While America view itself as a middle-class nation, this view is getting harder to substantiate and is gaining increasing political attention. New York Times staffer Tyler Cown takes a look at factors that could possibly rejuvenate the American middle-class, with a little help from the Chinese.

He discusses three factors, each partially responsible for the weakness of middle-class wage growth: foreign competition, technological changes that favor highly skilled workers and persistent poverty. The proliferation of technology by the Chinese could have a positive effect on the job force:

What economists call skill-based technical change may also shift in a more egalitarian direction. The advent of information technology increased the value of workers and managers who could manipulate these new talents effectively, while smart software eliminated the jobs of many travel agents and paper-filing clerks. But consider a universe in which all it takes to work with a computer is to talk to it.

Read more >