According to a report released by the Pew Research Center (USA Today, 11/7/2011) the typical U.S. household headed by a person 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data. The gap is more than double what it was in 2005, and nearly five times the 10-to-one disparity 25 years ago, after adjusting for inflation. An anonymous journalist adds his/her individual “interpretation” of the Pew Report’s findings as follows: “More young adults are pursuing degrees, taking on debt as they wait for the job market to recover. Others struggle to pay mortgages on homes worth less than their purchase cost. The report spotlights a government safety net that has buoyed older Americans on Social Security and Medicare amid cuts to education and cash assistance for the poor.”
| Discussion On Comparability:
In line with the belief that the rich are not paying their fair share, now we are adding the country’s older folks to the groups to be demonized for their accumulated wealth. One who interprets “data” should first understand that when comparing households, the groups should be comparable. One must often read the report with care to verify this crucial distinction. In comparing any “gap” other things must be equal.
From what is reported on its face, these household groups are not comparable, but are two groups drawn from different populations. The man on the street may understand this better than graduates from journalism schools. On its face, the gap compares household wealth (net worth) with a minimum of 30 years age difference, and probably 40 or more years difference in age alone. This “wealth” gap is then multiplied by the reported census difference in wealth from 25 years earlier. Adjusting for inflation over this 25 year difference does not make the two groups comparable. They are not comparable in the beginning, and they are not made comparable by any mathematical computations 25 years later. To compare a household that has worked and saved for 40 years with another group that has lived without working and saving is comparing the dog with his fleas.
Our journalist holds in esteem the value of two numbers which, by their magnitude, are either alike or different. The greater their difference the greater the evil projected by these different numbers. If a difference grows over the years, this only magnifies the rampant nature of the evil uncovered in a journalist’s eyes. He/she is functionally blind.
| The antidote is understanding what happens over 40 years:
On its face, what is the primary difference between households under 35 and households over 65? The man on the street known that the younger households are having children, feeding children, buying them clothes, sending them to school, struggling through work to pay the bills, and maybe saving money to buy a home. By contrast, the older households are now into grandchildren being raised by their own offspring, have completed their own and other offspring’s educations, and have a history of working up to 40 years behind them, they have purchased and lived in one or several of their own homes. Developing any wealth is virtually impossible for the younger households, while the realities of having and raising a family is history for the older households. These stark differences are supportable without any objective data. The differences in age alone invalidate any data “gaps” to be found. A data “gap” is not objective, and is not research. It is media garbage for folks who deserve better.
Neither the journalist, nor any of the above discussion actually gives the findings of the Pew report, which one must read to understand. The actual report spotlights two keys to the growth in household wealth in America over the 25-year period. The keys are 1) home ownership, and 2) working for a living through earned income. Only a journalist with an agenda would fail to report these two dramatic findings, which spotlight the path to the American dream.
In its place the anonymous journalist interprets the misleading and incomparable “ratios” as though they are the byproduct of older folks growing wealthy by being “buoyed” through the government safety net, of all things. Adding insult to ignorance, he/she states that “cuts to education and cash assistance to the poor” are the rest of the story. Such cuts are pure fantasy of a journalist who has not bothered to look at the actual federal expenditures. Only in Washington do “cuts” actually become increases. Go figure!
Between journalists, such as this one, and the malignant influence of the Obama administration, the American dream is on short rations. In his second term the liberals may succeed in killing the American dream entirely. The government’s malignant influence on home ownership has been clearly demonstrated over the past few years.
Hello!! Such liberal thinking is based on comparing wolves and alligators, and bears no relationship with the research data presented by PEW, which specifies exactly what the growth of wealth is based upon in America. It is based primarily upon two things; home ownership and working for 40 years. Working for 40 years is called earned income.