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Growth and the Middle Class

David Madland explains how a strong middle class is the key to economic growth in Democracy Journal.

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To challenge trickle-down economics, progressives need to develop a compelling story that explains how to generate economic growth. Otherwise we will remain on the defensive about whether our policies can create jobs and opportunity, and we’ll continue debating economic policy on trickle-down’s terms, which is a recipe for failure.

The problems with trickle-down are legion. But—even after producing only relatively weak growth during good times and then causing the Great Recession—trickle-down remains standing. However inadequate trickle-down is as a model for generating economic growth, elected officials fall back on it because they can understand—and sell—the simplistic logic of cutting taxes and regulations to provide incentives to workers, businesses, and investors to be more productive.

The above excerpt was originally published in Democracy Journal. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

David Madland

Senior Fellow; Senior Adviser, American Worker Project

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