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21 May

You’ve probably heard the news that the celebrated post-WW II beating heart of America known as the middle class has gone from “burdened,” to “squeezed” to “dying.” But you might have heard less about what exactly is emerging in its place.

In a new book, , Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT, draws a portrait of the new reality in a way that is frighteningly, indelibly clear: America is not one country anymore.

Politicians increasingly influenced by the FTE sector turned from public-spirited universalism to free-market individualism.

As money-driven politics accelerated (a phenomenon explained by the Investment Theory of Politics, as Temin explains), leaders of the FTE sector became increasingly emboldened to ignore the needs of members of the low-wage sector, or even actively work against them.

They are not thinking about the future; they are focused on surviving the present.

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Johnson’s War on Poverty was replaced by Nixon’s War on Drugs, which sectioned off many members of the low-wage sector, disproportionately black, into prisons.The story started just a couple of years after the ’67 Summer of Love.Around 1970, the productivity of workers began to get divided from their wages.Quite different things happen when they get sick, or when they interact with the law. Only one path exists by which the citizens of the low-wage country can enter the affluent one, and that path is fraught with obstacles. The richest large economy in the world, says Temin, is coming to have an economic and political structure more like a developing nation.We have entered a phase of regression Netherlands or Japan. S., the ticket out is education, which is difficult for two reasons: you have to spend money over a long period of time, and the FTE sector is making those expenditures more and more costly by defunding public schools and making policies that increase student debt burdens.