Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Down 9.5%

That is the impact that the last 6 years has had on household income in SC.

The Detroit Free press has a story up on income growth, and pfd report showing the current Michigan trends in median income. While SC did fare poorly, some will take comfort in the fact that 7 other states did do worse that we did (of course that means that 42 states did better).

Now for a quick math refresher. Median is the middle figure on a list of a set group, the point where half are on one side and half are on the other. The average is derived by adding up the sum total of the participants and dividing by the number in the sample. This detail is important, let me explain.

Here is a sample of 7 incomes showing why we have to look at the median, and not the average to get the real picture of how the economy is performing.


12,500. 13,000. 13,500. 14,500. 20,000. 21,000. 25,000.

In this sample is median is 14,500, the average is 17,071.


12,000. 12,250. 13,000. 13,100. 19,500. 21,100. 35,000.

The median in this fake sample is now 13,100 down 9.6%, but the average is now 17992.00 up 10.5%. In a large sample the median is the far better place to get a feel for what is happening to the average Joe and Jane in South Carolina. The concentration of income and wealth in the top 5% can give the impression of growth if you just look at averages.

It can also be a good confirmation that out politicians are out of touch. President Bush has recently advised other republicans that they should run on the economy. South Carolina's Governor Sanford's early reelection adds are touting his economic success in job development.

If Governor Sanford thinks that a decline of almost 10% is a positive result, I am terrified to think about what he considers a failure.

A hat tip to Shakespeare's Sister



Tim said...

I blame Inez Tenenbaum and the SCEA.

Anonymous said...

I blame the parents that are too damn lazy to get involved in thier kids lives.

I blame the citizens without kids that are too damn lazy to be interested in thier local school districts day to day business.

I blame all politicians that refuse to address this problem in South Carolina.