August 31, 2006
UPDATE: TigerHawk comments: “The problem with Engram’s post is that it does not respond to the primary lefty criticism of the “Bush” economy, which is that real wages for the average Joe — people who are not in, say, the top decile — have been flat to down. . . . While I do not doubt that the media is tougher on the economy today than it was during the Clinton years, real wage stagnation is a more likely explanation for the sour public mood than a vast mainstream media conspiracy.”
Hmm. Maybe. But two observations: One, the shift from satisfaction to dissatisfaction is awfully abrupt, and comes when Bush was elected. Wages can’t stagnate that fast, but media coverage can shift tone that fast. Two, I keep hearing about real-wage stagnation, but everyone I know who has a business complains that they can’t get enough decent help even when they raise pay, because people are always leaving for better jobs. That may be a local phenomenon or something, but I’d like to see something that accounts for worker mobility, too.
This post by Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek isn’t quite on the point mentioned above, but it does explain why living at the median income today is a lot better than living at the median income was in 1967.
MORE: Wixted responds to TigerHawk.