(Census Bureau’s “home page” for the report)
The Economic Policy Institute is a leftist think tank which perhaps inadvertently invited me to its conference call on the Census Bureau’s 2012 “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage” report released today.
An initial obvious note from reading their email is that they’re really fond of citing income declines since 2000 but not since 2007. There was almost NO or very little decline 2000 to 2007 in most metrics. Obviously agenda-driven.
Liz Rose, Communications Director, began the proceedings.
President of EPI goes first.
Income basically went nowhere in 2012. Down overall, slightly up for non-elderly.
Median hourly wage was “stagnant or fell.”
None of this is surprising.
Men fell 0.5% in income; women up 1.6%. FT full-year men slightly up, women slightly down.
Wages have been stagnant for 10 years since 2002-2003, even for college grads (which actually fell this year).
Who gained from 2011-2012? Pretty much not anybody, it’s uneven across the board. But since 2009, only one group has regained income to the 2007, which is the top 5% of income-earners. Everyone below the top 5% has lost ground. Census supposedly doesn’t include stock market gains (not sure I believe that. But if it’s true, who has been President while in essence the rich have gotten richer).
Not seeing much growth in wages or jobs.
Next we have “Elise Gould” on poverty and health insurance.
Poverty rate unchanged at 15.0%. Kids 21.8%, or more than one-third of all in poverty. Working age poverty was 13.7%. Elderly 9.1%. 6.6% of the population is below one-half of the poverty line.
Ethnics: Black rate is 27.2%, Hispanic 25.x%.
50-year anniversary of war on poverty is Jan. 2014, and she insists that poverty would be worse without WOP programs. Then she claims unemployment benefits and SocSec are the reasons for lower poverty (both programs pre-dated WOP).
Rising inequality has kept poverty which should have gone to zero in the 1980s (sure …), has perpetuated poverty.
Uninsured still at 47-plus million.
2012 is the first time since 2000 rate of employer-provided insurance went “up” (58.3% to 58.4%). (Americans with coverage through work)
Non-insurance rate for non-elderly adults is up.
For 19-25, young adults getting on parent’s policies since 2010. This is the only group with higher employer coverage (by 0.5% — oh boy). But their workforce participation is lower.
Q&A (I had one, but they didn’t get to me) — had nothing meaningful until last question, which brought out the following:
- Big EPI meme — “flat for 10 years.” What rubbish. It’s really “up a bit for 5 years,” followed by “losing it all and even more during the next 5 years.”
- They want a “good stimulus program.” Zheesh. They already have had one, and what resulted?