“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …”
– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859
For the past 120 days I have pored over economic reports, commerce data, home sales across America, stats on inflationary trends and sales tax reports by state (when they can be found). I’ve sorted the data by date published, then prioritized it by importance to the economy, and looked for correlations positive or negative. But no matter how many times I read over the data, I can come to only one solid conclusion: We have now finished changing into a two-tiered economy.
This change didn’t start with the downturn of the past two and a half years; instead, the completion of our segregation into two financial classes is what directly caused the downturn. No longer is the belief that “there’s the 20 percent of the population that live in poverty and then there’s the rest” a comfortably distant concept.
The discomfort line now divides those who “feel afraid” that they live in poverty-like circumstances, or soon will – even if they are gainfully employed – from “the rest.” And instead of a 20/80 split, have-nots to haves, today it may well be 60/40.