John Stossel

"I think that is so unfair. The $40 pants, that was a big mistake, and that was one mistake I made early on. The motels, that's not a rich person option."

You could have succeeded if you'd gotten a roommate.

"In time, yes, I could have gotten roommates."

You're saying you can't make it in America in these jobs. And you can.

"I said, here's what my experience was."

Her account of her experience is a very misleading portrait of opportunity in America. American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks points out, "From 1950 to 2007, middle-class family income went up, in real dollars, adjusted for inflation, from $29,000 a year to $75,000."

Of course now we're in the midst of a recession. Millions have lost jobs.

"We can't make light of that. But we have to keep this in perspective. We've had worse recessions."

Perspective is right.

"Middle-class people today live like rich people lived in the 1950s."

"We've always said, 'But in the old days things were better,'" Brooks notes. "They said that in the 1920s. They said that in the 1950s, and we say it again today. It's not that we have less money. It's that our expectations have risen."

Lately, fear has risen, as the economy has fallen. But economies do recover.

"We have a society that rewards hard work and merit," Brooks adds. "Half of the poor actually are not poor 10 years later. Nobody is stuck where they start out."

John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at > To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at ©Creators Syndicate