Thursday, January 13, 2005

More depressions like this? No thanks!
Another highly publicized campaign fallacy was that Americans are making less money today than before Bush was inaugurated. As illustrated by the chart below, when Bush took office, the average weekly pay for production or non-supervisory employees was $485. In December, it was $536 -- a 10.52% gain. This increase in wages -- also contrary to politically oriented assertions -- is greater than the 9.77% rise in inflation during this four-year period as measured by the Consumer Price Index (through November 2004). This means that when you combine lower tax-rates for all wage earners, the inflation-adjusted after-tax incomes of Americans have continued to rise during Bush's first term.

I don't know about the rest of you, but my salary hasn't gone up in the entire four years of the Bush presidency, as contrasted with the Clinton years. Another quote:

Certainly, another sign of depression would be declining consumer net worth -- the total of consumer assets minus liabilities -- which obviously plummeted during the 1930's. Strangely, during the Bush "depression," this statistic rose to a new all-time high of $45 trillion by the end of 2003 -- yes, even greater than at the stock bubble peak in March 2000. Without the final data for 2004, it is safe to assume that this net worth is significantly higher today given last year's 9% increase in stocks (S&P 500), and a likely similar gain in residential real estate values.

This guy may be an economist, but that doesn't comport with my personal and anecdotal experiences. Perhaps this is an example of misleading statistics, or the rich are getting richer, the poor getting poorer [not that I'm poor, but I worry...].

No comments: