Populism Redux

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Description: Economist Stephen Rose recently challenged five populist myths in The Washington Post: the middle class standard of living is not shrinking and, since 1979, its median income has risen 33%; the decline of the middle class has come from the substantial number of people moving up to the over $100,000 income group, while the percentage of those making under $30,000 has not increased; most consumer debt is held by the self-employed and small businesses, as the average household debt is just over $2,000 and, by most pessimistic estimates, a mere one to two percent of homeowners may be forced into foreclosure; international trade has created more jobs than have been lost and, even in the so-called "Rust Belt" states of the Midwest, employment is up 14% since NAFTA was signed in 1993; and U.S. companies are not neglecting health and pension benefits for their employees as employer contribution to health insurance has jumped from 3.5% of wages in 1979 to 7.2% in 2005.
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