Poverty

Good News! U.S. Incomes Up; Poverty Levels Down

About that vanishing middle class...

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Football
Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom

Good economic news from the U.S. Census today getting plenty of media attention: Poverty is down. Wages are rising. It looks likes America might actually be pulling out of recession-level income numbers. The basics, from the Los Angeles Times:

In its annual report on income and poverty, the Census Bureau said Tuesday that the share of people in the U.S. living in poverty dropped to 13.5% in 2015, marking one of the biggest annual declines in decades.

That was down from 14.7% in the prior year, but still considerably higher than the 12.3% poverty rate in 2006, the year before the Great Recession began, and the 40-year low of 11.3% in the year 2000.

A look through the appendices in the Census report shows that fewer Americans in almost nearly every ethnic demographic were classified as living below poverty levels in 2015. The only exception were Asians, whose poverty levels rose very slightly (and still have much lower poverty rates than other ethnic minorities).

Since the economic populism driving the Donald Trump campaign is heavily tied to frustrations of working class whites, it's worth noting that white poverty is still well above where it was prior to the housing bust and recession, about 1.5 percentage points higher. But white poverty rates for working-age adults (10.8 percent) are still well below those of blacks (21.1 percent) and Hispanics (17.8 percent).

It's also worth noting that poverty percentages of Hispanic people have dropped even while the population of Hispanic people living in the United States increased significantly in the past decade. Whites may not be back to pre-recession poverty numbers, but Hispanic people are, even while their populations increased. Another interesting detail noted by The Washington Post: median incomes increased by 7.3 percent for those who live in cities. They remain flat for those who live in rural communities.

But let's not just look at what these numbers mean in connection with the Trump campaign. Remember, Democrats want it both ways here. They praise the economic recovery (and will credit President Barack Obama because he was in charge during it, though his penchant for regulations probably slowed the recovery down), and yet they call for wage increases that will drive people back out of the marketplace and insist that America has problems with "income inequality."

But we don't, really. These census numbers bolster data about Americans' incomes that had started becoming clear last winter. While folks like Bernie Sanders were yelling about the "vanishing middle class," the data showed that the reason the middle class was getting smaller was because more people were moving upward into the upper class. There was an increase in the number of people whose incomes shrunk, but that number was much less.

So what these new numbers mean is that we're even seeing a drop in the number of people making less money than they were before the recession. Throwing those two data sets together, that simply means we have both more wealthy people and fewer poor people. The success of one group does not have to be at the expense of the other. Democrats should be concerned that the inequality as it stands is geographic in nature, and therefore blanket policies like statewide or nationwide minimum wage hikes are not the right solution and could end up making life even worse for the types of people who are backing Trump.

The Washington Post was quick to turn to the Clinton campaign for a positive response (which won't stop them from encouraging even more wage and workplace interventions) and a Republican source to insist that things really aren't better at all, despite what the numbers say. The Trump campaign itself had not yet responded to the info.

Take a look at the census data for yourself here.

NEXT: Half of All Killings by Police Are Not Reported to the Federal Government By the States

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  1. It’s the decade of the recovery. Thanks, Obama!

    1. So, I just noticed I made a significant omission in last night’s links.

      I was not intending to say that Islam doesn’t belong at the top of the list of most murderous and imperialistic movements or ideologies. I meant exactly the opposite, but left out the word “not”.

      1. I was not intending to say that Islam doesn’t belong at the top of the list of most murderous and imperialistic movements or ideologies. I meant exactly the opposite, but left out the word “not”.

        I’m pretty stupid, but I’m having a bit of a hard time parsing this. Did you mean:

        Islam doesn’t not belong at the top of the list of most murderous and imperialistic movements or ideologies.

        Is that how that was supposed to read?

        1. methinks

          But it’s just dumb to pretend that Islam is not very high up among the most murderous and imperialistic movements the world has ever seen.

        2. It belongs near or at the top of the list of bad things. That’s what I’m trying to say.

      2. Actually I thought that might be the case. It seemed like a wildly extraordinary thing for you (in particular) to say, so to be safe I didn’t lay into the comment too hard, or at least not as hard as I otherwise would have 🙂

  2. But none of this matters since the top 1% have SOOOO much money. We must steal it and make the poor even richer!

    1. You cannot steal what has already been stolen. Taxing the rich is the honorable position.

  3. Social issues are dominating this election cycle. Very little has been said about government fiscal issues or regulation; much has been said of Islamic and Hispanic integration into US society on the right and social justice on the left. Broadly speaking, I would say that proposed leftist policies have to do with identity politics and more government education to inculcate these views (free college!), while proposed rightist politics are about not importing members who will not assimilate into the US — particularly into what are traditionally seen as long-standing values of the US like tolerance and smaller government. Both sides are frustrated with the current political class.

