Power Line: "Claiming that 'working families have seen little if any progress over the past 30 years,' as Krugman claimed, is so manifestly preposterous -- even before taking economics into account -- that I don't question his veracity so much as his sanity. Is he mentally ill?"
I gotta go with Power Line. As a middle classed blue-collar union stiff, I gotta give it to Powerline. It's true. Things have improved. Things aren't perfect but my standard of living is quite a bit higher than my parents even though they were both simple working stiffs, and it's not just because I make more than them. I have greater creature comforts that they couldn't have had (but have now).
There are negatives, certainly, but most of those can be attributed to cheaper labor abroad and cheaper immigrant labor driving down wages on craft skills.
Another is that I have to put up with the anti-military leftists who have given liberals a bad name, but that may only be because of the greater information overload. Growing up in Hawai'i Democrats and liberals were pro-military and pro-America, being attacked by Imperial Japan and isolated from socialist/communist rule will have that effect. What I never had to see was what leftist and the Democrat party represented on the mainland. I've learned to deal with it and found that I can be the liberal conservative I always was without having to adopt the radical leftist views that have usurped liberal views and the liberal label.
But, as a simple welder, and now as a plant maintenance mechanic/millwright, I have several televisions, a laptop, a PC, three xboxs, a gamecube, two cars (not counting the project car which is a 1970 VW bug), a house, yard, dog, mountain bike, the list of creature comforts go on. And yes, I do know that the reason we struggle financially is because of all this material goodness, but as a kid we struggled harder with less to show for it.
Yeah, things are better now then they were for most blue-collared individuals, but that is not all there is.