Lower Middle Class Quotes

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The CDO was, in effect, a credit laundering service for the residents of Lower Middle Class America. For Wall Street it was a machine that turned lead into gold.
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
All of my lower-middle-class Boston issues rose to the surface. I don’t like it when bratty, privileged old white guys speak to me like I am their mouthy niece. I got that amazing feeling you get when you know you are going to lose it in the best, most self-righteous way. I just leaned back and yelled, “FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOU.” Then I chased him as he tried to get away from me.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
We don't want to see our kids and grandchildren be the first generation in the modern history of America to have a lower standard of living than their parents.
Bernie Sanders (The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class)
The golden years become lower-middle-class life revisited. That's a bittersweet ending.
Timothy Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek)
Morality is only for the middle class, sweet. The lower class can't afford it, and the upper classes have entirely too much leisure time to fill
Lisa Kleypas
They have so smothered me in their middle-class refinement that I don't know how there can be any blood left in my veins. I lowered my eyes, put on a dismal, silly expression, just like them; I was just as dead-and-alive as they were.
Émile Zola (Thérèse Raquin)
I once heard Jerry Yang, the cofounder of Yahoo!, quote a senior Chinese government official as saying, "Where people have hope, you have a middle class." I think this is a very useful insight. The existence of large, stable middle classes around the world is crucial to geopolitical stability, but middle class is a state of mind, not a state of income. That's why a majority of Americans always describe themselves as "middle class," even though by income statistics some of them wouldn't be considered as such. "Middle class" is another way of describing people who believe that they have a pathway out of poverty or lower-income status toward a higher standard of living and a better future for their kids.
Thomas L. Friedman (The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century)
This is the whistle-stop memoir of how a lower-middle-class girl from the north of England one day changed the way she lived her life and set off on a bumpy path that ultimately led her to her own slice of the happily-ever-after pie.
Tillie Cole (Eternally North (Eternally North, #1))
We have seen, then, that certain socioeconomic changes, notably the decline of the middle class and the rising power of monopolistic capital, had a deep psychological effect... Nazism resurrected the lower middle class psychologically while participating in the destruction of its old socioeconomic position. It mobilized its emotional energies to become an important force in the struggle for the economic and political aims of Germain imperialism.
Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom)
Bemoan being lower-middle-class and colored in a police state that protects only rich white people and movie stars of all races, though I can’t think of any Asian-American ones.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
He wondered about the people in houses like those. They would be, for example, small clerks, shop-assistants, commercial travellers, insurance touts, tram conductors. Did they know that they were only puppets dancing when money pulled the strings? You bet they didn’t. And if they did, what would they care? They were too busy being born, being married, begetting, working, dying. It mightn’t be a bad thing, if you could manage it, to feel yourself one of them, one of the ruck of men. Our civilization is founded on greed and fear, but in the lives of common men the greed and fear are mysteriously transmuted into something nobler. The lower-middle-class people in there, behind their lace curtains, with their children and their scraps of furniture and their aspidistras — they lived by the money-code, sure enough, and yet they contrived to keep their decency. The money-code as they interpreted it was not merely cynical and hoggish. They had their standards, their inviolable points of honour. They ‘kept themselves respectable’— kept the aspidistra flying. Besides, they were alive. They were bound up in the bundle of life. They begot children, which is what the saints and the soul-savers never by any chance do. The aspidistra is the tree of life, he thought suddenly.
George Orwell (Keep the Aspidistra Flying)
Most of Arbus's work lies within the Warhol aesthetic, that is, defines itself in relation to the twin poles of boringness and freakishness; but it doesn't have the Warhol style. Arbus had neither Warhol's narcissism and genius for publicity nor the self-protective blandness with which he insulates himself from the freaky nor his sentimentality. It is unlikey that Warhol, who comes from a working-class family, ever felt any ambivalence toward success which afflicted the children of the Jewish upper middle classes in the 1960s. To someone raised as a Catholic, like Warhol (and virtually everyone in his gang), a fascination with evil comes much more genuinely than it does to someone from a Jewish background. Compared with Warhol, Arbus seems strikingly vulnerable, innocent--and certainly more pessimistic. Her Dantesque vision of the city (and the suburbs) has no reserves of irony. Although much of Arbus's material is the same as that depicted in, say, Warhol's Chelsea Girls (1966)...For Arbus, both freaks and Middle America were equally exotic: a boy marching in a pro-war parade and a Levittown housewife were as alien as a dwarf or a transvestite; lower-middle-class suburbia was as remote as Times Square, lunatic asylums, and gay bars. Arbus's work expressed her turn against what was public (as she experienced it), conventional, safe, reassuring--and boring--in favor of what was private, hidden, ugly, dangerous, and fascinating. These contrasts, now, seem almost quaint. What is safe no long monopolizes public imagery. The freakish is no longer a private zone, difficult of access. People who are bizarre, in sexual disgrace, emotionally vacant are seen daily on the newsstands, on TV, in the subways. Hobbesian man roams the streets, quite visible, with glitter in his hair.
Susan Sontag (On Photography)
Americanism in all its forms seemed to be trashy and wasteful and crude, even brutal. There was a metaphor ready to hand in my native Hampshire. Until some time after the war, the squirrels of England had been red. I can still vaguely remember these sweet Beatrix Potter–type creatures, smaller and prettier and more agile and lacking the rat-like features that disclose themselves when you get close to a gray squirrel. These latter riffraff, once imported from America by some kind of regrettable accident, had escaped from captivity and gradually massacred and driven out the more demure and refined English breed. It was said that the gray squirrels didn't fight fair and would with a raking motion of their back paws castrate the luckless red ones. Whatever the truth of that, the sighting of a native English squirrel was soon to be a rarity, confined to the north of Scotland and the Isle of Wight, and this seemed to be emblematic, for the anxious lower middle class, of a more general massification and de-gentrification and, well, Americanization of everything.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
For example, I’ve talked about the lower middle class as the backbone of fascism in the future. I think this may happen. The party members of the Nazi Party in Germany were consistently lower middle class. I think that the right-wing movements in this country are pretty generally in this group.
Carroll Quigley (Carroll Quigley: Life, Lectures and Collected Writings)
It was the new politics of ambiguity—speaking for the lower and middle classes to get their support in times of rapid growth and potential turmoil. The two-party system came into its own in this time. To give people a choice between two different parties and allow them, in a period of rebellion, to choose the slightly more democratic one was an ingenious mode of control.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Trend-setters are members of upper classes who adopt the styles of lower classes to differentiate themselves from middle classes, who wouldn’t be caught dead in lower-class styles because they’re the ones in danger of being mistaken for them.
Steven Pinker (How the Mind Works)
[J]ust the sight of this book, even though it was of no authority, made me wonder how it happened that so many different men – and learned men among them – have been and are so inclined to express both in speaking and in their treatises and writings so many wicked insults about women and their behaviour. Not only one or two ... but, more generally, from the treatises of all philosophers and poets and from all the orators – it would take too long to mention their names – it seems that they all speak from one and the same mouth. Thinking deeply about these matters, I began to examine my character and conduct as a natural woman and, similarly, I considered other women whose company I frequently kept, princesses, great ladies, women of the middle and lower classes, who had graciously told me of their most private and intimate thoughts, hoping that I could judge impartially and in good conscience whether the testimony of so many notable men could be true. To the best of my knowledge, no matter how long I confronted or dissected the problem, I could not see or realise how their claims could be true when compared to the natural behaviour and character of women.
Christine de Pizan (The Book of the City of Ladies)
I'm not working class anymore,' he said. 'I'm lower-middle. I use three types of oil in my kitchen. Admittedly one of them is WD-40, but that counts, doesn't it?
Christopher Fowler
She is a waitress at his lordships club. My God! The Proletariat! The lower middle classes, sir. Well, yes, by stretching it a bit, perhaps.
P.G. Wodehouse
The CDO was, in effect, a credit laundering service for the residents of Lower Middle Class America. For Wall Street it was a machine that turned lead into gold. Back
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
She was not granted the luxury of forgetting her lower middle-class existence where life hangs by an unseen thread to every hope and where every slash of disappointment shrinks the life further.
Madhu Vajpayee (Seeking Redemption)
The free enterprise concept inherent in the economic model of capitalism should mean common people, or lower and middle class wage-earners, have greater potential to rise up and gain financial independence. In reality, however, free enterprise all too often leads to an almost total lack of government regulation that in turn allows the global elite to run amuck in Gordon Gecko-style financial coups.
James Morcan (The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy)
Thus we arrive at the problem of the relation of religion to the negation of sexual desire. Sexual debility results in a lowering of self-confidence. In one case it is compensated by the brutalization of sexuality, to maintain sexual repression, in the other by rigid character traits. The compulsion to control one's sexuality, to maintain sexual repression, leads to the development of pathologic, emotionally tinged notions of honor and duty, bravery and self-control. But the pathology and emotionality of these psychic attitudes are strongly at variance with the reality of one's personal behavior. The man who attains genital satisfaction, is honorable, responsible, brave, and controlled, without making much of a fuss about it. These attitudes are an organic part of his personality. The man whose genitals are weakened, whose sexual structure is full of contradictions, must continually remind himself to control his sexuality, to preserve his sexual dignity, to be brave in the face of temptation, etc. The struggle to resist the temptation to masturbate is a struggle that is experienced by every adolescent and every child, without exception. All the elements of the reactionary man's structure are developed in this struggle. It is in the lower middle classes that this structure is reinforced most strongly and embedded most deeply. Every form of mysticism derives it's most active energy and, in part, also it's content from this compulsory suppression of sexuality.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
I would like very much to see the American people saying to our Republican colleagues and some Democratic colleagues: Excuse me. Don't force my kids to have a lower standard of living in order to give tax breaks to the richest people. What the President and all of us should be doing is going out and saying to those people: Call the Members of the Senate, call the Members of the House and say: Excuse me. How about representing the middle class and working families, for a change, rather than the wealthiest people. That is what democracy is about.
Bernie Sanders
The system, in its irrationality, has been driven by profit to build steel skyscrapers for insurance companies while the cities decay, to spend billions for weapons of destruction and virtually nothing for children’s playgrounds, to give huge incomes to men who make dangerous or useless things, and very little to artists, musicians, writers, actors. Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
The coach passed by many buildings of this sort, which would no doubt be little palaces to the occupants, who had escaped from Cockbill Street and Pigsty Hill and all the other neighbourhoods where people still dreamed that they could ‘better themselves’, an achievement that might be attained, oh happy day, when they had ‘a little place of their own’. It was an inspiring dream, if you didn’t look too deeply into words like mortgage and repayments and repossession and bankruptcy, and the lower middle classes of Ankh-Morpork, who saw themselves as being trodden on by the class above and illegally robbed by the one below, lined up with borrowed money to purchase, by instalments, their own little Oi Dong
Terry Pratchett (Raising Steam (Discworld, #40, Moist von Lipwig, #3))
His past, again like Dali’s, had to be mythologised. For, let’s face it, his lower-middle-class upbringing was not exactly Angela’s Ashes,
Roger Lewis (Anthony Burgess: A Biography)
Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage today is lower than it was in 1965—about 24 percent lower. That job at Sears allowed my mother to eke out a
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
Race had become, yet again, a powerful wedge, breaking up what had been a solid liberal coalition based on economic interests of the poor and the working and lower-middle classes.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
a disproportionate share of the costs of integration and racial equality had been borne by lower- and lower-middle-class whites,
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Viveca's clients were mostly upper-middle class and lower-upper class.Being of these classes , they're easily offended.
Gillian Flynn (The Grownup)
Compared with the mobilization of all opponents to the government as such, the capturing of lower middle-class votes was a temporary phenomenon.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
I noticed, rich people never toss away their pennies in their driveways, middle-class always chuck them there, and stray dogs lick up what little pennies they find on poverty ground.
Anthony Liccione
It is a function of entrenched, intergenerational poverty that isolates too many lower-income Americans from even middle-class economic, cultural, and social opportunities and norms.
Yuval Levin (The Fractured Republic: Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism)
The lower middle class is petty bourgeois. These people seek their security in status; status in an organizational structure. They try to find a place for themselves in an organization which has a hierarchy in which they can count on moving up automatically simply by surviving. Some people still think that most Americans are active, assertive, aggressive, self-reliant people who need no help from anyone, especially the Government, and achieve success as individuals by competing freely with each other. That may have been true 100 years ago. It isn’t true today. Today more and more of us are petty bourgeois who snuggle down in a hierarchical bureaucracy where advancement is assured merely by keeping the body warm and not breaking the rules; it doesn’t matter whether it is education or the Armed Services or a big corporation or the Government. Notice that high school teachers are universally opposed to merit pay. They are paid on the basis of their degrees and years of teaching experience. Or consider the professor. He gets his Ph. D. by writing a large dissertation on a small subject, and he hopes to God he never meets anyone else who knows anything about that subject. If he does, they don’t talk about it; they talk about the weather or baseball. So our society is becoming more and more a society of white-collar clerks on many levels, including full professors. They live for retirement and find their security through status in structures.
Carroll Quigley (Carroll Quigley: Life, Lectures and Collected Writings)
In that room on Via Clelia, I manage to create a world that corresponded to nothing outside it. My books, my city, myself. All I had to do then was let the novels I was reading lend their aura to this street and drop an illusory film over this buildings, a film that washed down Via Clelia like a sheet of rainwater, casting a shimmering spell on this hard, humdrum, here-and-now area of lower-middle-class Rome.
André Aciman (Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere)
Man, it was the polar opposite. From the grocery stands and yakitori joints in Japan to the stalls along the hutongs of Beijing, enjoying food was foundational. Dining out was attainable and affordable, a crucial part of daily life. Even in Virginia lower-middle-class Asian families would go out to dinner once a week at a Chinese restaurant. The idea that people with less money could not appreciate better food was a fallacy.
David Chang (Eat a Peach)
As explained by Thomas and Mary Edsall in their insightful book Chain Reaction, a disproportionate share of the costs of integration and racial equality had been borne by lower- and lower-middle-class whites, who were suddenly forced to compete on equal terms with blacks for jobs and status and who lived in neighborhoods adjoining black ghettos. Their children—not the children of wealthy whites—attended schools most likely to fall under busing orders. The affluent white liberals who were pressing the legal claims of blacks and other minorities “were often sheltered, in their private lives, and largely immune to the costs of implementing minority claims.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
I don't care about the poor, I don't care about the middle class and I don't care about the rich. I care about good people who live virtuous lives, who engage in the world - who are rational, who take responsibility for their own lives. I care about virtue, good people. I know scoundrels in the upper, middle and lower class and I don't care about them. I want the irrational to suffer from their irrationality, I want the lazy to suffer from their laziness and the ones without virtue to suffer from that. Marx came up with the idea of dividing people into classes and now everyone buys into it, left, center and right. I want hardworking people to benefit from their virtues.
Yaron Brook
By limiting their moral concerns to domestic and sexual behavior, many members of the middle class were able to ignore the harsh realities of life for the lower classes or even to blame working people’s problems on their not being sufficiently committed to domesticity and female purity. Yet the establishment of a male breadwinner/female homemaker family in the middle and upper classes often required large sections of the lower class to be unable to do so.
Stephanie Coontz (Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy)
The child of the lower or lower middle class is urged in both overt and subtle ways to surpass his background, his well-meaning parents and friends never anticipating that if their dream of upward mobility is realized, the child may adopt the prejudices of the class to which he's lifted and, with a touch of neurotic distress, may permanently scorn his former life and also, to a certain extent, himself, since the class he's invaded is unlikely to accept him fully.
John Gardner
It has spread among skilled workers, white-collar workers, professionals; for the first time in the nation’s history, perhaps, both the lower classes and the middle classes, the prisoners and the guards, were disillusioned with the system.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Fascism’s success almost always depends on the cooperation of the “losers” during a time of economic and technological change. The lower-middle classes—the people who have just enough to fear losing it—are the electoral shock troops of fascism (Richard Hofstadter identified this “status anxiety” as the source of Progressivism’s quasi-fascist nature). Populist appeals to resentment against “fat cats,” “international bankers,” “economic royalists,” and so on are the stock-in-trade of fascist demagogues.
Jonah Goldberg (Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning)
I use “anticapitalist” because conservative defenders of capitalism regularly say their liberal and socialist opponents are against capitalism. They say efforts to provide a safety net for all people are “anticapitalist.” They say attempts to prevent monopolies are “anticapitalist.” They say efforts that strengthen weak unions and weaken exploitative owners are “anticapitalist.” They say plans to normalize worker ownership and regulations protecting consumers, workers, and environments from big business are “anticapitalist.” They say laws taxing the richest more than the middle class, redistributing pilfered wealth, and guaranteeing basic incomes are “anticapitalist.” They say wars to end poverty are “anticapitalist.” They say campaigns to remove the profit motive from essential life sectors like education, healthcare, utilities, mass media, and incarceration are “anticapitalist.” In doing so, these conservative defenders are defining capitalism. They define capitalism as the freedom to exploit people into economic ruin; the freedom to assassinate unions; the freedom to prey on unprotected consumers, workers, and environments; the freedom to value quarterly profits over climate change; the freedom to undermine small businesses and cushion corporations; the freedom from competition; the freedom not to pay taxes; the freedom to heave the tax burden onto the middle and lower classes; the freedom to commodify everything and everyone; the freedom to keep poor people poor and middle-income people struggling to stay middle income, and make rich people richer. The history of capitalism—of world warring, classing, slave trading, enslaving, colonizing, depressing wages, and dispossessing land and labor and resources and rights—bears out the conservative definition of capitalism.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
But why are we always the ones who have to suffer?” she cried out in indignation. “Us and people like us? Ordinary people, the lower middle classes. If war is declared or the franc devalues, if there’s unemployment or a revolution, or any sort of crisis, the others manage to get through all right. We’re always the ones who are trampled! Why? What did we do? We’re paying for everybody else’s mistakes. Of course they’re not afraid of us. The workers fight back, the rich are powerful. We’re just sheep to the slaughter. I want to know why!
