I have posted on aspects of such Democrat claims in these prior posts:
- 47 million uninsured Americans
- 2nd Quarter GDP Growth 3.3% Annual Rate
- American and Chinese Exports
- Democrats Create Unemployment Before Election
- Hilary's 47 Million Uninsured Americans Demagoguer...
- 47 Million Uninsured Americans Revisited
- Benefits versus Wages
- Lambro: Recession fixation
Sherk says we are "enduring trying economic times." Gas is expensive, some homeowners have lost considerable home equity, growth has slowed, and there are some job losses. But the American Dream cannot be said to be lost every time the American economy enters a downward business cycle. We should remember how slight today's problems are compared to say the stagflation of the 1970s, which was not enough to end the American Dream.
He says good jobs are easier to find in recent times than they were in the past. Repetitive, brawny work has been replaced with creative, brainy work. "The share of Americans working in what the Census Bureau calls 'professional specialty' jobs (such as nurses or engineers), as well as executive or managerial, and technical or sales positions, has expanded 10 percent since 1980." "Between 1993 and 2006, the median annual earnings of American born workers rose by one-sixth."
By contrast, the Democrats, as in Obama's acceptance speech, like to point out that workers have lost earnings in the last 8 years. This ignores the fact that Americans take a much larger fraction of their compensation as benefits to avoid taxes. It also ignores the affect of many immigrants and many illegal workers, who are commonly paid less than native Americans.
Sherk points out that 401(K)-style defined contribution pensions have freed many workers to make more frequent job changes, which gives them more opportunities to seek jobs at higher pay and that they enjoy. Employees are more than one-third more likely to voluntarily change jobs now than they were in the 1970s. Contrary to the anecdotal claims, employers are much less likely to fire or lay off employees than in the past.
One of the problems often noted today is the rising cost of health care costs. This puts some downward pressure on take-home income as employers pay more for health insurance plans. Despite this pressure, the fraction of the work force receiving company provided health care insurance is the same as in the mid-1990s, provided a correction is made for illegal immigrants.
When the present slow growth moment ends, Americans will have many opportunities to get ahead. It is a sad business to underestimate the long-term strength of the American economy and the productivity of its workers.