By Karen Petrou and Matthew Shaw
Yesterday, FRB Vice Chairman Clarida said that the U.S. economy is in “in a good place.” However, The Fed’s new study of American economic “well-being” shows that huge swaths of the United States are struggling harder than ever before to make ends meet. All but the most affluent Americans asked about how well they’re doing don’t feel anywhere near that good about it. Combine this with new data on the evaporating American middle class and an ugly picture quickly merges. In it, the prosperity in which the Fed takes such comfort rests thinly atop millions – indeed a hundred plus million – of Americans who are barely getting by at the height of the business cycle following a record-breaking “recovery.” No wonder that so many Americans remain so angry about their economic prospects and why political polarization is sure to define the 2020 election at least as much as it determined 2016’s outcome.