Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, November 01, 2019

"A lot of people think the middle class is dead, dying, hollowed out," says Russ Roberts, an economist at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and host of the podcast Econtalk. "And that's a view that's held now increasingly by not just the left ... but by conservatives, Republicans, [and] economists across the spectrum."

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But is it true? Roberts says that many of the leading studies that support this claim offer "a misreading of the data, or at least an incomplete reading of the data, [ignoring] a much fuller story of opportunity and progress."

In this video, Roberts offers some examples of the assumptions that economic researchers have made, leading them to offer an incomplete picture of American prosperity. He argues that the middle class has fared much better since the 1970s than most people think.

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Load of crap.

#1 | Posted by Angrydad at 2019-11-01 09:43 PM | Reply

#1

Insightful, yet pithy...

#2 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-11-01 11:04 PM | Reply

"Load of crap."

You're one of those people the presenter was talking about at 4:01.

#3 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 07:46 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

This should be on the front page.

#4 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 07:47 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

I've watched the video a couple of times and it comes across as absurd ...

80% of working Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and that's not just low salaried workers, that also includes those making as much as $100K a year ...

www.cnbc.com

Nearly 80 percent of American workers (78 percent) say they're living paycheck to paycheck, according to a 2017 report by employment website CareerBuilder.

It's not merely those earning low wages who are struggling. CareerBuilder reports that nearly 10 percent of Americans with salaries of $100,000 or more live paycheck to paycheck as well.


Also, anything on economics (1929 anyone?) coming from a Hoover Institution deserves questioning -- it's Herbert Hoover we're talking about.

If this thread was about some sort of engineering feat, then yeah, Hoover was an accomplished engineer -- but economics? Forget it.

#5 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-11-02 09:00 AM | Reply

"80% of working Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and that's not just low salaried workers, that also includes those making as much as $100K a year."

How much you make has no bearing on whether or not you live paycheck to paycheck. If income=expenses, you're going to be living that way. Regardless of whether or not you make $30k a year or $300k.

And I'm not sure where you find the absurdity in this. Perhaps you can explain.

#6 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 10:47 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

How much you make has no bearing on whether or not you live paycheck to paycheck.

#6 | POSTED BYMADBOMBER

Why don't you walk into any random bar in the de-industrialized Midwest and trot that line out, then see how far you get ...

And I'm very certain in your reply to this post, you'll keep on digging.

#7 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-11-02 10:56 AM | Reply

"And I'm very certain in your reply to this post, you'll keep on digging."

Keep digging?

Why don't you respond to the article. Or are you another of those the presenter is mentioning in 4:01?

Don't like what the facts have to say? Ignore them.

#8 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 11:18 AM | Reply

"Why don't you walk into any random bar..."

If you're sitting in a bar and doing anything more than sitting, you're not really in a position to whimper about living paycheck to paycheck.

#9 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 11:19 AM | Reply

Why don't you respond to the article.

#8 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

I did.

See post #5.

#10 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-11-02 11:41 AM | Reply

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You didn't really address anything in the article. You responded with some totally unrelated nonsense about living paycheck to paycheck.

If we watch the video, we learn that not only do people make more now, but each dollar spent on consumer goods goes further. So what do you think makes the difference between a worker in 1970 and 2020?

#11 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 12:14 PM | Reply

You didn't really address anything in the article. You responded with some totally unrelated nonsense about living paycheck to paycheck.

#11 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

The video didn't address the very real fact of so many people living paycheck to paycheck.

Keep digging.

#12 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-11-02 12:20 PM | Reply

"The video didn't address the very real fact of so many people living paycheck to paycheck."

Maybe because that very real fact is meaningless in the context of the point the presenter is making. Like I said, it doesn't matter how much you're bringing in...if income=expenses, you're living paycheck to paycheck.

#13 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 03:02 PM | Reply

"But is it true?"

Obviously it's true.

Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households.

#14 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-02 03:07 PM | Reply

The fact that this article exist is suspect.

#15 | Posted by fresno500 at 2019-11-02 03:27 PM | Reply

"The fact that this article exist is suspect."

Reactionary Bourgeoise conspiracy maybe?

You know, you're always free to provide a rebuke. If the presenter's data is incorrect, you should do so.

#16 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 04:27 PM | Reply

"Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households."

And this matters why?

#17 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 04:28 PM | Reply

You know, you're always free to provide a rebuke. If the presenter's data is incorrect, you should do so.

#16 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

The video at the top of this thread was rebutted -- again, see post #5.

And also again, as I said,

feel free to walk into any random bar in the de-industrialized Midwest and tell the economically squeezed bar patrons that, "how much you make has no bearing on whether or not you live paycheck to paycheck" ...

then see how far you get with your ridiculous platitude.

#18 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-11-02 04:40 PM | Reply

Your response, and correct me if I'm wrong, is the presenter is wrong because he is an associate of an institute that was named for a previous president who supported protectionist policies? Even through the article is posted in Reason, which is typically aligned with libertarian beliefs?

"feel free to walk into any random bar in the de-industrialized Midwest and tell the economically squeezed bar patrons that, "how much you make has no bearing on whether or not you live paycheck to paycheck" ... "

Sure. Or lower Manhattan. Malibu. Palos Verdes. Palo Alto. Or anywhere in the bay area.

The only difference is that the random bar in the de-industrialized Midwest is going to be full of trump supporters. Not so much in the places I mentioned.

#19 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 04:59 PM | Reply

And you've still failed to address the content of the article itself.

Failure seems to be one thing you do well.

#20 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 05:00 PM | Reply

#20 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

Whatever you say, Troll.

#21 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-11-02 06:03 PM | Reply

"Whatever you say, Troll."

Well, whenever you need some extra cash, I pay $20 for someone to wash my car. I have several, and they get dirty quickly.

I can get you some work washing cars, if you need the cash.

You're welcome.

#22 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 06:48 PM | Reply

"And this matters why?"

Because it shows the middle class has received practically no gains in household income since 1975.

#23 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-02 06:51 PM | Reply

"a misreading of the data, or at least an incomplete reading of the data, [ignoring] a much fuller story of opportunity and progress."

Oh, so they didn't bait and switch "prosperity of the middle class" with "opportunity."

They probably looked at things like "Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households." Figured that doesn't really include the middle class.

#24 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-02 06:58 PM | Reply

"They probably looked at things like "Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households." Figured that doesn't really include the middle class."

Which is why the US middle class is fleeing to Cuba and Venezuela, right?

#25 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 07:00 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Who said they're fleeing?

Do you wear a Che Guevara t-shirt when you post?

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-02 07:01 PM | Reply

"Between 2007 and 2011, one fourth of American families lost at least 75 percent of their wealth, and more than half of all families lost at least 25 percent of their wealth. Multivariate longitudinal analyses document that these large relative losses were disproportionally concentrated among lower income, less educated, and minority households." www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

#27 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-02 07:02 PM | Reply

Your thesis is since the losses of the Great Recession weren't as bad for the middle class as they were for the lower class, the middle class is better off than you think.

You should get a job as a rape counselor, telling them at least they didn't get murdered.

#28 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-02 07:04 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#27

Did you read the article at all? By chance?

If you pay $200k for a house nominally valued at $100k, which again suffers from an inflated market and holds a real world value of $75k...it's a stretch to say that the homeowner has lost $125k.

Writ large, unless you have investments, you're immune to Wall Street fluctuations. If you're reliant on labor for income, it won't matter what NASDAQ is up to.

#29 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 07:14 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"Your thesis is since the losses of the Great Recession weren't as bad for the middle class as they were for the lower class, the middle class is better off than you think."

I can say for me that the Great Recession was meaningless.

