The NY Times Upshot, meant to be their data-crunching replacement for the lost and lamented Nate Silver, delivers a howler of economic innumeracy. The theme is Bill Clinton's attempt to redeem his legacy; his message is that he prioritized prosperity above income inequality; and the laugher is this:
Voters generally have a rosy view of the 1990s: Median family income increased to $48,950 in 1999 from $36,959 in 1993.
Really? Despite all this talk about stagnant middle class incomes we have a Times writer (and editors, maybe) who think that family incomes rose by 32% during the Clinton boom? Without looking I can promise that we are not being presented with inflation adjusted numbers.
With a minor bit of looking I can find that yes, inflation adjusted median household income has in fact been nearly flatlining for decades (unless sensibly adjusted for things like employer-sponsored health insurance).
A bit more poking indicates that Ms. Chozick is presenting the numbers that reconcile to the Census Bureau No. HS-25 as of 2003 with median family income in current, rather than constant, dollars. Adjusting for inflation, median family income grew (in 2001 dollars) from $44,586 to $51,996, or 17%. The current report (H-6) for median family income presents different historical figures for 1993 and 1999 in current dollars
Left unanswered - why did she drop the year 2000, when Wild Bill was still President and unadjusted median income in current dollars was even higher at $50,732? Send better acolytes.
Hillary 2016 makes me think we can't get to 2017 fast enough. Three more years of this BS?