanced pumpkin-squash ravioli—along with well-prepared classics such as r otisserie-cooked whole fish, game bir ds, and steak. Economy-minded diners with upwardly mobile palates can easily stick with hear ty appetizers 113 Finds L.A.’s Best Sushi & Stir-Fried Crickets 11930 San Vicente Blvd. (west of Montana Ave.), Brentwood. & 310/207-0127. www.vincentiristorante. com. Reser vations recommended. Main courses $18–$39. AE, MC, V. Mon–Sat 6–10pm; F ri noon–2pm. Valet parking $5. MODERATE Border Grill LATIN AMERICAN Before Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger spiced up cable TV with Too Hot Tamales, they opened this vibrant, cavernous, and muy loud space that’s packed every night with locals and tourists.


pages: 998 words: 211,235

A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar

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Al Roth, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Brownian motion, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, experimental economics, fear of failure, Henri Poincaré, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, linear programming, lone genius, market design, medical residency, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, Ronald Coase, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, spectrum auction, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, upwardly mobile

In his autobiographical essay, Nash described “having to learn from the world’s knowledge rather than the knowledge of the immediate community” as “a challenge.”15 But, in fact, Bluefield offered a good deal of stimulation — admittedly, of a down-to-earth variety — for an inquiring mind; John Nash’s subsequent career as a multi-faceted mathematician, not to mention a certain pragmatism of character, would seem to owe something to his Bluefield years. More than anything, the newly married Nashes were strivers. Solid members of America’s new, upwardly mobile professional middle class, they formed a tight alliance and devoted themselves to achieving financial security and a respectable place for themselves in the town’s social pyramid.16 They became Episcopalians, like many of Bluefield’s more prosperous citizens, rather than continuing in the fundamentalist churches of their youth. Unlike most of Virginia’s family, they also became staunch Republicans, though (so as to be able to vote for a Democratic cousin in the primaries) not registered party members.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Yogi Berra

“Actually, we have more than most states.” The reasons go beyond simple economics. While the county’s outposts search for new recruits that match up well with its strengths—the Tel Aviv staff, for instance, are on the lookout for transplant candidates in software, security, and biotech—there’s a deep cosmopolitan yearning at play here as well. The fields where the Civil War was once fought have become diverse suburbs filled with upwardly mobile immigrants. More than a third of all the children born in Fairfax have at least one parent from overseas, and that percentage is rising; its one million inhabitants already include forty thousand foreign-born Indians and fifty thousand Koreans. Fairfax is also home to some 358 foreign-owned companies, and the key to finding life after the Beltway Bandits is to lure more of them here. Thanks to its connections, the future of Fairfax is bound up more tightly with Beijing or Bangalore than with Washington, D.C., next door.


pages: 614 words: 176,458

Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, call centre, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, informal economy, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, Northern Rock, Panamax, peak oil, refrigerator car, scientific mainstream, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce

In the north, animal fats are local foods – the rise of vegetable oil is a symptom of globalization. The first edible vegetable oil to reach the market in the US, at the end of the 19th century, was ‘Cottolene’, a blend of cotton seed oil (a byproduct of the cotton industry) with a proportion of beef dripping. Food writer Alice Ross observes that it was one of the first branded and advertised commodities, and was marketed to upwardly mobile urban consumers who were encouraged to view pork as ‘a less expensive meat … associated with “the poorer classes”’.3 Since the 1950s, other vegetable oil products have followed the same promotional path as Cottolene, and largely replaced animal fats in margarine, in soap and as a cooking medium. A few of these – grape seed oil for example, or corn oil which constitutes only 4 per cent of wet-milled corn – are commercially viable because, like Cottolene, they are byproducts of another industry.


pages: 588 words: 193,087

And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft by Mike Sacks

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Albert Einstein, Columbine, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, game design, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, out of africa, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, upwardly mobile

