Saturday, December 17, 2011

Something doesn't add up...

Here's a head-scratcher from the New York Times:
An Associated Press report this week on census data found that “a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.” The report said that the data “depict a middle class that’s shrinking.”
An October report from the Congressional Budget Office found that, from 1979 to 2007, the average real after-tax household income for the 1 percent of the population with the highest incomes rose 275 percent. For the rest of the top 20 percent of earners, it rose 65 percent. But it rose just 18 percent for the bottom 20 percent.
Here's a dumb question, how can the middle class shrink when their earnings have increased?  It can't.  That's right folks, if everyone's household income goes up in real terms, then everyone is better off, including the shrinking middle class.

Color me skeptical, but I don't see 150 million or so Americans barely getting by.  We are the richest nation that has ever existed, and apparently we are doing better than 1979.  Yet this author would have you believe that half the country is basically begging for food.  Ridiculous.

Oh, and why do you suppose the statistic starts in 1979 and ends in 2007?  I'm curious to know how 3 years of liberalism have helped the bottom 20 percent.