Irène Némirovsky (Suite Française)
That myth led ordinary people to believe that they had a voice in government and that government looked out for their interests. It was a way of speaking for the lower and middle classes to get their support when the government needed it. Giving people a choice between two political parties, and letting them choose the slightly more democratic one, was a good way to control them. The leaders of both parties understood that they could keep control of society by making reforms that gave people some of what they wanted—but not too much. The
Howard Zinn (A Young People's History of the United States)
There is a change underway, however. Our society used to be a ladder on which people generally climbed upward. More and more now we are going to a planetary structure, in which the great dominant lower middle class, the class that determines our prevailing values and organizational structures in education, government, and most of society, are providing recruits for the other groups — sideways, up, and even down, although the movement downward is relatively small. As the workers become increasingly petty bourgeois and as middle-class bureaucratic and organizational structures increasingly govern all aspects of our society, our society is increasingly taking on the characteristics of the lower middle class, although the poverty culture is also growing. The working class is not growing. Increasingly we are doing things with engineers sitting at consoles, rather than with workers screwing nuts on wheels. The workers are a diminishing, segment of society, contrary to Marx’s prediction that the proletariat would grow and grow. I have argued elsewhere that many people today are frustrated because we are surrounded by organizational structures and artifacts. Only the petty bourgeoisie can find security and emotional satisfaction in an organizational structure, and only a middle-class person can find them in artifacts, things that men have made, such as houses, yachts, and swimming pools. But human beings who are growing up crave sensation and experience. They want contact with other people, moment-to-moment, intimate contact. I’ve discovered, however, that the intimacy really isn’t there. Young people touch each other, often in an almost ritual way; they sleep together, eat together, have sex together. But I don’t see the intimacy. There is a lot of action, of course, but not so much more than in the old days, I believe, because now there is a great deal more talk than action. This group, the lower middle class, it seems to me, holds the key to the future. I think probably they will win out. If they do, they will resolutely defend our organizational structures and artifacts. They will cling to the automobile, for instance; they will not permit us to adopt more efficient methods of moving people around. They will defend the system very much as it is and, if necessary, they will use all the force they can command. Eventually they will stop dissent altogether, whether from the intellectuals, the religious, the poor, the people who run the foundations, the Ivy League colleges, all the rest. The colleges are already becoming bureaucratized, anyway. I can’t see the big universities or the foundations as a strong progressive force. The people who run Harvard and the Ford Foundation look more and more like lower-middle-class bureaucrats who pose no threat to the established order because they are prepared to do anything to defend the system.
Carroll Quigley (Carroll Quigley: Life, Lectures and Collected Writings)
Some of his [Chester Bowles's] friends thought that his entire political career reflected his background, that he truly believed in the idea of the Republic, with an expanded town-hall concept of politics, of political leaders consulting with their constituency, hearing them out, reasoning with them, coming to terms with them, government old-fashioned and unmanipulative. Such governments truly had to reflect their constituencies. It was his view not just of America, but of the whole world. Bowles was fascinated by the political process in which people of various countries expressed themselves politically instead of following orders imposed by an imperious leadership. In a modern world where most politicians tended to see the world divided in a death struggle between Communism and free-world democracies, it was an old-fashioned view of politics; it meant that Bowles was less likely to judge a country on whether or not it was Communist, but on whether or not its government seemed to reflect genuine indigenous feeling. (If he was critical of the Soviet leadership, he was more sympathetic to Communist governments in the underdeveloped world.) He was less impressed by the form of a government than by his own impression of its sense of legitimacy. ... He did not particularly value money (indeed, he was ill at ease with it), he did not share the usual political ideas of the rich, and he was extremely aware of the hardships with which most Americans lived. Instead of hiring highly paid consultants and pollsters to conduct market research, Bowles did his own canvassing, going from door to door to hundreds of middle- and lower-class homes. That became a crucial part of his education; his theoretical liberalism became reinforced by what he learned about people’s lives during the Depression.
David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest)
To prevent lower-income African Americans from living in neighborhoods where middle-class whites resided, local and federal officials began in the 1910s to promote zoning ordinances to reserve middle-class neighborhoods for single-family homes that lower-income families of all races could not afford. Certainly, an important and perhaps primary motivation of zoning rules that kept apartment buildings out of single-family neighborhoods was a social class elitism that was not itself racially biased. But there was also enough open racial intent behind exclusionary zoning that it is integral to the story of de jure segregation.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
[Historian] Kevin Starr has written that "the San Diego free speech battles revealed the depths of reaction possible in the threatened middle- and lower-middle classes of California." He argues that vigilantes were recruited from an anxious petty bourgeoisie, "who were uncertain and insecure in what they had gained or thought they had gained by coming to California." As in late Weimar Germany, "the oligarchy, which is to say, the upper-middle and upper classes, loathed and feared the [Industrial Workers of the World]; but oligarchs did not take to the streets as vigilantes. They did, however, encourage the lower-middle classes to do such work.
Justin Akers Chacón
Even more essential, however, is the identification of the individuals in the masses with the "führer." The more helpless the "mass-individual" has become, owing to his upbringing, the more pronounced is his identification with the führer, and the more the childish need for protection is disguised in the form of a feeling at one with the führer. This inclination to identify is the psychological basis of national narcissism, i.e., of the self-confidence that individual man derives from the "greatness of the nation." The reactionary lower middle-class man perceives himself in the führer, in the authoritarian state. On the basis of this identification he feels himself to be a defender of the "national heritage," of the "nation," which does not prevent him, likewise on the basis of this identification, from simultaneously despising "the masses" and confronting them as an individual. The wretchedness of his material and sexual situation is so overshadowed by the exalting idea of belonging to a master race and having a brilliant führer that, as time goes on, he ceases to realize how completely he has sunk to a position of insignificant, blind allegiance. The worker who is conscious of his skills—he, in short, who has rid himself of his submissive structure, who identifies with his work and not with the führer, with the international working masses and not with the national homeland—represents the opposite of this. He feels himself to be a leader, not on the basis of his identification with the führer, but on the basis of his consciousness of performing work that is vitally necessary for society's existence.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
Aerated Bread Company: the ABC cafés became a prominent feature of London after starting out in the 1860s; they served cheap food, and it was acceptable for unaccompanied women to dine in them. Harker registers his lower middle-class status by choosing to stop there. A large ABC was at 27 Piccadilly, but gentlemen would have gone to their clubs.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
Consider again the change in lower middle-class life. In old days, after supper, when the wife and daughters had cleared away the things, everybody sat round and had what was called ‘a happy family time’. This meant that paterfamilias went to sleep, his wife knitted, and the daughters wished they were dead or at Timbuktu. They were not allowed to read, or to leave the room, because the theory was that at that period their father conversed with them, which must be a pleasure to all concerned. With luck they ultimately married and had a chance to inflict upon their children a youth as dismal as their own had been. If they did not have luck, they developed into old maids, perhaps ultimately into decayed gentlewomen – a fate as horrible as any that savages have bestowed upon their victims
Bertrand Russell (The Conquest of Happiness (Routledge Classics))
Yet alongside this rebellion against the father, a respect for and acceptance of his authority continued to exist. This ambivalent attitude toward authority—rebellion against it coupled with acceptance and submission—is a basic feature of every middle-class structure from the age of puberty to full adulthood and is especially pronounced in individuals stemming from materially restricted circumstances.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
Marx believed that as wealth becomes more concentrated, poverty will become more widespread and the plight of working people evermore desperate. According to his critics, this prediction has proven wrong. They point out that he wrote during a time of raw industrialism, an era of robber barons and the fourteen-hour work day. Through persistent struggle, the working class improved its life conditions from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. Today, mainstream spokespersons portray the United States as a prosperous middle-class society. Yet one might wonder. During the Reagan-Bush-Clinton era, from 1981 to 1996, the share of the national income that went to those who work for a living shrank by over 12 percent. The share that went to those who live off investments increased almost 35 percent. Less than 1 percent of the population owns almost 50 percent of the nation’s wealth. The richest families are hundreds of times wealthier than the average household in the lower 90 percent of the population. The gap between America’s rich and poor is greater than it has been in more than half a century and is getting ever-greater. Thus, between 1977 and 1989, the top 1 percent saw their earnings grow by over 100 percent, while the three lowest quintiles averaged a 3 to 10 percent drop in real income.
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
The people in their overwhelming majority are so feminine by nature and attitude that sober reasoning determines their thoughts and actions far less than emotion and feeling. And this sentiment is not complicated, but very simple and all of a piece. It does not have multiple shadings; it has a positive and a negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie, never half this way and half that way, never partially, or that kind of thing.
Adolf Hitler (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
[G]reater social equality can accompany, or parallel, shifts in economic distribution. In our case, they run at cross-purposes; in other countries, notably in the European Union, greater economic equality has actually accompanied greater social equality. There is no necessary and inevitable relationship between them. To believe that greater social equality is the cause of your economic misery requires a significant amount of manipulation, perhaps the single greatest bait and switch that has ever been perpetuated against middle- and lower-middle-class white Americans. This has been the cultural mission of the ruling elites -- to deny their own existence (at least the robber barons and other plutocrats were up-front about their economic standing) and pretend that they are on the side of the very people they are disenfranchising, even at the very moment they are disenfranchising them.
Michael S. Kimmel (Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era)
The system, in its irrationality, has been driven by profit to build steel skyscrapers for insurance companies while the cities decay, to spend billions for weapons of destruction and virtually nothing for children’s playgrounds , to give huge incomes to men who make dangerous or useless things, and very little to artists, musicians, writers, actors. Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
Another part of Bit's unifying urban theory is sprinklers, that you can gauge a neighborhood's wealth by the way people water. If every house has an automatic system, you're looking at a six-figure mean. If the majority lug hoses around, it's more lower-middle class. And if they don't bother with the lawns... well, that's the sort of shitburg where Bit and Julie always lived, except for that little place they rented in Wenatchee the summer Bit worked at the orchard.
Jess Walter (We Live in Water: Stories)
Thus, the deeper problem in honor disputes is nearly always that of respect, and respect is vital when a reputation for strength or vulnerability quickly becomes public knowledge and largely determines how others will treat one. (For this reason, as the historian Edward Ayers [1984: 274] has noted, a white southern aristocrat of the nineteenth-century would probably better understand the violent conflicts of young, lower-income males than do most middle-class people today.)
Mark Cooney (Warriors and Peacemakers: How Third Parties Shape Violence)
So more than a century ago, everyone agreed: No more indentured servitude. But today’s employers have conspired to bring it back with H-1B visas, then they strut around like they’re Martin Luther King by invoking the magical word “immigration.” Immigration covers a multitude of sins because we have all agreed to pretend mass immigration from the Third World is the same thing as black civil rights. In the 1960s, leftists were at least self-destructive: They wanted to damage the country in ways that would hurt them, their parents, and their kids. The New Left has found a way to be self-righteous only after checking to make sure they’ve completely exempted themselves from the destruction they’re wreaking. Liberals will pull every string imaginable to prevent their own kids from having to compete with immigrants—and then demand cheap employees for themselves. The middle class and lower class take it in the shorts—and the elites get to feel noble.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
My mother wasn’t much into politics, but I’m sure she would have assumed that fifty years later, the minimum wage would be a lot higher. If it could feed a family of three and pay a mortgage in 1965, surely by now a minimum wage would let a family afford, say, a home and a car—and maybe even a little money for college applications for a skinny daughter. Right? Wrong. Way wrong. Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage today is lower than it was in 1965—about 24 percent lower.
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
•  Nearly one in four Americans can’t pay their bills on time. •  Nearly half of Americans would not be able to cover an unexpected expense of $400. •  A lower proportion of Americans own their homes than at any time in the past half century—63.5 percent. •  The typical man working full-time earns less today than his counterpart did in 1972. •  Nearly one-third of the country’s adult population—76 million Americans—describe themselves as either “struggling to get by” or “just getting by.” The
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
If we suggest that it is okay to make fun of everything except certain aspects of Islam because Muslims are much more sensitive than the rest of the population, isn’t that discrimination? Shouldn’t we treat the second largest religion in France exactly as we treat the first? It’s time to put an end to the revolting paternalism of the white, middle-class, “leftist” intellectual trying to coexist with these “poor, subliterate wretches.” “'I’m educated; obviously I get that 'Charlie Hebdo' is a humor newspaper because, first, I’m very intelligent, and second, it’s my culture. But you—well, you haven’t quite mastered nuanced thinking yet, so I’ll express my solidarity by fulminating against Islamaphobic cartoons and pretending not to understand them. I will lower myself to your level to show you that I like you. And if I need to convert to Islam to get even closer to you, I’ll do it!” These pathetic demagogues just have a ravenous need for recognition and a formidable domination fantasy to fulfill.
Charb (Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the True Enemies of Free Expression)
The lower strata of the middle class—the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants—all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by the new methods of production. Thus the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
National Socialism made use of various means in dealing with various classes, and made various promises depending upon the social class it needed at a particular time. In the spring of 1933, for example, it was the revolutionary character of the Nazi movement that was given particular emphasis in Nazi propaganda in an effort to win over the industrial workers, and the first of May was "celebrated," but only after the aristocracy had been appeased in Potsdam. To ascribe the success solely to political swindle, however, would be to become entangled in a contradiction with the basic idea of freedom, and would practically exclude the possibility of a social revolution. What must be answered is: Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled? The masses had every possibility of evaluating the propaganda of the various parties. Why didn't they see that, while promising the workers that the owners of the means of production would be disappropriated, Hitler promised the capitalists that their rights would be protected?
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
[Robert] Newell's recommendation of walking is also interesting: 'The best way undoubtedly of seeing a country is on foot. It is the safest, and most suited to every variety of road; it will often enable you to take a shorter track, and visit scenes (the finest perhaps) not otherwise accessible; it is healthy, and, with a little practice, easy; it is economical: a pedestrian is content with almost any accommodations; he, of all travellers, wants but little, 'Nor wants that little long'. And last, though not least, it is perfectly independent.' Newell cites independence, as do a number of the 'first generation' of Romantic walkers I have already surveyed; more striking are his commendation of walking as the safest option, which reflects a very altered perception of the security of travel from that which prevailed in the eighteenth century, and his advocacy of the practical and health benefits of pedestrianism, which against suggests its institutionalisation as a form of tourism and its extension to lower reaches of the middle classes.
Robin Jarvis (Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel)
As Brian Campbell, another Middletown teacher, told me, “When you have a large base of Section 8 parents and kids supported by fewer middle-class taxpayers, it’s an upside-down triangle. There’re fewer emotional and financial resources when the only people in a neighborhood are low-income. You just can’t lump them together, because then you have a bigger pool of hopelessness.” On the other hand, he said, “put the lower-income kids with those who have a different lifestyle model, and the lower-income kids start to rise up.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
My confusion about the separation between the servant class and the upper middle class revealed a quintessentially American point of view. Status is much more fluid in America, at least within the wide range of the population that can loosely be characterized as middle-class. I wait tables at a restaurant, and after my shift is over, I go out to a lounge and someone waits on me. Even if I get a graduate degree and earn a six-figure salary, I don’t treat waiters like a permanently lower class. After all, I was one and know what it feels like. And who knows when someone serving me in this restaurant will get their own graduate degree and be my boss. Better to be friendly. My “American-ness” was starting to stare me in the face in India: not the America of big-screen televisions and Hummers, but the America that, despite its constant failings, managed to inculcate in its citizens a set of humanizing values—the dignity of labor, the fundamental equality of human beings, mobility based on drive and talent, the opportunity to create and contribute.
Eboo Patel (Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation)
It matters whether the government blows tens of billions of dollars on tax loopholes for billionaires or whether that same money is used to lower costs for students who have to borrow money to go to college. It matters whether Wall Street can pocket billions of dollars by cheating people on mortgages and tricking them on credit cards or if there’s a cop on the beat to keep them honest. It matters whether the minimum wage is set so low that a full-time worker still lives in poverty or if minimum wage also means a livable wage. When
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
When you take care of an employee's body you take care of his mind. When you take care of an employee's mind you take care of his heart. When you take care of an employee's heart you take care of his soul. When you take care of an employee's soul you take care of his life. When you take care of the lower class you take care of the working class. When you take care of the working class you take care of the middle class. When you take care of the middle class you take care of the upper class. When you take care of the upper class you take care of all the classes. When you take care of employees you take care of capital. When you take care of capital you take care of companies. When you take care of companies you take care of economies. When you take care of economies you take care of young people. When you take care of children you take care of families. When you take care of families you take care of neighborhoods. When you take care of neighborhoods you take care of communities. When you take care of communities you take care of nations.
