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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

More On The Economy
The more I read the Pioneer Press article (byline: BY LEIGH STROPE, Associated Press) I mentioned below, the more steamed I get. Look at the first sentence,
Over two decades, the income gap has steadily increased between the richest Americans, who own homes and stocks and got big tax breaks, and those at the middle and bottom of the pay scale, whose paychecks buy less.
Now for some facts from the President's website:
  • Real after-tax incomes are up by 11 percent since December 2000. This increase is mostly due to the President's tax relief and is substantially better than those following the last recession.
  • Homeownership rates are at record levels - nearly seven out of ten American families own their own home today.
  • Household wealth is near a record high.
  • Consumer confidence is up from the levels seen at this time last year and is in the upper third of its historical range.
  • Inflation remains low by historical standards, as do mortgage rates.
(The Kerry Spot on NRO has a nice rundown of the latest economic numbers. (see 08/17 11:14 AM post)) Of course, facts are unnecessary when you have a quote like this from an economist: "For those working in the bottom half of the pay scale, they're under an enormous amount of pressure" (said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com). Okay, thank you Mark. You go sit over there. The only hard numbers in the article are last month's jobs report (only 32,000 new jobs), total jobs lost and gained during the Bush administration, and average temp wages.

Now, if you really want to win your argument, provide some personal anecdotes. Preferably someone from middle America, whose job was outsourced, and whose new job pays less, has two kids in college and a husband who can no longer work because of an injury. Ya think there were people like that in Clinton's economy, too? Not a chance.

Finally, wrap it up by raising the envy level out there. How are Porsche sales? Up 17%. Sales at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue? Strong. Sales at Wal-Mart, Sears and Payless Shoes? Lackluster. And the cherry on top,
Real estate agent Lance Anderson, 38, of Overland Park, Kan., expects a record sales year, as homeowners upgrade to more expensive homes and commercial clients expand. He recently took his family to Disney World for a two-week Florida vacation.

"My clientele, it seems as a whole, has seen positive growth," he said. So his family, including three children, now eat out more often and spend more on clothes. They recently bought two new cars and anticipate buying a larger house in the next few years.
*/^$#*! I want to vomit! This is what passes for reporting at the AP?


[Permalink] (1) comments
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