Behind all the handwringing in the West about a declining middle class and growing income gap lurks a stark fact – while a new middle class has emerged in resurgent Asia, middle classes in the West have seen no or very little improvement. Globalization may have succeeded in creating wealth, but its failure to enrich the middle class in the West risks pushing western governments to turn their backs on globalization through trade barriers and anti-immigration policies. The period of globalization extending roughly from the late 1980s to today can be described as a period of the two middle classes and their economic trajectories. One, relatively poor, did well, and another, quite well off, did poorly.
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