We have arrived at an answer to my original question: How can no change explain change?
Declining labor-force participation ends up being yet another false sign of economic deterioration.
There are other factors besides economic decline behind the cultural and social crisis we face
The 1996 welfare-reform law was not perfect, but it unambiguously helped reduce child poverty.
The 1996 welfare reform wasn’t the only reason that hardship among poor children fell, straw-man arguments to the contrary notwithstanding.
Economic life is perhaps a bit less secure than it once was, but it's far more secure than Gabler and other doomsayers suggest.
Despite the recent misreporting on a new Pew survey, poor and middle-class Americans are both substantially better off than 45 years ago.