March 29, 2012 |
President Obama, many Democrats and editorial page writers have been working to convince the nation that it is wracked by inequality, a disappearing middle class and a lack of opportunity. The charge of growing inequality is partly correct, mostly because those at the top of the income distribution have pulled away from the rest of us. But the other charges are wrong or misleading. First, consider the claim that the nation's economic growth in the past three decades has gone straight to the richest Americans.
November 20, 2011 |
There has been a strong and troubling shift in market rewards for a small minority relative to the rewards available to most citizens. A recent Congressional Budget Office study found that incomes of the top 1 percent of the U.S. population (adjusted for inflation) rose 275 percent from 1979 to 2007, while income for the middle class grew only 40 percent. Even this dismal figure overstates the fortunes of typical Americans. In 1965, only one in 20 men ages 25 to 54 was not working; by the end of this decade, it is likely...
December 25, 2012 |
Democrats seeking a deal to avert the year-end "fiscal cliff" are trying to etch into stone the signature economic achievement of Republican President George W. Bush by permanently extending tax cuts enacted during his tenure. President Obama has put the extension of the tax cuts for most Americans at the top of his domestic agenda, a remarkable turnaround for Democrats, who had staunchly opposed the tax breaks when they were written into law about a decade ago. With Obama leaving his Hawaii vacation...
January 26, 2012 |
There is no doubt that incomes are unequal in the United States — far more so than in most European nations. This fact is part of the impulse behind the Occupy Wall Street movement , whose members claim to represent the 99 percent of us against the wealthiest 1 percent. It has also sparked a major debate in the Republican presidential race, where former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has come under fire for his tax rates and his career as the head of a private-equity firm.
August 26, 2012 |
Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much, but they do agree on this: the middle class. At their conventions, the two parties will compete fiercely for its support. Republicans will accuse Barack Obama of destroying the middle class through policies perpetuating high joblessness and feeble economic growth. Democrats will portray Mitt Romney as a tool of the rich who doesn't understand the middle class. To the victor may go the election, because "saving the middle class" has arguably become the campaign's...
July 8, 2009
In his July 6 op-ed , "Economists Out to Lunch," Robert J. Samuelson illustrated why so many of his colleagues missed the approach of the financial mess. Mr. Samuelson asserted, correctly, that "the crisis surprised liberal and conservative economists, Republicans and Democrats alike. " But he was incorrect in asserting that there is any significant difference among the different flavors of economists. As President Obama asserted last year, Ronald Reagan did more to change America than did, say, Bill Clinton.