Some Silicon Valley residents with incomes up to $400,000 consider themselves "middle class"

The Palo Alto Weekly in Silicon Valley asked more than 250 residents of that city "How do you define your social class?" From the survey results (PDF):

Seventy-five identified themselves as "upper middle class." Their self-reported incomes ranged from $50,000 to $400,000 or more (with one retiree reporting $35,000-$49,999)... Eighty-one people considered themselves "middle class." Their self-reported incomes ranged from $10,000 to $399,999....Seventeen considered themselves "lower middle class" or "working class." Their self-reported income ranged from $35,000 to $349,999. Four reported being in the "upper class," three of whom reported earning $400,000 a year or more (the fourth is retired).

Eighty-nine people declined to answer the question or wrote their own answers, including that they were "disenfranchised," "former middle class" and "survivors in an unjust capitalist society."

"The meaning of 'middle class'" (Palo Alto Weekly)

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Don't use Venmo for merchant transactions, example 1,001

If you have something to sell, and a buyer asks to pay using Venmo, you could lose both your money and your item. Jennifer Khordi is one of many who got scammed and wants to help others avoid her fate. Read the rest

Find out where you fit on the global income spectrum

Anna Rosling Rönnlund, co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation, asked Swedish students where they thought they fell on the global income spectrum. They guessed somewhere in the middle; they were wrong. After having 264 homes photographed in 50 countries and collecting 30,000 photos, she made this tool to help everyone understand the world – and how they fit in – a little better.

Want to see how people at your income level live in other countries? Of course you do.

It's the perfect antidote to Instagram-induced envy. Actually, I'd like to see someone curate a Selby or Apartmento-style lookbook from these images. Anyone? Read the rest

Monopoly: Cheaters Edition is indicative of our times

"A recent study conducted by Hasbro revealed that nearly half of game players attempt to cheat during Monopoly games, so in 2018, we decided it was time to give fans what they've been craving all along - a Monopoly game that actually encourages cheating," Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of Hasbro gaming told Insider.

The object of the game is still to be the player with the most money at the game's end, but it may be a little tougher to accomplish. The Cheater's Edition will ask players to get away with cheating as many times as they can during game play. That means players can skip spaces, try to avoid paying rent, and slip a few extra bills from the bank when no one's looking.

Yes, it comes with handcuffs too. Read the rest

Apple makes $1,445 a second

Apple is way ahead of the pack, but even the losers at Oracle are making $279 a second. The original graphic, by Pablo Gomez, is interactive and a must-see. Read the rest

FBI launches investigation of NRA over pro-Trump Russia money

McClatchy DC reports that the FBI is investigating whether a Kremlin-tied Russian banker illegally funded money to the National Rifle Association to help Trump win the presidency.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said. It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.

AKs for everyone!

Last year, WaPo wrote about the gun-toting end of American conservatism palling around with Putin. Read the rest

Democrats are polling high, progressive candidates are having a great fundraising year, but the DNC is broke

The DNC continues to struggle to raise cash, holding only $6.3M in the bank on Dec 1, compared to the RNC's $40M. But the numbers are deceiving, because 50% of the country want the Democrats to control Congress in 2018 (compared with 39% who want the GOP to retain power) and individual Democrat candidates are having banner years fundraising, especially the progressive, "Sanders Democrats" who break with the party's coziness with the finance industry and big business. Read the rest

An "exploding" coin-box uses cuteness to remind you of the futility of saving

Bluehands's Coin Box is a super-cute, spring loaded cardboard coin-box: put a coin in it and it bursts apart, flinging away your money to remind you that, thanks to the imminent collapse of capitalism, saving is futile. (via Geekologie) Read the rest

The price of a latte around the world

Switzerland and Singapore are among the most expensive places in the world to grab a mug of coffee—overpriced as it already is in the United States. But there's more to the matter than mere inconvenience for tourists. The Wall Street Journal reports on Starbucks becoming an indicator of currency trouble.

The financial community uses dozens of metrics to determine how much a currency should be worth—and which currencies to buy and sell. These often tell starkly different stories. One measure created by the Council on Foreign Relations shows the U.S. dollar is 11% overvalued.

A rival to the Starbucks index is the Big Mac index, as devised by The Economist. Finding it inadequate, the Council on Foreign Relations came up with a Mini Mac index, with the international prices of Apple gadgets as the benchmark: "Minis are a global product that, unlike Big Macs, can move quickly and cheaply around the world."

Photo: Camila Tamara Silva Sepúlveda (cc) Read the rest

16 Democratic Congressional hopefuls have outraised the incumbent Republicans they're challenging

12-term Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen [R-NJ] raised $157k last quarter, while two of the Democrats who're challenging him in 2018, former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill and family advocate Tamara Harris both outraised him by big margins -- $498,000 for Sherrill! Read the rest

A talented impersonator is scamming Richard Branson and pals for millions

Richard Branson got a call from the UK Secretary of State for Defence asking for his help in a covert ransom payment of $5m to rescue a ranking diplomat from kidnappers; Branson recognised the man's voice but he was suspicious of the plan to validate the scheme by sending an assistant to lobby of a government building to meet the Secretary's secretary and exchange codewords. Read the rest

Animation: Queen Elizabeth's life in banknote portraits

More about "the evolution of Queen Elizabeth II, as shown by banknotes" in this Washington Post article from 2015.

(via r/interestingasfuck)

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How badly do streaming services rip off musicians? A chart, updated

Information is Beautiful has updated their comparison of artist payments on streaming services, estimating that 2.4 million plays on YouTube will net a whopping $1,472 for an unsigned artist. That's $0.0006 per play!

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In the UK, 77% of 2017 university grads will never fully repay their student loan debt

Because of the UK's dramatic shift from student grants to loans, a startling report from the Institute for Financial Studies predicts that 77.4% of university graduates in the UK's class of 2017 will not repay their full student loan obligations. This is up from 41.5% just six years ago in 2011.

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The richest person in every state, by industry

You might think every American state is overrun with tech billionaires, given the amount of press they get, but Forbes shows that the richest person in each state is more likely to have made their fortune in fashion, retail, finance, or investing: Read the rest

Programmer pay and indent-style: tab-using coders earn less than space-using coders

David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay. Read the rest

America's $4.5 billion legal weed market surpasses these massive consumer markets

Legal marijuana comprises only about 10% of the total U.S. weed market, but it already eclipses total sales of foods like frozen pizza and services like music streaming, according to Alternet, who looks at other markets that will soon be dwarfed by weed sales. Read the rest

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