For those Americans to whom the recent census was bad news, it was, as a matter of fact, not news at all.
In fact it was undoubtedly only news to those for whom it was good news, if you can follow the logic.
The reality that most Americans had already experienced was that things aren’t getting better. Quite the opposite.
According to the Associated Press coverage of the details from this census: “The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record as young adults and children in particular struggled to stay afloat in the recession.”
In fact, things have gotten bad enough that they are worse than they have been for a couple of generations.
“The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.
“A different measure, the international Gini index, found U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations.”
And it’s not just “working poor” who are slipping, either.
“At the top, the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, who earn more than $180,000, added slightly to their annual incomes last year, census data show. Families at the $50,000 median level slipped lower.”
Since median family income in Barton County is just over $30,000, it’s easy to see where we fall around here.
It might be a good time to question whether spending all that tax money on the census was such a great idea or not, but that would be an unpopular topic, since the current federal administration has depended on these part-time, temporary job numbers to make it look like we aren’t slipping into the furthest depths of financial perdition.
Americans’ bank accounts tell us something different, however.
— Chuck Smith