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.
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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.
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.
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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
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.
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A construction worker clears wood from a platform that spans the Penn Station railroad tracks in New York City on Nov. 18. Construction jobs rose by 20,000 according to the November jobs report.
Cara Russo of Gettysburg, Pa., here with 9-year-old Shayla, one of her two daughters, has found success in a program geared to help struggling families navigate past some of the day-to-day obstacles that keep many poor.