Observations on the world today.

Friday, July 09, 2004

But Do You FEEL Better Off? 

In a recent conversation discussion okay - argument that I was having Online with some winger friends acquaintances okay - idiots I know, I casually mentioned that the disparity between rich and poor has grown under Bush the lesser. To counter that point, I was directed to this stat from CNN/Money magazine:
The number of millionaire households in the United States by mid-year 2003 grew to the highest level in 20 years, a study said Tuesday.

The ranks of millionaire households jumped 14 percent to 3.8 million, up from 3.3 million in 2002 and 3.7 million in 2001, according to NFO WorldGroup, a market research and consulting firm, which conducts an annual survey of affluent households.
At first glance, it seems pretty impressive for the POTUS, but let's examine the other end.

When one makes the point that the disparity is growing, one is already conceding that the rich are getting richer. However, implicit in the argument is that the poor are getting poorer. And they are.
The nation's official poverty rate rose from 11.7 percent in 2001 to 12.1 percent in 2002 and median household money income declined 1.1 percent in real terms from 2001 to $42,409 in 2002
But this illustrates the point much more clearly:
In 2002, the number of Americans living in poverty increased to 34.6 million; an increase of 3.5 million under Bush
According to the CNN/Money stat, there were 3.3 million millionaires in America in 2002, and this year there are 3.8 million. An increase of 0.5 million (500,000) people.

While in practically that same time period, the number of people living in poverty increased by 3.5 million (3,500,000) people.

The minority rich are getting richer while millions are being pushed into the desperation of poverty.

Incidentally, even the CNN/Money stat (when read closely) is misleading as to how many people became millionaires under Bush. Here is the stat again:
The ranks of millionaire households jumped 14 percent to 3.8 million, up from 3.3 million in 2002 and 3.7 million in 2001
Let's put the years in reverse chronological order.

2003 = 3.8million
2002 = 3.3million
2001 = 3.7million

The millionaire club LOST members in 2002 and gained them back in 2003. So the real gain over 2 years is not 14%. It is 3%. Bush isn't even doing as well for the rich as they want to pretend.


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