Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Power Line vs. Krugman

I'm a little confused.

Krugman says that government policies have favored the wealthy at the expense of working families. To support this, he points out that incomes for the very wealthy (the famed "top 1%" and "top .1%") have risen a lot faster (doubled and tripled, respectively) than the incomes of median families (22%) since 1973.

Power Line's response is that families are more fragmented. There are more single parents than there were back then, and of course they make less than they did. That sounds reasonable. Factor out those folks and just focus on "married-couple families", and you see that their income rose 33% (described as "hefty").

I take it that a 33% increase is supposed to look pretty good compared to 100% ("double").

And then there's this line from Krugman: "much of that gain was the result of wives' entering the paid labor force or working longer hours, not rising wages." (But there's dispute about that too.)

Hinderaker goes on to say that Krugman's figures for the top 1% can't be verified, and he assumes they're "a bogus partisan calculation." He may be right, but he certainly doesn't prove it. He says also that since those numbers must be from a different source than the first numbers, it's not a fair comparison. I'm not sure how that can be true unless the different sources are measuring "income" differently, but this is another area that's pretty well restricted to speculation.

Now, the confusion. What has Power Line shown except that they can't actually refute what Krugman says, but they assume it's wrong?
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