When Easy Credit Replaces Wage Increases, Prosperity is Fragile and America's Middle Class Suffers

Kevin T. Leicht
Professor of Sociology, University of Iowa

U.S. corporate profits used to depend on middle-class purchasing power. But after banks were deregulated, consumer debt soared as wages stagnated. As plutocrats accumulate lightly taxed fortunes from loans and investments, they no longer depend on a prosperous middle class.

Read Leicht's informative brief here, including his suggestions for restoring an American economy where profits are tied to rising middle-class incomes.

Learn more about Leicht and his research on the decline of the American middle class. See his key publications on work and wages, higher education, and economic development strategies. Leicht directs the Iowa Social Science Research Center, and speaks frequently to civic groups and public forums addressing community decline and economic restructuring. He is helping to lead a major new research project on the economic future of the upper Midwest.

January, 2013