I know it has something to do with the correct matching of performer and material, or some set of commonly held assumptions about the world, or an attitude. I get dizzy trying to deconstruct it. I do know that when I can match a comic performer or writer with some sociological turf, then the comedy has, for me, a better chance of landing: Jonathan Winters and his characters from the Midwest. Or Woody Allen, from a Jewish-urban landscape. Or Chris Rock, from the upwardly mobile, urban-black perspective. And so on. I do know that those performers who seem to come from the Land of Media have a more difficult time making me laugh — the exception is David Letterman, much of whose humor is deconstructionist and exhibits, or tries to conceal, a hilarious rage against the various forms of media, like advertising, political doublespeak, and so on. So there are exceptions.


pages: 756 words: 228,797

Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, conceptual framework, greed is good, laissez-faire capitalism, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, New Journalism, open borders, price stability, profit motive, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, wage slave, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, young professional

He seems to have become a pharmacist, at least in part, because this was one of the professions that permitted Jews to enter the city relatively freely. But the laws were fickle and crafted to give the czar maximum flexibility, and arrest and/or exile were a constant danger. It was in this volatile and often frightening atmosphere that Rand grew up. She was the eldest of three daughters of this upwardly mobile pharmacist and his religiously observant, socially ambitious wife; Anna would later appear in her daughter’s novels as a series of superficial or spiteful characters. When Rand was two and a half, her sister Natasha was born; when she was five, her youngest and favorite sister, Eleanora, called Nora, entered the family. By the time Nora was born, in 1910, Zinovy had advanced to become the manager of a larger, more centrally located pharmacy.


pages: 777 words: 186,993

Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani

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affirmative action, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, land reform, LNG terminal, load shedding, Mahatma Gandhi, market fragmentation, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open economy, pension reform, Potemkin village, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, smart grid, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

Our prime minister, for instance, has declared “Rozgar Badao” (increase employment) as the slogan for our coming decade, even though he faces an extremely hostile climate when it comes to any chances of passing labor reforms.co Our early decades of economic insecurity and pessimism have defined our opinions on labor at a time we need to act quickly. Over the next decade, job growth in India—one million new jobs every year—is going to be far lower than what we need, considering the 14 million people who will enter the workforce every year. The effects of this massive shortfall are fundamentally reshaping India’s path to growth and complicating our search for the ambitious, upwardly mobile everyman. Shaping a movement In trying to unravel our debates around jobs, we are forced to follow the shouting rather than the policy arguments. The labor unions dominate the debate on jobs in India, and while they represent a small fraction of our working population, they have defined the tone of our employment policies. The classes of organized workers in India have long been a force to reckon with—they have been hugely vocal and inseparable from our politics, and governments have often found it difficult to put a lid on their activism.


pages: 416 words: 204,183

The Rough Guide to Florence & the Best of Tuscany by Tim Jepson, Jonathan Buckley, Rough Guides

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air freight, Bonfire of the Vanities, car-free, housing crisis, land reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, sustainable-tourism, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning

Most of the six hundred models – and nearly all of the amazing full-body mannequins – were made between 1775 and 1791 by one Clemente Susini, under the supervision of the physiologist Tommaso Bonicoli, and were intended as teaching aids, in an age when medical ethics and refrigeration techniques were not what they are today. In a separate room towards the end, after the obstetrics display and a few zoological waxworks, you’ll find the grisliest section of La Specola, a trio Western Oltrarno is one of the city’s earthier districts, though in recent years it’s been steadily colonized by bars, restaurants and shops that are turning it into a south-of-the-river equivalent of the upwardly mobile area around Sant’Ambrogio. An indication of the importance of the parish of Santo Spirito, the Oltrarno’s social and geographical heart, is that when Florence was divided into four administrative quartieri in the fourteenth century, the entire area south of the Arno was given its name.The busy piazza in front of Santo Spirito church, with its buzzing cafés and restaurants, encapsulates the genuinely Florentine character of this part of the Oltrarno, an area not hopelessly compromised by the encroachments of tourism, even though there’s a steady stream of visitors heading for the great fresco cycle in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine


pages: 492 words: 70,082

Immigration worldwide: policies, practices, and trends by Uma Anand Segal, Doreen Elliott, Nazneen S. Mayadas

