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Willisms

« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 169. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 519 -- New Deal Prolonged America's Depression. »

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 518 -- Bogus Wage Stagnation Claims.

Middle Class Faring Well-

The Obama administration has some reasonable folks in it, to be sure, but it also seems to be populated by left-wingers who are just hung up on "inequality" and this tired notion that the uber-wealthy elite are getting fatter and happier at the expense of middle income folks.

The Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank disagrees and offers some important facts on wages in America:

The main finding is that—after adjusting the Census Bureau data for three key factors—inflation-adjusted median household income for most household types increased by roughly 44 percent to 62 percent from 1976 to 2006.

....

Incomes of the middle 50 percent of households—between the 25th and 75th percentiles—increased by at least 22 percent and as much as 59 percent for most household types, with gains exceeding 30 percent for most households.

And a revealing chart:

incomegrowth1976to2006.gif

The study takes on why the alleged median household income stagnation is a poor number. Part of it is the overstatement of inflation, part is that our society has changed and households have changed as well, and part of it is that the Census Bureau has vastly understated rapidly and broadly growing sources of income.

The study concludes:

The claim that the standard of living of middle Americans has stagnated over the past generation is common. An accompanying assertion is that virtually all income growth over the past three decades bypassed middle America and accrued almost entirely to the rich.

The findings reported here... refute those claims. Careful analysis shows that the incomes of most types of middle American households have increased substantially over the past three decades.

If we try to "solve" this middle income crisis, we'll almost definitely end up doing more harm than good.


-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Obama Not Even Very Hopey/Changey.

Posted by Will Franklin · 22 January 2009 12:21 PM

Comments

I think whoever is running the Minneapolis Fed would've made a far far better nominee for Treas. Sec. than the head of the NY Fed.

Posted by: Jody at January 23, 2009 12:17 AM