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U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
A helping hand or cold shoulder for the middle class?
A helping hand or cold shoulder for the middle class?

How's the U.S. economy doing? If you're rich, the answer is "fabulously." Here are some data points from Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial in Chicago. "Spending at luxury retailers has come back," she told the Senate Finance Committee last week. High-end merchants routinely "sell out of purses with price tags in the thousands of dollars, before they even hit the shelves in New York. Spending at high-end restaurants is picking up.... Demand is on the rise for boutique hotels catering to the demands of the wealthiest clientele." If you're not rich, things aren't so fabulous. Spending at grocery stores is down, Swonk...

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