Thursday, July 19, 2012

Those with Jobs See No Improvement in Real Income

Political Perceptions: It's Not Just the Unemployed says this:

"What about those with jobs?

A lot of the banter in the presidential campaign so far has been about jobs: Where are they? Why aren’t there more of them? Why are so many U.S. companies hiring overseas instead of at home? Would a second Barack Obama term bring more jobs than a Mitt Romney term?

Good questions all. But that debate tends to overlook the question about what’s happened to the wages of those Americans who do have jobs.

In an often-overlooked quarterly report, the Labor Department on Wednesday said that the typical full-time male worker over age 25 – the one in the statistical middle – earned $918 a week in the second quarter. Adjusted for inflation, that was about 2% less than the comparable worker earned 10 years earlier, in the second quarter of 2002. For women, the typical weekly wage was $727, up, but only just 2% over the past decade. And those are the workers who have jobs.

So it’s no surprise that the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found voters disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy — 53% to 42%. The president will argue, and with some evidence, that the economy would be even sicker if not for all that he did.

But as the ever-quotable Rep. Barney Frank once told a bunch of economists: “No one has ever gotten re-elected where the bumper sticker said, ‘It would have been worse without me.’ You probably can get tenure with that. But you can’t win office.”

Mr. Romney is counting on Mr. Frank being right."

My Take

Things are tough for those with a job, those without a job, retirees and virtually everybody else. Real tough.

Maybe the politicians, while saving the middle class, should first focus on what they're doing wrong.

That would keep them busy for quite some time.

Maybe even cause them to do less harm by doing less.

Wouldn't that be nice?

Thanks. Bob.

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