Matshona Dhliwayo
There were, however, major differences between the respective upsurges of cooperativism in the 1880s and the 1960s, centered around the fact that the earlier one was part of a broad-based labor movement, unlike the later. Thus, the skilled and semi-skilled cooperators during the 1870s and 1880s explicitly used cooperatives as a way to guarantee employment, and arguably they were more ambitious, with their revolutionary hopes for a cooperative commonwealth. Their ideology, of course, was not the educated middle-class countercultural and anti-authoritarian one of the 1960s’ youth movements but “laborist,” “producerist,” devoted to the Jeffersonian ideal of a republic of free laborers, mostly artisans and craftsmen. Some scholars have argued that this fact proves the Knights of Labor were “backward-looking” rather than truly revolutionary—that the future lay in mass production, not skilled labor or artisanry168—but this criticism seems partly off the mark. It is true that the Knights were hostile to mechanization, just as workers have been in the era of the AFL-CIO, because in both cases it threatened to put them out of a job or to result in the lowering of wages and the deskilling of work. If this aversion to the degradation and mechanization of work is reactionary, so be it. But it is also a source of such revolutionary demands as democratization of production relations, cooperative organization of the economy, public ownership of industry, destruction of the capitalist class and its frequent tool the state, and other hopes cherished by millions of workers in the late nineteenth century.
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
In the wake of the country’s newfound wealth, a religion of consumerism had spurred a mindless pursuit for greater corporate profits. This greed-fueled race eventually led to companies sending millions of manufacturing jobs overseas, resulting in the decline of the cherished middle class who made their living making things. For the first time, America’s children were looking at a lower standard of living than their parents. Corporate profit and material possessions were the new idolatry, shoving God’s message of ‘love thy neighbor’ into a dusty corner.
John Lyman (The Secret Chapel (God's Lions, #1))
The term bachelor girl was coined in 1895 to describe a specific breed of middle-class woman who chose to pursue the new educational and vocational opportunities opening up around her, which allowed her to live alone and support herself—so very unlike her sister the spinster, who was closely associated with the home, and the working-class women for whom work was an economic necessity. From roughly the 1870s to the 1910s, the marriage rate among educated women fell to 60 percent, 30 percent lower than the national average; clearly, for more than a few the single life was a deliberate choice.
Kate Bolick (Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own)
In my view, there is absolutely no doubt that the increase of inequality in the United States contributed to the nation’s financial instability. The reason is simple: one consequence of increasing inequality was virtual stagnation of the purchasing power of the lower and middle classes in the United States, which inevitably made it more likely that modest households would take on debt, especially since unscrupulous banks and financial intermediaries, freed from regulation and eager to earn good yields on the enormous savings injected into the system by the well-to-do, offered credit on increasingly generous terms.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
In terms of "quiet" bourgeois democracy two fundamental possibilities are open to the industrial worker: identification with the bourgeoisie, which holds a higher position in the social scale, or identification with his own social class, which produces its own anti-reactionary way of life. To pursue the first possibility means to envy the reactionary man, to imitate him, and, if the opportunity arises, to assimilate his habits of life. To pursue the second of these possibilities means to reject the reactionary man's ideologies and habits of life. Due to the simultaneous influence exercised by both social and class habits, these two possibilities are equally strong. The revolutionary movement also failed to appreciate the importance of the seemingly irrelevant everyday habits, indeed, very often turned them to bad account. The lower middle-class bedroom suite, which the "rabble" buys as soon as he has the means, even if he is otherwise revolutionary minded; the consequent suppression of the wife, even if he is a Communist; the "decent" suit of clothes for Sunday; "proper" dance steps and a thousand other "banalities," have an incomparably greater reactionary influence when repeated day after day than thousands of revolutionary rallies and leaflets can ever hope to counterbalance. Narrow conservative life exercises a continuous influence, penetrates every facet of everyday life; whereas factory work and revolutionary leaflets have only a brief effect.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
Let me tell you one story to illustrate what I mean. I remember a woman who was a spiritist, and even a medium, a paid medium employed by a spiritist society. She used to go every Sunday evening to a spiritist meeting and was paid three guineas for acting as a medium. This was during the thirties, and that was quite a large sum of money for a lower middle-class woman. She was ill one Sunday and could not go to keep her appointment. She was sitting in her house and she saw people passing by on their way to the church where I happened to be ministering in South Wales. Something made her feel a desire to know what those people had, and so she decided to go to the service, and did. She came ever afterwards until she died, and became a very fine Christian. One day I asked her what she had felt on that first visit, and this is what she said to me; and this is the point I am illustrating. She said, 'The moment I entered your chapel and sat down on a seat amongst the people I was conscious of a power. I was conscious of the same sort of power as I was accustomed to in our spiritist meetings, but there was one big difference; I had a feeling that the power in your chapel was a clean power.' The point I am making is simply this, that she was aware of a power. This is this mysterious element. It is the presence of the Spirit in the heart of God's children, God's people, and an outsider becomes aware of this. This is something you can never get if you just sit and read a book on your own. The Spirit can use a book, I know, but because of the very constitution of man's nature -our gregarious character, and the way in which we lean on one another, and are helped by one another even unconsciously- this is a most important factor. That is so in a natural sense, but when the Spirit is present, it is still more so. I am not advocating a mob or a mass psychology which I regard as extremely dangerous, particularly when it is worked up. All I am contending for is that when you enter a church, a society, a company of God' s people, there is a factor which immediately comes into operation, which is reinforced still more by the preacher expounding the Word in the pulpit; and that is why preaching can never be replaced by either reading or by watching television or anyone of these other activities.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The principal reason that districts within states often differ markedly in per-pupil expenditures is that school funding is almost always tied to property taxes, which are in turn a direct function of local wealth. Having school funding depend on local wealth creates a situation in which poor districts must tax themselves far more heavily than wealthy ones, yet still may not be able to generate adequate income. For example, Baltimore City is one of the poorest jurisdictions in Maryland, and the Baltimore City Public Schools have the lowest per-pupil instructional expenses of any of Maryland's 24 districts. Yet Baltimore's property tax rate is twice that of the next highest jurisdiction.(FN2) Before the funding equity decision in New Jersey, the impoverished East Orange district had one of the highest tax rates in the state, but spent only $3,000 per pupil, one of the lowest per-pupil expenditures in the state.(FN3) A similar story could be told in almost any state in the U.S.(FN4) Funding formulas work systematically against children who happen to be located in high-poverty districts, but also reflect idiosyncratic local circumstances. For example, a factory closing can bankrupt a small school district. What sense does it make for children's education to suffer based on local accidents of geography or economics? To my knowledge, the U.S. is the only nation to fund elementary and secondary education based on local wealth. Other developed countries either equalize funding or provide extra funding for individuals or groups felt to need it. In the Netherlands, for example, national funding is provided to all schools based on the number of pupils enrolled, but for every guilder allocated to a middle-class Dutch child, 1.25 guilders are allocated for a lower-class child and 1.9 guilders for a minority child, exactly the opposite of the situation in the U.S. where lower-class and minority children typically receive less than middle-class white children.(FN5) Regional differences in per-pupil costs may exist in other countries, but the situation in which underfunded urban or rural districts exist in close proximity to wealthy suburban districts is probably uniquely American. Of course, even equality in per-pupil costs in no way ensures equality in educational services. Not only do poor districts typically have fewer funds, they also have greater needs.
Robert E. Slavin
For example, we’d recognize that Section 8 vouchers ought to be administered in a way that doesn’t segregate the poor into little enclaves. As Brian Campbell, another Middletown teacher, told me, “When you have a large base of Section 8 parents and kids supported by fewer middle-class taxpayers, it’s an upside-down triangle. There’re fewer emotional and financial resources when the only people in a neighborhood are low-income. You just can’t lump them together, because then you have a bigger pool of hopelessness.” On the other hand, he said, “put the lower-income kids with those who have a different lifestyle model, and the lower-income kids start to rise up.” Yet when Middletown recently tried to limit the number of Section 8 vouchers offered within certain neighborhoods, the federal government balked. Better, I suppose, to keep those kids cut off from the middle class.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Even more importantly, there simply is no direct relation between physical strength and social power among humans. People in their sixties usually exercise power over people in their twenties, even though twenty-somethings are much stronger than their elders. The typical plantation owner in Alabama in the mid-nineteenth century could have been wrestled to the ground in seconds by any of the slaves cultivating his cotton fields. Boxing matches were not used to select Egyptian pharaohs or Catholic popes. In forager societies, political dominance generally resides with the person possessing the best social skills rather than the most developed musculature. In organized crime, the big boss is not necessarily the strongest man. He is often an older man who very rarely uses his own fists; he gets younger and fitter men to do the dirty jobs for him. A guy who thinks that the way to take over the syndicate is to beat up the don is unlikely to live long enough to learn from his mistake. Even among chimpanzees, the alpha male wins his position by building a stable coalition with other males and females, not through mindless violence. In fact, human history shows that there is often an inverse relation between physical prowess and social power. In most societies, it’s the lower classes who do the manual labor. This may reflect homo sapiens position in the food chain. If all that counted were raw physical abilities, sapiens would have found themselves on a middle rung of the ladder. But their mental and social skills placed them at the top. It is therefore only natural that the chain of power within the species will also be determined by mental and social abilities more than by brute force. It is therefore hard to believe that the most influential and most stable social hierarchy in history is founded on men's ability to physically coerce women.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Pardon This word is the most notorious pet hate of the upper and upper-middle classes. Jilly Cooper recalls overhearing her son telling a friend ‘Mummy says that “pardon” is a much worse word than “fuck”.’ He was quite right: to the uppers and upper-middles, using such an unmistakably lower-class term is worse than swearing. Some even refer to lower-middle-class suburbs as ‘Pardonia’. Here is a good class-test you can try: when talking to an English person, deliberately say something too quietly for them to hear you properly. A lower-middle or middle-middle person will say, ‘Pardon?’; an upper-middle will say ‘Sorry?’ (or perhaps ‘Sorry – what?’ or ‘What – sorry?’); but an upper-class and a working-class person will both just say, ‘What?’ The working-class person may drop the t – ‘Wha’?’ – but this will be the only difference. Some upper-working-class people with middle-class aspirations might say ‘pardon’, in a misguided attempt to sound ‘posh’.
Kate Fox (Watching the English)
You’re just going to throw the h-house wenches out into the streets?” she asked with forced calm. “They’ll be dismissed with generous parting sums as a reward for their labors on the club’s behalf.” “Do you intend to hire new ones?” Sebastian shook his head. “While I have no moral aversion to the concept of prostitution— in fact, I’m all for it— I’m damned if I’ll become known as a pimp.” “A what?” “A pimp. A cock bawd. A male procurer. For God’s sake, did you have cotton wool stuffed in your ears as a child? Did you never hear anything, or wonder why badly dressed women were parading up and down the club staircase at all hours?” “I always visited in the daytime,” Evie said with great dignity. “I rarely saw them working. And later, when I was old enough to understand what they were doing, my father began to curtail my visits.” “That was probably one of the few kind things he ever did for you.” Sebastian waved away the subject impatiently. “Back to the subject at hand… not only do I not want the responsibility of maintaining mediocre whores, but we don’t have the room to accommodate them. On any given night, when all the beds are occupied, the club members are forced to take their pleasures out in the stables.” “They are? They do?” “And it’s damned scratchy and drafty in that stable. Take my word for it.” “You—” “However, there is an excellent brothel two streets over. I have every expectation that we can come to an arrangement with its proprietress, Madame Bradshaw. When one of our club members desires female companionship, he can walk to Bradshaw’s, receive their services at a discounted price, and return here when he’s refreshed.” He raised his brows significantly, as if he expected her to praise the idea. “What do you think?” “I think you would still be a cock bawd,” Evie said. “Only by stealth.” “Morality is only for the middle classes, sweet. The lower class can’t afford it, and the upper classes have entirely too much leisure time to fill.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
No two individuals, it would seem, could be further apart politically than [Eldridge] Cleaver and [George] Wallace. Cleaver, on the one hand, embodies and articulates the rage that has gripped large segments of the black community in recent years. Born of desperation and despair, this rage has produced burnings and lootings in the ghetto as well as a philosophy of black separatism that represents more a withdrawal from an intimidating and unresponsive white society than a positive program for political action. This rage was also the source of Cleaver's influence. He could ride its powerful currents to fame and notoriety--which the mass media were more than willing to heap upon him--but he could not begin to propose a solution to the injustices that had produced it. Indeed, to assuage the anger and frustration in the black community would have threatened his own base of power. Wallace, on the other hand, has often been called the embodiment of white racism and reaction. That he is, but, more precisely, his preeminence was a result of the fear which gripped large sections of the white community throughout the country. The Wallace movement grew to frightening proportions not because of anything that Wallace did but because the politically polarized atmosphere in the country called forth the need for a man who would represent the fears and the very worst instincts of millions of people. While Cleaver and Wallace seem on the surface to be so very different, they are both simply the manifestations of the same social evils. Black rage and burnt-out ghettos are the product of the economic deprivation of Negro Americans; and white fear and the Wallace vote are the result of the economic scarcity that motivates whites, particularly those in the lower middle class, to feel that they must protect the little they have against the rising demands of blacks. The conditions of deprivation and scarcity, and the consequent growth of racial hostility and political polarization, formed the context within which the events of 1968 unfolded.
Bayard Rustin (Down The Line)
If government had declined to build racially separate public housing in cities where segregation hadn’t previously taken root, and instead had scattered integrated developments throughout the community, those cities might have developed in a less racially toxic fashion, with fewer desperate ghettos and more diverse suburbs. If the federal government had not urged suburbs to adopt exclusionary zoning laws, white flight would have been minimized because there would have been fewer racially exclusive suburbs to which frightened homeowners could flee. If the government had told developers that they could have FHA guarantees only if the homes they built were open to all, integrated working-class suburbs would likely have matured with both African Americans and whites sharing the benefits. If state courts had not blessed private discrimination by ordering the eviction of African American homeowners in neighborhoods where association rules and restrictive covenants barred their residence, middle-class African Americans would have been able gradually to integrate previously white communities as they developed the financial means to do so. If churches, universities, and hospitals had faced loss of tax-exempt status for their promotion of restrictive covenants, they most likely would have refrained from such activity. If police had arrested, rather than encouraged, leaders of mob violence when African Americans moved into previously white neighborhoods, racial transitions would have been smoother. If state real estate commissions had denied licenses to brokers who claimed an “ethical” obligation to impose segregation, those brokers might have guided the evolution of interracial neighborhoods. If school boards had not placed schools and drawn attendance boundaries to ensure the separation of black and white pupils, families might not have had to relocate to have access to education for their children. If federal and state highway planners had not used urban interstates to demolish African American neighborhoods and force their residents deeper into urban ghettos, black impoverishment would have lessened, and some displaced families might have accumulated the resources to improve their housing and its location. If government had given African Americans the same labor-market rights that other citizens enjoyed, African American working-class families would not have been trapped in lower-income minority communities, from lack of funds to live elsewhere. If the federal government had not exploited the racial boundaries it had created in metropolitan areas, by spending billions on tax breaks for single-family suburban homeowners, while failing to spend adequate funds on transportation networks that could bring African Americans to job opportunities, the inequality on which segregation feeds would have diminished. If federal programs were not, even to this day, reinforcing racial isolation by disproportionately directing low-income African Americans who receive housing assistance into the segregated neighborhoods that government had previously established, we might see many more inclusive communities. Undoing the effects of de jure segregation will be incomparably difficult. To make a start, we will first have to contemplate what we have collectively done and, on behalf of our government, accept responsibility.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
Lenin, therefore, begins from the firm and definite principle that the State dies as soon as the socialization of the means of production is achieved and the exploiting class has consequently been suppressed. Yet, in the same pamphlet, he ends by justifying the preservation, even after the socialization of the means of production and, without any predictable end, of the dictatorship of a revolutionary faction over the rest of the people. The pamphlet, which makes continual reference to the experiences of the Commune, flatly contradicts the contemporary federalist and anti-authoritarian ideas that produced the Commune; and it is equally opposed to the optimistic forecasts of Marx and Engels. The reason for this is clear; Lenin had not forgotten that the Commune failed. As for the means of such a surprising demonstration, they were even more simple: with each new difficulty encountered by the revolution, the State as described by Marx is endowed with a supplementary prerogative. Ten pages farther on, without any kind of transition, Lenin in effect affirms that power is necessary to crush the resistance of the exploiters "and also to direct the great mass of the population, peasantry, lower middle classes, and semi-proletariat, in the management of the socialist economy." The shift here is undeniable; the provisional State of Marx and Engels is charged with a new mission, which risks prolonging its life indefinitely. Already we can perceive the contradiction of the Stalinist regime in conflict with its official philosophy. Either this regime has realized the classless socialist society, and the maintenance of a formidable apparatus of repression is not justified in Marxist terms, or it has not realized the classless society and has therefore proved that Marxist doctrine is erroneous and, in particular, that the socialization of the means of production does not mean the disappearance of classes. Confronted with its official doctrine, the regime is forced to choose: the doctrine is false, or the regime has betrayed it. In fact, together with Nechaiev and Tkachev, it is Lassalle, the inventor of State socialism, whom Lenin has caused to triumph in Russia, to the detriment of Marx. From this moment on, the history of the interior struggles of the party, from Lenin to Stalin, is summed up in the struggle between the workers' democracy and military and bureaucratic dictatorship; in other words, between justice and expediency.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
But it is also true that this long-winded, unwieldy compilation of assorted prescriptions represents an overall softening—a humanizing—of the common law of the ancient Middle East, which easily prescribed a hand not for a hand but for the theft of a loaf of bread or for the striking of one’s better and which gave much favor to the rights of the nobility and virtually none to the lower classes. The casual cruelty of other ancient law codes—the cutting off of nose, ears, tongue, lower lip (for kissing another man’s wife), breasts, and testicles—is seldom matched in the Torah. Rather, in the prescriptions of Jewish law we cannot but note a presumption that all people, even slaves, are human and that all human lives are sacred. The constant bias is in favor not of the powerful and their possessions but of the powerless and their poverty; and there is even a frequent enjoinder to sympathy:     “A sojourner you are not to oppress:     you yourselves know (well) the feelings of the sojourner,     for sojourners were you in the land of Egypt.” This bias toward the underdog is unique not only in ancient law but in the whole history of law. However faint our sense of justice may be, insofar as it operates at all it is still a Jewish sense of justice.