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, centre right, conceptual framework, credit crunch, demographic transition, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, full employment, global village, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, New Urbanism, open borders, phenotype, South China Sea, structural adjustment programs, trade route, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce

The immigrant incorporation model has similarly been transformed away from race relations and toward ‘‘integration.’’ The threat of terrorism has renewed interest in the integration of the UK’s Muslim population; more funding and programming is available for this cause, generally under the auspices of ‘‘preventing violent extremism.’’ Evidence on the outcomes of immigrants is mixed. First generation immigrants have downward social mobility, whereas most groups in the second generation are upwardly mobile (with the important exception of Pakistanis). The contribution of immigrants to the country is also contested, particularly in the economic sphere. Immigration has a small, positive impact on the macroeconomy, with some negative distributional effects. There is far less consideration of its impacts on public services or on the United Kingdom long-term dynamics (both economically and socially) but it is widely recognized that immigrants underpin certain economic sectors.


pages: 956 words: 288,981

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2011 by Steve Coll

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airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, colonial rule, computer age, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, illegal immigration, index card, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce

Azzam’s message was everywhere—on underground cassette tapes, in newspapers, in pamphlets—and it echoed sermons delivered by members of Yousef’s own family. His great-uncle was a leader at a suburban mosque attended by Pakistani guest workers. After attending primary and secondary school in Kuwait, Yousef was sent to a technical institute in Swansea, Wales, between 1986 and 1989, to obtain a degree in electrical engineering and computer-aided electronics. It was the sort of practical English education that many upwardly mobile Pakistani families living in the Gulf wanted for their sons, so that the rising generation could expand the family’s income in the big Arab oil cities. What Yousef made of coeducational campus life in Wales isn’t known. His uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was active in the Muslim Brotherhood and worked with the Saudi-backed Afghan leader Sayyaf in Pakistan.When he returned to the Gulf from Britain, Yousef found a job as a communications engineer in the National Computer Center of Kuwait’s Ministry of Planning, a government sinecure that could ensure a comfortable life.15 A year later his family’s upward trajectory came to an abrupt halt.


pages: 1,079 words: 321,718

Surfaces and Essences by Douglas Hofstadter, Emmanuel Sander

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, Chance favours the prepared mind, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Flynn Effect, Georg Cantor, Gerolamo Cardano, Golden Gate Park, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, l'esprit de l'escalier, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, place-making, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl

Just as we need to hide the massively complex details inside our fancy gadgets by elegant and user-friendly packaging, so we need to hide the details of many ideas in order to talk about them in a sufficiently compact way that we won’t get lost in a mountain of details. And thus acronyms flourish. Furthermore, acronyms become more and more opaque over time, like metaphors. Just as we speak of “dead metaphors”, so we could speak of “dead acronyms”. For instance, probably most people today do not realize that the following words first saw the light of day as acronyms: yuppie (“young upwardly mobile professional”) laser (“light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”) radar (“radio detection and ranging”) modem (“modulator–demodulator”) snafu (“situation normal all fucked up”) scuba (“self-contained underwater breathing apparatus”). And indeed, who would want to think of, or say, “radio detection and ranging” instead of just “radar”, or “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation” instead of just “laser”?


pages: 768 words: 291,079

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, full employment, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, wage slave, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