I had no investments...so I had nothing to lose.

#30 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 07:16 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

But I make a pretty solid income now.

What do you think about relocating to Venezuela...I'll buy the ticket.

#31 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 07:17 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

It's socialist:}:}:}:}:}:}

#32 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-02 07:18 PM | Reply

"If you pay $200k for a house nominally valued at $100k, which again suffers from an inflated market and holds a real world value of $75k...it's a stretch to say that the homeowner has lost $125k."

How is that a stretch?
If I sold you a $5 bill for $20, is it a stretch to say you lost $15?
Why?

"I can say for me that the Great Recession was meaningless."

Well you certainly didn't take the opportunity to learn anything about why it happened.

#33 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-02 07:59 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Writ large, unless you have investments, you're immune to Wall Street fluctuations."

So you're saying the reason the middle class is doing well is because they're so poor they can't afford to have investments.

That's quite the economic thesis you've cobbled together, have you bothered to consider the implications?

#34 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-02 08:01 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

It's fun making you go away.

#35 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-02 08:05 PM | Reply

If you are lower income you don't have a net worth.

I mean if I just paid all my bills and have a 100 bucks in my pocket I guess you could say I have a net worth of 100. If I then go and buy a bottle of vodka a couple packs of smokes at 10 lottery tickets then I have "lost" 75% of my net worth.

#36 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2019-11-02 09:42 PM | Reply

"Writ large, unless you have investments, you're immune to Wall Street fluctuations"

Nonsense. Had the Dubya meltdown continued small businesses would've shuttered, local commercial real estate would've cratered, and commerce and roads would've suffered. Downturns raise unemployment, which lowers income tax revenue. A chain reaction could affect housing resale values, and therefore school system funding.

"Immune" pretends the economic chain stops outside the wealthiest zip code. Nothing could be further from the truth.

#37 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-03 01:10 AM | Reply

"How is that a stretch? If I sold you a $5 bill for $20, is it a stretch to say you lost $15? Why?"

You're not losing money if you voluntarily give it away.

"Well you certainly didn't take the opportunity to learn anything about why it happened."

Says the feller who has never stepped foot in an economics class.

#38 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-03 04:38 AM | Reply

"So you're saying the reason the middle class is doing well is because they're so poor they can't afford to have investments."

It's not that they can't afford to...it's that the can't afford investments and maintain a desired level of affluency.

#39 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-03 04:40 AM | Reply

"If you are lower income you don't have a net worth."

Didn't you say you're lower income? Didn't you also say that you have a pretty solid nest egg built up?

#40 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-03 04:41 AM | Reply

"Nonsense. Had the Dubya meltdown continued small businesses would've shuttered, local commercial real estate would've cratered, and commerce and roads would've suffered. Downturns raise unemployment, which lowers income tax revenue. A chain reaction could affect housing resale values, and therefore school system funding."

The meltdown pre-dated GWB. It was triggered due to a hot housing market and banks lending credit to borrowers who were not really credit worthy.

What you really appear to be saying is, "thanks Bush, for fixing a problem that was not of your making."

But you're a smart dude. I think you know exactly why the recession happened...even if you don't want to say it out loud.

#41 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-03 04:46 AM | Reply

But to the point the presenter is trying to make, what do you think?

#42 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-03 04:46 AM | Reply

#40

I was lower income I am not now, not high income but not lower.

While I was lower income It took 9 years to save up 7k which MS wiped out in 2 months.

My nest egg is almost entirely the house that factors I had nothing to do with caused it to more than double in price.

#43 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2019-11-03 06:46 AM | Reply

"My nest egg is almost entirely the house that factors I had nothing to do with caused it to more than double in price."

Hmm...

If your counting the equity in your house as a nest egg, it's not really a nest egg.

20 years ago, in November of 1999, I was making somewhere around $1000 a month. Now I make a little over $11k a month.

