Just in from Pew Research: 47% of Americans see themselves as lower or lower-middle class.
As PolicyMic reports: “600 economists now say it’s time the federal minimum wage to $10.10, including seven Nobel laureates, attaching their name to a letter from the Economic Policy Institute asking lawmakers to reform wage laws.
“It couldn’t come at a more pertinent time. On Tuesday during the State of the Union, President Obama is widely expected to state that he will raise the minimum wage for future federal contractors to $10.10 an hour from $7.25 via an executive action. The raise would affect some two million federal employees, and show that the president is serious about backing a proposal stalled in Congress to raise the minimum wage for all employees to $10.10 over three years and then index it to inflation.
“And Americans support it by huge margins. A January Quinnipiac poll discovered that some 71% of American voters support raising the minimum wage. That includes 52% of Republicans. As liberal economist Paul Krugman noted, perhaps the reality of class distinctions is beginning to sink in for many Americans as they see an economy recovery bypass so many of them and opportunities disappear across the board. A Pew survey found that Americans’ perception of their class status is converging towards reality, with some 47% of Americans defining themselves as lower and lower-middle class. Krugman thinks this is why economic inequality is now such a popular issue across the country. Continue reading “Revisiting the 47 percent”
In those first minutes, they’ll be stunned. Eyes fixed in a thousand-yard stare, nerve endings numbed. Today’s issue of Le Monde carries a story on nuclear conflict in the Middle East. “They’ll just stand there. Soon, you’ll notice that they are holding their arms out at a 45-degree angle. Your eyes will be drawn to their hands and you’ll think you mind is playing tricks. But it won’t be. Their fingers will start to resemble stalactites, seeming to melt toward the ground. And it won’t be long until the screaming begins. Shrieking. Moaning. Tens of thousands of victims at once. They’ll be standing amid a sea of shattered concrete and glass, a wasteland punctuated by the shells of buildings, orphaned walls, stairways leading nowhere.
“This could be Tehran, or what’s left of it, just after an Israeli nuclear strike.
“Iranian cities — owing to geography, climate, building construction, and population densities — are particularly vulnerable to nuclear attack, according to a new study, “Nuclear War Between Israel and Iran: Lethality Beyond the Pale,” published in the journal Conflict & Health by researchers from the University of Georgia and Harvard University. It is the first publicly released scientific assessment of what a nuclear attack in the Middle East might actually mean for people in the region. Continue reading “The Middle East nuclear option”
These days more middle aged American are dying at their own hands than perish in car crashes, reports the New York Times. Topping the list are men in their 50s and women in their 60s.
“Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.
It’s commonly thought that teenagers these days are so much more hip about gender and sexuality than their parents ever more. But this perception can obscure the facts that concepts of “normality” and “fitting in” still drive much of the culture of the young, As discussed today in Huffington Post:
“Popularity in middle and high school operates as a heterosexist reward system. Who “fits in” and who does not has a great deal to do with heterosexuality and gender conformity, which makes it difficult for LGBTQ kids to engage in the school social scene. For adolescents, school is (significantly) about social connections, social possibilities, social hierarchies and navigating through them. A great deal of school social life is about reinforcing the “normalcy” of heterosexuality and marking those considered to not measure up as “weird” or “less than” in some way. Continue reading “Heteronormativity in school”