http://howdidthishappen.org/ http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/domestic Who's to blame for the global financial crisis? A cynical conservative agenda that rewrote the rules for the rich. Today, working Americans feel less and less secure, and their prospects for economic mobility seem more and more remote. People are working longer hours than ever before, change jobs more frequently, and have more volatile incomes. Forty-seven million live without health insurance. Few are represented by a union. Many face tough competition from lower-wage workers abroad. The land of the American Dream now has less inter-generational income mobility than many other developed countries. Family incomes have risen on average within generations only because the incomes of women have risen as their participation in the workforce has grown dramatically; incomes of men have stagnated. The additional income from the second earner is essential to cover the rising cost of healthcare, energy, and childcare, among other things. Each of the traditional pathways to progress is littered with roadblocks. Incomes are not rising; the historical link between greater productivity and higher wages has broken down. Personal savings in the United States is near record lows. From pre-school through high school, we are failing to prepare many for college and the workplace. Those who begin degree or credential programs to improve earnings complete them at alarmingly low rates. Until recently, homeownership was a pathway to wealth accumulation, but many now see their equity slipping away. American workers feel less secure with good reason. Their prospects for getting ahead are more limited. Working hard and playing by the rules is not enough. In recent years, economic growth has been relatively strong, but the economy has added jobs at a lackluster rate compared to similar times in the economic cycle. The share of the nation’s income that goes to those in the middle is lower than it has been in 50 years. The benefits of economic growth have all flown to those ...
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