This chart shows that the economy is almost back to normal.
Just a little farther to go, then the mission will have been
What is odd about this, is that it excludes income
from capital gains. I suspect that the income disparity would
be even greater, if capital gains were included.
The graph is from an article at Economist.com, Workingman’s
The article itself is annoying.
Phil Gramm, a former senator from Texas and adviser
to Mr McCain’s campaign, told the Washington Times that: “We
have…become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining,
complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline…Thank
God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day.”
He had a point. American headlines are crammed with words like
“failure”, “hurting” and “Fannie Mae”…
He had a point? The article goes on to list many items of
gloomy economy news, with only a couple of bright spots. One
of the bright spots is that not all of the news is as bad as it was in
the 1930’s. The other?
Poor Americans today are more likely to have fridges,
dishwashers and air-conditioning than average Americans were in 1971.
This is a reference to the notion that a rising tide lifts all boats?
So what if rich people are richer, if poor people are richer,
too? It is a flimsy justification for usury and exploitation.
Plus, I doubt the validity of the data. I knew a lot of
average Americans in 1971, and they all had fridges. The
probability of an average American having a fridge in 1971 was close to
1. It would be hard to top that.
True, you can get an air conditioner at Sam’s for less than $100 these
days. But it does not do a lot of good, if you can’t pay the
electric bill. Or if you are homeless.
True, the rate of homelessness dropped
recently. But that is a comparison between February-April
2005, and January 2007. It does not reflect how things may
have deteriorated since then, or how they are likely to deteriorate
even more as foreclosures escalate and social services are cut. (the
full report is here.)
What is more important, though, is not the comparison between the
wealthiest Americans and poor Americans. What is important is
the disparity between the wealthiest Americans, and the rest of the