Sunday, March 15, 2009
For reasons that have long escaped me, ABC News thinks it’s a good idea to have a fanatical libertarian pundit on their payroll and presented as a newscaster. They don’t balance him with any social conservatives. They don’t balance him with any liberals. They don’t even balance him with any opinionated moderates. Instead, ABC News puts out a product that’s mostly banal TV news and sometimes 100-proof “we should let corporations do whatever they want,” often riddled with errors. Apparently the pundit in question, John Stossel, has a special coming out later today and he’s been hyping it on various conservative media. Hence this exchange on the Bill O’Reilly show:
O’REILLY: Do you believe the middle class in 2009 is worse off than it was 20 years ago in this country?The basic liberal line is that middle class wages have stagnated for decades while the rich have gotten richer. I think you can make a credible counterargument that since the CPI doesn’t properly account for “new goods” (nobody had an iPhone or a DVD player in 1988, etc.) that this factoid is unduly bleak and actually there have been modest improvements in living standards due to the improvements in available gadgets. Alternatively, you could argue that this is offset by things like the increase in commute times, the decrease in air travel quality, and other elements of quality of life that have been on the decline. What you can’t really argue with is this chart that shows that something’s gone amiss:
STOSSEL: No, I think the middle class is much better.
O’REILLY: Because that’s the liberal line. The liberal line is the middle class get pounded and they need my money and your money. You make an enormous amount of money, Stossel. The middle class needs our money because they just can’t keep up. But what about the middle class?
STOSSEL: The middle class has gone from something like $25,000 average income in today’s dollars to $75,000 today.
(Click for remainder).