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Can you still make it in America?

Kai Ryssdal (left) at the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago.

Four years after President Barack Obama took office amidst the slogans of "hope" and "change", the unemployment rate is well off the ten percent it used to be early in the president's first term. And yes, the economy has actually been growing for more than three years.

But numbers don't mean anything to people who still feel like they're stuck in a recession. Numbers don't help the people who are struggling on the path to the middle class and economic security. To them, even the idea of economic security can seem impossible.

So Marketplace traveled to Chicago, where the Obama presidency started, to begin his second term. Broadcasting live from the National Public Housing Museum just off Michigan Ave., a place where the perils and the promise of America can be seen and heard.

It's a place where the question "Can you still make it in America?" is very real. The only way to get the answer is to go out and ask people. We visited the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago to do just that. Listen to the radio segment in the audio player above, and hear from more Chicago residents below.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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