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My father often told me that in the 1950's , the distribution of wealth in the United States took the form of a bell curve with the greatest amount of wealth distributed amoungst the greatest number of people.
I grew up with the bell curve image embedded into my mind . It is the image of an algorithm, a form of economic visualization which seems to have all but disappeared from the methods of reporting income distribution- replaced by graphs showing two lines- one for the top and the other for the bottom. The median household income displays statistics in two separate parts- Those making above the median and those making below the median and does not address the distribution of wealth within the two halves.The mean gives us the averaged income of a specific group- but none of that tells us how the wealth is distributed- is there a gradual curve of distribution? a series of steps? or a huge gulf between levels ?
And then there is the GINI- measuring "income equality" which is a communist value of measurement -versus- measuring the size and growth or decline of the middle class indicating the health of a free enterprise system, with the middle class representing the back bone of a free enterprise system.
Where, in the age of advanced data management, is the app that allows one to see how the bell curve of the fifties has morphed into the sharp pointed curve of today?
Why not a user interactive wavefunction that morphs its form over time? Is that so hard to do in 2014? Where is the data-based visualization?-
Meanwhile government economic policies produce artificially created "opportunity zones" to the benefit of special interests- when the real "opportunity zone" is simply put a robust middle class in which the bell curve takes a gradual slope from the bottom to the top- such a slope assures that all who have the will to rise also have access to opportunities to rise, not by a collective plan created by overlords of the state economy which serve as instrumentalities of the state's designs, but as individually suited opportunities created by a free enterprise system with multifarious points of power, which offer genuine choice.
When it comes to accounting for the viability of such artificial opportunity zones, the CEO"s of Maine's economic development corporations cry poverty . A report is too expensive to do - so just keep on giving us more taxpayer money to redistribute and trust us on this!
"Section D of the Seed Capital Tax Credit changes the aggregate limit for a private venture capital fund from $500,000 to $4,000,000 and strikes out the individual limit within the aggregate for entities treated as a flow-through entity for tax purposes."
"OPEGA said the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), which administers PTDZ, should make an annual report to the legislature that assesses the program against criteria in the state law called, “Evaluation of Economic Development Programs.”
The Center asked DECD for those reports. A report was only done once, in 2008, because money was never appropriated to do it again, according to the current DECD commissioner, George Gervais, who took over less than a year ago.That report -- the Maine Comprehensive Economic Development Evaluation (MCEDE) -- cost the state $150,000". quoted from Pine Tree Watchdog article February 23, 2012Measuring the "public benefit" of economic policies is simple- it's in the data on the size and growth or decline of the middle class. The data has to exist.
Research indicates that the divide between the top and the bottom in the USA began to increase in the late 1970's. Co-incidentally that is the same era when the Maine legislature created a new "essential government function" - that of centrally managing Maine's economy- an authority assigned unto themselves, of course!
From The charter for the Maine development Foundation Corporation
The Maine Development Foundation is hereby established to foster, support and assist economic growth and revitalization in Maine. The foundation shall carry out its purposes in complement to and in coordination with the economic development activities of the private sector, community and regional agencies and State Government. [1977, c. 548, §1 (NEW).]The foundation shall exist as a not-for-profit corporation with a public purpose, and the exercise by the foundation of the powers conferred by this chapter shall be deemed and held to be an essential governmental function. [1977, c. 548, §1 (NEW).]SECTION HISTORY
1977, c. 548, §1 (NEW).
In Maine legislation , "the targeted sector' is defined as those employees offering jobs that provide "above average income" (top half of the median household income). One can still find programs for other sectors of the economy, but those programs are dwarfed by Maine's central management's fixation on the upper crust of the economy. The justification is that redistributing public wealth to specially selected new owners of the means of production- be that in the form of capital or physical ownership of the means of production is for the "public benefit" - but when it comes to accounting for evidence of said benefit the designers of Maine's economy cry poverty! Its just too expensive to do a report ! That excuse alone could be taken as circumstantial evidence that the policies of Maine's economic management are not working- but there is an even simpler way to test the waters of truth- it's simple - show data that demonstrates a growth in the size and economic well being of Maine's middle class
Maine State Inc is that name which I have given to the vast network of corporations chartered by our legislature to serve as "instrumentalities of the state"- but which goes by no identity-other than "the state"- which is no longer functioning as a traditional and constitutionally governed state serving the general public good, but as a corporation serving the interests of its own targeted sector.( the upper part of the two part economic picture described by the "Median Household Income").
What is the difference between a median and a mean? Median income is the amount which divides the income distribution into two equal groups, half having income above that amount, and half having income below that amount. Mean income (average) is the amount obtained by dividing the total aggregate income of a group by the number of units in that group. The means and medians for households and families are based on all households and families. Means and medians for people are based on people 15 years old and over with income. What is the income of the "middle class"
CONSPIRACY THEORY : I submit that the two tier division of the economy fits in with the global capitalism political ideology which uses both the collectivism of Marxist political thought and the individualism of the free enterprise system as instrumentalities of its own end- profit and power! This system socializes risk and privatizes gain and thus the bottom half of the median household income comes to be governed by a socialist system, while the top half of the median household income is governed by the rules of private capitalism.The Census Bureau does not have an official definition of the "middle class," but it does derive several measures related to the distribution of income and income inequality. Traditionally, the Census Bureau uses two of the more common measures of income inequality: the shares of aggregate income received by households (or other income recipient units such as families) and the Gini index (or index of income concentration). In the shares approach, we rank households from lowest to highest on the basis of income and then divide them into equal population groups, typically quintiles. We then divide the aggregate income of each group by the overall aggregate income to derive shares. The Gini index incorporates more detailed shares data into a single statistic which summarizes the dispersion of the income shares across the whole income distribution. The Gini index ranges from zero, indicating perfect equality (where everyone receives an equal share), to one, perfect inequality (where all the income is received by only one recipient).http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/inequality/middleclass.html