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View Diary: More graphs on poverty and how to fight it - or not (83 comments)

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  •  Poland vs. the Others? & Income (none)
    I'm not sure it's fair to compare Poland with the other countries on the bottom chart -- at least not from 1991 to 2000, since that period has involved the transition from communism.  There is a lot going on there, from a political economy standpoint.

    The chart is more reflective of the strong and poor performances of these countries at the macro level.  The issues of poverty and wages are just a symptom.  1991-2000 were years of reasonably strong growth for the UK, and growth was, of course, incredibly strong here in the US.  (I'll bet the percentage change is even more favorable for Britain from 2000 to the present.)

    The most recent numbers are pretty damning though: poverty numbers are increasing despite the economy officially being out of a recession (and median income is still declining. How is that possible?).

    This puzzles me, as well.  And look at productivity here in the US.  Traditionally, wages rise at roughly the same rate as productivity growth.  Some have speculated that companies are not hiring in large numbers, because they don't need to, as a result of productivity growth.  But any Real-Business-Cycle or Keynesian model will tell you that strong growth in productivity should lead to more hiring, not less.

    If the economy is in expansion, and if we are -- I'm trying not to laugh -- approaching "full employment," then wages should be rising at a fairly brisk pace, as they are in, say, Britain (at roughly 4-4.5%, annually).

    This simply does not look healthy.

    "Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking." - John Maynard Keynes

    by Drew J Jones on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 08:42:22 AM PDT

    •  Britain (none)
      I'll bet the percentage change is even more favorable for Britain from 2000 to the present.

      I haven't got data on this, but Unicef says progress has been made. There has been a deliberate effort on the part of the UK government to alleviate child poverty, which had become a serious problem by the mid-nineties.

      Progress seems more to be an effect of deliberate policy than of "trickle-down".

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