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A Look at the U.S. Economy in December

CAP economist Christian E. Weller examines the state of the U.S. economy in December 2014.

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The sad economic story stays the same month after month. The economy keeps expanding, profits stay high, and the stock market continues to flirt with new records. Meanwhile, American families struggle with persistent challenges such as stagnant wages and high debt. The economic data show that the most Americans’ economic lives are slowly improving, but the wealthy continue to pull away from the rest.

The bottom line is that decision makers need to enact policies that can make a real difference in people’s lives. Such policies include a higher minimum wage, stronger overtime protections, and paid family leave to make sure that middle-class Americans can share equally in economic growth. Additional policies such as infrastructure investments in roads, bridges, and schools can help to insulate economic growth from the possible fallout of slowing overseas demand. American families have seen few economic gains during the economic recovery of the past few years. It is important that economic policy strengthens economic growth and creates real middle-class economic security.

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