Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Debunking New York Times Income Propaganda

 Debunking New York Times Income Propaganda

The New York Times has a story today.  Average incomes fell for most people between 2000 and 2005.  It would be really interesting in it was true.  But it ain't true, ladies and gentlemen.  Randall Hoven at the American Thinker has analyzed this piece of propaganda in The New York Times today in which they want you to believe Americans are getting poorer. That's the point: that our average incomes are below what they were in 2000. 

"Now, in order to convey this misleading conclusion," writes Mr. Hoven at the American Thinker, "The New York Times wants you to believe that Americans are getting poorer, that our average incomes are below what they were in 2000. In order to convey this misleading conclusion, the paper plays a game well-illustrated by my own family's situation. Last year my daughter graduated from college, got a job and moved into her own apartment. Those actions contributed to the decline of the median household income in this country.  You see, even though the combined income of my family increased by my daughter's income (not shabby), we were now two households --  divide the total income by two and it's less than it used to be. The Times breathlessly reports on this same phenomenon on a national scale today.  And I do not use the adverb 'breathlessly' idly.  The story quotes Robert S. McIntyre, the director of Citizens for Tax Justice, as saying the data 'takes your breath away.'  The story concludes with his quote that 'trickle down doesn't work.'

"The story is based on government data on median household income It declined from $55,714 in 2000 to $55,238 in 2005, adjusted for inflation, according to the story.  (The online U.S. Statistical Abstract has not been updated for 2005, apparently.)  That's a decline of less than one percent (0.85% to be exact). However, other government data show that GDP per capita increased from $34,759 in 2000 to $37,532 in 2005, in inflation-adjusted dollars.  That's an increase of almost eight percent (7.98% to be exact).

Well, were there fewer people per household, as in my family?  More government data say yes.  The average number of people per household was 2.62 in 2000 and 2.57 in 2005.  A 2% decline.  Do the math: if you spread the same people with the same income over more households, you get lower 'household' income.  In fact, we would have expected a 2% decline in household income.  But there was less than 1% decline.

 "In simple terms, there was no decrease in income at all.  In fact, there was a healthy increase.  The NYT simply spins a story about average household size into a class warfare story. If "trickle down" means my kids get good-paying jobs and move out, then bring it on! In fact, because Americans are richer, we can afford to support more household units. Thereby creating an opprtunity for the Times to mislead those readers who still think it is a credible news source. The New York Times is guilty of deception while sticking to the facts. That's an art form it has worked long and hard to master."

Brilliant analysis here by Randall Hoven at the American Thinker.

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