Economist (UK): "Workingman's blues"
Americans have grown accustomed to extraordinary prosperity. Poor Americans today are more likely to have fridges, dishwashers and air-conditioning than average Americans were in 1971. Young voters have no memory of a serious recession, since the last one was in the early 1990s. Some do not even realise that cyclical downturns are normal. Only 18% of Americans think they are worse off than their parents were at the same age. But elections hinge on shorter-term concerns. Four-fifths of Americans say it is harder to maintain a middle-class lifestyle now than it was five years ago. That probably means the election is Mr Obama's to lose.Probably, but then Obama has coasted on a mantra of "change" that has been a policy souffle without any filling. The policies he has revealed have followed a pattern of higher taxes and income redistribution.