In the most difficult economy in a generation, middle-income and poor Americans are hurting the worst. Congress is tied in knots, barely able to pass even the most basic measures to help.
That has put pressure on the one arm of government with the power and the flexibility to try to boost ordinary Americans’ fortunes: the Federal Reserve. But the limited policies the Fed has at its disposal mostly put money in the hands of the affluent, at least through their direct effects. The affluent, in turn, are less likely than most to spend that money in the wider economy.