Austerity isn't helping but even without austerity in the US, the end result is very much the same. Until we stop making life easy for those who caused the crisis and make it specific government policy to strengthen the middle class, we shouldn't expect any different results. The Guardian:
Millions of ordinary families are unlikely to see their earnings return to pre-recession levels until at least 2020, a report from a leading thinktank has warned. But it predicts that the income of the wealthy will continue to rise over the same period. The study, which focuses on the state of the "squeezed middle" and is produced by the independent Resolution Foundation, looks at the situation of 10 million adults, who crucially do not rely heavily on means-tested support from the state, and their 5.2 million children. A report by the foundation last year led to Ed Miliband's championing of the squeezed middle, a part of Britain that the foundation says remains a key political battleground. It says that households without children earn between £12,000 and £29,000 a year to be part of the squeezed middle; homes with children, between £16,000 and £41,000.