Middle class gaining no ground. Plus: A state cap on greenhouse gases, bank fees on unemployment benefits, and Canadian common sense

February 20, 2009 | Aaron Keating

The Median Is the Message: Clark Williams-Derry of Sightline reviews a new report from the Federal Reserve and finds middle-income Americans were actually worse off between 2004 and 2007 than they were during the three years prior – even with a recession:

…median incomes in the US — a proxy for how the middle class was faring — actually slipped between 2004 and 2007.  Even though the economy was allegedly “recovering” from the slump earlier in the decade — and even though the stock market was soaring — middle-income folks gained absolutely no ground.

Full state House to consider cap on greenhouse gas emissions: House Bill 1819, which has the backing of Gov. Chris Gregoire, passed out of committee this week. The bill would impose a cap and trade system, in which a cap would be placed on companies’ emissions. They would be required to buy permits in order to emit at the acceptable level. Companies also could auction off their permits between each other, creating their own market system. | Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Jobless hit with bank fees on benefits: For hundreds of thousands of workers losing their jobs during the recession, there’s a new twist to their financial pain: Even as they’re collecting unemployment benefits, they’re paying bank fees just to get access to their money. | Seattle Times

Zakaria: The Canadian solution – common sense: If President Obama is looking for smart government, there is much he, and all of us, could learn from our quiet—OK, sometimes boring—neighbor to the north. | Newsweek

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Posted in Health Care, Retirement Security, Social Security, State Economy

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