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Looking at the Half-Filled Glass

Most of my growling tends to see the glass as half-empty. Thanks to a conversation that Larry Kudlow (link is to his blogsite) was having with James Glassman this afternoon as a substitute radio talk show host, I have to start off by admitting this post will see the glass as half-full.

Kudlow was asking about Glassman's year-end article for 2005 posted at TechCentralStation. Glassman writes: "Being a country with a lot of very rich people, however, is nothing to be ashamed of -- as long as mearly everyone has a shot at being well-off. Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal and Lincoln Anderson of LPL Financial Services recently pointed out that the latest Census data show that, far from shrinking or losing ground, the middle class in America has become a good deal richer." He notes that Moore and Anderson said, "Back in 1967 . . . the income range for the middle class (that is, the third of five quintiles) was between $28,000 and $39,000 (in today's dollars). Now that income range is between $38,000 and $59,000." Adds Glassman, "In 1967, one family in ten had an income of more than $75,000 (in 2004 dollars); today, it's one in four." He then says, "Americans believe our economic system gives them a shot at dramatic upward mobility if they work hard and get some breaks."

Glassman concludes by acknowledging "(t)here are threats in America: imminent investment tax hikes, a looming crisis with Social Security and Medicare, terrorism and protectionism. But overall, 2005 was a damn good year. Celebrate!" Indeed! Have no fear, however, the grinches on the Arlington County Board will again be reaching deeper into your pockets in 2006.