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Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison by The Class Ceiling Why it Pays to be Privileged (2019, Policy Press)
affirmative action, Boris Johnson, discrete time, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, equal pay for equal work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Hyperloop, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, old-boy network, performance metric, psychological pricing, school choice, Skype, starchitect, The Spirit Level, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile
In fact, the pay gap is actually significantly higher when we compare people from different backgrounds who are the same in terms of age, gender and ethnicity. We also find that many conventional indicators of ‘merit’ go little way in explaining the pay gap. We find no evidence, for example, that the upwardly mobile work fewer hours, have less training or have less experience than their privileged colleagues. One marker of ‘merit’ is important, however – educational attainment. Those from working-class backgrounds are less likely to have degrees and less likely to have attended prestigious universities, both of which are associated with higher earnings. Yet, tellingly, even when the upwardly mobile do achieve the highest credentials, including Oxbridge degrees and/or first 21 The Class Ceiling class84 grades, they are not able to convert them into the same earnings premium as the privileged.
Figure 2.5 reveals that there are similarly telling variations in the magnitude of the 52 Getting on Figure 2.5: The class pay gap is biggest in law, medicine and finance Finance Law Medicine Chiefs of fire, ambulance and police Management consulting Accountancy Corporate senior management Public-sector senior management Academia IT Performing arts Advertising CEOs Engineering Life sciences Film & TV Science Architecture Journalism 00 0,0 -£2 Working-class origins 00 5,0 -£1 00 0,0 -£1 0 ,00 -£5 £- 0 ,00 £5 00 0,0 £1 0 0 5,0 £1 Intermediate origins Note: Class pay gaps between upwardly mobile (working-class or intermediate origin) and professional-managerial-origin people in each of our 19 elite occupational groups. Average earnings differences are statistically significant at p<0.05 for one or both upwardly mobile groups in finance, law, medicine, chiefs of fire, ambulance and police, management consulting, accountancy, corporate senior management, public sector senior management, and IT. Source: LFS 53 The Class Ceiling class pay gap. The biggest gaps are found in two areas. First, we can see that the traditional high-status professions of law and medicine are not only highly socially exclusive but also appear to tilt in favour of the privileged when it comes to progression.
So how do you disentangle what you’ve been telling me from the “I didn’t feel I had the same chops so I took a sideways move.” For Giles, the problem with our analysis so far is that it tilts too far towards issues of ‘demand’ rather than ‘supply’. We have thus interrogated various barriers that hold the upwardly mobile back but have neglected how the mobile themselves may be implicated in the class ceiling. What about their actions, decisions, aspirations? In Giles’s experience it is this ‘supply’ issue that is more important. To reach the partnership, he goes on to tell us, people need to “really want it”, need to be “comfortable 171 The Class Ceiling asserting themselves”, need to handle “robust discussion”. But the upwardly mobile, he argues, “sometimes, not always, but sometimes shy away from that.” This is not an isolated view. Over the course of this project we spoke to many, particularly those in senior positions (often white men from privileged backgrounds), who shared Giles’s take on the class ceiling.
Social Class in the 21st Century by Mike Savage
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, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, moral panic, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, old-boy network, precariat, psychological pricing, Sloane Ranger, 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.
The American Dream Is Not Dead: (But Populism Could Kill It) by Michael R. Strain
Bernie Sanders, business cycle, centre right, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, feminist movement, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, job automation, labor-force participation, market clearing, market fundamentalism, new economy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, upwardly mobile, working poor
We should hope for and work toward a future where incomes grow more rapidly within the same family across generations, where more children go on to outearn their parents, and by wider margins. Americans rightly have high expectations. Could there be more upward mobility in America? Yes. But if you have to pick between characterizing America as upwardly mobile or upwardly immobile—if you have to pick between the American Dream of upward mobility being alive or dead, between America being a class society or not—the right choice in that binary is upwardly mobile. America is upwardly mobile. America is not a class society, where no intergenerational progress takes place. The American Dream is not dead. Of course, what we care about most is whether today’s young people will be upwardly mobile, not whether today’s 40-year-olds did better than their parents. We should pursue that goal aggressively, acting as if the American Dream is under threat, even if we believe it’s not.
For William and Rose Contents Introduction PART 1: The American Dream Is Not Dead 1.Defining the Dream 2.Today’s Message: The Dream Is Dead 3.We Have Real Challenges 4.The American Dream Is Not Dead 5.Today’s Economy Is Delivering 6.Incomes Are Growing 7.Quality of Life Has Clearly Improved 8.“Hollowing Out” Won’t Be the End of the Story 9.America Is an Upwardly Mobile Society 10.Advancing the Dream PART 2: Dissenting Points of View 11.Populism Isn’t the Problem: It’s a Response to Inequality by E. J. Dionne 12.Why Economic Trends Support Conservative Populism by Henry Olsen 13.A Response to E. J. Dionne and Henry Olsen Acknowledgments Notes About the Contributors About the Author Introduction THE AMERICAN DREAM is not dead. It is surprising that such a sentence would be so controversial. But it is. If you’re looking for bipartisan consensus, start here. Leading politicians and presidential candidates from both parties have voiced agreement on these points: America is no longer an upwardly mobile society. Incomes are stagnant. Workers don’t enjoy the fruits of their labor.
In the fourth quintile, it’s also around 74 percent. And about 53 percent of 40-somethings today in the top 20 percent have a higher income than their parents did when their parents were in their 40s. This analysis suggests that America is clearly an upwardly mobile society. The common experience is for children to have higher incomes than their parents. This is particularly true of children raised in the bottom 20 percent, and, really, for those raised outside the top 20 percent. HOW MUCH MORE? Adults today typically earn a good deal more than their parents. In other words, America isn’t upwardly mobile by just a few cents. I should first caution you not to read too much into the exact numbers because the sample size of the PSID is not especially large. With that in mind, after all the sample restrictions necessary for this analysis have been imposed, the median income of a 40-something today is about $54,000.
A Concise History of Modern India (Cambridge Concise Histories) by Barbara D. Metcalf, Thomas R. Metcalf
affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, commoditize, demand response, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, income inequality, joint-stock company, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, Silicon Valley, spice trade, telemarketer, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning
When these terms are adduced, they not only may allow a claim on improved social standing, but also may contribute to social integration across cultural and linguistic regions. Muslim social hierarchy as well, one might note, also took on new formality, evident by the eighteenth century, with the wellborn identifying themselves in terms of four ranked putative descent groups: Sayyid, descendants of the Prophet; Shaikh, descendants of his Companions; Mughal; and Pathan. The category of ‘shaikh’ was particularly porous in absorbing the upwardly mobile. Sultans, Mughals, and pre-colonial Indian society 25 What Susan Bayly calls ‘paradigmatic case’ of kingly social mobility is that of Shivaji Bhonsle (1630–80), the pivotal figure in the Maratha insurgency that so plagued Aurangzeb in the Deccan. Shivaji was of cultivator background, from peoples known in western India as Marathas. By the sixteenth century, the term ‘Maratha’ had acquired greater respectability through its use by the Deccani sultans as they rewarded these communities for their service as soldiers and office holders.
It often opened the way to extortion, however, as contractors, unchecked so long as they filled their contracts, set out to amass personal fortunes at the expense of hapless cultivators. Yet, where contracts were awarded for an extended series of years, revenue farmers had an obvious incentive to encourage agricultural prosperity in the areas under their control, and the process clearly gave many enterprising and upwardly mobile individuals an arena for action. The most successful farmers combined military power with cash advances to local villagers, as well as participation in the trade of the commodities produced. The forty years when Mian Almas Ali held districts yielding one-third the revenue of Awadh, for example, were looked back upon by the people in later years as a ‘golden age’. An innovation with far-reaching implications for the working of the new system of regional states was the recruitment of infantry forces, handling more efficient artillery and deployed with far greater discipline and effectiveness than the traditional mounted cavalry of the Mughals.
In assessing the various movements which grew up it is essential to avoid simplistic dichotomies. ‘Tradition’, in both Hinduism and Islam, as we have seen in chapter 1, possessed its own vitality; while ‘reform’ could take many shapes. In areas away from the immediate environs of the presidency capitals, movements of reformed practice were little influenced by the West, and so followed customary channels into the colonial period. Hindu devotionalism remained attractive, especially to upwardly mobile groups seeking to distance themselves from tribal or low caste origins. Most prominent, perhaps, was the movement founded in Gujarat by Swami Narayan (1780–1830). Rejecting much of Brahmanical ritualism in favour of a Vaishnavite devotionalism, Swami Narayan drew followers from displaced nomadic and warrior communities, and so helped further the process of agricultural settlement. The most significant Islamic movement of the early nineteenth century was that asssociated with the reformist ideas, discussed The East India Company Raj, 1772–1850 85 above, of Shah Waliullah.
Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders by Reihan Salam
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bonfire of the Vanities, charter city, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ghettoisation, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, megacity, new economy, obamacare, open borders, race to the bottom, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, two tier labour market, upwardly mobile, urban decay, working poor
If this pattern persists, Hispanic ethnicity will become more closely associated with disadvantage than it is today. The ranks of white people would continue to grow as the children of whites and upwardly mobile Hispanics come to identify as white. So, too, would the ranks of self-identified Hispanics, who’d tend to be less affluent and educated than those who self-identify as non-Hispanic, and who would thus find themselves locked out of the corridors of power. Many have pointed to ethnic attrition as an indication that amalgamation is proceeding apace, and that concerns about the racialization of American Hispanics are overblown. The fact that some members of disadvantaged groups are upwardly mobile, living in integrated neighborhoods, and forging close ties, including ties of marriage,16 with members of more advantaged groups, is indeed encouraging.
Chakravorty, Sanjoy, Devesh Kapur, and Nirvikar Singh. The Other One Percent: Indians in America. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2017. 17. Lazear, Edward. “Why Are Some Immigrant Groups More Successful than Others?” NBER Working Paper No. 23548, October 2017. http://www.nber.org/papers/w23548. 18. Joo, Nathan and Richard V. Reeves. “How upwardly mobile are Hispanic children? Depends on how you look at it.” Brookings, November 10, 2015. www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2015/11/10/how-upwardly-mobile-are-hispanic-children-depends-how-you-look-at-it/. 19. Duncan and Trejo. 20. Waters and Pineau. 21. Ibid. 22. Lubotsky, Darren. “Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings.” Journal of Political Economy 115:5 (October 2007): 820–67. doi.org/10.1086/522871. 23. Waters and Pineau. 24.
The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
assortative mating, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discrete time, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, income inequality, iterative process, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, Mason jar, means of production, NetJets, new economy, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, post-industrial society, profit maximization, Richard Florida, selection bias, Silicon Valley, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, Tony Hsieh, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Veblen good, women in the workforce
The working classes found their own conduits to suggest social position, just as the middle and upper classes did within their own groups.3 On the other hand, the rising bourgeoisie, as an economic juggernaut independent of the aristocracy, bought big houses and decorated them ornately to identify themselves as a part of this new middle class. After all, the middle classes were increasingly upwardly mobile without the benefit of birthright.4 Veblen believed the proliferation of conspicuous consumption would increase as society became more and more industrialized, paving the way for overall rising incomes and a flood of new consumer goods. In his Pulitzer Prize–winning work, The Americans: A Democratic Experience, the University of Chicago historian Daniel Boorstin described the relationship between America’s built environment and its development as a society.
All of these practices reveal what Max Weber called “styles of life.”19 Thus, money and status, while related, are not the same thing. Rather, people of a similar income bracket do not necessarily behave and consume in the same way; behavior is determined more by how one got there, where she came from, and where she lives. This observation captures what Bourdieu meant when he believed it was impossible to be upwardly mobile simply through material goods. Bourdieu would observe that status then becomes a product of who we socialize with and the information and cues we pick up as a result.20 Taste and style of life are passed on from generation to generation and learned at a young age or through membership in a particular group. If one is not brought up within an elite habitus, one remains an outsider. This explains why we see the true upper class of Britain poor as paupers but status rich, and why Tony Soprano, with his big New Jersey suburban house, would never be invited to attend a Met gala or to serve on the board of the New York Public Library.
Data source: Consumer Expenditure Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you have more money you can afford the more expensive elements of life—education, health, and retirement savings. Ironically, despite the fact that all of these items are essential for a good life and create lifelong returns, they are also the investments that are most out of reach, particularly for the middle class and the poor. A financed SUV, perhaps signaling some upwardly mobile position, is fairly affordable to a middle-class household, and is significantly less expensive than a top university’s tuition fees, or putting away the requisite 15% a year for retirement. Good health insurance costs thousands of dollars a year, and that does not include anything that might be considered a specialty health cost, like allergy testing or dermatology. The increase in disparity is not a result of the middle class spending less on these categories as much as it is a result of the rich spending significantly more (see figures 3.3–3.5).
Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, American ideology, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, creative destruction, 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, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, 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.
The Metropolitan Revolution: The Rise of Post-Urban America by Jon C. Teaford
anti-communist, big-box store, conceptual framework, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, East Village, edge city, estate planning, Golden Gate Park, Gunnar Myrdal, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, rent control, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, young professional
In our view, we will have failed if all we do is produce houses.”105 With this in mind, he encouraged the first residents to incorporate Park Forest as a municipality so that they could participate democratically in the development of the community and not remain subject to the paternalistic rule of the developer. Klutznick dreamed of “a people’s village, not a developer’s fiefdom.” This did not necessarily benefit him. “As the resident president of ACB,” he later noted, “I was the natural object of protest movements.”106 Not only were the Park Forest houses more expensive than those in Levittown, but the residents had a higher educational status and tended to be upwardly mobile white-collar workers. A 1950 survey found that the average adult male in Park Forest had more than four years of college education, and one observer reported that “the first wave of colonists was heavy with academic and professional people—the place, it appeared, had an extraordinary affinity for Ph.D.s”107 But like Levittown, it also had an extraordinary affinity for children. In 1950 half the residents were under fourteen years old, and the high birth rate earned Park Forest the nickname “Fertile Acres.”108 One early resident reminisced about the swarms of children he encountered on his first night in the community: “It seemed that they were all outside that night—60 noisy, running, screaming children swirling around us—it was incredible.”109 The West Coast counterpart to Park Forest and the Levittowns was Lakewood, located south of Los Angeles.
By 1969, African Americans owned one-fifth of the houses in the Lomond neighborhood of the affluent Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights.54 In 1970 almost 15 percent of Shaker Heights residents were African American; ten years later, the figure approached 25 percent. Meanwhile, nearby middle-class Cleveland Heights went from less than 1 percent black in 1960 to 25 percent black in 1980. In the Chicago area, the middle-class suburb of Oak Park had 132 African American residents in 1970; ten years later, 5,929 blacks lived in the community. In southern California, thousands of upwardly mobile blacks moved into the single-family tract houses along the tree-lined streets of suburban Compton, although in the 1970s they were joined by an increasing number of poorer refugees from the central city. The black migrants to suburbia, however, were the exception to the rule. Most African Americans remained confined in segregated neighborhoods of the central city, removed from a white population that was resigned to the abandonment of the urban core.
After decades of outward migration to suburbia, the white middle class seemed to be headed back to the old neighborhoods, where they were investing in real estate and renovating aging structures that until recently appeared destined for abandonment. This return of the white middle class became know as gentrification; the gentry were reclaiming down-at-the-heels neighborhoods and making them upscale. Especially prevalent among the gentrifiers were young, upwardly mobile professionals, the so-called Yuppies. Young, confident, childless whites found the crime and inferior schooling of the central cities less threatening than did families with children to protect and educate. Moreover, they were not dependent on a suburban McDonalds to satisfy their screaming youngsters’ demands for Happy Meals. Suburbia had always been deemed a good place to raise children, a safe, wholesome environment with ample play space and quality schools.
Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence by Rachel Sherman
American ideology, Bernie Sanders, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, estate planning, financial independence, gig economy, high net worth, income inequality, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, mental accounting, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor
And they were usually more liberal or progressive politically, which made them more likely to have a structural understanding and critique of inequality.2 Upward-oriented people, in contrast, moved in more homogenous social and family circles, had experienced less class mobility, and espoused more conservative politics (relatively speaking). The one exception to this pattern was among women in the highest-earning families in my sample, those with household incomes of over $5 million per year and assets of over $20 million. These stay-at-home mothers described themselves as privileged even when they did not have especially liberal politics or diverse social networks. They were “upwardly mobile” in the sense that they had been raised upper-middle-class but were now much more wealthy than that. More important, I think, was that it was essentially impossible for them to face upward, simply because there were so few people above them. For the most part, however, income and assets were not correlated to whether people would face upward or downward. We might imagine that upward-oriented people simply don’t notice that they are privileged.
FACING DOWNWARD, RECOGNIZING PRIVILEGE Like Keith and Karen, introduced at the start of the chapter, and Scott and Olivia, described in the introduction, many of those I interviewed did talk openly about themselves as privileged. They described conflicted feelings about their social advantages and about social inequality generally. Unlike those who aspired to the middle, these interviewees were usually either inheritors of wealth who worked in creative-class jobs or earners who were upwardly mobile (or, in a few cases, married to people in creative occupations). Partly for these reasons, as I discuss later, their social, professional, and familial networks were diverse economically, and sometimes racially. They were typically more liberal politically than upward-oriented people. These interviewees recognized their privilege and were willing to talk about it much more openly than did those who faced upward.
Beatrice made the same point when she told me, “My friends are facing the same problems that I’m facing [such as finding a school for children]; it’s just that I have resources to deal with them that other people don’t have.” She continued, “I feel just some concern about, kind of, rubbing their faces in the fact that I have this wider range of choices.” Ultimately, discomfort of this type might be one reason people end up with increasingly homogenous social worlds over time. For upwardly mobile people, family of origin was a significant referent. Miriam, a banker earning over $1 million annually, said she currently spent social time with “probably mostly similar types of families in similar types of jobs.” But, she added, “I make more money than my entire family put together.” Miriam did not feel guilty about her wealth exactly, but she described money as “dirty,” “soiled,” and “tainted.”
Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It by Richard V. Reeves
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, knowledge economy, land value tax, longitudinal study, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, positional goods, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working-age population, zero-sum game
INTERGENERATIONAL MOBILITY: AMERICA’S STICKY TOP Social mobility is an area where it really pays to be clear about definitions. My main interest here is in relative intergenerational mobility, which is not to be confused with absolute intergenerational mobility. Absolute mobility is a measure of whether you are economically better off than your parents were at the same age. Most people can typically expect to be upwardly mobile in this absolute sense—for the simple reason that the economy usually grows quite a lot over the course of a generation. Recent studies suggest that rates of absolute mobility have stagnated in the United States, with only half of those born in 1980 being better off than their parents, according to a 2016 paper by Raj Chetty and colleagues.3 This is a much lower estimate than in previous studies, and reflects both rising income inequality and slower growth.4 Relative mobility is a measure of which rung of the ladder you stand on in your generation, compared to the rung your parents stood on in their own generation.
Say you’re thirty-five years old and earn $50,000 a year. Say this places you six-tenths of the way up the earnings distribution within your generation (that is, at the sixtieth percentile). But your parents earned $40,000 a year when they were thirty-five (adjusting for inflation), and that placed them at the seventieth percentile of their generation’s earnings distribution. In absolute terms, you’ve been upwardly mobile, earning ten thousand more inflation-adjusted dollars per year; but in relative terms, you’ve been downwardly mobile, having slipped down a rung in terms of the whole distribution. Both kinds of mobility matter. One definition of the American dream is of growing prosperity for the overwhelming majority, compared to the raw incomes or well-being of past generations. That is captured quite well by absolute mobility rates.
It hardly needs adding that for black Americans, it was very far from golden. Even during this period of healthy absolute mobility, however, relative mobility rates remained flat. Americans were likely to be better off than their parents but no more likely to move up or down the rungs of the income ladder. Politically, there is a critical difference between the two kinds of mobility. There is no limit to the number of people who can be absolutely upwardly mobile; everybody could, in theory, enjoy a higher standard of living than his or her parents. But relative mobility is by definition a zero-sum game—one reason it is more controversial. FIGURE 4-1 The Inheritance of Income Status Source: R. Chetty, N. Hendren, K. Kline, and others, “Where Is the Land of Opportunity? The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 129 (2014): 1553–623.
Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us Into Temptation by Chris Nodder
4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, game design, haute couture, jimmy wales, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, late fees, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Netflix Prize, Nick Leeson, Occupy movement, pets.com, price anchoring, recommendation engine, Rory Sutherland, Silicon Valley, Stanford prison experiment, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile
Create desirability to produce envy iPhone muggings: Keith Wagstaff. “Muggers Demand iPhone, Turn Down Android.” Time Tech (techland.time.com). December 15, 2011. Retrieved February 2013. Bloomberg’s comments: Michael M. Grynbaum. “Crime Is Up and Bloomberg Blames iPhone Thieves.” The New York TimesCityRoom (cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com). December 28 2012. Retrieved February 2013. Create something aspirational Upwardly Mobile magazine: Upwardly Mobile, the magazine of mobile, manufactured and modular home living (umhmag.com). Scorn: Susan Fiske. Envy Up, Scorn Down. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2011. Make people feel ownership before they’ve bought Don Norman: Don Norman. Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books, 2005. Biolite: biolitestove.com. Spore sales figures: Second quarter FY09 from Electronic Arts’ investor relations site.
Lifestyle magazines aren’t aimed at who they say they are: Cosmo is aimed at 17-year-olds; Just 17 is aimed at 13-year-olds who aspire to be as grown up as 17-year-olds. Although there is a big aspirational market for a magazine called Better Homes and Gardens, you wouldn’t expect to find one called Double Wide Weekly or Mobile Home Monthly because mobile homes are often the first step on the property ladder. Actually though there is such a magazine: it’s called Upwardly Mobile Home Magazine, the magazine of mobile, manufactured, and modular home living, and it’s all about making mobile homes posher. In other words, it’s still totally aspirational. Aspiration—a form of benign envy—encourages people to emulate their idols and fuels ambition. Creating desirability through association with a famous person (desirability through identity) is the basis of celebrity endorsements and the reason why movie stars don’t pay for the dresses they wear on the red carpet at the Oscars award ceremony.
Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent by Douglas Coupland
British Empire, cable laying ship, Claude Shannon: information theory, cosmic microwave background, Downton Abbey, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Marshall McLuhan, oil shale / tar sands, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Turing machine, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Wall-E
Blank-collar workers rely on a grab bag of skills to pay the rent and see themselves as having seventeen different careers before they suffer death from neglect in a government-run senior care facility in the year 2042. < br > ASB’s router factory, one of several in China, is located just across Ning Qiao Road from the main compound of three early-1980s office towers. Along the street, I see stylish, upwardly mobile young people, very few bikes, and very few cars. We could easily be driving through an Italian suburb, with a bit of light industry thrown in. It’s hard for me to believe I’m finally about to visit a Chinese factory. I’ve wanted to do this for decades. In my head I’m expecting a humongous prison with a bogus Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet attached, surrounded by fields of bok choy protected with barbed wire fencing.
I ask him what changes he’s noticed during his decade or so within China’s tech and business worlds. He pauses and thoughtfully replies, “Meetings. So many meetings.” Ahhh … meetings. Those spiritual cattle slaughter facilities where so many of our cherished dreams go to die hideous protracted deaths. “China is now having to service the things that it makes, and with this service sector there’s a huge new upwardly mobile meritocracy—and this is important, that China start spending money within China if our economy is to stabilize and diversify. We have to start buying the things we make.” This seems to be one of today’s themes. Xu’s office is filled with trophies and boxes of swag (“Here, have a handful of free pens”), and the space has the vibe of belonging to someone on the way up. He travels a lot on business, often within China, and what irks him most about his job is the places he has to stay while travelling: the countless 200-renminbi-a-night (about $30) hotels catering to China’s mobile working class, 200 renminbi being the amount China has decided is to be spent per night on business hotels.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
affirmative action, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, New Journalism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, RAND corporation, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, éminence grise
And the location of the camp, thirty miles southeast of Farmville, meant that she lived in worker housing during the week and got back home only on weekends. But the 40 cents an hour Dorothy earned as a laundry sorter bested what she earned as a teacher, and with four children, a summer of extra income would be put to good and immediate use. And Dorothy was of an unusually independent mind, impatient with the pretensions that sometimes accompanied the upwardly mobile members of the race. She did nothing to draw attention to herself at Camp Pickett, nor did she make any distinctions between herself and the other women. There was something in her bearing that transcended her soft voice and diminutive stature. Her eyes dominated her lovely, caramel-hued face—almond-shaped, wide-set, intense eyes that seemed to see everything. Education topped her list of ideals; it was the surest hedge against a world that would require more of her children than white children, and attempt to give them less in return.
More than matters of international law at the 38th parallel, which divided Russian-allied North Korea from US-friendly South Korea, it was the local law of supply and demand that was really keeping Newsome Park off the chopping block. Years after the end of the war, the shortage of adequate housing for the area’s Negro residents was still the reality. If the government decided to demolish Newsome Park tomorrow, there simply would be no place for the residents to go. But the number of houses in smaller neighborhoods had continued to increase, drawing the attention of upwardly mobile families who, like their white counterparts, had a vision of postwar success that included home ownership. Gayle Street, a cul-de-sac not far from the Buckroe section of town, was an attractive new neighborhood where Chubby Peddrew and her husband bought a house. Aberdeen Gardens, the sprawling development built on former Hampton Institute farmland, was another desirable location, its wide streets with grassy medians and surrounding forests drawing many active-duty and retired military families.
Katherine Goble’s eighteen-year-old daughter, Joylette, a talented violinist and a graceful beauty, graduated salutatorian of Carver High School’s class of 1958 and headed across town to attend Hampton Institute. Connie and Kathy, honor students and musicians in Carver High’s sophomore class, nipped at their elder sister’s heels. The girls and their mother made regular appearances in the social column of the Norfolk Journal and Guide, the model of an upwardly mobile and professional black family. In public, Katherine Goble was unfailingly gracious, optimistic, and unflappable, and she insisted that her girls acquit themselves in the same fashion. Her grief and loneliness, the burden of being both mother and father, she relegated to the privacy of their house on Mimosa Crescent. Jimmy Goble had been the love of Katherine’s youth, a nurturing father, and the partner she expected to grow old with.
Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US City by Mike Davis
affirmative action, Berlin Wall, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, desegregation, edge city, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet Archive, invisible hand, job automation, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, market bubble, mass immigration, new economy, occupational segregation, postnationalism / post nation state, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, white picket fence, women in the workforce, working poor
Here, immigrants are turers directly and wholesalers ties in Taipei, industrial suburbs of 75,000 to 100,000 Latino employed by diasporic Chinese manufac- in plants often Guangzhou or "twinned" with sister facili- Tijuana. Likewise, Korean investors control thousands of low-income residential units in inner-city neighborhoods as well as the larger share of the "swap meet" space that dominates retail trade in Southcentral Los Angeles. New Asian and Latino residents, in addition, rub shoulders in Hollywood and a dozen other neighborhoods west of Down- town, while upwardly mobile Chicanos and affluent Chinese immigrants live side-by-side in the dim-sum-con-saha suburbs of the eastern San Gabriel Valley. Indeed, Los Angeles from other metropolitan areas by the extraordinary nomic importance of the daily interactions distinguished is scale between its and eco- Asian and MAGICAL URBANISM 48 Latino immigrants. Thus rather than Enghsh is it is not entirely surprising that Spanish the obUgatory second language of many immigrant Asian entrepreneurs.
aesthetic on purely audio-visual wars have become commonplace as Latino carnivality collides with the psychosexual anxieties of Truman Show white palette of residential culture. Thus the glorious sorbet Mexican and Caribbean house paint - mexicano, azul anil, morado - is perceived as sheer visual terrorism by non-Hispanic homeowners who believe that rectly tels verde limon, rosa their equity di- depends upon a neighborhood color order of subdued pas- and white picket fences. Even upwardly mobile Chicanes have joined in the backlash against "un-American" hues, as in the L.A. suburb of South Gate where the City Council recently weighed an ordinance against tropical house colors, or in San Antonio where writer Sandra Cisneros has long outraged her deeply expressive purple home. And the city fathers same Puritan with spirit that once sent the police to quell all-night "hoolies" in Irish kitch- ens now calls familiares.
Hollow City by Rebecca Solnit, Susan Schwartzenberg
blue-collar work, Brownian motion, dematerialisation, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Loma Prieta earthquake, low skilled workers, new economy, New Urbanism, pets.com, rent control, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, wage slave
And behind left includes is who just joined a dot-com May 2000. uses a to similarly murky she misses the most important point: that the realm she genuinely imperiled, and that it has real value. Even if it some of the most annoying and silly people you could meet, this realm also harbors muralists, tenant organizers, teachers, environmentalists, experimentalists, create a wide-open human rights advocates. social space that the color, are helping to eliminate. experiment with their for more conventional upwardly mobile, whatever That space is a laboratory for the become more no way and smaller towns, taking something of their traditional activists, to regulate this that only the talented life is with to succeed as artists it salaries and bohemian space and no reason and the dedicated can enter. a far slipperier thing, hard to preserve except nitely vulnerable to young to later laboratory transformation with them.
They've gained mid- minimum are plentiful but housing mainstream for a them I why they should groveled to give — me in short I that job as DELIVERED VACANT making about $20,000 Assistant Editor, interview was with an educational . . . me just stopped, looked at that suddenly there are so thought, . Web and . . 161 Back to the beanbag. said, 'Isn't it cool many jobs for content types and very Yeah, cool Times have changed. The strange thing now is seeing a new last company. The perky 24-year-old like us?' I My it's bizarre, lucky, «OMETMiNO Te*«„,BLE HAS generation of upwardly mobile twen- tysomethings walk straight out of college and into making $50K great jobs at a dot.com we a year. Sure, could head into another recession, but by the time we do, they will already be firmly established in their careers. They'll never get to live adulthood waiting tables ting rejected and toast who at through their young at the Olive Garden or get- by a temp agency. They'll never eat eggs 1 1 a.m.
The Rough Guide to Prague by Humphreys, Rob
active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, clean water, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, Johannes Kepler, land reform, Live Aid, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peace of Westphalia, sexual politics, 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.
Unhealthy societies: the afflictions of inequality by Richard G. Wilkinson
attribution theory, business cycle, 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, longitudinal study, means of production, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, twin studies, 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.
Stealth of Nations by Robert Neuwirth
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, Johannes Kepler, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, Pepto Bismol, pirate software, profit motive, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, yellow journalism
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.
Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America by Alissa Quart
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business intelligence, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, East Village, Elon Musk, full employment, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, haute couture, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, job automation, late capitalism, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, new economy, nuclear winter, obamacare, Ponzi scheme, post-work, precariat, price mechanism, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, surplus humans, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, women in the workforce, working poor
In the past, we might have been ambivalent about security in the workplace—seeing it as the “alienated prison” that the theorist Max Weber described—but what about now, when we are supposedly full of affection for what we do for work but so precariously employed that we are actually quite detached from it? Has the advice to do what you love become a curse to some? And if so, is that unacceptable? The young, upwardly mobile professional parent can now seem like a type of the past, replaced by a generation whose income has stalled. For the middle class, the largest group of working people in the United States, stagnation is experienced as a great loss. Finely educated minds feel themselves at a loss in a new job market. They are different from the graduate students and adjuncts who lived on lentils in the past—or only on iced coffee, as I did twenty years ago teaching at a community college.
But these floor-to-ceiling nineteenth-century portraits of robber barons or the opulent soap-operatic programs of my childhood presented very different rich people from the wealthy we see on TV today, in television’s golden age—otherwise known as “peak TV.” Peak TV shows include The Wire, The Sopranos, and Mad Men. Premium cable, with its loosened content restrictions and quality programming, has made possible a period of what the Brandeis University scholar Thomas Doherty calls “Arc TV,” or “adult-minded serials” whose story lines unfold “over the life span of the series.” Historically, television has also fixated on the upwardly mobile, of course, according to Jason Mittell, a Middlebury College professor of film and media culture and American studies. Television has always turned upon what advertisers wanted to sell audiences—the lipstick that will land you the right lover, the perfect mints or deodorant to ensure that you will also be professionally appealing. When producers have occasionally tried to get working-class voices on-screen, advertisers have balked, with the exception of “little blips here and there,” Mittell told me.
“We see the robot as a tool for automation,” Anthony Melanson, the marketing doyen of the TUGs maker Aethon, told me. “These are worker robots.” I ask Melanson about the robots’ learning capacity. They are “no Watsons,” he replied, referring to IBM’s famed genius computer. The TUGs simply get the job done, he added. “Working-class robots?” I joked. “Every reporter has an angle,” he answered tartly. I couldn’t help wondering whether it’s wise to replace human workers in an often upwardly mobile, skilled profession like nursing. The more I contemplated TUGs, the more I wondered whether we should be questioning the automation aficionados’ fetishistic ardor. We’ve been to the automation rodeo before, after all. (This time the bull operates with AI.) Shouldn’t we always first and foremost defend people and their labor? AS A TECHNO-PESSIMIST, I AM FAR FROM CHIC. BUT MY MELANCHOLY over robots puts me firmly into one of roughly four strands of thought about automation among (ostensibly human) “thought leaders,” labor organizers, and the like.
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
A. Roger Ekirch, 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, mass immigration, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, 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.
The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, 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, hedonic treadmill, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, off grid, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, scientific worldview, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social intelligence, 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 Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics by David Goodhart
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, central bank independence, centre right, coherent worldview, corporate governance, credit crunch, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, market friction, mass immigration, mittelstand, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, obamacare, old-boy network, open borders, Peter Singer: altruism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postnationalism / post nation state, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Skype, Sloane Ranger, stem cell, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, World Values Survey
No sensible person is against getting the best-qualified people into the right jobs nor against bright people from whatever background travelling as far as their talents will take them. But listening to the people from Anywhere talk about social mobility (as they do a great deal) it often sounds like the upwardly mobile insisting that everyone should become more or less like them. Not only is that logically impossible—the room at the top of a labour market is finite—it also presents a very narrow vision of what a good and successful life entails. And when politicians talk about social mobility as an unqualified good they often seem not to understand the costs and trade-offs involved. Human beings are group creatures and the upwardly mobile, like the immigrant, voluntarily relinquish the security of the group for the advantages of belonging to a higher social class, or in the case of the immigrant, to a richer, more successful country.
A system in which prejudice erects barriers to the success of clever people.’21 Those most in favour of challenging racism, sexism and elite privilege tend to come from rising social groups with high human capital as well as already-dominant groups who can re-legitimise their superior status via educational attainment. The rising groups—successful minorities such as British Jews or Indians or upwardly mobile individuals from lower social classes—will often have faced direct discrimination in living memory and are not nostalgic for all aspects of Britain’s past. At the same time the descendants of the already-elite groups, whose parents or grandparents may have been responsible for discrimination in the past, can atone for past misdeeds of class or colonial oppression by ostentatiously shifting in a more liberal direction.
The New Class War: Saving Democracy From the Metropolitan Elite by Michael Lind
affirmative action, anti-communist, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, future of work, global supply chain, guest worker program, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, knowledge economy, liberal world order, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, moral panic, Nate Silver, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, working poor
This credentialed overclass owns roughly half the wealth in the United States, with the rest divided between the superrich and the bottom 90 percent.9 Are the managers and professionals an inbred, self-perpetuating, hereditary class as well as an educational elite? In a purely meritocratic society, the ranks of university-educated managers and professionals might be refilled completely by upwardly mobile individuals in each generation. In the United States, however, American college students tend to have one or more college-educated parents. In other Western democracies as well, membership in the university-educated managerial class is also partly hereditary, though partly open to talent from below.10 In the United States and Europe, intergenerational mobility, measured crudely by correlation between the earnings of fathers and sons, is strikingly low.
In the United States, students with math scores in the bottom half who come from families with the highest socioeconomic status are more likely to finish a college degree than students from families with the lowest socioeconomic status who have math scores in the top half of the range.13 In a true meritocracy, the mediocre children of college-educated parents would constantly be tumbling down into the non-college-educated working class, replaced by smarter, upwardly mobile scions of the working class. But overclass families will do anything they can to make sure that their offspring remain in the university-credentialed elite into which they were born, including, in the United States, bribing university admissions officials and reference letter writers. The Industrial Revolution did not replace class systems in the West with classless, meritocratic societies.
Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making by David Rothkopf
airport security, anti-communist, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, carried interest, clean water, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global village, high net worth, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, Live Aid, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, old-boy network, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, shareholder value, Skype, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, William Langewiesche
Bush: Remarks at a Reception Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month,” American Presidency Project, October 12, 2001. 247 Based on audience numbers and website hits David Hardaker, “Islam’s Billy Graham,” Independent, January 4, 2006. 247 boasts “the kind of following” Tarek Atia, “Amr Khaled: A Preacher’s Puzzle,” Al-Ahram Weekly, October 20, 2005. 247 Khaled made his first religious speech Ibid. 247 Sales exploded Samantha Shapiro, “Ministering to the Upwardly Mobile Muslim,” New York Times Magazine, April 30, 2006. 247 “He is so tender and most adorable” Ibid. 248 “In the best traditions” Hardaker, “Islam’s Billy Graham.” 248 On Khaled’s website, which received twenty-six million hits Shapiro, “Ministering to the Upwardly Mobile Muslim.” 248 It is the third-most-popular Arabic site Ibid.; Atia, “Amr Khaled.” 248 A New York Times reporter recalls Shapiro, “Ministering to the Upwardly Mobile Muslim.” 248 Rick Little, an American adviser to the UN Hardaker, “Islam’s Billy Graham.” 249 He has told audiences that to remove the headscarf Ibid. 249 “I believe that every one hundred years” Atia, “Amr Khaled.” 249 He believes that aliens live “Who Is Li Hongzhi?”
Amr Khaled, an Egyptian accountant turned Muslim TV superstar, regularly reaches millions through televised sermons and Web-based proselytizing. Based on audience numbers and website hits, he is more popular than Oprah Winfrey, and in the Muslim world, according to the popular weekly Al-Ahram, boasts “the kind of following you’d expect of a movie or pop star.” He has no official religious credentials but has managed to attract a devoted audience of millions—mostly young, educated, and upwardly mobile—stretching from the Middle East to Romania to Ireland. From his position of incredible influence and visibility, Khaled has emerged as a powerful figure in shaping Muslims’ relations with the West. Khaled grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, in an upper-middle-class family that was traditional though not religious. He discovered the Koran as a teenager and became increasingly devout while completing his studies at a secular university, but he continued to pursue a career in accounting.
Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann
4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, imperial preference, income inequality, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open borders, phenotype, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, twin studies, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional
Often, members of countercultural lifestyle enclaves lived in identifiable sections of large cities such as Greenwich Village, the original home of the Young Intellectuals, or Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. One index of rising bohemianism was the explosion in the number of artists in New York, from a few thousand in the 1960s to 100,000 by the early 1970s.28 Meanwhile, the share of single households in Manhattan had surged to a third of the city’s population by 1980. In the 1980s, upwardly mobile professionals, or ‘yuppies’, came to adopt aspects of bohemianism, combining economic self-interest with social liberalism. This is nicely explored by David Brooks’s sardonic social commentary on the bohemian affectations of the American bourgeoisie, Bobos in Paradise (2013). One ‘bobo’ hotbed was the emerging tech hub of Silicon Valley, where countercultural values fused with venture capitalism and big science to form a new social ecosystem.
The BNP’s biggest impact was in the eastern outer-London borough of Barking and Dagenham. The district had largely been settled by working-class white Cockneys who maintained a distinctive culture based on accent and myths of place. Much of this was chronicled by the long-running EastEnders soap opera, whose largely white actors portray a lost Cockney landscape which now consists mainly of upwardly mobile white singletons and minority families. Many Barking families originated in the former Cockney heartlands of inner East London in the present borough of Newham which were ethnically transformed in the 1980s and 1990s. This was brought to life in 2016 by the controversial BBC documentary Last Whites of the East End. The fact that a programme with that title and content could be shown on the main public channel is a measure of how far the anti-racism taboo had lost ground in Britain.
At the other end of the social scale, wealthy minorities are no longer compelled to choose lily-white areas if they want to move up, but can select a more diverse middle-class area in which to live. In urban Canada, and increasingly in the US and Britain, there is a large minority middle class. In addition, there are a growing number of prosperous ‘ethnoburbs’ such as Richmond in Vancouver, Harrow in London, or Cupertino, California, where upwardly mobile minorities move – and which white middle-class families increasingly avoid.4 This means minority upward mobility doesn’t automatically translate into integration. Mixing housing sizes in a development may just result in a blend of wealthy and poor people from the same ethnic background living in the area. Most work on segregation focuses on where minorities choose to live. Segregation is typically measured using either the Index of Dissimilarity (ID) or Index of Isolation (II).
