Even the Well-Heeled Feel the Pinch

By Amey Stone

The economy is improving, inflation remains almost nonexistent, and the latest employment figures showed a pickup of 57,000 new jobs in September. You would think the good times should be rolling once again for Americans lucky enough to have kept high-paying jobs during the downturn.

For many of the nation's highest earners, however, that hasn't been the case. A combination of falling incomes, rising interest rates, and higher prices for luxury goods and services have walloped the wealthy and upper-middle class. Soon, even people who make plenty of money could feel more strapped.

Data released on Sept. 26 from the Census Bureau's annual Curren

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