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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
In my family, as in most middle-class Indian families I knew when I was growing up, science and mathematics were held in awe.
The president of the branch in Atlanta was a pastor of a church, the Reverend Sam Williams, a wonderful guy. He was middle-class and fairly militant for the time and place.
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
We can go back to economic plans that are only designed to benefit the wealthiest among us, like Mitt Romney. Or we can keep moving forward with President Obama's vision for a growing economy that works for middle-class families in North Carolina and all across the country. For me, for North Carolina and for America, it's an easy choice.
India offers exciting business opportunities owing to the growth in corporate travel and a significant middle-class population waiting to explore the world. To begin with, Travelex is setting up eight city centre branches in metros and other major cities including tourist destinations.
What is a normal childhood? We weren't rich, we were pretty middle-class. My dad survived from job to job; with him taking care of so many relatives, he couldn't save any money.
In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. We can't afford it. And I refuse to renew them again.
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.
You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete, no matter how old they are or how much money they have. Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life.
It is to the middle-class we must look for the safety of England.
William Makepeace Thackeray
Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal.
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.
In my generation, except for a few people who'd gone into banking or nursing or something like that, middle-class women didn't have careers. You were to marry and have children and be a nice mother. You didn't go out and do anything. I found that I got restless.
I want people to know that movie stars live a normal, middle-class life.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
C. S. Lewis
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