Democracy Has Prevailed.

July 28, 2013

The Trib And The AEI

From today's Sunday Pops:
University of Michigan economics professor Mark J. Perry, writing for the American Enterprise Institute, says the share of middle-class families dropped from 61.8 percent in 1969 to 43.2 percent in 2009, a drop of 18.6 percentage points. And the share of lower-income families fell from 22 percent of all families in 1967 to 17.8 percent in 2009. So, where did they go? Mr. Perry says they joined the upper-income club, which increased from 16.2 percent of all families in 1967 to 39.1 percent in 2009. Thus, the contention that the middle class “has been in decline since the 1970s ... is incredibly and verifiably wrong,” he says. It's another stat for the “economic fairness” crowd.[Bolding in original.]
Pretty compelling stuff, doncha think?  Until you look at some of the details.

You'll note that nowhere in the Braintrust's paragraph is there a definition of the terms "middle-class" or "lower-income" or "upper-income."  Wonder why?

For that we need to take a look at where the braintrust gets it's info.  Notably Mark J Perry of the Scaife supported AEI.  Take a look at the chart he's constructed.

Notice anything?  He's defining "Upper-income" as anything above $75,000.  That's "the upper-income club" to the braintrust is talking about.

Second thing you'll notice is that this is Family income.  Not personal income.

Isn't it possible that between 1967 and 2009 there's been a change in family demographics?  I mean, wouldn't the move from single income to dual income shift the data just a tad?

Yea, I think that's possible.

Anything to cloud the issue of income inequality, I guess.  Especially from Scaife's braintrust and the Scaife supported AEI.