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December 23, 2005

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Even (wrongly) accepting Bartels' definition of what constitutes the 'working class' in the NES data, what is mising from this polemic is that the everyday consequences of residing in the lower third of incomes have changed significantly over the 50 years of NES data. The income divide between top and bottom thirds has widened significantly so that many people in the middle third have an economic status more resembling the lower third of the '50s data. So, any non-robotic, just-plot-the-data-stupid, effort to extract a trend from such data requires an assessment of the changed meaning of being in that bottom third.

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