middle class

Minneapolis, Today and Tomorrow

Growing up in all white and mostly Jewish Oak Park (Michigan) of the 1950’s my only encounters with black people were our 70 year old landscaper my grandparents referred to as ‘boy’ and an occasional maid. My grandparents lived south of 8 mile and would take us to eat at ‘Little Black Sambo’s’ restaurant. That was the ‘normal’ I was raised in.  read more »

On the Death of Australia's Jane Jacobs

The life of trade union leader Jack Mundey, who died this week, is being celebrated across the Australian media. He undoubtedly had a long lasting impact on Sydney, but perhaps in ways most commentators fail to acknowledge. As secretary of the communist controlled NSW Builders Labourers’ Federation from 1968 to 1975, Mundey pioneered a boycott tactic which came to be known as ‘the green ban’.  read more »

Lousiana in the Bullseye of the COVID-19 Economic Crisis

New weekly unemployment insurance claims have come down slightly from last week's record-setting levels. Looking at the unemployment insurance data and data on confirmed COVID-19 cases, Louisiana is being severely impacted from both a health and economic perspective.  read more »

Watch Chicago’s Middle Class Vanish Before Your Very Eyes

Note: I owe both the concept for this measurement of income segregation and much of the actual data – all of it, except for 2012 – to Sean Reardon andKendra Bischoff, who wrote a series of wonderful papers on the subject and then were kind enough to send me a spreadsheet of their data from Chicago a while ago. The maps, however, are mine, as is all the data from 2012, and any mistakes in them or in the interpretation of the data is entirely my responsibility.

I think one reason I’ve felt less than compelled by Chicagoland, CNN’s reasonably well-made documentary series, is that its tale-of-two-cities narrative is so worn, so often repeated, that it’s become a little dull. Not the actual fact of inequality – which only seems to cut deeper over time – but its retelling.  read more »

Well-Heeled in the Windy City

A couple weeks ago, noting the apparently immunity of global city Chicago to problems elsewhere in the city, I asked the question: What happens when global city Chicago realizes there’s a good chance it can simply let the rest of the city fail and get on with its business?

I’d argue we’re seeing the results right before our eyes.  read more »

Bloomberg Endorses "City of Aspiration" Report Recommendations in New Middle Class Plan

Earlier this year, the Center for an Urban Future published an extensive report about the mounting challenges New York City faces in both retaining its middle class and elevating more low income residents into the ranks of the middle class.  read more »

Income Inequality on the Rise

A new report released today by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says that income inequality between the rich and poor has grown in three quarters of OECD nations over the past twenty years. The report, "Growing Unequal?", states that the gap between the rich and middle class in the United States has also grown.

According to the OECD report,  read more »

Silicon Valley's Working Class Walks Tightrope

It may be home to Google, Cisco, Oracle and the other gleaming companies of the New Economy, but times are tough for the Silicon Valley's working class.

"Working people in Silicon Valley are walking an economic tightrope, and any unexpected medical bill or even a car breakdown can push them over the edge."

What happens to a community like this when the working class can no longer afford to live there?

250 Square Feet Condos in San Francisco

In this famously expensive city, one developer has a plan: Build 250 square-feet condos for singles who can then move on up. The 98 units will sell from $279,000 to $330,000.  read more »