Our nation, today, faces very real economic challenges. Economic growth during the recovery has been meager and uneven.
The U.S. economy has become less dynamic and innovative in recent decades. We miss the strong productivity growth America enjoyed in the mid-20th century and the unusually large wage gains it brought.
However, in historical and comparative perspective, most Americans enjoy unprecedented material living standards. Our economic problems often take the form of unsatisfactory rates of improvement—we are growing richer less quickly than we did when we were poorer.
Nevertheless, many Americans—poor, middle class and wealthy—feel that something is amiss. It is a feeling that cannot be reduced to economic anxiety. Rather, there is a sense that our social fabric is fraying.