This is so important.  Axios is out with a remarkable story about the state of America. And, despite all the glowing job numbers, it’s a pretty sad state.  According to a report to be released today by the United Way:

  • “more than 40% of U.S. households cannot pay the basics of a middle-class lifestyle — rent, transportation, child care and a cellphone, according to a new study.”


So, with nearly full employment, corporations making cash like crazy, a booming stock market, a massive tax cut, the United States has a huge class of working poor, and it’s growing.

According to the report, 66% of Americans earn less than $20 an hour, or about $40,000 a year if they are working full time.

From Axios:

  • For two years, U.S. politics has been dominated by the anger and resentment of a self-identified “forgotten” class, some left behind economically and others threatened by changes to their way of life.

Meanwhile the rich get richer.  In a report on global inequality, famed economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez note that over the past four decades the wealthiest 1% have captured twice as much income growth as the bottom half!  According to the Los Angeles Times:

  • Globalization has boosted incomes for hundreds of millions of people in developing countries, particularly China and India.
  • And it has lowered pay for manufacturing workers and other middle-income employees in the developed world.

How to change that?  The economists suggest progressive taxation and subsidizing education.  So tax cuts and slashing money for schools and teachers may not be so smart?