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View Diary: GDP Worst in 3 Years. Blip or Trend? (73 comments)

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  •  Not according to David Brooks (none)
    David Brooks's January 26 column, Dollars and Sense totally annoyed me with its premise that people are really doing much better than we think:

    Rose calculated the household incomes for people between 26 and 59 and found that the average annual family income is somewhere around $63,000 a year -- an impressive figure. Opinion polls consistently show that people at these income levels feel as if they're doing quite well and don't feel oppressed by forces beyond their control.

    This suggests that liberals have adopted an overly negative view of reality. Barbara Ehrenreich's books are well and good, but if you think they represent the broader society, you'll get America wrong.

    I guess he's closing his eyes and believing really, really, hard that humpty dumpty will come back together.  Bush thinks this first year of his second term was bad?  It will get worse. I finally realized that this column was one for the ages, and I printed it out.  It will make for grim reading by the 2008 elections.  We can no longer avoid pain.

    My Liberal Values: a clean earth, universal access to health care, human and civil rights, a broader distribution of wealth, and a global perspective

    by Pellice on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 10:19:40 AM PST

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    •  The difference between average and median (none)
      I notice that Brooks is quoting the average household income, which isn't really an accurate indicator of how most Americans are doing, since the average is inflated by the small number of outliers on the high side who exist because of massive income inequality.

      Thus, the average income might be the $63,000 quoted by Brooks, but the median income is signficantly lower -- around $50,000 as I recall.  That means that half of American families are making better than $50,000/year, while the other half are making less.

      For Brooks to quote the $63,000 as an indicator of how the "broader society" is doing is dishonest at worst, intellectually shoddy at best.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 11:48:10 AM PST

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      •  Who pays David Brooks' heating bills? (none)
        Not just David Brooks. But all those stupid Republican hacks that I watched on the tube this morning who kept talking up how good the economy is. Really? My December heating bill was $504, or about 75% higher than it was last year. Since my salary hasn't gone up by 75%, something has to give. At a dinner party I went to last night, we actually spent some time -- on a Saturday night -- comparing heating bills.

        I don't understand why every Dem in DC isn't talking about this every day. They don't even need a solution. They can just tap into the collective outrage.

      •  Median household income (2003) - $43,318 (none)

        Plot your political compass scores at KosCompass

        by Hatamoto on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 04:34:56 PM PST

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