Are we living in a K-shaped economy?
Jun 25, 2024
Episode 1189

Are we living in a K-shaped economy?

The post-pandemic divergence continues.

In the wake of the COVID-19 recession, many economists were describing the United States’ economic recovery as K-shaped. Basically, high-income Americans bounced back quicker than those at the lower end of the income scale.

So, did we ever ditch that K shape? The person who coined the phrase “K-shaped recovery” back then, says no.

“I think we’ve just gotten worse,” said Peter Atwater, president of Financial Insyghts and adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary. “Those at the top of the economic pyramid and those at the bottom have become even more divided.”

On the show today, Atwater explains why he believes economic inequality has grown since the pandemic recovery, why considerable wage gains for low-wage workers tell only part of the story and the risks of letting a K-shaped economy run wild. Plus, which letter of the alphabet would best represent a healthy economy?

Then, we’ll unpack an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision on a publicly funded religious charter school. And, we’ll get into how the fragility of global shipping supply chains could be playing into Federal Reserve decisions on interest rates.

Later, a listener shares what led them to begin adapting their home to suit living with friends. And, happy wedding anniversary, Susanna!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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The team

Marissa Cabrera Senior Producer
Courtney Bergsieker Associate Producer