The Census Bureau Report's Conclusions
Are False, on Poverty and Incomes
Sept. 2, 2006 (EIRNS)—"They are lying their heads off" to conceal an ongoing U.S. economic collapse, was Lyndon LaRouche's response to international media coverage of the U.S. Census Bureau's major annual report. LaRouche commented that the people who wrote the public report "had to have been using a Bush League calculator."
The Census Bureau's "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2005" was presented to the media on the morning of Aug. 29 with three basic conclusions: Americans' median income gained; poverty stopped rising; but more Americans lacked health insurance. The first two conclusions—which dominated much national and international coverage of the report as "an indicator of the U.S. economy"—are false. Furthermore, the same fabrication characterized the report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on August employment and wages, released three days later on Sept. 1.
The Census Bureau measured its income data against completely fraudulent standards: the Consumer Price Index (CPI), systematically falsified by several decades of applying "quality adjustment factors" to reduce the apparent prices of goods, and "hedonic indices" and "substitution formulae" to remove inflating goods from the CPI altogether; and the long out-of-date official "Federal poverty line."
But the Bureau found—even against the laughable increase the CPI was permitted to show in 2005—that the "real" earned incomes of the great majority of American workers—the non-supervisory employees, those outside the upper 20 percentiles by wealth—fell substantially again in 2005, for the fifth year. The median income fall was 1.8% for men and 1.3% for women. Also for workers' households: the median real income did not rise, but fell by 0.7% for all households of those under 65 years of age. The wealthiest 20%'s real earnings increased, their share of income reached a record 51%; the rest fell.
As to poverty, any real measure of basic household subsistence—after 20 years of rapidly inflating medical-care costs, almost a decade of skyrocketting housing costs, six years of energy-price spikes, and ballooning household debt—would find the "poverty line" for a family of four not at the official $19,000, but at $36-40,000 annual income; it would find not 37 million, but 55-60 million Americans fallen into poverty. The poorest counties and poorest regions in the country got poorer in 2005—as major newspapers of the former industrial belt, such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, made clear, even amid the lying reports of the Census Bureau's findings. Even officially, the percentage of American families in "deep poverty"—half the official "poverty line" income—went up.
Again on Sept. 1, the BLS reported that average weekly earnings of U.S. employees had dropped by another substantial 1% from July to August 2006, as more industrial jobs disappeared—but media reporting, fastening on a miniscule 0.1% rise in the average hourly wage, lied that "Americans' earnings rose."
This Bush Administration and media lying aims to deny the real, ongoing collapse in the United States' underlying economy, and the breakdown of the system of extreme "globalization" worldwide. Lyndon LaRouche will discuss the alternative financial/economic system which nations can construct to reverse this collapse, in a Berlin economic conference Sept. 6, which will be webcast live via the Internet at www.larouchepac.com and www.larouchepub.com.