451 which ascendeth up for ever and ever: ‘and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night’ (Revelation 14: 10–11). bowler hats of the latest type: dating from about 1850, the bowler hat developed into a badge of respectability for the upwardly mobile, ‘even- tually inspiring Chaplin to use it in his parody of the earnest “little Explanatory Notes man”’ . See Fred Miller Robinson, The Man in the Bowler Hat: His History and Iconography (1993). oxalic acid: poisonous acid found in many plants, including rhubarb: used as a bleach and cleanser. 455 up to the knocker: finely or showily dressed. In the height of fashion; proficient, equal to the task (The Slang Dictionary, 1892). 457 a surplus: the procedure echoes trade union practice.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield management

Changes between 1940 and 1970 continued the trends of safer, less physically demanding work that began at the turn of the twentieth century. Workers no longer found themselves stuck in the toil of backbreaking work on the farm, in the mine, or in the factory that often pushed them to their physical limits. Already by 1940, the average workweek had leveled off at around forty hours, down from sixty hours per week in 1900. The period between 1940 and 1970 witnessed the white-collar transition toward stable, upwardly mobile careers. The improvements in workplace safety, in part brought by the shift away from blue-collar jobs, assisted toward this end by lengthening the span of the working life and the long-term earning power of most workers. The period between 1940 and 1970 also witnessed the most rapid improvement in working conditions of housewives at home, for the transition from household drudgery, manual laundry work, and the hauling of fuel and water was largely complete as the major household appliances became nearly universal by 1970.


pages: 1,351 words: 404,177

Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein

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affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, East Village, European colonialism, full employment, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, immigration reform, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Monroe Doctrine, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, walking around money, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

Tom Turnipseed had been busy organizing to get George Wallace on the ballot of all fifty states as a third-party candidate when his boss casually drawled, “I’m tired of those kooks in the third-party business. It’s crazy. I’m thinking about going back into the Democratic Party.” Wallace traveled to Tallahassee in January to announce he was entering primaries. Soon, he was ahead in the Florida polls, where he had adjusted his rhetoric for upwardly mobile professionals who’d moved from city to suburb for a better and safer life for their children; he wasn’t just for rednecks anymore. A beautiful new, young wife by his side, he explained that blacks had the same right to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps as anyone else, buy a nice home, a car or two in the garage, send their kids to nice suburban schools. The problem was forced desegregation, which let folks jump the queue: “Now, on this busing, I said many years ago, if we don’t stop the federal takeover of the schools, there’d be chaos.


pages: 1,157 words: 379,558

Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War, the Public Health, and the Unabashed Triumph of Philip Morris by Richard Kluger

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air freight, Albert Einstein, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, double entry bookkeeping, family office, feminist movement, full employment, ghettoisation, Indoor air pollution, medical malpractice, Mikhail Gorbachev, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, trade route, transaction costs, traveling salesman, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty

Horrigan, alternately called “Big Ed” (for his feisty presence, not his stature) and “Little Caesar” (never to his face), pushed hard for investment in the aging cigarette factories, an end to sloppy production habits, and a correction in false economies like the overuse of reconstituted leaf, which gave too harsh a taste to some brands. The company’s prime need, though, was for marketing innovation instead of dependency on RJR’s sales force. Horrigan, however, was more gifted as a manager than as a merchandiser; he killed off a number of also-ran brands, and when Wilson showed little enthusiasm for lavishing ad dollars on More, the long, brown-paper brand being aimed at upwardly mobile black women, or the new mint-flavored Bright, Horrigan directed the resources toward firing up the core brands. But there was little magic or imagery to the presentation, no “Marlboro Country” fantasyland—“armpit advertising” was what Stanley Katz privately called the new campaigns with a blue-collar pitch aimed right between the eyes. The dead-on, joyless ads “removed aspiration from the mix,” Katz believed.


pages: 1,509 words: 416,377

Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty by Bradley K. Martin

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anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, four colour theorem, illegal immigration, informal economy, kremlinology, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Potemkin village, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, stakhanovite, UNCLOS, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

