Richard Reeves, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, argues that the top 20 percent of Americans – those with six-figure incomes and above — dominate the best schools, live in the best-located homes and pass on the best futures to their kids. Malte Mueller/Getty Images hide caption

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Top 20 Percent Of Americans 'Hoard The American Dream'

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Kids bike on Selma Road in Springfield, Ohio. "Springfield is a rather typical small city that has grown poorer over the years," former mayor Roger Baker says. Maddie McGarvey for NPR hide caption

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Maddie McGarvey for NPR

Springfield, Ohio: A Shrinking City Faces A Tough Economic Future

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The Betancourts bought their home in 1986. They were on the verge of paying off their mortgage in 2005 when a series of health emergencies shattered their hopes of owning their home outright. Mallory Yu/NPR hide caption

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Mallory Yu/NPR

For The Black Middle Class, Housing Crisis And History Collude To Dash Dreams

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Hillary Clinton arrives to sign her book "Hards Choices" at a bookstore on Martha's Vineyard on August 13, 2014. According to the Clintons' 2015 tax returns, the couple earned $3.1 million from book advances and royalties. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jesse Murillo (top right) and Megan Newman (bottom) opened the Out West RV park, nestled between Midland and Odessa, as a long-term investment. Since opening the park, the couple have been living in an RV as they build their own home. Ilana Panich-Linsman for NPR hide caption

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Ilana Panich-Linsman for NPR

Texas Town's Fortunes Rise And Fall With Pump Jacks And Oil Prices

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Rich Harlan prepares Coney hot dogs at his restaurant, Red Hots Coney Island, in Detroit. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Coney: The Hot Dog That Fueled Detroit's Middle-Class Dreams

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A father plays with his children outside their house in 1952. George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images hide caption

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George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images

A Brief History Of America's Middle Class

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Alberto Ruggieri/Getty Images/Illustration Works

What It's Like To Be A Part Of The 'Vanishing Middle Class'

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Automated sewing machines embroider oversized patches for the tongues of New Balance sneakers at a factory in Skowhegan, Maine. Murray Carpenter hide caption

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Murray Carpenter

Chinese Consumers Embrace New Balance's 'Made In USA' Label

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Factories have been closing in southwest Ohio for years. This Delphi factory in Dayton shut down in 2006. Economists say that to a large degree, the decline in middle incomes reflects the loss of factory jobs. J.D. Pooley/Getty Images hide caption

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Could You Come Up With $400 If Disaster Struck?

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