The Meritocracy Myth by Stephen J. McNamee
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American ideology, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, 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, longitudinal study, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, occupational segregation, old-boy network, 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).
From Satori to Silicon Valley: San Francisco and the American Counterculture by Theodore Roszak
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.
The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World by Shaun Rein
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, zero-sum game
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.
The Origins of the Urban Crisis by Sugrue, Thomas J.
affirmative action, business climate, collective bargaining, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Ford paid five dollars a day, George Gilder, ghettoisation, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, job automation, jobless men, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, New Urbanism, oil shock, pink-collar, postindustrial economy, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working-age population, Works Progress Administration
Even as African Americans began, in increasing numbers, to make their way to the suburbs, they largely remained confined to racially segregated communities. Remembering the history of white hostility and racial violence that shaped the postwar city, many blacks avoided working-class white suburbs (in Detroit, those included Wayne, Westland, East Detroit/Eastpointe, Warren, and Hazel Park, among others). In wealthier suburbs, where upwardly mobile blacks moved (such as Southfield, a middle- and upper-middle-class postwar suburb north of Detroit), whites, especially those with children, steadily moved out and few new whites moved in.11 To a great extent in postwar America, geography is destiny. Access to goods and resources—public services, education, and jobs—depends upon place of residence. In modern America, where you live determines to a great extent the quality of your schools, your roads, your access to employment, and how much you pay for these benefits in the form of taxes.
The history of these smaller black neighborhoods, where black migrants cobbled together the resources to buy or build single-family homes, is little studied in Detroit or elsewhere.8 The largest enclave outside Paradise Valley, home to about a third of Detroit’s African American population, was the black West Side, a neighborhood centered around the intersection of Tireman and West Grand Boulevard. The black West Side was “an attractive neighborhood” settled in the 1920s by upwardly mobile Detroit blacks fleeing Paradise Valley as it attracted growing numbers of southern-born migrants. West Side residents, in the words of a black observer, “took pride in their achievement.” They founded a community organization, the Entre Nous Club, to “keep their homes on a high level” by sponsoring community home improvement and gardening activities. The neighborhood contained some substantial turn-of-the-century homes, especially on its western periphery, that attracted many of Detroit’s Great Migration-era business leaders, ministers, and professionals.
—Maceo Crutcher, president of the Detroit Realtist Association, and Walker E. Smith, Chairman of the Committee on Race Relations, the Detroit Realtist Association (1948) THE SCENE was tense with drama. The place was the Wayne County Circuit Court in May 1945. The case was a civil suit against a middle-class black couple who had bought a house in an all-white West Side neighborhood. The defendants, Minnie and Orsel McGhee, were upwardly mobile, better off than most Detroit blacks at the end of World War II. She was one of Detroit’s two hundred black school teachers, he was a relatively well-paid automobile worker. The plaintiffs were Benjamin and Anna Sipes and other members of the Northwest Civic Association. With the assistance of the NAACP and two leading black lawyers, Willis Graves and Francis Dent, Minnie and Orsel McGhee used the defense to challenge racially restrictive covenants, agreements that covered virtually all Detroit neighborhoods outside the center city.
Arrival City by Doug Saunders
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, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, new economy, Pearl River Delta, 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.
Head, Hand, Heart: Why Intelligence Is Over-Rewarded, Manual Workers Matter, and Caregivers Deserve More Respect by David Goodhart
active measures, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, computer age, corporate social responsibility, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, desegregation, deskilling, different worldview, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postindustrial economy, precariat, reshoring, Richard Florida, Scientific racism, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, young professional
The study, led by Daniel Belsky, consisted of five longitudinal studies testing 20,000 individuals in the United States, Britain, and New Zealand.17 The authors concluded that participants with higher polygenic scores achieved most education and career success, but they also tended to come from better-off families. Nevertheless, participants with higher polygenic scores tended to be upwardly mobile compared with their parents, and siblings with the highest polygenic score were the most upwardly mobile. So polygenic scores are not merely the product of advantages provided by background. The Flawed Meritocracy So one might say that it is not private tutors or genes that determine your success but both. It is indisputably true that educational and career success remains strongly connected with privilege and class background in all developed countries, although in some more than others.
Part-time work is both the norm and a preferred option for vast proportions of the female workforce. It is also the main reason for that notorious ‘pay-gap.’ ”22 Social mobility, as I argued in Chapter One, is another idea and policy that has been relentlessly promoted, at least rhetorically, by cognitive class governments of center-left and center-right, especially in the United Kingdom and the United States, with little nuance or sense of its costs for those who are not upwardly mobile. For the politicians of the center-left, equality of opportunity is preferable to an unachievable and unpopular goal of equality of outcome, and for the center-right the stress on mobility helps to protect them from accusations of defending privilege. Yet less well-educated people often hear speeches from highly educated and successful people about social mobility as exhortations to become more like them, especially as—in the United Kingdom, at least—getting on often means a ladder out and leaving your roots behind: you have to “leave to achieve.”
Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam
assortative mating, business cycle, 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, jobless men, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, school choice, selection bias, 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.
Respectable: The Experience of Class by Lynsey Hanley
Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Etonian, full employment, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Norman Mailer, Own Your Own Home, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent
For individuals to thrive at the bottom of a pronounced and visible class hierarchy, and to overcome the pressure – exerted from all sides – to stay where they are and yet also strive to escape, suggests a confounding order of things: an apparent rebellion, but a kind of orderliness as well. A class system needs both socially mobile people and socially immobile people in order to prove its worth. The upwardly mobile are held up as proof that the class structure isn’t half as rigid as it looks, while those who don’t move out of the working class – because, of course, it’s fine to be socially immobile as long as you’re middle class – are held to be somehow parasitic for their refusal to ‘do the right thing’ and create a morally acceptable level of surplus value. This isn’t a new phenomenon. The cultural critic Richard Hoggart, who died in 2014, aged ninety-five, spent his working life insisting on the central importance of social class in British society.
Instead their position, their status in society, was diminished in three ways. First, through the dismantling of trades union power, which had helped to integrate the jobless into the wider working population by establishing and then protecting rights and benefits when they were out of work. Second, through negative propaganda, in tacit collusion between government and newspaper owners, which sought to isolate the badly off and the bolshy from an upwardly mobile, consumerist working class. Third, through populist policy-making: the Right to Buy, which divided local authority tenants into the ‘aspirational’ and the ‘non-aspirational’ depending on whether or not they bought their council house, being a prime example. The idea that working-class respectability no longer exists appeals to people who believe that the social and political changes of the last thirty-five years have sorted the wheat from the chaff.
Framing Class: Media Representations of Wealth and Poverty in America by Diana Elizabeth Kendall
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, fixed income, framing effect, Georg Cantor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, haute couture, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, 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.
The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna
3D printing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Basel III, blockchain, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, factory automation, failed state, falling living standards, family office, fixed income, flex fuel, gig economy, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Parag Khanna, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War
ASEAN is Australia’s second largest trading partner behind China, followed by Japan and Korea—and new trade agreements between all of them signal substantial growth not only in goods but also in services. Trade between Australia and India grew sixfold between 2000 and 2012, then stalled, with Australians complaining about the complexities of doing business in India. But given India’s demand for commodities, improvements in infrastructure, and upwardly mobile population, there is a strong momentum behind Aussie-Indian trade growth. Australia is learning to see Asia as not just a destination for commodities but a conduit for recycling capital into its own critical future industries. Whereas all its car-manufacturing plants have shut down due to lower-wage Asian competition, robust cattle exports to China fund major road upgrades as well as organic farms catering to Asian tastes.
At the tertiary level, countries across South and Southeast Asia are racing to double, triple, and even quadruple their university enrollment rates but making sure to subsidize tuition to avoid the United States’ student debt crisis. The elite Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) produce a small crop of world-class mathematics and engineering graduates annually, and some, such as IIT Delhi, are cofunding the conversion of PhD theses into start-up ventures. To reach far deeper into India’s bulging youth cohort and upwardly mobile middle class, a new breed of hybrid technical-professional academies has emerged. Rajendra Pawar, a cofounder of India’s private education powerhouse NIIT, has scaled his on-site and online industry-linked skills programs to reach 500,000 students per year, training them on demand for Indian and global companies from oil rigs to tech parks, with curricular offerings expanding to service insurance, supply-chain management, programming, and other sectors.
The better educated and wealthier Asians become, the more demanding they will be that their voices be taken into account—irrespective of whether their governments become more or less formally democratic. The current spate of crackdowns on civil society in numerous Asian countries is a reflexive response to a more confident media and a new educated class of entrepreneurs, youths, and women who despise corruption and elite impunity. The tide of history remains with these people: governments know that suppression is not the way to make their countries worth living in. Can Asia’s tycoons and upwardly mobile purchase the solidarity that colonialism, social inequality, and poor governance has taken from their societies? Charity is enshrined in the teachings of the Buddha and in the Koran but is less systematized and publicized than in the West. According to the World Giving Index, since 2014 the country with the most consistently high rate (90 percent) of charitable giving is also one of the poorest, Myanmar, due to its devout Buddhist beliefs.
God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge
affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, David Brooks, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, global supply chain, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, intangible asset, invisible hand, Iridium satellite, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shock, Peace of Westphalia, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, stem cell, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus
According to the secularist hymnbook, those drawn to religion should be the weak, the ignorant and the fearful. That is certainly true in some cases. Pentecostalism has spread rapidly in the favelas of Brazil; go to Gaza, and it is not hard to see why radical Islam offers a form of hope for so many Palestinians. But that is not the whole picture. 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. In both Turkey and India, modernization has helped to create the up-and-coming bourgeoisie that Atatürk and Nehru prayed for; but these people are the most fervent supporters of the religious parties. In urban China the link between commercial prosperity and religion can be strikingly explicit.
(Locals still talk stirringly of the Pyongyang Revival in 1907, which supposedly hooked Kim Jong-il’s grandmother). Plans already exist at Yoido to build a second sanctuary in Pyongyang, as well as forty other churches. China is another target—and also a road into North Korea. The Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in the Jilin Province near the North Korean border is chockablock with missionaries. Yoido attracts the upwardly mobile middle class—exactly the sort of people who flock into the megachurches of Dallas and Orange County. Asked in 2004 which faith had most spurred on their country’s modernization, 43 percent of South Koreans named Protestantism and 11.3 percent Catholicism. The churches provided many of the democracy movement’s leaders. Hahn Meerha, a professor and chaplain at Korea’s Hoseo University, points out that 42 percent of the chief executives of listed companies are Protestants.
Guest, God in Chinatown: Religion and Survival in New York ’s Evolving Immigrant Community (New York: New York University Press, 2003). 34 The National Institute for the Renewal of the Priesthood. 35 www.foursqaurechurch.org. 36 “A New Breed of Monk Rises in Myanmar: Sitagu Sayadaw Mixes Compassion and Self-Promotion,” Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2008. 37 Simon Elegant and Jason Tedjasukmana-Bandung, “Holy Man,” Time, November 4, 2002 . 38 “Incense, Silk and Jihad,” The Economist, May 29, 2008. 39 Elegant and Tedjasukmana-Bandung, “Holy Man.” 40 “Incense, Silk and Jihad.” 41 http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/just-how-many-people-are-behind-the-polygamy-push-20080626-2xfm.html?page=-1. 42 http://insideindonesia.org/content/view/1011/47/. 43 Samantha M. Shapiro, “Ministering to the Upwardly Mobile Muslim,” New York Times, April 30, 2006. 44 David Hardaker, “Amr Khaled: Islam’s Billy Graham,” The Independent, January 4 , 2006. CHAPTER NINE: ALL THAT IS NOLΥ IS PROFANED 1 Richard Tedlow, Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built (New York: Harper Business, 2001), 421-22 . 2 The study was released on March 23, 2006. 3 Steve Coll, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century (New York: Penguin, 2008), 380. 4 E.
The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working-Class Jobs (Provocations Series) by James Bloodworth
Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, cognitive dissonance, Downton Abbey, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, income inequality, light touch regulation, 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%, zero-sum game
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’.
The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bob Noyce, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Graeber, deindustrialization, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, energy security, falling living standards, future of work, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, McJob, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, payday loans, Peter Calthorpe, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional
., “From Wall Street to Wal-Mart: Why College Graduates Are Not Getting Good Jobs,” policy paper, Center for College Affordability and Productivity, December 16, 2010, http://www.centerforcollegeaffordability.org/uploads/From_Wall_Street_to_Wal-Mart.pdf; Friedman, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, pp. 6–7; Emily Beller and Michael Hout, “Intergenerational Social Mobility: The United States in Comparative Perspective,” The Future of Children, vol. 16, no. 2 (Fall 2006): 19–36. See table 4 in Beller and Hout’s study: From 1930–1939, 49 percent of American men were upwardly mobile, 25 percent downwardly mobile, and 26 percent immobile. Due to the lessening of poverty after the depression, this decreased with every successive generation, but even between 1970–1979 more American men were upwardly mobile than stagnant or heading downward. 26. Richard Vedder, “The College-Graduate Glut: Evidence From Labor Markets,” Innovations (blog), Chronicle of Higher Education, July 11, 2012, http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/the-college-graduate-glut-evidence-from-labor-markets/32997. 27.
Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade
Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, American ideology, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, 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, white picket fence, 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.
The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It by Timothy Noah
assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, Branko Milanovic, business cycle, call centre, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Erik Brynjolfsson, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, feminist movement, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, lump of labour, manufacturing employment, moral hazard, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, positional goods, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, rent control, 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, Vilfredo Pareto, 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.
Zeitgeist by Bruce Sterling
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, informal economy, invisible hand, Iridium satellite, jitney, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, new economy, offshore financial centre, rolodex, sexual politics, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Y2K
Employment is sky high, inflation is dirt low, and thanks to two million guys who are stuck in the domestic gulag, crime rates have crashed all over the country. It’s the fat of the Yankee land. We can move to a better apartment. I’ll get out of this high-risk package-retailing on a stick-’em-up urban street corner. That’s way too twentieth century, anyway. I’ve got some plans for us: I’m thinking: four or five personal eBay accounts, and some Internet-stock daytrading. We’ll get all upwardly mobile, middle-class-American-Dream style. We can buy health insurance. We’ll eat vitamins. You’ll grow up tall and strong and literate, with fluoride in your big white teeth, and no scars and no criminal record. And the best part is: since we’ve placed ourselves in a yuppie town right into the fat center of a major demographic median, we’re practically certain to slide right through Y2K!” “Is all that s’posed to be good, Dad?”
Every other weekend he would sneak out to his daughter’s boarding school. He never spoke to Zeta, but he would take occasional snapshots with telephoto lenses. In her prim little uniform Zeta was actually showing up on camera now, a very good sign, considering her career intentions. Starlitz compiled extensive dossiers on her teachers. It was a form of subtle revenge on them, for turning his daughter into an upwardly mobile princess who would come to think of her dad as some kind of antique grease-monkey hick. Spying and stalking left him a hollow man without a life, but this situation had its rewards. He was getting along fine, at continental distance, with Mom One and Mom Two. Vanna and Judy were still on the splits and not speaking to each other, but they both seemed to be down with the Swiss-boarding-school notion, probably because it was so utterly unlike him.
Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, 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, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, 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, Sam Peltzman, 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.
This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim
airport security, Alexander Shulgin, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Burning Man, crack epidemic, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, failed state, global supply chain, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, John Markoff, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, mandatory minimum, new economy, New Urbanism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, women in the workforce
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 hundred-dollar 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. Time’s Michael Demarest was nearly as good a pitchman for cocaine as Leary:Superficially, coke is a supremely beguiling and relatively risk-free drug—at least so its devotees innocently claim. A snort in each nostril and you’ re up and away for 30 minutes or so.
It trickled down, so to speak, spreading across the country in both powder and crack form. During its high-priced heyday, however, coke was known as a professional’s drug—as Suarez De Jesus observed. Employees of the legal service industry benefited from this product of the illegal service industry as they worked long hours in their burgeoning sector of the economy. Its exclusivity evoked a cloistered world that both the upwardly mobile and the severely impoverished dreamed of being a part of. Unemployment had climbed in the late seventies as plants shut down and American cities crumbled. Stagflation meant that wages and job growth were falling while prices were rising—a phenomenon that some economists had thought impossible. By the close of the decade, inflation was approaching 15 percent and interest rates had risen above 20 percent.
State of Emergency: The Way We Were by Dominic Sandbrook
anti-communist, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, David Attenborough, Doomsday Book, edge city, estate planning, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, financial thriller, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, German hyperinflation, global pandemic, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, sexual politics, traveling salesman, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Winter of Discontent, young professional
His party members were garment workers, engineers, railwaymen and miners, men of firm principles and distinctly traditional attitudes. They lived as their parents had done: ‘the housing was appalling,’ he wrote later, ‘the dirt indescribable.’ Smoke hung over the city’s rooftops; soot stained its great Victorian town hall. Healey’s very first campaign headquarters was ‘a condemned terraced house of unimaginable squalor, with a lavatory outside which was full of filth and would not flush’. The contrast with Bexley’s neat, upwardly mobile suburban estates was stark indeed.11 By 1970, however, Leeds bore the imprint of the affluent society just as deeply as the suburbs of the South. The clothing and engineering industries responsible for so many local jobs were already suffering from inadequate investment and global competition, their travails symptomatic of the growing problems of the British economy. Montague Burton’s, once the world’s biggest tailor, was struggling to adapt to the more casual look that had taken over in the early 1960s: as Healey recalled, Burton’s ‘went on making three-piece suits long after people stopped wearing waistcoats’.
The Sun even had a dedicated department of female journalists nicknamed the ‘Pacesetters’ who were given their own section, called ‘the pages for women that men can’t resist’ – although in practice their stories tended to be even more skewed towards sex than the rest of the paper.28 And then, of course, there was Cosmopolitan. Launched in 1972 as an offshoot of the American original, this was a woman’s magazine with a difference, aimed not at the housewives who had traditionally made up the women’s market, but at upwardly mobile, ambitious young professionals. Its ideal reader was ‘lively, sensual, fun, adventurous … honest with herself’, or so the adverts claimed. Its first editor, Joyce Hopkirk, made no secret of the fact that sex and men were central to her strategy: as one early reader put it, the first issue read as ‘a guide to getting, keeping (and if necessary getting rid of) your man’. ‘How To Turn a Man On When He’s Having Problems in Bed’, read the headline on the first cover, although other items (‘Michael Parkinson Talks About His Vasectomy’) were rather less enticing.
Cockerell, Live from Number Ten, p. 172; Campbell, Edward Heath, pp. 329, 373; Ramsden, An Appetite for Power, p. 394. 32. The Times, 12 November 1970, 7 December 1970, 8 December 1970; Campbell, Edward Heath, pp. 329–30; Tony Benn, Office Without Power: Diaries 1968–72 (London, 1988), p. 318; Hurd, An End to Promises, p. 99. 33. The Times, 9 December 1970, 10 December 1970. 34. The Times, 10 December 1970; Norman Tebbit, Upwardly Mobile (London, 1988), p. 102. 35. The Times, 12 December 1970, 14 December 1970, 19 January 1971; PRO CAB 128/47, CM (70) 44, 8 December 1970; PRO CAB 128/47, CM (70) 46, 12 December 1970; Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (London, 2009), pp. 589–90; PRO CAB 128/47, CM (70) 47, 14 December 1970. 36. PRO CAB 129/55, CP (71) 19, ‘The Wilberforce Report’, 8 February 1971; The Times, 11 February 1971; The Economist, 13 February 1971: Richard Clutterbuck, Britain in Agony: The Growth of Political Violence (London, 1978), p. 43; Campbell, Edward Heath, p. 330. 37.
The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin
Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator
But in the feudal era a static ideal of an ordered society, supported by a mandatory orthodoxy, prevailed over dynamism and mobility, in a condition of economic and demographic stagnation. The clearest parallel in our own time is the concentration of wealth in fewer hands, following upon an era of robust social mobility. In the second half of the twentieth century, growing prosperity was widely shared in the developed world, with an expanding middle class and an upwardly mobile working class—something seen in many developing countries as well. Today, the benefits of economic growth in most countries are going mainly to the wealthiest segment of the population. One widely cited estimate suggests that the share of global wealth held by the top 0.1 percent of the global population increased from 7 percent in 1978 to 22 percent in 2012.2 A recent British parliamentary study indicates that this global trend will continue: by 2030, the top 1 percent is expected to control two-thirds of the world’s wealth.3 This wealth tends to be handed down from one generation to the next, creating something akin to a closed aristocracy.
