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Mary Sanchez argues that getting Americans back to work should be the only focus of our economic policy in her column, “Our Challenge For 2012: Get America Working Again.”

2011 will be remembered as the year Americans woke up to the harm that growing disparities in wealth and income have done to our society and our economy.

For decades, the rich have claimed a far larger share of the nation’s bounty than the rest of us, and now we see the consequences. Americans have funded their consumption — not just of widescreen TVs and vacations but also of homes, educations and health care — by taking on more and more debt. In 2008, the bottom fell out for a lot of households, and things haven’t improved much since.

The challenge of the coming year, 2012, is to begin doing something constructive to reverse the trend of inequality. This isn’t a call for “class warfare,” but rather an alarm to the middle class that it needs to look after its own interests.

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