2012's Forgotten Issue: Stagnant Income

Candidates largely ignore causes of decade-long income slump
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2012 11:52 AM CDT
Stagnant income in the U.S. is a tough subject for candidates to tackle during a debate.    (?)

(Newser) – The economy has taken center stage in the race for the White House, but amid the chatter about government spending and taxes, the New York Times thinks one subject that hits close to home for many poor and middle-class Americans has been largely left out: the long-term stagnation of income. For the first time since the Depression, median family income has decreased over a decade, and though both candidates acknowledge the problem, they rarely touch on the true catalysts behind it—automation, globalization, and education. All are complex issues that can't be "quickly remedied through legislation," writes David Leonhardt.

Often, politicians place the blame for falling wages on flashpoint issues such as immigration, but what's going on is far larger in scope, writes Leonhardt. Pessimism abounds because no quick fixes are in sight, though "maybe the biggest reason for optimism is that there is still a strong argument that both globalization and automation help the economy in the long run," he writes. It just happens to be painful in the interim. Click to read Leonhardt's full piece. (Read more income gap stories.)

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