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Tags: Galston | recovery | Americans | economy

Brookings' Galston: Average Americans Faring Poorly in Economic Recovery

By    |   Wednesday, 24 September 2014 02:42 PM

Many Americans have suffered since the economy entered the Great Recession in December 2007. But the economic woe well predates that time.

"The American economy hasn't worked for average families since the end of the Clinton administration," William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, writes in his weekly Wall Street Journal column.

"A recovery that leaves them out is no recovery at all, and they know it. This simple fact goes a long way toward explaining the tone of our current politics and the temper of our society."

Median household income totaled $51,939 in 2013, down 8 percent from 2007.

"The median earnings for Americans working full-time year round haven't changed much since 2007," Galston writes. "But more than five years into the recovery, there are fewer such workers than before the recession."

So what's the solution?

"It will not change for the better unless we can recreate an economy in which work is rewarded and family incomes rise," he says. "That is the great task of the next decade."

As for income inequality, Harvard economist Larry Summers says it's important to remember that the goal is to help those who aren't well off, not to hurt the wealthy.

"Unless one regards envy as a virtue, the primary reason for concern about inequality is that lower- and middle-income workers have too little, not that the rich have too much," the former Treasury Secretary writes in the Financial Times.

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Finance
Many Americans have suffered since the economy entered the Great Recession in December 2007. But the economic woe well predates that time.
Galston, recovery, Americans, economy
242
2014-42-24
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 02:42 PM
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