AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (9 comments)

  1. SSSeabrook

    Carter is the one who is correct. You are seriously out of touch with reality. Why is it that the right wing is so fact and math challenged ?

    1. Chuck in VA

      What part of his numbers don’t add up? Are they incorrect, or do you just feel that way?

    2. Tom Sullivan

      Each of the 4 points are correct. What specifics do you have in rebuttal?

  2. Benjamin Cole

    This is a troubling topic for those who lived through the 1960s…the numbers show higher incomes today…but I can remember factory workers in Los Angeles easily finding jobs and buying houses…one-income households doing fine…now you have mom and dad putting in 60 hours a week each…not sure economists really have a handle on this…

    1. Chuck in VA

      It’s called inflation, and Mr. Carter should have a much better sense of what that consists of than he displays. You can pick almost any concrete metric (house, car, silver, how long you have to work to pay for any of those, etc.) from 1979 and compare it to now, and you’ll find about a 5:1 deterioration in buying power of the dollar. Throw in the modern desire to have those nicer things in life Right Now, and people able to borrow the money easily, and before you know it, both spouses have to work.

  3. Phillip Schearer

    My long-time observation is that decades of growing government consumption of America’s productivity would have collapsed everyone’s standard of living long ago but for a list of facts: 1) For good or ill, Mommy doesn’t stay at home like decades ago but is now often a co-bread-winner along with Daddy. 2) Computerization has increased efficiency of all types of businesses using B2B, CRM, just-in-time, etc. 3) Globalization provides cheaper products for all, keeping up everyone’s standard of living. 4) Relying on factors listed already, there are new business models that have made possible great cost-cutting business such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, PayPal, etc., etc. But all this efficiency and productivity just offers the government more opportunities to tax and hinder.

    1. Todd Mason

      Agreed, with two additions. Dual earners are a definite “ill” for household budgets, which skews the transfer payment argument that Mr P loves to make. Granny is less likely to live in proverty than back in Jimmy’s day, but five-year-olds are more likely.

      Secondly, America had a substantial blue-collar middle class when Jimmy was inaugurated — steelworkers in Pa with hunting cabins and autoworkers in Michigan with lake homes. As Jimmy says, those Americans are falling out of the middle class the wrong way.

    2. Stephen Grossman

      Mises inferred Fed inflation and predicted depression in the technologically progressive 1920s because prices were stable. Tech lowers prices.

  4. TruthInAction

    Excellent analysis. This is a fallacious statement that liberal/statist politicians love to make.

    Dr. Thomas Sowell dedicates an entire chapter to this in his book “Economic Facts and Fallacies”.

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