Wednesday, August 22, 2007

And You Only Thought You Were Poorer

The NYT Business Section tells an interesting story about average income in the US since 2000, seems it was lower in 2005 for the fifth year running, a record (again) since 1945, it dropped once previous to this BushCo debacle. I'll tell the story their way - and then I'll tell you just how badly you're having your leg pulled. Incomes, adjusted for inflation, have risen since 2002 but 2005 was still 1% lower than 2000.

Here's where it all gets sticky, the number of people making over $1 million rose by 26% from 2000 which is 0.25% of taxpayers and they accounted for 47% of the income gains compared to 2000. They also got 62% of the tax cuts from the BushCo capital gains & investment cuts, the folks earning over $10 million - 11,433 people out of 134 million taxpayers (whew, 0.000085%) got 28% of the savings, that's $21.7 billion for this handful. So you know not everyone else was left out, the 90% who make less than $100,000 got an average of $318 in savings.

Here's where it gets real ugly and NYT didn't tell you the meaningful numbers; since the gains were almost all at the top, those folks dragged the average up, if you were to put the median income (half above, half below) into this equation the picture would be considerably grimmer (unless you're rich) since 2000. In fact you would be talking about a national disgrace, not a 1% shortfall.

Now here's what BushCo's thinking is on this matter:

GWB fall 2006, “I’m pleased with the economic progress we’re making.”

Tony Fratto, White House spokesman, “the significant wrenching hits that our economy took in 2001 and 2002, so no one should be surprised that what a bubble economy created in the late 1990s and 2000, where economic data were skewed, would take some time to recover.” (that skew would be Clinton)((Clinton's fault, Clinton's fault))

Fratto on whose income grew, “is not a very interesting story.” (certainly not breaking news)

Fratto on taxes, “There is no question that you will always have distributional concerns with a tax rate, a broad-based tax rate, at the very top of the income scale.”

So, you made less than $1 million in IRS declared income and thought you counted with BushCo and the Republican Party? While they're busy flattening your wallet they'll give you WAR, FEAR, BRAINDEAD WOMAN, and GAYS to keep you distracted, and if that fails, some more FEAR. Oh, I know; the list is much longer than that, but I've only so much energy. No wonder Rupe Murdoch loves them, fodder to whip up Faux News and he's way up in that 0.000085% of taxpayers, what do you suppose Wall Street Journal will report on this story? (you'd have to add several more zeros to that percentage to get to Rupe)

Trying to wrap your head around some of these numbers will make your head spin, but you need to. You need to understand how many people are fighting for an infitisimal piece of the pie and what any losses in that group mean. You need to try to understand the colossal level of greed that not only produces these numbers but also produces 12-20 million low wage illegal immigrants to use as a serf class and replaces jobs with cheap Walmart Chinese goods - poisonous ones, to boot. The Republicans asked if you'd like to have your country back, ok, I'm asking. How do you like Compassionate Conservatism? Want some more of this? Well then, squeal and run around with your head up your patoot while they chant , terror, terror; and pay no attention to what's really going on. Pah.


Coyote said...

Statistics are easily manipulated, especially averages. Your mean vs. median example is classic.

And I wonder how they adjust for inflation. Is this their measure of inflation that excludes all the stuff regular people actually buy on a regular basis (i.e., food and energy)?

All I know is that, until I got permanently laid off from my last job, my wage was completely stagnant for 6 years, yet my rent kept going up, and gas prices doubled within that time period.

But luckily I don't have to put up with wage stagnation any more. After months of being on the job market, I've taken a new job that pays significantly LESS than I was making before. Yay for me!

Steve Culley said...

I would almost say it's time for a democratic government, except for that little detail you mentioned about a bazillion illegal immigrants who will compete with wage earners. Again, all the leading democratic presidential contenders are all for legalization. I've said it before. Take your choice and get screwed from the left or the right.
You mentioned a lot of numbers Chuck and I have no reason to doubt any of them. Trouble is those who are on the recieving end pay damn liilte attention until they are really screwed.
Note to Coyote: I used to look at your site and enjoyed it. Now I don't know how to get in.

Coyote said...

Sorry Steve, I decided not to blog anymore, at least not for now. I didn't delete the site, I just closed it and won't be adding any more for a while. I'm still spouting off on other peoples' blogs, though :) I've been switching my user name to Jack, though, since people seem to think that I'm the "I Am Coyote" guy on the NW Republican blog (I'm not). So Chuck, if you see Jack spouting off on your comments, it's me Coyote ;)

Chuck, you wrote that GW said last year that "I’m pleased with the economic progress we’re making." But who is the "we" he's referring to? His fellow blue-blooded multi-millionaires? His fellow Skull & Boners? It can't be us peasants. We're utterly irrelevant in his view. We can eat cake and die for all he cares.

Steve Culley said...

Seen your kid just graduated from Benning. My nephew went through there is now doing advanced stuff. I''l email you on where he's at.

Chuck Butcher said...

I assume that they used the govt's established rates of inflation.

People like averages, they think they understand them, things like median confuse them, even though in many cases it is more meaningful. When you have a fairly smooth curve avg is pretty good, but when there are serious dislocaions in a narrow range the avg gets so pushed as to become pretty much meaningless.

I love it when numbers get really scary, like one where your chances of getting cancer increase 100% for "x" reason, what they don't mention is you go from 1 in 100 million to 2 in 100 million which is still meaningless.

It is important to remember the source of that article, NYT Business Section, they have a real stake in what is published and how it is recieved.

Chuck Butcher said...

Steve, I should've worked out a way to get illegal immigration in the title, that stuff doubles readership.

It really is my own fault for not making the titles "Google" friendly.

Steve Culley said...

Count on me to do it. Can I say Blumenauer too. Hear his staff monitors sites that use his name. The republicans had an internal revolt over the issue now the democrats need one too. Missed a debate but from what I can see Hillary and Obama especially never get hammered on guns and immigration and they sure as hell are going to during a general election.