    Neither side seems particularly interested in either structural issues affecting the economy, or even recent impositions (like Obamacare), perhaps because these issues are perceived as having no solution so long as the current political class and their values are allowed to dictate policy.

    1. Neither side seems particularly interested in either structural issues affecting the economy, or even recent impositions (like Obamacare), perhaps because these issues are perceived as having no solution so long as the current political class and their values are allowed to dictate policy.

      No, it’s because the majority of the American populace are venal.

          1. Not to mention revolting.

              1. And pee on the toilet seat.

                1. You people know me too well

            1. And like Bruce Springsteen.

            2. + 100,000 peasants!

            3. Not to mention revolting.

              You said it, they stink on ice!

              1. Damn, you must have gone to that Disney on Ice show as well?

              2. Failure to refresh FTL.

            4. You’re right, they stink on ice!

    2. At this point I’m less concerned about unassimilable foreigners coming across the border or by visa and more concerned about the unassimilable foreigners being created on college campuses.

  4. Good thing Obama wasn’t obstructed by those Republican’s.

  5. Sequestration was supposed to make sun burn out I thought.

    1. I haven’t seen the sun in the Bay Area since, like, July. So for all I know it has burned out.

  6. You don’t guarantee votes by generating fewer victims who need saving.

  7. Is it possible that the number of people in each household increased slightly such that household income increased but not individual income? Did individual income increase? Could the headline figure be explained by servers and bartenders moving in with their parents or senior citizens moving in with their children? Most other economic indicators that I’ve seen recently are still negative. Maybe they weren’t negative in 2015 when this survey was conducted.

    1. Which is why household income is not as good a measure as per capita GDP, as economists like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams frequently point out. Look at the decline in household income and correlate it to the divorce rate. As more women were able to work outside the home they started making enough money that they didn’t have to stay in unhappy marriages. They moved out and now you had two lower-income households rather than a single higher-income, but everybody was happier. Not a bad thing that household income was falling, it was good news that more people could afford to live on their own.

      So an increase in household income might be explained by college-age students having low-paying jobs that keep them living in Mom’s basement rather than moving out on their own. Is that actually good news, that college-age kids can’t find good jobs and move out on their own? Not hardly.

      1. Is that actually good news, that college-age kids can’t find good jobs and move out on their own? Not hardly.

        But also not necessarily a bad thing either. I lived at home for 1.5 years after college and saved enough to put 20% down on my house (I did have prior savings as I started earning a paycheck at age 11, thank god for family businesses and the child labor law exemption for them).

  8. You heard it first from the Ministry of Truth.

    1. ^This^

      I don’t believe a goddamned word of it. Not one.

      1. Anyone who does is completely insane.

        These are the same Journolist gutter vermin who were telling us Illary was in great shape right until the moment a totally incontrovertible video came out, even though most of them knew better. These scumbags lie as naturally and easily as they breathe.

        1. Mike M, Sick Illary is a winner. Well done!

          1. “Illary” is the low-hanging fruit of nicknames, but it does flow better (both logically and linguistically) than “Block Yomomma,” so i give it a gentleman’s B-.

  9. I mean how can household income increase by 5.2% if GDP increased by less than 2% in 2015?

    1. Maybe we’re saving more?

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry.

    2. GDP =/= the total of people’s paper money income.

      1. Sorry, what’s the distinction of “paper” here? How do you explain households making more money when all of the other economic indicators are negative?

        1. You’ll have to point out which indicators you’re asking about, since many of them have little to nothing to do with household income.

          1. You won’t accept “all of them?” Ok, not that I even know how these are calculated, but the recent PMI services was 51, ISM Non-MFG fell 4 points to 51.4, Labor Market Conditions was -0.7, Revolving credit was down, Non-revolving was up, but that’s based at least in part on auto loans, and auto sales were disappointing somehow recently I remember. These are all numbers from this month on the Bloomberg calendar I just scanned, and the survey in the OP is for 2015, so maybe that’s my answer. However, if the economy on a whole is not growing or even contracting, then how are people getting paid much more? Maybe they’re not really? Maybe their households just have more working-age children?

