A woman rides an escalator past closed storefronts inside the largely empty White Flint Mall in Bethesda, Md. Opened in 1977, just two tenants remain. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

Rich Keep Saks in Clover, Poor Keep TJMaxx Growing, But No Middle to Shop at Sears

The death of the American shopping mall reflects the twilight of an American middle class that was the most prosperous of the Industrial era, imbued with unprecedented purchasing power by New Deal-era public infrastructure investments, and trade unions heavily influenced by a radical vanguard of Communists and African-Americans.

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