The rich and educated are more likely to marry, to marry each other, and to produce rich and educated children. But this virtual cycle turns vicious for the poor.
The familiar story about income inequality and the lost middle class often starts with bots and boxes.
Technology and automation (often summed up as "robots") have destroyed routine-based middle-class jobs, widening the gap between the rich and poor. Globalization (i.e.: international trade, symbolized by the container box) has eliminated a swath of well-paid work, like manufacturing.
But forget about technology and trade for a moment. There is a more human story to tell about middle class woes. It's a story about marriage.
Imagine the Typical American Family: Married, living together, with at least one kid under 18. That family earned a median income of $81,000 last year, as Ben Casselman showed with new Census data. That's a fine income, and it's growing, if slowly, even after you adjust for inflation.