Economic Interests

One thing that I think gets unduly neglected in a lot of political conversations, especially conversations taking place within the left-of-center family, is that one really needs to know a lot more about a person than what his income is to know what his "economic interests" are.

For example, the median household income in the United States is $48,201. But if you compare a retired person living in Montana with a $48,000 annual income to a first year DC cop, and an average aircraft painter in Phoenix, both of whom would earn about the same amount of money, you'd find three people with rather different economic interests.

For one thing, despite their similar incomes, these three people are actually in rather different objective economic situations. But beyond that, a lot of their economic interests are very narrow and specific -- they have to do with federal retirement programs, or the state of the Arizona aerospace industry, or the DC government's decisions about funding priorities and the police department -- rather than with stuff about "the economy."