My Magnificent Seven. Some bust myths. Others highlight a reality the media is ignoring. Enjoy!
1. The overly optimistic unemployment forecast of the Obama White House. This may be the most infamous economic prediction in U.S. political history (helpfully updated by The Right Sphere). For the original January 2009 chart from White House economic advisers Jared Bernstein and Christina Romer, see here.
2. The real unemployment rate. The official (U-3) unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. But the labor force has been shrinking as discouraged workers have been disappeared by government statisticians rather than counted as unemployed. But what if they weren’t? What if the Labor Department added those folks back into the numbers? Well, you would get this:
3. Middle-class incomes have been stagnant for decades—not. It is an oft-repeated liberal talking point, one that President Obama himself used in his populist Osawatomie Speech: The rich got richer the past 30 years while the middle class went nowhere. In short, the past few decades of lower taxes and lighter regulation have been a failure. Or, rather, pro-market policies have been a failure … except that new research from the University of Chicago’s Bruce Meyer and Notre Dame’s James Sullivan find that “median income and consumption both rose by more than 50 percent in real terms between 1980 and 2009.”
4. Inequality has exploded—not. According to the MSM and liberal economists, U.S. inequality has exploded to levels not seen since the 1920s or perhaps even the Gilded Age of the late 19th century. And to prove their point—that the 1 percent has gotten amazingly richer in recent decades—the inequality alarmists will inevitably trot out a famous income inequality study from economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. But why not instead look at wealth—all financial and nonfinancial assets—instead of income? It’s less volatile and a truer measure of all the economic resources at an individual’s command. Turns out that Saez has done research on that subject, too. And he even created a revealing chart documenting the ups and downs of U.S. wealth over the past century. It reveals a very different picture of inequality in America:
5. and 6. The underwhelming Obama recovery. When you compare the current recovery to those of the past, it looks pretty anemic. And it doesn’t matter if you look at GDP growth or unemployment (via The Economist).
7. America’s debt picture is worse than you think. If you factor in the long-term impact of rising federal debt on U.S. interest rates and economic growth—raising borrowing costs and lowering tax revenue—you’ll find that federal debt could be almost 50 percent higher by 2035 than the estimates usually bandied about in the media.