NYT columnist Michael Powell slams NYT columnist Thomas Friedman

Friedman wrote a column on why there are "so many popular street revolts in democracies"

Published June 30, 2013 5:03PM (EDT)


Michael Powell, a  columnist on New York City for the New York Times, tweet-slammed fellow New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for a column he wrote about how the decline of the middle class is a contributing factor to why there are now "so many popular street revolts in democracies," such as Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Russia, Chile and the United States.

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Here's what Friedman wrote:

A second factor is the way middle-class workers are being squeezed between a shrinking welfare state and a much more demanding job market. For so many years, workers were told that if you just work hard and play by the rules you’ll be in the middle class. That is just not true anymore. In this age of rapid globalization and automation, you have to work harder, work smarter, bring more innovation to whatever job you do, retool yourself more often — and then you can be in the middle class. There is just so much more stress on people in, or aspiring to be in, the middle class, and many more young people wondering how they’ll ever do better than their parents.

Too few leaders are leveling with their people about this shift, let alone helping them navigate it. And too many big political parties today are just vehicles for different coalitions to defend themselves against change rather than to lead their societies in adapting to it. Normally, this would create opportunities for the opposition parties, but in places like Turkey, Brazil, Russia and Egypt the formal opposition is feckless. So people take to the streets, forming their own opposition.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Michael Powell Middle Class New York Times Thomas Friedman U.s. Economy