In Europe as well as Japan, and even in the once relatively fecund United States, fertility rates are nearing historic lows, even though young women state a wish to have more children.29 This demographic stagnation, another throwback to the Middle Ages, has various explanations, including women’s high levels of participation in the workforce and a desire for more leisure time. Other reasons are economic, including a shortage of affordable family housing. Liberal capitalism in its heyday built large stretches of affordable housing for the upwardly mobile middle and working classes, but the new feudalism is creating a world where fewer and fewer people can afford to own homes.30 A trend of diminishing expectations has weakened support for liberal capitalism even in solidly democratic countries, particularly among younger people.31 Far more than older generations, they are losing faith in democracy, not only in the United States but also in Sweden, Australia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.
The Rough Guide to New York City by Martin Dunford
Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Buckminster Fuller, buttonwood tree, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Thorp, Exxon Valdez, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, market bubble, Norman Mailer, paper trading, post-work, Saturday Night Live, sustainable-tourism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, Yogi Berra, young professional
Typically the last Sunday in June, this parade is one of the city’s most exciting and colorful (see p.419). 109 THE WE S T V I L L AGE | Sixth Avenue and west 110 in the park, four life-size white-painted figures (two males, two females), unveiled in 1992. Nowadays, however, the gay community is fairly synonymous with Greenwich Village life; for complete listings of gay bars and clubs, see p.375 and p.377. The area north of Christopher Street contains some of the most appealing and expensive residential streets in the city, with a bevy of unique stores, coffee bars, and restaurants catering to its upwardly mobile and moneyed residential community. The Village Vanguard (see p.356), at 178 Seventh Ave, has been a jazz mecca since 1935, a live venue which has played host to every major jazz star and where Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane made classic album recordings in the 1950s and 1960s. Further west, you’ll probably see small groups of excited fans taking photos at 66 Perry St, between Bleecker and West 4th Street, used as the exterior of Carrie’s apartment in Sex and the City (“Carrie’s Stoop”), while almost constant lines form outside lauded Magnolia Bakery at Bleecker and West 11th St (see p.295).
Lexington Avenue and east 182 Lexington Avenue is Madison Avenue’s upstart sibling; it was only gentrified in the 1960s, as the western stretches of the neighborhood increased in value, and money-savvy property developers rushed in to snap up real estate farther east. Only forty years later, the signs of its hip economic heyday are already long gone, and this is now one of the cheaper residential areas in the city. The proliferation of small apartments (as well as a generous number of hip restaurants and sports bars) means that the East 60s and 70s are home to a number of young, unattached, and upwardly mobile professionals – for some years now it has been one of the more popular areas with just-out-of-college types looking to make their start in the business world. Dozens of foreign consulates to the United Nations are scattered on Upper East Side blocks in this area: many countries – including the poorer ones, spending more than they can afford – have purchased handsome homes. The Russians occupy an entire apartment building on East 67th St between Lexington and Third avenues.
In between is a checkerboard of modern high-rise buildings, old brownstones, gourmet markets, and | The Upper West Side hile the Upper East Side has always been a patrician stronghold, the Upper West Side, only minutes away on the other side of the park, has grown into its position as a somewhat younger, somewhat hipper, but nonetheless affluent counterpart. Later to develop, it has seen its share of struggling actors, writers, and opera singers come and go over the years. In the 1990s, the Upper West Side was the neighborhood of choice for upwardly mobile dot-commers, and though the frenzy has calmed down, young professionals and their stroller-bound children still make up a sizable part of the population. This isn’t to say it lacks glamour; the lower stretches of Central Park West and Riverside Drive are quite fashionable, while the network of performing spaces at Lincoln Center makes the neighborhood New York’s de facto palace of culture. As you move north, though, the neighborhood diversifies and loses some of its luster, culminating in Morningside Heights, home to Columbia University at the edge of Harlem, as well as the monolithic Cathedral of St John the Divine.
The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations by Christopher Lasch
cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, feminist movement, full employment, George Santayana, impulse control, Induced demand, invisible hand, Kitchen Debate, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Norman Mailer, road to serfdom, Scientific racism, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, yellow journalism
Eugene Emerson Jennings s study of management, which celebrates the demise of the organization man and the advent of the new era of mobility, insists that corporate ' . only one of a number of social influences that are bringing a narcissistic type of personality organization into greater and greater prominence. Another such influence is the mechanical reproduc- ' " " " mobility is more than mere job performance. What counts is style . . . panache . . . the ability to say and do almost anything without antagonizing others. The upwardly mobile executive, according to Jennings, knows how to handle the people around " " " " him-the "shelf-sitter" who suffers from "arrested mobility and fast learner"; the "mobile superior." The mobility-bright executive has learned to "read" the power rela- envies success; the " " " to see the less visible and less audible side chiefly their standing with their peers and supe- tions in his office and of his superiors, riors
" " - goals, but keeping the organization going, became the important " interests him is that "relevant audiences," in the language of the thing. Even the welfare of the organization however, no longer Pentagon Papers, have to be cajoled, won over, seduced. He con- excites the enthusiasm it generated in the fifties The "selfsacrificing company man writes Jennings, has become "an obvious anachronism. The upwardly mobile corporate executive does not view himself as an organization man His "antiorganizational posture in fact, has emerged as his "chief char- fuses successful completion of the task at hand with the impression he makes or hopes to make on others. Thus American officials blundered into the war in Vietnam because they could not , . " , " * " " . " distinguish the country's military and strategic interests from , " acteristic.
Polaroids From the Dead by Douglas Coupland
In Brentwood one sees a certain blankness in the eyes, and if not a blankness, then a wanting, as though some form of information has been deleted, personal history and narrative cashed in like frequent flyer points on vacations that failed to amuse within a frighteningly short period of time. Brentwood is a region of Los Angeles that speaks eloquently of the amorality of cash in its inability by itself to act as a narrative stencil to life. Money is an invention just as much as is a spoon or a plate, and as such is neither moral nor immoral, it is simply an invention like the toaster or the zero. This is always a shock to learn, for Brentwood’s first or second generation of upwardly mobile, brood-spawning wealth. What seems to leave its inhabitants almost naïvely stunned is the emptiness of the money once it arrives; its inherent disconnection to morality. Neither fame nor money add storyline to one’s life. This is, since biblical times, the irony of human pursuit and a torpid punchline enacted daily amid Brentwood’s salons, cafes and spotlessly clean, freshly beflowered households.
The Diet Myth: Why America's Obsessions With Weight Is Hazardous to Your Health by Paul Campos
Researchers have been unable to ﬁnd a relationship between increased mortality and body mass among African-American women who are classiﬁed as “morbidly obese.”) Anyway, obesity researchers and diet companies are doing their best to change this unacceptable situation. In recent years, companies such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig have targeted much of their advertising speciﬁcally toward upwardly mobile black and Hispanic women, since, as Laura Fraser puts it, most white women already “can’t make it through a day without getting disgusted with themselves for not having a better—meaning thinner—body.” As for obesity researchers, a recent article noted that black girls have better body images and lower rates of eating disorders than white girls, and also noted that they weighed more. “These ﬁndings,” the authors concluded, “should be used in the development of culturally sensitive Public Health intervention programs to help reduce the high rates of obesity within the black community and encourage black youth to achieve a healthy and reasonable [sic] body size.”
Similarly, the same social dynamic that, as we shall see in the next chapter, made law professor and political commentator Susan Estrich’s mother so determined that her daughter would not return “fat,” for her sophomore year at Hillary Clinton’s alma mater also ensured that Marcia Lewinsky would attempt, two decades later, to send her daughter to a month-long inpatient program that would quite literally starve her down to a socially acceptable weight. These are merely two 198 Fat Politics examples of how, for many upwardly mobile Jewish families, fatness represents what it also represents to, among others, ambitious smalltown Southern politicians, and professional-class members of ethnic minorities: the most visible and therefore unacceptable sign that you are still on the outside looking in. (In her diet book Making the Case for Yourself, Estrich describes what to her is clearly a disturbing sight: “My neighborhood is full of Orthodox Jewish women with four children and forty extra pounds.”)
Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places by Sharon Zukin
1960s counterculture, big-box store, blue-collar work, corporate social responsibility, crack epidemic, creative destruction, David Brooks, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, rent control, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional
“Gritty” describes both the style and substance of old black-and-white films, especially the film noir movies made in New York and Los Angeles in the late 1940s and 1950s, films that suggested the alienation of the individual in modern cities and those cities’ tragic loss of power to younger, more prosperous suburbs. The noir image suits a narrative of Brooklyn’s economic decline, from the shutdown of the port and Navy Yard in the 1960s and the abandonment of the breweries to the changing social geography of upwardly mobile white ethnic groups who gradually left the borough’s tenements and brownstones for high-rise apartments in Manhattan and split-level houses in the suburbs. “Gritty” is the word for what they left behind: crowded streets, rising crime rates, and blue-collar lives.23 By the 1970s the term was commonly used to describe factory towns and urban neighborhoods that were squeezed by plant shutdowns and outsourcing of the basic manufactured goods, from textiles to steel, that had supported American families for so many years.
But black cosmopolitanism confronts the demographics of a gradually “whitening” Brooklyn. Before 1980 white twenty-somethings tended to be working-class youths who lived in traditional white ethnic neighborhoods like Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge: the urban village. After 1980 these nodes of youthful whiteness disappeared with the aging of the white population and the suburban migration of the upwardly mobile among them, along with growing Caribbean, Latino, Asian, and African immigration; Brooklyn became blacker and browner. By 2000, though, the map of Brooklyn showed young white adults living in different places: the three creative neighborhoods—Williamsburg, Park Slope, and Dumbo—that represent a new, more affluent, and more aesthetically attuned “urban village.”36 Most people call this gentrification.
Migrant City: A New History of London by Panikos Panayi
Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, discovery of the americas, en.wikipedia.org, financial intermediation, ghettoisation, gig economy, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, immigration reform, income inequality, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, multicultural london english, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, white flight
Leon, Lewis, David and Charles Spiro, originally from Wloclawek, all described themselves as ‘waterproof manufacturer’, together with Leon Fauber, a lace importer, and Josef Getcofsky, a dentist in Holloway Road.26 A final sample of thirty from 1935 reveals that the Germans had almost disappeared, counting just two people in the form of Alfred August Eicher, a chemical engineer living in Wimbledon, and Mary Katherine Knornschild, a shorthand typist from Highgate. The list also includes eleven Russians, by now the largest group, who appear to consist predominantly of upwardly mobile Jews such as Reuben Bozinsky, a master tailor from Greenwich, and Nathan Hyman, a boot and shoe dealer from Cricklewood. However, we should also mention Jankel Joseph Bialsky, a ‘music composer and choir master’ of Vestry Road, London N15. Those becoming naturalized in 1935 also included refugees from the Russian Revolution such as Marguerite Rastedt, a teacher from Clapham Common, ‘of no nationality (but born in St Petersburg)’, and Julia Kaufman, an accountant from Stoke Newington ‘of no nationality but born in Balta, Ukraine’.
On the one hand this finds explanation in the fact that those who travelled to Britain from imperial territories would have had British citizen or subject status.28 However, the absence of US applicants seems surprising, especially in view of the fact that an American middle-class community appears to have evolved in London by the period under consideration.29 While, on the one hand, many of those who succeeded in gaining British citizenship may merit the description of elites, such as merchants, industrialists, teachers and artists, attracted by the global significance of the London economy in the case of the first two and the presence of a large educated middle class in the last two, upwardly mobile foreigners also tried to obtain naturalization. At the same time, some clearly working-class people also managed to secure citizenship, including, for example, Nils Laurentius Svenson, a Swedish ‘donkeyman and greaser’ from Limehouse who became naturalized on 24 April 1935.30 On the other hand, despite their numbers and significance in the City of London, few bankers appear to have become British, perhaps seeing no benefit in this status because of the international nature of their activities.
FIGHTERS The British, London and global history of football takes off in its current organized and regulated form from the end of the nineteenth century.12 However, the issues which arise with regard to migrant and minority participation on the London scene emerged over a hundred years earlier in the sport of boxing during the ‘English Golden Age’,13 initially in the form of bare-knuckle fighting.14 In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries both upwardly mobile second-generation sporting migrants and black foreigners played a role in London fighting, setting the pattern which would last into the twentieth century and beyond and replicated by football. ‘The participation of minorities in boxing started almost with the inception of the sport in the eighteenth century and prevails (with various peaks and lows) until today’,15 but so does the presence of outsiders, especially black men, who arrived in Britain and London, sometimes already as stars, to take the boxing scene by storm.
Lonely Planet Pocket Berlin by Lonely Planet, Andrea Schulte-Peevers
Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, G4S, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Peter Eisenman, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal
After the last riff, the mostly student-age crowd hits the dance floor to – depending on the night – Britpop, indietronics, neodisco, rock and punk. (www.magnet-club.de, in German; Falckensteinstrasse 48; Tue-Sat; U-Bahn Schlesisches Tor) 16 Lido Live Music, Club Offline map Google map A 1950s cinema has been recycled into a rock-indie-electro-pop mecca with mosh-pit electricity and a crowd that cares more about the music than about looking good. Global DJs and talented upwardly mobile live noisemakers pull in the punters. Legendary Balkanbeats parties, too. (www.lido-berlin.de, in German; Cuvrystrasse 7; U-Bahn Schlesisches Tor) Local Life All Aboard the Badeschiff Take an old river barge, fill with water, moor in the Spree River and voila: the Badeschiff (www.arena-berlin.de, in German; Eichenstrasse 4), the preferred swim-and-tan spot for Berlin kool kids. After-dark action includes parties, bands, movies and simply hanging out.
The Regency Revolution: Jane Austen, Napoleon, Lord Byron and the Making of the Modern World by Robert Morrison
British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, financial independence, full employment, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, New Urbanism, railway mania, stem cell, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, wage slave
he asked, after watching one of the jugglers keep four brass balls in the air at the same time.45 Portable box theaters on sticks known as “peep shows” or “raree-shows” were among the most popular street entertainments, and exhibited puppets, rarities, and pictures, louche in some instances, but more commonly elegant or patriotic. Leading holiday destinations included the seaside resort of Margate in Kent, which Londoners reached by taking a hoy (a small ship) down the Thames, and which gave them the chance to breathe some fresh air. Margate appealed to the genteel and the upwardly mobile, but even fun seekers on much lower rungs of the social ladder could afford to make the trip, creating plenty of social awkwardness as the rich and poor, the high and low, the sick and sound all jostled onboard together. “The passage in the Margate-hoy, which, like the grave, levels all distinctions, is frequently so replete with whim, incident, and character, that it may be considered as a dramatic entertainment on the stage of the ocean,” wrote John Feltham in his 1815 Guide to all the Watering and Sea-Bathing Places.46 In Margate itself, though, the emphasis was on refinement and relaxation, and options for holidaymakers included fine hotels, beautiful walks, a theater, bathing rooms and machines, commodious shops, day trips to nearby resorts, and elegant assembly rooms.
More than 10,000 people a day flooded the exhibition, and when Bullock took the show on the road he did equally well, attracting across England, Scotland, and Ireland upwards of 800,000 people, for “old and young, rich and poor, clergy and laity, all ages, sexes, and conditions” were eager to examine “the spoils of the dead lion.” 54 Art galleries reached a new cultural prominence, extending their hold on noble patrons and attracting the upwardly mobile in ever-increasing numbers. During the Regency, the annual exhibitions of the Royal Academy and the British Institution featured paintings by an extraordinary collection of living artists, including John Constable, Edwin Landseer, Thomas Lawrence, Samuel Palmer, Henry Raeburn, J. M. W. Turner, Benjamin West, and David Wilkie. And this is to say nothing of the work exhibited in these same shows by three of the finest British sculptors: Francis Leggatt Chantrey, John Flaxman, and Joseph Nollekens.
The End of Work: Why Your Passion Can Become Your Job by John Tamny
Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, asset allocation, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, commoditize, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Downton Abbey, future of work, George Gilder, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra
Hearing what they say, and seeing what they do, one suspects that one of the main functions of the young’s idealism is finding good reasons for doing bad things. One has the impression that [the] young do not want to, or perhaps cannot, grow up.”6 But then the 1980s happened. The generation that was supposed to accept a lower standard of living than their parents enjoyed produced what some called the “Decade of Greed.” To this day, the enduring symbol of the 1980s is the “young, upwardly mobile professional”—the “yuppie.” The children who were supposed to do without became the generation that had everything. The economic gloom hanging over the Millennial generation is evidence that there is no new thing under the sun. Mark my words: the Millennials will wind up the richest generation in the history of the richest nation in the history of the world. This will be true because of economic fundamentals that the pundits too often ignore.
Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser
affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, different worldview, 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, Thales and the olive presses, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, 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.
In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India by Edward Luce
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bretton Woods, call centre, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, demographic dividend, energy security, financial independence, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, Haight Ashbury, informal economy, job-hopping, Kickstarter, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, new economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Silicon Valley, trade liberalization, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban planning, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K
But as we saw in chapter three, the phenomenon of “Sanskritization,” in which the lower castes copy the values and habits of the upper castes, is growing in India. Many of India’s upper castes have traditionally regarded daughters as a burden and a cost. So the problem gets worse as other castes, which in the past did not practice dowry, become more upwardly mobile. “It is a lethal combination of old values and new wealth—old wine in new bottles,” says Singh. The upwardly mobile lower castes have also become more materialistic. Nowadays it is normal for the groom’s family to demand things such as cars, washing machines, and even a U.S. green card as part of their dowries. This explains the odd tendency of newspaper columnists to blame the twin curses of the worsening gender divide and dowry inflation on Western consumer values, even though neither problem exists in the West.
Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac
"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Y Combinator
Instead, they imagined taking their few million from Uber and creating a unicorn of their own—for surely their success thus far showed they were destined for even greater success in the years to come. But for every WIRED cover story of a boy genius striking it rich with a smartphone app, there was a mess of secondary effects left in his wake. Many of the next generation of apps catered to the needs and whims of the white, upwardly mobile twentysomething males of Silicon Valley. The press gave significantly less ink to the latent misogyny bubbling up inside of tech companies, and the libertarian view that enabled tech figureheads to unwittingly enable these same biases. The divide between tech’s most talented, and the class who waited tables and served them coffee only grew starker by the day. Fast-rising rents pushed wage earners out of San Francisco, while landlords flipped those former apartments to new, wealthier tenants.
Chapter 15 EMPIRE BUILDING For decades, Western technology executives have dreamed of successfully launching an American software business in mainland China. Very few have succeeded. When Travis Kalanick looked at the country he saw a near-perfect market for startups. Home to nearly 1.4 billion people, China presented an untapped ocean of potential Uber users. Nearly one-third of that population were millennials: young, urban, upwardly mobile with growing disposable income, ardent students of technology and the sciences, and almost always connected online. As in America, this Chinese generation had grown up with ubiquitous access to the internet. Nearly 97 percent of Chinese internet users ages fourteen through forty-seven owned some sort of smartphone. Westerners had experienced the mass migration from desktop computer to smartphone.
The Border: The Legacy of a Century of Anglo-Irish Politics by Diarmaid Ferriter
She also maintained it was about class: ‘the hungry streets of Derry meeting the comfortable affluence of Dublin 4’ (a postcode associated with the wealthy Irish establishment).29 This, however, was a conveniently selective interpretation. Mary McAleese, a native of County Down, after a vitriolic election campaign in which she was somewhat under siege for being what one journalist called an ‘upwardly mobile Northern Gael’ and whose own journalistic career had been stymied in the South partly as a result of her perceived Ulster nationalist sympathies, had been comfortably elected president of Ireland in 1997 on a ‘bridge-building’ theme, promising to reconcile unionism and nationalism. Despite murmurs from her critics, she was not seen as tarnished by the excesses of the Troubles; indeed, her family had been a victim of sectarianism, and there may have been an element of the salving of guilty southern consciences in relation to historic attitudes to northern nationalists.
Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel by Max Blumenthal
airport security, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, centre right, cognitive dissonance, corporate raider, crony capitalism, European colonialism, facts on the ground, ghettoisation, housing crisis, knowledge economy, megacity, moral panic, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, surplus humans, upwardly mobile, urban planning, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game
It is not a disinterested party after all,” wrote Jonathan Cook, a veteran journalist who resides in Nazareth. “It was created as part of the government’s Judaization policy, the drive to take land from Palestinian citizens and pass it to Jewish citizens.” The new Jews-only settlements Sharon established were known as mitzpim, or “watchtower” towns: small communities inhabited by young Jewish families and upwardly mobile professionals strategically placed above Arab towns, just like the Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank would be. Every mitzpe resident, from the shopkeeper to the teacher, was expected to serve as a kind of spy, reporting to the authorities each “illegal” building attempt by the Arabs below. By the dawn of the twenty-first century, Sakhnin was flanked on all sides by military installations and Jews-only mitzpim.
After showing the disturbing photos to several Israeli friends and examining the insignia on the work vests the teenagers wore, we were able to determine that they had probably been employed by a private security company in Kiryat Gat. Named for the ancient Philistine city of Gath, which actually existed 13 kilometers away, Kiryat Gat is a run-down Jewish development town that sits on the ruins of al-Faluja, a Palestinian village ethnically cleansed by Israeli forces in 1949, months after Israel signed its armistice with Egypt. Today, the city is home to the Intel Corporation’s microchip plant, which mostly employs upwardly mobile commuters from Tel Aviv while many residents of Kiryat Gat subsist on state welfare, comprising one of the highest unemployment rates in Israel. One of the few afterschool centers in the city is operated by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a US-based group funded by Christian Zionists who believe Israel is the future site of the Rapture. Indeed, there is little to prevent youth from the city from joining a gang or seeking a living on the black market.
On issues ranging from civilian casualties in Operation Cast Lead to the bulldozing of Bedouin villages, Sucharewicz always returned to one point: Israel was not perfect, but it was constantly improving. The same year that The Diplomat hit Israeli airwaves, the government focused on rebranding Israel as a cosmopolitan, technologically advanced, party playpen for Western visitors, especially sex-hungry, upwardly mobile men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. A series of edgy commercials promoting tourism to Tel Aviv highlighted the new Brand Israel campaign. The first of the ads, released in 2006, depicted two randy young men sitting shirtless on the Tel Aviv beach while a parade of scantily clad Israeli women appear before them: Man #1, staring at a nubile young woman rubbing lotion on her thighs: Holy shit, man!
Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America's Favorite Food by Steve Striffler
That is the difference.25 Both in conception and practice, the switch to poultry and to working in the southern United States is a story about 106 A New Worker upward mobility. Many of these pioneers have harrowing accounts of crossing the border, almost dying, and getting caught by border agents (la migra). But these stories are often seen as part of the past, recounted like old war stories. As the upwardly mobile immigrant becomes legal, the border loses some of its mystique and Mexico’s attraction begins to wane. I crossed everywhere along the border. San Diego, Arizona, Texas, everywhere. In the s I got caught crossing near San Diego three times before I got in. So then I tried Arizona. That was a terrible idea! We went twenty-three days with almost no food and little water. And no bath! We almost died, lost in the desert.
No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, John Bercow, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Live Aid, loadsamoney, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sloane Ranger, South Sea Bubble, spread of share-ownership, 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.
The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 by Selina Todd
call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, different worldview, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, Red Clydeside, rent control, Right to Buy, rising living standards, sexual politics, 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.
Rough Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area by Nick Edwards, Mark Ellwood
1960s counterculture, airport security, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, period drama, pez dispenser, Port of Oakland, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, transcontinental railway, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, young professional
Though still gritty in parts, many of the old warehouses here have been converted into artists’ lofts and studios in an ongoing real-life workshop to transform the area into a glitzy design centerpiece. Most intriguing is the new city hall, called Civic Center, at Park Avenue and Hollis Street, for which the 1902 town hall has been wrapped in a sheer glass box of 15,000 additional square feet of office space. Nothing indicates the upwardly mobile face of Emeryville better, however, than the fact that the billion-dollar computer animation company Pixar is headquartered here at 1200 Park Ave; unfortunately, no tours of the studio are offered. East Oakland The E ast Bay | Oakland The bulk of Oakland spreads along foothills and flatlands to the east of Downtown, in neighborhoods obviously stratified along the main thoroughfares of Foothill and MacArthur boulevards.
Skyline Boulevard runs through the park and is popular with cyclists, who ride the twelve miles south to Lake Chabot or follow Grizzly Peak Boulevard five miles north to Tilden Park through the Berkeley Hills. Most of the Broadway traffic, and the AC Transit #51 bus, cuts off onto College Avenue through Oakland’s most upscale shopping district, ROCKRIDGE. Spreading for half a mile on either side of the Rockridge BART station, the quirky stores and restaurants here, despite their undeniable upwardly mobile overtones, are better than Piedmont’s in variety and volume, and make for a pleasant afternoon’s wander or night out. Oakland is hardly regarded as a gourmet paradise; it does, though, have a tradition of unpretentious all-American diners along with a smattering of good multi-ethnic restaurants. The trendier Rockridge area offers some classier options, especially for Italian food. Diners and delis Adam’s Burger 3401 Lakeshore Ave, North Oakland t 510/834-5796.
Also worth a visit, The National Institute of Art and Disabilities at 551 23rd St (Mon–Fri 8.30am–4pm; free; t 510/620-0290, w www.niadart.org) exhibits art created by artists with developmental and physical disabilities; view in an open studio and gallery space where the artists are often at work. If you’re heading from the East Bay to Marin County, Point Richmond, a cozy little town tucked away at the foot of the bridge between the refinery 315 and the Bay, is worth a glance for its shoreline and its many Victorian houses – now mostly occupied by upwardly mobile professionals from San Francisco. Brickyard Landing is a redeveloped docklands with modern bayview condos, tennis courts, and a private yacht harbor built around disused brick kilns. The rest of the waterfront is taken up by the broad and usually deserted strand of Keller Beach, which stretches for half a mile along the sometimes windy shoreline. There are also a couple of popular weekend retreats, if you want to stay in the vicinity: the A East Brother Light Station at 117 Park Place (Thurs–Sun nights only; t 510/233-2385, w www.ebls.org; $315) has a handful of rooms in a converted lighthouse, on an island in the straits linking the San Francisco and San Pablo bays, east of the bridge; prices include highly rated gourmet dinners (with wine), as well as breakfast.
The Long Boom: A Vision for the Coming Age of Prosperity by Peter Schwartz, Peter Leyden, Joel Hyatt
American ideology, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, centre right, computer age, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, hydrogen economy, industrial cluster, informal economy, intangible asset, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shock, open borders, Productivity paradox, QR code, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, Y2K
There was a time when tennis shoes were made in the United States. Then production moved to Japan, then to Korea, then to Malaysia, now to China and Indochina. Each time production migrated, the original host country traded up to creating higher-value-added products. That migration will continue, and those at the lower end today will move to greener pastures, leaving opportunities for developing countries in Africa to begin the long path of upwardly mobile development. One obvious economic opportunity for Africa is in textiles and fashion. The many cultural regions of Africa have distinct styles of art and distinct design traditions, as well as a long history of creating fabrics. A thriving textile and fashion industry could be built around distinct clusters scattered across the continent. Each African cluster would be known globally for its particular offerings of textiles or clothing.
Trend Commandments: Trading for Exceptional Returns by Michael W. Covel
Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business cycle, buy and hold, 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, Myron Scholes, 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, zero-sum game
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.
The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh
Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, carbon footprint, Donald Trump, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, megacity, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning
It was as though the place had been hit by a bomb that was designed specifically to destroy all things human—for one of the strangest aspects of the scene was that the island’s coconut palms were largely unaffected; they stood serenely amid the rubble, their fronds waving gently in the breeze that was blowing in from the sparkling, sun-drenched sea. I wrote in my notebook: ‘The damage was limited to a half-mile radius along the shore. In the island’s interior everything is tranquil, peaceful—indeed astonishingly beautiful. There are patches of tall, dark primary forest, beautiful padauk trees, and among these, in little clearings, huts built on stilts. . . . One of the ironies of the situation is that the most upwardly mobile people on the island were living at its edges.’ Such was the pattern of settlement here that the indigenous islanders lived mainly in the interior: they were largely unaffected by the tsunami. Those who had settled along the seashore, on the other hand, were mainly people from the mainland, many of whom were educated and middle class: in settling where they had, they had silently expressed their belief that highly improbable events belong not in the real world but in fantasy.
Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, From the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First by Frank Trentmann
Airbnb, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, cross-subsidies, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equity premium, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial exclusion, fixed income, food miles, full employment, germ theory of disease, global village, haute cuisine, high net worth, income inequality, index card, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, labour mobility, libertarian paternalism, Livingstone, I presume, longitudinal study, mass immigration, McMansion, mega-rich, moral panic, mortgage debt, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postnationalism / post nation state, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, stakhanovite, the built environment, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, zero-sum game
Home was no longer ‘sweet home’ but a mere ‘sleeping box and eating den’, in the words of the secretary of New York City’s child welfare committee.130 Adolescents looked for fun in the street. Delinquency, however, was not the monopoly of the poor. Recreation was so contested precisely because adolescents from comfortable families also ended up in court. A survey in Cleveland traced delinquency to upwardly mobile families. ‘Their recent prosperity has permitted their children a sudden accession of comfort and money and spare time.’ Such youths had thrown off a ‘patriarchal notion of family control’. ‘The only standard they seem to have substituted is that of cutting a dashing figure with “the crowd”. They . . . represent a nascent social energy permitted to run wild.’ The most frequent offence was staying out at night.
We saw earlier how the young and old have snatched the biggest share of free time. Types of leisure, too, are unevenly distributed, especially by education and class. The better educated, the more active people are. That this should be so contains a final clue as to why time-intensive cultural activities have not vanished. Learning to play the piano takes time. A pianola solves that problem: it plays by itself. And yet, the homes of the cultured and upwardly mobile tend to have a piano, not a pianola. In Germany, ten- to eighteen-year-olds spend an impressive hour a day on music-making or creative arts.77 Why torture innocent ears if it is possible to satisfy the children with cheap, easy downloads of the newest tune? The short answer is: ‘It’s sociology, stupid.’ In addition to any intrinsic pleasure from the sound of music, the time set aside to learn an instrument teaches discipline, how to gain competence and overcome challenges and, above all, cultivates the taste of a ‘superior’ person.
A Nigerian family, say, receiving a monthly transfer from London, will behave differently from poorer neighbours. Yet do they consume any differently from a neighbour who banks an equivalent pay rise? The jury is out. While migrant households do consume more in total, remittances in fact reduce the relative amount spent on food and dress. After all, these families are better off and can afford to put extra money aside for land and business. In that sense, they are no different from generations of upwardly mobile people before them. On the other hand, remittances are in some ways distinctive. Most strikingly, they flow in a counter-cyclical fashion, that is, they go up when depression and disaster strike, at the very moment when other investments and wages go down. For families in developing countries, they are, therefore, hugely important – a cushion in hard times. Unlike a pay rise, moreover, migrant families tend to view remittances as a temporary gain.
Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century by Adam, Georgina(Author)
BRICs, Frank Gehry, greed is good, high net worth, inventory management, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, upwardly mobile
As one of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations, and with a burgeoning population of 1.2 billion (2011 census) and a growing middle class, India should be the natural challenger to China. It has a growing group of affluent consumers – what McKinsey and Co calls ‘the global Indians’ – businessmen, landowners and highend professionals, who represent some 1.2 million households. And, says McKinsey, ‘a new breed of ferociously upwardly mobile Indians is emerging [whose tastes] are indistinguishable from those of prosperous young Westerners.’ By 2025, McKinsey predicts there will be 9.5 million Indians in this class.185 More significantly, the number of ultra-rich Indians has grown sharply this century – Forbes listed 55 billionaires in 2013. Since the economic liberalisation in 1991, which brought huge inward investment, newly rich Indians have been enthusiastically buying yachts, houses and other luxury products.
You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations by Michael Ian Black
All my shifting will be done the way God intended transmissions to be shifted, by hand. After a dozen calls, I manage to get the price knocked down a few thousand dollars. Unfortunately, the best quote I get does not come from the place where I took the test drive. I feel bad about that because I liked the woman who helped me out, but I figure BMW salespeople are probably used to dealing with upwardly mobile businessmen such as myself so she understands that with guys like us, the dollar is king. It’s just business, baby. I order my car. They tell me two months. To make the long wait for the car more tolerable, BMW has thoughtfully created a website where I can check the progress of my car from its assemblage by wood nymphs in the Bavarian forests, to its transatlantic voyage on the QE2, through its final transport to my dealership borne on the wings of angels.
Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, Grace Hopper, job automation, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
In 2012, one of the largest of these brokers, Acxiom, bragged that it had an average of 1,500 data points for each of the 500 million consumers, including most of the adult population in the United States, in its database.2 Think about that: 1,500 individual tidbits of information about you, all stored in a database somewhere and handed out to whoever will pay the price. Then there’s the practice of segmenting: grouping you into one of Acxiom’s seventy marketing clusters, each with a branded name and a peppy description. Judging by the information readily available about me, I’m almost certain Acxiom’s database has me pegged as a segment 6, “Casual Comfort”: a city-living, upwardly mobile type who enjoys “socializing, attending concerts and participating in fantasy sports leagues, as well as adventurous outdoor recreation. This cluster also appreciates fine dining and fitness.” 3 Minus the fantasy sports, this is all pretty accurate. And why wouldn’t it be? After all, Acxiom knows which credit cards I have, how much I paid for my house, and where I spend my money. When this data is assembled into a dossier and matched up with my Facebook habits, boom: you get a detailed view of not just how much I make and what I like to do, but also where I am at almost any given moment, what I believe in and care about, and who my friends are.
Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century by Christian Caryl
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, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mont Pelerin Society, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Pearl River Delta, 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.
Berlin by Andrea Schulte-Peevers
Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Google Earth, indoor plumbing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Skype, starchitect, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal
Nudging against Mitte in the north and Schöneberg in the west, this is where you find the district’s heavyweight attractions – Checkpoint Charlie and the Jüdisches Museum. Gentrification has arrived here with a vengeance, resulting in cleaner streets, prettier buildings, fancier restaurants and a more relaxed overall pace. The liveliest strips are café- and boutique-studded Mehringdamm and Bergmannstrasse, which have become popular playgrounds for the mostly upwardly mobile locals. The nearby hill that gave Kreuzberg (literally ‘cross hill’) its name is now a rambling park topped by a memorial celebrating Prussia’s 1815 victory over Napoleon. Lawns for sunning, a beer garden and an artificial waterfall make this a great summer play zone. JÜDISCHES MUSEUM Map 2599 3300; www.juedisches-museum-berlin.de; Lindenstrasse 9-14; adult/concession/family €5/2.50/10; 10am-10pm Mon, to 8pm Tue-Sun; Hallesches Tor, Kochstrasse, M29, M41, 248 Berlin’s Jewish Museum is an eye-opening, emotional and interactive romp through 2000 years of Jewish history in Germany.
The look is Zen-meets-pop-art-in-hospital, the vibe is relaxed, the vodka drinks creative and the leather lounge beds and wispy curtains sensual. On weekends DJs turn the place into an electro party zone and if you’re too trashed to go home there are even rooms for rent. Free wi-fi. STEREO 33 Map Bar 9599 9433; Krossener Strasse 24; from 8pm Mon-Sat; Warschauer Strasse Modern and minimalist, this postage stamp–sized den is a serious contender for the title of coolest bar in Friedrichshain. Upwardly mobile DJs spin a head-bobbing mix of hip hop, electro and funk as the crowd gets comfortable in plush sofas or at the bar. LUNAS STRANDGARTEN Map Beer Garden www.freiluftrebellen.de, in German; Revaler Strasse 34; 1pm-2am, later Fri & Sat; Warschauer Strasse Perhaps a little too neat and chic for this Friedrichshain grunge strip, but still a fun spot to chill, play beach volleyball or cool off in the tiny pool.
Fun Inc. by Tom Chatfield
Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Boris Johnson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, credit crunch, game design, invention of writing, longitudinal study, moral panic, publication bias, 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.
The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager
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.
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
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, British Empire, business cycle, 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, Johannes Kepler, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Ponzi scheme, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, source of truth, 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’.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
affirmative action, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, corporate raider, crew resource management, medical residency, old-boy network, Pearl River Delta, 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.
Vertical Vegetables and Fruit by Rhonda Massingham Hart
Ties, Clips, and Slings Some plants climb by means of spiraling tendrils or leafstalks; some by stems that weave in and out of or wrap around available supports; and still others by aerial, rootlike holdfasts or tiny, adhesive pads that cling to their supporting surface. Any of these, at some point, may need a little assist to stay aloft. A variety of ties, clips, slings, and other accessories can be used in training upwardly mobile vines. (See page 96 for more on slings). For garden crops, usually all that is needed is to gently guide the stems to the support and watch them climb. Some, however, need to be tied in place as they grow. Seed catalogs, gardening websites, and garden supply stores offer soft twist ties and clips especially made for securing delicate plant stems to trellises, stakes, fencing, or twine (see Resources).
Confessions of a Crypto Millionaire: My Unlikely Escape From Corporate America by Dan Conway
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, buy and hold, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, financial independence, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, job satisfaction, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, rent control, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, Turing complete, Uber for X, universal basic income, upwardly mobile
It was a way for everyone in the chain of command to associate themselves with awesome work and take a little bit of credit for themselves. It was amazing to see how high these emails could go. On occasion, they’d go all the way to the CEO and the board of directors. At some point, there would be no one more senior to send it to, leaving only Jesus Christ or Dick Cheney to say, “Great work.” If the project being applauded involved a buzzword in fashion at the time, you could win a cascading, upwardly mobile email for an achievement so trivial it was laughable. Sharp-eyed managers would spot the connection and launch the note vertically before anyone beat them to the punch. They’d write something like, Mary, this is a great example of leveraging synergies with NGOs … thought you should see our work here. And just like that, out of nowhere, that note with your original email would skyrocket to the powers that be, one manager at a time.
The Other Side of Happiness: Embracing a More Fearless Approach to Living by Brock Bastian
cognitive dissonance, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, helicopter parent, impulse control, income inequality, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce
Brock Bastian * * * THE OTHER SIDE OF HAPPINESS Embracing a More Fearless Approach to Living Contents Introduction PART ONE Avoiding Pain 1. Have We Reached Peak Comfort? 2. The Cotton Wool Generation PART TWO Embracing Pain 3. Painful Pleasures 4. Getting Tough 5. Connecting With Others 6. Finding Focus 7. The Meaningful Life Conclusion References Acknowledgements Follow Penguin Introduction Positivity has become the new crack of the upwardly mobile, and the new pill for the downtrodden and depressed. Coaches, consultants and psychologists have been pushing the message that to live well we need to seek out the positive and reframe the negative. In today’s world, feeling happy is no longer simply a state of mind; it has become a marker of mental health and success. On the flip side, pain and sadness are viewed as signals of failure and of sickness: if we are not happy then there is something wrong with us and we need to fix it.
Smart Cities, Digital Nations by Caspar Herzberg
Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, business climate, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, hive mind, Internet of things, knowledge economy, Masdar, megacity, New Urbanism, packet switching, QR code, remote working, RFID, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart meter, social software, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, X Prize
Obesity is on the rise in Malaysia, China, South Korea, and India; China is now stricken with the world’s second-highest obesity rate, and the numbers are climbing, especially for children.2 Vegetarian diets, generally less noxious for the environment and healthier for the human system, are giving way as meat consumption rises. The incidental expenses of processing, shipping, and storing meat-based products will increase across supply chains, and so will the resulting pollution. Resource and food wastage will also increase. For companies that sell products to the upwardly mobile classes in Asian nations, these facts are likely difficult to swallow when growth is the singular imperative. Nair’s book was meant to identify this enormous problem. He also takes to task the unquestioning belief that markets will create solutions as they are needed. His thesis contends that such a belief is the stuff of a “dream world,” based on a model for development that simply cannot be sustained in Asia.
When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures by Richard D. Lewis
Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, business climate, business process, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, global village, haute cuisine, hiring and firing, invention of writing, lateral thinking, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, 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.