    3. GDP doesn’t include personal income unless you own a business and you count your business income as personal income.

      1. I think you can calculate it by adding up all incomes or adding up all sales, but my point is that if more goods and services are not being produced then how is it that people are earning more?

        1. Fluke as pointed out above, perhaps senior citizens are living with their children or people out of college taking a low paying job and living at home or a stay at home mom got a part time job to supplement household income.

          1. Pointed out by me! It was just a guess.

  10. I found this (pg.14) to be very interesting:

    “In 2015, poverty rates and numbers in poverty declined for all three major age groups. Poverty in 2015 decreased for people aged 18 to 64, to 12.4 percent and 24.4 million, down from 13.5 percent and 26.5 million in 2014. For people aged 65 and older, the 2015 poverty rate declined to 8.8 percent in 2015 from 10.0 percent in 2014, while the number in poverty declined to 4.2 million, down from 4.6 million.”

    So…. why are we forcing young people to subsidize the old people? It seems like old people should be subsidizing the young people (if you believe subsidies are any good at all).

    1. It gets worse when we look at people under the age of 18:

      “For children under age 18, 19.7 percent
      and 14.5 million were in poverty
      in 2015, down from 21.1 percent
      and 15.5 million in 2014. Children
      represented 23.1 percent of the total
      population in 2015 and 33.6 percent
      of the people in poverty.”

    2. For my 30th birthday my grandparents sent me a card and a cheque for 30 dollars. So some of the elderly are subsidizing the young.

      1. Yeah, my mom still sends me a few hundred dollars for each birthday (it used to be a just a few bucks, but then she got re-married and I think she is making up for all the years she couldn’t splurge on her kids). I don’t really need it, but hell, I’ll take it. 😛

        1. I’m just amazed they had my address. I sent them a thank you card and they must have copied the return address. Count me as impressed, as I move around quite a bit.

        1. Yes, why do you asque?

          1. I literally can’t even with this.

  11. Those stiller fans are super cringey. Heeebeegeebees.

    1. A friend of mine went to a Stillers game and saw a guy in the parking lot selling homemade t-shirts that said “IF YOU’RE NOT A STEELERS FAN YOU AIN’T SHIT.” He bought one, and told the guy that the shirt was hilarious. T-shirt guy didn’t see what was so funny about the shirt.

      1. That’s because you’re reading the grammatical meaning and not the phonetic meaning of the T-shirt. Still hilarious.

      2. “The truth ain’t funny, boy!”

  12. ” median incomes increased by 7.3 percent for those who live in cities. They remain flat for those who live in rural communities.”

    That sums it up. It explains Trump’s appeal. Urban dwellers benefit from federal government largess (government jobs and federal grants for infrastructure), while rural dwellers (and suburbans to a lesser extent) don’t get rewarded with government jobs or infrastructure grants.

    Too much emphasis is placed upon identity, race, and income to explain the division in this country, when, in fact, class, today, should be understood as what your interactions are with the federal government. If you work for any layer of government, in healthcare (which is essentially government now), high finance (which relies on its market position due to government), or education (which is all government through and through) you are more likely than not to support more government (ie. vote Democrat or Libertarian with Johnson as the nominee). If you work in manufacturing or a small business, you are more likely to not support more government (ie. vote Republican or Libertarian if Johnson were not the nominee).

    1. Through college, I positioned myself as a finance professional that could work near concentrations of federal government buildings. What can I say? I could feel the way that the wind is blowing. I feel a decent amount of job security because my fellow citizens always turn to the federal government for help in tough times, which should benefit me. I should be able to benefit in the best of times and the worst of times.

    2. Uh… cities are also where most of the jobs are. And when the only choices are “city” and “rural”, city includes suburbs.

      1. Most of those jobs also happen to be government related. You would be hard pressed to find any of the top ten largest cities in this country where the job market is not overly concentrated in government (or government rent-seeking) employment.

        1. “Happen to be government related”? Is there a citation for that or is it just your feelings? OhI see… you qualified it with “government rent-seeking” which can mean helpfully mean practically anything that is even slightly influenced by law or regulation.

