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View Diary: Morning Feature: 'Free' Markets, Part III - A Different Narrative (Non-Cynical Saturday) (207 comments)

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  •  Look closely at that graph. (0+ / 0-)

    That graph, which is suppose to show the stagnation of the middle class, actually shows that average net worth for "the rest" went up from $88,000 to $96,000.  That's almost a 10% increase

    The only reason that line looks flat is that who ever made the graph chose to use millions for the vertical scale (that's where the .088 million comes from) and to include the extreme right hand of the income distribution.  That caused an exaggeration on the vertical scale that completely swamps the 10% increase.

    Anyone who knows anything about the visual presentation of information would have used a logarithmic scale for this graph.

    At best it's chartjunk.  At worst, it's a flat out lie.

    Results count for more than intentions do.

    by VA Classical Liberal on Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 12:42:18 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  That shows the opposite of what you are saying (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanF, Orinoco, NCrissieB, FarWestGirl

      It is saying that the net worth of the bottom 90% went up by less than 10% in 8 years, while total economy expanded vastly (rich became a LOT richer).  That includes the bubble - the end of the graph is 1998 / 1999, before the dotcom and other bubbles burst.

      So the bottom 90% - not "the poor", who would obviously have had much less gain - got about 1% per year increase in net worth, with major bubbles expanding.  This was during a time of major economic prosperity.

      Do you really think that proves your trickle-down point of the poor get richer too?  Or does it show that while everyone worked to create value (actually, the ones who got the benefit probably did not work at all), the benefits of the value were being systematically diverted solely to the rich.  The poor and middle-class are being robbed by the rich.

      This is the entire thrust of financial capitalism: free markets, unfettered by regulation.  The poor and middle-class are there to produce, the rich are there to grab the rewards.  The last time that was the economic system, we called it slavery.

      •  That graph is either stupid or dishonest. (0+ / 0-)

        Lumping 90% of the population together as "the rest" is meaningless.  Comparing values which differ by 10 orders of magnitude on a linear scale is stupid.

        It looks like someone wanted to make a shocking graphic so, they lumped a bunch of data together and presented the hash in the worst way possible.

        Dishonest.

        Do you really think that proves your trickle-down point of the poor get richer too?  Or does it show that while everyone worked to create value (actually, the ones who got the benefit probably did not work at all), the benefits of the value were being systematically diverted solely to the rich.

        No, the data show the poor are getting richer.  You can look it up for yourself.

        Historical Income Tables - Households

        Results count for more than intentions do.

        by VA Classical Liberal on Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 01:28:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fine, let's talk stupid or dishonest (7+ / 0-)

          From the notes on the Census Bureau's Historical Income Tables:

          In order to accurately compare income over time, users should adjust the summary measures (medians, means, etc.) for changes in cost of living. The Census Bureau uses the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) to adjust for changes in the cost of living...

          The median household income in 1989 in current dollars is $28,906. If you compared that with the 1990 median household income of $29,943, there appears to be an increase. If you adjusted that 1989 income for changes in the cost of living (converted it to 1990 constant or real dollars), the resulting 1989 median household income is $30,468 (now a 1989-to-1990 comparison of income shows a decline of 1.7 percent).

          Which is it?

          "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

          by Orinoco on Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 02:06:05 PM PST

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          •  89 - 90? One year comparison is meaningless. (0+ / 0-)

            Just open the spreadsheets and look at the data.  They cover 1962 to 2008.  That's a 46 year trend.

            Not just 2 years pulled out to make a point about current vs. constant dollars.

            Americans are getting richer.

            Or take a look at the 500 billion people in China, India and the luckier parts of Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America who have pulled themselves out of deep, deep poverty over the last 30 years.

            Every time you see a scary article about running out of oil sooner because 200 million Chinese want to buy cars, it's because the Chinese are getting richer.

            The world is getting richer.

            It's a good thing.  Accept it.

            Results count for more than intentions do.

            by VA Classical Liberal on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:40:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ok, let's look at that data (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JanF, NCrissieB

              I didn't specially select those two years out to make a point: that blocktext was pulled directly from the Census Bureau notes.

              From Table H-3. Mean Household Income Received by Each Fifth and Top 5 Percent, Income in 2008 CPI-U-RS adjusted dollars:

               title=
              Lets spell it out:
              The lowest fifth dropped from 12,812 to 11,656 from 1999 to 2008

              The second fifth dropped from 31,458 to 29,517 from 1999 to 2008

              The third fifth dropped from 52,657 to 50,132 from 1999 to 2008

              The fourth fifth dropped from 81,955 to 79,760 from 1999 to 2008

              The highest fifth dropped from 174,769 to 171,057 from 1999 to 2008

              and even the top 5% dropped from 303,765 to 294,709 from 1999 to 2008

              Although I'm sure the monster tax breaks that top 5% got took some of the sting out of their lower income for those years.

              So who was making all the income that bumped up the American GDP during that decade?  Take another look at Gooserock's scaremongering stupid dishonest chart, and it will tell you just exactly where the money went.

              I don't see much value in continuing this discussion. Your disingenuousness is getting tiresome.

              "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

              by Orinoco on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:17:34 PM PDT

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              •  You're cherry picking the data. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Orinoco

                You've got 46 years of data to work with.  Why are you picking 1999 and 2008?

                Maybe because 1999 was near the top of one business cycle and 2008 is (hopefully) the bottom of another?

                Yeah, I thought so.

                Results count for more than intentions do.

                by VA Classical Liberal on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:10:34 PM PDT

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                •  Or because the chart (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JanF

                  you are calling dishonest covers those years.

                  Whatever. I'm sure you're quite good at convincing yourself.

                  "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

                  by Orinoco on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 11:23:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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