What could make the middle class great again : The Indicator from Planet Money The argument that the key factor that boosted the middle class post WW2 — and could help the middle class again — is access.
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Making the Middle Class Great Again

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Making the Middle Class Great Again

Making the Middle Class Great Again

Making the Middle Class Great Again

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/903660865/903672898" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty
View of middle-class suburban neighborhood in Kentucky. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty

After the end of World War II in 1945, the three decades that followed were a kind of Golden Age for the US economy. The benefits of fast economic growth were shared widely, flowing to a big and growing middle class.

And there's a lot of common theories for why those decades were so great for the middle class. Like the unions were stronger back then; or the tax code reduced inequality; or the troops were back from the war and benefitted from the GI bill, which gave them money for college.

But there is a missing element in these theories: access. We talk with Jim Tankersley of the New York Times about his new book, "The Riches of this Land," which examines why increased access to the economy for non-white males boosted the middle class. And could do again.

Music by Drop Electric.

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