'Lucky' Magazine Readers Have A Very Good Year. The Rest Of Us? Not So Much!

Illustration for article titled Lucky Magazine Readers Have A Very Good Year. The Rest Of Us? Not So Much!

In the space of a single year, the average reader of Lucky has seen her (or, haha, his!) household income rocket from $68,200 to $84,400, according to some highly credible research out today (and about which the publisher of Harper's Bazaar said something truly inspiring about a "shattering" of the "glass ceiling.") But apparently it's not so simple. The middle class, insinuates Lucky publisher Alexandra "Sandy" Golinkin, is defecting from the nation's magalog of record:

"If you don't have a lot of money, you won't be happy reading this magazine," said Sandy Golinkin, Lucky's vice president and publisher.

Touché, Sand! It's not as if the publishing industry is to blame for the de-skilling of the American labor force or widening income gap that make it so hard to find a decent job these days. And it's also not your fault that so many Americans are toiling away, unhappily, for less than 85 grand a year. (Not your fault except for those Americans on the lower tiers of the Lucky masthead. But then again, it's not like their jobs are, like, difficult or anything. Considering they don't actually write.).

MRI Figures Well For Fashion [MediaWeek]
Rich Readers = Happy Advertisers [WWD]

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DISCUSSION

This article does not address the sample selection effects embedded in such a survey. They are:

1. The readership is younger. Younger people increase thier incomes in the first several years of thier careers at a much faster pace than the rest of the workforce.

2. The readership is based in urban areas. Labor market turnover is higher in urban areas because of the high concentration of firms (wall street, for example?). Add 1 and 2 and f-ing obvious why this income jump would occur.

3. Cost of living on urban areas has increased (both with the housing boom and the consequent rental market boom made possible by those priced out as homebuyers). Companies are keeping pace with this.

An Ascot Chang shirt cost $30 in 1988. Today, it's pushing $400. It's call inflation, people.