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美国中产阶级收入真的在停滞吗?

美国剑桥—提高中产阶级家庭收入的挑战已成为美国总统选战的重要焦点。所有人都同意,得益于高科技教育和股价攀升带来的巨大收益,顶层人群的收入几十年来可谓狂飙突进。改进帮助那些陷入贫穷之人的计划——如食品券和基于经济调查的退休金——也得到了总体支持。但公共争论的重点集中在如何帮助数量更加庞大(在政治上也更加重要)的中产阶级。

在这方面,改进现有政府计划可以带来很大的助益:扩大贴近市场的培训、增加已婚妇女加入或回归劳动力大军的机会、降低社会保障规则中对继续聘用年长工人的惩罚条款、改变税收规则以提高生产率和工资等。

但是,尽管加强这些计划应该作为重点,但也不能忽视中产阶级家庭在过去几十年中的实际表现。不幸的是,政治争论被误导性的统计数字所扭曲,这些数字从总体上低估了中产阶级家庭的得益。

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