U.S. Economic Wellbeing Up

Index  Well-Being Up    Market Income Up Slowly for Lower Quintiles    Proper Measurements Paints a Better Picture

Science Helps Us Live Longer and Makes Life Easier        Safety Net Spending Up    Many Unrecognized Benefits   

 How Some Spend Concerns Some      Return to Economic Issues: One-Page Studies     Email author

  Well-Being Up

1) Our society's stability has allowed U.S. productivity to consistently increase which is a key to individual well-being. Think how the public safety net has increased since the 1930's and the success of the federal children's bureau. Who wants to give up SS and Medicare? Why do some always want to cut other guys government benefits? Think economic distress in Russia, Europe, even Japan and Germany. See
"Why [How Has] Hasn't Economic Progress Lowered Work Hours More?"  42 min. video
T. Cowen, Hayek Lectures

2) Scientific achievements
have continuously added to citizen well-being. Think health, smart phones, streaming audio-video, Gillette Stadium ... See New Weather Satellites,
Health Problems Solved

3) Stability and achievements are cumulative so the young people of today will enjoy both past progress and their own contributions.

Personal Income which is a function of nature and nurture has increased continuously if not always rapidly. Think Russia, China, and Europe's really slow recovery from the Great Recession. 
Source Is The Country In Trouble?

5) Will High Wellbeing Continue? Has America Lost her greatness? Will wellbeing begin to fall?

6) Why 2017 Was a Year to Celebrate 

See Child and Youth Well-Being    Economic Future of Our Children   Was life better in the 1970s? graphs video from VOX

See How Work Got Better from The New Economy Needed: A Nelson sample of wellbeing of poorer people.

Return to Economic Issues 2016

Quintiles 2 and 3 React Poorly to Lowest Quintile 1 Big Gains
Top Quintile Did OK Except for the Very Top.
Need More Data to Judge Effect of 1%.

Income Distribution is a political question.
Why is Poverty Controversial?




Hours Worked Down

Editors Note: One reason German workers producers 80% of US workers is they work about 80% as long as US Workers.


Proper Measurements Paints a Better Picture


  Where Has All the Income Gone?

Politicians and Media use quickly available and  lowest income growth estimate. Since 1965 fringe benefits and household composition affected income growth. Measuring Middle Class Wellbeing Requires Adjustments for these and the use of the most appropriate inflation measure.  

See Economic Normality 1945-2015 and Americans- Forget How Good They Have It  

Source  See Problems With Economic Measurements Over Time. 5 min video




Social Safety Net Has Increased Wellbeing  source

Editor's Note: We spend a lot of money on helping the needy
without an independent audit as to duplicity of programs and wellbeing of recipients.
 Is the US Congress not interested in economic efficiency?




as share of U.S. level

  Income Welfare
United States 100 100
France 70 91
Sweden 79 91
Japan 71 83
Norway 113 81
Germany 74 77
Ireland 96 70
Hong Kong 83 59
Singapore 117 57
South Korea 58 45

Source: Jones-Klenow study THE WASHINGTON POST


Safety Net Share Constant



Download the PDF (6pp)


We Help Our Poor
Headline Poverty Rate Poor Measure of Wellbeing



Science Contribution Will Help Grow Our Wellbeing


Science Helps Us Live Longer









Some Live Longer Than Others
Only the Poor Die Young



Science Makes Life Easier

Household Appliances Cost Per Hour Worked Down 85%
Thanks to Science and Cheap Imports 
11 Household
Hours Worked
Hours Worked @$3.95 Price
Hours Worked
Washing Machine $210 101 $285 72 $480 24
Refrigerator $350 168 $370 94 $500 25
Coffee Maker $23 11 $37 9 $30 1.5
Vacuum Cleaner $95 46 $90 23 $140 7
Color TV $267 128 $400 101 $250 12
Totals $945 454 1182 299 $1,400 69.5
    (454 -299)  ÷ 454 =  34%    
Percent Decrease     (299 - 69.5) ÷ 299 = 77%
Numbers Rounded     Editor's Note: Since 1957 the cost measured in hours worked has dropped 85%See Life of American Workers in 1915 from BLS  is quite deplorable and Trans Pacific Partnership Currency Manipulation Trade and Jobs shows a large loss of jobs with not attempt to quantify their value added (wage).

