Wednesday, February 02, 2005
But Chad pointed out a sentence in Coleman's latest that is egregiously wrong yet serves to demonstrate the warped view of the Left of the economy in which they laze about. It is for that wider purpose that I point it out. It just happens to be Coleman repeating this in print that makes us attribute it to him.
In a society where good-paying jobs are vanishing and costs for everything are climbing, there's at least one growth area: hungry suburbanites.On what basis does Coleman make this claim? Let's take a look:
- good-paying jobs are vanishing -- Coleman repeats a claim we heard during the election from the MoveOn people. It happens to be incorrect. And new jobs going forward are likely to be service sector jobs and not burger-turners. The catch is that in order to make higher wages, more than ever you need more education.
I assume Coleman doesn't want to say you should get more money without learning more stuff. The source of the above is the Dept. of Labor's Occupational Outlook Quarterly, which shows one how to find better careers. (For further reading, see this speech by St. Louis Federal Reserve President Robert Poole.)
- costs for everything are climbing -- no, actually they're not. If you ask for what has happened to the cost of acquiring something in return for the amount of work you have to do to earn it, it's fallen for nearly all of the 20th century, and it continues to fall today.
- hungry suburbanites -- what has happened in particular to the cost of food as a share of one's income? Looking at this table from the USDA, Americans in 1929 spent 23.4% of their disposable personal income on food. In 1980, 13.2% and by 1998, 10.1%, a level it has stayed at since. About 40% of that is spent eating out, whereas 13% of it was in 1929. If we had hungry suburbanites, wouldn't they eat at home more?