Thomas Cahill (The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (Hinges of History Book 2))
PHYSIOLOGY 1. Sex 2. Age 3. Height and weight 4. Color of hair, eyes, skin 5. Posture 6. Appearance: good-looking, over- or underweight, clean, neat, pleasant, untidy. Shape of head, face, limbs. 7. Defects: deformities, abnormalities, birthmarks. Diseases. 8. Heredity SOCIOLOGY 1. Class: lower, middle, upper. 2. Occupation: type of work, hours of work, income, condition of work, union or nonunion, attitude toward organization, suitability for work. 3. Education: amount, kind of schools, marks, favorite subjects, poorest subjects, aptitudes. 4. Home life: parents living, earning power, orphan, parents separated or divorced, parents’ habits, parents’ mental development, parents’ vices, neglect. Character’s marital status. 5. Religion 6. Race, nationality 7. Place in community: leader among friends, clubs, sports. 8. Political affiliations 9. Amusements, hobbies: books, newspapers, magazines he reads. PSYCHOLOGY 1. Sex life, moral standards 2. Personal premise, ambition 3. Frustrations, chief disappointments 4. Temperament: choleric, easygoing, pessimistic, optimistic. 5. Attitude toward life: resigned, militant, defeatist. 6. Complexes: obsessions, inhibitions, superstitions, phobias. 7. Extrovert, introvert, ambivert 8. Abilities: languages, talents. 9. Qualities: imagination, judgment, taste, poise. 10. I.Q.
Lajos Egri (The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives)
All changed! Even the thing with the spades. All of a sudden the Negroes are out of the hip scene, except for a couple of pushers like Superspade and a couple of characters like Gaylord and Heavy. The explanation around Haight-Ashbury is that Negroes don’t take to LSD. The big thing with spades on the hip scene has always been the quality known as cool. And LSD freaking well blows that whole lead shield known as cool, like it brings you right out front, hang-ups and all. Also the spades don’t get much of a kick out of the nostalgia for the mud that all the white middle-class kids who are coming to Haight-Ashbury like, piling into pads and living freaking basic, you understand, on greasy mattresses on the floor that the filthiest spade walkup in Fillmore wouldn’t have, and slopping up soda pop and shit out of the same bottle, just passing it around from mouth to mouth, not being hung up on that old American plumbing & hygiene thing, you understand, even grokking the weird medieval vermin diseases that are flashing through every groin—crab lice! you know that thing, man, where you first look down at your lower belly and see these little scars, they look like, little scabs or something, tiny little mothers, and like you pick one, root it out, and it starts crawling! Oh shit! and then they’re all crawling and you start exploring your mons pubis and your balls and they’re alive. It’s like a jungle you never saw before,
Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
Externally Hitler sill appears a drifting character: he has failed at school, has no employment, has been rejected by the Academy, is in Vienna for no clearly stated purpose, lives on a pittance eked out by painting postcards. But behind this shiftless exterior Kubizek constructs what must have been there, although it was not apparent to casual acquaintances: the character of the man who, from these beginnings, without any other natural advantages besides his own personality, became the most powerful and terrible tyrant and conqueror of modern history. Here we see - along with the incipient monomania, the repetitive cliches, and the Wagnerian romanticism of his later years - the early evidence of that unbreakable will power, that extraordinary self-confidence. We see the penniless, unemployed, unemployable young Hitler, at sixteen, confidently rebuilding in his imagination the city of Linz, as he was afterwards to rebuild it in fact, and never for a moment doubting that he would one day carry out these improbable plans; we see him exercising over an elderly Austrian upholsterer that irresistible hypnotic power with which he was afterwards to seduce a whole nation; we see him, in Vienna, fortifying himself against a corrupt and purposeless society by adopting an iron asceticism, like some ancient crusader guarding himself against corruption in a pagan world. And then turning to detail, we see in Vienna, when Kubizek was closest to him, the working of Hitler's mind as it feels its way towards the beginnings of national socialism: his crude, voracious but systematic reading; his sudden discovery of politics; his hatred of the social injustice of urban life represented to him, the architect, by squalid slum buildings; his fear -- the fear which he was afterwards to exploit among millions of lower-middle-class Germans - of sinking into proletarian status. Behind the outward meaninglessness of his hand-to-mouth existence we see the inner purposefulness of his studies, his experiences, his reasoning.
August Kubizek (The Young Hitler I Knew)
Roosevelt wouldn't interfere even when he found out that Moses was discouraging Negroes from using many of his state parks. Underlying Moses' strikingly strict policing for cleanliness in his parks was, Frances Perkins realized with "shock," deep distaste for the public that was using them. "He doesn't love the people," she was to say. "It used to shock me because he was doing all these things for the welfare of the people... He'd denounce the common people terribly. To him they were lousy, dirty people, throwing bottles all over Jones Beach. 'I'll get them! I'll teach them!' ... He loves the public, but not as people. The public is just The Public. It's a great amorphous mass to him; it needs to be bathed, it needs to be aired, it needs recreation, but not for personal reasons -- just to make it a better public." Now he began taking measures to limit use of his parks. He had restricted the use of state parks by poor and lower-middle-class families in the first place, by limiting access to the parks by rapid transit; he had vetoed the Long Island Rail Road's proposed construction of a branch spur to Jones Beach for this reason. Now he began to limit access by buses; he instructed Shapiro to build the bridges across his new parkways low -- too low for buses to pass. Bus trips therefore had to be made on local roads, making the trips discouragingly long and arduous. For Negroes, whom he considered inherently "dirty," there were further measures. Buses needed permits to enter state parks; buses chartered by Negro groups found it very difficult to obtain permits, particularly to Moses' beloved Jones Beach; most were shunted to parks many miles further out on Long Island. And even in these parks, buses carrying Negro groups were shunted to the furthest reaches of the parking areas. And Negroes were discouraged from using "white" beach areas -- the best beaches -- by a system Shapiro calls "flagging"; the handful of Negro lifeguards [...] were all stationed at distant, least developed beaches. Moses was convinced that Negroes did not like cold water; the temperature at the pool at Jones Beach was deliberately icy to keep Negroes out. When Negro civic groups from the hot New York City slums began to complain about this treatment, Roosevelt ordered an investigation and an aide confirmed that "Bob Moses is seeking to discourage large Negro parties from picnicking at Jones Beach, attempting to divert them to some other of the state parks." Roosevelt gingerly raised the matter with Moses, who denied the charge violently -- and the Governor never raised the matter again.
Robert A. Caro (The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York)
Finding a person to declare your craziest, most profound insecurities to is not exactly a picnic. But the bureaucratic idiocy of America’s healthcare system turns what should be a chore into torture. If you’re a middle-class person in America, the dance goes like this: You call your insurance provider to find a meager list of therapists who take your insurance. Most of the people on the list are licensed clinical social workers or licensed mental health counselors. They can be wonderful and very helpful, but they often have less schooling and experience than, say, psychologists and PhDs. After digging deeper, you find that some of these therapists don’t take your insurance after all; others have full client lists. And even if they do have space in the day to treat someone, they might not be interested in treating you. According to one study, a low-income Black person had up to an 80 percent lower chance of receiving a callback for an appointment than a middle-class white person. And even though intellectually, therapists tell you that anger can be a helpful and legitimate emotion in processing trauma, God forbid you actually seem angry on the phone. Several mental health professionals have told me that therapists often avoid rageful clients because they seem threatening or scary. Therapists instead prefer to take on YAVIS—Young, Attractive, Verbal, Intelligent, and Successful clients. They love an amenable type, someone who is curious about their internal workings and eager to plumb them, someone who’s already read articles in The New Yorker about psychology to familiarize them with the language of metacognition and congruence. Good luck if you’re a regular-ass Joe who’d rather watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But say you get lucky and find a licensed clinical psychologist with an open slot. The psychologist is white, of course (86 percent of psychologists in the United States are), which isn’t ideal if you are a person of color. But, fine, whatever: You just need to receive an official diagnosis for your insurance. You are certain you have complex PTSD, but he can’t diagnose you with that because it’s not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Your insurance only covers treatment for conditions listed in the DSM in order to assign a number of sessions to you. Most forms of insurance will pay for, say, only six months of therapy relating to anxiety, ten for depression, as if you should be better by then. Another consequence of C-PTSD not being in the DSM: This psychologist hasn’t been trained in treating it. He says he doesn’t believe that it’s a real diagnosis. He’d like to provide you with some questionnaires to see if you have something he can actually handle—bipolar disorder, maybe, or manic depression. This does not inspire confidence, so you leave. After some internet sleuthing, you find a woman of color who seems really cool. She’s specifically trained in the treatment of complex trauma. She has blurbs on her website that resonate with you—it seems as if she might truly understand you. But she doesn’t take insurance. (Psychologists are the least likely of any medical provider to take insurance—only about 45 percent of them do. And most of the time, the ones who don’t are the most qualified practitioners.) You can’t exactly blame her. You learn on the internet that insurance companies haven’t updated reimbursement rates for therapists in up to twenty years, despite rising rates for office rent and other administrative costs. If therapists were to rely on reimbursement rates from insurance alone, they’d wind up making about $50,000 a year on average, which is fine, but like, not great if you’re an actual doctor.
Stephanie Foo (What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma)
Biswas-DIener and Dean claim that ‘so important is our work to our identity that we proudly claim our occupation as synonymous with who we are.’ Individuals are most fulfilled, they argue, when they have a ‘calling-orientation’ approach to work, meaning they work because they love to do it and because it makes them flourish, not because they ‘have to.’ The authors conveniently leave unaddressed the question of just exactly how someone can develop a calling when working as a pizza deliverer, a McDonald’s cashier or an office cleaner, but forcefully marshal the working and lower-middle classes to the ideal of the upper-middle classes.
Eva Illouz
great enabler of capital, the surest means to, yes, indenture the vast hordes of the lower and middle class (and the nation’s youth) to the process of money’s growth.
Ayad Akhtar (Homeland Elegies)
The social resentment of the lower middle classes against the Jews turned into a highly explosive political element, because these bitterly hated Jews were thought to be well on their way to political power.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
A moment. Did I mention it? Charles, perhaps finding that he was not much of a success with the lower middle classes, developed in middle life a habit of ennobling the friends who did the decent thing by him. One finds his record full of barons and comtes; the grain of salt is recommended.
Robin Hyde (Check to Your King)
In 1941 Fromm published Escape from Freedom, which held that, upon the lifting of feudal ties and hierarchy, Protestantism had produced fearful and alienated persons, that industrialization had forced on such persons competitive, insecure lives that left them fearful of economic crises, loss of jobs, and imperialistic wars, and that the outcome was a tendency to submit to authoritarian leaders who offered them feelings of involvement, security, and power. This was the road to fascism. While Fromm feared these tendencies in all strata, he and his followers saw the middle classes—especially the lower middle classes—as most vulnerable to the appeal of fascism.
James MacGregor Burns (The American Experiment: The Vineyard of Liberty, The Workshop of Democracy, and The Crosswinds of Freedom)
and prominent intellectual and political elites leaves the playing field open for others to step in and present themselves as advocates for the entire working or middle class or other distinct underrepresented groups. Indeed, politics since 2000 has been marked by the rise of populists—politicians who spurn “out-of-touch experts” and who claim to speak on behalf of millions of people with whom they in fact have no authentic connection, and in whom they have no genuine interest beyond securing votes to support their own often very personal agendas. In America, the first sign of things to come was during the Great Recession, with the emergence of the Tea Party movement in the Republican Party, inside and outside Congress. The movement formed in reaction to the efforts by the administration of Barack Obama to bail out the U.S. financial sector in the midst of the economic crisis. Its members initially presented themselves as fiscal conservatives, calling for the kind of lower taxes and limited government spending espoused by Ronald Reagan. They quickly moved on to oppose the administration’s promotion of universal health care and other social policies, and soon morphed into an activist protest movement supporting new candidates for office with a mixture of conservative, libertarian, and right-wing populist credentials. Many of these Tea Party candidates would later support Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
Fiona Hill (There Is Nothing For You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century)
Many in the proudly working-class city of Liverpool were pleased to find that the Swabian’s convictions echoed their own. ‘I wouldn’t call myself very political but I’m on the left, of course. More left than the middle,’ Klopp told taz in 2009. ‘I believe in the welfare state, I don’t mind paying for health insurance. I’m not privately insured, I would never vote for a party because they promised to lower the top tax rate. My political understanding is this: if I’m doing well, I want others to do well, too. If there’s something I’ll never do in my life it’s voting for the right.
Raphael Honigstein (Klopp: Bring the Noise)
use “anticapitalist” because conservative defenders of capitalism regularly say their liberal and socialist opponents are against capitalism. They say efforts to provide a safety net for all people are “anticapitalist.” They say attempts to prevent monopolies are “anticapitalist.” They say efforts that strengthen weak unions and weaken exploitative owners are “anticapitalist.” They say plans to normalize worker ownership and regulations protecting consumers, workers, and environments from big business are “anticapitalist.” They say laws taxing the richest more than the middle class, redistributing pilfered wealth, and guaranteeing basic incomes are “anticapitalist.” They say wars to end poverty are “anticapitalist.” They say campaigns to remove the profit motive from essential life sectors like education, healthcare, utilities, mass media, and incarceration are “anticapitalist.” In doing so, these conservative defenders are defining capitalism. They define capitalism as the freedom to exploit people into economic ruin; the freedom to assassinate unions; the freedom to prey on unprotected consumers, workers, and environments; the freedom to value quarterly profits over climate change; the freedom to undermine small businesses and cushion corporations; the freedom from competition; the freedom not to pay taxes; the freedom to heave the tax burden onto the middle and lower classes; the freedom to commodify everything and everyone; the freedom to keep poor people poor and middle-income people struggling to stay middle income, and make rich people richer. The history of capitalism—of world warring, classing, slave trading, enslaving, colonizing, depressing wages, and dispossessing land and labor and resources and rights—bears out the conservative definition of capitalism.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
Frequently, the African Americans who attempted to pioneer the integration of white middle-class neighborhoods were of higher social status than their white neighbors, and they were rarely of lower status.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
Of course, as the poor become dangerous - addicted, short-tempered, diseased - the middle class withdraws still further from contact. Better to close the park, as some affluent lower-Manhattanites have argues, than risk mingling with those who have no other space in which to sleep or pass the time. Better to block off public streets, as some Miami neighborhoods have concluded, than allow fee passage to the down-and-out. Even our city streets are less likely than in the past to offer the promiscuous mingling of "others." Suburban mall have drained downtown shopping areas and left them to the poor; the new urban skywalks lift the white-collar population into a weatherproof world of their own, leaving the streets to the overlapping categories of the poor, blue-collar workers, and people of color. And the more the poor are cut off or abandoned, the less they are capable of inspiring sympathy or even simple human interest.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class)
In an educated society with a well-run government, prices should actually come down. Of course, that is often only true in theory. Prices go up because of greed and fear caused by ignorance. If schools taught people about money, there would be more money and lower prices. But schools only focus on teaching people how to work for money, not how to harness money's power.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!)
