The American economy has ultimately changed the definition of middle class, according to a new Pew research poll. Economist Scott Winship joined the Federalist Radio Hour to discuss the economics of income, the meaningless inflation index, and residential economic movement. Winship is the Walter B. Wriston Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and was previously at The Brookings Institution.
Winship recently wrote about how since the middle class has become wealthier over time, the actual definition of middle class is skewed. “The Middle class doesn’t have an agreed upon definition in the way that, for instance, we have an official federal poverty rate,” he said. “It’s not the case that today’s middle class, according to Pew, has the same standard of living as 1971’s middle class– it’s much better off over time.”
Later in the hour, Winship discussed how maintaining community can influence upward mobility, but alternatively, the increased job opportunities outside of one’s own neighborhood, and the bigger question of what happens when government gets in the way of residential mobility. “There is definitely tension between moving opportunity to a different part of the country, versus maintaining these strong family connections,” he said.