Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Focus on Opimization

I have reproduced below, in its entirety, my post from September 9, 2009, titled, Republicans - All Wrong, All the Time, Pt 4.   What this illustrates is that a rising tide might float all yachts, but sometimes it swamps the dinghies.

As of 2008, wealth disparity was the greatest it has been since 1928.   Irrespective of whatever might be happening to GDP, Republican presidents thrust more people into poverty, Democratic presidents, even  Carter, get some people out of poverty.  The differences are stark.  Click on the chart to blow it up to a full page view.

 Update: Current productivity increases are stunning.  (From Delong again)

The flip side of the jobless recovery is a high productivity-growth recovery--and, with stagnant wages, a rise in the profit share...

Update 2:  The unemployment picture stays bleak.   But you knew that.
What do YOU think is happening to wealth distribution?


Note the changes in the number of Americans living in poverty. The only big declines have happened during Democratic administrations. The first big decline on the chart was the result of the Kennedy/Johnson Great society. Nixon/Ford followed by Carter did little to affect poverty numbers. Reagan wasted no time in getting more people back into the chains of poverty. Though his irresponsible fiscal profligacy might have contributed to a slight decline after the initial surge, by the end of the Bush I term, poverty was almost back to the 1959 level. The next big decline in poverty occurred under Clinton. There was good and bad in the Clinton Presidency. This good thing was totally undone by Bush II.

Do you see any hope of this trend improving in the near future?

Note: I could only find an earlier version of this graph with data through 2007. So I grabbed the above chart from DeLong.

1 comment:

J said...

OK, that's a bit more meaningful in terms of how the poor fared. You are correct re LBJ. I never disputed that LBJ was a real Demo, for better..and worse (good for po', but not a great time for middle class, or wealthy however).

And yes the poverty numbers climbed under good King Ronnie, but not so bad at end of his term. But note...poverty numbers soared at beginning of Billy Bob Clinton (no pal of unions, really, and no LBJ).