The bottom line
The world’s middle class now totals 3.7 billion people, according to the Brookings Institution, or 48 percent of the world population. More than half the world should be in the middle class by 2020.
The Washington Post
Of the world’s developed economies, 19 legally mandate more time off than the 15 days a year the average American worker gets. A quarter of U.S. private-sector workers—roughly 28 million—receive no paid time off from their jobs at all.
Airlines have failed in efforts to reduce the number of animals flying in their cabins. Emotional-support animals on U.S. carriers have soared 56 percent in one year, to 751,000. Delta now carries roughly 700 emotional-support animals and service dogs each day, up from 450 a day in 2016. Animal-related incidents on airplanes—from barking to biting to other accidents—have increased by 84 percent since 2016.
The Wall Street Journal
The Great Recession has had a lasting impact on Millennial savings. The net worth of an average family headed by a person born in the 1980s was 34 percent below levels expected, according to a new Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis study. More alarmingly, those families actually lost ground between 2010 and 2016, after the downturn ended, even as older families built up wealth.
Americans are saving more of their income. The government has pushed up its estimate of the personal saving rate from 3.3 percent to 7.2 percent. That comes to $613.5 billion in additional savings, enough money to purchase more than 20 million Ford F-150 pickup trucks or 600 million iPhone Xs.
The Wall Street Journal
A social media era dating prank
“In June, Amir Pleasants, a 21-year-old resident of Montclair, N.J., matched with someone new on Tinder,” said Jonah Engel Bromwich in The New York Times. He traded messages with the woman, Natasha Aponte, before the conversation petered out. Several weeks later, Aponte unexpectedly invited Pleasants to meet her in Manhattan’s Union Square. When he arrived, he found 150 to 200 men who’d gotten the same invite. Aponte had created “a pop-up dating competition—complete with a stage, an occasionally malfunctioning microphone, and a video team.” Onstage, Aponte explained she wanted her suitors to “participate in a competition.” When they realized Aponte had set them up to star in what looked to be a planned viral video, the men grew alternately restless and hostile. The event was “a sign of the times,” one participant said. “It’s very funny and very dark at the same time.”