ABSTRACT

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book discusses how several decades ago a subject of purely academic and scholarly interest—income inequality—was popularized by the mainstream media and turned into a "muddled" national issue for many Americans. A few examples of how the mainstream media feeds the income gap muddle are presented. The book deals with the "income gap muddle" and how many Americans are in that muddle. It discusses that the traditional "inverse" relationship between increasing income inequality and decreasing economic fairness is put under the microscope and shown to have broken down during the last few decades. It focuses on the country's middle class and argues that it is neither in decline nor is it ready to collapse—despite economic recessions now and then.