In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on the improving fortune's of America's middle class (subscription required), Stephen Moore and Lincoln Anderson write:
The middle class has not been "shrinking" or losing ground, it has been getting richer. For example, the Census data indicate that the income cutoff to be considered "middle class" has risen steadily. Back in 1967, the income range for the middle class (i.e., the middle-income quintile) was between $28,000 and $39,500 a year (in today's dollars). Now that income range is between $38,000 and $59,000 a year, which is to say that the middle class is now roughly $11,000 a year richer than 25 to 30 years ago. This helps explain why middle-income families can buy things like cable TV, air conditioning, DVD players, cell phones, second cars and so on, that were considered mostly luxury items for the rich in the 1950s and '60s.
Talk about an anachronism. Cable TV, DVD players and cell phones were not considered luxury items for the rich in the 1950s and 1960s -- they didn't exist! The only items on the list that did exist at the time were air conditioning and second cars.