#ncpol #ncga: Farmer Ted’s kinda-sketchy ”income inequality” study

Lefties LOVE the concept of “income inequality.” *It’s just NOT fair that some people get more money than others.* Sixteen-Candles-Farmer-Ted-Moments-farmer-ted-2481167-1600-900 At least, that’s what Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels preached in the Bible-of-the-left “The Communist Manifesto.”  

*Keep the poor folks riled up at the more successful folks, so they aren’t paying attention to how bad the government is screwing and failing them.*

The folks who settled Jamestown and Roanoke (a/k/a The Lost Colony) tried their hand at “income equality”. So did the Pilgrims at Plymouth.  Everybody got the same treatment / result regardless of how much or how little they worked.  Roanokemarxism was a disaster.  Jamestown almost was.  As was Plymouth.

We’ve seen the concept fail in The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.  It’s been failing miserably in North Korea and Cuba.  China and Vietnam have pulled their fat out of the fire by embracing SOME aspects of capitalism.

Despite all of this miserable failure, leftists in this country are determined to inflict “income equality” on the rest of us.  The drivebys and their lefty friends on Jones Street were beside themselves with excitement over a presentation to the General Assembly this week:

State legislators saw a jarring map of North Carolina’s income inequality during an economist’s presentation Thursday.

Ted Abernathy of Economic Leadership LLC showed a map of how the average annual pay in each of the state’s 100 counties compares to the overall state average of $44,969 in 2014.

It’s a sea of red (below average counties) with a few small pockets of green (the urban areas with above-average salaries).

Only five counties had annual pay above the statewide average, meaning that Wake, Durham, Mecklenburg, Orange and Forsyth counties have substantially higher incomes than the rest of the state.

Only five counties – Iredell, Guilford, Granville, Wilson and Pitt – are within 10 percent of the $44,969 average figure. The other 90 counties in the state have an average annual pay that’s at least 10 percent lower. The vast majority of counties posted figures that are at least 25 percent lower.[…]

Of course, this particular driveby had to find supporting evidence for his thesis on that vast databank of intellectual depth and breadth known as Twitter.  I, howeverincome redistribution cartoon_thumb[1], decided to dig deeper into ol’ Ted’s findings and map.  

Let’s take Moore County, for starters.  I know the place.  I live there.  We have our pockets of lower-middle class communities, but we are also loaded with huge horse farms and multi-million dollar homes fronting world-class golf courses.  Donald Trump, Troy Aikman, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, and Oprah Winfrey are among some of the members of the moneyed class who make this place their private playground.

According to Ted and his map, Moore County’s average income is TEN to TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT below the state’s average.  (He IDs North Carolina’s average income as $44,969.)   Hmmm. I do know that all of these horse farms and golf-front palaces ain’t cheap. SOMsheldonEBODY is shelling out big bucks for them. 

According to the folks at the Census Bureau, Moore County’s mean (average) household income through 2014 was $70,008.  The median household income was $50,393.  Both of those numbers are bigger than $44,969. 

Let’s look at Dare County on The Outer Banks. According to Ted and his chart, Dare is in the same category with Moore County  — TEN to TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT of the state average of $44,969.   But, once again, our friends at the Census Bureau say something different: a mean (average) household income of $71,875. Again, numbers that are  HIGHER than the state average cited by ol’ Ted. 

In New Hanover County (Wilmington), the mean household income was $69,727.  In Watauga County (Boone & Blowing Rock), the mean household income was $53,048.

According to the Census Bureau, the average household income for North Carolina in 2014 was $64,555.  Much higher than the $44,969 touted by Farmer Ted and his driveby groupies. puben

Farmer Ted’s chart — if it is to be believed (and I don’t believe it is) — indicates only FIVE counties have average incomes higher than the state average. I just found four more that do, as well.  But Farmer ted’s chart shows them  ALL ten to twenty-five percent below the state average.

Want people to advance economically?  Get government out of the damn way!

Numbers are funny things.  Like with polls, they can be twisted and massaged to say whatever fits the agenda of the person behind them. Don’t believe the hype. 

11 thoughts on “#ncpol #ncga: Farmer Ted’s kinda-sketchy ”income inequality” study

  1. I think the Census refers to household income, while Ted’s presentation refers to individual income – that might explain some of the difference.

