Monday, October 27, 2008

Fed: Claims of Middle-Class Stagnation Are False

Almost all the benefits of economic growth since the 1970s have gone to a small number of people at the very top. ~Robert Reich, Financial Times (1/29/2008)

Since the mid-1970s income growth has been confined almost entirely to top earners. ~Robert Frank, NY Times (3/9/2008)

The modern American economy distributes the fruits of its growth to a relatively narrow slice of the population. ~David Leonhardt, NY Times (4/9/2008)

Minneapolis Federal Reserve: The claim that the standard of living of middle Americans has stagnated over the past generation is common. An accompanying assertion is that virtually all income growth over the past three decades bypassed middle America and accrued almost entirely to the rich. The findings reported here refute those claims. Careful analysis shows that the incomes of most types of middle American households have increased substantially over the past three decades. These results are consistent with recent research showing that the largest income increases occurred at the top end of the income distribution. But the outsized gains of the rich do not mean that middle America stagnated.

Claims of long-term middle America stagnation—such as those quoted above—are often part of a broader argument about the adverse impact of globalization, outsourcing and free trade. And middle class stagnation is used as motivation for a specific set of policies. But if middle America has not stagnated—as this analysis has shown—then this motivation for those policies is without merit.

From the conclusion of "Where Has All the Income Gone?" by Terry Fitzgerald, Senior Economist

HT: Don Boudreaux

17 Comments:

At 10/27/2008 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog it keeps telling us how we are living in the best of times regardless of what we see around us, never mind a near economic collapse, high unemployment, fewer livable wage jobs for the middle and lower class these are the best of times !!

 
At 10/27/2008 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anonymous: Get out of Detroit, if what you see around you is tattered around the edges.

I knew that the classist, corporation-bashers would be the first to comment on this post. They miss an opportunity to express their self-righteousness and tell a sob story.

skh.pcola

 
At 10/27/2008 3:15 PM, Anonymous qt said...

au contraire...they NEVER miss an opportunity etc.

The information presented by the post has nothing to do with the global financial problems and everything to do with the policy prescriptions being touted by Obama & the Democrats.

If public policy seeks to solve problems that simply don't exist, the result will be increased government spending at the worst possible time.

When someone offers to buy you with your own tax dollars, take a look at what the magician is doing with the other hand. We are still paying for our last charismatic leader in Canada 30 years later.

In the debates, Senator Obama would not take any of his 176 spending ideas off the table. Some of these have not even been costed and his projections for program savings are totally unrealistic.

The tried and true method for turning economic turmoil into a complete morass: increase tax & spend, spend, spend.

 
At 10/27/2008 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^^^^^^^^^
Spend, spend just like the last republican president.

And of course let's decrease taxes for the millionaires on Wall Street they really know how to manage money and run the banking business, and finally absolutely no need for those pesky regulations.

 
At 10/27/2008 4:23 PM, Anonymous qt said...

Have to agree with you that the Bush administration along with the members of the House and the Senate both Republican and Democratic have spent money high wide and handsome in recent years. Like any boom, there has been lots of imprudence, excessive risk taking and bad decisions by lots of people including millionaires, bankers, politicians, mortgage brokers and homeowners.

No one wanted to listen to Ed Gramlich about the problems with sub-prime, or Controller General of the U.S., David Walker about the dangers of deficit spending. No one ever listens when the band is playing and the wine is flowing.

We cannot however, continue to expand government programs at a time when tax revenues are shrinking, unemployment is rising, stock markets are down all across the world, the global financial system is in turmoil, and the U.S. economy is now in recession by most economists' estimates.

 
At 10/27/2008 6:56 PM, Anonymous Dr. T said...

I am greatly annoyed by these claims of middle class economic stagnation. Always, the persons making these claims look at take home pay instead of total pay and benefits. Always, they ignore government benefits.

