Lies, damned lies, and statistics:
According to the Federal Reserve's latest Survey of Consumer Finances (2007), the mean net worth of a family headed by a person 65 to 74 years old was just over $1 million. It was just under $1 million for families headed by a person 55 to 64 years old. Number 3 on the rich scale are families headed by someone 75 or older, with $638,000. In financial terms, and on average, there's never been a better time to be elderly in the United States.
Those of you who follow poverty issues know this is a steaming pile of crap. And damned near every Republican over 55 reading this in the paper should be aware of that, too, but it's hard to see clearly when you've got visions of birth certificates and Don't-Tread-On-Me flags dancing in your head.
If you want to sell a bad idea, the best way to do it is to float the old adage: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Obama's against this? Well, I'm for it, whatever it is:
President Barack Obama doesn't like Ryan's proposal to replace the current financially unsustainable Medicare system with a plan that would have seniors choose their own health insurance and pay the premium using a taxpayer subsidy based on need.
The reason little Ricky is grasping at statistical straws and injecting negative associations is because he's well aware that the GOP plan to disembowel Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security has the potential to backfire on them so forcefully the tailpipe will fall off and lay there right in the middle of the road to the 2012 Election.
But let's not discount everything that little Ricky says:
That's why in the coming days, weeks and years, our elected leaders need to readopt the value of honesty. When the American people are given the facts in their proper context, the sacrifices required to get this country back to fiscal sanity won't be considered sacrifices at all. They'll simply be considered the right thing to do.
Yes, let's do that "value of honesty" and "facts in their proper context" thing. Here's the Fed report he references, and here's the 2007 mean net worth stats:
Percentile of net worth/2007 mean net worth (in thousands)
Less than 25 = –2.3
25–49.9 = 57.9
50–74.9 = 227.0
75–89.9 = 586.1
90–100 = 3,975.7
That's right. The bottom 25% of people have a mean net worth of negative $2,300. Less than nothing. The next group, which brings us to a full half of our population, have a mean net worth of $57,900. That includes the value of their homes (if they have one), and other stuff that doesn't put Ramen noodles on the table.
And the top 10% of our population have an average mean net worth of just under four million dollars.
And just to get it off my chest, pundits like Ricky who mine statistical information for ways to minimize the plight of the less fortunate among us, so they can enhance the position of the extremely fortunate, are beyond contemptible. They are aspiring architects of a dark future, and the N&O should be deeply ashamed for providing a media platform for such machinations.
BlueNC is dedicated to making North Carolina a more progressive and prosperous state. If your intention is to disrupt this effort, please find somewhere else to express your opinions.