Tag Archives: median income

News Roundup – education, fracking and more

Over one trillion dollars in student loan debt

I’ve talked about this before, but one of the things that is going completely wrong in our society has to do with education and the cost of education. Yes, I’ll go ahead and say it, “back in my day…,” getting an education was a no-brainer. The cost of education was relatively miniscule compared to the rewards. College was expensive but affordable. The average middle-class family could afford to send their son or daughter to almost any school in the United States. Although some families had to take out loans, the loans weren’t overwhelming, crushing and never-ending. Today it is different. With the median income of the middle class stagnant or falling and the cost of higher education continuing to skyrocket, making the decision to go to college can place the average American family into a debt spiral that they can never get out of. The honest truth is that there was a time when states thought that they had a responsibility to educate the population. States and the national government subsidized student education. Over the years that subsidy has lapsed. This requires the student to take on more and more of the burden.

Yesterday, I briefly talked about rape and sexual assault in the military. What I forgot to mention was the pitiful excuses that are being thrown around. For lack of better phrasing, I will just say the “they are young men with raging hormones” excuse is possibly the worst. Where in the world are we supposed to find young men that are more disciplined and more trained to follow orders than the US military? Rape and sexual assault in the military must stop and must stop now.

I love David Letterman’s explanation of fracking. He is 100% correct.

Inequality is up, way up

From Reuters:

The analysis found that inequality has risen not just in plutocratic hubs such as Wall Street and Silicon Valley, but also in virtually every corner of the world’s richest nation:

  • Inequality has increased in 49 of 50 states since 1989.
  • The poverty rate increased in 43 states, most sharply in Nevada, ravaged by the housing bust, and in Indiana, which saw a rise in low-paying jobs.
  • Twenty-eight states saw all three metrics of socioeconomic well-being worsen. There, inequality and poverty rose and median income fell.
  • In all 50 states, the richest 20 percent of households made far greater income gains than any other quintile – up 12 percent nationally.
  • Income for the median household – in the very middle – fell in 28 states, with Michigan and Connecticut leading the way.
  • The five largest increases in inequality all were in New England: Connecticut first, followed by Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The decline in manufacturing jobs hit New England’s poor and middle hard, while the highly educated benefited from expansion in the biotech and finance industries.
  • The only state that didn’t see a rise in inequality: Mississippi, which had an insignificant dip. The Magnolia State was one of the few to post a drop in poverty and a rise in income, but it still ranks worst in the nation on both counts.

Ronald Reagan and economics, Part 2

So a couple of days ago, I discussed Ronald Reagan and the economy because many Americans are under the impression that life was better under Reagan. I discussed real GDP per capita per year and found that Ronald Reagan wasn’t the best, nor even the second best. He was the third best president if we look at this economic indicator. So, today, I would like to get into something a little more personal than the GDP. Let’s look at real income.

Real median income is median income adjusted for inflation.

Just from the naked eye, we can see that it looks as if real median income took off during the Kennedy/Johnson administrations. Americans also did well during the Clinton and Reagan administrations. Again, if we look at real median income per capita per year, we come up with exactly what the naked eye is seeing in the above graph. John F. Kennedy/ London Baines Johnson came in first with 3.48 percent per year. Bill Clinton came in second with 2.49% per year. Finally, Reagan came in third with 2.45% per year.

So with these two real world measures of the economy, Reagan doesn’t come in first or second. He was the third best president in the last 50 years with regards to economic performance. Third. (Check some more facts in the book Presimetrics.)