Wednesday, June 30, 2004

# Posted 2:13 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

A RISING TIDE: Kevin Drum points to an interesting column by Ron Brownstein, whose statistics show that economic growth in the 1990s benefited both ethnic minorities and the American poor even more than it did the white upper-class.

Both Kevin and Ron argue that these numbers were the direct result of Clinton administration policies such as welfare reform, minimum wage hikes, increased tax credits for the working poor and health care programs for working-class kids. While supporting all of those policies, I don't know enough to say one way or the other whether such limited programs can dramatically alter the distribution of our national income. My gut instinct says no.

Anyhow, I'm still pretty surprised to learn that things turned out so well for middle- and working-class Americans in the 1990s. After being inundated for three years by British denunciations of our merciless capitalist system, I began to take it for granted that there was an inherent trade off between equality and opportunity. So, for once, I'm glad to know that my opinions were ignorant and wrong.
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