Monday, May 10, 2021

Economic Precarity


One of the underlying themes of American ephemera is the expansion of the middle and upper classes. Over time, higher incomes and increased leisure time fostered a culture of consumption and new social customs like eating outside the home. Not surprisingly, menus become increasingly scarce as you descend the economic ladder. By the time you reach the lower classes and those living in poverty, such material evidence is practically nonexistent. Nevertheless, menus and photographs occasionally surface that reflect segments of the population being pushed from a livable life, often by a financial crisis or war.