August 27, 2008

Census Bureau: Income Inequality Unchanged During Bush 43

Just in time for Barack Obama’s Greco-Roman Oration tomorrow night, two significant economic reports have gone or are about to go in a positive direction:

  • Earlier Wednesday, the Census Bureau reported that durable goods orders increased 1.3% during July, repeating June’s performance; shipments of durables were up 2.5%; and unfilled orders were at their highest level since 1992. There are exceptions, but these companies are generally very busy.
  • Thursday morning, the pundits are predicting that second quarter Gross Domestic Product, originally estimated at an annualized 1.9%, will be significantly revised upward. Predictions that GDP will come in at 2.7% are at Reuters, Briefing.com via CNN, and MarketWatch. If you go to the links, especially the second and third, you will detect the distinct aroma of sour grapes; the headlines found there are “The economic growth mirage” and “Big revision in GDP won’t mean much,” respectively.

Don’t count on these statistics to get much positive traditional media play while the Obama coronation is in progress.

But there’s one other number that’s even worse for the everyone’s-a-victim crowd than those just noted. It is one that I can almost guarantee will remain invisible during tomorrow’s festivities.

That number — .463 — comes from the Census Bureau, as noted at this WebWire release Tuesday (confirmed by reference to Page 7 of the 2007 version of “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States”; the PDF report is the first item listed under August 26 at this link):

Income Inequality
* Income inequality decreased between 2006 and 2007, as measured by shares of aggregate household income by quintiles and the Gini index. The share of aggregate income received by households in the top fifth of the income distribution declined, while the shares for the third and fourth quintiles increased. Meanwhile, the Gini index declined from 0.470 to 0.463, moving closer to 0, which represents perfect income equality (1 represents perfect inequality).

As shown at this 2005 BizzyBlog post, the Gini index, also referred as the Gini coefficient, was .462 at the end of the Clinton administration, after rising by .029 during the previous eight years, and .008 during the previous seven.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

UPDATE, August 28, 12:15 p.m.: Commenter Tony B made a valid point which makes an update necessary. The Census Bureau says in a footnote at a different page in this year’s report (Page 9) that “Direct comparisons with years earlier than 1993 are not recommended because of substantial methodological changes in the 1994 ASEC.”

Although the Bureau’s recommendation may be debatable (the Forbes author I referred to in my 2005 post either wasn’t worried about this, or didn’t catch it), I have added the last six words you now see in the last sentence before this Update, and have changed what follows in the rest of this post to reflect info that relates only to 1993 and later. (The second-last paragraph formerly read “Income inequality increased by 29 times as much during Clinton’s eight years than it has during Bush’s first seven.”)

+++++++++++++++++++++++

As Bush 43′s administration rounds the turn and heads for home, income inequality has barely budged by a statistically insignificant .001. To the extent that the rich have become richer, the poor, and everyone in between, have on the whole benefited in virtually equal proportion.

Income inequality increased by 8 times as much during Clinton’s final seven years than it has during Bush’s first seven.

Not that they won’t run with the class envy theme anyway, but it should be made known to all that the extent to which Barack Obama and his minions claim that the differences between the haves and have-nots has widened during the administration of George W. Bush is the extent to which they are not telling the truth.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

I’m Still Only Sort of Back in Full!!

Filed under: General — Tom @ 9:54 am

The home page works, but trying to go to individual posts doesn’t NOW THEY DO!

Comments work if you use the pop-up version of them.

Obviously, I’m trying to solve this.

Did I miss anything? (/sarc)

PS. A large public thanks to the Tech Support people at Media Temple, and to NixGuy for getting me 90% of the way to solving the final problem.

SF Chron Cuts Obama ‘Pay Grade’ Comment from Print Edition

Filed under: Life-Based News,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:18 am

It doesn’t get much more obvious than this.

A San Francisco Chronicle article last Wednesday relating to growing concerns about Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s recent campaign performances “evolved” in a quite convenient way for the Illinois senator by the time it got to the paper’s print edition and went through its final web revision. That article, among other things, addressed Obama’s appearance at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Values forum the previous weekend.

The current entry at Google News, obtained by searching “That’s above my pay grade” (entered in quotes), reads as follows:

SFchronGoogNewsObama082008

Although it’s framed in a very biased way (“thoughtful but fuzzier”?), at least a reference to Obama’s infamous “That’s above my pay grade” comment is present (the original transcript segment containing that remark is here).

Wait until you see what happened next.

I copied a text string within that Google News result, and was able to gain access to an earlier cached version of the article (saved at my host in the event the cache goes away), written up by Chronicle Political Writer Carla Marinucci. It doesn’t have a normal web page appearance, but it does appear to contain what would have been the article’s full text, including the Google News result text cited above.

