My cousin posted this article on his Facebook wall this week. It’s a pretty typical post for the demographic subgroup that is “members of Peter’s immediate and extended family”, and it’s pretty innocuous in its own right. Most of my family, friends, and acquaintances are, after all, Mormons. Ergo largely conservative; ergo roundly critical of what they perceive as “the greedy poor”. It really got under my skin though, and not just because the blogger’s writing was so heinous. Here’s the thing… literally every soul that “liked” it or commented things like, “Spot on!” or “Made my morning” are ummmm… what’s the word? Oh yeah. Poor. They’re poor. You know who else is poor? Me and like everybody I know. Still living under the illusion that you’re a middle class American? You’re not alone. Assuming we use the standard calculation for “middle class”… those making 50% more or less than the Median income, nearly 27% of Americans can be accurately described as lower-class (12%) or impoverished (15%). The percentage of people who actually believe they are in the lower class or poor? Only 8.5%. That’s a phenomenon called delusion. *[Figures via Robert Reich (Mother Jones), 2012] Also, if you still qualify for the middle class, your buying power is down 37% from what it was in 1996 (after adjusting for inflation). The other reason the post bothered me is that for the past couple of months I’ve been reading crap like this on a daily basis: Wal-Mart holds a food drive for its own employees, while resisting efforts to raise the minimum wage. Goodwill Executives take home as much as $500,000 a year in salary while paying disabled shelter workers as little as $0.22/hr. Bangladesh nearly doubles its minimum wage and still remains the cheapest textiles labor market in the world. Economist of all stripes agree that significant income disparity is a real problem. In our own country, a whopping HALF of the wealth is held by the richest 400 Americans. Worldwide that puts us roughly in the...read more
Here is how it went down with Mike and Cathy Barker. Hey! We Added Some More Tidbits Since Yesterday!
This is somewhat a continuation of Cathy’s, “Ambercrombie & What the Fitch” blog post from a few days ago. If you have no idea what we are talking about here, go read her post first. We, as well as some friends got the same response as Paul did. There are three emails in all. Here is Mr. Dale Bills’ response along with two more e-mails for clarification reasons. Dear Michael and Cathy, Thank you for sharing your concerns about this retailer. Please keep in mind that the list of City Creek stores reported by the Deseret News was generated by the newspaper’s own research. It is incomplete and unconfirmed. Our retail partner, Taubman Centers, Inc., has announced 20 stores for City Creek Center and will soon be announcing more in anticipation of grand opening on March 22. I can assure you that Abercrombie & Fitch will not be one of the stores included in Taubman’s announcement. Sincerely, Dale K. Bills Director, Communications & Marketing City Creek Reserve, Inc. —————————————————————————————————————– Mr. Bills, Thank you for your response. We are unclear whether Ambercrombie and Fitch will definitely not be included as a retailer in the City Creek Mall. Will you please clarify for us? Are you saying that the announcement on March 22 will not include Ambercrombie and Fitch, or that Abercrombie & Fitch will not be a retailer in the mall at all? Thank you again for your quick response and attention to our concerns. Please clarify Michael and Cathy Barker ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Dear Michael and Cathy, Abercrombie & Fitch will not be among the stores Taubman will soon announce because this retailer will not be a part of City Creek Center. The announcement of more stores coming to City Creek is expected soon, sometime in advance of City Creek Center’s grand opening which will be on March 22. I hope that makes things clear. Dale Bills From: cathy barker [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 11:16 AM To: Dale Bills Subject: RE: Your email...read more
Dear Paul: Thank you for sharing your concerns about this retailer. Please keep in mind that the list of City Creek stores reported by the Deseret News was generated by the newspaper’s own research. It is incomplete and unconfirmed. Our retail partner, Taubman Centers, Inc., has announced 20 stores for City Creek Center and will soon be announcing more in anticipation of grand opening on March 22. I can assure you that Abercrombie & Fitch will not be one of the stores included in Taubman’s announcement. Sincerely, Dale K. Bills Director, Communications & Marketing City Creek Reserve,...read more
Dear Friends, This past Saturday the LDS-owned Deseret News published a partial list of the retailers that will be in the controversial LDS-owned City Creek Mall. Property Reserve, the LDS Church’s commercial real-estate arm, has funded the multi-billion dollar project. This company functions like the LDS Foundation, which gets its money from the profits of church associated companies like Bonneville Communications and Beneficial Life as well as dividends and interest from other investments. Although tithing money collected by the LDS Church is not funding the project, we believe the church still has the moral responsibility to its members to act in line with its teachings on modesty and chastity, which brings us back to the Deseret News article. Today we read that the ever-offensive, abhorrent, blatantly over-sexualized teen clothing store, Abercrombie and Fitch, will be renting a space at the City Creek Mall (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865550910/Whos-coming-to-City-Creek-Take-a-look.html?pg=2). This angered us to no end. If you are not up to speed on the controversies that Abercrombie and Fitch occasionally finds itself in, read this 2002 CNN article about thong underwear for 7-year-old girls (http://money.cnn.com/2002/05/22/news/companies/abercrombie/). In a 2011 study on the sexualizing of girl’s clothing, the study found, ” ‘Tween’ stores like Abercrombie Kids had the highest proportion of sexualizing clothing” (http://www.springerlink.com/content/1v535414815328t8/). Are you upset yet? We do not believe the church is acting responsibly. As active,”card-carrying”, tithing-paying members of the LDS Church, I have the responsibility to voice my concern. If you too see the hypocrisy, go to the following link and voice your concern: http://www.downtownrising.com/index.php/city-creek-public-comment. We also encourage you to send a letter to the editor of Deseret News. We attempted to find an email address for the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church, but failed to find one. Feel free to copy and paste one of the following letters. Cathy and I will be sending out a letter everyday to City Creek for the next week. If you feel the letters could be better written, please e-mail us your version. Thank you Mike and Cathy Barker Here’s...read more