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“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 Editor's Daily Picks
"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."
"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."
"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"
"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."
"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."
"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"
"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."
"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."
"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."
"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."
"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "
"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."