A short observation I thought of in the car today...
Many of my very liberal friends (who constitute most of my friends from school) claim that the middle class has made no progress with their real wages in a long time. The same people complain that health care costs have risen hugely. Health benefits are not counted in the real wage data.
Doesn't this mean that middle class wages have increased, they're just forcibly allocated towards healthcare? This may not even be suboptimal, given that as we get richer, we want to see more spent on healthcare because an additional car is less important to us than a longer or higher quality life.
In other words, can't have it both ways.