Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Economy Still Sucks for the Average American ... President Obama Says Things Are Fine ... Accordingly, Tonight's Republican Debate May Shine a Bright Spotlight on the Economy

The economy still sucks for the average American, and poverty rates haven't budged for several years. U.S. Incomes Edged Lower in 2014 says this in part:

"The Census report’s annual snapshot of American living standards offered the latest set of data—on incomes, poverty and inequality—showing how an often-underwhelming recovery has unfolded.

Wednesday’s figures showed little improvement in incomes and no decline in the poverty rate during a year in which the economy added the most jobs since 1999. Around 14.8% of Americans, or 46.7 million individuals, were living in poverty last year, unchanged from 2013.

“Anyone wondering why people in this country are feeling so ornery need look no further than this report,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank.

Incomes stood 6.5% below their 2007 level, before the last recession hit, and were 2.3% below their 2009 level, when the recession ended. By contrast, incomes rose 13% in the expansion that ran from 1991 through 2000."

The typical household makes less than it did before the recession offers a solid explanation as to why Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are leading the polls.

Of course, it doesn't give us any clue whatsoever as to why anybody would prefer Hillary and the Clinton clan.

In any event, do political newcomers Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson have a legitimate chance to win the Republican nomination?

And while we're at it, are Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Marco Rubio already toast?

As we await tonight's sure to be entertaining nationally televised Republican circus, here's the breaking news story that's really not news to most Americans:
"The typical American household, six years after the Great Recession, is still worse off, according to a report released Wednesday.

The Census Bureau reported that median household income was $53,657 in 2014. . . . What is of significance is that, when adjusted for inflation, the median household generated 6.5% less than they did in 2007, the year before the recession.

The declining living standard of the average American goes some way to explain why outsiders like Donald Trump and Ben Carson on the right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders on the left, are shooting up the polls for the presidential nomination. . . .

Other points of interest:

• By region, only the West saw a notable change in 2014, with the real median household income falling 4.6%.

• Family households made more than double nonfamily households, $68,426 compared to $32,047.

• Among racial groups, Asian households had the highest median income in 2014 ($74,297). The median income of non-Hispanic white households was $60,256, and for black households it was $35,398, with Hispanic households making $42,491.

• While income inequality as measured by the Gini index did not change in 2014, it has increased from 1999 levels.

Summing Up

Things are still tough for too many Americans.

Yet President Obama insists that things are just fine. See Obama Accuses GOP Candidates of 'Talking Down America.'

So when President Obama and his political allies say that our economy is strong and getting stronger by the day, consider the source.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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