The New Normal: Radical Inequality, Suffocating Debt, and Growing Job Uncertainty – Evonomics

By Servaas Storm

The Great Financial Crisis of 2008 deeply scarred the U.S. economy, bringing nine dire years of economic stagnation, high and rising inequalities in income and wealth, steep levels of indebtedness, and mounting uncertainty about jobs and incomes. Big parts of the U.S. were hit by elevated rates of depression, drug addiction and ‘deaths of despair’ (Case and Deaton 2017), as ‘good jobs’ (often in factories and including pension benefits and health care coverage) leading to careers, were destroyed and replaced by insecure, freelance, or precarious ‘gigs’. All this is evidence that the U.S. is becoming a dual economy—two countries, each with vastly different resources, expectations and potentials, as America’s middle class vanishes (Temin 2015, 2017). The anger and despair crystalized into a ‘groundswell of discontent’ among those left behind, which likely helped to propel Donald Trump into the White House on the promise of ‘making America great again

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