Winston Churchill once famously said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” We’re not the first one to borrow this quote and apply it to our economic system but we’re not too proud to borrow.
And, with Thanksgiving just having passed, it is worth reflecting how good we have it in the United States. If you are reading these words you are more likely than not fairly well off. This is just a function of the demographic of our readers, subscribers, and customers.
But even if you are not, consider that even the poorest Americans today live a better life by most measures than did all but the wealthiest did even a hundred years ago. According to the Heritage Foundation, in 2005, the typical household defined as poor by the government had a car, air conditioning, two color televisions, cable or satellite service, a DVD player, a refrigerator, an oven, and a microwave. According to a Forbes Magazine article from earlier this year, even those who are in the bottom five percent of U.S. income distribution have a standard of living that is about equal to that of the top 5% of India.