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May 18, 2005

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One of the New York Times articles I dealt with misused IRS data to claim that real incomes (not just wages) had fallen for 90 perent of households(actually, taxpaying units) between 1980 and 2002. The quote above said wages of "most workers" fell almost continuously for three decades. Neither median household income(census.gov) nor real compensation per hour (bls.gov)confirms such transparent nonsense. The wage series the New York Times probably used is being discontinued by the BLS because it's absurd.

The EPI figures purport to measure hourly wages("based on authors' analysis"), which excludes benefits and probably salaries. Yet even those dubious figures do not show any decline from 1980-2002 or 1973-2003 for any of the deciles, much less for nine out of ten.

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