A sensible, bipartisan analysis of the future of a major segment of American society.

The Middle Class Comeback

WOMEN, MILLENNIALS, AND TECHNOLOGY LEADING THE WAY

A diagnosis of American middle-class woes and a hopeful blueprint for its revival.

The embattlement of the middle class has, more than ever, become a recurrent theme in political discourse, especially since the catastrophic housing crisis of 2008. Moon (The Beltway Beast, 2014), a businessman and former financial-industry executive, attributes the group’s distress to a combination of stagnant wages and aggressively climbing costs, including those of health care, education, and an endless litany of taxes. Not content to gloomily dwell on bad news, the author finds promising reasons for hope, as well. For example, he notes that although women continue to lag behind their male counterparts in wages, that gap is steadily closing; their participation in the labor force continues to increase, and they constitute a bigger share of college graduates than ever before. And although it’s become commonplace to pillory millennials for their immaturity, Moon instead sees a savvy class of political entrepreneurs, ready and able to challenge the status quo. Finally, he asserts that the breakneck pace of technological progress is not only going to usher in new opportunity and a dramatic lowering of costs across the board, but also has the potential to transform the very structure of the economy, especially regarding health care: “A new paradigm shift is underway where decentralized and sharing models with emphasis on personal accountability is [sic] evolving that will make healthcare accessible and affordable for all.” The author plots out some sensible, if less-than-detailed, reforms, some of them economic, such as tax reform, and some of them political, such as revised term limits for politicians. It’s a thoughtful, lucid study, and it’s refreshing to see an unflinching discussion of the middle-class difficulties that doesn’t surrender to fatalistic despair. Sometimes Moon even seems too optimistic; for instance, he doesn’t address the ways in which increased technological sophistication could hurt the middle class, as whole professions get replaced by machines. Ultimately, the discussion of possible future reforms is simply too broad, and the book ambitiously covers too much ground for such a relatively slim volume. However, as a brief primer on the state of the middle class, this is a valuable contribution to public debate.

A sensible, bipartisan analysis of the future of a major segment of American society.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9913721-6-4

Page Count: 190

Publisher: MGN Books

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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