MIT Economist: While the White, Wealthy Few Are Thriving, the Rest of America Is Living In a Third World Nation

Articles | May 4 2017

By David Love

Much these days is said of income inequality in the U.S., of the gaping, ever-expanding chasm that separates the haves from the have nots, the rich from the poor, the 1 percent from everyone else. This, in the richest nation in the world. One author, a prominent MIT economist, has taken this discourse a step further and has concluded that America has regressed into a developing nation for most people. There is a dual economy, he states — one low-wage and the other high-income, with the former having no influence in the public policy arena and finding itself subject to the machinations of the latter.

In his new book, “The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy,” Peter Temin, professor emeritus of economics at MIT, lays out his findings on the structure of economic inequality in America with a rigorous, often-neglected analysis of the role of race. In his research, Temin found there is no single national economy but rather two separate economies: 20 percent of people are in the FTE sector, the elite economy of the country named for finance, technology and electronics, while the remaining 80 percent are in the low-wage economy. There is no longer a middle class, with most of that group emerging in the poorer economy and only a handful finding themselves in the high-end economy.  (Read more)