Magazine May 2, 2011, Issue

Blame the Not-Too-Rich

President Barack Obama discusses the 2011 budget in the Cross Hall of the White House, February 1, 2010. (Jason Reed/Reuters)
Why Obama courts the upper middle class

It is widely understood that the American middle class has fuzzy boundaries. Many relatively poor and relatively rich people identify as middle-class. In an ambitious 2008 survey, the Pew Research Center found that an extraordinary 53 percent of Americans described themselves as middle class. Yet it’s also clear that within this diverse, sprawling middle class, there are some households that are better off than others. College-educated households, for example, have largely been spared the scarring effects of unemployment and underwater mortgages. And upper-middle-income households, a group that overlaps fairly closely with the college-educated middle class, have seen fairly healthy improvements

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The market functions well enough to bring Walmart to its senses. Alas, for Big Government, there are no such corrective mechanisms.

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