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Please read the following articles, which are attached:

Upper Middle Class Sees Big Gains, Research Finds by John Zumbrun, The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2016
Struggling Americans Once Sought Greener Pastures Now Theyre Stuck by Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg, The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2017
American Life is Improving for the Lowest Paid by Madison and Merrillville, The Economist, May 16, 2019

According to the first article, new research shows that the U.S. economic recovery in the aftermath of the 2008-09 financial crisis and recession is not solely confined to the top 1% of income earners. Several studies indicate how the upper middle class has now swelled to a quarter of the overall U.S. population, and that the largest income inequality is between this group and everyone else.

An increasing inequality in income is reinforced by the second article. Yet, a more recent article from journalists for The Economist suggests a reversal with an optimistic picture for lower wage workers in the United States.

Think about how the economic recovery of the past eight years has affected households differently, depending on income levels. I would like you to discuss reasons for this rising income inequality and consider policy actions to address income inequality, while pointing out practical considerations.

The following questions are intended to guide your thoughts as you participate in this weeks forum discussion. You are not expected to explicitly answer the questions.

Give two definitions of upper middle class households.
What has happened to the upper middle class since the 2008-09 financial crisis and subsequent recession, according to Stephen Rose of the Urban Institute? What are two possible reasons for this change?
Has U.S. income inequality has been growing or shrinking since 2009? What pieces of evidence support your claims? Between which two groups appear the biggest income divide now in this country?
What policy action could help to lower income equality in this country? What are the potential down sides of such an action on the overall economy?


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