<$BlogRSDURL$>
Return to Main Page | Ragout: Inequality Soars Under Bush's Strong Leadership
Ragout
A Spicy Stew of Economics, Politics, Data, Food, Carpentry, etc.
 
Thursday, October 14, 2004

Inequality Soars Under Bush's Strong Leadership


At last! The debates finally featured some discussion of poverty and inequality. Kerry went out of his way to bring up the issue towards the end. Looking over the transcript, he didn't seem to be responding to any question in particular, but he made a strong statement:
The American middle class family isn't making it right now, Bob. And what the president said about the tax cuts has been wiped out by the increase in health care, the increase in gasoline, the increase in tuitions, the increase in prescription drugs.

The fact is, the take home pay of a typical American family as a share of national income is lower than it's been since 1929. And the take home pay of the richest .1 percent of Americans is the highest it's been since 1928.
These figures are very likely from the recent comprehensive study by Piketty and Saez, which would make them figures for 2000. I don't mean to criticize: this study is currently the gold standard of inequality research and I'm impressed that Kerry (or one of his advisors) is talking about it. In contrast, I rarely have any idea where Bush's figures could possibly come from.

The most recent figures available [big pdf] are from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (table A-3). They don't cover the truly rich, like the Piketty and Saez study, but they're informative about the trend in inequality. Since Bush took office, the situation has continued to deteriorate.

The figure below shows two common measures of inequality: the ratios of the 90th and 95th percentiles of household income to the 10th percentile. After increasing for 15-20 years, inequality began to level off in the late 1980s. But since Bush took office, it's been on the upswing.

In 1995, a few years into the Clinton recovery, the 10 percent of households lived on $10,501 or less (in 2003 dollars), while the 95th percentile household made 12.9 times more: $135,448. By 2003, the 10th percentile household had advanced by only $35, while those at the 95th percentile enjoyed an extra $18,672 per year, now making 14.6 times more than the lower-income households.

gini_28367_image001
 
|










































Number 1 in Ragout Economics!

ARCHIVES
March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 /

LINKS
First Team
Angry Bear
Atrios
Crooked Timber
Brad DeLong
Econbrowser
Economist's View
Freakonomics
Mark Kleiman
Nathan Newman
Political Animal
Max Sawicky
Brian Setser
Sock Thief
Talking Points Memo
Tapped
Matthew Yglesias

Second Opinion
Stephen Bainbridge
Marginal Revolution
Andrew Samwick
The Volokh Conspiracy

Third Way
Fafblog
NewDonkey

Fourth Estate
Economic Reporting Review
New York Times
Slate
Washington Post

Fifth Republic
Ceteris-Paribus
Econoclaste
Le Figaro
Le Monde

Sixth Sense
Deltoid
The Intersection
In the Pipeline
What's New

Politics & Polls
Daily Kos
Donkey Rising
Electoral Vote Predictor
MyDD
PollingReport
PollKatz
Rasmussen Tracking Polls

Other
Art Sucks
Enzo Titolo
L’esprit d’escalier
A Level Gaze
Approximately Perfect


EMAIL
ragoutchef at yahoo dot com

[ATOM]

Powered by Blogger