For the last four years, ordinary Americans have struggled to rebuild their wealth in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis.
Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reported that the average U.S. household has recovered only 45% of its wealth lost during the recession.
Of course, the Federal Reserve won't acknowledge that its Chairman, Ben Bernanke, has been a principle driver in the underperformance of the middle class' return to financial normalcy. Bernanke has removed incentives for anyone to keep their dollars in a savings account by knocking interest rates to near-record lows.
Meanwhile, nearly 50% of Americans do not own any stocks or bonds. Given recent memories of their wealth evaporating, it's been difficult to instill much confidence for those who lost so much.
Low rates and lost confidence in the markets have left more Americans vulnerable to inflation, accelerating costs of staples, and uncertainty about their financial future.
But there is good news.