This post on the "misery index" -- seemingly meant to be taken as a realistic comparison of, well, economic misery on this side of the Pond compared to the other side -- is almost enough to make me give up forever on ever getting the slightest bit of common sense out of our economic (supposed?) progressives.I mean this with all of my heart -- ready to give up on you all.
Please do a graph which shows the doubling of average income as one line on the chart going up at a 45 degree angle contrasted to the 20 percent increase in the median (average person's wage) going up at a 9 degree (?) angle over the same 43 years. Not to mention the complete political disempowerment that goes with a unionless work force (ever hear of legislatively mandated SECTOR-WIDE LABOR AGREEMENTS -- airline and supermarket workers would kill to get them; good place to start, but somebody's got to tell them about the possibility).
Please do a Malthusian chart tracking wages dropping 33% as population increased 50% since 1968 contrasted to the drop in the US federal minimum wage of almost 50% by early 2007. Not to mention the Crips and the Bloods couldn't whip a decent paying Ronald McDonald ($15/hr minimum wage -- mere 50% increase as per capita income doubled -- would raise the price of what in the poorest part of the country?).
Call them the "Nakba" indexes (or the "Great Wage Depression" indexes).
We -- Americans below 90 percentile income are suffering alright. Do you guys know anybody below 90 percentile income? What the deuce is wrong with you?
REPLY TO MYSELF -- RELEVANT "PSYCHOLOGICAL" POINT:
Endless reports of violence and non-performance in Berkeley public schools? Does this concern the Berkeley economic faculty? Not really their world right? Why, then, could anyone expect them to be concerned about poor side of town high schools in Detroit -- though I am sure their interests would perk right up about the goings in any elite high in Detroit -- or France.
I worry about the tragedy of poor side of town schools in New York and Chicago (core problem: nobody will prepare hard for a labor market that offers them nothing now and less for more work later if things keep going on that way on this side of the Pond). You would accordingly expect me to worry about troubles in Berkeley schools -- from thousands of miles away.
Get the "psychological" point. All the learning does no good if you don't know what to care about -- midbrain motivates forebrain to get what midbrain desires; not the other way around.