Perhaps the most important questions for the America economy are: Why did the middle class meltdown happen, and can we fix it?

Statue_of_LibertyThe story of the middle class is a story of promise and paralysis. In the 30 years after World War II, the country’s real median income doubled, allowing average Americans to fulfill the American Dream of achieving a better life than their parents and passing it on to their children. That was the promise.

In the last 30 years, however, the American Dream has been in peril. Production jobs went to robots, while administrative jobs went to Bangalore. Manufacturing employment lost half its share of the economy. Union participation plummeted. Real median income rose by only a fifth and actually fell in the last decade. That is the paralysis.

Perhaps the most important questions for the American economy are: Why did the middle class meltdown happen, and can we fix it? The short answer to both questions is, We don’t know for sure. But here’s our best thinking.

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Source: Derek Thompson | The Atlantic