A unique feature of this recession is how damaging it has been to the
nation’s middle class, driving its members further and further away from
the American Dream
and, in some cases, directly into poverty.
President Obama, in
on Wednesday, pointed out that the middle class was hurting even before
the recession. “Part of the reason people are feeling anxious right
now, it’s not just because of this current crisis — they’ve been going
through this for 10 years. They’ve been working and not seeing a raise.
Their costs have been going up, their spouses going to the workforce —
they work as hard as they can. They’re barely keeping their heads above
water. They’re trying to figure out how to retire. They’re seeing more
and more of their costs on health care dumped in their lap. College tuition
“They are more and more vulnerable, and they have been for the last
decade, treading water.”