The GOP's Pocketbook Issue

Publication: Washington Post

Author: Michael Gerson

11/14/2007 - Republicans have spent years wondering when Americans will finally wake up and realize they are actually happy about the state of the economy.

A slowdown may now be in the offing, but that does not explain why the credit has never rolled in for six years of uninterrupted economic growth or the creation of more than 8 million jobs since August 2003. Has an exhausting war overwhelmed the upbeat economic news? Has the public just been in a sour mood this decade?

A series of scrupulously bipartisan new studies by the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts hints at an answer -- and the explanation is not a funk but a fact. Even in a growing economy, only about a third of Americans can be considered upwardly mobile -- meaning they will end up with more inflation-adjusted income and a higher relative economic standing than did their parents. The rest are maintaining their standing or falling behind; about one-third slip down the income scale over the course of a generation.

Read the full article The GOP's Pocketbook Issue on the Washington Post Web site.

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