Dionne Searcey and Robert Gebeloff do a nice job crunching some numbers on what sorts of people are part of the middle class, and how they’re doing (the short version: not great). This caveat of theirs, however, is an important one.
Updike's religious explorations are what make his writing so interesting, and Adam Begley explores them well. But he devotes too much space to trying to link fictional settings and characters with Updike's real life.
The article does point out that tax increases coming out of the fiscal-cliff deal will affect all workers—because of the end of the payroll tax holiday—not just those whose taxes on wage income and investments are going up. But the graphic sticks with the six-figure folks, all drawn to look rather put upon.
I posted recently about how the rhetorical category “the middle class” seems to keep growing (even as the actual middle class is shrinking). Then I read Jon Ronson’s article in this month’s GQ. Ronson profiles six people—actually, five individuals and one family—who represent different spots on the U.S. income scale, giving a glimpse of “how to live on $____ a week.”
It’s a solid premise, and Ronson approaches his subjects with empathy and a dose of righteous indignation. But I was startled by his methodology.
The common good is taking a beating. Economic inequality has accelerated dramatically since the early 1980s, and many think nothing can be done about it. But that verdict is a nonstarter for Christian morality.