The weird thing happening to Republicans in D.C. should scare Americans everywhere (Stephen Moore, Nov. 13th, 2023, Fox News)
A weird thing is happening politically in Washington. This new wing of the GOP is adopting the declinist rhetoric of Sen. Bernie Sanders, saying that middle-class America has fallen behind over the last 40 years, and that all the economic gains have gone to the richest Americans and big corporations.
Except this argument about the last 40 years — the greatest period of wealth creation and technological advance in world history — is flat-out false. Actually, it may be hard to appreciate given the last three depressing years of COVID, lockdowns and then Bidenomics, but the last 40 years have been a golden age of prosperity for virtually every income group — including the middle class. Median family income reached $78,000 in 2020, which is $20,000 a year higher than it was in 1983. That’s about a 35% after-inflation increase over the period.
Those income measures don’t include the much wider availability of more non-cash benefits — such as health care coverage, more vacation, and 401k and other retirement benefits — that make middle-class families almost 50% better off than in the late 1970s. They don’t take into account the cleaner air and water, the vast improvements in combating diseases such as cancer and heart disease, the superiority of the quality of products we buy today, and the fact that virtually all Americans now have a device in their pockets that puts the whole world and the entire Library of Congress at their fingertips — with access that is virtually free.