Recovery for Whom?

A split-level surge combines new hiring with heavy layoffs, and many incomes stagnate too

"A rising tide lifts all the boats."

-- John F. Kennedy, 1963

"This time it hasn't. The tide of the 1990s is different."

-- Stephen Roach, economist at the investment firm of Morgan Stanley, 1994

Kennedy's belief that a growing economy helps everybody to a more abundant life has been gospel for three decades. But Roach's opinion better describes today's reality: the closer one looks at the three-year-old recovery, the more it appears to be unlike any in recent memory. It is a split-level surge in which mass layoffs are continuing side by side with new hiring and heavy overtime; high-income...

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