Not Poorer, Not Gloomier

by Scott Winship

Paul Taylor is correct that I misattributed the specific claim that the middle class has grown poorer over 40 years to the Pew Research Center report, and I apologize for the carelessness. As I wrote later in the piece, the report finds that both “lower-income” and “middle income” Americans got richer over the 40-year period. I didn’t write the subheadline of the National Review piece, which says that Pew “invented” a middle-class decline, but my piece does attempt to show that PRC’s subhead (“Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier”) is badly off. The issue of accounting for Hispanics — a small point raised in the piece — is illustrative; trends showing everyone lumped together look worse than trends for either Hispanics or non-Hispanics considered separately.

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