Southern California's Disappearing Middle Class

Southern California's lingering grocery strike is about the very survival of Los Angeles' middle class, writes Harold Meyerson.
December 8, 2003, 11am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"The most explosive growth in postwar Los Angeles took place around the giant aerospace factories. Miles of new single-family tract homes sprang up in Long Beach and Lakewood around Douglas Aircraft, as they did in Burbank around Lockheed and in the South Bay around North American and other aircraft plants. Unionized aircraft workers could afford those homes... Detroit had had the greatest concentration of single-family homes of any American city until Los Angeles surpassed it, and both cities owed this distinction to the income levels of their factory workers... We have lost something in Los Angeles, something huge: a decently paid working class. The change may be sharper here than elsewhere in the country, and more visible too since the racial composition of our working class has changed more dramatically than elsewhere."

Thanks to Laura Kranz

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, December 7, 2003 in The Los Angeles Times
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