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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

News you won't hear at the Democratic National Convention

From the US Census Bureau:

* Real median household income in the United States climbed 1.3 percent between 2006 and 2007, reaching $50,233.

* The number of people without health insurance coverage declined from 47 million (15.8 percent) in 2006 to 45.7 million (15.3 percent) in 2007. The number of uninsured children declined from 8.7 million (11.7 percent) in 2006 to 8.1 million (11.0 percent) in 2007.

* Income inequality decreased between 2006 and 2007, as measured by shares of aggregate household income by quintiles and the Gini index. The share of aggregate income received by households in the top fifth of the income distribution declined, while the shares for the third and fourth quintiles increased. Meanwhile, the Gini index declined from 0.470 to 0.463, moving closer to 0, which represents perfect income equality (1 represents perfect inequality).

* In 2007, the family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 9.8 percent and 7.6 million, respectively, both statistically unchanged from 2006. Furthermore, the poverty rate and the number in poverty showed no statistical change between 2006 and 2007 for the different types of families. Married-couple families had a poverty rate of 4.9 percent (2.8 million), compared with 28.3 percent (4.1 million) for female-householder, no-husband-present families and 13.6 percent (696,000) for those with a male householder and no wife present.

We will be informed that these numbers don't count, because they don't reflect the recent economic "downturn." This is typically deceptive, because the statistics include a period (last year) when Democrats began hammering away at the economy, insisting that we were in a recession--although we still aren't in one.


Anonymous said...

Since when do facts and the truth matter to the Democrats and their handmaidens, the MSM? There is an election to be won.


Swissamerican said...

I wouldn't start cheering just yet.
Per the numbers:

a. Numbers of uninsured went from 47.0 million down to 45.7 million. That means 1.3 million more people had insurance in 2007 than in 2006. Certainly a good thing.

b. The number of uninsured children went from 8.7 million in 2006 to 8.1 million in 2007. That means 600,000 more children in 2007 had insurance--also a good thing.

c. Further, participants in Medicaid (for seniors) increased from 38.3 million in 2006 to 39.6 million in 2007. That means there are 1.3 million additional seniors receiving Medicaid. Not sure if that's somehow supposed to be a good thing or not.

d. 1.3 million new elderly insured + 0.6 million new children insured = 1.9 million new childen & elderly insured in 2007.

e. Unfortunately, according to the statistics (see part 'a', above) only 1.3 million people gained insurance from 2006 to 2007. That means 600,000 people who don't fit into the elderly/child categories and who had insurance in 2006 no longer have it (1.3 million new insurees - 1.9 million new children/seniors). So, while we increased the number of children & elderly who have insurance, we lost 600K working-aged adults.

I hope the Republicans don't try to mention this at their National Convention either...

Denis Drew said...

Approaching 37% of American families below a more up-to-date poverty line?

The 50 percentile American family income in 2005 was $56,277 (technically, that's mean, third-quintile in the Census tables).
The "minimum needs" table on p.44 of the 2001 book, Raise the Floor, maps out a very plausible poverty line for a family of three at $31,111 in 2005 dollars -- assuming health care is otherwise provided. Add $11,000 to purchase a family health plan and this plausible poverty line rises to $42,111 for a family of three (three years ago) -- the Raise' line computed by a totaling up of actual needs, not the half-century old federal formula of three times the price of an "emergency" diet.

(Raise' provides extensive explanations for its minimum needs parameters in Appendix B -- its tables cite Solutions for Progress. Average family size is 3.13 persons.)

The difference between second and third quintile averages ($35,000 and $56,000) runs roughly $1,000/percentile. So, needing to add $7,000 to $35,000 -- the 30 percentile mark -- to get $42,000 demarks 37%* of American families below poverty, at least without food stamps and other helps. Assuming all families were covered by comprehensive health insurance would still leave 26% of families on the wrong side of Raise's minimum needs line without helps -- don't know how many of those families between 26% and 37% are covered or by how much.

However perfectly accurate Raise's tables may or may not be, our media continuing to report the decades now, mis-measured federal poverty line of 12.5% (based on triple the cost of an emergency diet: dried beans only, no canned) without qualification is like the press of Columbus' era repeating without comment that the world is flat -- it makes no waves; but informed folks know better. :-)

[* Raise's tables allot $3,000 for yearly medical expenses for a family of three even if insured.]