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Ear to the Ground

U.S. Income Levels Plunged as Recession Lifted

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Posted on Oct 10, 2011
Flickr / Mel R

Men stand in a Depression-era bread line in this bronze sculpture at the FDR Memorial in Washington.

More interesting, perhaps, than this New York Times article’s proffered data on falling household incomes and the reasons for same is its official timeline for our nation’s most recent recession: “… From December 2007 to June 2009.” This factoid may fly in the face of many Americans’ current economic conditions, so let’s explore this issue further, shall we? 

It’s worth noting that at least one economic expert cited in this piece doesn’t think the recession is over—follow the jump below to the Times piece to read his testimony.  —KA

The New York Times:

In a grim sign of the enduring nature of the economic slump, household income declined more in the two years after the recession ended than it did during the recession itself, new research has found.

Between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 6.7 percent, to $49,909, according to a study by two former Census Bureau officials. During the recession — from December 2007 to June 2009 — household income fell 3.2 percent.

The finding helps explain why Americans’ attitudes toward the economy, the country’s direction and its political leaders have continued to sour even as the economy has been growing. Unhappiness and anger have come to dominate the political scene, including the early stages of the 2012 presidential campaign.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, October 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Does a dime have any real value? What can you buy with it? How about a $20? A $50?

How many bags of groceries can you get for a $100 dollar bill? Two, Three….?

Do trips to the store, become more frequent as the size of the packaging decreases?

Our leaders don’t feel the desperation, don’t seem to grasp it.. It’s like, your on the
gurney, and your Hooked up to blood going into you, and some wants you to listen to
some sort of speech before they let the transfusion into you..
These are the real issues that should be talked about instead of the diversions of
politics.
America doesn’t need a jobs bill it needs a blood transfusion…were bleeding out…

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By Marian Griffith, October 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Robespierre115

It is all about a bunch of traders guessing what another bunch of traders will theoretically be willing to pay for ‘an abstract financial vehicle that nobody understands anymore what it really stands for’ next year, next day, next hour or the next 0.001 second. If that number is now 100 and is guessed to be 120 then the economy has grown by 20pct. If instead it drops to 80 economy has collapsed and we have a recession.

In other words: one can start and end a recession on a whim, or as the (economic) politics needs it.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, October 10, 2011 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

The only reason anyone says the recession is over to try and calm down the crowds of peasants with pitchforks.

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