The fact is that middle-class incomes have not stagnated. Those of us old enough to remember 1980 with sufficient clarity to compare life back then to life today ought to see this reality clearly.
During Jimmy Carter’s final year in the Oval Office, virtually no Americans had cellphones (much less smartphones) or access to the Internet and to medical wonders such as Lasik surgery and Viagra. (I purchased my first pair of soft contact lenses in July 1980. They were so expensive that I bought insurance on them against loss or damage. No joke.)
A list of goods and services that ordinary Americans today take for granted but were unavailable just 34 years ago (or that then cost an arm and a leg) would be far too long for this column.