BARGAIN-ISSUE PATTERN IN SECONDARY COMPANIES. We have defined a secondary company as one that is not a leader in a fairly important industry. Thus it is usually one of the smaller concerns in its field, but it may equally well be the chief unit in an unimportant line. By way of exception, any company that has established itself as a growth stock is not ordinarily considered “secondary.” In the great bull market of the 1920s relatively little distinction was drawn between industry leaders and other listed issues, provided the latter were of respectable size. The public felt that a middle-sized company was strong enough to weather storms and that it had a better chance for really spectacular expansion than one that was already of major dimensions. The depression years 1931–32, however, had a particularly devastating impact on the companies below the first rank either in size or in inherent stability. As a result of that experience investors have since developed a pronounced preference for industry leaders and a corresponding lack of interest most of the time in the ordinary company of secondary importance. This has meant that the latter group have usually sold at much lower prices in relation to earnings and assets than have the former. It has meant further that in many instances the price has fallen so low as to establish the issue in the bargain class. When investors rejected the stocks of secondary companies, even though these sold at relatively low prices, they were expressing a belief or fear that such companies faced a dismal future. In fact, at least subconsciously, they calculated that any price was too high for them because they were heading for extinction—just as in 1929 the companion theory for the “blue chips” was that no price was too high for them because their future possibilities were limitless. Both of these views were exaggerations and were productive of serious investment errors. Actually, the typical middle-sized listed company is a large one when compared with the average privately owned business. There is no sound reason why such companies should not continue indefinitely in operation, undergoing the vicissitudes characteristic of our economy but earning on the whole a fair return on their invested capital.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
In Florence it was customary for the daughters of middle-class and noble families to marry young, whereas men did not marry until ten or twenty years later. That gave them a long time in which to sire many illegitimate children with lower-class women.
Kia Vahland (The Da Vinci Women: The Untold Feminist Power of Leonardo's Art)
Captivity of the Oatman Girls was published at a perfect moment for success—particularly for a female audience. It appeared at the height of the industrial revolution, when women were reading more because of increased education for girls, lower birthrates, and lighter domestic workloads, thanks to new technology. Middle-class women were becoming voracious readers not only because they were better schooled but also because they were trapped: their domestic responsibilities were reduced by manufacturing, yet they were confined to the home.
Margot Mifflin (The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman (Women in the West))
Preferences tend to respond to middle-class aspirations almost entirely. They do little or nothing about the resentments of those who do not aspire to attend secondary school or university, to enter the modern private sector or the bureaucracy, or to become businessmen. Although lower-class resentments are often profound- it is not, after, all the middle class that typically participates in ethnic violence – the resentments may have nothing to do with occupational mobility, and preferences do not address them. Indeed, by reducing disparities between ethnic groups, preferences are likely to increase disparities between classes within ethnic groups. This is a redistributive effect that has gone largely, though not entirely, unnoticed. The magnification of social-class cleavages in an ethnically divided society is not necessarily conducive to the moderation of ethnic cleavages. On the contrary, it may encourage the displacement of lower-class aggression onto ethnic strangers
Donald L. Horowitz (Ethnic Groups in Conflict, Updated Edition With a New Preface)
The Progressive Era, generally the period between 1890 and 1920, was in part a response to the inequities, abuses, and corruption born out of the Industrial Revolution. One historian called Progressivism “an extraordinary explosion of middle-class activism” where the middle and lower classes pushed against the boundaries that separated wealth and poverty in America.
David J Jepsen (Contested Boundaries: A New Pacific Northwest History)
The English population was fairly stable in size from 1200 to 1760. In this context, the fact that the rich were having more children than the poor led to the interesting phenomenon of unremitting social descent. Most children of the rich had to sink in the social scale, given that there were too many of them to remain in the upper class. Their social descent had the far-reaching genetic consequence that they carried with them inheritance for the same behaviors that had made their parents rich. The values of the upper middle class—nonviolence, literacy, thrift and patience—were thus infused into lower economic classes and throughout society. Generation after generation, they gradually became the values of the society as a whole. This explains the steady decrease in violence and increase in literacy that Clark has documented for the English population. Moreover, the behaviors emerged gradually over several centuries, a time course more typical of an evolutionary change than a cultural change.
Nicholas Wade (A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History)
Robert holds a small portion of his assets in tax-lien certificates instead of CDs. Others tell him he shouldn’t do this, but they’re coming from a place of doubt. They’ve never done it, and they’re telling someone who’s doing it why they shouldn’t. The lowest yield Robert looks for is 16 percent, but people who are filled with doubt are willing to accept a far lower return. Doubt is expensive.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!)
After gaming out various scenarios, I sent Joe up to Capitol Hill to negotiate with McConnell. We would support a two-year extension of all the Bush tax cuts—but only if Republicans agreed to extend emergency unemployment benefits, the Recovery Act’s lower- to middle-class tax credit (Making Work Pay), and another package of refundable tax credits benefiting the working poor for an equivalent period. McConnell immediately balked. Having previously declared that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he was apparently loath to let me claim that I’d cut taxes for the majority of Americans without Republicans having forced me to do it. I couldn’t say I was surprised; one of the reasons I’d chosen Joe to act as an intermediary—in addition to his Senate experience and legislative acumen—was my awareness that in McConnell’s mind, negotiations with the vice president didn’t inflame the Republican base in quite the same way that any appearance of cooperating with (Black, Muslim socialist) Obama was bound to do.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Hayek also thought that any collectivist system would inevitably give rise to cries for greater equality. It was simply not possible in a collectivist system to advocate for any other principle of distributive justice. Efforts for greater equality, however, would incite the lower middle class to seek more at the expense of the established middle class and unsuccessful professionals to seek more at the expense of successful professionals. It was the resentments of these groups, Hayek argued, that provided much of the fuel and many of the recruits for fascism and National Socialism.
Carl T. Bogus (Buckley)
Middle class African American men and women are more likely to suffer from hypertension and stress than those with lower incomes,” wrote the sociologist George Lipsitz. The stigma and stereotypes they labor under expose them to higher levels of stress-inducing discrimination in spite of, or perhaps because of, their perceived educational or material advantages.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
Both of these parenting styles have their advantages, Lareau found (although I should note that she did not look at families that used corporal punishment as severe as in my family after my parents split). The middle-class way was not, as some might expect, superior all around. The working-class children were often happier and better behaved. They were much closer to their extended families and were full of energy. They mostly did as they were told. They knew how to entertain themselves and were rarely bored. They were more adept at relationships. The middle-class youth, however, were much more prepared for school and far better situated to deal with adult authorities. They could speak up for themselves and use well-crafted arguments to come to conclusions more skillfully. This elaborated way of thinking also helped them better make plans that required multiple steps. Essentially, they were more prepared for success in the American mainstream than the working-class children were. And this was true regardless of whether they were black or white. Through this parenting style, middle-class children were being trained to lead, whether intentionally or not. Meanwhile, the poor and working class were being trained for life on the bottom. Middle-class children were constantly being taught explicitly to advocate for themselves with authorities, while the lower classes were taught to submit without question. Or, if they were going to resist, the poor learned by experience to do so covertly, not openly.
Carl L. Hart (High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society)
Create something for middle class and lower middle class people then you will become rich.
Anuj Jasani
The lower middle classes, all the millions of shopkeepers and small-salaried folk on whom Hitler had to draw for his mass support, shared in the general prosperity.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
A closer look at still more refined educational elites amplifies this pattern. BAs from even modestly higher-ranked schools boost incomes by 10 to 40 percent more than BAs from lower-ranked schools and nearly double the rate of return on the tuition. Super-elite BAs generate still greater income boosts, more than doubling the gains produced by an average BA, and the top incomes from super-elite schools more than triple the incomes of the top earners with average BAs.
Daniel Markovits (The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite)
A closer look at still more refined educational elites amplifies this pattern. BAs from even modestly higher-ranked schools boost incomes by 10 to 40 percent more than BAs from lower-ranked schools and nearly double the rate of return on the tuition. Super-elite BAs generate still greater income boosts, more than doubling the gains produced by an average BA, and the top incomes from super-elite schools more than triple the incomes of the top earners with average BAs. (The highest-paid 10 percent of Harvard graduates average salaries of $250,000 just six years after graduation.) A recent broader survey reports—incredibly—that nearly 50 percent of America’s corporate leaders, 60 percent of its financial leaders, and 50 percent of its highest government officials attended only twelve universities.
Daniel Markovits (The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite)
Christian hostility to the Jews provided a crucial launch-pad for modern antisemitism, not least because it often harboured a strong element of racial prejudice itself and was subsumed into racial antisemitism in a variety of ways. But by the late nineteenth century it was becoming increasingly out of date, at least in its purest, most traditional form, particularly as the Jews were ceasing to be an easily identifiable religious minority and were beginning to convert and marry into Christian society at an increasing pace. Searching for a scapegoat for their economic difficulties in the 1870s, lower-middle-class demagogues and scribblers turned to the Jews, not as a religious but a racial minority, and began to advocate not the total assimilation of Jews into German society, but their total exclusion from it.58 The
Richard J. Evans (The Coming of the Third Reich)
In response to this budget squeeze and rising education costs, middle class families have been having fewer children. Reducing the number of offspring alleviates education costs and preserves children’s opportunities to excel. From this perspective it is worth noting that there has been a documented correlation between lower natality and increasing protest votes.
Jean-Michel Paul (The Economics of Discontent: From Failing Elites to The Rise of Populism)
Bayard Rustin wrote one of the most perceptive takes on this situation back in 1971—so perceptive that it might have been written in 1980, or 2000, or yesterday: The potential for a Republican majority depends upon Nixon’s success in attracting into the conservative fold lower-middle-class whites, the same group that the [liberal] New Politics has written off. The question is not whether this group is conservative or liberal; for it is both, and how it acts will depend upon the way the issues are defined. If they are defined as race and dissent, then Nixon will win. But if, on the other hand, they are defined so as to appeal to the progressive economic interests of the lower middle class, then it becomes possible to build an alliance on the basis of common interest between this group and the black community.4
Thomas Frank (The People, No: The War on Populism and the Fight for Democracy)
The fact that depriving prisoners of the opportunity to acquire an education increases the rates of crime and violence in our society, and that there is no reason a society as wealthy as ours cannot afford to provide free higher education for everyone, are points that tend to get lost in discussions of this issue. But there are two even bigger points that also tend to get lost, so I will emphasize them here. The first is that it is in the interests of the extremely wealthy upper class for the government to pursue policies whose effect is to raise the rates of crime and violence in our society. It is in their economic interest to increase the gap between rich and the poor to the highest level possible because they are the rich, and the greater the gap, the more they get. But the larger that gap becomes, the higher the rate of crime and violence. There is a clear conflict of interest between their economic interest in becoming wealthier, and the public's interest in preventing violence. There is also a political dimension: namely, how to persuade the public to vote for politicians who will write the laws that keep diverting more money into the hands of the upper class and out of the hands of the middle and lower classes. A high rate of crime and violence pits the middle class against the lower class. Most of the categories of violence that the laws define as criminal are committed by lower-class people, and this makes the middle classes angry at the poor and afraid of them. But it also divides the lower class against itself — most poor people do not commit violent crimes, but most of the victims of violent crime are poor. The higher the rates of crime and violence, then, the more the middle and lower classes are distracted from noticing that they are in most danger of being robbed by the very wealthy and their political agents. As the old saying goes, the poor man robs you with a gun, the rich man with a pen. In this analysis, I am not assuming that there are many individual members of any class who are consciously aware of the role they are playing in this conflict. Some are, and of those, some work consciously to support this system, and some work consciously to oppose it. But the beauty of the system, from the standpoint of the rich, is that the vast majority of people whose lives are affected by it, whether for good or for ill, do not have to understand the system or consciously support it in order for it to work. The socio-economic and criminal justice systems do that job for them.
James Gilligan (Preventing Violence)
To acknowledge that the lives of the lower and middle classes of developed countries have improved in recent decades is not to deny the formidable problems facing 21st-century economies.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
Christopher Lasch, who was Hofstadter’s protégé at Columbia, believed Hofstadter’s contempt for Populism in fact betrayed his cohort’s “cultural prejudices” against the lower middle class.
Thomas Frank (The People, No: The War on Populism and the Fight for Democracy)
A great deal of original research, much of it conducted by Western-trained Saudi sociologists, went into finding out who joined al-Qaeda and what motivated them. The results, gathered from scores of interviews, made interesting reading. These Saudi terrorists were, for the most part, urban high-school graduates in their twenties from lower middle-class backgrounds. Most were unmarried and had jobs with steady, but modest, incomes. Most had been to Afghanistan or had relatives who had been on jihad abroad. They were motivated not by oppression at home but largely by events outside of Saudi Arabia, and what the sociologists called “humiliation rage.” Fueled by religious zeal, this boiled down to a three-part agenda: defend foreign Muslims who were being abused by non-Muslims; get the foreigners and their non-Islamic values out of Saudi Arabia; and overthrow the Al Saud, who were clearly aligned with the non-Muslim foreigners.
David Rundell (Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads)
It is very important to note, however, that the only segment of the population from whom changing our social and economic conditions in the ways that prevent violence would exact a higher cost would be the extremely wealthy upper, or ruling, class — the wealthiest one per cent of the population (which in the United States today controls some 39 per cent of the total wealth of the nation, and 48 per cent of the financial wealth, as shown by Wolff in Top Heavy (1996). The other 99 per cent of the population — namely, the middle class and the lower class — would benefit, not only form decreased rates of violence (which primarily victimize the very poor), but also from a more equitable distribution of the collective wealth and income of our unprecedentedly wealthy societies. Even on a worldwide scale, it would require a remarkably small sacrifice from the wealthiest individuals and nations to raise everyone on earth, including the populations of the poorest nations, above the subsistence level, as the United Nations Human Development Report 1998, has shown. I emphasize the wealthiest individuals as well as nations because, as the U.N. report documents, a tiny number of the wealthiest individuals actually possess wealth on a scale that is larger than the annual income of most of the nations of the earth. For example, the three richest individuals on earth have assets that exceed the combined Gross Domestic Product of the fortyeight poorest countries! The assets of the 84 richest individuals exceed the Gross Domestic Product of the most populous nation on earth, China, with 1.2 billion inhabitants. The 225 richest individuals have a combined wealth of over $1 trillion, which is equal to the annual income of the poorest 47 per cent of the world's population, or 2.5 billion people. By comparison, it is estimated that the additional cost of achieving and maintaining universal access to basic education for all, basic health care for all, reproductive health care for all women, adequate food for all and safe water and sanitation for all is roughly $40 billion a year. This is less than 4 per cent of the combined wealth of the 225 richest people in the world. It has been shown throughout the world, both internationally and intranationally, that reducing economic inequities not only improves physical health and reduces the rate of death from natural causes far more effectively than doctors, medicines, and hospitals; it also decreases the rate of death from both criminal and political violence far more effectively than any system of police forces, prisons, or military interventions ever invented.
James Gilligan (Preventing Violence)
Western countries are rarely in budget surplus and thus end up building debt over the cycle.The increase of the debt-to-GDP ratio is a fundamentally negative development for the lower and middle classes. The debt acts as a transfer of wealth from average taxpayers to the better off. The mechanism of this wealth transfer is relatively simple, as the interest paid to finance payment to the bond holders is funded by the general budget. Thus, bondholders, by definition people with savings, receive payments financed by the tax collected from the general population. Effectively, the debt sucks in a percentage of income revenues and spits it back out to wealthy savers in the form of interest payments.
Jean-Michel Paul (The Economics of Discontent: From Failing Elites to The Rise of Populism)
As we enter the new millennium, perhaps it is worth reflecting on the fact that this could be a turning-point in the evolution of civilization, for our technologies have evolved to the point where there is no longer a need for an underclass of slaves, serfs, and wage-slaves. This division of society into a hierarchical order of upper and lower social classes did not exist until civilization was invented. The low level of technological development made this necessary to allow a class of specialists (mathematicians, inventors, poets, scientists, philosophers) the leisure for the creative work that is a prerequisite for the creation, maintenance, and further development of civilization. But slaves and underclasses are no longer needed in order to free up enough leisure time and energy for the elite to do work that is creative rather than alienated. Therefore we no longer need social classes and their concomitant, relative poverty and economic inequality, and their concomitant, violence. If we permit ourselves — and by ourselves I mean all of us, all human beings — to enjoy the fruits of the creative labor that has preceded us, we could create a society that would no longer need violence as the only means of rescuing self-esteem. Implicit in this argument is the idea that money is neither a necessary incentive for creative work, nor the main incentive. The play that infants and children engage in is clearly an inborn, inherent trait of human beings. Play has been called the work that children do, the mans by which they acquire the skills and knowledge that enable them to develop and mature into adults. Play has also been described, when applied to adults, as simply another name for work that one enjoys. We could use the word to refer to unalienated labor, creative work, work that is an end in itself. I believe that the wish and the need to engage in this creative work/play is only conditioned out of human beings by the alienating conditions to which the underclass and even the middle class in our society are subjected.
James Gilligan (Preventing Violence)
Working-class and lower-middle-class people across the developed world have lost confidence in their ability to achieve the life that their parents enjoyed during the heyday of the postwar boom.
Moisés Naím (The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century)
The deepest cause which made the French Revolution so disastrous to liberty was its theory of equality. Liberty was the watchword of the middle class, equality of the lower.
