When polled, nearly two-thirds of Americans say they believe the country is going in the wrong direction. Many believe gridlock in Washington is the cause, and they're partly right.
More important is the state of the economy, with its slow growth and stagnant wages. In real terms, the income of 81% of families has remained flat or even declined in the last twenty years. But 70% of the economy is based on consumer demand, and when consumers have relatively less to spend, companies have to produce less; to compensate, they raise prices, lay off employees and don't raise wages, creating tensions as people struggle to support their families.
As we all know, this economic malaise has not affected us all equally. The well-off have been spared while the burden is borne by the middle and working classes and the poor. This inequality is an important political issue, one which, believe it or not, was starting to be considered seriously by both parties before Donald Trump disrupted our political process.
What to do? Ironically, both Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton advocate more spending for infrastructure - roads, bridges, airports and the like. This would create good jobs for ordinary people, leading to more consumer spending and a boost to the economy. It would raise our spirits, make the country greater and would go a long way toward reducing inequality.