That text consists of 24 paragraphs. Paragraph 16 says:

And Obama’s thoughtful but fuzzier answers to questions about when human rights begin (“that’s above my pay grade”) were a clear contrast – and not a good one – to McCain’s head-on approach that it was “at the moment of conception,” he says.

But if you click on the original Google News link itself, you get taken to a revised version of the article (“Bad news should wake up Obama, experts say”).

At the bottom of that linked page, we are told that “This article appeared on page A-1 of the San Francisco Chronicle.” So this is what print edition readers got to see.

But what they got to see contains only 23 paragraphs. The one removed was — you guessed it — the one that referred to Obama’s “pay grade” comment.

The only other difference I found between the cached and print version was one spelling correction, changing “jiu-jitsuing” to “jujitsuing” in the tenth paragraph. Otherwise the two are the same, word for word.

So at some point, the full original 24-paragraph report was available on the web; otherwise, my original Google News search would not have picked it up. But the “offending” paragraph was later deemed to be unworthy of the print edition, and was also removed from the web edition. Now you can’t find that paragraph on the web any more without engaging in workaround tactics.

Don’t even try to tell me that traditional media outlets aren’t doing everything they can to cover for Barack Obama.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Gallup-ing Along

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 7:59 am

With poll results like this ….

McCainObama4644ib082508

…. John McCain should consider:

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (082708, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 7:29 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Democrats other than Barack “That’s Above My Pay Grade” Obama have a real problem with when life begins. The latest is alleged Catholic Nancy Pelosi, who claimed on Sunday that “doctors of the church” have not been able to define when life begins. What about “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable” does she, or Obama, or the rest of the Party of A Million Deaths a Year, not understand?
  • The answer to the previous question is “Apparently everything“: “Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not backing off contentious comments about abortion she made during a weekend television talk show appearance.” There’s much more at Hot Air.
  • I understand that the aforementioned “when life begins” illiteracy may become a more localized issue (Southwest Ohio), and very soon. Can’t wait.
  • This is sobering (“Deaths will outnumber births in Europe from 2015″) — “The European Union will have to look at migration as its only source of population growth as Europe ages rapidly from 2015.” Though this is already the case in some individual EU countries, the statement applies to the EU as a whole.
  • Oil stat of the day: “….. in terms of oil contamination, Mother Nature is 95 times dirtier than Man. Some 620,500 barrels of oil ooze organically from North America’s ocean floors each year. Compare this to the average 6,555 barrels that oil companies have spilled annually since 1998 …..”
  • Congrats to Ms. Underestimated for capturing Olympic footage of volleyballers Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh “thank(ing) our President for his inspiration and for all he’s doing.” My bet: This interview gets left on NBC’s cutting-room floor in terms of future Internet visibility.
  • Interesting: “Health care no longer primary ailment” — “One CBS poll from July put voter interest in health care at just 3 percent.”
  • From the “Just when you think you’ve seen it all” Dept. –”Supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton furiously circulated petitions on the floor of the Democratic National Convention last night, hoping to stave off a plan to hold the convention’s roll call at breakfast Wednesday.” In a related move, Roll Call, the “The Newspaper of Capitol Hill Since 1955,” is considering a name change ….. to Jelly Roll Call (/attempted humor).

Positivity: Pilot in crash horror returns to thank his rescuers

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Belfast:

Thursday, 21 August 2008

A man who narrowly avoided death after his plane crashed, becoming a fireball, in Belfast is today returning to the city to thank the people who saved his life.

Mike Osborne, from the Isle of Man, spent an agonising nine months in the Royal Victoria Hospital, recovering from severe burns in April 2005.

The father-of-one almost died when the light aircraft he was flying came down in a playing field, moments after taking off from Belfast City Airport.

He was returning home after dropping a family friend off in Belfast when the accident happened near a densely-populated area. His plane exploded in a fireball, leaving him with 55% burns on his body.

Eyewitnesses at the time described how they heard a loud crack and a screech and then saw a huge black ball of smoke.

He managed to pull himself from the burning wreckage and was taken to hospital.

Mr Osborne was heralded a hero at the time after he managed to avoid crashing the twin-engined Beech Duchess plane into the Alderman Tommy Patton Memorial Park, close to where young children were playing.

“I would have got away with not being injured if there hadn’t been children on the playing field. I turned off to avoid the kids and struck a metal fence and that was it,” he said.

But today he will fly himself back to the airport to meet both members of the fire crew and medical staff who saved him three years ago.

Tonight he will reunite with staff from the RVH burns unit for dinner.

It’s really a thank-you,” he said.

“This is Belfast at its very best, bringing them out to dinner is the least I could do.

“The staff were phenomenal, at no time when I looked at them did I see despair, and believe me it was a despairing time.

“It was more difficult than anyone could ever imagine, it was seriously challenging.

“I needed to be completely reconstructed.

“But the staff, along with my wife Hazel, gave me the strength to pull it together.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.