Tuesday, September 5


Why, according to the latest Gallup poll, do only 37% approve of Mr Bush's handling of the economy, and 70% think economic conditions are getting worse?

Notice the graph. Contrast the growth of family incomes for all, blacks and hispanics under Bill Clinton with the loss under George W. Bush.

One way to comprehend what is happening is to look at the split between how much of the economy is won by profits and how much by wages.

The share allotted to corporate profits increased sharply, from 17.7% in 2000 to 20.9% in 2005, while the share going to wages has reached a record low.

Meanwhile, a large section of the workforce - the unemployed or those not seeking work - have not benefited from economic growth.

Unemployment has remained stubbornly high despite the economic recovery, with the latest figure at 4.7% compared to 4% at the end of 2000. Overall job growth in the first half of the current decade has been just 1.3%.

In the 1990s, job growth of some 12% goes some way towards explaining why prosperity in that earlier period spread down the income scale.
From 1992 to 2005, the pay of chief executive officers of major companies rose by 186%.

The equivalent figure for median hourly wages was 7.2%, leaving the ratio of CEOs' pay to that of the average worker at 262.

In the 1960s, the comparable figure was 24.

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