If the middle class isn't moving up, why is the typical middle class family living in a house that's 60% larger than 30 years ago? Why is the average family vehicle bigger and more feature-laden than 30 years ago? Why does the average household now have more than three TV sets (with one being large screen)? There is no evidence that middle class living has failed to improve, and strong evidence that being middle class today is much better than being middle class in the 1970s.

Some will claim that the difference lies in the increased numbers of two earner households and the lower average number of children per household. But, even when these factors are considered, the middle class still is better off today than decades ago.

 
At 10/27/2008 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is the typical middle class family living in a house that's 60% larger than 30 years ago?

Can you spell D-E-B-T amplified by the debt servicing ratio.

 
At 10/27/2008 7:29 PM, Blogger the buggy professor said...

Mark: Thank you for this informative, well-researched, and admirably presented paper put out by Terry Fitzgerald and the Minneapolis Federal Reserve group.

What follows are some comments about the paper, and a few questions that remain unanswered.

..........

1) Fitzgerald's main points are very effectively set out in a formated box-column on the second page of his substantive argument (p. 26).



■ Three data issues adversely impact reported median household income gains: the choice of price index, a change in the mix of household types,and the measure ofincome used.

■ After adjusting the Census data for these three issues, inflation-adjusted median household income for most household types is seen to have increased by 44 percent to 62 percent from 1976 to 2006.


......

2) Substantively, the overall thrust of the Fitzgerald piece --- his effort to use these three adjustments to combat the thesis about the stagnation of median household income between 1976 and 2006 --- seems sound.

Whatever the question-marks about the three adjustments he makes, the claim that American median household income stagnated conflicts, quite blatantly, with what everyday observations in that thirty year period --- and plain common sense --- always seemed crackpot.

....

Take even poor households.

What about the huge increase in the number of cars per household --- even about 73 %f those in poverty are found to have one car --- and nearly 30% have two cars. Forty-six percent own their own residences --- the average of which (for the poor) is a 3-bedroom house, with 1.5 bathrooms, a garage, and a patio.

For that matter, 97% have a color TV, more than 3/4 a VCR or DVD, and over 70% have air-conditioning ... huge changes since 1976.

And all these changes, to repeat, are for those in poverty --- officially, around 13-14% of the total US population --- compared to over 25% when the "war on poverty" officially began in the mid-1960s.

......

And so?

And so if this is true of those in poverty, it is obviously at least as true for those households in the large bottom 20% quintile, never mind the top four quintiles above it.

....

So, to summarize my own view, it's fully believable that the median household has risen noticeably in the 30 year period from 1976 until 2006 . . . three decades when total personal income rose about 80%.

.....

3) Some question-marks now: First,

* The recalculation of household income that Fitzgerald uses as his first adjustment --- the choice of a inflation-index --- might be contestable.

He rejects the Bureau of Labor (BLS) CP-U index for urban-consumers that, even with many of the adjustments made in the light of the Boskin Commission, still overstates inflation, he says . . . and even the Census-Bureau’s less overstated CPI. And it’s true, there probably is something of an overstatement given that these two indices aren’t fully chained and adjusted for a base-reference every year –-- never mind every quarter.

(Remember, the CPI-U and CPI include food and energy --- unlike core-CPI: the two goods regarded as too volatile for Fed Reserve tracking and policymaking --- and are based on a large basket of consumer-goods, somewhat weighted and with some limited substitution and quality-effects considered.)

But he then adopts the PCE price-index --- which tracks the overall economy’s price level as a nominal GDP-deflator at the price-levels faced by not just private households, but non-profit groups --- and says it’s more accurate. Possibly; maybe even likely --- but not as a given.

……

If, without going into the details, the CPI-U and CPI overstate inflation systematically, the PCE deflator understates it. True, the differences aren’t great between the CPI-U and PCE-deflator on a yearly basis --- roughly 1/3 to ½% annually. Over time, though --- in short, over 30 years --- the difference is somewhere (compounded) a rise in real median household income of 19% over the CPI-U, and an 8.0% increase in real income over the CPI-Census Bureau index . . . the latter gap the one that Fitzgerald chooses.