A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s by Alwyn W. Turner
Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, centre right, deindustrialization, demand response, Desert Island Discs, endogenous growth, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, global village, greed is good, inflation targeting, lateral thinking, means of production, millennium bug, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, period drama, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Stephen Hawking, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce
The respective stories of Ashdown and Norris on the one side and Amos on the other sketched out the ground rules for political sex scandals at the start of the decade, a set of standards summed up by the Conservative MP Rupert Allason in his political whodunit Murder in the Commons (published in 1992 under the pen name Nigel West): ‘Mere infidelity could probably be survived, but a wholly legal act of homosexuality spelt catastrophe for the upwardly mobile.’ There were other cases too that would once have meant ruin but which no longer rated serious or prolonged attention. In the summer of 1992 the Independent ran a story that Virginia Bottomley had had her first child in 1967 before marrying the child’s father, another future Tory MP, Peter Bottomley. Andreas Whittam-Smith, the paper’s editor, defended the disclosure: ‘As Mrs Bottomley speaks to the nation about teenage mothers, I think it is a significant fact worth recording that she was once herself an unwed teenage mother.’
In the elections to the European Parliament that were held between the death of Smith and the accession of Blair, Labour enjoyed an average swing of 12 per cent nationally, with the figure rising to 15 per cent in London and the South-East. In 1993 Andy McSmith, Kinnock’s former press officer, had predicted the emergence of a Labour Party that would be ‘more European than the Tories, very strong on law and order, with a promise of electoral reform, and social welfare without excessive tax increases’. This would be ‘a party where the upwardly mobile could feel at home, not unlike the one which David Owen tried to create a decade ago’. In essence this was the party that Smith was creating and very much the party that Blair wished to lead, though preferably without any public nod to Owen, whose recently ended career as an MP was littered with broken parties and with personal and political animosities. Unusually for Labour, Blair became leader as the head of a clearly defined faction.
Warren Lakin & Ian Parsons), I Think the Nurses Are Stealing My Clothes: The Very Best of Linda Smith (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 2006) Jon Sopel, Tony Blair: The Moderniser (Michael Joseph, London, 1995) Michael Spicer, The Spicer Diaries (Biteback, London, 2012) Mark Steel, Reasons to Be Cheerful: From Punk to New Labour through the Eyes of a Dedicated Troublemaker (Scribner, London, 2001 – pbk edn: 2002) Philip Stephens, Tony Blair: The Price of Leadership (Penguin, New York, 2004 – rev pbk edn: Politico’s, London, 2004) Richard Strange, Strange: Punks and Drunks and Flicks and Kicks – the Memoirs of Richard Strange (André Deutsch, London, 2002) Jack Straw, Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a Political Survivor (Macmillan, London, 2012) Mark Stuart, Douglas Hurd: The Public Servant (Mainstream, Edinburgh, 1998) John Sutherland, Offensive Literature: Decensorship in Britain 1960–1982 (Junction Books, London, 1982) John Sutherland, Reading the Decades: Fifty Years of the Nation’s Bestselling Books (BBC Worldwide, London, 2002) Norman Tebbit, Upwardly Mobile (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1988) Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (HarperCollins, London, 1993) Margaret Thatcher, The Path to Power (HarperCollins, London, 1995) Ben Thompson, Sunshine on Putty: The Golden Age of British Comedy from Vic Reeves to The Office (Fourth Estate, London, 2004 – pbk edn: HarperCollins, London, 2004) Alwyn W. Turner, Rejoice! Rejoice! Britain in the 1980s (Aurum Press, London, 2010) Simon Walters, Tory Wars: conservatives in crisis (Politico’s, London, 2001) Richard Weight, Patriots: National Identity in Britain 1940–2000 (Macmillan, London, 2002 – rev pbk edn: Pan, London, 2003) Louise Wener, Different for Girls: My True-Life Adventures in Pop (Ebury, London, 2010) Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Strange Death of Tory England (Allen Lane, London, 2005 – pbk edn: Penguin, London, 2005) Hywel Williams, Guilty Men: Conservative Decline and Fall 1992–1997 (Aurum, London, 1998) A.N.
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline
big-box store, business cycle, clean water, East Village, feminist movement, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the sewing machine, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, megacity, race to the bottom, Skype, special economic zone, trade liberalization, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, upwardly mobile, Veblen good
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.
100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison
23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, disruptive innovation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, 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.
The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher
Airbnb, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collaborative consumption, Columbine, commoditize, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, New Urbanism, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, 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, white picket fence, 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.
Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich
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.
Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business by Bob Lutz
corporate governance, creative destruction, 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.
The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50 by Jonathan Rauch
endowment effect, experimental subject, Google bus, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income per capita, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Richard Thaler, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, zero-sum game
After that, Alan found a position working as a corporate mail clerk. It was a long way from management, but it proved stable. Still, when we spoke he was sixty-five and could not afford to retire. He worked alongside millennials who, he said, couldn’t care less about doing the job right. He felt angry at himself for losing his way in his forties. He especially felt regret. He had never managed to rejoin the white-collar, upwardly mobile society of his youth; and he never would. “There’s always something to remind you. You’re riding high, and—Wham! Boom! After that, you feel it’s hard to be around those people you knew before. It’s hard to go back.” I interviewed dozens of people for this book, trying to understand in an intimate, textured way how they experience life satisfaction over time. I have learned what we all already know.
I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi
affirmative action, bitcoin, Burning Man, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, clean water, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Skype, Snapchat, transatlantic slave trade, uber lyft, upwardly mobile
Otherwise, when we raise hell, don’t act like you don’t know why. Throwing rocks and then hiding your hands—that’s some bullshit. Those white stars are cracked and the stripes bleed. Until America is ready to turn the mirror on itself and address the giant, pink, racist elephant in the room, we cannot fix any of this. I’m judging you, ’Murica. 8. The Privilege Principle There comes a time in every upwardly mobile Black person’s life when they encounter someone who tells them how “well-spoken” and “articulate” they are. It is usually a white person who is earnest and honest in their admiration of your verbal abilities, and in that moment, you swing between being appreciative and being totally offended. It’s a backhanded compliment at best, but mostly it’s a put-down, because no matter how much you’ve studied, how nice your clothes are, or how impressive your body of work is, people will still expect little from you (because: minority).
The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl
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, commoditize, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, disruptive innovation, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, lifelogging, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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.
Planet of Slums by Mike Davis
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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, jitney, jobless men, Kibera, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, liberation theology, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, megacity, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Pearl River Delta, 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.
Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel R. Delany
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.
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, blue-collar work, cognitive dissonance, late fees, medical malpractice, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, unbiased observer, upwardly mobile, working poor
My entire family showed up for the occasion, and we both changed our name to Vance—giving me, finally, the same name as the family to which I belonged. I had a nice job, a recently purchased home, a loving relationship, and a happy life in a city I loved—Cincinnati. Usha and I had returned there for a year after law school for one-year clerkships and had built a home with our two dogs. I was upwardly mobile. I had made it. I had achieved the American Dream. Or at least that’s how it looked to an outsider. But upward mobility is never clean-cut, and the world I left always finds a way to reel me back in. I don’t know the precise chain of events that led me to that hotel, but I knew the stuff that mattered. Mom had begun using again. She’d stolen some family heirlooms from her fifth husband to buy drugs (prescription opiates, I think), and he’d kicked her out of the house in response.
Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult That Bound My Life by Sarah Edmondson
With these new policies in place and given the increase in prices for some of the courses over the past year or two, plus the exchange rate going up 30 to 40 percent on the dollar, enrollment began to lose some steam. But that just meant I’d work harder. Some of us tried to follow Keith and Clare’s advice to target prospective enrollees who were a little wealthier than our former market of upwardly mobile young adults, and for a short time, this was a successful tactic. We had Oscar-winning film directors and other people to bring us credibility still registering for the Five-Day. Unfortunately, it was a hamster wheel because the rent of our center went up as well as our administrative fees. I felt like I was always treading water. But I never stopped working, coaching, growing, and recruiting.
What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . And What Other Countries Got Right by George R. Tyler
8-hour work day, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Black Swan, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Bolshevik threat, bonus culture, British Empire, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, lake wobegon effect, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, pirate software, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game
With the test of time, however, his Reaganomics has proven no more credible than Crick’s flirtation with eugenics or Pauling’s belief in megadoses of vitamin C. The courtship of the economic neophyte Reagan beginning in the 1970s was built on three elements: ▲ First, Milton Friedman’s philosophy was appealing to Reagan in his role as General Electric’s corporate spokesman to generally affluent shareholders. The notions of deregulation and the demonization of government were alluring to upwardly mobile Americans like Reagan and to major Republican Party business contributors like the ITT Corporation. ▲ Second, supporters conflated the cause of Reaganomics with that of democracy during the Cold War era, arguing powerfully that only laissez-faire economics was consistent with the American ideals of capitalism and democracy. They exploited the Cold War to toss mainstream economics and Aristotle under the bus
How could economic mobility not be high in America, they ask? After all, it was founded by settlers fleeing the rigid, class-rooted, economic, religious, and social elitism of England and continental Europe, societies where since time immemorial those born poor died poor, and those born rich died rich. This unfounded belief is perpetuated by politicians, such as former vice-presidential candidate and Congressman Paul Ryan: “We are in an upwardly mobile society with a lot of movement between income groups. [In Europe] … top-heavy welfare states have replaced the traditional aristocracies, and masses of the long-term unemployed are locked into the new lower class.”5 Congressman Ryan is a leading Republican Party spokesman on budget issues and is known to substitute fiction for truth as when he said this at the Heritage Foundation. Politicians can do that, pandering to donors.
The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara
"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K
Apple went bigger: “Men 25–54, $35,000+ Household income, College Graduate+.” (Even though there soon were senior women both in Apple’s marketing ranks and in the offices of Regis McKenna Inc., it still did not occur to anyone to pitch the friendly little product specifically to female consumers.)14 Over time, the company became even bolder in its product claims as it chased the hearts and minds of upwardly mobile American males. By the time the decade was out, its magazine ads featured actors dressed as great men of history, with both imagery and ad copy hammering home the message that Apple was changing the world. “What kind of man owns his own personal computer?” asked one, accompanied by a photo of an actor dressed as Ben Franklin, delightedly gasping at the wonders of an Apple II. “If your time means money,” the ad continued, “Apple can help you make more of it.”
The Sony Walkman was made for being on the go, for taking your music with you in a way more portable and personal than ever before. Unveiled in 1979, just as fitness-crazed members of the Me Generation surged onto jogging paths and laced up their roller skates, the Walkman became a consumer electronics phenomenon. It sold in the hundreds of millions despite its $200 price, becoming the iconic accessory for the upwardly mobile 1980s. NASA sent a specially outfitted Walkman into space. Britain’s Princess Diana owned a gold-plated model. Sony’s print ads announced: “There’s a revolution in the streets.”1 As the nation’s sidewalks bristled with plugged-in music lovers, American electronics executives started losing sleep. The Japanese economic miracle had already upended Detroit’s auto industry, pushed aside Pittsburgh’s steelmakers, and hacked away at market share for RCA televisions and Whirlpool refrigerators.
The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple
British Empire, colonial rule, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, deindustrialization, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, global reserve currency, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, land reform, lone genius, megacity, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile
He was accompanied by two of his predecessors in office and several senior Aldermen of the City – buttery Elizabethan burghers, their white-bearded faces nestling in a feathery tangle of cambric ruffs.3 The most powerful of these was the gravely goateed, ermine-trimmed and stovepipe-hatted figure of Sir Thomas Smythe, Auditor of the City of London, who had made a fortune importing currants from the Greek islands and spices from Aleppo. A few years earlier ‘Auditor Smythe’ had helped form the Levant Company as a vehicle for his trading voyages; this meeting was his initiative.4 Besides these portly pillars of the City of London were many less exalted merchants hopeful of increasing their fortunes, as well as a scattering of ambitious and upwardly mobile men of more humble estate, whose professions the notaries dutifully noted down: grocers, drapers and haberdashers, a ‘clotheworker’, a ‘vintener’, a ‘letherseller’ and a ‘skinner’.5 There were a few scarred soldiers, mariners and bearded adventurers from the docks at Woolwich and Deptford, surf-battered sea dogs, some of whom had fought against the Spanish Armada a decade earlier, all doublets and gold earrings, with their sea dirks tucked discreetly into their belts.
The same Act also called for three government-appointed councillors to oversee Hastings’ work on behalf of Parliament. Among these was a brilliant and widely read but oddly malevolent and vindictive, as well as insatiably ambitious, young parliamentary secretary. Philip Francis was the son of an Irish Protestant clergyman who had been born in Dublin but brought up in London, who, as he wrote, ‘set out in life without the smallest advantage of birth or fortune’. Acutely self-conscious of his status as an upwardly mobile outsider, ‘ever on his guard against himself’, he was a skilled political operator with a love of subterfuge, deviousness and intrigue: he is the prime candidate for the authorship of the letters of ‘Junius’, inflammatory essays attacking George III and his ministers, which were published between 1768 and 1772, and widely reprinted in colonial America and continental Europe.65 It was the failure of Hastings and Francis to work together, and Francis’s ambition to get Hastings recalled and himself become the ruler of Bengal in his place – ‘this glorious empire which I was sent to save and govern’ – that was to lead to many further problems for the Company and effectively paralyse its goverment in India in the years to come.66 The other casualty of the Regulating Act and the parliamentary debates which swirled around it was, perhaps surprisingly, Clive himself.
Frommer's Irreverent Guide to San Francisco by Matthew Richard Poole
Bay Area Rapid Transit, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Loma Prieta earthquake, Maui Hawaii, old-boy network, 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).
The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett
basic income, Berlin Wall, clean water, Diane Coyle, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, moral panic, 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, zero-sum game
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.
Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks
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, Norman Mailer, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, 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.
What's the Matter with White People by Joan Walsh
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, mass immigration, 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, zero-sum game
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.
Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World by Christopher Steiner
23andMe, Ada Lovelace, airport security, Al Roth, algorithmic trading, backtesting, big-box store, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, dumpster diving, Flash crash, G4S, Gödel, Escher, Bach, High speed trading, Howard Rheingold, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, medical residency, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, 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.
Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen
Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, 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, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, 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.
The Places in Between by Rory Stewart
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.
The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City by Alan Ehrenhalt
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, mass immigration, McMansion, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Peter Calthorpe, 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.
Erwin Schrodinger and the Quantum Revolution by John Gribbin
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, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lateral thinking, 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.
Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game
In the School of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences and Letters building, there is no apparent sign of air conditioning, despite the brutal mid-summer heat. Funding cuts, we are told, have led to neglect and disrepair across the university. We are here to talk to the Brazilian equivalent of the university students in Korea, the dinner party in Belgium, the young professionals in Nairobi: the upwardly mobile, educated, professional, ambitious members of a society. How do their experiences and perceptions differ, or match up, with their counterparts in other parts of the world? The results surprise us. Professor Lorena Barberia, from the university’s political science department, has assembled a dozen students attending a graduate summer program. These are bright, driven, career-oriented young women, ranging in age from mid-twenties to mid-thirties, fluent in English and determined to realize their full intellectual and career potential.
Sarah Millican--The Queen of Comedy by Tina Campanella
The tenth placed comedian, for example, Bill Engvall, could earn $100,000 per gig. But, perhaps showing how things had started to change, in 2010, Jerry Seinfeld didn’t even get into the top 10, and the overall amount earned was well down on the previous year. But, in the meantime, Sarah Millican has been on a high and taking advantage of the fact that comedy is currently literally gold. And, perhaps true to her upwardly mobile working class roots, she is adamant that she will be not one of those left working in a kiosk at the end of her career. Shortly after the incident with the videoing fan, she made no bones about the fact that it was essential to preserve the source of her income, to make sure she didn’t end up with nothing worthwhile to say. She told The Independent: ‘If I write a joke and it works, and it works consistently, that is gold to me.
Boeing Versus Airbus: The Inside Story of the Greatest International Competition in Business by John Newhouse
Airbus A320, airline deregulation, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Build a better mousetrap, corporate governance, demand response, low cost airline, low cost carrier, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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.
The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, business cycle, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey
Recognition is never more than an act of Google away, and so the American notion of class is based all the more on what a person already has done, and the class distinctions are enforced ultimately not by snobby matrons who run social circles but rather by the act of Googling itself. If you’re twenty-four years old and looking to get ahead, it can be tougher. There isn’t such a simple way to visually demonstrate you are determined to join the ranks of the upwardly mobile. Looking smart on “casual Friday” may get you a better date, but the boss will not sit up and take notice. In other words, a culture of the casual is a culture of people who already have achieved something and who already can prove it. It is a culture of the static and the settled, the opposite of Tocqueville’s restless Americans. In an art gallery or some other high-end retail outlet, the dealers and directors know that very often the biggest spenders walk in the door wearing jeans and sneakers.
Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein
23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator
This clique, a subset of what came to be called the alt-right, seemed to me a small and impotent minority. And yet the echo grew louder and louder—and soon more would hear it. Soon more would witness and shudder before the thing I had only just glimpsed: the emergence of determined fascist movement builders, taking their online organizing into the real world. Theirs was a vast but slapdash network of alienated, underemployed man-children; tortured, gynophobic gamers; and upwardly mobile, right-curious tech dudes. Emboldened, they crawled from underground online haunts like Stormfront and the 4chan forums into the light of day and, after Trump’s election, to the city square—in Berkeley, Portland, New York, Charlottesville. They waved war flags adorned with strange idols like Pepe the Frog and chanted paeans to Kek, an ancient Egyptian god adopted by internet racists. They fought with students, activists, and anyone else who opposed their white nationalist vision.
The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour
4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks
An analysis of Trump’s tweets during the election found that they effectively substituted for campaign position statements.54 Most of his tweets attacked the Washington establishment, blaming it for uncontrolled migration, terror and job losses, rather than advocating a policy position. He limited public access to his governing agenda. Clinton’s online campaign struggled, by contrast, to build hashtagged enthusiasm with #ImWithHer and such memes as the #pantsuit, soliciting the enthusiasm of upwardly mobile career women struggling against sexism. Some of her tactics downright failed, including a listicle identifying her with ‘your abuela’, where ‘abuela’ is the Spanish word for ‘grandmother’. Latin voters, far from being impressed, began to post criticisms of her support for militarized border controls with the hashtag #NotMyAbuela quickly going viral. As President, encircled by a hostile media and Congress, subject to investigation and hamstrung by intelligence leaks, Trump used Twitter as a refuge of uncompromised sovereignty.
Saving America's Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age by Lizabeth Cohen
activist lawyer, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, charter city, deindustrialization, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, garden city movement, ghettoisation, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Jane Jacobs, land reform, megastructure, new economy, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, postindustrial economy, race to the bottom, rent control, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Vilfredo Pareto, walkable city, War on Poverty, white flight, white picket fence, young professional
Ryan likened Boston to “an apple with a shiny skin, rotten at the core.”20 Into the next decade, the local developer William Poorvu made sure to focus his own real estate investing on Harvard Square and Route 128, “markets [that] were outside the urban center.”21 Route 128 and the Massachusetts Turnpike that followed it also opened up vast new suburban tracts for residential development, luring away the younger, more upwardly mobile of the city’s population. Many were ex-GIs well supplied with VA mortgage loans usable only in white, middle-class suburbs, not in the inner-city neighborhoods of their parents and grandparents, which were redlined by banks.22 They were also driven out by the city’s poor services and deteriorating, outdated housing. Collins’s deputy mayor, Henry Scagnoli, was not unusual for his generation in growing up during the 1920s and 1930s in a Jamaica Plain house without heat or hot water and with a toilet only in the cellar.
But after World War II, a combination of factors conspired to propel the Bronx toward a dramatic descent. More than its fair share of low-income public housing projects were located here. The redlining of heavily ethnic neighborhoods discouraged investment in what had been—and often still were—blocks of decent six-story brick apartment houses. Cheap mortgages through the GI Bill and the Federal Housing Administration made homes in the suburbs an attractive option for white, upwardly mobile returning veterans, particularly when there were relatively few opportunities for homeownership in the rental-dominated Bronx. And the development from 1966 to 1973 of Co-op City—the largest cooperative residential community in the world, with more than fifteen thousand units in thirty-five high-rise towers—lured lower-middle-class residents away from their old Bronx neighborhoods to a new, state-subsidized, affordable alternative nearby in the far northeastern reaches of the borough.
Let them eat junk: how capitalism creates hunger and obesity by Robert Albritton
Bretton Woods, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, 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.
The Vast Unknown: America's First Ascent of Everest by Broughton Coburn
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.
Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence by Paul Feig
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.
The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician's First Year by Matt McCarthy
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.
