In his 2015 State of the Union address, the president defined “middle-class economics” as “the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, everyone plays by the same set of rules.” Now, however you think of it, the middle class is a powerful idea in American culture. So on this episode, we explore the rise — and, some would say, the fall — of the middle class in the United States. What is the middle class, anyway? Who’s in it, and who isn’t? And how have middle-class lives and middle-class values changed over time?