Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

FOUR CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC MYTHS b The cost of living has risen dramatically over the last 25 years, if not longer b The 1980’s were a decade of greed.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "FOUR CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC MYTHS b The cost of living has risen dramatically over the last 25 years, if not longer b The 1980’s were a decade of greed."— Presentation transcript:

1 FOUR CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC MYTHS b The cost of living has risen dramatically over the last 25 years, if not longer b The 1980’s were a decade of greed b The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer b Wages have fallen in the last 20 years and the market is only creating bad jobs

2 Myth #1: The cost of living has steadily risen over the last few decades. a The ultimate measure of the cost of consumption goods is the labor time needed to purchase them a The rich pay the big up-front costs by purchasing them when they are very expensive a The increase in variety is one of the best signs of increasing well-being and a rising standard of living

3 Table 1: Changes in the Labor Time Cost of Various Consumer Goods

4

5 Myth #2: The 1980s were a decade of greed a As a percentage of national income, total and individual charitable giving reached all-time highs in 1989  In addition, these levels of giving were ahead of what one would have predicted given past data.

6 Table 2: Charitable giving s and before

7 Myth #3: The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer a Even if the relative shares of the poor declined, this doesn’t take account of the overall growth in income. a The people who were poor in one year are not the same people who are poor in the next year! a There are also more persons per household at the top than the bottom (64m vs 39m). a The real policy question here is income mobility. How easy is it for folks who start poor to move their way up?

8 Table 3: US Income Distribution by Quintile, 1997

9 Table 4: US Income Distribution to Top and Bottom Quintile: 1975 and 1997

10 Table 5: Income Mobility 1979 to 1988 (US Treasury Data)

11 Table 6: Income Mobility 1975 to 1991 (UM Data)

12 Table 7: Absolute Average Income Change, by Quintile (1997 dollars)

13 Myth #4: Wages have fallen in the last 20 years and the market is only creating bad jobs a From 1953 to 1973, average hourly wages grew at an annual rate of 2%. From 1973 to 1978, they stagnated. And then from 1978 to 1996, they fell by an average annual rate of 0.7%. a From 1953 to 1973, average hourly wages grew at an annual rate of 2%. From 1973 to 1978, they stagnated. And then from 1978 to 1996, they fell by an average annual rate of 0.7%. a These figures include only monetary wages, they neglect other forms of compensation, such as health benefits, retirement benefits, and stock. a When we look at per capita income rather than wages or total compensation, we get a continuation of the same upward trend we saw from 1953 to the mid 1970s, albeit once again at a slower rate.

14 Myth #4: Wages have fallen in the last 20 years and the market is only creating bad jobs a Economists believe that inflation is overstated by 1.1% per year. If we correct for that, the decline in real wages since 1978 becomes a 12% increase, and the slowdown in per capita income growth disappears. a It's true that most of the jobs created over the last 25 years have been in the service sector, but that’s part of a long term trend that is the most basic sign of economic growth a In fact, the average wage in the service sector is $11.80/hr compared to $13.20/hr in manufacturing. Not a huge difference and one that is rapidly shrinking. The difference disappears if you take out part-time retail jobs.

15 Table 8: Some Major Job Creators ( )

16 FOUR CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC FACTS b The cost of living has declined over the last 25 years and substantially over the century b The 1980’s were a decade of record charitable giving b The rich are getting richer but the poor are getting richer even faster b Real per capita income has risen over the last 20 years because the market is creating higher paying service sector jobs

17 Thanks very much!  You can find out more at my website: a You can also read W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm’s Myths of Rich and Poor, Basic Books, 1999, to see the original


Download ppt "FOUR CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC MYTHS b The cost of living has risen dramatically over the last 25 years, if not longer b The 1980’s were a decade of greed."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google