The Great Debate

The retail price of America’s income inequality

By Caitlin Kelly
January 20, 2012

Retail is considered one of the bright spots in the American economy, one of only six job categories projected to grow nationally through 2018. But a survey released this week makes clear that many of these are jobs in name only, offering poverty-level wages, highly restricted access to benefits, part-time work when full-time is desired, and a workforce so cowed that it routinely accepts working conditions that make work-life balance, or the chance to upgrade skills and move into better-paid work elsewhere, all but impossible.

Mr. 1 Percent versus Mr. 1 Percent

By David Callahan
January 20, 2012

Listening to a newly populist President Obama or to Mitt Romney, who touts his CEO past at every turn, it is tempting to imagine a 2012 election that unfolds as textbooks imagine, with Republicans speaking for business and Democrats standing up for the little guy. Don’t be fooled. A more accurate reading of the contest features two elite candidates who represent different wings of the 1 Percent – a group increasingly divided over economics and the role of government.

A shrinking middle class means a shrinking economy

By Alan Krueger
January 13, 2012

The following is an excerpt from a speech Alan Krueger, chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, gave at the Center for American Progress on Thursday. The full text is available here.

from David Rohde:

In Milwaukee, an evaporating middle class

By David Rohde
December 15, 2011

MILWAUKEE -- As Washington and Madison fiddle, this city’s middle class is in slow free fall.

The politics of America’s wealth chasm

By David Callahan
October 14, 2011

By David Callahan
The opinions expressed are his own.

Economic inequality – the meta concern of the Wall Street protesters – is not an issue that typically gets much traction in American politics. Anger at the Haves tends to surge when times are tough, only to melt away when former Have Nots are again flush enough to go back to the mall.