Robert Samuelson has an important column on middle-class economic anxieties. By most objective measures we are doing better, but there are fewer guarantees: that well-paying job could be downsized, your investments and 401(k) could go south, your health insurance premiums could rise and eat into any income growth you experience, you might be pushed out of your job in your 50s, etc. That’s why I think it is a mistake for conservatives to simply talk up the economy by pointing to historically low unemployment, household net worth increases, GDP growth rates since 2001, and other measures in an attempt to (rightly) defend the Bush tax cuts. What’s going on is more complicated than that and trying to reassure people about the economny by citing these statistics misses the point. Neither the Pollyanna nor doomsday scenarios are quite true.
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