Great read from Ritholtz at Bloomberg:
Which of these two scenarios describes the U.S. economy?
No. 1. The economy is better than ever: The stock market is near a record high, wages are rising, there are more job openings than applicants, household wealth has hit a record, gross domestic product is growing briskly, house values have recovered from the bust, and consumer confidence is back — and so is America!
No. 2. Real Americans are suffering: Inflation-adjusted wages are stagnant or even declining, economic mobility is nonexistent, gasoline is getting expensive as oil prices rise, labor force participation rates are stuck at levels not seen since the late 1970s, health care is brutally expensive and getting more so, and rents have been rising. There is a looming retirement crisis coming, as households have too little savings, and pensions are underfunded — the average American is getting crushed!
In reality, this binary choice is a false construct and both of these scenarios are very true. But who you are, where you live, your job and educational background very much determines which of those two descriptions you relate to more. And while there has always been a divide between rich and poor, it has grown especially acute during the past decade.