Is America Still a Middle-Class Nation?

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As he campaigns for re-election, President Bush claims his tax cuts have led to a growth in jobs, but that growth has been agonizingly slow, and the new jobs don't pay as much as the jobs that have been lost. John Edwards became the Democrat's vice presidential candidate by arguing that this middle-class country is becoming two Americas -- one rich and one poor. Since we first broadcast this program earlier this year, the "jobless recovery" has continued to be an important campaign issue. Does a middle-class income still buy a middle-class lifestyle? What is the "middle class" anyway? In this special archived Labor Day edition of To the Point, Warren Olney speaks with experts on the economy, international trade, bankruptcy, and commercial law. (This segment was originally broadcast on January 27.)
  • Making News: The State of Working America
    Most of America thinks of itself as middle class, but one of the themes of the Democratic presidential campaign is the disappearance of the middle class. In the midst of economic recovery, is America becoming a land of haves and have-nots? Each year on Labor Day, the Economic Policy Institute puts out a report on the state of working America. Sylvia Allegretto is the author of this year's report.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Presidential Election Forecasting and the Economy When it comes to presidential elections, most companies give to both sides, but despite conventional wisdom, business is divided about this year's presidential campaign. Wal-Mart, Fox, Verizon and Yahoo are backing Bush, while Costco, CBS, AT&T; and Google put their money on Kerry. While presidents may or not have the power to affect the economy, the economy can be a useful tool for predicting presidential elections. Warren Olney speaks with finance reporter Kate Berry and economist Ray Fair, who uses growth and inflation data to make his forecasts. (This segment was originally broadcast August 25 on Which Way, LA?.)

The State of Working America, 2004/2005

Bureau of Labor Statistics


Fair's presidential vote equation



Warren Olney