This is from our friends at the NBC News Political Unit, reported in this morning's FirstRead:
*** The Great Disconnect five years later: So much has improved since Lehman Brothers’ Sept. 15, 2008 collapse, which marked the beginning of the U.S. financial crisis. The Dow is up. So are corporate profits. The unemployment rate has gone down, though not where it was in Sept. 2008 (6.1%). And the housing market has been roaring back. But other measures show how the recovery still hasn’t been felt by all Americans. Median household income hasn’t improved since 2008, and the number living below the poverty level has increased. Consequently, there’s a gigantic disconnect about the U.S. economy five years after Lehman’s crash and Wall Street’s rescue: Some Americans, as well as corporate America, are doing very, very well. Other Americans, mostly the folks on Main Street, aren’t. “The top 1 percent of U.S. earners collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, their largest share in Internal Revenue Service figures going back a century,” the AP wrote earlier this week.
*** NBC/WSJ poll: Down on the economy: This reality is reflected in our new NBC/WSJ poll. Despite the good news on the economy over the past few months (at least statistically speaking), just 27% think the economy will get better over the next 12 months -- the lowest percentage in our poll since July 2012. In addition, 52% disapprove of Obama's job, which is the highest number for him since Aug. 2012. Americans also are worried about economic mobility. Of the respondents who identified themselves as poor or working class, only 29% say it’s likely they’ll be in the middle class over the next several years, down from 36% who said this in 1998. And when asked what worries respondents the most in their lives, the top answers -- they were allowed up to two -- were health care (34%), saving enough for retirement (29%), paying for groceries and utility bills (26%), and the cost of college (21%). Note: Down on this list was job security (17%), which suggests that many Americans aren’t struggling to find jobs; rather they’re struggling IN THEIR JOBS with wage stagnation especially as the cost of health, education and retirement all go up.