America is changing. Demographically, we are projected to become “majority-minority” before 2050; the big news is that this is no longer driven by immigration (which has, in fact, slowed) but rather by births in the U.S. That demographic inevitability has been accompanied by an unsettling shift in the American economy: while debates continue to occur about the respective roles of technology and international competition in either creating or destroying employment, it is clear that the average person’s sense of job security has withered in what was supposed to be an exciting and hopeful new economy. Much of the economic change would be palatable if fortunes were rising or the pain was shared along the entire spectrum of the income distribution, but the sharp rise in inequality in the U.S. – higher now than at any time since the Gilded Age (Lindert & Williamson, 2016, p. 119) – has given rise to populist movements on the left and right that cast blame on elites and a “rigged” system.

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