This election term, what’s in your wallet?

These statistics predict….more money than last election term.

This graph came out of the Washington Post.  It is called a Bartels Chart (Larry Bartels is a political scientist and author of several books), and it was shown on the Rachel Maddow Show.

Income percentile – This is roughly how much money you make compared to the rest of Americans.  If you’re in the 95th percentile, you make a LOT.  If you’re in the lower 20th, you don’t make as much.

Income Growth Rate – This is how much more or less money you make over some time or event.

Another way to look at this data is this:

I found this chart on Dani Rodrik’s weblog American political economics in one picture.  In his article he explains the chart and its implications.

When a Republican president is in power, people at the top of the income distribution experience much larger real income gains than those at the bottom–a difference of 1.5 percent per year going from the bottom to the top quintile in the income distribution. The situation is reversed when a Democrat is in power: those who benefit the most are the lower income groups.

And then I found this graph on the Rachel Maddow Show Blog.  It goes a few steps further than the first two Bartel’s charts because it breaks the data down into President and Congressional majorities.

This graph shows the average income growth rate on the y-axis and the income percentile on the x-axis.  Each bar of the graph describes growth under either a Republican majority

  1. Senate
  2. House
  3. Senate AND House
  4. President
  5. Senate AND House AND President.

Under a Republican majority of ANY of these groups, the income percentile on the right (i.e., the richest Americans) usually experienced the largest growth rate over all other brackets.  The exception appears to be when a Republican President is governing with a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate.

The second graph (blue) shows that when there’s a Democrat President plus a Democrat majority in the House and/or Senate, the income percentile on the left (i.e., the poorest Americans) experience the largest growth rate over all other brackets.  ALSO, when ANY Democrat majority holds sway in the House or Senate or White House, EVERYONE has at least a 0.5 positive growth rate over any Republican majority.


Food for thought as we go into the next election in less than two months.
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