Household Incomes Declined In 46 States From 1999-2005, Suggesting Bush Administration Claims Of "Strong" Compensation Growth Are False
Yesterday, JABBS noted that Labor Secretary Elaine Chao has been spinning lackluster job- and wage-growth numbers.
Chao boasted to CNN's John Roberts on Sunday that "Overall compensation has been up well over 6% since 2001. So overall, compensation overall is strong." But anyone with half a brain should realize that, by Chao's math, compensation is growing at a pace of 1.2% per year. With inflation at about 3% per year, that's not "growth." That's "not keeping up with inflation."
To further illustrate this point, take a look at this chart from the Aug. 30 edition of Detroit Free Press, which shows that from 1999-2005, household incomes dropped in 46 of 50 states, plus the District of Columbia (figures are adjusted for inflation.) Only the blue states on the chart have seen growth in household income in that period.
It's possible that when 2006 numbers are included, the map may look modestly different. Maybe Virginia and Hawaii will nudge into positive territory. Still it's a sad portrait, and answers well the question posed Sunday by CNN's John Roberts: "64% of Americans said that the economy is either not good or poor. Only 36% said it's excellent or good. What's going on with that perception?"
Seems that "perception" is firmly based in reality.