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Bernanke’s Bust: Median Household Income Is Lower Today Than in 2009

Written by Gary North on August 22, 2013

Median household income is a good test of a household’s economic well-being. Half of households earn more. Half earn less.

With mean average income, the incomes of the rich skew the figure upward. Not with median income.

After four years of the Federal Reserve’s tripling of the monetary base, Americans are worse off today.

What’s that? Worse than in the supposed bottom of the recession? Yes. This report tells the story. Household income is down 4.4%.

Based on new estimates derived from the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS), real median annual household income, while recovering somewhat from the low-point reached in August 2011, has fallen by 4.4 percent since the “economic recovery” began in June 2009. Adding this post-recession decline to the 1.8-percent drop that occurred during the recession leaves median annual household income now 6.1 percent below the December 2007 level.

Sentier Research supplied these figures. Here is the company’s assessment. “Based on our data, almost every group is worse off now than it was four years ago, with the exception of households with householders 65 to 74 years old.”

This means we were far better off in 2007, before the recession began. What are the numbers?

After adjusting for changes in consumer prices, median annual household income declined during the officially-defined recession from $55,480 in December 2007 to $54,478 in June 2009. During the “economic recovery”, as the unemployment rate and the duration of unemployment remained high, median annual household income continued its decline, reaching a low point of $50,722 in August 2011. As of June 2013 median household income had recovered somewhat to $52,098 (seasonally adjusted estimates).

It gets worse. It turns out that Greenspan failed, too. We are worse off than in 2000.

Compared to January 2000, the beginning point for our monthly statistical series, median annual household income is now lower by 7.2 percent. (All income amounts in this report are before-tax money income and are presented in terms of June 2013 dollars).

You knew you were not doing better. Obama has told you otherwise. So has the Federal Reserve.

They lie. They never factor in purchasing power — what the Federal Reserve has done to the dollar.

Next month, a new movie will hit the theaters, Money for Nothing. Go see it.

Continue Reading on www.sentierresearch.com

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14 thoughts on “Bernanke’s Bust: Median Household Income Is Lower Today Than in 2009

  1. Ben Screwed says:

    no adjustments or anything like that or the real difference would be greater BUT my salary today is less than half of what it was in 2007.

  2. The real Bernanke Bust will come when the Bernanke Bubble bursts. The economy will be left in a financial mess for a decade. They are just trying to time it so the next President gets the blame. That is unless it is Michelle. Then they will have a problem. See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com

  3. fiercelook says:

    You got it all backwords. His destructive and intentional policy is working to a tee! These Godless, luciferians are successfully destroying the middle class as is the goal of every good communist! The sheeple had better figure out quickly that these Godless ghouls are out to make this earth a living hell for their subjects, to deny this is to be a fool! WAKE UP, WISE UP, RISE UP!

  4. Of course Bernanke's monetary policies are a bust. Quantitative easing is meant to benefit only members of the financial establishment. Unfortunately, the political establishment can convince the hapless masses that government interventionism and inflationary policies will actually benefit them. The Fed's policy of artificially low interest rates–near 0%, swindled purchasing power from savers and people on fixed income. Ludwig von Mises pointed out that the only way to increase the standard of living of the masses is through more savings and investment per capita. The establishment is slowly squeezing life out of the productive middle class. Also, big government may eventually eliminate entrepreneurial spirit.

  5. Thanks Barack.

  6. Seymour Kleerly says:

    The Damage was done BEFORE Obama took office! You're very gullible.

  7. The whole bunch should go to prison for what they are doing to the USA. That screwball Bernanke is an idiot but he is doing what Obummer wants. Communists who are like mutt dogs. If you can't eat or screw it you crap on it.

  8. No damage done since?

  9. That’s right with the Democratic held house and Senate it only went Hyper under this administration

  10. We would be much better off today if we had not ended up with a Demoncratic Congress and Demoncratic President who went into a feeding frenzy.

    Look at Obamacare, the stool sample bill, that had to be "passed, so that we could find out what's in it."

  11. Blair Franconia, NH says:

    As the song says: "You get your money for nothing and the chicks are free." 🙂

  12. I got the official word on the news a few weeks ago – my home health care pay has essentially decreased 5%. To start, it’s in the top ten lowest paying jobs out there. Now they tell me I’m bringing home less…and gas has gone up 2x. Inflation is BAD. I live paycheck to paycheck, had three part time jobs, but quit one out of frustration and exhaustion.

  13. Seymour Kleerly says:


  14. In 1971, a young man could work an hour at minimum wage, and be able to buy 6 gallons of gasoline in exchange for what he was paid.

    The miserableness of our economy is due to the fact that govenment meddling is driving up the cost of everything, while at the same time, the federal government's "creative finances" — including no budget at all for the last 4 years — is driving down the value of our money. A rise in minimum wage is meaningless when the government is printing funny money by the trillions.

    If we don't get some REAL change (and I don't mean a "sool" Eskimo, Latino President, or Native American president) we won't be discussing this stuff on the internet because there won't be a power grid to plug the computers into.