How much of that 8.0% gap systematically understates actual inflation is something not dealt with by Fitzgerald (maybe rightly so in his paper). And clearly some knowledgeable people, including economists, would argue still for the use of the CPI-U . . . which is very close to or identical to the CPI-W that the Social Security administration uses to adjust for the purchasing power of retirees.

(The use of the CPI-W, by the way is itself contested by those who say that retirees above 65 don’t have the same patterns of weighted expenditures on medical care or housing and so on.)


……

4) Next, admirably noting --- as you have, Mark, in your earlier posts on household-quintile income changes over the decades --- that the number of persons/household has gone down since 1976, Fitzgerald then divides households into 4 different types (married couples --- 64% of the total; single woman ---23%; single male --- 10%; and others ---4%, figures rounded off).

No problem with that.

What I don’t understand and can’t find clarified is the figure he arrives at to adjust median household income upward over this 30-year period. To put it plainly, it’s a range of about 30-60% across the four households. It isn’t, you see, just 30% for two of the household categories (weighted by percent of population) and 60% for the other two categories, again weighted. Or it doesn’t seem to be done this way.

....

To put it in his words (p. 57):

The change in household mix had a major impact on reported median household growth.
While overall median household income grew by only 26 percent, the median gains for most household
types ranged from 36 percent to 54 percent. Inequality increased notably within household types. Still, gains
for most middle-income households ranged from 30 percent to 60 percent.



….

Note that I’m not contesting the finding, just left perplexed by the huge range. It’s not explained until the very end, and even then in passing. It appears to reflect whether there are children in a household of any four types or not, and the number of children compared to 1976 (down). As a result, the gap between the growth of personal income (per capita income) between 1976 and 2006 --- 80% --- and the large range of average household income-rise is, to “some” extent (Fitzpatrick’s terminology, p. 53) accounted for.


It’s a point worth returning to later here.


……….

5) The third and last adjustment is to add to reported income used by the Census Bureau for the 30-year period both workers’ benefits --- medical and pension contributions by employers --- and non-cash contributions to the poor such as food-stamps and Medicaid, and for the population receiving it energy-subsidies.


The net increase in income on an average for household is reckoned by Fitzgerald to be 8% to median household income. No problem with this. It involves some guess-work, as he notes, but who could do better given the way the Census Bureau doesn’t divide reported income for working individuals into quintiles.


………..

6) What emerges, overall in Fitzgerald’s triad of upward adjustments for median household income, is that “for most household types,” the “range of median gains is 44% to 62%”


Note a problem that now enters Fitzgerald’s conclusions.

Specifically, he admirably notes that there is still a gap between personal income that has risen on a per capita/GDP base since 1976 of 80%. And so, he concludes:

....

But much of the remaining difference between the reported median household income and the larger
gain in personal income appears to be attributable to the increase in income inequality. When income rises faster for the richest households, median income grows by less than average income. Bill Gates’ rising
income over this period certainly increased the average income in Medina, Wash., but it had no effect on
median income.” P. 53


……....

7) Here are then some buggy conclusions and some questions for the other posters in this thread.


• The claim that median household income has stagnated since 1976 is simply wrong.


• The question that emerges here is the gap between the 80% rise in personal income --- remember, simply total real GDP in 1976 divided by the number of Americans and total real GDP in 2006 --- and the rise between 44% to 62% of overall household income on an average. If it’s 62% for most households, then the gap between 62% and 80% would reflect, let us say, growing middle-level inequality. If the gap is between 44% and 80%, that’s a rapid rise in marked inequality, no?


