Missing at the table

The economy is humming, the stock market is flirting with another record high, unemployment remains low, and the neighbors all seem to be buying sports utility vehicles. Life is good in America. But there is a problem--a problem economists refer to as income differentials, otherwise known as the gap between rich and poor. Despite the economic boom, this gap has been widening. It's now at its widest since 1947, when records on this sort of thing started being kept.

Unlike the great economic expansion of the post-World War II years--which stretched to the early 1970s--the growth of the '80s and '90s has not benefited all sectors of society, nor has it strengthened the middle class. Instead, the already rich (and the well educated) have gotten much richer, while the less-skilled among the middle class and the poor have gotten poorer.


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