I've been wondering, and now I know, why there's been no class war yet: it's the Consumption Compromise.
Until recently, many observers, most of them on the left, have puzzled over why rising inequality hasn't sparked an outright political revolt. Well, here's why. Real income matters less than quality of life. And for the last two decades, a delicate Consumption Compromise has tamped down economic discontent among working-class voters by driving down the cost of living—we've been living in the era of cheap food, cheap gas, cheap credit, and, of course, cheap Chinese-made goods.
Read it all--this is a good, short article (even though the author seems to be a Republican, heh).