Anonymous
But it is America that has taken FWPs to a whole new level. It is only when such great material wealth combines with stunning spiritual poverty, reaching not only the upper classes but across once-aspirational middle and now even lower classes, that the true obnoxiousness of the FWP is evident. The art of the whine has never been more perfected.
George Takei (Lions and Tigers and Bears - The Internet Strikes Back (Life, the Internet and Everything Book 2))
Whereas in 1800 at least 90 per cent of Egyptians were poor peasants, by 1900 more than 25 per cent of the population of 10 million lived in Cairo, Alexandria and the Delta's main cities, and could be counted as lower middle class or working class.11 The economy was by and large in the hands of the royal family, its Turkish-Albanian-European entourage and the thousands of foreigners who had settled in Egypt from the mid- and late-nineteenth century; yet Egyptians, and especially the increasingly influential landowners, were rapidly climbing the political and socio-economic ladder.
Tarek Osman (Egypt on the Brink: From the Rise of Nasser to the Fall of Mubarak)
the expansionist Wahhabi project found fertile ground in Egypt. Three indigenous factors contributed to its favourable reception. First, between 1974 and 1985, more than 3 million Egyptians migrated to the Gulf, with the majority settling in Saudi Arabia. Most of them hailed from Egypt's lower (and lower middle) classes, and had had limited exposure to Egypt's old glamour. In part as a result, they quickly absorbed the cultures of their new home; and more slowly, the dominant social and cultural milieu of the Gulf's most austere centre found its way to Egypt's Delta and Saeedi villages, and later to the heart of Cairo and Alexandria.
Tarek Osman (Egypt on the Brink: From the Rise of Nasser to the Fall of Mubarak)
economic situation in the 1970s and 1980s also supported the rise of the religious movement. Open economic policies that Sadat introduced in the mid-1970s (al-infitah) put enormous pressures on Egypt's middle class, which witnessed a significant erosion in its purchasing power and its relative standing in society (especially with the rise of segments of the country's lower classes that had significantly benefited from the economic consequences of the migration to the Gulf); the result was a damaging reshuffling in its composition (discussed in Chapter 4). These pressures in turn provided an opportunity for the Muslim Brotherhood to re-establish its presence in Egyptian society.
Tarek Osman (Egypt on the Brink: From the Rise of Nasser to the Fall of Mubarak)
Indeed, beneath the accusation of ‘moral panic’ that has been flung at feminism since the 1970s, lurks the accusation that feminists lack a sense of humour and are unable to appreciate the subtle inter-textual irony that is meant to pervade postmodern consumer culture and which all consumers and readers (no matter how young) are assumed to be hip to. Everyone, it seems, is in on the joke except for feminists, and the joke, as they say, is on them. Yet, the real irony is that a postmodern reading that would, predictably, claim Benny Hill rape jokes as subversive deconstructions of post-war white British lower-middle-class heterosexual masculinity, and perhaps re-signify the whole thing in a display of self-consciously elitist textual performances bloated with gate-keeping postmodern jargon, remains obedient to the old ruling bourgeois disgust with compassion.
Abigail Bray (Misogyny Re-Loaded)
We are not averages and statistics. We are not the upper, middle, or lower class. We are not citizens, or constituents, or the governed. We are not megaplex Christmas shoppers. We are human.
Johnny B. Truant (You Are Dying, and Your World Is a Lie)
Sometimes I feel like I have the spines of a hedgehog. They are a spiky barrier I just can’t retract. I thought I’d managed to lower them a little over the last few months, or at least to thin them out. But then, this week, there they were again: abrupt, prickly, impenetrable. I’ve had a weird, frustrated, angry week. Nothing in particular has happened, but it’s hot, I’m insanely busy at work and not everyone’s being co-operative. But more than that, I feel as though my body’s drawn in on itself. Everything feels and smells wrong. Quite often, just the sound of the radio has been too much for me. If Herbert has tried to talk to me at the same time that it’s on, I’ve barked at him. I can’t bear to be touched. I feel like my skin is too thin. Twice this week I’ve rushed out of bed in the middle of the night, convinced I’ve felt a glut of blood surge out over my legs. Twice I’ve realised I was only dreaming. The mind is slow to catch up with the body. Mine, it seems, is fearfully protective of it. I’m a meditator, and I know that these phases are necessary. Meditation is like the slow action of water on rock. Gradually, it wears through layers and layers of sediment, and every now and then something unknown is exposed to the light, a deposit of ancient bones. These too are eased away in time, but they must be revealed to be soothed away. Over the years, I’ve learned how my body holds an imprint of my fears, a physical defence against them that over the years becomes an immovable ache. This morning, for example, I went to yoga class, only the second one since my gynaecological problems made me give up. Once, I could fold myself in half like a deck-chair, not because of my yogi prowess, but because I had double-jointed hips. Today, I was shocked to discover that I couldn’t bend at all, that my pelvic girdle had tightened itself into a rigid knot. Once I’d got over the flush of humiliation (a seventy-year-old woman was performing a perfect forward bend next to me), I saw just how much I’ve been imagining my body as a fragile thing in need of protection. I have been curled inwards like that hedgehog, and even the parts of my body that I can’t command have joined in. But even realising this, what do I do with the information? It is one thing to understand that my body has rolled up to protect itself, but how can I make it unfurl?
Betty Herbert (The 52 Seductions)
Unlike those corporations that focused on building a particular brand (e.g. Coca-Cola or Marlboro), or companies that created a wholly new sector by means of some invention (e.g. Edison with the light bulb, Microsoft with its Windows software, Sony with the Walkman, or Apple with the iPod/iPhone/iTunes package), Walmart did something no one had ever thought of before: it packaged a new ideology of cheapness into a brand that was meant to appeal to the financially stressed American working and lower-middle classes.
Yanis Varoufakis (The Global Minotaur)
Ironically, some of the same critics who said we were hurting savers also said that our policies were making rich people richer. (Since rich people save more than everyone else, apparently we were both hurting and helping these folks.) The critics based their argument on the fact that lower interest rates tend to raise prices for assets such as stocks and houses. Wealthy people own more stocks and real estate than the nonwealthy. However, this argument misses the fact that lower interest rates also reduce the returns that the wealthy earn on their assets. The better way to look at the distributional effect of monetary policy is to compare changes in the income flowing from capital investments with the income from labor. As it turns out, easier monetary policy tends to affect capital and labor incomes fairly similarly. Most importantly in a weak economy, it promotes job creation, which especially helps the middle class.
Ben S. Bernanke (The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath)
Often we think of prices rising, but the more accurate way of looking at it is a depreciation of the currency. It is not so much that milk has become more expensive, but our rupees have become less valuable because there are more of them now. The other symptom of inflation, one which does not make itself immediately apparent, is that it is a form of theft from the poor and the middle class. Inflation is great for the rich because they can afford to get out of cash into tangible assets as a matter of habit, but for the middle class, and especially the lower middle class, value is being stolen right out of their pockets on a daily basis.
Sharath Komarraju (Money Wise: The Aam Aadmi's Guide to Wealth and Financial Freedom)
In 2005, when Congress still depended on Communist votes for a majority in Parliament, a National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) was passed, assuring any household in the countryside a hundred days labour a year at the legal minimum wage on public works, with at least a third of these jobs for women. It is work for pay, rather than a direct cash transfer scheme as in Brazil, to minimize the danger of money going to those who are not actually the poor, and so ensure it reaches only those willing to do the work. Denounced by all right-thinking opinion as debilitating charity behind a façade of make-work, it was greeted by the middle-class like ‘a wet dog at a glamorous party’, in the words of one of its architects, the Belgian-Indian economist Jean Drèze. Unlike the Bolsa Família in Brazil, the application of NREGA was left to state governments rather than the centre, so its impact has been very uneven and incomplete, wages often paid lower than the legal minimum, for days many fewer than a hundred.75 Works performed are not always durable, and as with all other social programmes in India, funds are liable to local malversation. But in scale NREGA now represents the largest entitlement programme in the world, reaching some 40 million rural households, a quarter of the total in the country. Over half of these dalit or adivasi, and 48 per cent of its beneficiaries are women – double their share of casual labour in the private sector. Such is the demand for employment by NREGA in the countryside that it far outruns supply. A National Survey Sample for 2009–2010 has revealed that 45 per cent of all rural households wanted the work it offers, of whom only 56 per cent got it.76 What NREGA has started to do, in the formulation Drèze has taken from Ambedkar, is break the dictatorship of the private employer in the countryside, helping by its example to raise wages even of non-recipients. Since inception, its annual cost has risen from $2.5 to over $8 billion, a token of its popularity. This remains less than 1 per cent of GDP, and the great majority of rural labourers in the private sector are still not paid the minimum wage due them. Conceived outside the party system, and accepted by Congress only when it had little expectation of winning the elections of 2004, the Act eventually had such popular demand behind it that the Lok Sabha adopted it nem con. Three years later, with typical dishonesty, the Manmohan regime renamed it as ‘Gandhian’ to fool the masses that Congress inspired it.
Perry Anderson (The Indian Ideology)
Not surprisingly, when Barbie achieved superstar status, her houses became more ostentatious. Yet even Barbie's three-story town house, with its Tara-like pillars and ersatz wrought-iron birdcage elevator, is an outsider's interpretation of upper-class life. Authentic valuables are to Barbie's possessions what a pungent slab of gorgonzola is to "cheese food"; her furniture and artwork would not look out of place in a Ramada Inn. For all her implicit disposable income, her tastes remain doggedly middle- to lower-middle-class. As pictured in the catalogue, the town house also reflects Dynasty thinking. Both Ken and Barbie are absurdly overdressed—he in a parodic "tuxedo," she in a flouncy confection that barely fits into the elevator.
M.G. Lord (Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll)
When they weren’t running meat—or rum—they worked as salt miners or piloted small boats along the coast. These highland Saint-Dominguans, along with more recent white immigrants, also from the middle and lower classes, were worlds removed from the sugar kings, businessmen,
Tom Reiss (The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo)
There are two sides to every coin. If you want to experience real emotion, you get the gamut. If you experience a level 8 emotion in one area, you get access to all emotions at level 8. And if you seek out a negative experience at level 8, you master it. Fear doesn’t blindside you because you went after it. Pain doesn’t overwhelm you because you went into it willingly, step by step. If you wanted to back off, you could have. Whatever level of discomfort you reach, you reach deliberately. You’ve met the negative head-on, on your own terms. You own it, and you’ll own it forever. And your world gets bigger. Your spectrum of experiences broadens in all directions — positive and negative. We don’t grow in a line. We grow in a sphere. If you master X, you get access to Y. That’s how it works. We seek out edges so that we can reconnect with who we really are. We are not averages and statistics. We are not the upper, middle, or lower class. We are not citizens, or constituents, or
Johnny B. Truant (You Are Dying, and Your World Is a Lie)
Elm Street was the dividing line between the two worlds. On either side of this line there were families who had trouble making both ends meet, but those who lived below the intersection didn't bother to conceal it.
William Maxwell (All the Days and Nights: The Collected Stories)
Let's face the reality that if OJ Simpson had been poor or even lower-middle-class there would have been no media attention. Justice was never a central issue. Our nation's tabloid passion to know about the lives of the rich made class a starting point.
bell hooks (Where We Stand: Class Matters)
I’ll serve first, shall I?” Caroline called across the net as she plucked a ball out of her pocket, stepped up to the line, and tossed it into the air, leaving Millie, who was supposed to be the recipient of the serve, barely any time to get ready. All the breath seemed to leave him as the ball traveled rather slowly over the net. But then Millie drew back her racquet and . . . slammed the ball back Caroline’s way, the force of her swing completely unexpected given her small size. Before Caroline even moved, the ball shot past her. “Was that out?” Caroline demanded, swinging around. “It was in,” called a lady from the stands. Caroline spun to face Millie as Nora flashed a cheeky grin. “Love-fifteen,” Nora called. “I know how to keep score,” Caroline snapped back. Unfortunately, the game did not get better for Caroline after that. Millie had obviously not been exaggerating when she’d claimed she’d played tennis before, but it was clear that she hadn’t been playing with young boys. She was all over the court, hitting anything Caroline or Gertrude managed to get over the net, while Nora simply strolled back and forth, swinging her racquet, and at one point, whistling a jaunty tune. When it was Millie’s turn to serve, matters turned downright concerning. Gertrude was the first to try and return Millie’s serve, but when the ball came rushing at her, she screamed, dropped her racquet, and ran the other way, earning a screech from Caroline until she seemed to recall that her turn was next. “Give her a fast one, Miss Longfellow,” Thaddeus called. Millie lowered her racquet to send Thaddeus another wave. “Miss Longfellow, we are in the middle of a match here,” Caroline yelled across the net. “Forgive me, Miss Dixon. You’re quite right.” As if the world had suddenly slowed down, Everett watched as Millie threw the ball up, and then the racquet connected squarely with it, the thud of the connection reaching his ears. It began to move, and then the world sped up as the ball hurled at Caroline, and . . . smacked her right in the middle of the forehead, the impact knocking Caroline off her feet. Her skirt fluttered up, showing a bit of leg. Millie immediately began running across the court. Darting around the net, she raced to Caroline’s side, and yanked Caroline’s skirt back over her legs. Before Everett had a chance to see what Millie would do next, Abigail was tugging on his arm, and he realized he needed to act . . . the sooner the better. By the time he got to Caroline, made certain she wasn’t seriously hurt, and on her feet, he knew he had to get Millie as far away as possible from her. Caroline was shaking with rage and muttering threats under her breath. Telling Caroline he’d be right back, he nodded to Millie, who was still trying to apologize to Caroline, even though Caroline was not acknowledging the apologies and was resolutely looking the opposite way from Millie. “I really am so very, very sorry,” Millie said one last time before Abigail suddenly appeared right by her side and the crowd that had gathered around them fell silent. “Good heavens, Millie, it’s not as if you hit Miss Dixon on purpose—something Caroline knows all too well.” Abigail leveled a cool look on Caroline. “Why, your forehead is just a little pink. Granted the pink is perfectly circular, but . . . I’m sure it’ll fade soon, so no harm done.” Abigail
Jen Turano (In Good Company (A Class of Their Own Book #2))
In the 1950s Detroit was undergoing changes in the city and factories with enormous political consequences. When I arrived in Detroit the city had just begun Urban Renewal (which blacks renamed “Negro Removal”) in the area near downtown where most blacks were concentrated. Hastings Street and John R, the two main thoroughfares that were the hub of the commerce and nightlife of the black community, were still alive with pedestrians. Large sections of the inner city, however, were being bulldozed to build the Ford Freeway crisscrossing the city from east to west, the Lodge Freeway bisecting the city from north to south, and the Fisher and Chrysler Freeways coming from Toledo and proceeding all the way north to the Upper Peninsula. These freeways were built to make it easy to live in the suburbs and work in the city and at the same time to expand the car market. So in 1957 whites began pouring out of the city by the tens of thousands until by the end of the decade one out of every four whites who had lived in the city had left. Their exodus left behind thousands of houses and apartments for sale and rental to blacks who had formerly been confined inside Grand Boulevard, a horseshoe-shaped avenue delimiting the inner city, many of whom had been uprooted by Negro Removal. Blacks who had been living on the East Side, among them Annie Boggs, began buying homes on the West Side and the North End. The black community was not only expanding but losing the cohesiveness it had enjoyed (or endured) when it was jammed together on the Lower East Side. New neighbors no longer served as extended family to the young people growing up in the new black neighborhoods. Small businesses owned by blacks and depending on black customers went bankrupt, eliminating an entrepreneurial middle class that had played a key role in stabilizing the community. By the end of the 1950s one-fourth of the buildings inside the Boulevard stood vacant. At the same time all Americans, regardless of race, creed, or national origin, were being seduced by the consumerism being fostered by large corporations so that they could sell the abundance of goods coming off the American assembly lines. All around us in the black community parents were determined to give their children “the things I didn’t have.
Grace Lee Boggs (Living for Change: An Autobiography)
when it comes to money, high emotions tend to lower financial intelligence.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!)
Many teachers felt that no matter how creative they were in the classroom, it wouldn’t make a difference anyway. They talked about a devastating erosion in standards, how the students of today bore no resemblance to the students of even ten or fifteen years ago, how their preoccupations were with anything but school. It was hard for teachers not to feel depressed by the lack of rudimentary knowledge, like in the history class in which students were asked to name the president after John F. Kennedy. Several students meekly raised their hands and proffered the name of Harry Truman. None gave the correct answer of Lyndon Johnson, who also happened to have been a native Texan. In 1975, the average SAT score on the combined math and verbal sections at Permian was 963. For the senior class of 1988–89, the average combined SAT score was 85 points lower, 878. During the seventies, it had been normal for Permian to have seven seniors qualify as National Merit semi-finalists. In the 1988–89 school year the number dropped to one, which the superintendent of schools, Hugh Hayes, acknowledged was inexcusable for a school the size of Permian with a student body that was rooted in the middle class. (A year later, with the help of $15,000 in consultant’s fees to identify those who might pass the required test, the number went up to five.)
