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The Contrasting Fates of Dow Jones and John & Jane Doe

6:00 AM, Mar 8, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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For someone who aggressively campaigned on the notion that the Republican party cares disproportionately about the rich, President Obama’s economic scorecard is rather illuminating.  Since March 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average — which tracks the stock prices of 30 large blue-chip companies — has risen 116 percent (from 6,627 to 14,329).  That’s an increase of about 100 percent in real (inflation-adjusted) dollars.  Since that same point, however, real median American household income — the income of the typical American family — has dropped 6 percent and $3,168 (from $54,752 to $51,584, according to Census Bureau figures compiled by Sentier Research).  What’s more, the portion of Americans who are employed has dropped by 1.3 percentage points (from 59.9 percent to 58.6 percent, according to the federal government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics). 

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It turns out that — as most Americans are able to intuit — the big government-big business alliance benefits the big guy.  Indeed, it turns out that centralizing power, stacking the deck against the American people through heavy-handed regulation and cronyism, and then magnanimously redistributing some portion of the I-95 bounty (through the tax code and otherwise) isn’t actually an effective solution to income inequality.  Rather, this approach — an example of trickle-down economics if ever there was one — has managed to undermine growth and equality simultaneously.

A far better approach would be to decentralize power, stop the rampant favoritism that centralization guarantees, and promote a dynamic economy in which Americans are free to use their talents and industry and keep the fruits of their own labor — as is their unalienable right. 

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