The recovery that wasn’t and isn’t. On the day Occupy Wall Street marks its second anniversary the US Census Bureau has published its report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage in America. The results of the study provide more evidence that while the top 1% have gotten even richer, the 99% have stagnated.
Median household income in the United States in 2012 was $51,017, not statistically different in real terms from the 2011 median of $51,100. This followed two consecutive annual declines.
The nation’s official poverty rate in 2012 was 15.0 percent, which represents 46.5 million people living at or below the poverty line. This marked the second consecutive year that neither the official poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the previous year’s estimates. The 2012 poverty rate was 2.5 percentage points higher than in 2007, the year before the economic downturn.
Meanwhile the big idea from President Obama to help diminish inequality and create jobs is to help Wall Street. The Republican’s don’t have a plan to deal with inequality – they approve of it – but what is their plan for job creation? You guessed it, more tax cuts and repealing Obamacare.
Needless to say, neither plan will work and inequality will continue to worsen.
The Gini index was 0.477 in 2012, not statistically different from 2011. Since 1993, the earliest year available for comparable measures of income inequality, the Gini index has increased 5.2 percent. (The Gini index is a measure of household income inequality across the nation, with zero representing total income equality and one equivalent to total inequality.)
No progress whatsoever.
For those able to process rational thought the census report provides even more evidence that the “recovery” is spin and that the only result of the 2008 financial crisis was the further entrenchment of powerful interests that looted the US treasury through crony politicians to stay whole. Historically high poverty and stagnating median incomes are no surprise when you have massive inequality and a political class dependent on moneyed interests to run their campaigns. The game is rigged.