H.G. Bissinger (Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream)
Rye growers face another challenge: the grain is vulnerable to a fungus called ergot (Claviceps purpurea). The spores attack open flowers, pretending to be a grain of pollen, which gives them access to the ovary. Once inside, the fungus takes the place of the embryonic grain along the stalk, sometimes looking so much like grain that it is difficult to spot an infected plant. Until the late nineteenth century, botanists thought the odd dark growths were part of the normal appearance of rye. Although the fungus does not kill the plant, it is toxic to people: it contains a precursor to LSD that survives the process of being brewed into beer or baked into bread. While a psychoactive beer might sound appealing, the reality was quite horrible. Ergot poisoning causes miscarriage, seizures, and psychosis, and it can be deadly. In the Middle Ages, outbreaks called St. Anthony’s fire or dancing mania made entire villages go crazy at once. Because rye was a peasant grain, outbreaks of the illness were more common among the lower class, fueling revolutions and peasant uprisings. Some historians have speculated that the Salem witch trials came about because girls poisoned by ergot had seizures that led townspeople to conclude that they’d been bewitched. Fortunately, it’s easy to treat rye for ergot infestation: a rinse in a salt solution kills the fungus.
Amy Stewart (The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World's Great Drinks)
When you take care of an employee's body you take care of his mind. When you take care of an employee's mind you take care of his heart. When you take care of an employee's heart you take care of his soul. When you take care of an employee's soul you take care of his life. When you take care of the lower class you take care of the working class. When you take care of the working class you take care of the middle class. When you take care of the middle class you take care of the upper class. When you take care of the upper class you take care of all the classes. When you take care of employees you take care of capital. When you take care of capital you take care of companies. When you take care of companies you take care of economies. When you take care of economies you take care of young people. When you take care of children you take care of families. When you take care of families you take care of neighborhoods. When you take care of neighborhoods you take care of communities. When you take care of communities you take care of nations.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Arendt described how, in the 1930s, groups of dispossessed people from the lower, middle, and upper classes all began to aspire to the cruel-minded values of a certain type of businessman who, like Trump today, was “flattered at being called a power-thirsty animal.”11
Dale Beran (It Came from Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump into Office)
To cement the unity of the nation, Romania did what many new nations do (and go on doing): she expanded the public sector, thus creating jobs for the scions of the ‘native’ middle classes and of the lower nobility. The result was an elephantine bureaucracy, open to corruption and bribery,
Donald Sassoon (The Anxious Triumph: A Global History of Capitalism, 1860-1914)
Finally, in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour, the process of dissolution going on within the ruling class, in fact within the whole range of old society, assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands. Just as, therefore, at an earlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie, so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole. Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie to-day, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of modern industry; the proletariat is its special and essential product. The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay, more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If by chance they are revolutionary, they are so only in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat; they thus defend not their present, but their future interests, they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat. The "dangerous class," the social scum, that passively rotting class thrown off by the lowest layers of old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue. In the conditions of the proletariat, those of old society at large are already virtually swamped. The proletarian is without property; his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family relations; modern industrial labor, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
First, Trump voters mostly were not the downtrodden lower-middle class workers Jones imagines. As we established in Chapter 2, the majority (60%) of Trump voters were Republicans making over $50,000.
Scott McMurrey (Asshole Nation: Trump and the Rise of Scum America)
Retirement as a goal or final redemption is flawed for at least three solid reasons: a. It is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you are doing during the most physically capable years of your life. This is a nonstarter—nothing can justify that sacrifice. b. Most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living. Even one million is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 30 years and inflation lowers your purchasing power 2–4% per year. The math doesn’t work.3 The golden years become lower-middle-class life revisited. That’s a bittersweet ending. c. If the math does work, it means that you are one ambitious, hardworking machine. If that’s the case, guess what? One week into retirement, you’ll be so damn bored that you’ll want to stick bicycle spokes in your eyes. You’ll probably opt to look for a new job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting, doesn’t it?
Timothy Ferriss (The 4 Hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated: Expanded And Updated, With Over 100 New Pages Of Cutting Edge Content)
The cultured court singer of heroic lays disappears along with the heroic spirit of his public, but heroic poetry survives the heroic age and is more long-lived than the society to which it owes its origin. After the decline of the military aristocratic culture, it turns from an exclusive class interest into a universal art. The fact that this declension was so easily brought about, and that the same kind of poetry could be understood and enjoyed by the upper and lower classes almost simultaneously, can only be explained by assuming that the difference in cultural standards between the rulers and the ruled cannot have been anything like so great as in later ages. It is true that from the very beginning the rulers lived in a different sphere from the people, but they were not yet so conscious of the gulf that divided them from the lower classes.
Arnold Hauser (The Social History of Art, Volume 1: From Prehistoric Times to the Middle Ages)
Now, who and what is this minstrel in reality? Where does he come from? In what respects does he differ from his predecessors? He has been described as a cross between the early medieval court-singer and the ancient mime of classical times. The mime had never ceased to flourish since the days of classical antiquity; when even the last traces of classical culture disappeared, the descendants of the old mimes still continued to travel about the Empire, entertaining the masses with their unpretentious, unsophisticated and unliterary art. The Germanic countries were flooded out with mimes in the early Middle Ages; but until the ninth century the poets and singers at the courts kept themselves strictly apart from them. Not until they lost their cultured audience, as a result of the Carolingian Renaissance and the clericalism of the following generation, and came up against the competition of the mimes in the lower classes, did they have, to a certain extent, to become mimes themselves in order to be able to compete with their rivals. Thus both singers and comedians now move in the same circles, intermingle and influence each other so much that they soon become indistinguishable from one another. The mime and the scop both become the minstrel. The most striking characteristic of the minstrel is his versatility. The place of the cultured, highly specialized heroic ballad poet is now taken by the Jack of all trades, who is no longer merely a poet and singer, but also a musician and dancer, dramatist and actor, clown and acrobat, juggler and bear-leader, in a word, the universal jester and maître de plaisir of the age. Specialization, distinction and solemn dignity are now finished with; the court poet has become everybody’s fool and his social degradation has such a revolutionary and shattering effect on himself that he never entirely recovers from the shock. From now on he is one of the déclassés, in the same class as tramps and prostitutes, runaway clerics and sent-down students, charlatans and beggars. He has been called the ‘journalist of the age’, but he really goes in for entertainment of every kind: the dancing song as well as the satirical song, the fairy story as well as the mime, the legend of saints as well as the heroic epic. In this context, however, the epic takes on quite new features: it acquires in places a more pointed character with a new straining after effect, which was absolutely foreign to the spirit of the old heroic ballad. The minstrel no longer strikes the gloomy, solemn, tragi-heroic note of the ‘Hildebrandslied’, for he wants to make even the epic sound entertaining; he tries to provide sensations, effective climaxes and lively epigrams. Compared with the monuments of the older heroic poetry, the ‘Chanson de Roland’ never fails to reveal this popular minstrel taste for the piquant.
Arnold Hauser (The Social History of Art, Volume 1: From Prehistoric Times to the Middle Ages)
Books devoted to France and its various regions became increasingly popular toward the later part of the July Monarchy. This growing preoccupation with France itself—perhaps best exemplified in the novels of George Sand—was a complex phenomenon, related at once to romantic nationalism, to improving communications within France, and to the retreat, after the 1830 revolution, of the legitimist nobility to their country estates, which contributed to making the countryside fashionable. Though by no means a new genre—they had been widely published since the middle of the eighteenth century—the travelogues had a wider audience than ever before during the July Monarchy because, like novels, they often appeared initially as installments in newspapers, to be published only later in book form. Thus, they were read by a broad segment of the public. Indeed, from upper to lower middle class, the French during the July Monarchy were a nation of enthusiastic armchair travelers.
Petra ten-Doesschate Chu (The Art of the July Monarchy: France, 1830 to 1848)
It is perhaps not superfluous to point out here that throughout the 1830s and 1840s travel was still for the most part an activity for the rich or the adventurous. Most transportation on the European continent was by ship or mail coach, and it was time-consuming, expensive, and uncomfortable. Not until the emergence of the train did travel become an activity for the middle and lower middle class. Yet the railroads were still in their infancy under the July Monarchy. The first passenger railway was not built until 1837, and by 1840 only 433 kilometers of rail had been laid down. Then railroad building picked up speed; by 1848, 1,592 kilometers of rail lines were in use while 2,144 more were under construction. The railroads were to encourage yet a new kind of travel publication, the railroad guide or itinerary, which described and illustrated (in wood engravings or lithographs) the major sights along a particular line. However, this new type of publication, though it originated during the July Monarchy, did not become widespread until the Second Empire.
Petra ten-Doesschate Chu (The Art of the July Monarchy: France, 1830 to 1848)
It was the new politics of ambiguity—speaking for the lower and middle classes to get their support in times of rapid growth and potential turmoil. The two-party system came into its own in this time. To give people a choice between two different parties and allow them, in a period of rebellion, to choose the slightly more democratic one was an ingenious mode of control. Like so much in the American system, it was not devilishly contrived by some master plotters; it developed naturally out of the needs of the situation.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Term definitions: 401(k): A U.S. retirement plan developed by the ERISA Act of 1974 when companies realized they could not provide for retirees’ health care. ASSET: Something that puts money “in your pocket” with minimum labor. BALANCE SHEET: The lower part of an income-statement diagram, so called because it’s supposed to balance assets against liabilities. CASH FLOW: Cash coming in (as income) and cash going out (as expenses). It is the direction of cash flow that determines whether something is income, expense, asset, or liability. Cash flow tells the story. FINANCIAL APTITUDE: What you do with the money once you make it, how to keep people from taking it from you, how to keep it longer, and how to make that money work hard for you. GOLDEN RULE: He who has the gold makes the rules.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!)
The discrimination does not only relate to the creed, caste, and colour, but that also describes the severe attitude if one respects higher class and humiliates the lower or middle class in any shape.
Ehsan Sehgal
Several features distinguished the most successful fascisms from previous parties. Unlike the middle-class parties led by “notables” who condescended to contact their publics only at election time, the fascist parties swept their members up into an intense fraternity of emotion and effort. Unlike the class parties—socialist or bourgeois—fascist parties managed to realize their claim to bring together citizens from all social classes. These were attractive features for many. Early fascist parties did not recruit from all classes in the same proportions, however. It was soon noticed that fascist parties were largely middle class, to the point where fascism was perceived as the very embodiment of lower-middle-class resentments. But, after all, all political parties are largely middle class. On closer inspection, fascism turned out to appeal to upper-class members and voters as well. Early fascism also won more working-class followers than used to be thought, though these were always proportionally fewer than their share in the population. The relative scarcity of working-class fascists was not due to some proletarian immunity to appeals of nationalism and ethnic cleansing. It is better explained by “immunization” and “confessionalism”: those already deeply engaged, from generation to generation, in the rich subculture of socialism, with its clubs, newspapers, unions, and rallies, were simply not available for another loyalty
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
Anthony was the tough handsome actor with the contrarian confidence, I was the shy insecure crazy one with the funky groove, and Hillel was the artist... We all came from broken homes and lower-middle-class backgrounds.
Flea (Acid for the Children)
The distinction between high and low culture depresses me, dividing all culture like Gaul into high, middle, and low. It’s a very comforting way to think about culture, so long as you think of yourself as highbrow. I think it speaks to, and speaks out of, anxiety about class, especially in the United States, as people from the lower classes begin to participate in the literary arts and intellectual life in an aggressive way. Then folks start claiming there is high, middle and low culture—so know your place, please, and stay there. I don’t think it would have made much sense to Whitman. Some of the distinctions between high and low culture wouldn’t make much sense to someone like John Brown of Harpers Ferry, for example, who thought that Milton and Jonathan Edwards were as available to him as penny broadsides.
Russel Banks
wealth and income. There are the rich, the middle class and the poor. Of course these distinctions can be broken down even further to that of the super rich and wealthy, the rich, the upper middle class, the lower middle class and the poor. But no matter how
Omar Johnson (What the Rich Know That You Don't: How The Rich Think Differently From The Middle Class And Poor When It Comes To Time, Money, Investing And Wealth Accumulation (The Secrets Of Getting Rich!))
Second, my research showed that, by the middle of the twentieth century, the Chilean judicial ranks were no longer filled with elites (as they had been in the nineteenth century). Analysis of the background information I collected in my interviews, such as father’s occupation, high school attended, and family landholdings, revealed that almost 80 percent of respondents came from lower-middle to middle-class backgrounds, whereas only a small minority were of upper-middle to upper-class extraction. Because entry-level judicial posts were very low paying and not very prestigious, the judicial career attracted those who desired a stable income and career, rather than those who had the social connections or financial cushion to pursue a (potentially less secure) future in private legal practice (Couso 2002: 177). Thus, most judges serving in the 1970s and 1980s did not come from social backgrounds that would necessarily incline them to support a conservative social and political agenda.[32]
Lisa Hilbink (Judges beyond Politics in Democracy and Dictatorship: Lessons from Chile (Cambridge Studies in Law and Society))
He means modern lower classes rise beyond the middle classes of old and modern middle classes rise beyond the upper classes of old.   The poor enjoy what the rich could not before afford. What were the luxuries have become the necessaries of life. The laborer has now more comforts than the landlord had a few generations ago. The farmer has more luxuries than the landlord had, and is more richly clad and better housed. The landlord has books and pictures rarer, and appointments more artistic, than the King could then obtain.
Mark David Ledbetter (America's Forgotten History, Part Three: A Progressive Empire)
Despite today’s notions of Atlantic City as a vacation spot for the wealthy, the resort could never have survived by catering to the upper class. It was the lower-middle and lower classes that were the lifeblood of Atlantic City. They comprised the great mass of visitors to the resort and the rates of most rooms were structured for them.
Nelson Johnson (Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City)
On average, when adjusted for inflation the pay of a typical male worker was lower in 2010 than in 1978.13 Only because so many women have entered the workplace have middle-class families in the United States maintained their incomes.
Ian F. Haney-López (Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class)
But virtually all aspects of underperformance—lower standardized test scores, lower college grades, lower graduation rates—persist among students from the African-American middle class. This situation forces on us an uncomfortable recognition: that beyond class, something racial is depressing the academic performance of these students.
Theresa Perry (Young, Gifted and Black: Promoting High Achievement among African-American Students)
Indeed, under the protocols of contemporary progressivism, in the abstract being loudly for equality means in the concrete having a lot more things than most anyone else. Modern liberalism has descended into the art of rich people blaming the lower middle class for not being generous enough with money they don’t have.
Anonymous
Let me tell you one story to illustrate what I mean. I remember a woman who was a spiritist, and even a medium, a paid medium employed by a spiritist society. She used to go every Sunday evening to a spiritist meeting and was paid three guineas for acting as a medium. Thi s was during the thirties, and that was quite a large sum of money for a lower middle-class woman. She was ill one Sunday and could not go to keep her appointment. She was sitting in her house and she saw people passing by on their way to the church where I happened to be ministering in South Wales. Something made her feel a desire to know what those people had, and so she decided to go to the service, and did 80. She came ever afterwards until she died, and became a very fine Christian. One day I asked her what she had felt on that first visit, and this is what she said to me; and this is the point I am illustrating. She said, 'The moment I entered your chapel and sat down on a seat amongst the people I was conscious of a power. I was conscious of the same sort of power as I was accustomed to in our spiritist meetings, but there was one big difference; I had a feeling that the power in your chapel was a clean power.' The point I am making is simply this, tha t she was aware of a power. Thi s is this mysterious element. I t is the presence of the Spirit in the heart of God's children, God's people, and an outsider becomes aware of this. Thi s is something you can never get if you jus t sit and read a book on your own. The Spirit can use a book, I know, but because of the very constitution of man' s na tur e -our gregarious character, and the way in which we lean on one another, and are helped by one another even uncons c ious ly- thi s is a most important factor. Tha t is so in a natural sense, but when the Spirit is present, it is still more so. I am not advocating a mob or a mass psychology which I regard as extremely dangerous, particularly when it is worked up. All I am contending for is tha t when you enter a church, a society, a company of God' s people, there is a factor which immediately comes into operation, which is reinforced still more by the preacher expounding the Word in the pulpit; and tha t is why preaching can never be replaced by either reading or by watching television or anyone of these other activities. 44
Anonymous
Bigotry is now correlated with education and class. The lower down the social and educational scale, the more people are sane and realistic and decent about the Middle East and the threat to the free world from radical Islam. But as soon as you get people who’ve been through higher education, you find that so often they’re the ones who are bigoted and irrational about such matters. They make truly ridiculous claims about Israel, such as its perpetration of apartheid or ethnic cleansing – claims which, to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the situation, are demonstrably ridiculous. So how can it be that the most educated are now the most irrational? The short answer is that among the progressive intelligentsia, evidence and truth have been supplanted by ideology – or the dogma of a particular idea.
Barry Shaw (ISRAEL - RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE)
Business people, on the other hand, are rewarded for having excess money and are applauded for their efficiency. As this cycle of growing government spending continued, the demand for money increased, and the “tax-the-rich” idea was adjusted to include lower-income levels, down to the very people who voted it in, the poor and the middle class.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!)
We cling to the comfort of a middle class, forgetting that there can't be a middle class without a lower.
