Arbitrage, the movie

Arbitrage the film, written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki, is making the rounds in theaters currently. It tells the story of one radically successful, billionaire hedge fund trader played by Richard Gere. Just turning sixty, he’s having a bad week—with his firm, his family and his mistress. The story illustrates a couple of overlooked business competencies...

Click to read more ...


"The Cost of Livin'"

Union City made the news recently because one former worker, Phillip Coleman, turned his struggle to recover into a song, “The Cost of Livin’.” Country singer, Ronnie Dunn, revised and recorded Coleman’s song in 2011. It soon reached #19 on the country music charts.

Click to read more ...


Defining "middle class" (continued)

Who is middle class? Data on family earnings only tells a small part of the story. If you ask people where they fit it terms of class, wealth is relatively unimportant in self-identity. A seminal study done by the Pew Research Center in 2008 of the middle class in the United Stated reveals several groups inside the middle class. America’s Four Middle Classes: The Top, The Anxious, The Satisfied, and The Struggling middle.

Click to read more ...


Book: bridging the class divide

This is a quick look at a profound book: Linda Stout, a raised-poor woman in western North Carolina discovers that middle-class people talk over her, ignore her and generally dismiss her insights and experiences. In 1984 Linda decided to organize poor people in her home region for social justice—jobs, health care and basic services. She starts the Piedmont Peace Project as a person-to-person organizing and social action group to influence her congressman and challenge some of the injustices that are visited on poor people like herself. By 1996 the PPP has organized in twelve counties and begun to have significant influence that brings her national attention.

Click to read more ...


Working and middle class economics

The standard of living has dropped since 1970 and is falling further for average families—both two-parent and single-parent families.

Elizabeth Warren, is from a working class family in Oklahoma City, and is now a professor of bankruptcy law at Harvard, and running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. She also conceived and led the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In 2008 Ms. Warren delivered the Jefferson Memorial Lecture, "The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class" at University of California at Berkeley, which illustrates simply and clearly the growing challenges for normal families in the stagnating economy. It is an hour long but well worth viewing for an easy understanding of financial risks most U.S. families face.