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Woe is us?

Posted By Russ Roberts On February 15, 2006 @ 4:17 pm In The Hollow Middle | Comments Disabled

We’re starting a new category at Cafe Hayek—The Hollow Middle.  This category will include posts about the despair some invoke about America being hollowed out or the vanishing middle class or the have and have-not society we’re allegedly moving towards. 

Harold Meyerson’s column [1] in today’s Washington Post kicks off the category.  His piece looks at the workers at a Ford auto plant that’s being shut down.  They are highly skilled and the main reason for the plant’s demise is partly due to Ford’s failure to update the Lincoln, assembled at the plant.  The workers actually feel pretty good about themselves and the future, refusing to see themselves as victims, but Meyersohn sings a different tune:

"It’s not, ‘Woe is us,’ " says Burkie Morris, speaking for his defiant,
reeling buddies. Maybe not for you, Burkie, but speaking for your
countrymen, who are seeing American manufacturing dismantled and the
middle torn from our economy: Woe is us.

As I pointed out earlier this week, American manufacturing is not being dismantled [2].  I’d like to see the evidence that the middle is being "torn from our economy."  Actually, I have no idea what it means.  But it sure sounds sinister.  It’s a code-phrase really, that supposed to remind the reader of all the horrible things allegedly happening to the American economy, the hollowing out, the death of the middle class, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.  I think those horrible things are usually distortions of the data [3] masquerading as facts.

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URLs in this post:

[1] column: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/14/AR2006021401789.html

[2] American manufacturing is not being dismantled: http://cafehayek.com/2006/02/we_dont_make_an.html

[3] distortions of the data: http://cafehayek.com/2006/01/please_do_your_.html

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