Median tells us where a given percentile (50% in this case) lies. Same concept with dividing up into other portions (quintiles, for example). It allows us to see how a given segment of the population is doing economically relative to other segments of the population. Simply spouting averages doesn't do this since it tells us nothing about how the income levels are distributed across the population.
As a general rule, you use average when comparing a set of values to another different set of values. You use median (or some other measurement) when comparing a value or subset of values to the set within which it exists. Trying to do otherwise will result in either useless or misleading results.
amount of Americans under the 27Kish point of living without Government Assistance is over 50%. You can see this simply by looking at the census data. Median really has no merit in discussion when you have data on the actual percentage value of people. But continue to argue about how Median means this and median means that when A) Your median value is wrong (do the math yourself if you know how) and B) Median doesn't represent the % of Americans only the dollar amount of Americans.
False. My statement included "relatively", specifically meaning "relative to cost of living". 65% of Americans earn more in adjusted dollars compared to cost of living today than they did in the 1950s. The middle class has grown over that period of time, not shrunk. What this also means is that the poor are more starkly less well off relative to a median income though. We can argue the social impact of that, but we have to first agree on what exactly is actually going on in terms of relative economics. Just saying "everyone is worse off!!!" over and over isn't helpful.
False the American middle class remained relatively the same size as a percentage of the population up until about 1986 (also in your census records). Since 1986 the American middle class has been declining on the negative side. Some have become more wealthy many more have become less wealthy. The % of population deemed middle class is smaller than it was from 1950-1987. So relatively speaking the cost of living increases have outpaced income increases resulting in more people entering poverty.
The typical 1950s home was much smaller than the typical home today though. Lots more people lived in one room tenements, with shared facilities back then (something that's nearly unthinkable today). Homes are more expensive because they come with things like fireproofing, hot and cold running water, electricity already wired up, phone lines installed, cables run, washer/dryer hookups, stoves, etc. Things that were less common in 1950.
Right the cost of a house has risen, I said that. I also said that income has not grown to match the increase. I mean all of those things you mentioned are required by law to be in a home (they are called building codes). If the average income of America was keeping pace with the required spending then a house today would still be 21% of Income. It isn't because houses cost more, and bills associated with them have as well, if as you say Income has risen proportionately to cost of living, then the average expenditure of Americans for housing would not be 45% of their income...would it.
The distribution of our costs have changed over time, but that doesn't automatically mean that total costs have increased by that same amount. Housing represents a larger total slice of our costs. But the flip side is that food represents a much smaller slice because it's become much cheaper and more available today compared to back then. You're looking just at things that have increased, and missed the things that have gotten much less expensive, and/or much higher quality, or simply didn't exist back then at all (we live a relatively luxurious lifestyle if you stop and think about it, even those of us in "poverty").
Actually it hasn't food cost has only decrease by about 14% since 1950. So ya you can get 14% more food for your house that costs you 24% more. Still 10% short on your Cost to Income %...and we haven't even discussed health care or auto insurance yet.
You're also selectively picking the last 10 years, which have been horrible in terms of historical economic performance in the US. I'd also argue that most of that has occurred as a result of actively pursuing more government assistance at the cost of private success. That's obviously just opinion, but you can't just say "more people are on government assistance today" and conclude that this means that the free market has failed.
No actually it has been a common trend since around 1984. Prior to that most Americans were doing well. The first real issue arose about midway through the 80's and was hastened by the Savings and Loans issues. It rebounded through the 90's and began to decline again in the late 90's entering the 2000's when Enron and such were @#%^ing markets. Its exclamation point was in 2008 with the Derivative Market collapse. It is not a selective cherry picking, the number of Americans earning bellow the rate of required assistance and entering poverty has been growing on an almost consistent average since 1986. (this is in your Census records)
There are more people as a percentage of population in the US on government assistance than any period in history. (maybe the 30's but there is no real data since social programs didn't really exist). again this is easily noted in the stark rises to cost of government assistance programs, also in your census records. Simply average out the annual increase vs the average cost of living and you can see that annually since the 80's more people have entered some form of government assistance program be it health care, food stamps, or housing assistance. (again it is very simple math and the numbers are all available via your countries census records.)
Because, at the risk of repeating the statement I just made, I'm not questioning the data, but your interpretation off that data. I'm talking about *why* more people are on government assistance today than in the past, and what to do about it. You seem to conclude that the free market has failed, and so we need more government assistance (which seems strange given that you use that as a measure of failure), I conclude that non free market forces (like say increased government spending and regulation) are actively weighing down the market, making it less free, and thus making it perform worse than it should.
More people are on government assistance because they can not afford to live without it. Houses consume 45% of income, increases to REQUIRED health and vehicle insurances have compounded the cost of living, the amount save in basic foods is minimal and does not cover the increases to cost. If incomes grew at the same rate a costs then the values to cost of living would not be some 20% out of whack with income growth. But they are and people require government to help. This is clearly exemplified in all your governments data going back over 50 years.
The free market is dead and has been since it was conceived. Free market capitalism bred only one thing, control. In 1960 there were over 3000 individual media distributors in the USA. Today there are 6. If not for anitmonopoly laws in the US there would be less, look no further than Microsoft, and AT&T as examples of antimonopoly. Free market Capitalism is essentially highlander, there can be only one. But, that being said, Free market capitalism also breeds corporate capitalism, where corporations who can't continue to buy out instead buy government. This is documented throughout US politics and Global politics (everyone wants to buy influence.), but when government grants outright protections to corporate entities (see Monasanto) there is now a breach of trust and of the free market.
Capitalism is great, if done properly. Unfortunately the belief of equal opportunity died a long time ago in the US and all thats left is greed. When they dissolved the gold standard and changed the game from Value of currency, to amount of valueless currency. It is an insolvent system that is designed to decay, it has no other path than deterioration. It is unsustainable because it dictates minimization, less and less competition every year, maximize profits, and dominate the market. Hardly free in any sense of the term.
What do you think we should do? What do you think has caused these failures? I'm not arguing that there aren't problems in our economy. I'm just disagreeing with your shotgun approach to just spewing out a list of problems, not making any sense of them, and (I guess?) calling for some action to solve them.
First thing we need to do is force corporations to distribute profits. There is no reason corporations should be experiencing over twice as much growth as the nation or its people. Secondly we need to stop banks from printing cash, National growth hasn't kept up with profits, personal income hasn't kept up with profits, yet they are sky rocketing at over 2 times either....where is the money coming from. Thirdly we need to abolish international currency standard and rely on our trade to dictate international value.
If everyone in the US was making 60K/yr on average, and it only cost 27K/yr to provide for ones self without government, this would eliminate government assistance spending. Furthermore it provides every working person in the US 33K spending money, which is in turn put back into the economy of the US. Now imagine that globally, everyone making 30K more than they need to live, this drives up extra spending globally which means more product must be produced globally, this means more jobs (and more money) globally.
What we have is a decaying cycle, money and money value are ever cycling towards an inevitable minimalist system, what we need is money to be expanded to a maximizing system, a positive growth cycle. The more money people have the more they will spend, the more they spend the more product is needed the more is needed the more people needed to make it, the more people making it the more money entering the system.
We Capitalist societies need to do a stark 180 and move from a Free market society into a Social society, where you have the opportunity to succeed based on what you do, not on a companies stock value, or their ability to borrow money. Society needs to put money back in the hands of people, we need our positive growth cycle, not continued degeneration by design. Edited, Nov 1st 2013 1:54am by rdmcandie Edited, Nov 1st 2013 10:02am by rdmcandie Edited, Nov 1st 2013 10:02am by rdmcandie