Real average weekly earnings rose by 1.0 percent from August to September after seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. This increase stemmed from a 0.2 percent rise in average hourly earnings and a 0.7 percent decline in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Average weekly hours were unchanged.
At Real Clear Politics, George Will writes about Prosperity Amid the Gloom
“Worst economy since Herbert Hoover,” said John Kerry in 2004, while that year’s growth (3.9 percent) was adding to America’s GDP the equivalent of the GDP of Taiwan (the 19th-largest economy). Nancy Pelosi vows that if Democrats capture Congress they will “jump-start our economy.” A “jump-start ” is administered to a stalled vehicle. But since the Bush tax cuts went into effect in 2003, the economy’s growth rate (3.5 percent) has been better than the average for the 1980s (3.1) and 1990s (3.3). Today’s unemployment rate (4.6 percent) is lower than the average for the 1990s (5.8) — lower, in fact, than the average for the last 40 years (6.0). Some stall.
Economic hypochondria, a derangement associated with affluence, is a byproduct of the welfare state: An entitlement mentality gives Americans a low pain threshold — witness their recurring hysterias about nominal rather than real gasoline prices — and a sense of being entitled to economic dynamism without the frictions and “creative destruction” that must accompany dynamism. Economic hypochondria is also bred by news media that consider the phrase “good news” an oxymoron, even as the U.S. economy, which has performed better than any other major industrial economy since 2001, drives the Dow to record highs.
I blame Bush! And the Republican Senate and Congress, too!