America’s heart, soul, brains and muscle — the middle- and working-class people who make this nation great — have been beset for too long by sapping economic decline.

So, too, New York breadwinners and families.

Paychecks are shrunken after more than a decade in which the workplace has asked more of wage earners and rewarded them less. The decline has knocked someone at the midpoint of the salary scale back to where he or she would have been in 1996.

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