Robert Samuelson: Are we richer than we think?

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  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 12:34 a.m.

    @marxist: "But, just a tip here. Look at these data by quintile. The bottom four are flat since 1980. Have a look."

    But how many people have stayed in those bottom quintiles for 40 years?

    In our capitalist economy people frequently move from one income level to another, usually upward until retirement when both income and expenses drop (home paid for, kids on their own, etc).

    The world is full of socialist nations. There has never been a wall keeping anyone in the USA. Yet people swim through 90 miles of shark invested ocean to get in while those who are here pine for us to be what the rest of the world wants to escape.

    Makes no sense to me. If I believed the Marxist / socialist rhetoric, I'd relocate. I guess marxists can't even accept that level of personal responsibility.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Aug. 25, 2018 10:31 a.m.

    People, in the USA, are better off now then ever before. This is true from top-to-bottom. The media like to create a false analogy comparing the Richest, to the poorest and the amount of wealth held by the wealth-creators… this is a jealousy issue, and a way to create class-warfare.

    This is the USA, and it was built by business, wealth creators, but has moderated by some pretty reasonable financial safety net protections for the labor force. This is a lively continuing discussion, but we do a pretty good job trying to find the right balance.

    From one that has been deployed around the world.. The USA is still the best place to live on Earth.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 25, 2018 12:42 a.m.

    I work four jobs, wife two. Not much sitting time sitting around in sweat pants watching hot dog eating contests. I would bet that is more the norm for a lot of people these days.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2018 11:13 p.m.

    But, just a tip here. Look at these data by quintile. The bottom four are flat since 1980. Have a look.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Aug. 24, 2018 10:55 a.m.

    Samuelson is absolutely correct. Society is richer than ever before. Realizing this takes is an understanding of economic history.

    In no ther age have the masses been well enough economically to sit around in sweatpants and crocs watching hot dog eating contests on television instead of spending every waking moment toiling in fields or factories. In no other age has there been enough wealth for endless rows of honky tonks, Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens to line the streets.

    As Samuelson says, the economy is doing well. But it is irrefutable that society is richer than ever before.

  • Catamount Plymouth, MI
    Aug. 24, 2018 9:21 a.m.

    Answer: Yes. We are richer than we thought.

    To summarize (reading between the lines), Samuelson and most other "expert" economists were/are wrong. The economy is doing much better than they thought/think.

    This is basically a mea culpa by Samuelson, without ever actually saying so. I admire him for at least addressing the facts, rather than just discarding them in circular file.