Sunday, October 08, 2006

The 300 Million

Tigerhawk looks the NYT's demographic retrospective of America as it approaches the 300 million population mark. He makes two observations, one about the proportion devoted to defense; second about the proportion of wealth devoted to fuel: 

First, look at what has happened to our military since the last Democratic administation with any testicular fortitude. In 1967, at the height of the battle for Vietnam in the middle of World War III, we had 1.7% of our population under arms, or approximately 3.4 million people. Today, while waging two wars in Asia at what many of us fear is not the height of World War IV, we have less than 0.5% of our population under arms.

In fact, the average price of gasoline at the pump was only $2.31 as of October 2, the last week that government data are available. That would have shown very little difference in real terms from 1967, [an increase of] only about 15% over 40 years.


It would interesting to figure out the change in the proportion of income people spent on fuel between 1967 and the present. Real incomes have risen since 1967, so even if gasoline is 15% more expensive in real terms than in the "good old days" there are more real dollars to go around. If anybody has the time to crunch the numbers it would be useful.


Blogger John Lynch said...

According to this report (p. 11 of the PDF document) median houshold income had risen 30 percent between 1967 and 2003.

"Compared with 1967, the first year
for which household income statistics
are available, real median
household income is up 30 percent,
as shown in Figure 1."

Wikipedia article on median income.

10/08/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gudovac April 1941 said...

However, income stratification today is similar to that of 1913.

This will eventually lead to instability in our society - We need to try and insure that those who end up at the bottom at least feel they had a fair chance to be highly productive.

10/08/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

gudovac April 1941 said:We need to try and insure that those who end up at the bottom at least feel they had a fair chance to be highly productive.

Operative words here seem to be "at least feel". Any objective look at the facts seems to indicate that they do in fact have a fair chnce to be hightly proiductive or even get rich, if that is their bent. Why is incimbent on the majority including those at the bottom who already recognize the facts to make the remaing sheep aware?

I believe it is well demonstrated that nothing can make them aware except harsh reality. Look at the Clinton welfare reforms, they worked. What are you advocating further doses of reality, or money thrown down a rat-hole to educate these dunces?

10/08/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This chart shows the price of gas in actual cents and constant (inflation-adjusted) cents, and goes to August 14, 2006, right before the latest dip. You can see that the "normal" price of gas is somewhere between $1.50 and $2.00. You can also see that we are coming off a price-spike the likes of which has not been seen since the time Carter put on his sweater.

10/08/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

The average passenger car in 1970 consumed 737 Gallons of fuel/year to drive just under 10,000 miles.

In 2004 the average car consumed 557 gallons of fuel to drive just under 12,500 miles.

The cost of the fuel component of operating a car has actually decreased. 15% increase in the cost of fuel and a 25% decrease in the amount of fuel required.

10/08/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The first car I owned - a 1965 model I got in 1973 - got about 13 mpg on a good day - and had no A/C. The cost of gas then was as little as 25 cents a gallon - going up to about 50 cents a gallon after the 73 oil emnbargo - and the minium wage I got paid at that time was $1.65 an hour.

The least efficient car I drive now gets 25 MPG - and has A/C and 4 wheel drive - and has many other advantages, e.g., it actually runs if it is cold outside.

10/08/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

As a version of the joke goes, if cars had developed in the same manner and at the same speed as computers, today the best available model would cost $500, cruise at 500 MPH and get 1000 MPG while carrying a family of four in complete comfort. It would have an autopilot capable of taking you anywhere hands-off while you watched the latest TV and movies.

On the other hand … periodically the car would pull into the parking lots of businesses without your direction or consent, would stop and have to be restarted for no obvious reason, and would require weekly visits to the dealer for check-ups and modifications.

Once every couple of the years the car would blow up and kill everyone inside.

But then the next car it would be able to clone you.

10/08/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

To repeat what I have said here before, should the conversation ever get around to this aspect of the entry, the military drawdown and restructure policies were formulated and put in place under Bush 41.

10/08/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

3Case, yes Bush 41 and his administration drew up the plans for the military drawdown, BUT it was the Clinton administration that enacted them and decided that less was better. Instead of the 12 division Army proposed by Bush 41's administration, Clinton handed off a 10 division Army to Bush 43. Those two missing divisions could sure come in handy with troop rotations and other needs today, huh?

10/09/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Yep...them 2 divisions would.

If you were to dig back, you would find that my earlier post(s) on this subject usually included the followup point that Clintoons hopped on 41's concept and rode it for all it was worth. This morning I was in a hurry to get in the shower.

10/09/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gudovac April 1941 said...

rmfckdave h -

thanks for a close reading of my comment........indeed FEEL is the operative word.

It doesn't matter if the least productive actually get a fair chance, if they feel they have been shafted by a 'corrupt self-dealing oligarchy' - we are gonna have problems in the future.

There is no question that Great Society programs damaged the feeling of fair play among the least productive. I do not advocate anything like that.

However, Conservatives need to be extremely mindful of the mood of the least productive vis a vie wealth concentration in this society.

Conservatives did a first rate job communicating the message that capitalism works during the 1980's. The leftist arguments of mixed market capitalism from the bad old days has been completely destroyed by a pro-capitalist argument.

The Conservative agenda in this respect dominates.

Now we need to communicate a different message - possibly ' most rich people today started out poor just like you - they only worked harded'

10/09/2006 09:26:00 AM  

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