          1. You must have missed where I specifically mentioned rent seekers as education, high finance, and healthcare.

            If subsidizing costs for consumers (higher education and healthcare ), mandating the purchase of a product (healthcare), and putting up obstacles to competition (High finance with Dodd Frank capital investment restrictions and heavy compliance costs) are just normal ‘regulation’ then I can’t help you.

            You should probably begin by looking up the definition of ‘rent seeking’.

    3. you are more likely than not to support more government (ie. vote Democrat or Libertarian with Johnson as the nominee)

      Dude, Johnson may be a lousy libertarian, but he’s still going to be a fuck ton better than Clinton or Trump when it comes to the size of government.

      1. You fool, Gasy Jasy is a godless Communist. Open your eyes.

        1. Well, clearly. Anyone who doesn’t agree with me in every way about everything is a communist.

          1. This is a trend I’ve noticed developing for some time now. Anyone who is not exactly as libertarian as me (as I define libertarian) on every issue is either an SJW (if I perceive their deviation to be left-leaning), or an imbecile anarchist purist (if I perceive their deviation as being to the right of me).

            Either way, each commenter is the only Real Libertarian? and everyone else is stupid and wrong about everything, and the more arbitrarily subject the subject under discussion, the more stupid and wrong everyone else is.

            1. *more arbitrarily subjective the subject under discussion

            2. This is a trend I’ve noticed developing for some time now. Anyone who is not exactly as libertarian as me (as I define libertarian) on every issue is either an SJW (if I perceive their deviation to be left-leaning), or an imbecile anarchist purist

              Or a yokel. There is that third classification.

              1. Well they are so that condition doesn’t apply. INSERT WITTY BANTER HERE!

            3. robc’s 2 rules of libertarianism strikes again!

              Rule #2 in this case.

      2. Perhaps. I haven’t really heard him discuss reducing government other than eliminating the Department of Education and replacing the income tax with a consumption tax (two issues that he’s backed away from apart from appearances on Stossel).

      3. Dude, Johnson may be a lousy libertarian, but he’s still going to be a fuck ton better than Clinton or Trump when it comes to the size of government.

        Right after the General Resurrection, if you can wait that long.

        1. Well, yeah. He’s not getting elected.

  13. Since the economic populism driving the Donald Trump Bernie Sanders campaign [was] heavily tied to frustrations of working class whites, it’s worth noting that white poverty is still well above where it was prior to the housing bust and recession, about 1.5 percentage points higher. But white poverty rates for working-age adults (10.8 percent) are still well below those of blacks (21.1 percent) and Hispanics (17.8 percent).

    Funny how we’re supposed to take, with grave seriousness, the rise of Economic Populism that came with Bernie Sanders. Because it’s truly got something to it, or at least I’m repeatedly told instructed by the l33t media.

    Remember, Democrats want it both ways here. They praise the economic recovery (and will credit President Barack Obama because he was in charge during it, though his penchant for regulations probably slowed the recovery down), and yet they call for wage increases that will drive people back out of the marketplace and insist that America has problems with “income inequality.”

    You know how tired and useless Democrats have become? There was a car accident in Seattle where a homeless dude was killed, and the mayor blamed it on income inequality, and demanded “taxpayers step up”.

    1. Seems to me the driver of the vehicle that “left the road” (passive voice seems to be popular for car crashes) should be the one – and only one – to “step up”.

      1. That’s not passive voice. Just oddly assigning agency to the car.

        1. True. Let me quote the full sentence:

          A homeless man was killed early Monday morning when a car traveling north on Interstate 5 left the road and drove up a small hill.

      2. 80/20. People shouldn’t be living in tents on the side of the freeway, which is now a thing in Seattle. A thing the city does jack about.

        1. So what. People shouldn’t be randomly “leaving the road” regardless of what’s on the side of it.

  14. The Washington Post was quick to turn to the Clinton campaign for a positive response (which won’t stop them from encouraging even more wage and workplace interventions) and a Republican source to insist that things really aren’t better at all, despite what the numbers say. The Trump campaign itself had not yet responded to the info.

    I haven’t looked at the Census report, but there are a lot of complicated factors in our current economy.

    If you couple it with the rapidly shrinking workforce participation rate, we may have had a general increase in the median income, because people at the lower-to-middle end have simply given up. Unemployment is low, again because we don’t count people who’ve stopped looking for work or are on permanent disability (and have stopped looking for work… ’cause disability check).

