Bunk! Baloney! Hogwash!

— by Robert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley; Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration.

I keep on debating right-wingers who tell me the economy is working for everyone, that widening inequality isn’t really a problem, that the rich are using their wealth to generate growth and jobs — and that therefore supply-side “trickle-down” economics — starting with Reagan’s giant tax-cuts on the rich and continuing through George W. Bush’s tax cuts on the rich — has been a huge success. Baloney. Yesterday’s Census Bureau report reveals just the opposite.

MIDDLE-CLASS SHARE OF TOTAL INCOME DROPPING: The middle 60 percent of households took home only 45.7 percent of the nation’s income in 2012, the same percent it took home in 2011 and well below the 53.2 percent it used to take home in 1968.

TYPICAL HOUSEHOLDS ARE LOSING GROUND. The average under-65 household in the United States has lost $7,490 in annual income since the year 2000. In 1989, the median American household made $51,681 in current dollars; In 2012, $51,017. That means that 24 years ago, a middle class American family was making more than the a middle class family was making one year ago.

ALMOST ALL THE GAINS HAVE GONE TO THE TOP. Between 1967 and 2012, the average income of the top 5 percent grew by 88.2 percent in real terms, or three times the 26.6 percent growth experienced by the middle 60 percent.

Get it? Supply-side economics has been one of the biggest failures in American history. It’s a cruel hoax – a hoax because nothing has trickled down, cruel because it has imposed extraordinary hardship on millions of Americans.

Time Magazine named Robert Reich one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock” and “The Work of Nations.” His latest, “Beyond Outrage,” is now out in paperback. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His new film, “Inequality for All,” will be out September 27.   Here’s the trailer for that film:

Insecure & Unequal—Poverty & Income Among Women & Families

Protecting low income programs remains absolutely critical for women and their families.  Census data shows that the poverty rate has stabilized at a historically high level. Programs like Social Security will help protect struggling families – but Congress must chose to protect them! Get more details on this state poverty data and essential programs that help low-income families in the National women’s Law Center’s latest blog article.

A report prepared by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) provides a gender analysis of national Census data for 2011, released by the Census Bureau in September 2012. The NWLC supplies this analysis, as it has for several years, because little information broken out by gender is available directly from the Census Bureau’s series of reports titled Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States. Insecure and Unequal provides a snapshot of poverty and income data in 2011 – and changes in poverty and the wage gap from 2010 to 2011 and since 2000  – for women, men, children, and families by race, ethnicity and age.

ACA: More Young Adults Now Have Health Insurance Coverage

For over 50 years, the U.S. Census Bureau has been the data collection agent for the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).  The NHIS has monitored the health of the nation since 1957. NHIS data on a broad range of health topics are collected through personal household interviews. And, results from those surveys have been instrumental in providing data to track health status, health care access, and progress toward achieving national health objectives.

Lack of health insurance coverage negatively affects both access to health care and health status.  But, based on the data from the 2011 NHIA, among adults aged 19–25, more are now insured since implementation of “Obamacare.”  The survey shows that the number of people in this age range dropped from 41.7% to only 36.1%.

Overall, in 2011, the number of uninsured Americans fell for the first time in four years.  A provision of the ACA is likely the overwhelming contributor to the increased private health insurance coverage among young adults.  Under the ACA, adult children are now able to obtain coverage through their parents’ health insurance plans up to their 26th birthday.  This ACA provision marks an important shift from prior rules, which typically prevented young adults from being able to be covered by their parents’ health plans once they turned 19 or graduated from college.