Los Angeles (February 5, 2008) – Sen. Hillary Clinton wants to “restore the middle class.” Republican presidential candidates promise to ease the “burden” on the middle class. And CNN’s Lou Dobbs regularly chronicles what he calls the “war on the middle class.” Yet, despite all this doom and gloom about America’s economy, a new report by Reason.tv’s Drew Carey details why the middle class is actually better off than it ever has been.
Carey, the host of The Price Is Right, says instead of simply looking at how much something costs, we should examine how many hours it takes a middle class worker to buy something. Carey points out that in the 1980s, “Few regular people could afford cell phones because the average worker had to sweat for 460 hours to buy one.” Today the average worker has to put in just three hours of work to buy a cell phone.
“Only the rich owned cars a century ago. But today, average Americans can afford shiny SUVs. In terms of time, the cost of a car has fallen by more than 70 percent [since 1908],” Carey explains in the Reason.tv video. “The story’s the same for necessities. Food is 84 percent cheaper. Clothing is 87 percent cheaper.”
“In the midst of an election season where most politicians will say anything to get a vote, this video should be required viewing not just for voters but for everyone in the media,” says the editor of Reason.tv, Nick Gillespie. “The plain truth is the middle class is doing great thanks to free trade and other policies that are frequently scapegoated at political rallies and on cable news.”
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Chris Mitchell, Director of Communications, Reason Foundation, (310) 367-6109