By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – It seems Wall Street is hitting new highs every day. The Dow is back above 16,000 and the stock market is heading for its biggest annual gain in years.

Yet millions of Americans feel they’ve been left behind.

Research by the Washington Post and the Miller Center finds American workers are living in unprecedented economic anxiety even four years after the Great Recession officially ended.

More than 6 in 10 workers fear losing their jobs to the economy – beyond anything seen in polls dating back to the 1970’s.

We hear a lot about the so-called ‘2 Americas.’ And there are plenty of polls telling that story.

But this one is unique because economic attitudes usually split along political lines. And that’s not the case with this new anxiety. Once pollsters adjust for economic and demographic factors there is no partisan divide. There’s also no racial divide and no gender gap.

It doesn’t even matter where people live.

Perception is reality when it comes to the economy. Just like politics.

Reminds me of a routine that Vice President Joe Biden likes to use on the stump, quoting his father to say that when “Someone you know loses a job it feels like an economic downturn. When your neighbor loses a job, it feels like a recession. And when you lose your job it’s a depression.”

Now I don’t quote Joe Biden very often.

But his point may help to explain a lot.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz



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