The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class?and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida
affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbine, congestion charging, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Gini coefficient, Google bus, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, megacity, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, Paul Graham, plutocrats, Plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, superstar cities, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, young professional
The aspiring working and lower middle classes settled in smaller, denser, closer-in suburbs, such as Levittown on Long Island, or North Arlington, New Jersey, where I grew up. The poor and the truly disadvantaged were crammed into inner-city ghettos like Chicago’s South Side, or New York’s South Bronx, or parts of Newark, not far from where I was born. By the 1970s, it was generally the case that suburbs were predominantly affluent, upwardly mobile, and white, while cities were declining, hollowed out, and increasingly populated by members of minority groups and the poor. Karl Marx’s disciples, following his lead, have long believed that class identity is forged in the workplace—on the factory floor, so to speak. Yet class today in America is not just about the kind of work we do but also about the places in which we live, which shape everything from our access to jobs and economic opportunity to the schools our kids attend, our health and well-being, and our prospects for upward mobility.
Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity by Currid
"Robert Solow", barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Donald Trump, income inequality, index card, industrial cluster, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, place-making, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Florida, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, slashdot, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy
And we see it plain and simple in the geography of stardom. Celebrity and the “Pseudo-Event” One spring afternoon in London, my boyfriend (now husband), Richard, and I were strolling along the South Bank of the Thames. The South Bank is a formerly dodgy, now gentrified part of town that has a magnificent view of Westminster and Big Ben and is quickly becoming one of the most desired neighborhoods for the upwardly mobile and trend conscious. En route to lunch, we found ourselves in the midst of a great commotion under way at the Royal Festival Hall, an enormous entertainment venue located on the river. Massive crowds of people had formed a circle around a mysterious presence. Photographers were snapping away. When we investigated, we saw a massive ad hoc backdrop and a woman, some soap star whom Richard sort of recognized, smiling away in a bright red evening gown and far too much makeup.
Who Are We—And Should It Matter in the 21st Century? by Gary Younge
affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, David Brooks, equal pay for equal work, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, feminist movement, financial independence, glass ceiling, global village, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Skype, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile, Wolfgang Streeck, World Values Survey
I didn’t rate you as a player, I don’t rate you as a manager, and I don’t rate you as a person. You’re a fucking wanker and you can stick your World Cup up your arse. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country and you’re not even Irish, you English cunt. You can stick it up your bollocks.” In a column in the Irish Times explaining the outburst, O’Toole wrote: “Like the new Ireland, [Keane] is rich, upwardly mobile and driven by a ruthless work ethic. He doesn’t recognize the concept of heroic failure. He despises mediocrity and laziness. He believes that nothing less than excellence is good enough, whether in a Champions League final or a five-a-side kickabout after training. This Ireland, however, is a recent and still rather raw phenomenon. Around it there is the lingering legacy of a relatively poor society in which it made sense to be grateful for small mercies ...
The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World by John Michael Greer
back-to-the-land, Black Swan, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, David Strachan, deindustrialization, European colonialism, Extropian, failed state, feminist movement, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, hydrogen economy, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, mass immigration, McMansion, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, Project for a New American Century, Ray Kurzweil, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K
The internal proletariat has been deprived of its folk cultures by the destruction of traditional lifeways, and barred from participation in elite culture by class and income barriers that grow higher as the imperial stage proceeds. Finally the internal proletariat makes common cause with the external proletariat — the people 195 196 T he E cotechnic F u t u re of surrounding societies exploited by the civilization, who never had any stake in its survival to begin with — and everything comes crashing down. As the privileged classes find themselves stripped of wealth and power by the upwardly mobile warlords of the ensuing dark age, the imperial society’s cultural resources no longer have any value in the eyes of the masses. The result is a feedback loop that amplifies the impact of collapse. Pious hands tore down the temples of Roman gods and recycled the mathematical papers of Archimedes to provide parchment for Christian homilies, for example, because most people in the post-classical world no longer felt any loyalty to the culture of their ancestors and turned to the creative minority of a rising culture for inspiration no longer available from what was left of the dominant minority of the old.
Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy
algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, 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, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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.
Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the Twenty-First Century by Katherine S. Newman, Hella Winston
active measures, blue-collar work, business cycle, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, deindustrialization, desegregation, factory automation, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job-hopping, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, performance metric, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, 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.
Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner
algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, buy and hold, 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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Pingit, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, 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.
Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime by Julian Guthrie
Airbnb, Apple II, barriers to entry, blockchain, Bob Noyce, call centre, cloud computing, credit crunch, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, fear of failure, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, new economy, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, phenotype, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban decay, web application, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce
They seemed ideal at first, but before long, one of them arrived hungover and grumpy, more than once. She took naps when Tess took naps instead of cleaning and helping out with the house. Finally after her eighth chemo treatment, Sonja had to fire them. She gave them two weeks’ severance but asked them to leave immediately. She put an ad in Craigslist: “Nanny position available for upwardly mobile business professionals.” With the economy still in a recession and the unemployment rate rising, Sonja received more than two hundred applications. She hired two nannies, each to work three days a week. She wanted them to have time to pursue their own careers. One young woman she hired would go on to attend Harvard, and another would work her way through medical school. The nanny crisis behind her, Sonja felt lonely.
Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing by John Boughton
British Empire, deindustrialization, full employment, garden city movement, ghettoisation, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, profit motive, rent control, Right to Buy, rising living standards, starchitect, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, young professional
This book tells, first, of its necessity – that it was, above all, a pragmatic response to the prevalence and persistence of slum conditions, originating in Victorian fear of the disease-ridden and allegedly criminal and immoral rookeries of its booming cities and towns, but strengthened as a more democratic state renewed its mission to end slum living, first in the 1930s and, on a larger scale, from the 1950s. The constant was the failure of the free market and private enterprise to provide the healthy and affordable homes that ordinary people needed and deserved. It reminds us that council homes – built in large numbers from the 1890s, more so after the two world wars – have been, for most of that long history, aspirational housing: the mark of an upwardly mobile working class and the visible manifestation of a state which took seriously its duty to house its people decently. The state didn’t, of course, get everything right. Constraints on public investment were, nearly always, an impediment to the best of what might be achieved. Planners, sociologists and hostile politicians criticised the suburban ‘cottage’ estates which dominated the interwar and early postwar years just as they did the tower blocks which arose in the 1960s.
Rigged: The True Story of an Ivy League Kid Who Changed the World of Oil, From Wall Street to Dubai by Ben Mezrich
One of the remaining two was an investment banker from Germany, and the fourth was a real estate consultant from Barcelona. None of them seemed even remotely surprised when David told them where he worked; it was obvious that none of them doubted for a moment that Dubai was becoming the focus of every business—not just real estate, tourism, and banking. And from what he’d seen of Dubai so far, David had to admit that no upwardly mobile young man would need any excuse to want to be there. “And this is just one of a dozen parties going on tonight,” Seebeck said to David as his friends bantered with each other about some soccer league they had started with a group of Indian money managers. “There’s another set of condos about four blocks away full of corporate secretaries—mostly Swedish and Swiss—that we may visit if this gets tiresome.
Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed With Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard
Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, fear of failure, financial independence, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hiring and firing, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Toyota Production System, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor
Youth of lower socioeconomic backgrounds have more emotional and behavioral problems, are more often abused and neglected, and more often experience violent crime than those who come from financial security. It’s tempting to say that poorer people are held back simply by lack of financial resources, especially today as the wealth gap between rich and poor is the highest it has been since the 1920s. But it’s more complicated than that. As Vance notes, the problems in poor communities are also cultural. The few upwardly mobile people from the community often leave and thereby deprive the community of role models for success. Many of those left behind fall into a fatalism that leads to drugs and alcohol. As employers leave, citing lack of qualified employees, community trust collapses, and with it a hopeful sense of the future. Against this cultural gravity, it’s hard for anyone to summon the effort to work and invest for the long term.
From Peoples into Nations by John Connelly
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, bank run, Berlin Wall, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, oil shock, old-boy network, open borders, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Chicago School, trade liberalization, Transnistria, union organizing, upwardly mobile, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce
The thousand or so attendees were young and united in the will to break the chains of political absolutism. And they were courageous, acting in clear violation of the law, before revolution had prevailed in Vienna. The organizers included a roofer, inn-keeper, miller, several students, and a lawyer.34 The invitation to Czechs did not exclude Germans, yet because Prague was mostly Czech and those who attended were from the social margins, Czechs (especially upwardly mobile students) formed the core constituency. The Germans among the early revolutionary leaders tended to be radicals, who, for the sake of social change, were willing to support language rights for Czechs.35 A petition was formulated for the emperor that recognized two nations in Bohemia, yet only the Czech was “original and therefore had paramount right to the territory.” The drafters demanded democracy for all lands of the “Czech crown”: Bohemia, Moravia, and Austrian Silesia, thus making the earliest public call for “Bohemian state’s rights,” the demand that the Bohemian Kingdom in the borders of 1740 and its supposed legal integrity must serve as the basis of a nationally oriented political order.36 In fact, as an administrative unit, the kingdom had ceased to exist with the Theresian reforms of 1749, and historically there had never been a central parliament for the three crown lands.
They also took an important place in the agricultural economy, as landowning farmers, but also as tenants and salaried employees of large landowners, who valued Jews as efficient and rational producers.51 By World War I, Hungary’s elite seemed to be opening up to Jews as well. In 1914, one-fifth of the large landholders were Jews, and over one-fifth of the deputies in parliament were of Jewish parentage.52 Tens of thousands of upwardly mobile Jews also excelled in patriotism, and as teachers, journalists, and professionals went into Slovak and Romanian areas spreading Magyar culture. Numerically, Magyarized Jews made the culturally Magyar population just over half of the Hungarian kingdom. At the same time, the lower class Magyar Christian population, unable to adapt as quickly to the challenges of modernization, looked on the advance of Jews with skepticism and jealousy, becoming further alienated from the gentry elite.
These radicals selectively used data, claiming, for example, that 45 percent of the political leaders of the Hungarian Soviet Republic had been Jewish.8 Ignored was the fact that Jews, often reserve officers, were overrepresented among holders of military decorations in all armies. Or that if Jews entered Communist parties, that was because they tended to live in urban areas from which Communists drew support; or that Communists radically opposed ethnic discrimination.9 In fact, Communists were a small minority among Jews, who tended to support Zionist, moderate socialist, and traditional parties. Upwardly mobile ethnic Romanians who aspired to urban careers believed that Jews unfairly usurped middle-class jobs: 80 percent of textile industry engineers, 51 percent of doctors in the Army Medical Corps, and 70 percent of journalists were Jews. The number of Jews in the professions, banking, or commerce in Hungary was similarly high. In addition, Jews were portrayed as favoring foreign nations and their cultures, whether Hungarian in Transylvania, or Russian and German in Bessarabia and Bukovina.
Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language by Robert McCrum
Alistair Cooke, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, 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, Norman Mailer, Parag Khanna, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, the new new thing, 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.
Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux
back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, 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, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, 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.
Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky
activist lawyer, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, different worldview, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, 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.
Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte
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.
Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones
Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, 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, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, pension reform, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Right to Buy, 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%, wealth creators, 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.
The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham
3D printing, Airbus A320, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, 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.
New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms
"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks
“Advancement?” thought the CEO. “We haven’t even hired you yet.” When you understand the draw of the founder feeling, it’s no surprise that many workers at big organizations are increasingly impatient to move up or move on. Instead of resisting this, LinkedIn’s co-founder and chairman Reid Hoffman has embraced it. Everyone who interviews there is asked a version of a question that the upwardly mobile intern would surely appreciate: “What’s the next job that you would like to have post-LinkedIn?” For many old power thinkers, this is the professional equivalent of asking your brand-new fiancée what she thinks your second wife should look like. But Hoffman wants to put a stop to what he sees as the biggest lie the workplace tells us: We are a family. We shouldn’t think of our workplace commitment as we do our marriage vows, “Till death do us part.”
Split-Second Persuasion: The Ancient Art and New Science of Changing Minds by Kevin Dutton
availability heuristic, Bernie Madoff, call centre, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, different worldview, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, equity premium, fundamental attribution error, haute couture, job satisfaction, loss aversion, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile
Into doing something that they otherwise, as bees, wouldn’t dream of doing. Dropping in for a visit. It’s the same with our discomycete fungus. This unscrupulous, psychopathic fungus with its dodgy botanical morals knows only too well that bees and other pollinating insects will not, in the normal run of things, touch it with a bargepole. So what does it do? It does what any other unconscionable, upwardly mobile social predator would do: enlists the help of an innocent third party and ruthlessly exploits it as a go-between. Just because there’s no language involved doesn’t mean to say that there’s no persuasion involved – as I discovered pretty soon after I got married. One simple glance speaks volumes, right? The dividing line between animal and human persuasion gets even more blurred when we consider just how much of the human variety is, like its animalistic counterpart, instinctive.
Capital Without Borders by Brooke Harrington
banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, diversified portfolio, estate planning, eurozone crisis, family office, financial innovation, ghettoisation, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, information asymmetry, Joan Didion, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, mobile money, offshore financial centre, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, South Sea Bubble, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, wealth creators, web of trust, Westphalian system, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game
“For the most part,” one study concluded, “meritocracy is superimposed on inheritance rather than the other way around—effects produced by merit or luck occur within the context of effects produced by differential inheritance.”104 Wealth managers’ contribution to this trend includes not only the effectiveness with which they ensure the continuity of family fortunes but also their skill in helping clients avoid taxes and debts. The use of trusts, along with other tools for tax avoidance such as offshore corporations, makes those who do not use trusts poorer and often reduces the public services available to them—services such as education, health care, and infrastructure that might otherwise help them to be upwardly mobile. Wealth managers’ tax avoidance strategies shift the fiscal burdens of the state downward, imposing a surcharge on those who are unable to afford (or unwilling to use) such strategies. In the United States, estimates of this surcharge vary between 7 and 15 percent in additional taxes to cover the $35 billion underpayment by the wealthiest Americans.105 Similarly, the United Kingdom is believed to lose £100 billion annually as a result of tax avoidance, with tens of thousands of the country’s wealthiest individuals paying little or no income tax.
The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax
Airbnb, barriers to entry, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, creative destruction, death of newspapers, declining real wages, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, hypertext link, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Minecraft, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog
Perhaps if we are all creative enough, the lowered cost of living (thanks to improved technology) and the rapidly expanding opportunities for on-demand freelance work will more than supplement the disruption of the traditional workplace. This is a promising tale, but there is a catch. Undoubtedly the technology industry creates many jobs, but the jobs it provides tend to be rather specific and geared toward educated, upwardly mobile (and overwhelmingly male) individuals. Uber drivers notwithstanding, most of these jobs require very specific skills, and the reality is that acquiring those means access to technology (computers) and education, plus a degree of technological literacy that provides a high barrier to entry. Everyone may want to work in digital technology, and the jobs may be there, but it’s not as simple as walking up to the doors of Google and saying you’re smart, strong, and willing to do whatever it takes.
The Upside of Inequality by Edward Conard
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, bank run, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, future of work, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game
Another factor affecting the mobility of poor African American children is high school dropout rates. African American students are twice as likely as white, non-Hispanic students not to complete high school on time—30 percent versus 15 percent, respectively—and up nearly 10 percent over the last nine years.17 The proportions are higher still among poor children. Completing high school on time is a strong indication that a student will be a reliable worker—the kind of worker who is upwardly mobile. Failing to complete high school, even if a student later earns a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, has a significant effect on upward mobility. Visit bit.ly/2bTgSEm for a larger version of this image. No surprise, the Brookings Institution study finds that dropping out of high school has the same detrimental effect on mobility for all but the highest-income children (see Figure 7-6, “Effect of Dropping Out of High School on Income Mobility”).18 If the child of rich parents drops out of high school, unlike other children, the rich parents can give the child money to offset the high cost of dropping out of high school.
Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement by Robert Clyatt
asset allocation, backtesting, buy and hold, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial independence, fixed income, future of work, index arbitrage, index fund, lateral thinking, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, merger arbitrage, money market fund, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, rising living standards, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, working poor, zero-sum game
Longer trips usually end up a better deal under the miles programs. 134 | Work Less, Live More Home improvements Bare-bones semi-retirees and the generally frugal can skip this section; since you have never succumbed to this particular insanity, there won’t be any major savings waiting for you here. The housing-on-steroids arena can rapidly absorb vast amounts of money. Landscaping and decorating among some of the upwardly mobile seems to have taken on the quality of some sort of ancient ritual sacrifice or potlatch, with huge sums of money being thrown onto the pyre of décor. Of course, you’ll need to maintain your home and, since you may be spending more time there, making it a pleasant place to spend time will be worthwhile. Much can be accomplished on a far tighter budget and be fun and satisfying, too. Watch the design shows on TV, which double as great free entertainment.
Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H Naylor, David Horsey
big-box store, Community Supported Agriculture, Corrections Corporation of America, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, God and Mammon, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Mark Shuttleworth, McMansion, medical malpractice, new economy, Peter Calthorpe, 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.
Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder
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.
The End of Men: And the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin
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, Norman Mailer, Northern Rock, post-work, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, Results Only Work Environment, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford prison experiment, Steven Pinker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, white picket fence, 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.
Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks by Susan Casey
“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.
Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl Wudunn
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Bernie Sanders, carried interest, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, David Brooks, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, epigenetics, full employment, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, impulse control, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, job automation, jobless men, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, offshore financial centre, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shai Danziger, single-payer health, Steven Pinker, The Spirit Level, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, working poor
This is amplified when right-wing politicians in the South defend Confederate statues or demonize gays or transgender people, and the result is further economic backwardness and frustration. And the cycle repeats. Not since the Great Depression has America experienced the kind of working-class stagnation that we’ve seen in recent decades, and it has fed polarization, racism and bigotry, gnawing away at our social fabric. Resentment has grown toward Latinos, Muslims and African Americans, and sometimes toward upwardly mobile women as well. White supremacists gained ground, and on websites and social media Americans glibly trumpet their bigotry. Hate crimes have increased in the United States for three years in a row, the FBI reported. On one ultra-right website we visited, people posted venomous statements about Muslims and called for mass deportation. One woman proposed, “Any Muslim man wanting to come into our country must be castrated first.”
Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino
4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, big-box store, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Norman Mailer, obamacare, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, rent control, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, wage slave, white picket fence
(Crunchbase describes it as a “tech-driven ad platform helping brands increase media engagement and marketing revenue by optimizing their content presentation.” This was 2011, when it was still possible to say that sort of thing straight-faced; it was the year that Peter Thiel, the libertarian venture capitalist and Facebook founding board member who once wrote that women’s suffrage had compromised democracy, started offering $100,000 fellowships to dropout entrepreneurs.) In 2013, McFarland founded Magnises, a company that charged upwardly mobile millennials a suspiciously modest $250 a year for VIP event tickets and access to a clubhouse. Magnises gave members a “signature” black card, which duplicated the magnetic strip of an existing credit card but held no other advantages: like the company itself, the card was just for show. Magnises (“Latin for absolutely nothing,” McFarland said) attracted breathless press and a growing membership culled from the boundless cohort of young New Yorkers who are interested in projecting an aura of exclusive cool.
Can Democracy Work?: A Short History of a Radical Idea, From Ancient Athens to Our World by James Miller
Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, mass incarceration, means of production, Occupy movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto
Returning to Tennessee, he worked as a circuit-riding justice of the state’s superior court and also began to angle for a post in the state militia, hoping to make his mark as a military man. At the same time, he started to build a personal fortune, eventually becoming the slaveholding master of one of the largest cotton-growing plantations in Tennessee. Jackson is sometimes celebrated for his rural roots and unvarnished manners—but in many ways, he better embodies the upwardly mobile ethos of “the planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer” who form, in one of Jackson’s more lyrical formulations, “the bone and sinew of the country.” Like Tom Paine, Jackson hymned the virtues of commerce and worried that an unresponsive federal government was a major threat to the full fruits of free labor. The War of 1812 turned Jackson, almost overnight, into a national hero. At the Battle of New Orleans, he led the American forces that turned back a far larger British army—a victory achieved, ironically, two weeks after the war had formally ended with a peace treaty signed in Ghent, Belgium.
Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff
algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, 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 pandemic, 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, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, 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, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), 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, zero-sum game
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.
Against Everything: Essays by Mark Greif
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, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, 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.
Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space by Derek Fell
Flowering vines also tend to be everblooming and provide armloads of flowers for cutting. Sweet peas, nasturtiums, and morning glories will produce curtains of color planted in a short row to climb up garden netting (either attached to a sunny wall or strung between posts as a freestanding trellis). Grow all three together for an incredible kaleidoscope of color. Then explore the dozens of other choices of upwardly mobile and cascading flowers and vines to create a garden that's filled with interesting “living walls,” dividers, and curtains of foliage. See the two chapters on flowering ornamental vines (annual vines as well as the perennial and woody vines). This small-space, nonstop vertical garden is created by positioning a Skyscraper Garden trellis in a 12-inch-deep raised planter box, with a 6-inch-deep planter box on each side.
