"Yet still, despite the dirt cheap vacuums and flat-screen TVs, something seems wrong. People keep complaining about 'income inequality' and writing books about how grindingly difficult it is for an alarmingly large number of Americans to get by.
Conservatives seem to have noticed that their primary argument—why do you feel so poor when you have such a large TV?—has had trouble making inroads among people who actually experience life in the United States. They’ve noticed, too, that while TVs, for example, are quite cheap, things essential to live—and things essential to 'get ahead' in the United States—are only becoming more expensive.
The prices of things like new cars, clothing, toys, and TVs are staying steady or dramatically falling relative to the inflation rate, while food, housing, child care, and—especially—medical care skyrocket in price. If you want an explanation of why non-wealthy Americans feel so stretched thin even in a time of supposed abundance, there it is. They can afford to get their kids toys but not bachelor’s degrees."