Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I Guess 2 Cars, a House and a 55 inch TV Isn't Enough

In an interesting piece Sebastian Mallaby hypothesizes why American firms are outperforming their counterparts in Europe and Japan. Of course no good news can go unpunished.

So the shift from manufacturing to services; the gallop of globalization; and the rise of information technology that flattens corporate hierarchies: All these forces come together to create an American moment. But you could be forgiven for missing this, because other forces spoil what ought to be a celebration. In the midst of this American moment, hatred of President Bush has simultaneously created an anti-American moment. And in the midst of American prosperity, rising inequality has prevented American workers from sharing in the success of American firms.

Is this the same set of abused workers that own 2.5 cars and a 3000 sq foot house? Color me unsympathetic.

The truth is that more people own homes and cars than ever before in American history. We also have more toys – large screen TVs, computers, cell phones, iPods, and on and on and on. All of these things add to our total wealth and make our lives more comfortable than they ever were. This doesn’t fit into the left’s anti-success and anti-American agenda, so it gets conveniently ignored.

Are the richer far more rich than the middle class than historically true? Sure, but who cares. If second place is an SUV parked in front of a large house then I’ll gladly take the consolation prize.

HatTip: Concurring Opinions

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