Another thing that struck me was that Pak bluntly contradicted me only once. That was when I was speaking about the pros and cons of South Korea in the eyes of Americans. I told him that, despite what was then a lack of democracy as we understood democracy, South Korea offered its citizens a certain kind of freedom that Americans could identify with: freedom to make nonpolitical choices, to be upwardly mobile economically and socially. Pak snapped: “That’s not true!” And he said it with a fervid conviction that contrasted with the man-of-the-world demeanor he otherwise displayed that day. In the remainder of the conversation, while he could be ironic and a bit playful about American words and deeds, he never acknowledged anything positive about South Korea. My telling him that Americans could identify to an extent with South Korea seemed only to have reinforced his evident belief that the South was playing the flunkey role, trying to become a Western-style society—a contemptible trend, in his view of Korean cultural legitimacy.

Great Britain by David Else, Fionn Davenport

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active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Beeching cuts, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Attenborough, Etonian, food miles, glass ceiling, global village, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Mahatma Gandhi, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, place-making, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent

Festivals & Events HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA The first ever Oxford and Cambridge boat race was held in Henley in 1839, and ever since the cream of English society has descended on this small town each year for a celebration of boating, back slapping and the beau monde. The five-day Henley Royal Regatta ( 01491-572153; www.hrr.co.uk) has grown into a major fixture in the social calendar of the upwardly mobile, and is a massive corporate entertainment opportunity. These days, hanging out on the lawn swilling champagne and looking rich and beautiful is the main event, and although rowers of the highest calibre compete, most spectators appear to take little interest in what’s happening on the water. The regatta is held in the first week of July, but you’ll need contacts in the rowing or corporate worlds to get tickets in the stewards’ enclosure.

England by David Else

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active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, colonial rule, Columbine, congestion charging, David Attenborough, David Brooks, Etonian, food miles, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Mahatma Gandhi, new economy, New Urbanism, out of africa, place-making, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, unbiased observer, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent

Festivals & Events HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA The first ever Oxford and Cambridge boat race was held in Henley in 1839, and ever since the cream of English society has descended on this small town each year for a celebration of boating, back slapping and the beau monde. The five-day Henley Royal Regatta (01491-572153; www.hrr.co.uk) has grown into a major fixture in the social calendar of the upwardly mobile, and is a massive corporate entertainment opportunity. These days, hanging out on the lawn swilling champagne and looking rich and beautiful is the main event, and although rowers of the highest calibre compete, most spectators appear to take little interest in what’s happening on the water. The regatta is held in the first week of July, but you’ll need contacts in the rowing or corporate worlds to get tickets in the stewards’ enclosure.


pages: 3,292 words: 537,795

Lonely Planet China (Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet, Shawn Low

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, bike sharing scheme, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, indoor plumbing, land reform, place-making, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, young professional

MaskBAR (Lianpu jiuba MAP GOOGLE MAP ; 14 Kundu Night Market; beers from ¥15; h8pm-late) In the heart of the Kundu Night Market area, and jammed on weekends when there are DJs, the Mask is popular with expat and local students. It offers a fair range of domestic and foreign beers. During the week, it's more relaxed and a decent spot for a quiet drink. AleiBAR ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %836 9099; Bldg A1, Zhengyifang, 3 Qianwang Jie: A1 cocktails from ¥50; h5pm-midnight; W) The only genuine cocktail bar in Kunming, Alei is a large, low-lit, modern space that has proved a hit with upwardly mobile locals. The bartenders know their trade and there's nightly live music of one form or another. MoondogBAR (Yueliang Gou MAP GOOGLE MAP ; 138-5 Wacang Nanlu; beers from ¥15; h6pm-late) An expat-Chinese run dive bar that attracts a mixed crowd of expats and locals. Fine collection of whiskies (from ¥50) and live music or occasional DJs. 7Shopping Yunnan specialities are marble and batik from Dali, jade from Ruili, minority embroidery, musical instruments and spotted-brass utensils.