Today's Census Release on Incomes: Under the HeadlinesPay careful attention to today's release by the Census Bureau of its annual data on poverty, income and health. And don't believe the headlines.
Although the new data show that median household income increased slightly last year, a close reading shows that incomes for working families (as opposed to retirees) actually dropped. Put that drop into context and it's even more alarming. Compared to median income in 2000 -- which, like 2007, was the final year of a cycle of economic growth -- it's now clear that this is the first time Americans have become poorer, in real terms, at the end of an expansion than they were at the start. It seems almost certain that incomes will continue to decline in 2008.
The Census figures also show that the number of uninsured dropped slightly in 2007 but, here again, don't be fooled. That decline was almost entirely due to an increase in government-sponsored coverage for children, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute. Meanwhile, the rate of employer-based insurance
coverage continued its 7-year decline.
The Economy Is In Trouble!!
Like you didn't know already. But, you may see some headlines today that paint a rosy picture. It's a false picture! Read Robert Reich (his post is below).