Is the fledgling economic recovery actually a "recovery gap" between rich and less well-to-do Americans?

U.S. News & World Report's Rick Newman makes a interesting observation today on the peridiocal's "Money" blog about the so-called signs that the recession has ended: the rich, who likely gained much more from the recent stock market recovery could be spending more and creating the appearance of a recovery, while the rest of us continue to struggle.

Although the twin crashes in the stock and housing markets meant that rich Americans lost a lot more total wealth than the rest of us and cut back correspondingly, "there's some evidence that wealthy consumers are bouncing back faster than the rest of America," Newman reports.

Because the wealthy aren't jumping to spread their wealth with the rest of us, we may have to wait for the infamous "trickle-down effects," Newmark concludes. "We may actually be in the midst of a two-tier recovery in which life is getting better for a small minority of Americans at the top of the income chain, and they spend enough additional money to drive up spending and other stats and make it look like there's a real recovery," he continues. "But the same so-called recovery could bypass many ordinary Americans, which is what seems to be happening now.

"At least one thing hasn't changed: It's good to be rich. Now as much as ever."

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