America is an impoverished nation. It is impoverished even without considering debt and unemployment. Most Americans have difficulty paying for basic needs; food, housing, healthcare, and transportation. Add to that, child care expenses for the two income family and they have less money for discretionary spending than did their one-earner parent families of a generation ago.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is understated. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is overstated. There is no real growth. The Great Recession continues. Most Americans are unable to contribute to the increase in demand required to end it. They simply do not have the money to do so. To coin a phrase, America has undergone and continues to undergo a new-to-the-world economic system, one that melds the uberwealthy elite, corporate, and political interests, one that loves to screw the poor and middle class to death; prenecro-economiephilia. Soon, the prefix may not be required.
Since 1999, inflation as measured by the CPI has increased the cost of spending $100 to $128. Were the CPI calculated as it was in 1990, www.shadowstats.com data indicate inflation would be more than double that which is reported; tripled if calculated as it was in 1980. Understatement of the CPI means overstatement of GDP. Current GDP reports of modest growth are likely to be actual negative growth, a continuing recession, with a continuation of job losses. This would be consistent with the "real" unemployment of 22% calculated by ShadowStats using methodology prior to changes by the Government. Government reports of 9.6% consistently ring false.
It is advantageous to the Government to lie about the real rates of inflation, growth and unemployment. It is advantageous for the Government to retain a passive, albeit growing in apprehensiveness, public.
The Social Security Administration has just released net compensation wage data from employer W-2's for 2009. The earliest time for similar data is 1999.
Last year, despite increased annual costs, whether double or triple Government reports, the nation's poorest workers, on average, actually earned $3 less per month than they earned a decade earlier.
Middle income wages increased only if not adjusted for the understated inflation reported by the Government.
In contrast, those with annual wages in excess of $1 million, the uber-wealthy elites have increased their W-2 reported earnings by more than 15% per year.
There are three measurement of central tendency; mode, median, and mean. The mode is where the number of values occurs in the highest frequency. The median is the middle value separating the upper 50% from the lower 50%. The mean is the average value obtained by dividing the sum of the values by the number of values.
Below are comparative wage and salary values for the years 1999 and 2009.
.... 1999 145.1 million workers earned $4.2 trillion
.... 2009 150.9 million workers earned $5.9 trillion
The increase of 5.8 million workers is equivalent to 54 thousand jobs per month. About 3 times that increase in jobs is required to keep up with population growth; forget about new jobs for the unemployed.
.... mode income was $2,055 in 1999 - $2,016 in 2009 the average income for 27.6 million and 24.3 million wage earners respectively.
Part-time workers are the largest group of low wage earners. How many of these and other millions would prefer full-time employment is unknown but clearly such jobs are not available in America.
.... median income for 1999 was $18,396 when the Federal Poverty Level was $17,600 for a family of four; 72.5 million workers each earned more and less than the median income