Do Americans really need W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm’s book, Myths of Rich and Poor, to tell them how they’ve gotten wealthier over the past twenty years? Yes, so long as books such as Robert Frank’s Luxury Fever claim with a straight face that the median American family has gained no ground, and that what people really care about is not so much the enjoyment of their own wealth but merely enjoying more than the Joneses.

Steven E. Landsburg is a professor of economics at the University of Rochester.
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