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Congress' Median Household Net Worth: One Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-21-10 06:49 AM
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Congress' Median Household Net Worth: One Picture Is Worth 1000 Words
Via Jesse:



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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-21-10 06:51 AM
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1. One word: Fuck
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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-21-10 06:55 AM
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2. That actually doesn't say much.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-21-10 07:36 AM
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3. Owners vs. workers - crystal clear to me. nt
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-21-10 08:14 AM
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4. THAT is what should be on billboards all over the country..especially RED areas!!!!!
It might be even more effective if both lines were on the same graph....vertically...with that huge blank area between them...just so it is more obvious how much lower the average American income is.
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olegramps Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-21-10 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I agree, but it would be a damn big graph.
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geckosfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-21-10 08:27 AM
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5. That's from 2008 --- what is the mean and what is the range - the median provides an
Edited on Sun Nov-21-10 08:38 AM by geckosfeet
incomplete picture without knowing some other information. For example, the average household net worth is about $440k. The median is - $91k!.
Average Rich or Median Poor?

Read more: Big Difference Between Average and Median Net Worths


The $91,304 net worth figure also is indicative of something else. The typical American worker who becomes unemployed today has only about two years of wealth to live on before he hits economic ground zero.

Most American households are nowhere near being financially independent. Nor will most be able to retire in comfort. Yet there is more bad news. What if the equity in homes and motor vehicles is factored out of the median net worth figure? Then the median figure is about $34,000 or about 2/3 of the annual median income generated by a typical American household today.


Read more: Big Difference Between Average and Median Net Worths

U.S. household net worth founders

The indications are however, that affluent house holds joined congress in 2008.

I am dying to find out what this chart looks like NOW - after the 2010 elections.

on edit: minor layout issues
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FreeJoe Donating Member (331 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-24-10 01:46 PM
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7. Count me unimpressed
First, to make the comparison valid, you need to adjust it for age. The median age for a congressional rep is probably higher than the median age for a head of household. Because net worth is heavily correlated to age, doing comparisons without adjusting for age differences can be quite misleading.

The next consideration is that most measures of net worth are misleading because they leave off important things like the present value of future SS payments, pension payments, and the like. I have no idea what affect including those factors would be. My guess is that it would make this chart look even worse, but I'm just guessing.

Finally, I would hope and expect that the net worth for members of congress would be higher than that for the public at large. Congress members are selected at random from the larger population. They are disproportionately well educated and successful. Would you really expect them to have the same net worth as the overall population?
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jtuck004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-24-10 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. While a couple of your points would make a difference, the charts represent
Edited on Wed Nov-24-10 08:13 PM by jtuck004
a fair analysis of the situtation. Had each stayed flat that of Congress would still represent those with far more net assets than the median of the population as a whole. Since 77% of the population lives paycheck to paycheck, and a full third, as of a couple of years ago, of retirees left the working world with NOTHING except social security, I am not sure even adjusting for age would make a fair comparison. The chart was intended to show the median net of both populations, not a comparison between one and a piece of the other.

But it's still descriptive - - in 2007 the greater population took a dive. And starting with perhaps 6X greater assets, the congressional side just lit on fire a bit later. They have done far, far better than the people they "represent". Are the successful over-represented on the left side above?

"Successful" has an air of respectability about it that I am not sure is deserved. Starting in about the 80's, despite the danger to the American people, a general trend of policy changes that insured the increase in wealth for the wealthy, and a decrease for everyone else. It would be called a conspiracy in virtually any other setting. Congress has presided over a wholesale removal of regulations which prevented the excess described in those graphs, writing policies that not only benefit a single class to the exclusion of most others but actually harm the rest of our neighbors. The business world, especially the financial sector, has spent tens of millions of dollars to lobby for those changes, and it appears to have paid off in excess of their wildest dreams.

For example - the new Consumer Protection Bureau has barely gotten off the ground, despite a desperate need for an agency that takes the consumers side to promote fairness. Given the "success" of the credit card industry in removing state usury laws so they can screw consumers to the wall, and the large numbers of mortgages over the past few years, originally marketed as legitimate products yet later found to be full of material misstatements unknown to the consumer or with terms that were less favorable based on race (when all other factors were equal), the need is clear for such an agency.

Yet "successful" congresspeople have already started a campaign to smear those setting it up and obstruct the process. Congress was also intimately involved in gutting the Glass-Steagall act which protected the American people for over 70 years, and for allowing tens of trillions of dollars of derivatives to be hidden in off-the-books shadow banking practices, all at the behest of the financial sector, actions that were directly responsible for the pain and tragedy felt by many millions of people as they lose their homes and jobs. The answer, by Congress, was to "loan" the financial sector $23 trillion dollars, of which perhaps $3.3 trillion has no chance, zero, of ever coming back. And the financial sector continues to collect billions of dollars of interest on Treasury bonds which replaced the toxic assets that they created. All this while people on the right side of the charts above lack basic medical care, a living wage, shelter, food. With little to no action by congress.

Maybe if "successful" was modified with words such as thieves, manipulators, or grifters it would be more descriptive.

So perhaps those charts are descriptive as they stand, because the adjustment of a few dollars up or down won't change the facts of who is gathering up more and more of the money, and who is losing it.

just sayin...


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