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to shift a person’s motivation. In the short term, in fact, it can be surprisingly easy. Let’s stay in the candy aisle for a bit longer and consider a couple of experiments done decades ago involving IQ and M&M’s. In the first test, conducted in northern California in the late 1960s, a researcher named Calvin Edlund selected seventy-nine children between the ages of five and seven, all from “low-middle class and lower-class homes.” The children were randomly divided into an experimental group and a control group. First, they all took a standard version of the Stanford-Binet IQ test. Seven weeks later, they took a similar test, but this time the kids in the experimental group were given one M&M for each correct answer. On the first test, the two groups were evenly matched on IQ. On the second test, the IQ of the M&M group went up an average of twelve points—a huge leap.
Paul Tough (How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character)
Segregation is often lessened somewhat for poor urban whites who may live near and have friendships with people of color on the local level because white poverty brings white people into proximity with people of color in a way that suburban and middle-class life does not (except during gentrification, when the mixing is temporary). Urban whites from the lower classes may have more integrated lives on the micro level, but we still receive the message that achievement means moving away from the neighborhoods and schools that illuminate our poverty. Upward mobility is the great class goal in the United States, and the social environment gets tangibly whiter the higher up you climb. Whiter environments, in turn, are seen as the most desirable.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
In doing so, these conservative defenders are defining capitalism. They define capitalism as the freedom to exploit people into economic ruin; the freedom to assassinate unions; the freedom to prey on unprotected consumers, workers, and environments; the freedom to value quarterly profits over climate change; the freedom to undermine small businesses and cushion corporations; the freedom from competition; the freedom not to pay taxes; the freedom to heave the tax burden onto the middle and lower classes; the freedom to commodify everything and everyone; the freedom to keep poor people poor and middle-income people struggling to stay middle income, and make rich people richer.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
It has also been tempting to interpret fascism by its social composition. The sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset systematized in 1963 the widely held view that fascism is an expression of lower-middle-class resentments. In Lipset’s formulation, fascism is an “extremism of the center” based on the rage of once-independent shopkeepers, artisans, peasants, and other members of the “old” middle classes now squeezed between better organized industrial workers and big businessmen, and losing out in rapid social and economic change. Recent empirical research, however, casts doubt on the localization of fascist recruitment in any one social stratum. It shows the multiplicity of fascism’s social supports and its relative success in creating a composite movement that cut across all classes. His eyes glued on the early stages, Lipset also overlooked the establishment’s role in the fascist acquisition and exercise of power. The notorious instability of fascist membership further undermines any simple interpretation by social composition. Party rosters altered rapidly before power, as successive waves of heterogeneous malcontents responded to the parties’ changing fortunes and messages. After power, membership “bandwagoned” to include just about everyone who wanted to enjoy the fruits of fascist success—not to forget the problem of where to situate the many fascist recruits who were young, unemployed, socially uprooted, or otherwise “between classes.” No coherent social explanation of fascism can be constructed out of such fluctuating material.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
This was a period in which millions, as listeners and participants, helped create a popular music and counterculture that was not just ‘staffed’ and serviced by the creative efforts of the working class and lower middle class musicians, but actually shaped and defined by them in the interests of transforming the historical exclusions and icy and condescending hierarchies of bourgeois culture.” p.31 Red Days, 2020
John Roberts
.” They say wars to end poverty are “anticapitalist.” They say campaigns to remove the profit motive from essential life sectors like education, healthcare, utilities, mass media, and incarceration are “anticapitalist.” In doing so, these conservative defenders are defining capitalism. They define capitalism as the freedom to exploit people into economic ruin; the freedom to assassinate unions; the freedom to prey on unprotected consumers, workers, and environments; the freedom to value quarterly profits over climate change; the freedom to undermine small businesses and cushion corporations; the freedom from competition; the freedom not to pay taxes; the freedom to heave the tax burden onto the middle and lower classes; the freedom to commodify everything and everyone; the freedom to keep poor people poor and middle-income people struggling to stay middle income, and make rich people richer. The history of capitalism—of world warring, classing, slave trading, enslaving, colonizing, depressing wages, and dispossessing land and labor and resources and rights—bears out the conservative definition of capitalism.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
To solve the inability of middle-class renters to purchase single-family homes for the first time, Congress and President Roosevelt created the Federal Housing Administration in 1934. The FHA insured bank mortgages that covered 80 percent of purchase prices, had terms of twenty years, and were fully amortized. To be eligible for such insurance, the FHA insisted on doing its own appraisal of the property to make certain that the loan had a low risk of default. Because the FHA's appraisal standards included a whites-only requirement, racial segregation now became an official requirement of the federal mortgage insurance program. The FHA judged that properties would probably be too risky for insurance if they were in racially mixed neighborhoods or even in white neighborhoods near black ones that might possibly integrate in the future. When a bank applied to the FHA for insurance on a prospective loan, the agency conducted a property appraisal, which was also likely performed by a local real estate agent hired by the agency. as the volume of applications increased, the agency hired its own appraisers, usually from the ranks of the private real estate agents who had previously been working as contractors for the FHA. To guide their work, the FHA provided them with an Underwriting Manual. The first, issued in 1935, gave this instruction: 'If a neighborhood is to retain stability it is necessary that properties shall continue to be occupied by the same social and racial classes. A change in social or racial occupancy generally leads to instability and a reduction in values.' Appraisers were told to give higher ratings where '[p]rotection against some adverse influences is obtained,' and that '[i]mportant among adverse influences . . . are infiltration of inharmonious racial or nationality groups.' The manual concluded that '[a]ll mortgages on properties protected against [such] unfavorable influences, to the extent such protection is possible, will obtain a high rating.' The FHA discouraged banks from making any loans at all in urban neighborhoods rather than newly built suburbs; according to the Underwriting Manual, 'older properties . . . have a tendency to accelerate the rate of transition to lower class occupancy.' The FHA favored mortgages in areas where boulevards or highways served to separate African American families from whites, stating that '[n]atural or artificially established barriers will prove effective in protecting a neighborhood and the locations within it from adverse influences, . . . includ[ing] prevention of the infiltration of . . . lower class occupancy, and inharmonious racial groups.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
The middle class child says a rock is a stone; a lower class child says a rock is hard, and you throw it.
William Ryan (Blaming the Victim)
1848…..they returned to Cologne to begin a new working-class group there. By April it had eight thousand members. Almost immediately, Marx disagreed with its leader Gottschalk over tactics. Gottschalk preferred explosive rhetoric about worker’s rights and arming a people’s militia, communist notions that terrified the middle classes of Germany who were afraid the rights just won would be lost with a revolt by the more numerous lower classes. Marx, however, believed that although the pace of change was frustrating, historical development was slow, and before there could be proletariat rule, there had to be middle-class rule. In any case, a proletariat ‘class’ barely existed in Germany. The number of people who labored with their hands was great, but they were disorganized and did not as yet recognize their own strength. To support the ultimate goal of that group, Marx believed one had to work for middle-class democracy. Viewing upcoming elections as just such an opportunity, he encouraged participation to ensure by democratic candidates over reactionaries who would roll back on reforms. Marx further believed that any newspaper he and his associates published In Colgne had to be democratic not communist, because in Germany democracy was the ideology with the greater immediate potential. If they had chosen to produce an ultra-radical newspaper, Engels said, ‘there was nothing left for us to do but to preach communism in a little provincial sheet and to found a tiny sect instead of a great party of action.’ The pragmatic approach was not unlike the one Marx had taken during his tenure as editor…
Mary Gabriel (Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution)
he was the embodiment of political modernization (emphasizing innovation, venture capital, and a slick pro-business attitude, and so on); the new entrants into the expanding middle class saw him as the one most likely to uphold their vision of nationalism rooted in Hindu tradition; for the economically threatened upper castes, he was the rampart against the (largely imagined) growing influence of Muslims and lower castes. If members of these groups had met together and each had been asked to describe “their” Modi, their answers would probably have been largely unrecognizable to the others. But the networks in which these three groups operated were sufficiently separate that there was no need for internal consistency.
Abhijit V. Banerjee (Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems)
I keep using the term “anticapitalist” as opposed to socialist or communist to include the people who publicly or privately question or loathe capitalism but do not identify as socialist or communist. I use “anticapitalist” because conservative defenders of capitalism regularly say their liberal and socialist opponents are against capitalism. They say efforts to provide a safety net for all people are “anticapitalist.” They say attempts to prevent monopolies are “anticapitalist.” They say efforts that strengthen weak unions and weaken exploitative owners are “anticapitalist.” They say plans to normalize worker ownership and regulations protecting consumers, workers, and environments from big business are “anticapitalist.” They say laws taxing the richest more than the middle class, redistributing pilfered wealth, and guaranteeing basic incomes are “anticapitalist.” They say wars to end poverty are “anticapitalist.” They say campaigns to remove the profit motive from essential life sectors like education, healthcare, utilities, mass media, and incarceration are “anticapitalist.” In doing so, these conservative defenders are defining capitalism. They define capitalism as the freedom to exploit people into economic ruin; the freedom to assassinate unions; the freedom to prey on unprotected consumers, workers, and environments; the freedom to value quarterly profits over climate change; the freedom to undermine small businesses and cushion corporations; the freedom from competition; the freedom not to pay taxes; the freedom to heave the tax burden onto the middle and lower classes; the freedom to commodify everything and everyone; the freedom to keep poor people poor and middle-income people struggling to stay middle income, and make rich people richer. The history of capitalism—of world warring, classing, slave trading, enslaving, colonizing, depressing wages, and dispossessing land and labor and resources and rights—bears out the conservative definition of capitalism.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
At the name Dekker there occurred that curious moral stiffening, that gathering together of relaxed social awareness, which always happens in England when an upper middle-class person enters the company of a group of lower middle-class persons.
John Cowper Powys (A Glastonbury Romance)
The public’s anger with Washington had built steadily over the intervening years, but it was divided: Conservatives believed the government had grown too powerful and redistributed too much money from taxpayers. On the left, voters often viewed the existing government as an impediment to greater redistribution of wealth and more benefits for the middle and lower classes. However, these two sets of populists did overlap in a few essential areas. They were mad about corporate subsidies, trade agreements, and American military intervention overseas. They scapegoated different segments of society—immigrants on the right and bankers on the left, for example—but agreed that the Washington establishment, in which Hillary and many of the seventeen Republican presidential candidates were major players, wasn’t serving the country well. Bernie felt that way too. So while no one in Washington was paying attention to Sanders in April 2014, the tinder for an anti-Hillary outsider was spread across the country, just waiting to be lit.
Jonathan Allen (Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign)
In the post-Butler system, in order to meet the desired federal spending, taxes are raised, and debts, deficits, and government spending balloon. When these traditional sources of money fail, the government simply prints more money through the Federal Reserve. This inflates our fiat currency, distorts the natural ups and downs of the business cycle and recessions, and increases the divide between the wealthy (who store their wealth in non-fiat assets) and the middle and lower classes.
Oliver DeMille (1913)
Just as in the music of harps and flutes or in the voices of singers a certain harmony of the different tones must be maintained … so also a state is made harmonious by agreement among dissimilar elements. This is brought about by a fair and reasonable blending of the upper, middle and lower classes, just as if they were musical tones. What musicians call harmony in song is concord in a state.
Anthony Everitt (Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician)
The pattern remains—globalization helped the lower and middle classes of poor countries, and the upper class of rich countries, much more than it helped the lower middle class of rich countries—but the differences are less extreme.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
Old people vote. You know who votes in the swing states where this election will be fought? Really old people. Instead of high-profile videos with Cardi B (no disrespect to Cardi, who famously once threatened to dog-walk the egregious Tomi Lahren), maybe focus on registering and reaching more of those old-fart voters in counties in swing states. If your celebrity and music-industry friends want to flood social media with GOTV messages, let them. It makes them feel important and it’s the cheapest outsourcing you can get. Just don’t build your models on the idea that you’re going to spike young voter turnout beyond 20 percent. The problem with chasing the youth vote is threefold: First, they’re unlikely to be registered. You have to devote a lot of work to going out, grabbing them, registering them, educating them, and motivating them to go out and vote. If they were established but less active voters, you’d have voter history and other data to work with. There are lower-effort, lower-cost ways to make this work. Second, they’re not conditioned to vote; that November morning is much more likely to involve regret at not finishing a paper than missing a vote. Third, and finally, a meaningful fraction of the national youth vote overall is located in California. Its gigantic population skews the number, and since the Golden State’s Electoral College outcome is never in doubt, it doesn’t matter. What’s our motto, kids? “The Electoral College is the only game in town.” This year, the Democrats have been racing to win the Free Shit election with young voters by promising to make college “free” (a word that makes any economic conservative lower their glasses, put down the brandy snifter, and arch an eyebrow) and to forgive $1.53 trillion gazillion dollars of student loan debt. Set aside that the rising price of college is what happens to everything subsidized or guaranteed by the government.17 Set aside that those subsidies cause college costs to wildly exceed the rate of inflation across the board, and that it sucks to have $200k in student loan debt for your degree in Intersectional Yodeling. Set aside that the college loan system is run by predatory asswipes. The big miss here is a massive policy disconnect—a student-loan jubilee would be a massive subsidy to white, upper-middle-class people in their mid-thirties to late forties. I’m not saying Democrats shouldn’t try to appeal to young voters on some level, but I want them to have a realistic expectation about just how hard it is to move those numbers in sufficient volume in the key Electoral College states. When I asked one of the smartest electoral modeling brains in the business about this issue, he flooded me with an inbox of spreadsheets and data points. But the key answer he gave me was this: “The EC states in play are mostly old as fuck. If your models assume young voter magic, you’re gonna have a bad day.
Rick Wilson (Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump--and Democrats from Themselves)
Although at the age of twenty-eight I had become preposterously famous, I was still partially gagged by the indoctrination of aggrieved lower-middle-class humility. In my work I had not dissembled, I was sure of that, but the nagging inheritance of 'Who do you think you are?' is hard to drown out in the presence of those who seem to have an ironclad awareness of who they are.
John Osborne (Looking Back: Never Explain, Never Apologise)
Don't believe everything you hear on TV," she snapped. "The middle and upper classes are terrified about the anger of the poor. There have been plenty of advertisements about what to do in times of unrest; how to call the police to report people, how to barricade your door, board over your storefront quickly, hide from the drug-crazed violence of the lower classes. Hah! When was the last time anyone came into my neighborhood, huh? No one comes down here. They are all scared. They think we're huddled on the street corners ready to attack. They imagine that we walk by their grocery stores with rocks in our fists, ready to smash in the windows and loot the shelves. They have nightmares of us raping them, kidnapping their children, stealing all their money.
Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection - love and revolution -)
What he’s done is he’s hurt the middle class and lower-income, and his tax credits and all that have benefited the rich. It hasn’t benefited the poor.” Simple. Straightforward. Connected to people’s lives. Not contempt-filled or condescending. This kind of messaging is much more effective than the Ukraine/Russia/norms and guardrails hand wringing that you are hit over the head with by the media and Democratic elite.
Krystal Ball (The Populist's Guide to 2020: A New Right and New Left are Rising)
conservative defenders are defining capitalism. They define capitalism as the freedom to exploit people into economic ruin; the freedom to assassinate unions; the freedom to prey on unprotected consumers, workers, and environments; the freedom to value quarterly profits over climate change; the freedom to undermine small businesses and cushion corporations; the freedom from competition; the freedom not to pay taxes; the freedom to heave the tax burden onto the middle and lower classes; the freedom to commodify everything and everyone; the freedom to keep poor people poor and middle-income people struggling to stay middle income, and make rich people richer.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
This was in the early 1970s, and the controversy had been about the ‘revealing’ autobiography written by one of Kerala’s finest literary authors, Madhavikutty (Kamala Das). However, no two authors could be so differently located. Madhavikutty was born into an aristocratic Nair family, was the daughter of an eminent poet in Malayalam, and the niece of a prominent intellectual. She was already well known as a short story writer in Malayalam and as a poet and writer in English when Ente Katha appeared. Jameela came from a lower-middle class, lower caste (Ezhava) family, was removed from school at nine, and worked as a labourer and a domestic worker before becoming a sex worker. Later she became an activist and a filmmaker, but was not very well known outside a narrow sphere.
Nalini Jameela (The Autobiography of a Sex Worker)
During the run-up to the 2014 election for prime minister that he won in a landslide, Narendra Modi in India managed to be at many rallies at the same time by using full-scale, three-dimensional holograms that many voters took to be real. He also managed to be at more than one place in ideological terms. To the generation of globally connected ambitious young urban Indians, he was the embodiment of political modernization (emphasizing innovation, venture capital, and a slick pro-business attitude, and so on); the new entrants into the expanding middle class saw him as the one most likely to uphold their vision of nationalism rooted in Hindu tradition; for the economically threatened upper castes, he was the rampart against the (largely imagined) growing influence of Muslims and lower castes. If members of these groups had met together and each had been asked to describe “their” Modi, their answers would probably have been largely unrecognizable to the others. But the networks in which these three groups operated were sufficiently separate that there was no need for internal consistency.
Abhijit V. Banerjee (Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems)