Monday, April 15, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, November 4, 2011
Middle Class Getting Ahead, not Falling Behind
By NCPA @ 2:54 PM :: 3931 Views :: National News, Ethics

The Material Well-Being of the Poor and the Middle Class since 1980

From NCPA

The U.S. economy has grown considerably over the past three decades, yet there is a prevailing sentiment that the middle class and the poor have been left behind. Much of this sentiment stems from official measures, such as median household income, which paint a bleak picture of the well-being of these two groups. However, this dominant thought regarding socioeconomic class gaps is flawed in several ways, among them that people and policymakers alike tend to pour over the wrong metrics to make these kinds of judgments. When these figures are adjusted, it becomes clear that the poor and middle classes are far better off than popular sentiment would have us believe, say Bruce D. Meyer of the University of Chicago and James X. Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame.

  • First, a more comprehensive measure to include non-standard forms of income is necessary to encapsulate gains that the poor and middle classes have made in recent years.
  • Second, the metric for inflation that is commonly used in these calculations inherently understates the material wealth of the non-rich.
  • Finally, income cannot be the only figure that is scrutinized when assessing how well-off a given person is -- solid examination should include average consumption, as this is often a superior measure of economic prosperity over time.

Upon including these amendments to otherwise-standard measures, results are obtained that create a thoroughly more optimistic image of middle class wealth.

  • Median post-tax income has increased, as has consumption.
  • A factor that is often ignored, physical amenities have improved in quality and increased in quantity amongst the middle class as well.
  • This includes larger homes, greater usage of air conditioning and personal clothing dryers, and more valuable automobiles.

These same results also hold true for the poor (in this case measured to be the lowest 10 percent in income). Median income and average consumption have increased amongst the poor, and their access to physical assets such as those described above has also improved. This has culminated in a decrease in the poverty rate, though official statistics would suggest otherwise.

Source: Bruce D. Meyer and James X. Sullivan, "The Material Well-Being of the Poor and the Middle Class since 1980," American Enterprise Institute, October 25, 2011.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT