The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label United States. Show all posts
Showing posts with label United States. Show all posts

Sunday, February 22, 2015

David Ruccio's Chart Of The Day: Disposable Income:.US Income Distribution

David Roccio's.....

on economics, culture and society

Chart of the day

Posted: 22 February 2015

This chart, devised by Branko Milanovic, illustrates the remarkable economic recovery that has taken place in the United States beginning in 2010—a recovery, that is, not for the vast majority of people, but for a tiny minority at the top.

Consider the first period (blue line). It is remarkable that real income of all groups declined. But the hardest hit were the rich, with percentage losses increasing as we move toward to right portion of the graph, and the very poor. I am not an expert on US welfare system, but it seems to me that the system failed to protect the poorest people from substantial income losses between 2007 and 2010. But for the bulk of the population, the years of the Great Recession meant a modest real income decline. The median person’s real income went down by a little over 3 percent. The upper middle class (the people between the 80th and 90thpercentiles) did not see much change in their real income. But the top 10% clearly lost out: notice how the blue line starts decreasing ever more steeply as you move toward the top 1%. The Gini coefficient decreased by less than 1 point.

Now, look at the red line which shows the real change in the second period. It is almost a mirror-image of what happened in the first. The growth was zero or positive along the entire distribution, the strongest among the very poor (around the lowest 5th percentile) and among the rich (the top 10%). Median inflation-adjusted per capita income decreased by just under 1%. For the two top percentiles, which got clobbered by the recession, real income growth was in excess of 10%.

In other words, those at the very bottom lost a great deal during and immediately after the crash and, as a result of special measures (like an expansion of the food stamp program and increases in state minimum wages) they’ve recovered some of what they lost—and they’re still poor. For pretty much everyone else, they lost out (as a result of growing unemployment and stagnant wages) and they still haven’t recovered (even though the unemployment rate has declined but their wages are still pretty much where they were before the crash). And those at the top? They lost a great deal (because of the initial decline in corporate profits and the stock market crash), and as a result of the nature of the recovery (which has successfully restored the profits of large corporations and the stock market), and have now recovered most of what they lost—and they’re still rich.

So, after a brief hiatus (in 2009), the United States is back to having the most unequal distribution of income of all the rich countries on the planet.

And, unless things change (and I don’t mean the Fed’s tinkering with interest rates), it’s only going to continue to get worse.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DAVID F. RUCCIO : Charts, Headlines As A Tool For Lies

Essayist DAVID F. Ruccio      


on economics, culture and society

How to lie with headlines and charts

Posted: 17 February 2015
David Leonhardt’s headlines reads “Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis” and his chart, provocatively titled “The Rich Have Gotten Poorer Since 2007,” shows that the incomes of the highest-earning households (top 1, top .01, and top 10 percent) have fallen even more than the income of others.
Well, yes and no. Yes, incomes at the top have fallen more than the incomes of everyone else since 2007—but those at the top are certainly not “poorer.” And, even more important, no one has claimed top incomes didn’t fall off during the Great Recession. Of course they did, since those at the top receive most of the capital gains generated in the economy and the crash in equities wiped away a good portion of their wealth.
But the real questions are, what happened before the crash? And what’s happened since the recovery began? And there the charts don’t lie: those at the very top have made out like bandits while everyone else is forced to continue to subsist on their meager, unchanging incomes.
In fact, Leonhardt’s own text challenges both his headline and key chart:
None of these facts, to be clear, changes the larger story: Inequality is far higher than for most of the last century. The Great Depression and the New Deal helped reverse the high inequality of the 1920s. The last several years haven’t reversed more than a small fraction of the post-1980 rise in inequality.
It’s even possible that inequality will soon surpass its 2007 peak, because the affluent often fare better than any other group in the second half of an economic expansion. On the other hand, the current data doesn’t reflect several of Mr. Obama’s efforts to fight inequality, such as the expansion of health insurance or top-end tax increases. Whatever happens in the next few years, top incomes will almost certainly remain vastly higher than they were in previous decades, while incomes for the middle class and poor will remain only marginally higher. This stagnation has damaged living standards and caused widespread frustration.
That’s the real problem, which headlines and charts about the very rich not having yet recovered all their losses simply can’t hide.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

US Deficit And The US Treasury (John Liming)

John Liming writes via The American Liberal Times.

U.S. Treasury Reported To Be Kicking Some Deficit Butt!”