• Next, to shift the questions: A fair amount of the rise in household median income for the bottom two-quintiles since 1976 would reflect, would it not, a considerable rise in social security payments and medicare for the retired, and – less so, but not without impact – welfare payments for those in poverty, both cash and non-cash benefits.


………..

And so here is a question for my fellow posters here --- most of them, it seems, libertarians: on the one hand, Fitzgerald’s findings are a source of encouragement, right? On the other hand, some of that encouragement is due to programs that most of you would no doubt oppose. (I myself, I add, was persuaded by the authoritative study put out by a distinguished panel of social scientists and statisticians appointed by the American Academy of Sciences and Humanities in the mid-1990s. It found that for every 10% increase in welfare since 1965, there had been an 11% increase in illegitimacy. And hence most of us, Congress, and President Clinton supported the reforms in welfare-eligibility and duration.)



To put this bluntly in different terms: if the American population has been aging steadily, with more and more retirees living longer and longer, what would have happened to their income per household had Congress gone along with George W. Bush’s libertarian-inspired changes in social security to make it a privately-funded system left to individuals?

So far, in just the last month, a couple of trillion dollars of value in 401-K and other retiree pensions has disappeared. What, Bush-W’s proposal had gone through, would Fitzpatrick’s recalculations of average household income look like, say, between 1976 and 2012 . . . taking into account about three years or so for the stock market to return to its level of last year?

……

Michael Gordon, AKA, the buggy professor

 
At 10/28/2008 2:50 AM, Anonymous near-poor and dismayed said...

Dear Buggy:

It deeply dismays me that once again I have to deal with disingenuous spin concerning the "poor" in this country.

I once had two cars. I had two card because one clunker died, so in order to have one running car, I bought a second clunker.

Eventually I was able to get the first clunker running, and decided to keep both clunkers so that I would still have one running car the next time a clunker died.

Your spin suggests that having two cars is evidence of affluence or prosperity. In reality, for many poor people, having two (clunker) cars is a defensive tactic to keep one running car on hand at all times.

I would have vastly preferred to have had ONE good car, but since that was not an option for me, I kept two clunkers.

Forty-six percent of "poor" households own their own residence. Yeah, and most of these "poor" homeowners own their homes free and clear.

Do you think these "poor" homeowners are really poor in the sense that most Americans understand poverty?

Who is financially better off, a "poor" free-and-clear homeowner or a "not-poor" hamburger flipper working full time at minimum wage and spending half his income for rent?

 
At 10/28/2008 2:57 AM, Anonymous near-poor and dismayed said...

Buggy said:

And so if this is true of those in poverty, it is obviously at least as true for those households in the large bottom 20% quintile, never mind the top four quintiles above it.


I work full-time at minimum wage. I am in the second income quintile. I have no hope of buying a home. Please explain how millions of Americans with incomes lower than mine are buying homes.

Question: What are the homeownership rates for households in the SECOND quintile? Even better, I'd love to see the homeownership numbers for NON-ELDERLY households in the first and second quintiles.

 
At 10/28/2008 3:06 AM, Anonymous near-poor and dismayed said...

Buggy said:

To put this bluntly in different terms: if the American population has been aging steadily, with more and more retirees living longer and longer, what would have happened to their income per household had Congress gone along with George W. Bush’s libertarian-inspired changes in social security to make it a privately-funded system left to individuals?


As a boomer, I am familiar with the increasing median age of Americans. In my opinion it is this increasing median age, esp the cluster of boomers currently in their peak earning and wealth-building years - that is driving the cheerily optimistic income and wealth numbers.

In another ten years, ALL the boomers will have passed beyond the peak earning cohort, and thus will, on average, be on the downward slope of the earnings curve.

How then can median middle-class incomes continue to increase?

 
At 10/28/2008 4:24 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Anon, you're an idiot.

This "high unemployment" you're whining about is about average for most of US history for which accurate comparable stats have been kept. And it's spectacularly good for, oh, pretty much all of Europe and Asia.

