Monday, October 20, 2008

Bubblecious Optimism

Yes, yes - I'm tired of Joe the Plumber too, but you have to admire how downright American he is - hard workin' brute with an aversion to taxation. While this aversion to taxation may not win McCain this election (sorry my hardworking friends who fight taxation on a daily basis), it may ripen the broader debate about taxation:
“The core difference between the American working class and its European
equivalent is that Europeans are inclined to vote based on their current
conditions, while Americans base their decisions more on their goals and
objectives for the future. Americans assume upward mobility, while Europeans do

And why do Americans assume upward mobility? Um, maybe because our GDP/capita looks like this:

[(source: Bubble Meter - a pretty good blog on the housing bubble with a specific focus on the D.C. area. And these boys have been tracking inflated home prices since 2005.)
(And here is The Economist's jusification for using GDP/capita as a better measure of wealth and success than straight up GDP.)]

Ok, this post is getting sloppy, but I'm tired and stats is taking up all my brain power lately.


Sherman said...

Three Questions:

1. Is it right to assume that this is adjusted for inflation?

2. Since there are no numbers on here, how long would it take me for my GDP per capita to rise $1,000?

3. What is the mean and median net worths of Americans over the same time period? Rise in GDP per capita doesn't necessarily mean individuals are seeing an increase in wealth as well across the board.

Sherman said...

Here's what I was worried about. Note that for every fmaily without a net worth higher than $100K the last twenty years saw no increase in income.

And here is the income distribution breakdown:

Whitney Lynne said...

I would argue that the chart that only shows 20 years of history is too short-sided, but even that chart shows SOME increase (not none). There's a positive slope to all of those lines. The second chart also demonstrates this. Our beef is whether every member of society should experience the same income growth and I fundamentally disagree.