27 Feb 2006

More Great Economic News

Following the reports about the increase in hunger in America, the Federal Reserve issued a report yesterday noting that after adjusting for inflation, the median income for American families suffered a setback, decreasing 2.3% between 2001 and 2004. But despite the hemming and hawing from corporate America, overall, businesses aren’t doing nearly as bad their employees:

“What’s troubling about the economic recovery that we’ve been in is that all of the traditional indicators of employment, household income and poverty levels are lagging behind prior expansions,” said Jean Ross, director of the California Budget Project, an economic think tank in Sacramento.

“The only indicator that is doing better than in prior expansions is corporate profits, which indicates that businesses aren’t passing on what they are gaining to their workers,” she said.

Other economic indicators like net worth have risen, albeit very grudgingly, moving up only 1.5%- the weakest measured gain in a decade. By contrast, between 1995 and 1998 that increase was 12.3% and between 1998-2001 the increase was 17.3%. But those were years Clinton was in office, so while Bush II’s supporters like to give him credit for today’s economy, they say that the good times in the 90’s were inherited by Clinton from the Reagan/Bush I years. And now, of course, any bad news during Bush II’s term are remnants of Clinton’s economic policies. Nothing like having your cake and eating it too, I guess.

Oh yes, the net unemployment rate from early 2001 to August 2003 was negative- 2.7 million fewer working Americans.


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