More economics from the trenches
Tue, 30 Apr 2002 15:03:00 EDT

In a message dated 4/30/2002 1:48:24 PM, writes:

>Now, that isn't the increase in affluence an average PERSON has gotten.
>We aren't tracking individuals, but all of society.  So this isn't a
>measure of what an average 40 year old would receive compared to what he
>got when he was 20, it is a measure of what he gets at 40 compared to
>what other people got at 40 when he was 20.

And that, while not meaningless, is not meaningful either: The total 
compensation for the labor force is one thing, and it's a good thing it's 
rising. But so is population, and so is the labor force. Per capital 
compensation, average or median, is another important measure, andfactors out 
the population increase. And the distribution of that compensation is a 
third. All are relevant. Japan, for example, has a shrinking population that 
will sap its national strength ev en if per capital GDP and compensation 
rise. But the  last two are most relevant when it comes to measuring standard 
of living.