New Study Shows How the Economy Is Really Doing

By:  Bob Adelmann
10/10/2011
       
New Study Shows How the Economy Is Really Doing

On Monday morning Sentier Research announced the results of its new study showing changes in household income since the year 2000 and how those incomes have fared both during the recent recession and since the recovery that began in June, 2009. Not only did household income (which counts all incomes of all members of the household, including wages, Social Security payments, interest, dividends, welfare checks, retirement income, unemployment benefits, and veterans’ benefits, all adjusted for inflation) decline during the recession by 3.2 percent, it fell another 6.7 percent during the recovery.

The household income index (HHI) — created by two former Census Bureau analysts, Gordon Green and John Coder — has declined by almost 10 percent since the start of the recession, marking “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.” And the decline has been steady, month after month since January 2000, with only nine months out of the 138 months since then showing any improvement.
 
As noted by Robert Pear in the New York Times, this explains “why Americans’ attitudes toward the economy, the country’s direction and its political leaders have continued to sour even as the economy has been growing.” And even the assumption that the economy really is growing is still unclear. Henry Farber, a Princeton University economist, observed, “As a labor economist, I do not think the recession has ended.
 

On Monday morning Sentier Research announced the results of its new study showing changes in household income since the year 2000 and how those incomes have fared both during the recent recession and since the recovery that began in June, 2009. Not only did household income (which counts all incomes of all members of the household, including wages, Social Security payments, interest, dividends, welfare checks, retirement income, unemployment benefits, and veterans’ benefits, all adjusted for inflation) decline during the recession by 3.2 percent, it fell another 6.7 percent during the recovery.

The household income index (HHI) — created by two former Census Bureau analysts, Gordon Green and John Coder — has declined by almost 10 percent since the start of the recession, marking “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.” And the decline has been steady, month after month since January 2000, with only nine months out of the 138 months since then showing any improvement.
 
As noted by Robert Pear in the New York Times, this explains “why Americans’ attitudes toward the economy, the country’s direction and its political leaders have continued to sour even as the economy has been growing.” And even the assumption that the economy really is growing is still unclear. Henry Farber, a Princeton University economist, observed, “As a labor economist, I do not think the recession has ended.

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