NY Times: Class Matters
It's a special section discussing class in the United States, and how class and class mobility have evolved over the last few decades. The Times spent eleven days on this thing, so set aside some time (and a pot of coffee) if you plan to take it all in.
For those who'd like a condensed version of the story, you can find it in Bob Herbert's Op-Ed piece, "The Mobility Myth:"
Put the myth of the American Dream aside. The bottom line is that it's becoming increasingly difficult for working Americans to move up in class. The rich are freezing nearly everybody else in place, and sprinting off with the nation's bounty.
Economic mobility in the United States — the extent to which individuals and families move from one social class to another — is no higher than in Britain or France, and lower than in some Scandinavian countries. Maybe we should be studying the Scandinavian dream.
Umm ... whatever. Even if you decide to skip the mountainous batch of reading, you'll probably want to play with their nifty interactive "Where Do You Rank?" page:
How Class Works
I'd sure like to see that presentation account for time/age, but 'twas not to be. (Difficult to compare the net worth of a 50something with that of a 30something, in my mind. Although, by the NY Times' definition, age does not directly affect class, apparently.) So where did I rank, you ask? Well, right about here:
Occupation: 49th Percentile
Education: 79th Percentile
Income: 78th Percentile
Wealth: 55th Percentile
AVERAGE: 64th Percentile
Seems about right. I'm very well paid, considering the day-job I perform, and my recently-dispatched debt hindered my wealth level significantly.