No, No, Don’t Eat the Rich!

If you’re a middle-income wage earner, who would you rather see thrown out of work—someone making more than you or someone making less? However aesthetically satisfying it might be to see a high flyer go on the dole, it’s a luxury we can ill afford. If we’re to avoid a recession, after all, retail spending must stay strong, and the people with fat paychecks are the ones in a position to keep those numbers healthy. How nice, then, to find in a new Gallup poll that just 12 percent of people making $75,000-plus a year worry about having enough money to cover their monthly bills. By comparison, 45 percent of people making less than $30,000 have such worries. (The chart gives the data for adults in general.) Meanwhile, an article in U.S. News & World Report reconciles the facts that consumer outlays have remained strong and layoffs have risen. Companies shedding staff have focused first on “employees eager to take buyouts or low-skilled workers who can be replaced relatively simply.” Why? They’re still spooked by the labor shortages they felt in key jobs during the boom. “Not in immediate danger: those with the most skills, who also happen to make the most in salary.” The article notes that some companies are “firing and hiring at the same time.”