Why is this concept so hard to get across - averages do not reflect individuals. Individuals move up and down through the averages all the time, such that the "rich" and "poor" today are often circumstantially different people than they were 10 or 20 years ago. But Kevin Drum and the left will never get it
Over the past three decades, these families have seen their incomes double and triple while the rest of the country stagnated.
Repeat after me -- the families in the 1986 rich are NOT the same families in the 2006 rich. Some overlap, of course, but many do not.
Even if all the averages were stagnant, it could be very possible for every individual in the average to be doing better year over year but have the averages stagnate. For one, individuals typically gain income as they age and gain experience. The reason the averages don't move with them is that new workers, both teenagers and poor immigrants, move onto the list from outside, often at the bottom. If you look at the same group of people today and ten years ago (therefore leaving out new entrants into the work force over that period and what they do to the averages) you will find them doing much better.
And I thought this was funny:
by getting the centrist optics right, Obama has been able to move more boldly than he otherwise could have. Republicans who paint him as the second coming of Karl Marx just look like idiots these days.
Note that he is not arguing Obama is not acting like Karl Marx, just that he is successfully avoiding being percieved as such. Boy, that sure must be a real communications achievement for a man who gets so much tough scrutiny and skepticism from the media ;=)
By the way, does anyone else find it weird that the Democrats have decided to do battle with Ruch Limbaugh, rather than any actual, real Republic elected official. Is this a Democratic strategy, to find someone they can safely demonize without political power to strike back, or a Republican strategy to use Limbaugh as a stalking horse to save them from taking tough opposition positions?