Many Unrecognized Benefits

The Great Inflation Hurt Many Government Helped
With Cost Of Living Increases about Political Control of the Middle East


Hours Worked Have Been Dropping

U.S. Violent Crime Down Dramatically Since 1990 But

Year Crimes/1000 Increase      % Change
1960 161     1960's Were a Tough Time.
1970 364 203 126
1980 597 233 64

Long Economic Moderation Helped Lower Crime.

1990 731 134 22
2000 507 -224 -31
2010 405 -102 -20

Improvement Continued Despite the Great Recession.

2014 376 -29 -7
1960 to 1990 up 400% then down 50% Source disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime


How Some Spend Concerns SOME

Bigger Houses

Lottery Winner is State Government

US Produces a Lot

U.S. Real Rich Get Lots of More

1993 - 2013 berkeley.ed

Top Half of Top 1% Really Make Lots
The top 1/10 of 1% make the top 1% a poor measure of income inequality!

It's Accumulating

Some Measure Wealth Accumulation at Bottom but these Calculation Ignore the Wealth Associated With SS and Medicare!


Infographic: The UK trails Europe in holiday allowance | Statista
"They found that the highest prices were, indeed, paid by Americans. The median monthly retail price in the United States was $8,694 for patented drugs like Avastin, Gleevec and Herceptin, and $654 for generic drugs like docetaxel and paclitaxel. Of the countries looked at, India paid the least for its patented drugs ($1,515 a month), and South Africa the least for generics (a tiddly $120).

Dr Goldstein went on to look at how the prices of these drugs measured up in terms of affordability. To express this he calculated the monthly price as a percentage of gross domestic product per person at purchasing-power parity (GDP atPPP).\





Healthcare Becoming Our Biggest Need


Editor's Note: I know everyone is upset over rising health care cost but as a society becomes wealthier shouldn't the utility from feeling good and living longer supersede the need for more things or must all the additional production go to lowering our perceived fear after 9/11 attack of 2001? It's time to lower Defense, Homeland Security, a massive prison system.

If I hear one more person say "be safe I'll scream" Listening to the Whether Channel in Florida they talk as if I'm in extreme danger from tornados in Kansas  or a developing low near the Yucatan Peninsula that could be a hurricane and attack the US.


We Help the Poor But

Poor Pay Little for Food

Gates Foundation

But They Die Young and

The New York Times also reported recently concerning inequality in life expectancy across race. See Currie and Schwandt paper for more analysis. produced and some of the data issues with making these estimates. It’s a must read for those interested in these issues.

Collect Little Social Security

See Middle Class Calculator See Recent Decades Ranked By Problems  Source

Misery Index Has Improved

Inflation + Unemployment at Sixty-Year Low


Editor's Note: The Great Inflation lasted ten years beginning in the early 1970's. It significantly hurt US bond holders (older citizens) and 1975 COLA adjustments helped SS recipients though payroll taxes were not significantly increased until 1982. People wanting to make wage growth appear lower than actuality use the CPI adjusted inflation  index which rose dramatically after 1972. See Price index used dramatically changes result.




How- Well-off are Typical Americans 1984-2015

Consumer Spending is Up

Nominal U.S. National Dividend per Consumer Unit, 1984-2015

Your use of the market income to measure economic wellbeing is misleading.
First, economic wellbeing has been continually up for a very long time.. See
http://www.textbooksfree.org/Presidential%20Issue%20Economic%20Wellbeing.htm and
Second, using the cpi to measure changes in market income is also misleading.

1. CPI Adjusted Index-Chart is Red
a) Adjusts for seasonable differences
b) Under estimates income change source
2. CPI-U-RS Adjusted-Chart is Blue is better
a) Measures urban purchases which is more realistic but it
does not incorporate all possible data on past inflation.
b) For example, no attempt made to reflect any new information
on trends in the safety or comfort of air travel for which there
is no corresponding methodological change
in the CPI-U. bls.gov
3. PCE A Index-Chart is Green is best and reflects consumer substitution" is difficult to implement in real time. hen oranges are really expensive substitute bananas or grapefruit. BLS See CPI-PCE-Comparison


I taught my first college econ class in 1966 when the math guys took over economics and it has been down hill ever since. Both the Undoing Project and The Black Swan have demonstrated how today's economists are causing more problems then they are worth.