The Best Way to Spread the Wealth


In today’s Wall Street Journal, Stephen Moore discusses how “Obama’s Economy Hits His Voters Hardest.”  A  report by Sentier Research shows that the average American household income has fallen from $54,478 in June 2009 (when the recession ended) to $52,098 in June 2013, amounting to a decline of 4.4%.
Mr. Moore notes that in the 2012 election, won by Barack Obama with 51% of the vote, the President received 60% of the youth vote, 67% of single women, 93% of black, 73% of Hispanics, and 64% of those without a high school diploma.
But, according to Sentier Research, it is precisely these groups for which income has fallen the most during the last four years.  Those under age 25 experienced an income decline of 9.6%, single women’s income dropped 7%, black heads of household’s incomes dropped 10.9%, Hispanic’s by 4.5%, and those without a high school diploma by 6.9%.
On the other hand, during the period 1981 – 2008, often referred to as the Great Moderation, income for black women was up by 81%, followed by white women up 67%, black men up 31% and, finally, white men up only 8%.  In other words, income inequality shrunk dramatically during the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush years and has increased significantly during the Obama years.
The lesson is that in order to spread the wealth it is first necessary to create more wealth.  If more people were working today, and the economy was growing faster, then the people at the bottom of the income scale would be doing much better and gaining on everyone else.  There are tried and true methods to get this done!  It’s exasperating that we aren’t using them!

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