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Behind the Middle-Class Funk

William A. Galston

President Obama is working hard to refocus attention on the middle class, and rightly so. While a decent society will provide opportunity and, when necessary, direct assistance to the poor, the long-term health of our economy and our democracy depends on a prosperous, self-confident middle class.

That’s not what we’ve had in recent years. Median incomes fell sharply during the Great Recession and have barely begun to recover. Despite recent signs of recovery, housing—the principal source of wealth for middle-class households—remains priced about 25% below its pre-recession peak. Many workers who lost middle-income jobs have found only part-time or low-wage replacements and doubt that they will ever regain their pre-recession standard of living. Not surprisingly, many middle-class parents now doubt that their children will enjoy comparable lives…

Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal » (subscription required)

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