Legacy: Gangsters, Corruption and the London Olympics by Michael Gillard
The Morleys mansion is reached via a long gravel drive from crested wrought iron gates on the main road running through the Essex village of Great Hallingbury, a quaint but unremarkable place on the border of Hertfordshire and Bishop’s Stortford. On paper it was an amazing success story. In ten years, 32-year-old Hunt had taken his family from a terraced house in Canning Town worth just over £20,000 to a mansion worth £600,000. Sitting in his cell that summer of 1993, Holmes suspected some of his £250,000 had gone towards the asking price. He also thought that Hunt was taking a risk with such an upwardly mobile move without the legitimate income to explain his conspicuous consumption. Certainly, the Morleys mansion purchase had not gone unnoticed by the police or the taxman. A few months later, when Holmes was allowed out of prison on day release, Hunt explained that he’d bought Morleys from Alan Sewell, an Essex scrap metal dealer who also had the distinction of being Rod Stewart’s best friend. The deal Sewell struck with Hunt on 27 August 1993 was complex.
Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany 2017 by Rick Steves
active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, carbon footprint, Dava Sobel, Google Hangouts, index card, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Murano, Venice glass, new economy, place-making, Skype, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wikimedia commons, young professional
And that, folks, is a Mouthful. MEDICI-RICCARDI PALACE TOUR Palazzo Medici-Riccardi Orientation The Tour Begins Exterior Courtyard Garden Chapel of the Magi (Cappella di Benozzo Gozzoli) Palatial Rooms with Temporary Exhibitions Fra Filippo Lippi, Madonna and Child The Palace as Civic Center Luca Giordano Room Cosimo the Elder, the founder of the ruling Medici family dynasty, lived here with his upwardly mobile clan, including his grandson, Lorenzo the Magnificent. Besides the immediate family, the palace also hosted many famous Florentines: teenage Michelangelo, who lived almost as an adopted son; Leonardo da Vinci, who played the lute at Medici parties; and Botticelli, who studied the classical sculpture that dotted the gardens. The historical ambience is captured in a few well-preserved rooms and in a 15th-century fresco that brings the colorful Medici world to life.
Raphael captures him during an unposed moment, as he pauses to think while writing. Without glossing over anything, Raphael shows us the man just as he was, complete with cleft chin, jowls, lazy eye, and all. • On the next wall, look for... Raphael, Companion Portraits of Agnolo and Maddalena Doni, c. 1505-1506 These portraits are as crystal clear as the Madonna del Granduca is hazy. They’re a straightforward look at an upwardly mobile Florentine couple. He was a successful businessman in the textile trade (who commissioned Michelangelo’s Holy Family in the Uffizi), and she was the daughter of one of the city’s richest families. Raphael places them right at the edge of the picture plane, showing off his fine clothes and her jewelry. • Immediately to the left of the door leading to the next room is... Raphael, Madonna with Child and St.
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
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.
Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram Rajan
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, assortative mating, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, 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, fixed income, 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, longitudinal study, market bubble, Martin Wolf, medical malpractice, microcredit, money market fund, 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.
Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman
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, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, 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.
Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen
American ideology, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, 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, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, mortgage debt, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, post-work, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stocks for the long run, 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.
Dear Fatty by Dawn French
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.
The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us by Joel Kotkin
autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, British Empire, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Downton Abbey, edge city, Edward Glaeser, financial independence, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, labor-force participation, land reform, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pensions crisis, Peter Calthorpe, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Seaside, Florida, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, starchitect, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the built environment, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, young professional
This kind of floating population has now formed a permanent underclass in many of the country’s massive cities.63 Ultimately, they could prove to be a very volatile population, caught between staying in a place where they are not welcome, with little chance of ever successfully integrating, and achieving the wherewithal to live in decent conditions.64 We can already see this in Mexico City, the first city in a developing country to achieve megacity status. As has also occurred in the high-income world, the shift to services has hollowed out opportunities that were once offered to La Capital’s upwardly mobile working class. According to studies done in the 1970s, rapid industrialization provided similarly high rates of upward mobility to both city natives and rural immigrants.65 In recent years, as industry has moved away from the city, such gains have slowed, with fewer moving up from the poorest class. Only four out of 100 persons whose parents belonged to the 20 percent poorest sector of the population have been able to join the wealthiest 20 percent.
Lonely Planet's Best of USA by Lonely Planet
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, haute cuisine, mass immigration, obamacare, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, Works Progress Administration
(Map; MAD; www.madmuseum.org; 2 Columbus Circle, btwn Eighth Ave & Broadway; adult/child $16/free, by donation 6-9pm Thu; h10am-6pm Tue, Wed, Sat & Sun, to 9pm Thu & Fri; Wc; bA/C, B/D, 1 to 59th St-Columbus Circle) 1 Upper West Side Shorthand for liberal, progressive and intellectual New York, this neighborhood comprises the west side of Manhattan from Central Park to the Hudson River, and from Columbus Circle to 110th St. Here you’ll still find massive, ornate apartments and a diverse mix of stable, upwardly mobile folks (with many actors and classical musicians sprinkled throughout), and some lovely green spaces – Riverside Park stretches for 4 miles between W 72nd St and W 158th St along the Hudson River, and is a great place for strolling or simply gazing over the river. Lincoln Center Cultural Center Map Google Map The billion-dollar-plus redevelopment of the world’s largest performing-arts center includes the dramatically redesigned Alice Tully Hall and other stunning venues surrounding a massive fountain; public spaces, including the roof lawn of the North Plaza (an upscale restaurant is underneath), have been upgraded.
The Road to Character by David Brooks
Cass Sunstein, coherent worldview, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, follow your passion, George Santayana, 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.
A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond by Daniel Susskind
3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, precariat, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor, working-age population, Y Combinator
Then, as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace, machines became more complex, production processes more sophisticated, and factories more unwieldy. Demand rose for better-educated blue-collar workers—engineers, machinists, electricians, and the like—and for white-collar workers to manage operations and provide professional services. This move from manual work toward cognitive work was more challenging for workers who wanted to be upwardly mobile. As Ryan Avent, a senior editor at the Economist, notes, few people in the early nineteenth century would have been well-prepared for it: “most were illiterate and innumerate.”8 Nevertheless, for many people it was still possible to learn the right skills. And as a newfound enthusiasm for mass education took root in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, that, too, helped to sweep many people up and along.
How the Post Office Created America: A History by Winifred Gallagher
British Empire, California gold rush, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, City Beautiful movement, clean water, collective bargaining, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Monroe Doctrine, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, white flight, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration
A pioneer of modern marketing and advertising as well as one-stop shopping (“Everything from Everywhere to Everybody!”), he had made a fortune from inventive strategies, such as charging low prices to generate a huge volume of sales, and catchy innovations, such as the price tag, the money-back guarantee, the in-store restaurant, and even the annual “white sale.” Wanamaker was the very personification of industrious, upwardly mobile, business-oriented, forward-looking, turn-of-the-century America, and he was determined to modernize the post, now more than a century old, just as he had revolutionized merchandising. After making his own fortune, Wanamaker had deployed his skills on behalf of the Republican Party’s finance committee, which for the first time was dominated by businessmen. In 1889, President Benjamin Harrison duly rewarded him with a cabinet position, but instead of the Department of State, as had been rumored, Wanamaker got the Post Office Department.
Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch
4chan, book scanning, British Empire, citation needed, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Flynn Effect, Google Hangouts, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, moral panic, multicultural london english, natural language processing, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
In adulthood, especially on the internet, I use Canadian spellings in my posts and messages partly out of habit, but partly also because it goes against the flow: it’s a subtle way of reclaiming space against the idea that all English speakers on the internet fit neatly into the choice I’ve faced in so many dropdown menus between “American” and “British.” We all make linguistic decisions like this all the time. Sometimes, we decide to align ourselves with the existing holders of power by talking like they do, so we can seem rich or educated or upwardly mobile. Sometimes, we decide to align ourselves with particular less powerful groups, to show that we belong and to seem cool, antiauthoritarian, or not stuck-up. The most legendary study of social factors in language differences is about how much people of different social classes use the stereotypical “New Yawk” accent, with the R dropped from after the vowel. In November 1962, linguist William Labov went into various department stores in New York City and asked how to find something—the shoe section, for example—that he already knew was on the fourth floor.
Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris
addicted to oil, 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, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, 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, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, 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.
Austerity Britain: 1945-51 by David Kynaston
Alistair Cooke, anti-communist, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, continuous integration, deindustrialization, deskilling, Etonian, full employment, garden city movement, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, invisible hand, job satisfaction, labour mobility, light touch regulation, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, occupational segregation, price mechanism, rent control, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, stakhanovite, strikebreaker, the market place, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery, wealth creators, women in the workforce, young professional
It would be well worth the money and it may be indispensable if we are to get our eight-page issue out tomorrow night. The recipient of this message was Lord Moore (the future Lord Drogheda, chairman of the Royal Opera House and one of the classic great-and-good ‘fixer’ figures of the post-war era). Next day, he returned the memo with a laconic pencilled note: ‘I have said OK to Mathew.’ The following July, a not yet upwardly mobile 16-year-old called Norman Tebbit went to the FT as a price-room hand. There, compelled to join the printing union NATSOPA, he was ‘outraged at the blatant unfairness of the rules which provided for the “fining” or even expulsion (and thus loss of job) of those with the temerity to “bring the union into disrepute” by such conduct as criticism of its officials’. Accordingly, ‘I swore then that I would break the power of the closed shop.’6.
Broadberry and N.F.R. Crafts, ‘The Post-War Settlement’, Business History (Apr 1998), p 75. For an antidote to the Broadberry/Crafts stress on the seriousness and pervasiveness of the problem, see: Nick Tiratsoo and Jim Tomlinson, ‘Restrictive Practices on the Shopfloor in Britain, 1945–60’, Business History (Apr 1994), pp 65–84. 6. David Kynaston, The Financial Times (1988), p 298; Norman Tebbit, Upwardly Mobile (1988), p 15. 7. Daily Mirror, 30 Sept 1949. 8. Nick Tiratsoo, ‘Limits of Americanisation’, in Becky Conekin et al, Moments of Modernity (1999), pp 96–113; Ian Clark, Governance, the State, Regulation and Industrial Relations (2000), chap 6. 9. M-O A, Directives for Aug 1950, Replies (Men A–E); Listener, 2 Feb 1950; Charles Barr, Ealing Studios (1977), pp 159–64, 166–70. 9 Proper Bloody Products 1.
The Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square by James Traub
Anton Chekhov, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Charles Lindbergh, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, fear of failure, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, jitney, light touch regulation, megastructure, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, 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.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
affirmative action, cognitive bias, Columbine, Corrections Corporation of America, deindustrialization, desegregation, different worldview, ending welfare as we know it, friendly fire, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, land reform, large denomination, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, 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, zero-sum game
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.
The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel by Nicholas Ostler
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, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, 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.
Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith
“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.
When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson
affirmative action, business cycle, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, desegregation, Donald Trump, edge city, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, jobless men, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, 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.
An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy by Marc Levinson
affirmative action, airline deregulation, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, falling living standards, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, intermodal, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, late capitalism, linear programming, manufacturing employment, new economy, Nixon shock, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game
The message could not be missed: if a future Conservative government wanted to fix the economy, it could not avoid facing the trade unions head-on.17 Thatcher had absorbed this counsel before becoming prime minister, but she was astute enough not to act on it immediately. Dealing with inflation and reducing government spending were her priorities; she would get to the unions in time. Besides, Thatcher was well aware that the Conservatives were a minority party. She owed her victory to union members, people who normally voted Labour but aspired to own their homes and send their children to university. These upwardly mobile households broke with tradition, voting Conservative in 1979 because they were tired of the Labour Party’s incompetence, but they nonetheless believed in the value of trade unions. The only way the Conservative Party could stay in power was to break these voters’ class allegiance. Thatcher was playing a long game. She wanted to woo Labour voters, not antagonize them. The place to start was not by attacking the trade unions or by selling off British Steel, but by letting people own their homes.
The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by Mj Demarco
8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, bounce rate, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, cloud computing, commoditize, dark matter, delayed gratification, demand response, Donald Trump, fear of failure, financial independence, fixed income, housing crisis, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, Lao Tzu, Mark Zuckerberg, passive income, passive investing, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, wealth creators, white picket fence, World Values Survey, zero day
Lead generation solves two needs: 1) The consumer's desire to save time and money and 2) The business owner's need to find new customers inexpensively. 4) Social Networks Social networks are spin-offs of content systems. Instead of pooling content for eyeballs, people are pulled into groups, or tribes. Facebook started off as a pool for college-aged students and evolved into a generic social network for all ages. MySpace targets the high school crowd. LinkedIn hits the upwardly mobile professional. Social networks are mere aggregators of like-minded communities, from mystery novel writers to gear heads who like to rebuild engines on the weekend. 5) Brokerage Systems Brokers bring buyers and sellers together and facilitate transactions. They are market-makers for a particular industry and earn money typically on each transaction. Examples of known brokers are PayPal, Elance, CarsDirect, and Travelocity.com. 6) Advertising Similar to brokerages, advertisers merge buyers and sellers together and accept advertising fees in lieu of transaction fees.
Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed by Ben R. Rich, Leo Janos
In the past six years he had taken me under his wing, putting me up for various professional awards for my work on the Blackbird’s revolutionary moving-spike inlets, encouraging me to write technical papers for aeronautical journals to increase my name recognition within the industry. The curse of operating inside a top secret world is that very few in the aerospace industry knew you even existed. I also had talked Kelly into letting me attend a thirteen-week management training course at Harvard’s Business School in the summer of 1969. It was an advanced management institute for about one hundred and fifty carefully selected, upwardly mobile executives—and Kelly wrote me a glowing recommendation that helped me get in, and authorized Lockheed to pay the tuition freight, which was considerable. He backed me even though he insisted that it would be a complete waste of my time. “I’ll teach you all you need to know about running a company in one afternoon, and we’ll both go home early to boot. You don’t need Harvard to teach you that it’s more important to listen than to talk.
Chasing the Devil: On Foot Through Africa's Killing Fields by Tim Butcher
Its post-independence decay is captured beautifully in a book called The Devil that Danced on the Water, published in 2002 by a half-Scottish, half-Sierra Leonean writer, Aminatta Forna. The author describes her search for the truth about a single episode at the heart of this opaque and often-overlooked period of the country’s history, the arrest and execution of her father, Mohamed Forna. After the colonial period when Krios, the freed slaves, had prospered, Mohamed was part of an upwardly mobile generation of indigenous Sierra Leoneans, born and educated in the provinces, who saw independence as the arrival of a new age when their turn to thrive had finally come. For me, the book fills in much that is missing about recent Sierra Leonean history, describing the potential of the immediate post-independence years, a time of optimism and hope when families could live normal lives, saving money to send children to school, earning qualifications to get meaningful jobs with genuine career paths, dreaming of self-betterment and development.
The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives by Sasha Abramsky
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, bank run, basic income, big-box store, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, job automation, Kickstarter, 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.
Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet by Charles Arthur
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, 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 new new thing, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, turn-by-turn navigation, 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.
How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal 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 Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, 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.
The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con by Amy Reading
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.
What’s Your Type? by Merve Emre
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, card file, correlation does not imply causation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, p-value, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Socratic dialogue, Stanford prison experiment, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce
Of course, there existed no controlled study, no real evidence, to validate Isabel’s belief in the inverse relationship between intelligence and the strength of one’s type preferences. But as was the case for the 1940s’ most famous test, the intelligence quotient (IQ) test, evidence mattered less than the indicator’s ability to justify as “natural” or “normal” the division that already existed in the world, a world in which the wealthier, whiter, and more upwardly mobile were found to be more self-aware than everyone else. It did not occur to anyone, even Isabel, as unusual that the strongest preferences were always expressed by successful, self-assured men with ready access to power, whether in the form of cold hard cash or institutional authority. Often it was these successful men who paid her to manage the personnel dilemmas they found unsavory or tedious.
The Frayed Atlantic Edge: A Historian’s Journey From Shetland to the Channel by David Gange
I thought of some of the wisest words ever spoken about history, said by Calvin, the child protagonist of the cartoon strip Calvin and Hobbes: ‘History is the fiction we create to persuade ourselves that events are knowable and that life has order and direction.’ In the 1970s concepts similar to the Enlightenment – labels that implied a direction in history – were revealed as little more than propaganda praising certain interest groups. Feminist historians such as Joan Kelly-Gadol, for instance, showed the ‘Renaissance’ to be a narrative that fits the experience of a cadre of wealthy upwardly mobile men, but not their contemporaries whose opportunities narrowed and wealth decreased.2 To sum up an era with the term Renaissance is thus to engage in an identity politics that values the rich alone. The case of the Enlightenment is little different. Social distinctions of race, class, gender and sexuality were not undermined but consolidated: this was the era of scientific racism or ‘the century of the colour line’ as it was labelled by the philosopher W.
Making It Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the Men Who Blew Up the British Economy by Iain Martin
asset-backed security, bank run, Basel III, beat the dealer, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, call centre, central bank independence, computer age, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, deskilling, Edward Thorp, Etonian, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, G4S, high net worth, interest rate swap, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, pets.com, Red Clydeside, shareholder value, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, value at risk
Subsequently the party secured a much reduced but still healthy majority of 66 in May 2005 in Tony Blair’s last election as Labour leader. It was hard to get a hearing for scepticism when house prices continued their giddying rise in a manner that was so gratifying, at least for those who already owned houses or could afford to buy. The leitmotif of this period was the emergence of the property show on television. Location, Location, Location – the movement’s signature show – first aired in 2000, with its upwardly mobile presenters scouring the country for properties on behalf of the aspirational and ostentatious. Yet somehow the show Grand Designs, which first aired in 1999, managed to eclipse its rival in terms of boom-time smugness. If the worthy intention was to celebrate good design and highlight beautiful houses that were being built or restored imaginatively, it tipped over at points into a parade of preening consumerist self-obsession and interior design-driven dottiness.
Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--And a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig
asset-backed security, banking crisis, carried interest, circulation of elites, 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, Pareto efficiency, place-making, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, 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.
The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution by Marc Weingarten
1960s counterculture, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, Donner party, East Village, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Haight Ashbury, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Menlo Park, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, post-work, pre–internet, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, working poor, yellow journalism
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.
Cocaine Nation: How the White Trade Took Over the World by Thomas Feiling
anti-communist, barriers to entry, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, illegal immigration, informal economy, inventory management, Kickstarter, land reform, Lao Tzu, mandatory minimum, moral panic, offshore financial centre, RAND corporation, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Stanford prison experiment, trade route, upwardly mobile, yellow journalism
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.
Lonely Planet Cape Town & the Garden Route (Travel Guide) by Lucy Corne
Berlin Wall, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, haute couture, haute cuisine, load shedding, Mark Shuttleworth, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Robert Gordon, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl
Explore East City, District Six, Woodstock & Observatory East of the City Bowl are a string of working-class and industrial suburbs that are regenerating and partly gentrifying. The process is a patchy, controversial one and has long been so – this is where you’ll find the largely empty lots of District Six, a multicultural area destroyed during apartheid. Creative industries, cafes and bars are clustered at the the East City end of District Six. Moving further eastwards, Woodstock and Salt River continue their upwardly mobile trajectory, with the Woodstock Exchange, the Woodstock Foundry, Woodstock Co-op and Salt Circle Arcade being the prime redevelopments following in the wake of the phenomenal Old Biscuit Mill. The opening of several major and minor Cape Town galleries, joining pioneers such as Greatmore Studios, has put the region on the art-lovers’ map. This area is also the canvas for the city’s most striking street art, and a hub for the city's blooming craft-beer scene.
It's Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong
Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, 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, Nelson Mandela, oil shock, out of africa, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, upwardly mobile, young professional, zero-sum game, 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.
The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa's Wealth by Tom Burgis
Airbus A320, 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, Nelson Mandela, 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, zero-sum game
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.
The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen
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, drone strike, 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, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Bork, 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.
What's Left?: How Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, centre right, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, haute couture, kremlinology, liberal world order, light touch regulation, mass immigration, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, profit motive, Ralph Nader, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan,