Mark Perry has an excellent rebuttal to recent to the Pew Research headline “Hollowing Out of the Middle Class”. The great part of the rebuttal is that he uses the same data that they use and just interprets it properly.
In fact, one must wonder how politically motivated the Pew Research “research” is when A) they don’t know how to properly analyze the data, and B) they slap such a provocative headline on it.
The problem with most/all “aggregate” socioeconomic studies is that they don’t consider what is happening to the individuals buried inside of the statistical brackets. That is: they ignore longitudinal effects. Mark Perry does an excellent job trying to infer what those effects are and the result is his conclusion: 150 people were added to the middle class for every 100 that left it, the net result being that even though the percentage size of the middle class is smaller today than it was 40 years ago, the absolute size is larger.
Ethan Fisher and Chuck Silberman talk about similar topics using similarly logical analytical methods at Gene Camp.