    Then there’s the federal management of the economy through perpetual zero percent interest rates coupled with humongous corporate debt from stock-bybacks, plus with the Fed balance sheet, a small interest rate could push the national debt into the stratosphere (read: higher into the stratosphere). So while things like poverty is down and personal incomes are up, I’m not confident about the macro outlook for the US economy as a whole– and my confidence goes down the further out I look.

    1. If you couple it with the rapidly shrinking workforce participation rate, we may have had a general increase in the median income, because people at the lower-to-middle end have simply given up.

      If you eliminate the slackers, everything looks rosy.

      1. If you eliminate the slackers, everything looks rosy.

        “I agree!” – J. Stalin

      2. UBI for everyone!

  15. Here’s the Washington Post, reporting on a study about the minimum wage:

    Yet the actual benefits to workers might have been minimal, according to a group of economists whom the city commissioned to study the minimum wage and who presented their initial findings last week.

    The average hourly wage for workers affected by the increase jumped from $9.96 to $11.14, but wages likely would have increased some anyway due to Seattle’s overall economy. Meanwhile, although workers were earning more, fewer of them had a job than would have without an increase. Those who did work had fewer hours than they would have without the wage hike.

    Seattle keeps touting how awesome the economy is because of the minimum wage hike while ignoring a study they commissioned themselves that indicated that the downsides erased any gains on the upside.

    1. And yet this won’t stop progs from saying ‘research shows’ (without any citations) as an ‘argument’ in favor of every debunked economic policy they favor.

  16. This is a Rorschach test and almost completely irrelevant to the current state of the economy.

  17. Makes sense, we’re nearing the top of the bubble and the last phase of the bubble is when the money finally starts making it to wage earners pockets.

    So we’re looking at the next crash sometime in the next 12 – 18months, probably sooner than later

  18. Hillary in a Stealers uniform? Oh, I get it now.

  19. Remember Hillary and the 3 AM phone call? At this rate, she won’t be able to answer a 3 PM call!

  20. Since the economic populism driving the Donald Trump campaign is heavily tied to frustrations of working class whites, it’s worth noting that white poverty is still well above where it was prior to the housing bust and recession, about 1.5 percentage points higher. But white poverty rates for working-age adults (10.8 percent) are still well below those of blacks (21.1 percent) and Hispanics (17.8 percent).

    So shut up, honkies. You’re still not as well off as you were 8 or 9 years ago but you haven’t been as badly fucked over as blacks and Hispanics. And if this doesn’t convince you how well off you’ll be in the future, well, just stay in the basket with the other Deplorable racist xenophobic homophobic islamophobic crackers.

    Jaysus wept.

  21. You know, on reflection, I think it can kind of be both ways.

    If I speak for myself, I am doing better than ever before, with the highest income (so far) of my life. I survived the recession, kept my job, and when I did get laid off in 2013, found a better, higher paying job in short order.

    Not only nationally, but locally, the unemployment rate is touted as being super-low, even after a minimum wage increase, proving that the MW increase created (or saved) jobs.

    Yet, in my city, homelessness is at an all-time high, with a multi-fold increase occurring just in the last couple of years. So bad is this homeless crisis, that the mayor declared an actual state of emergency, giving himself all manner of kingly powers including but not limited to the right to close businesses and impose city-wide curfews.

    If Seattle unemployment is so low, who are all those people sleeping under the overpasses?

    I’m somehow suspecting (well, in one metric I KNOW) that these people aren’t being counted in the unemployment statistics, and I’m not confident they’re being counted in poverty statistics, though in the latter, I’m not going to say for certain. If you live under a bridge and you go by the alias “Mr. Sparkles”, are you an income statistic?

    1. Seattle is a shit barometer for the national economy. Tech is the only thing holding up the DOW, and Seattle is home to Amazon, which is hiring thousands of high-paid workers and buying up every block in the city. It tends to distort things. If Amazon relocated in Detroit, the news would be awash with stories about how Motown is BACK and bravely reinventing itself. At the same time, Seattle is afraid to get serious about the problem with homelessness and enacted stupid policies that actually exacerbate the problem.

      Nationally, there is no doubt that many were hurt by the Great Recession and the insanely slow recovery. The rise of Sanders and Trump, as well as the 2014 elections show that the electorate at large is not happy with the current state of affairs, but folks differ on who to blame and how to fix it.

