In the first essay for my on-line debate at Pairagraph with Branko Milanović, I argue that the frequently heard claim that the American middle class has for decades been economically stagnating is false . Here’s my opening paragraph:
I’m a time traveler from the 1970s. Born in 1958 into a working-class American family, I lived through the 1970s. And while it took me several decades to arrive in the year 2020, now that I’m finally here I can report that my recollections of the 1970s remain vivid. Here’s the bottom line: Ordinary Americans today have a material standard of living that is vastly higher than was the standard of living of ordinary Americans forty or fifty years ago.