For the Weekend: Selma-Montgomery March, 1965
Weekend Reading: IMHO, Suresh Naidu Has the Best Review of Piketty: Capital Eats the World, from Jacobin

Weekend Reading: From the Upshot: Why Does Josh Barro Hate the Merely Affluent?

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Josh Barro: Why Does Josh Barro Hate the Merely Affluent?: "I called out the ‘merely affluent’...

...people with family incomes of, say, $175,000--for pleading poverty and putting themselves off limits for tax increases. Comments on the article drew a lot of poverty pleas from merely affluent readers. Liz from Utah... Robert from New York... A reader from Queens....

I’d forgive anyone for wanting to live in Rye. It’s lovely. It’s one of those places people describe as ‘leafy’ when they don’t feel like saying ‘rich.’ I would just submit that living there is not strictly necessary. Of the 19.49 million people who live in New York state, 19.44 million of them live somewhere other than Rye....

Queens exists.... Andrew Cuomo is from there. So is Donald Trump. So is Nicki Minaj. Millions of people have raised families there, and you can, too. Your child could be the next Donald Trump or Nicki Minaj, whichever you prefer....

There were a lot of readers who noted they raise their families on incomes below six figures, and a lot of merely affluents with a sense of how good they have it...

David Leonhardt: Letter From the Editor: Who’s Really Middle Class?: "My favorite phrase in Josh Barro’s...

...much-discussed piece this week about who’s rich and who’s not was this one: ‘$400,000 isn’t a lot of money--after you spend it.’... A common response — and you can read many in the comments section--is that a couple of hundred thousand dollars of annual income doesn’t make people feel rich. They still have to worry about their spending, unlike the truly rich.

After they’ve paid for a nice house in a good school district, a couple of vehicles, a vacation or two and the normal expenses of life, not to mention putting away money for retirement and college, they don’t have much left over.... But... afford[ing] those things is pretty good definition of affluence.... Most Americans can’t afford a three-bedroom home in Brooklyn Heights or Brookline, Mass., let alone an S.U.V. or a ski vacation on top of it....

You can fairly argue that a household at the 90th percentile of the income distribution tends to have more in common with one at, say, the 70th percentile than one at the 99.9th percentile... that the term ‘middle class’ should apply to someone making... $400,000 a year. At that point, though, the phrase starts to lose a substantial part of its meaning. The problems facing families closer to the middle of the income distribution aren’t the same as those facing families at higher levels....

Most families earning $40,000 or $90,000 a year have received smaller raises in recent years--even in percentage terms--than families making $150,000 or $250,000 have.... There is a good debate about what to call families who don’t have enormous wealth but who also make much more than most Americans.... In the course of the debate, though, let’s at least remain cleareyed about the fact that six figures of income is not the 21st-century American norm..."

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