‘Neo-Suffering of the Nouveau Poor’ Is Big News

Noting how “media have been pelting us with heart-wrenching stories about the neo-suffering of the Nouveau Poor”–“Sales of Gulfstream jets declining!”–Barbara Ehrenreich pretends (Barbara’s Blog, 3/12/09) to be “tempted to delete ‘class inequality’ from my worry list” before doing some actual reporting: But hard times are no more likely to abolish class inequality than Obama’s inauguration is likely to eradicate racism. No one actually knows yet whether inequality has increased or decreased during the last year of recession, but the historical precedents are not promising. The economists I’ve talked to–like Biden’s top economic advisor, Jared Bernstein–insist that recessions are particularly […]