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The U.S. economy is wrapping up twenty-five years of some of the strongest, smoothest growth in its history-a performance so sweet economists have given it a name: “the Great Moderation.” So why have so many of us, even those making hundreds of thousands of dollars, arrived at the new century with a gnawing sense that events are moving against our families and ourselves? The easy answer is that we’re suffering a case of needless anxiety. But the easy answer is wrong. Drawing on interviews with hundreds of Americans and new statistics he developed, Peter Gosselin traces a quarter-century shift of economic risk from the broad shoulders of business and government to the backs of working people. It is a shift that has shaken the pillars of most families’ lives-stable jobs, solid benefits, government protections. The change doesn’t mean one can’t prosper. But it does mean the benefits of growth come at greater peril and your financial fall will be steeper if you stumble. This threat to working Americans’ security-and what to do about it-is a pressing concern to economists, policy-makers, and everyone who works for a living.
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