A new research paper finds that because of income inequality, middle-income households could have been saving $1,400 more annually by 2005 if their income growth had also kept pace with that of the top 10 percent. Part of the savings discrepancy is chalked up to a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality among middle-income families who saw themselves as needing to have the same kind of affluence as those much richer than they. That the study runs to 2008 is telling however: after that, was anybody saving anything?

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