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It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label.
Improving the outlook for U.S workers isn't about creating millions of minimum-wage jobs. It is about creating sustainable, skilled employment that allows Americans to earn a fair wage with benefits that allows them to pay for housing and food on the table and sustain a middle-class lifestyle.
James P. Hoffa
My background is not typical hip-hop. I didn't grow up in the projects. I grew up in a single family home in a middle-class suburb. That doesn't mean I didn't experience hardship, but to me it's not about that, it's about the future and where we are trying to take it.
In Malaysia, where Western culture was extremely influential, I'd grown up listening to Elvis and the Beatles and watching American movies. People wanted to be like Americans. In contrast, when I got here, I saw prosperous middle-class American college students wanting to somehow join the Third World.
Feisal Abdul Rauf
In my experience, there are plenty of bad middle-class parents: those who put their own lives and careers before those of their children and make precious little time available for their offspring, preferring instead to hire in childcare and shower them with the latest and most expensive gadgets.
The biggest start-up successes - from Henry Ford to Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg - were pioneered by people from solidly middle-class backgrounds. These founders were not wealthy when they began. They were hungry for success, but knew they had a solid support system to fall back on if they failed.
I'm from a nice, suburban, middle-class family, but my tattoos remind me where I've been.
In every conversation I've had - with housewives in Mumbai, with middle-class people, upper-class, in the slums - everyone says there is an underlying consciousness of karma. That people believe in karma - that what you're putting out is going to come back. If I do something to you, the energy of it is going to come back to me in the future.
In my family, as in most middle-class Indian families I knew when I was growing up, science and mathematics were held in awe.
I do revel slightly in the fact that I am what I am - an English, middle-class, public-school-educated bloke. There is a reputation with that of being slightly stiff, but whoever gets to know me will see some other element - whether it be vulnerable or silly or camp.
In the '50s, listening to Elvis and others on the radio in Bombay - it didn't feel alien. Noises made by a truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi, seemed relevant to a middle-class kid growing up on the other side of the world. That has always fascinated me.
You know, this idea of going around the world imposing democracy by growing a middle-class, a trading merchant class that is independent of your faith, is a good notion, but we're all partially different - it's no good imposing systems on people that it doesn't suit.
I never have issues in handling the fame. I was in a boarding school, as I am from a middle-class family. We didn't have a lot of money, so we all learned to respect money and understood its real value.
You have no idea how humiliating it was, as a boy, to suddenly have all your clothes, your toys, snatched by the bailiff. I mean we were a middle-class family, it's not as if it was happening up and down the street. It made me ashamed, I felt dirty.
John le Carre
Barack Obama knows that to create an economy built to last, we need to focus on middle-class families. Families who stay up on Sunday nights pacing the floor, like my dad did, while their children, tucked in bed, dream big dreams. Families who aren't sure what Monday morning will bring, but who believe our nation's best days are still ahead.
In the absence of sound oversight, responsible businesses are forced to compete against unscrupulous and underhanded businesses, who are unencumbered by any restrictions on activities that might harm the environment, or take advantage of middle-class families, or threaten to bring down the entire financial system.
It is to the middle-class we must look for the safety of England.
William Makepeace Thackeray
I just wanted to be an ordinary, middle-class person. When I was at Cambridge, I made great efforts to lose the last remnants of my Cockney accent.
Poverty is everyone's problem. It cuts across any line you can name: age, race, social, geographic or religious. Whether you are black or white; rich, middle-class or poor, we are ALL touched by poverty.
Why is this government so insensitive to the concerns of the middle-class people?
I didn't plan to be the rude middle-class comedian. You write a certain type of joke that you find funny, and mine happen to be often rude. Yes, it's juvenile, but that's me.
I may, and I think I represent a tradition that means a lot to me, which has really always been about fighting for others, for middle-class families, for working class - for working people, you know, and that's a tradition and a commitment that I take very seriously.
I have to live for others and not for myself: that's middle-class morality.
George Bernard Shaw
By the grace of God, my parents were fantastic. We were a very normal family, and we have had a very middle-class Indian upbringing. We were never made to realise who we were or that my father and mother were huge stars - it was a very normal house, and I'd like my daughter to have the same thing.
Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal.
My upbringing was so middle-class and repressed. It wasn't until I was placed in Lunghua that I met anyone from any other social strata. When I did, I found them colossally vital.
J. G. Ballard
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Leonardo da Vinci
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.
Henry Van Dyke
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