Of Royal Weddings and Social Mobility

The excitement of the Royal wedding did not last even as long as the long Bank Holiday, displaced as it has been by Mr. Bin Laden’s death. There was little in the way of politics to the wedding: omitting Tony Blair and Gordon Brown from the guest list hardly counted as a constitutional crisis. As social commentary some suggested that the fact that Catherine Middleton is from a non aristocratic background somehow marked a welcome departure for the Royal Family. …

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The working class can kiss my ass: I’ve got the foreman’s job at last

Sorry for the somewhat rude title but that modification of the Red Flag (Billy Bragg sings it too fast here in my view) came to mind over this story. Over 70% of the UK population now describe themselves as middle class, they have an average household income of £37,000: in contrast only 24% regarded themselves as working class and they had an average household income of £24,000. The survey by Britain Thinks (available here) identified six “middle class segments” and …

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The coming collapse of the Irish middle class

In the her excellent lecture on “The coming collapse of the American Middle Class”, Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren investigates the stagnation in real median wages in the United States since 1970, and highlights the massive amount of extra-risk assumed by families in moving from one to two income households (The Two Income Trap). It’s probably worth noting at this point that Warren employs a more expansive notion of middle class than many (although not all) in Ireland. Large swathes of …

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