But hey, it makes you feel good to whine about "high" unemployment, so just keep your head inserted up there where everyone knows it is.

How's it taste, BTW?

I'm not even going to bother talking about the merits of your other two whines, given that blatantly ridiculous one.

Gas at a 12+ month low...
Dollar at 30 month high...
The housing market has bottomed out everywhere but four states...

Yeah, everything just sucks.

 
At 10/28/2008 4:29 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Spend, spend just like the last republican president.

OK, failed that 9th grade Civics test and never actually took the time to figure out why, did you?


Annoynimous, it works like this:

The budget is set by CONGRESS.

NOT the President.

And yes, the GOP did spend, spend, spend. Of course, that war that we wound up needing to take on might have something to do with that.

And, for two years now, the Dems have had a chance to change that around... please list off for me the litany of Democratic Congressmen/Senators calling for cutting the budget in order to reduce the deficit?

anyone?

anyone?

Bueller?

Gawrsh, Annoyni Mouse! There ain't NOBODY apparently in Congress who cuts the budget!!

So your whine is pretty much full of shit, isn't it? Makes sense, of course, given the location of your head.

 
At 10/28/2008 4:50 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> George W. Bush’s libertarian-inspired changes in social security to make it a privately-funded system left to individuals?

Well, that depends.

1) Since it was always OPTIONAL, it would not have affected anyone old enough for it to have mattered -- they would have been better off keeping their money in the old system

2) It was never the full amount of SS taxation which was to go into said system, but a single-digit FRACTION of it to do so. 5% was one figure I'd heard. So the current value, assuming some vaguely prudent investing in index funds, would be down by, what, 3% of all SS income? GOSH, that's just HORRIBLE!?!? How could someone hope to make that kind of massive loss up in 20 to 30 YEARS of investing, one cannot even begin to imagine!?!?

3) If, on the other hand, they had always been in such a system, with half their money in SS and half of it in investments since 1980, the investment half would STILL be worth about 5-10 times what the SS half would be.

You're ignorant, and so abysmally so that you don't even begin to grasp HOW ignorant you are.

Investing isn't a 3-5 year program. Its valuation is done on a 20-30 year basis when you're starting from relative scratch like the average person is.

So downturns like the current one are not pleasant but they're figured into the process.

For comparison, grasp that the DOW only closed above 5000 for the first time in *1995*. It closed above 10000 for the first time EVER in *1999*. So if you put $1000 in social security in 1995, and $1000 into a DOW index fund, the DOW fund would still be worth more than the social security. Yes, even with the collapse, it would provide more money than that same contribution to SS would have.

But you already knew all that...right? You being an economic genius and all?

Please, come, enlighten us with more of your geniuslike economic pronouncements, while we all sing Kumbaya and bask in the beatific glow of your vast and irrefutable intellect...?

S:-/

 
At 10/28/2008 4:56 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> In my opinion it is this increasing median age, esp the cluster of boomers currently in their peak earning and wealth-building years

Thanks for enlightening us with your opinion.

You'll pardon me if I point out that this is something readily verifiable from openly available statistics, and as such, your "opinion" isn't worth JACK F***ING SH**.

Either go find the numbers to back up your claim or just shut up.

If they don't already exist from some vaguely reliable source, it would be surprising. Of course, if they disagree with your vastly superior "opinion", I'm sure you'll never come back and admit you were completely f'ing wrong, either.

So you'll pardon me if I assume until then that you're an idiot until proven otherwise.

 
At 10/28/2008 5:29 PM, Blogger the buggy professor said...

"1) Since it [private accounts scheme as a partial alternative to social security] was always OPTIONAL, it would not have affected anyone old enough for it to have mattered -- they would have been better off keeping their money in the old system.