Any argument that people are stuck is going to be wholly ignored by me...unless the person making the argument can point out how a system designed to make people poorer somehow allowed me to do so much better.

#44 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-03 09:09 AM | Reply

Politicians have been putting the middle class in the poor house for 40 years.

Both parties. We will always have data to support it on a macro-level.

#45 | Posted by eberly at 2019-11-03 09:35 AM | Reply

"Politicians have been putting the middle class in the poor house for 40 years."

How?

If you look at the numbers objectively, the economy in 2019 is better for everyone that it ever has been. The only complaint by the left today is that the middle class is being exploited because someone else is getting richer at a higher marginal rate.

#46 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-03 10:39 AM | Reply

"You're not losing money if you voluntarily give it away."

You lie.

The ledger doesn't differentiate if you pay your taxes voluntarily or at gunpoint.

This is Econ 101 stuff.

#47 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-03 01:05 PM | Reply

#44

Well it is if you can sell your house pay off the mortgage and buy a new house free and clear with cash left over. Something I could do if I was willing to give up space and location. If I am not working any more I would give up location without a second thought and I would also give up space. I could deal with a house half this size right now let alone in a few years when the kids are gone.

I am working on building up a nest egg independent of the house but since I still have MS and am still suffering the effects of being wiped out it's taking time. I have enough that a 400 emergency or two won't wipe me out but that's about it. Fortunately I have 20 years to work on it (I hope, MS always makes that a question).

The thing is while the economy is working (somewhat) for me I can see that it's not all roses you seem to ignore the stuff that's broken because it hasn't affected you. That makes talking about it with you somewhat frustrating.

#48 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2019-11-03 01:06 PM | Reply

"If you look at the numbers objectively, the economy in 2019 is better for everyone that it ever has been."

You lie.

"Between 2007 and 2011, one fourth of American families lost at least 75 percent of their wealth, and more than half of all families lost at least 25 percent of their wealth."

The economy was better for them in 2006.

#49 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-03 01:06 PM | Reply

Please, just stop lying.

#50 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-03 01:08 PM | Reply

"That makes talking about it with you somewhat frustrating."

He's a useful idiot for Voluntaryism.

Voluntaryism isn't a thing most people are aware of. It's perhaps easiest described as libertarianism on steroids.

According to Voluntaryism, anything that happens when two people agree to it is defined as the optimal economic outcome, and that imbues such exchanges with a moral good.

For example when a kid buys a ice cream, or a refugee pays a coyote to get them across the border, that's the best outcome for both parties and therefore is also what's best for the economy.

You'll find "because it happened voluntarily" at the core of each of his little economic morality plays.
For example:

"You're not losing money if you voluntarily give it away.
#38 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER"

#51 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-03 01:17 PM | Reply

You don't lose money when taxes get taken out of your paycheck...
You voluntarily give it away!

See how simple that is?
See why there's no sense in having a conversation with someone who thinks that way?

#52 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-11-03 01:20 PM | Reply

-The only complaint by the left today is that the middle class is being exploited because someone else is getting richer at a higher marginal rate.

What I meant is that politicians have campaigned by putting the middle class in the poor house, victimized them, and blame the other side for their lot in life.

Not that they are actually poor.

#53 | Posted by eberly at 2019-11-03 04:25 PM | Reply

You don't lose money when taxes get taken out of your paycheck...

I don't? Sounds like you've never seen a paystub ...

You voluntarily give it away!

Not exactly, can I take it back? Can I give less? Is there some room to negotiate?

Meaning can I tell the IRS I believe living in this country is worth say, $50,000 a year? Rather than the $70,000 I currently pay.

If I understand Libertarians, the government is a monopoly and there for not of the moral good when I can't negotiate, at least according to them.

IOW your example was a poor metaphor and therefore you must have a poor understanding of what Libertarians are thinking.

#54 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-11-03 04:36 PM | Reply

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