Best Of The Web
“The economy looks to be on a roll, if recent releases of economic indicators are anything to go by. The unemployment rate is near a 50-year low. Job growth has been averaging over 200,000 per month. Inflation-adjusted median household income has been climbing sharply for the past three years.
The numbers suggest that the Great Recession is finally behind us. But some people aren’t feeling it, especially if they happen to be in the middle class. Indeed, recent reports have suggested some lingering middle malaise may reflect an urban versus rural divide, or a split of superstar cities versus everyone else. What if the Great Recession did not just affect some areas of the country worse than others, it also affected the middle class differently than the top or bottom in those areas?…
While wages are up for everyone, the gains have been far from equal. It is not too surprising that wage growth was highest in the top quintile—this element of economic polarization is now well known. Wage growth was also reasonably robust at the bottom, above 6 percent, as several minimum wage increases at the national and state levels took effect. However, wage growth in the middle quintiles, especially the second and third, was much weaker. The result is that wages at the bottom and middle have been pushed closer together, while wages at the top have pulled away from everyone else.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Like many Western analyses of the Middle East, they reduce Iraq’s complex internal conflicts to catchall explainers of ‘sectarianism’ and ‘tribalism’ – presuming that some groups of people are intrinsically primed for antagonism."
" he's a loser in the precise sense that his singular accomplishment in American public life has been to lose a Senate race to the stupendously unpopular Republican Ted Cruz."
"While applauding the social impetus, Israelis are divided in opinions on an American-based initiative and question its grammatical integrity."
A look at the networks that churn out nonstop, formulaic Christmas movies; the actors who star in all of them; and the fans who can't stop watching.
"The Department of Homeland Security wants to use credit scores to determine immigration cases. That sets a dangerous precedent."
"Traffic. Congestion. Pollution. Hours-long commutes. What if you could leave it all behind and trade it in for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient personal copter—all without a pilot’s license?"
"“But Qutb saw something else. The dancers in front of him were tragic lost souls. They believed they were free, but in reality they were trapped by their own selfish and greedy desires.”"
Cliches can be used as a political tool. "Prefabricated language helps everybody from prime ministers to CEOs disguise what they really want to say."
"Santa is nothing but stress for families who don’t believe in him. Trying to keep other kids from finding out the truth can cause a holiday-season-long headache."
"Umami is hard to describe in words. In the New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield defines it as “that deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms..."
"The designer babies have thus been called the “future-we-should-not-want” for each new reproductive technology or intervention. But the babies never came and are nowhere close. I am not surprised."
"Thousands of secular Israelis became newly observant and joined Haredi communities in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, their children and grandchildren are searching for a place of their own."