"2) It was never the full amount of SS taxation which was to go into said system, but a single-digit FRACTION of it to do so. 5% was one figure I'd heard. So the current value, assuming some vaguely prudent investing in index funds, would be down by, what, 3% of all SS income? GOSH, that's just HORRIBLE!?!? How could someone hope to make that kind of massive loss up in 20 to 30 YEARS of investing, one cannot even begin to imagine!?!?

"3) If, on the other hand, they had always been in such a system, with half their money in SS and half of it in investments since 1980, the investment half would STILL be worth about 5-10 times what the SS half would be...

“...You're ignorant, and so abysmally so that you don't even begin to grasp HOW ignorant you are."


......

Thank you, Obloodyhell, for your thoughtful, always civil comments. They deserve, what say! a few replies.

.....

1) Yes, the Bush scheme for privatizing certain parts of social security --- which he urged Congress in his State of the Union address in 2005 to pass that year, but which was actually Plan-2 of an original 3-Plan scheme mentioned in 2001 --- was introduced as initially optional.

The scheme, though, went through a variety of alterations --- it never fully reached Congress in a finished form, mainly because of enormous opposition in public opinion to even altering defined-benefits, a mainstay of social security since 1936 --- and over time it was clear that there would be corresponding reductions in the benefits that remained in social security in years to come.

...

In short, the optional proposal was only an initial step in a long-term project --- endorsed by libertarian think-tanks for years --- to replace entirely the defined-benefits of social security with a full privatization.

....

Intelligent analysts who didn't work for conservative and liberal think tanks or ran blogs --- never mind Democrats in Congress and in their think-tanks --- had no trouble in seizing on the long-term implications. Consider this response made immediately after the President vented the scheme in his State of the Union Address by a canny blogger [http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2005_01_30.php]





“…Social Security envisions a retirement in which recipients, hopefully, have three sources of income: Social Security, some employer-based pension and personal savings. The latter two, in varying degrees depend on how hard you work, how much you make, how wisely you invest and the vagaries of chance. Social Security, as a defined benefit program, is meant to be the one leg of the stool which is a flat guarantee.

“At root, with all the statistics and flimflam over words, President Bush wants to change that. He wants to phase out Social Security in favor of private investment accounts. In the latter case, there is no guarantee at all, just as there is no guarantee in private nesting, which of course is just as is should be. He wants to get rid of the defined benefit program and change it to a defined contribution program -- not partially, but totally. Indeed, he said this in his recent press conference quite clearly. But few of the reporters present latched on to the statement or its significance. Social Security, he said, is "now in a precarious position. And the question is whether or not our society has got the will necessary to adjust from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan. And I believe the will will be there. (emphasis added)."

“There's no 'partial' here. He's talking about phasing out one and replacing it with the other. Reporters and commentators don't seem to get that this is a category difference, though this is something that is widely understood in the pension policy community….”



……………

2) Your 2nd comment --- contrary to your usual carefully thought out, well-documented claims in other posts here --- is, alas, a mangle of confusion.

Specifically, it confuses 5% of total social security taxation with the actual proposal.

....

To clarify briefly: Today, total social security contributions (or taxation) are 12.4% of employee income up to $102,000; half are paid by the employee, and half by his or her employer. (There is also an additional 2.9% for Medicare, again half paid for by the employee and the other half by the employer; but Medicare was referred to in all the variants of the Bush schemes back in 2005.) So the private accounts were actually offered up to 1/3 of the total 12.4% tax, something that wasn’t entirely clear initially.

At times it seemed the option was only 1/3 of the employee contributions, and other times --- by late spring, when the proposals were being altered repeatedly as even Republican Senators and Congressmen were criticizing the --- it appeared to cover 1/3 of the total 12.4%

No way to be sure. To repeat: once the privatizing initiative was under fire within a day or two after its initial venting, it was constantly adjusted to fend off criticisms even from within Republican ranks.

…….

No matter. Either way, it wasn't just a tidbit of total social security benefits.

