March 18, 2006

DEMOCRATS PROMISE TO REVERSE ALL THIS IF WE JUST ELECT THEM IN NOVEMBER...:

A high-5 for Dow, S&P (CHRISTOPHER WANG, 3/18/06, Chicago Sun-Times)

Lower oil prices and a rebound in manufacturing activity helped Wall Street extend its rally Friday, lifting the Dow Jones industrials and the Standard & Poor's 500 index to a fresh five-year high for the fourth straight session. The major indexes each gained about 2 percent for the week. [...]

The Dow climbed 26.41, or 0.23 percent, to 11,279.65, its highest level since May 21, 2001. The S&P 500 index rose 1.92, or 0.12 percent, to 1,307.25 -- its highest close since it reached 1,309.38 on May 22, 2001. The Nasdaq composite index added 6.92, or 0.3 percent, to 2,306.48.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 18, 2006 9:36 AM
Comments

Uh oh. Our trolls won't like this.

Posted by: erp at March 18, 2006 10:01 AM

Nah, won't faze them at all -- they'll just trot out the old "The rich are getting richer on the backs of the American poor" line, which was used constantly during the middle years of the Reagan Administration, possibly even throwing in a line about "Two Americas" or "Enron" along the way.

Posted by: John at March 18, 2006 11:43 AM

[T]hey'll just trot out the old "The rich are getting richer on the backs of the American poor" line...

If one looks over historical income data from the U.S. Census Bureau, two things stand out:

* Every income quintile has experienced real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) growth over the past ten, twenty, and thirty years, and a lot of it.

* The top two quintiles have experienced much more growth than the bottom three, and the top 5 percent most of all.

So, while everyone's been getting richer, the upper middle class and the very well-off have had a faster rate of income growth than the bottom 60% have experienced.

Still, there's not as much income inequality in America as some on the Left would have us believe.

75% of American households in 2004 had incomes of between $ 18,500 and $ 157,000. The difference between the highest and lowest incomes in that group is only 8.5:1.

Also, 60% of American households in 2004 had incomes of between $ 18,500 and $ 88,000, a difference of slightly less than 5:1 - a progressive's dream !

Further, if we look at the households with incomes in the bottom 20%, we find that very nearly HALF of them were headed by people younger than 25, or older than 64.
In other words, people still in school, or just starting their careers, and people who for the most part have stopped working. That many of them would have low incomes is no surprise, and indicates nothing whatsoever about whether American society is equitable.

On that note, let us look specifically at households headed by actively employed people.
Among households headed by a person who worked full-time for at least 27 weeks in 2004, 94% earned $ 18,500 or more, and 77% earned more than $ 35,000.

In that group, 70% of households had income of between $ 35,000 and $ 157,000, a difference of less than 4.5:1. That's practically Communism !

To recap, every income quintile has experienced real growth over the past one, two, and three decades. The rich have gotten richer, and the poor have gotten richer - but the rich have been getting richer much faster than the bulk of American households, so at the margins, income inequality is growing.
For instance, in '74, the difference between the highest and lowest incomes in the middle 75% of American households was only 6:1, and in '84 it was about 7:1, whereas now it's 8.5:1.

However, for 60% of U.S. households in '04, the difference between the highest and lowest incomes in that group was 5:1, and for 70% of U.S. households in '04 headed by a person who worked full-time for 27 weeks or more, the difference was a scant 4.5:1.

We now have more American plutocrats and Commanders of the Universe swaggering around, but the vast majority of American households have incomes within shouting distance of each other.

Primary source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2005, Table HINC-05. Percent Distribution of Households, by Selected Characteristics Within Income Quintile and Top 5 Percent in 2004

Also: U.S. Census Bureau historical income data

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at March 19, 2006 7:36 AM

[T]hey'll just trot out the old "The rich are getting richer on the backs of the American poor" line...

If one looks over historical income data from the U.S. Census Bureau, two things stand out:

* Every income quintile has experienced real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) growth over the past ten, twenty, and thirty years, and a lot of it.

* The top two quintiles have experienced much more growth than the bottom three, and the top 5 percent most of all.

So, while everyone's been getting richer, the upper middle class and the very well-off have had a faster rate of income growth than the bottom 60% have experienced.

Still, there's not as much income inequality in America as some on the Left would have us believe.

75% of American households in 2004 had incomes of between $ 18,500 and $ 157,000. The difference between the highest and lowest incomes in that group is only 8.5:1.

Also, 60% of American households in 2004 had incomes of between $ 18,500 and $ 88,000, a difference of slightly less than 5:1 - a progressive's dream !

Further, if we look at the households with incomes in the bottom 20%, we find that very nearly HALF of them were headed by people younger than 25, or older than 64.
In other words, people still in school, or just starting their careers, and people who for the most part have stopped working. That many of them would have low incomes is no surprise, and indicates nothing whatsoever about whether American society is equitable.

On that note, let us look specifically at households headed by actively employed people.
Among households headed by a person who worked full-time for at least 27 weeks in 2004, 94% earned $ 18,500 or more, and 77% earned more than $ 35,000.

In that group, 70% of households had income of between $ 35,000 and $ 157,000, a difference of less than 4.5:1. That's practically Communism !

To recap, every income quintile has experienced real growth over the past one, two, and three decades. The rich have gotten richer, and the poor have gotten richer - but the rich have been getting richer much faster than the bulk of American households, so at the margins, income inequality is growing.
For instance, in '74, the difference between the highest and lowest incomes in the middle 75% of American households was only 6:1, and in '84 it was about 7:1, whereas now it's 8.5:1.

However, for 60% of U.S. households in '04, the difference between the highest and lowest incomes in that group was 5:1, and for 70% of U.S. households in '04 headed by a person who worked full-time for 27 weeks or more, the difference was a scant 4.5:1.

We now have more American plutocrats and Commanders of the Universe swaggering around, but the vast majority of American households have incomes within shouting distance of each other.

Primary source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2005, Table HINC-05. Percent Distribution of Households, by Selected Characteristics Within Income Quintile and Top 5 Percent in 2004

Also: U.S. Census Bureau historical income data

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 19, 2006 7:51 AM

Michael, Bless your heart, the media don't care about facts and figures. They want misleading headlines plucked out of context to support their world view that the rich are getting richer on the backs of the poor.

Posted by: erp at March 19, 2006 9:49 AM

erp:

The media's just mad because THEY are getting poorer. The NYT's bond rating was cut this week, and the networks are doing worse than ever. But I suspect Katie will still get a multi-million dollar guaranteed contract. Which means 30 or 40 people (at the margins) are going to lose their jobs. Somebody should ask her about that.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 19, 2006 12:34 PM

Jim, Ratings will tell the tale and I don't think it will be one with a happy ending for network news. Many more people will lose their jobs as serious news seekers move away in droves, but Katie may attract the same people who watch her in the mornings, so it be a profitable move for the network because they won't have to keep up the pretense of running a serious news organization with the concurrent expenses that entails.

Posted by: erp at March 19, 2006 1:03 PM

A smart broadcast network would just buy content from CNN or FOXNews, and completely shutter their own news divisions.

As says erp, there's no happy ending here for broadcast news, although it'll still be around for awhile.
It's been withering since the 80s, and shows no signs of slowing the decline.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 19, 2006 8:47 PM
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