Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sorry, But Income Has Been Going Up, NOT Down

Facts are stubborn things. Usually a person's commitment to an ideology makes them unwilling to look at the facts. Nevertheless, facts are facts.

One of the myths of American political speak is that the last 25 years only benefited the rich. This is patently false.

In the Wall Street Journal Arthur Laffer and Stephan Moore make this case in their article New Evidence on Taxes and Income:

The new Census Bureau data on income and poverty reveal that many of the economic trends in this country are a lot more favorable than America's detractors seems to think. In 2007, overall real median family income increased to $50,233, up $600 from 2006. The real median income for intact families -- mother and father in the home -- rose to $78,000, an all-time high.

When all sources of income are included -- wages, salaries, realized capital gains, dividends, business income and government benefits -- and taxes paid are deducted, households in the lowest income quintile saw a roughly 25% increase in their living standards from 1983 to 2005. (See chart nearby; the data is from the Congressional Budget Office's "Comprehensive Household Income.") This fact alone refutes the notion that the poor are getting poorer. They are not.

HT to Kruse Kronicle -- my favorite and IMO the best economics blog on the web!! Go read it!!


#Debi said...

Maybe someone just accidentally turned the chart upside down...

Michael Kruse said...

Thanks for the endorsement! I don't comment often but I'm checking your blog every day in my Bloglines and Google Reader.

epeuthutebetes said...

Adjusted for inflation?

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