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but, .....I repeat myself.
Suppose you were a heartless bastard, and suppose you were a Republican, but, .....I repeat myself. Mark Twain
Monday, January 12, 2004
The state of the economy

Reuters - Discouraged Job-Seekers Mask True Jobless Rate
In December alone, Labor statisticians dropped 309,000 Americans from the labor force, no longer counting them as unemployed because they have stopped looking for work. That cut the participation rate to just 66 percent, a level not plumbed since recession-plagued 1991.

Economists believe the drop in the labor force masks a much higher jobless rate -- perhaps as high as 9 percent, according to Anthony Chan, chief economist at Banc One Investment Advisors in Columbus, Ohio.

"The decline in the unemployment rate is the most misleading aspect of this employment report," said Chan. "It's a sham because of how we got there -- the labor force dropped precisely because more people became discouraged."

Washington Post - U.S. Poverty Rate Rises, Income Drops
In its annual report on income and poverty, the Census Bureau said that 1.3 million more Americans slipped below the government's official poverty line last year, the first increase since 1993. As a result, 11.7 percent of the population is considered to be in poverty, up from 11.3 percent in 2000.

Unlike previous recessions, most of the increase in poverty was experienced by white households and in suburban and rural areas, particularly in the South. The poverty rate fell for Hispanics and increased marginally in black households.

Still, while the poverty rates among blacks (22.7 percent) and Hispanics (21.4 percent) are at their lowest levels ever, they remain about twice those of the population at large.

For a family of four, the government calculates the poverty line at about $18,000.

On the income front, the Census Bureau reported that the median household income fell 2.2 percent last year to $42,228, after adjusting for inflation -- the first drop since 1991.

Pioneer Press - Number of U.S. uninsured rises by 2.4 million in 2002
he number of Americans who don't have health insurance rose sharply in 2002, mainly because of unemployment increases and two straight years of cuts in employer-provided health coverage.

The number of uninsured Americans jumped by 2.4 million to 43.6 million last year, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday. That's 15.2 percent of the population, compared with 14.6 percent in 2001.

Unemployment is steady but work force participation is at a level not seen since 1991. Median wages drop for the first time since 1991. More Americans are lacking health insurance than did last year. Poverty is up!!!

So what so great about the Bush economy?

Topeka Journal - Sklar: Separate Americas ring in the new year

The Forbes 400's combined wealth rose 10 percent over the past year. Since 1982, when "Forbes" began the list, the Forbes 400's wealth has jumped about 450 percent, adjusting for inflation.

Well, if you are one of these guys, the Bush economy has been great.

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