Larry Elder assembles a long list of the things that have-nots actually have.
By virtually any criterion, Americans, even poor ones, live considerably better lives than they did even a decade or two ago. In 1995, 66 percent of poor households had air conditioning. Just 10 years later, in 2005, 80 percent of the poor had air conditioning at home. In 1995, 70 percent of poor households owned a car, and 27 percent owned two or more cars. By 2005, almost 75 percent owned cars, and 31 percent owned two or more. About 25 percent of the poor owned an automatic dishwasher in 1995. In 2005, more than 33 percent have a dishwasher. Microwave ownership jumped from 64 percent in 1995 to 89 percent by 2005.
The lowest-income one-fifth of households spend, per person, as much today as the median American household in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation writes, "Most of America's 'poor' live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago."
What about the rest of America? According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), from 1991 to 2005, earnings for families with children increased for the poorest 20 percent by 78 percent, after adjusting for inflation. The second 20 percent saw a 23 percent increase. The middle 20 percent had an 18 percent increase, and the 20 percent above them saw a 22 percent increase. The richest 20 percent enjoyed a 54 percent increase, still less than the very poorest 20 percent. The CBO's stats do not include government benefits, pensions and investment income. It focuses solely on wages and salaries, as opposed to total compensation, which also includes things like health care.
Well, I suppose that when one considers that 42% of registered Democrats believe that George Bush was either a co-conspirator in the 9/11 attacks or at least had forewarning and allowed it to happen, it would seem that Democrat minds are quite malleable and can be convinced of just about anything.