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Living Beyond Our Paychecks?

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich recently contributed this confused and confusing op-ed to the New York Times.  Here’s the letter that I sent in reply:

At least a full-sized
op-ed is required to address the many wrong-headed presumptions,
factual errors, and non sequiturs that mar Robert Reich’s "Totally
Spent" (February 13).  The most blatant mistake, however, is Mr.
Reich’s assertion that women entering the workforce, and people working
longer hours, are examples of how Americans "live beyond their

When more family members work, and when those who
work do so for more hours per week, families’ paychecks increase.
Working more might be good or bad – it might be evidence of underlying
economic problems – but it emphatically is not a means of living beyond
a paycheck.

Donald J. Boudreaux