President Barack Obama at the Fiscal Responsib...
President Barack Obama at the Fiscal Summit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Date:  30/Apr/2013
Subject:  OP-ED by John Liming
To:  All My Valued Readers And Friends.
I Bet Some Of The Radical Righties And Obama Hater Types Will Be Filling Their Drawers On This One – - – Whatta Ya Wanna Bet?
The news is that The U.S. Treasury is about to pay off some of its debts for the first time in 7 years – - – according to the reports that I have been reading and to which I have linked a little farther down on this page.
And – - – of course – - – I can’t wait for all those hate bloggers out there to jump on this more than excellent fiscal news and start blubbering and yammering about how none of this has any thing at all to do with Obama’s policies.
Of course, I think most of my readers can already guess where I think the Radical Righties and the haters can stuff their bull feces about the president, the Administration, Democrats, Liberals and Progressives – - – right?
This is some great news as far as I am concerned and it proves at least three things to me – - – (1)  Obama’s fiscal policies are working – - – (2)  The recession is losing it’s grip – - – and (3) The bullshit that has been being spread around by some of the anti-Obama, anti-Government, anti-Democracy forces on the loony-bin fringe of the radical right are as wrong as they have ever been – - – which, in my opinion – - – has been forever – - – and on everything they have ever opened their mouths about when it comes to the economy, the president, the government, the People – - – or the country in general.
Aren’t you glad you vote Democrat?  Don’t you wish everybody did?
Read More and rejoice – - – and perhaps, gloat a little too:
Posted by John Liming at 8:55 am

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

GOP Honors American Vets????

Re-posted from The American Liberal Times.  There is little more gratifying than finding John Liming and I inadvertently co-joined topically today.

How some Republicans reportedly honor America’s Veterans!

English: Veterans Day poster for 1999.
English: Veterans Day poster for 1999. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are millions of U.S. Military Veterans living in states where Republican governors occupy the state houses and you would think that in those places the Nation’s veterans would be receiving all the support and services they need without so much as a whimper from those who hold the purse strings, wouldn’t you?
Opinion by John
I mean who is it that puts on a better or bigger show for our brave Veterans as they return from those dangerous places around the globe where they are called on every day to make unspeakable sacrifices and who do it all willingly and without complaint?
Do the Republicans and the Right Wing spare any expense in staging parades with marching bands and in having dignitaries make flowing emotionally charged speeches about how much they hold the veterans dear to their hearts, how very much the veterans are owed by all Americans and how the veterans will never be forgotten for the service they have rendered and the sacrifices they have made?
I personally think that no one on God’s Green Earth can wave a flag or a Bible or make prettier speeches about the debt owed to our Veterans than Republicans, Conservatives and Right Wingers can – - no one by a long shot! In my opinion they are masters at showcasing their undying and heartfelt gratitude to our honored fighting men and women!
Hyper-Nationalistic Religious Patriotic Fervor is never better done than when done by the Right-leaning crowd so far as I have been able to tell for more than 64 years now.
Now maybe I shouldn’t have to bring this up, but it is something that scratches at my under belly sometimes and I simply cannot keep still about it:
Millions of those “honored and revered” Veterans who are “never to be forgotten by a grateful nation” just happen to live in some of the growing number of states – - mostly reported to be under Republican governors – - that are just outright refusing to expand their state Medicaid programs and guess who may be paying a  hefty price for that in the long run?  You guessed it – - the poor, the uninsured and, of course, those millions of uninsured Veterans who just happen to be unfortunate enough to live in those states!
I wonder if there is anyone out there besides myself who thinks a situation like the one I am describing here might be some kind of national disgrace?  Something that some people who ought to know better should be ashamed of?  Something that needs to be addressed and fixed?
Knowing how difficult life can be for homeless and displaced Veterans and those Veterans who may have “fallen through the cracks” because of some kind of lack in necessary support systems, I am tempted to believe that if there is a poor veteran on the streets somewhere who needs medical insurance coverage at an affordable or reasonable cost – - or even free if the case need be – - and that veteran just happens to live in one of these Republican controlled states where there is no expansion of the Medicaid coverage – - that veteran might just have to face some unspeakably tough decisions and circumstances some day and I think if that is the case then it stinks!
I think our veterans deserve the best possible care and treatment and I don’t have any truck with anyone or any concept that indicates otherwise.
One aspect of all this that seems to me to define itself possibly ( and note that I said “possibly”) as some kind of callous indifference to the needs of some of our Veterans seems kind of odd coming out of an ideology that has historically bragged about how much they care about “the right to life.”
Don’t our Veterans have a right to life just like anybody else and couldn’t  the inability to access necessary medical care result in a possibly preventable loss of life in some circumstances?  Is there an excuse that works that someone can give for allowing something like that to happen to anyone – - especially a veteran?  Or a child?  Or someone who is elderly?  What can some of these Republican types be thinking?
There is an article on “Truthout” that goes more into detail about all this and you might want to check it out here:  Go to the website “Truthout” and look for the article that discusses this subject in more depth.
Posted by John