    2. Your city is probably pulling in the professional homeless from a wide area.

    3. I just got a raise. The economy’s booming, baby!

    4. Uhm, living under an overpass is not a household.

      “Per”cents have a numerator and a denominator, and even then it has be based on “common size” to make any sense. If the population goes up 10%, households decline, but income goes up, you’ve got a higher $ amount over a smaller “householding” population even as the overall population went up. It’s called cherry picking.

      And, as ALWAYS, no one points out that the US borrowed $8,000,000,000,000 to obtain this wonderful current reality (that is, when the shit inevitably hits the fan, it’s going to be much worse than things falling apart in 2008 would have been).

      1. And, as ALWAYS, no one points out that the US borrowed $8,000,000,000,000 to obtain this wonderful current reality

        No one points out? NO ONE? What am I, chopped liver?

  22. Based on this report, it looks like borrowing trillions of dollars is the way forward. Whoo Hoo – let’s spend another trillion and see if we can knock off a fraction of a point…

  23. In its annual report on income and poverty, the Census Bureau said Tuesday that the share of people in the U.S. living in poverty dropped to 13.5% in 2015, marking one of the biggest annual declines in decades.

    Our population control policies are bearing fruit, at last!

    Throwing those two data sets together, that simply means we have both more wealthy people and fewer poor people.

    “There’s definitively something wrong happening here. We should have fewer wealthy people and more poor people, otherwise who would bother to vote for the solution-peddlers?” /Demo-rat

  24. I have gotten shit raises for the past 5 years – does this mean now I have the power?!

  25. Funny stuff. Who wants it both ways? Last I looked around here, the economy was in the tank, and the blame falls to Obama.

    But wait…it’s not in the tank! Yeah, Obama had nothing to do with it.

    Pot/kettle here at Reason.

    1. Funny stuff. Who wants it both ways?

      The Fed, apparently.

    2. Or, people have their own opinions about stuff. Funny how that works.

      1. No, no. We’re all a single bloc here, remember? We’re allll Tulpa.

          1. Wanna get high?

            1. I wanna get Rocky Mountain High.

  26. Considering the amount of debt in America and the people out of workforce, this report isn’t exactly a game changer.

    What’s the criteria for breaking out of the poverty line anyways? If you made less than 20 thousand a year and made 25 thousand dollars in 2016, that makes little difference places like LA, especially if you have kids. Or have student loan and mortgages to worry about.

    Back in 2003, one year after I graduated from college, I landed a full time office job. I was paid around 22 thou a year. I wasn’t happy with the pay (heh) so I quit and landed a teaching job at a private school. I was paid 11 bucks an hour and the pay would go up incrementally every two years or so. I wasn’t happy with that so I went to grad school, and then the recession hit.

    Things are not better compared to the 90’s or even the Bush years. I was working full time during his tenure. And Asians are deceptively poor. There are plenty Asians with useful degrees going through the motion. And the sort of jobs they’re applying for is fiercely competitive. A lot of them end up working cash register at Abercrombie. Go to the mall, that’s Asian central.

    If things were better, Trump and Sanders would have dropped out by Valentine’s day.

  27. I came back to this thread to post something from Carl Ichan, big story on CNBC, and I think Ichan is generally correct:

    Icahn drew a line between the stock market, which is performing well, and the economy, where growth continues to be below trend.

    There are individual places where money is moving (stock market etc.) and places that are sluggish as hell. The industry I’m in, heavy manufacturing (and in my case, manufacturing in a sector that deals directly with the global shipping of goods) is in a 20-30% slump. Goods aren’t being shipped worldwide. If we’re not in a recession, we’re awfully close.

    The Hanjin bankruptcy is not something that should be taken lightly.

    I think all this ‘good news’ proves is that the economy is a very complex picture– where incomes (limited to those that are measured) may be going up, poverty may going down– but again, I suspect there’s a growing number of Americans that are literally not counted.

  28. Just in time for the next recession which has been brewing for years to come in and set things back to a slightly worse off point than the worst of the Great Recession too!

    I don’t know IF they fudge these numbers appreciably, but everybody knows the unemployment numbers, and many others are highly fucked with. Other than the fudging of the inflation rate (through the bogus Consumer Price Index, which is quite inaccurate compared to real costs of living) I don’t know how they could really mess with these numbers… But if there’s a way to fudge numbers to make things look better than they are the government will find it!

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