Oddities of Economics and Politics

There is much hand-wringing lately about the state of the economy and how terrible things have been for several years.   I heard an interesting inteview on NPR the other day with one of those statistic/economic gurus from a  think tank.   The discussion was about the average net worth for American families.  They calculated it the right way by simply adding the values for everything owned then deducting the debt owned against a specific asset and general unsecured debt.   If the result left a positive number then that was the net worth.  Since it is an average the very wealthy skew it somewhat but on the other hand there are millions of “low earnings” too that would offset that it seems to me.  It is an average and to be used as a learning tool.

At the end of last year the average net worth of the American family was $192,000.00.  Right now it is $184,000.00.  The interviewer asked when was the “best of times” as it were, in the last 50 years.  The answer might surpise you.  The average net worth was only  $134,000.00 at the end of 2001 (and remember this was just after 9-11and the market problems of that fall).  From 2002 to about six months ago that was an incredible run up in value for Americans and we are still way ahead in growth.  That has been the best of times, not the ’80’s or  the 90’s as I suspect many would have guessed.   Really quite impressive considering all the difficulties the US has had to contend with during that time frame.  We do have a very resilient economy if it is allowed to work.  Maybe those tax cuts weren’t such a bad idea after all.

For those of you who slept throught American History, a little refresher about one of our giants–Thomas Jefferson.  Not only did he do the Declaration of Independence and serve as President, you will recall he was also Vice President under Adams and as such served as the presiding officer of the Senate.   He was such an active mind and doer that rather than just idle his time monitoring debates, he drafted up rules for the Senate.   They were approved by the Senate and to this day the US Senate operates under the rules drafted by Jefferson will little modification over the years.

The fresh peaches are about done but the fresh corn will be ready soon.


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Filed under Economics, government

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