My former grad school colleague, Steve Horwitz, makes the key argument that it is shoddy to compare changes over time for income quintiles without also measuring income mobility.
Sometimes, looking at the political discourse in this country, I wonder if we really understand the ratchet effect of increasing government programs and power over time: unlike in business, unlike in nature, unlike in, well, real life, failure is not punished, but at best ignored, at worst rewarded. Once a program is in place, it is almost never repealed, even when Republicans obtain political power because voters become dependent on it.
President Barack Obama travelled to Michigan this week and made his case for class war in defense of the welfare state.
I'm in the camp that believes Republicans have no choice but to agree to raise taxes on the top 2 percent of earners. The party has been successfully caricatured as the servant of the rich. This is unjust, yes, but justice is imperfect in this life.