A Pew survey released found that a full 40% of Americans now consider themselves “lower class” or “lower middle class” versus 44% who see themselves as “middle class”. In 2008 53% considered themselves “middle class”.
Its bad news in what is says both about Americans’ perception of their standard of living and the actual economic struggles they face.
Krugman on his blog, actually labeled the depressing poll findings a “a good thing’. Why?
Because as a result of it “we’ll actually start creating the kind of society we only pretend to have’, i.e. supporting Krugmans’s preference for an expanded welfare state.
Krugmans cheerfulness calls to mind no one so much as Nikolay Chernyshevshy, the 19th century socialist and influencer of Lenin.
Lenin who is reputed to have coined the Leninist motto “the worst, the better”. His point was that a more miserable working class was more likely to rise up and launch the socialist revolution.
It’s more than a little callous to celebrate economic misery because it happens to improve the prospects for one’s political program. If more Americans begin to feel better off, will Krugman perversely think this is a “bad thing”?