Read the lesson in English  
then translate to your own language to verify your understanding.

‘Premiumization’ and ‘Gentrification’

Mar 7, 2023

In this episode, we will be discussing an article recently published in The New York Times titled “Is the Entire Economy Gentrifying?” Listen again: Is the Entire Economy Gentrifying?”

While gentrification (gentrifying) is often used in the context of richer people displacing poorer people in urban neighborhoods, it can also occur within the economy, where people with lower incomes are priced out of certain goods and services. So, the headline asks the question: “Is the Entire Economy Gentrifying?”

The sub-title gives us more information and introduces us to another two words. Listen to the sub-title:

Companies are trying to maintain fat profits as the economy changes, making “premiumization” their new favorite buzzword.

So,this article is referring to a trend in which companies focus on selling higher-priced, premium versions of their products and services to higher-income customers who are willing and able to pay more.

Listen again to the sub-title:

Companies are trying to maintain fat profits as the economy changes, making “premiumization” their new favorite buzzword.

While the concept of offering premium products is not new, the use of the term “premiumization” to describe this trend is relatively recent. Premiumization.

So, the sub-heading stated that ‘premiumization’ was a new favorite ‘buzzword’. And what is a buzzword? A buzzword is considered to be a modern, and trendy word. So, everyone is talking about ‘premiumization’.  That’s a new “buzzword”.

Listen to the title and sub-title one last time:

“Is the Entire Economy Gentrifying?”

Companies are trying to maintain fat profits as the economy changes, making “premiumization” their new favorite buzzword.

Here is an idiomatic expression you might use to discuss this issue: “A double-edged sword”. We could use that expression because while gentrification can lead to higher investment and higher profits, it can also mean higher prices, making goods and services difficult for poor people to acquire. So, there are pros and cons to gentrification. It is a “double-edged sword”.

Vocabulary:

• Gentrification: the process of making a place or service more affluent or middle-class, often resulting in the displacement of lower-income residents.

• Premiumization: a trend where companies encourage customers to purchase more expensive and upscale versions of their products and services.

• Buzzword: a trendy or fashionable word or phrase.

And of course, the expression “a double-edged sword”.

You might also want to check out a somewhat related English lesson I did last year on the topic of universal basic income.

Thank you for listening to “English for Economists”. If you’re interested in taking private online classes with me, please visit my website, Englishforeconomists.com, for more information. Take care, and I’ll be back soon with another lesson.

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Photo credit: freestocks in Unsplash

Article: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/04/business/economy/premium-prices-inflation.html

 

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