Leftists like Tom and Nadir claim that the average American worker's income has stagnated over the past 30 years; plenty of Harvard studies and New York Times articles make this claim. Plenty of free market economists -- notably Thomas Sowell -- counterthat claim, showing that very few people today working in low income jobs have been doing so for 30 years, and very few people 30 years ago working those jobs continue to do so now.
For example, Thomas Sowell 30 years ago was a homeless person working as a dishwasher. The New York Times and the socialist economists point out that dishwashers today make hardly any more money then did dishwashers 30 years ago; stated another way, the "lowest 10% incomes haven't much raised in 30 years. Sowell refutes these claims as accurate, but misleading, since the majority of Americans at any given time working as dishwashers or otherwise qualifying for the "lowest 10%" incomes are tomarrow's middle class home owners.
In this article, one of my Cafe Heyak free market heros from George Mason's economics dept refutes the socialist interpretation from another, equally valid perspective: diswashers today can buy much more, and much better, stuff than did their counterparts 30 years ago. Contrast this with a socialist nation like Cuba, where today's dishwashers aren't just buying the same stuff as they did 30 years ago, they are literally buying the same cars!