WEALFIES: Wealfies are selfies taken in a luxury context that confirm one has money, status and social currency. The paradigmatic wealfie is the image you take of yourself getting on or off a private jet, possibly on your way to New Year’s Eve in Morocco or Anguilla.
But to the extent that people so closely identify with the things that they buy and receive, the picture shot of the Hermès or Chanel or Prada gift “unboxed” and then posted on Instagram is another kind of wealfie. Of course, there are so many ways to broadcast status these days.
FANCY BRANDS WITH FANCY GIBBERISH NAMES: Eager to glaze their products with the sheen of international sophistication, many homegrown retail brands have hit upon a similar formula: Choose a non-Chinese name that gives the impression of being foreign. Some Chinese appear loath to spend their disposable income on locally produced fashions.
Chrisdien Deny, a retail chain with more than 500 locations across China, sells belts, shoes and clothing with an “Italian style” — and a logo with the same font as Christian Dior’s.
Helen Keller, named for the deaf-blind American humanitarian, offers trendy sunglasses and classic spectacles at over 80 stores, with the motto “you see the world, the world sees you.”
Frognie Zila, a clothing brand sold in 120 stores in China, boasts that its “international” selection is “one of the first choices of successful politicians and businessmen” and features pictures on its website of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Venetian canals.
Other apparel brands include Wanko, Hotwind, Scat, Orgee and Marisfrolg (the L is silent)and Biemlfdlkk.
VANISHING MALE WORKER: Working, in America, is in decline. The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16%.
Deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working: the availability of federal disability benefits; the decline of marriage, which means fewer men provide for children; and the rise of the Internet, which has reduced the isolation of unemployment.
It has become harder for men to find higher-paying jobs. Foreign competition and technological advances have eliminated many of the jobs in which high school graduates once could earn $40 an hour, or more.
The poll found that 85% of prime-age men without jobs do not have bachelor’s degrees. And 34% said they had criminal records, making it hard to find any work.
Arlington, VA: 56% Metro Renters & 44% Laptops and Lattes. We’re affluent, well-educated singles or partner couples, who hold professions in business, finance, legal, computer, or entertainment. Young, mobile, or still in school, we live along or with a roommate in rented apartments. Long hours and hard work don’t deter us. Most of our income goes to rent, fashions, and latest technology. We live close to our jobs, so we can either walk or take a cab. We practice yoga, go skiing, and attend Pilates.
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, NY: Asians, particularly Chinese, are concentrated here. Nearly half are foreign born and 1/3 don’t speak English. Long commutes are the way of life. Spending is careful; we’re not brand loyal and use coupons when we can. Dancing, casino gambling, eating out at our favorite restaurants consume our leisure time.
Income distribution in Arlington, VA. (ESRI)
West & East Germany: Those in West Germany have greater disposable income, lower rates of unemployment, more young people, more foreigners, and more trash. East Germans have more childcare, bigger farms, and higher flu vaccination rates.
German statistical office. Visualization: Gene Thorp, WAPO.
It’s good to be the boss: Being a manager is the most common job from the 70th percentile up to the 99th.
Doctors and lawyers are only found in the top two brackets. (There’s a reason our grandmothers wanted us to go to med school or law school.)
Sales supervisors are well-represented across all groups. It’s a broad job title that applies to people making as little as $12,000 a year all the way up to six figures.
Data from 2012, adjusted for inflation. Source: IPUMS-USA, University of Minnesota; American Community Survey Credit: Quoctrung Bui/NPR
DC MOST EXPENSIVE CITY: Wait a second – is D.C. really #1 in housing costs? More than NY? Yes. Washingtonians spend more on housing and related expenses (utilities, furnishings and equipment) than New Yorkers and San Franciscans.
San Francisco, CA
New York, NY
San Diego, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Most expensive cities to live in the United States (Credit: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
MASSIVE DEBT? U.S. Federal law allows up to 25% of your wages garnished or docked often over credit card debt, medical bill, or student loans. Check out how much your state (law) protects your paycheck.
Wage Garnishment (National Consumer Law Center Report: “No Fresh Start”)
WOMEN GAVE LESS TO WOMEN: Both men and women made lower offers, on average, when the responder was female. Male proposers offered an average of $4.73 to male respondents, but only $4.43 to women. More painful yet was the behavior of female proposers, who, on average, offered $5.13 to men but only $4.31 to women. It seems that women were seen as softies who were willing to settle for less — and the discrimination was worse coming from the women themselves.