Kevin Drum points to two very important articles (actually four, since the second one contains three parts). These are both really worth your time, and I don’t have anything to add beyond Kevin’s excellent posts, so I’ll just briefly cite him:
First, there is the LA Times’ article “If America Is Richer, Why Are Its Families So Much Less Secure?”
Although volatility remained high in the late 1990s, with typical annual swings of as much as 27%, incomes finally began to grow again, improving families’ odds of being able to get ahead. But the good times didn’t last. Since 2000, incomes have reversed course and fallen about 1% a year, according to recently released census figures. In other words, things are back to the unattractive equation of more risk for less reward.
about how Republicans have abused their majority position in Congress to rule the legislative process in the House with an increasingly iron — and often corrupt — fist. Backroom deals, closed debates, abuse of legislative traditions, and procedural skullduggery are now the rule rather than the exception.