Young, upwardly mobile, and professional described the trajectory for many Americans in the 1980s, and caused us to coin the word "Yuppies." But today, in the 2010s, the trajectory is the opposite: Downward mobility, unemployment and poverty are becoming the defining themes of this young decade. It's the Dumps -- so are Dumpies the new Yuppies?
One place that our societal reversal of fortune is happening shockingly fast is in the American suburbs. A new series in the Huffington Post on suburban poverty examines the forces at play -- joblessness, underwater mortgages and declining social services -- that are ushering many families from the middle class into poverty.
Overall, the number of suburban families who are impoverished increased by 53% between 2000 and 2010 compared to a 23% rise in urban poverty, the Huffington Post reported. In 16 metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Dallas and Milwaukee, it has been even worse: Their numbers of suburban poor have more than doubled in the last decade.
Then there's the widening income gap, clearly being felt by Main Street, which is now of increasing concern to economists and financial executives.
In a recent story on the income gap, Bloomberg reported that the top 1% of families gained 52% of the total income gains made between 1993 and 2008 in the United States, according to research by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkley. The median income of $49,445 that prevailed at the end of 2010 is below the level it was more than a decade earlier. Warren Buffett has been critical of how little the top 1% is taxed, advising Congress to raise taxes on "coddled billionaires."
If 25 years ago, the way up was defined by Yuppies, what is the new word that defines the current world order? We've offered Dumpies, but we think our DailyFinance readers can do better: Tell us your best acronym and what it stands for.
What's the Opposite of 'Yuppie'? Defining a Generation of Hard Timers