In Tuesday night's State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama made one thing perfectly clear: the American middle class is key to the world's largest economy.
And, yes, it's in trouble.
Here's the money quote from the speech:
"It is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of America's economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class."
President Obama is right to be focusing on this problem.
As the 10-month GlobalPost investigation America the Gutted revealed, the middle class is in serious distress.
Median income and net worth are falling. The housing market — a key source of wealth for many middle class Americans — remains weak. Unemployment is still far too high. Meanwhile, the rise of China, India and other new economic giants continues to pressure entire industries and local communities across the United States.
But around the world, this story looks very different.
For a taste of this new reality, here's our documentary video that lays out the problems, and promise, of this global economic force — a video that, we might add, has just been shortlisted for a Webby Award:
You can find the rest of the series here, Mr. President. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Oh, and while you're at it, you might also want to fix income inequality in the United States. We've got a great special report on that subject, too.