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Alan Krueger
Mayday for America's middle class
Mayday for America's middle class

In his fresh effort to put the economy back at center stage in Washington, President Obama has issued a new challenge to congressional Republicans on the crucial issue of why the American middle class is hurting and which side can best lift average Americans out of the rut. And the president has history on his side of the argument. Both sides agree that the middle class is financially squeezed. But they disagree on the causes and the cures, which means they are headed for a nasty showdown in the fall over government programs and the budget. Obama is pushing the economics of growth. He blames the middle-class crunch on a "winner-take-all economy where a few are doing better and...