Economic facts, properly understood, simply do not support the argument that the broad American middle class has been stuck in neutral for nearly two generations. . . .
But set the data aside for a moment. The idea that most Americans are worse off than they were in the 1970s seems intuitively nonsensical to those of us who were living back then. As former Obama economic adviser Jason Furman once put it: “ignore the statistics for a second and use your common sense. Remember when even upper-middle-class families worried about staying on a long distance call for too long? When flying was an expensive luxury? When only a minority of the population had central air conditioning, dishwashers, and color televisions?”