CRF Blog

Can the Middle Class Be Rebuilt?

by Bill Hayes

The New York Times’ Room for Debate lets various knowledgeable contributors discuss news events and other timely issues. One recent debate covered: Can the Middle Class Be Rebuilt?

Many of the proposals floating around are aimed at restoring the average American’s spending power. But the erosion of consumer spending is partly a symptom of deeper shifts, trends that predate the recession: the nation’s widening income gap and the erosion of jobs that pay enough to give people a toehold in the middle class.

How should the government respond to these long-term changes in the American economy? Should policy makers strive to rebuild the middle class with middle-paying jobs? If that is a lost battle, what is the alternative path to recovery? [more]