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The state of "the economy" summed up in one stat

Via Warren Mosler:

Real per capita disposable income was down -0.85% during 2013. And to maintain the prior years standard of living, the household savings rate plunged 2.3%. ...

The per capita numbers continue to mask an ongoing shift in income distribution: although the average per capita income data has grown some 3.3% since October 2008 (per the BEA), the median household income has shrunk some 7% over that same time span (per Sentier Research). The typical member of the electorate lives at the median, and they are not sharing the growth reported by the BEA.

That's exactly it. We don't feel the economy getting any better because, for us, it isn't. Doh. Averages conceal (some would say, are designed to conceal).

But "the typical member of the electorate lives at the median" -- by definition, right?

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DailyPUMA's picture
Submitted by DailyPUMA on

"Consumer Debt" is the phrase that pays. Fascinating to have a google feed that sends me stories about Consumer Debt. I only get one or two a day, but it is fascinating to see all the warning signs from all over the world about rising consumer debt.

Even places that have rising "real estate value" have rising consumer debt, so when the real estate bubble bursts, the ratio of consumer debt to remaining consumer equity dramatically shifts, in a bad way. Soap, Wash, Rinse, Repeat every 5 to 7 years.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

We really need better math education. This is such an elementary thing that anyone who graduates from high school should know it. When our politicians or the press try to slip something like this by us, we should be asking them "What do you think we are, idiots?"

Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

Alexa quoted the DLC :"no family with a full-time worker will live in poverty."

The full time thing leaves a big hole:

Children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round ...
California 35%
datacenter.kidscount.org/data/acrossstates/rankings.aspx?ind=5043

Submitted by lambert on

The DLC says that "no family with a full-time worker will live in poverty," so the unspoken corollary is to eliminate as many full time jobs as possible.