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Two years after end of Great Recession, how are we doing?

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Those rising stock prices have certainly helped one group: billionaires. Two years ago, according to Forbes Magazine, there were 359 US billionaires, controlling $1.061 trillion in wealth. The magazine's assessment for 2011 found 412 US billionaires with wealth totaling $1.484 trillion.

Yet on Main Street, the view is somewhat different.

The Hudson Valley community of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., about a two-hour drive from New York City, has seen a lot of stresses and strains. But it also shows how the economy can be resilient.

Poughkeepsie is the county seat for Dutchess County. As such, it has a certain amount of built-in stability from courts, law firms, and hospitals.

The Brookings Institution's Met­ro­politan Policy Program puts Pough­keep­sie's economy in the middle of the 100 metro areas it measures. Most of those "middle" cities have some mix of government, education, health care, professional services, and food service, says Mark Muro, policy director of the program.

But that did not insulate Pough­keepsie economically.

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