11
Feb
08

Puncturing the Two-America Myth

Live as I say, not as I do.John Edwards has dropped out of the presidential race, but the left continues to trumpet his class-warfare arguments. The two-America theme is endlessly regurgitated, particularly the notion that the rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer (with the obvious implication that the rich are somehow causing greater poverty).

These assertions have been repeatedly discredited (most recently by a Treasury Department study), but practitioners of the politics-of-envy seem impervious to factual arguments. So it’s highly unlikely that they will bother to read – much less understand – a powerful editorial in the New York Times by Michael Cox and Richard Alm of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. Cox and Alm look at consumption data rather than income data and they find that there is only a modest difference in the living standards of the rich and poor.

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