The plight of the middle class is shaping up to be a focus of the 2012 presidential campaign. This is as it should be, given the struggles of working families during the Great Recession, with its continuing high unemployment rates and depressed housing market. There is also likely to be some attention on the very rich, and especially on the question of whether they pay their fair share of taxes. This welcome development is partly the result of the Occupy movement’s...
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Mary Jo Bane is the Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she has been on the faculty since 1981. From 1993 to 1996 she was assistant secretary for children and families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.