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InsiderOnline Blog: August 2004

A Study for Every Story

The Washington Post makes quite a mess in just few paragraphs on the front page of the Express commuter paper today.

Over two decades, the income gap has steadily increased between the richest Americans, who own homes and stocks and got big tax breaks, and those at the middle and bottom of the pay scale, whose paychecks buy less, government data shows.

No word on which government data shows this; perhaps it was speaking on condition on anonymity.

The growing disparity is even more pronounced in this recovering economy. Wages are stagnant and the middle class is shouldering a larger tax burden.

Are they really? Not according to The Myth of Stagnant Wages, which says "there is substantial evidence that the recovery is producing middle- and upper-income jobs." As for "the middle class is shouldering a larger tax burden," I can only guess that comes from the media's willfull misreading of the CBO report, which Policy Weblog breaks down, here.

Prices for health care, housing, tuition, gas and food have soared.

So what makes health care prices, housing prices, tuition, and gas prices rise? Government meddling, meddling, meddling, meddling. As for food, I can still get a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger at Wendy's for 99 cents, so I have no complaints. I also should point out that the Post rebuts itself, here. But back to the Express...

More than a million jobs have been added back to the 2.6 million lost since President Bush took office, but they pay less and offer fewer benefits, such as health insurance.

Tim Kane and the American workforce must not have gotten the memo, because according to "How Good Are the New Jobs":

  • Average real earnings for "production and nonsupervisory" workers are 2.4 percent higher today than in January 2001.
  • The vast majority of U.S. jobs are in service sectors (83.3 percent), and most future growth will be in the health, education, retail, and technology subsectors.
  • There will be zero growth in "burger-flipper jobs" relative to the overall labor force, according to U.S. Department of Labor projections for 2002-2012.

It's a good thing the Express doesn't attempt stories much longer than this five-paragraph piece of work, because my database is tired.


Posted on 08/17/04 11:25 AM by Mary Katherine Ham

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