Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who's the dummy now?

No link, because it just annoys 'em. But somebody out there in the ether claims that liberals are lying, lying I tell you, when they say that incomes have declined during the Bush regime. Here's the lede:

I get really weary of the false information that is fed into empty liberal heads and then repeated as fact. When you ask them to back up their assertions, all you ever really get are crickets chirping. Until the next time they come into a comment thread spreading the same invalidated manure.

So as a remedy, I am going to address one such lie right here and right now. It's information that any half competent person can find on the internet in a few minutes (which is why the empty-headed liberal is unaware that they are repeating a lie).

Lie: Income went down under George Bush.

Our friend, who Spot regrets to say will probably be entrusted with a sharp knife to carve a bird tomorrow, says proof lies in the fact that per capita Gross Domestic Product has risen, risen I say, every year (well, it went down a little in 2001, but one would have expected that) during the Bush term. Here's the figures our friend quotes:


Those are the "real" numbers, not the nominal ones. If you go to the link, you will see the nominal GDP per Capita for 2007 was actually $45,707.

Spot, does he really mean that each and every person in the United States is $10,000 better off annually, in inflation-adjusted dollars, during this period? Boy for big families, that's a huge windfall!

Well, grasshopper, we will give our friend the benefit of the doubt and assume he really believes what he says. Especially since he takes such umbrage at what he calls "liars."

But, as our friend says, economics is a tricky thing!

Let's assume: Bill Gates walks into a bar.

Is this a joke, Spotty?

No, grasshopper, it's an illustration.

Also assume there are two barflies in the bar nursing beers. What happens to the average income among the bar patrons after Bill Gates enters?

It goes through the freakin' roof, Spotty!

Watch your tongue, grasshopper, but yes it does. But only the arithmetical average. Which is what our friend trumpets in his post. But what happens to the median income?

Well, it just moves to the bar fly with the higher income; it probably doesn't move much at all.

Very good, grasshopper. This is why our friend is such a complete . . . well, never mind that. And for the truly average person in the US, incomes have gone down for several years:

America's middle class is increasingly squeezed by sagging incomes and soaring expenses, experts told Congress on Wednesday.

Adjusted for inflation, median household income dropped by $1,175 between 2000 and 2007, said Elizabeth Warren, professor at Harvard Law School, in written testimony before the Joint Economic Committee.

At the same time, the average family is spending $4,655 more on basic expenses, such as gas, housing, food and health insurance. Gas alone costs $2,195 more for a family making the same commute in May 2008 as it did eight years earlier.

Our friend winds up his thesis and nails it to the liberals door:

[S]top whining and for God's sake quit repeating the insipid lies that assholes in the LMSM and on the Left have been feeding you.

Our friend has quite a mouth on him, doesn't he, boys and girls? Yes, friend, GDP has risen, but like the bar flies, most people haven't seen it. Income disparity has grown significantly during the Bush years.

In fact, boys and girls, that's your homework. The gap between the rich and  poor is as great now as since when: 1946, 1952, 1963, 1970, or 1929?

Update: Spot made a minor amendment in his example that the comparison between the illustration and the real life discussion about GDP is better.

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