The squeezed middle: The pressure on ordinary workers in America and Britain

Wednesday 13 March 2013 Incomes and Inequality

As wages stagnate but living costs keep rising, the pressure on working people grows more intense. The issue of living standards has become one of the most urgent challenges for politicians in both Britain and America. At this event the Resolution Foundation launched The Squeezed Middle, a collection of essays from leading economic and policy thinkers analysing the extent of the squeeze on living standards on both sides of the Atlantic, looking at the impact of different policies on those on low to middle incomes and explaining what lessons the UK can learn from America’s ‘lost generation’.

Sophia Parker, editor of the collection, introduced the topic and outlined the main themes of the book whilst Heather Boushey, Chief Economist at the Center for American Progress, discussed the causes and consequences of the squeeze on living standards, drawing out potential policy responses to counter these increased pressures on working people. Justin Webb, former BBC North America editor, reflected on how the squeeze on living standards has played out socially and politically in the US and the UK whilst Juan Antolin-Diaz of Fulcrum Asset Management discussed the trends and prospect for economic recovery in the two countries.