TLDR: "The Americans are living well. How do I know? Well, I'm living well and all my friends are living well, and that's the statistical evidence you just can't beat. Brought to you by BlackRock".

Thanks for sharing the article. I guess you've covered the third part of your slogan for this month. When I've seen this Boudreaux guy claim that the CPI "overstates" the rate of inflation, I cracked up.

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Student Loan Debt: $1.6 trillion

Credit Card Debt (revolving): $488 Billion

Auto Loan Debt: $1.5 Trillion

Source: Nerd Wallet

Americans living paycheck to paycheck: 64%

These debt numbers suggest not a dying middle class, but a dead middle class.

Our nation has been looted. Who?

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I appreciate the different perspective, but this article seems like a bungled attempt to defend America and capitalism as if we even have either of those two things anymore. To state that the "CPI is an index known for almost 30 years to substantially overstate the rate of inflation" is patently absurd and directionally wrong -- and to source that to the Social Security Adminstration (given their motives) is laughable. American inequality is real, and that would be fine if we had a level playing field, but we don't. The fix is not to redistribute income. The fix is to level the field by putting an end to the broken, crooked, debt-based fiat money system, returning to a gold (or Bitcoin) standard.

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I have come to believe that the underlying premise of the Democrat party is control. People attracted to that party have an unusual affinity for totalitarian methods and ends. When given a choice of "freedom" versus centralized planning or control they generally choose control. Every societal problem or concern requires a government response, rather than a plea for personal responsibility and acceptance of risk.

Yes, there are a couple of exceptions--namely abortion and sex (both of which are interrelated), but even their response to people who disagree with them on these issues is totalitarian.

So when the author above comments on Leftist's propensity to ignore plainly available evidence that challenges their worldview, it is completely understandable that they ignore it, rather than be content that we might have actually improved a societal problem. The goal is not improvement, but to impose their will on others.

I believe that many people on the Left are on a spectrum of mental illness, and have unhealthy psychoses towards their fellow human beings. They choose not to "live and let live," but to "judge and control." They themselves are largely controlled by their inner feelings and instincts rather than the objective data that lie before them. That they are not celebrating this paper is more key evidence to that assertion.

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"The second of these major flaws is the common practice of adjusting for inflation by using the Consumer Price Index – an index known for almost 30 years to substantially overstate the rate of inflation." This is a wild claim.

Income alone is not a great metric for this debate. It would be better to look at purchasing power of accumulated wealth, but calculating this accurately due to the problems with CPI would be difficult. A better metric might be share of wealth and that data seems to substantiate the claim that the middle class is being curb-stomped into the poor house:

Share of Total Net Worth Held by the Top 1% https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/WFRBST01134

Share of Total Net Worth Held by the 50th to 90th Wealth Percentiles https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/WFRBSN40188

Share of Total Net Worth Held by the Bottom 50% https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/WFRBSB50215

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The divide is not about dollars and cents........although that is what it has been dumbed down to because of the worship of money in our society. The divide over income is a metric for the lazy and ignorant.

The true divide is over freedom. Sure, the sheeple may be getting bigger pastures, greener grass, sweeter feed, cleaner water, better veterinary service, but they are still sheep that are fenced and herded at the will of the ranchers.

I for one have more money now than I have ever had in my life but I am not near as free as I was 25 years ago. As long as you are on the herd program you can do whatever else the herd is doing. The rancher will hold out the feed bucket and lead you around to where he wants you to go.......and reward you when you get there. You go on the government, welfare take, and you will do what you are told or you will be cut off........and even punished. We are paid to look like the herd, act like the herd, and think like the herd. Everything is awesome when you are just one of the herd. Try and take some independent action, or think and speak independently, and you had better have a huge bank roll to fund your legal expenses. Freedom of speech is under attack because that is the next level of freedom on the schedule to be removed. A man in Germany just got 3 years in prison for making pro-Putin comments. Plenty of sheeple in this country have gotten censored or cut off or fined for saying things deemed to be "hate speech" by the ranchers.

Many of the sheeple think they live in a free society and have equal justice under the law. And that false premise would be due to the fact that they have never had a run in with the "law" and have no idea that the level of justice you get in 'Murica! is directly related to the size of your bank account. Sheeple are never presumed innocent until proven guilty; they are presumed guilty until they can buy their innocence.

What percent of Americans are debt free? Sure they eat better, have more things, drive nicer cars, and have internet, but how many Americans are debt free today in comparison to 25-35 years ago? I bet less than 10% of Americans are debt free. You can say that is by choice, but I would say take a look around, we live in a society designed and programmed to put people in debt. Debt is not freedom; debt is slavery. Corporate ranchers have created a world and gotten political ranchers to pass laws that force the sheeple to the corporate trough. You think the grass is free? Just ask Monsanto, they got the Supreme Court to agree that it isn't.

Often, when I think on this subject, I think of Les Miserable and the "Master of the House" where you were charged if you wanted the window open or charged if you wanted the window shut. You were charged for a not having to go up the stairs and you were charged for using the stairs. Our society has become one giant "House" run by a handful of "Masters" that has figured out how to charge us for everything. When they get their new digital fences up, they are going to charge us for everything.......right down to the air we breath.

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Just saw Baby J. Is this like his GQ interview? Income and support and 55" color TV's are commonplace all the way down. Rudy Havenstein writes about WEALTH inequality all the time, and the share of wealth held by the .1%, 1%, as opposed to the bottom 50% has risen dramatically courtesy of the Fed. Do you disagree with those alternative facts?

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when I read CPI understates inflation, I cancelled my membershio

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I believe the cited authors are correct, that the systemic "inequality" claim is mostly a myth. But in my view most of them miss a separate, more important point in the inequality discussion. This is the issue of wealth re-distribution caused by the Fed, mostly during QE. Since 2009, the Fed (and other central banks) have pumped up asset prices, benefiting mostly the biggest owners of assets. This was a massive transfer of wealth to the very wealthy from nearly everyone else. The injustice of this transfer cannot be ignored. It is not to say upward mobility is gone, or that the American dream is dead. But the asset bubble was rigged in favor of the very rich. We must not forget this problem, and we must fix it.

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It seems to me that there have been quite a few stories lately about the fact that a family of four can obtain support to the tune of $100k or more in a number of states adding up unemployment, SNAP, welfare and other transfers, so clearly, not counting those would be incorrect. However, it is also difficult to look around and not see the extreme increases in wealth from the super rich.

Ultimately, I would contend the issue is the lack of personal responsibility by many and their unwillingness to take ownership of their actions and decisions and how that affects their lives.

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Agree with Illinois Entrepreneur 💯%

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I’m sure all those sweet benefits were used in purchases of assets like real estate, equities, gold and silver, and bitcoin countering the affects of inflation. Yeah, probably not.

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