More to the point, the opening gambit by the Bush administration was, to repeat, just the start of a longer-term strategy to privatize the entire system of social security.

....

Nor was that its public disappearance in the fall of 2005 the end of the Bush campaign to privatize social security.


In particular, the Bush administration continued on the sly to try to hemorrhage social security’s defined benefits the next year. The evidence? In the President’s budget proposals to Congress in 2006, there was a paragraph stuck in the middle --- with no fanfare to draw attention to it --- to shift social security indexing from wage-increases yearly to price-increases . . . the latter lower by noticeable margins annually, depending on the years selected and inflationary trends as reflected in CPI-U.

His half-disguised plan would let working people create private accounts beginning in 2010 and would, over the next seven years, channel away more than $700 billion of Social Security tax revenues to pay for these privatizing costs by $2017 --- or so the CBO calculated.


……………….


3) Your references to how much the Stock Market has moved up and down over the years since 1995 is intriguing. It includes the go-go years of the Clinton administration, with the dot.com bust, and the Bush years to date.

So let me add a couple of alternative views ---- especially since you then talk earlier about a 20-30 year strategy of investments: the rise in original base-year stock-market investments correlates closely with the party-affiliation of the presidency. That’s been the case for over a century now.

Specifically, if you put $10,000 in the stock market in 1901, then --- to track the the Dow average as a reference-point --- your original investment would be now be worth $279,705 after 48 years under the Democratic presidents in the 107 years since then. In the 56 years during Republican presidencies, that $10,000 investment would add up to only $78,699.

And if going back to 1901 seems too long a time-period, let’s look at the performance of the Dow since 1933.

If you had invested $10,000 in 1929 right after the stock market crash in the fall, it would be worth over $350,000 in the years of FDR, Truman, Kennedy, LBJ, Carter, and Clinton presidencies. In the years of Republican presidencies --- Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Bush-Sr, and Bush-Jr --- it would be worth $50,000 or so . . . a ratio difference of 7:1.

And if you count the 1929-1933 Hoover years, your net worth would be $11,000 in 2008.

…………………..

So --- if the 20-30 year strategy of investments you refer to assumes that all the presidents will be Republican --- I doubt whether in 2020 or 2030, to judge by correlations over a century-old now, you or others would be happy with your original $10,000 investment's net worth.

....

That still leaves me wondering --- with nearly 3 months of George W Bush's presidency left to wind down to its end --- how you are sure that by the end of January 2009 the Dow would, say, not continue to go down further?



……


4) As for the ignorant charge, I don’t mind being criticized or attacked personally. It goes with the territory of blogging and posting, and for that matter in scholarly work --- though generally scholars don't resort to, let us say, the kind of explosively loutish language that seem to crackle through your posts in these threads with comic-opera extravaganza.

.....


Earlier in this decade, it was in fact the local FBI that urged me to keep the comments section of my buggy professor web site open. The local agent’s hope was that there might be leads to Islamist and other terrorists who kept threatening to to slice off my head or my gonads (the polite ones stuck with the former meance); but in the end, alas --- with atomic-blasts of thousands of one-word posts arriving at my end Internet-server --- the server was knocked down, and I had to close the comments.

,,,,,,

The point is, your personal attacks on me --- and, it appears, on any and everyone who disagrees with your biases --- don’t faze me in the least. They seem kid-stuff rants, little else.

I am left wondering, however, what your inner thermostat must usually be set to --- somewhere, seemingly, at explosion-level.

Come to that, your obscene assaults the your very next post on someone else might lead even a would-be psychotherapist in his or her callow first weeks of internship to detect a personality-disorder in a constant lather of raging fury.



......

Michael Gordon, AKA, the buggy professor

 
At 10/28/2008 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The village idiot says ...
"And yes, the GOP did spend, spend, spend. Of course, that war that we wound up needing to take on might have something to do with that."

*********************************

The above statement speaks volumes for the village idiot.

 

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