    1. EVEN IF that was the case, his numbers don’t match up to the Census Bureau. (And it’s interesting that he would choose much lower “individual” numbers than the more significant “household” numbers. )

      1. The numbers don’t match up to what you’re seeing from the Census Bureau data because they’re not referring to the same thing. Ted is using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS numbers are looking at the average annual pay of the JOBS in the county. The Census numbers are reporting the average annual income of the households in the county.

        So, if a person makes $100,000 as a financial analyst in Charlotte, but lives in Union County, the $100,000 household income is counted in Union County in the Census numbers, but the job that pays $100,000 is counted in Mecklenburg County in the BLS numbers.

        The BLS numbers used by Ted tend to suggest that high paying jobs are concentrated in just a few counties in North Carolina. You can access the BLS data and check things for yourself. I looked up Moore County and in 2014, the average pay for a job in Moore County was $35,959 or 20% less than the State average of $44,969.

        1. Oh, so we are dealing strictly in what gets reported on W-2s? Is that an honest measure of wealth in the state? I mean, given that so many of our wealthiest live off of things like trust funds, investment dividends, etc.? Farmer Ted appears to be trying to paint a picture of this state being a sea of lower-class people with a few islands of wealth.

          People like Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, for instance. I am sure he reports — or the team’s books do — a salary of something like $1 a year for owning the team. Same for his stake in Denny’s, I’m sure. He’s surely living off of investment dividends.

          Farmer Ted is promoting a very old Marxist theme in a manner that surely has ol’ Karl looking up from Hell right now beaming with pride.

          Going the route you’re suggesting would skew Moore County’s numbers. There are a large number of blue-collar resort employees here. (A lot of those folks commute in from surrounding counties.) Our low taxes and low social services base here also make the cost-of-living a lot lower than living in high-tax, highly-bureaucratized counties with large social services customer bases like Mecklenburg and Durham and Orange, for instance. You would have to pay more in those areas to get someone to actually commute there or live there.

          Farmer Ted’s study is ludicrous because it gives the impression that places like Moore County are as economically depressed as, say, Robeson, Richmond, Scotland or Hoke (all Democrat bastions).

          Farmer Ted is simply helping to push a political agenda. Seeing, for instance, the Queen of Solar Welfare on here so passionately defending him really gets my Spidey Sense tingling about what that agenda might be.

          1. Income sources other than wages certainly affect household income and the overall wealth of a region. But household income is entirely different from wages earned from a job. A husband and wife may have a household income of $100,000, but one may have a job earning $35,000 (22% lower than the state average) while the other has a job earning $65,000 (44.5% higher than the state average).

            The map does not purport to be a measure of wealth in the state. It’s a measure of the average annual pay for jobs in a county compared to the state average. It’s about jobs and what those jobs pay. Not wealth. Not economic depression. It was part of a presentation to the Joint Legislative Economic Development & Global Engagement Oversight Committee on changes to jobs and the labor force in North Carolina. If the General Assembly is looking to target regions of the state to assist in developing their economies, this is good information to know.

            You were trying to call out Ted on his presentation of data from the BLS, and his data appear to be correct. You specifically said that the data presented by the map “can be twisted and massaged to say whatever fits the agenda of the person behind them.” But you were the one who imposed an “agenda” on the map. The agenda you imposed on the map is wrong, and you should own up to that mistake. The data speaks for itself. You appear to simply not like what it says (or who is using it) and improperly tried to discredit the data. So, please don’t get upset and change the subject when you get shown that you’re wrong.

            The map is not part of a “Marxist scheme.” It’s presentation of data. You may not like what the data says, but the answer to that is not to call it names. Your misinterpretation of the map and the data it presents is not a reason to attack the data or the person who presented it. The answer is to change the data – in this case by adding more higher paying jobs across the state. How to do that is the big question that needs to be answered, but I think that would be an agenda we all should get behind.

          2. Nope. I am calling out Ted for twisting numbers to make a case that benefits his patrons. A household making $100,000 per year ($65,000 for one spouse, $35,000 for the other) has $100,000 worth of buying power. A household can also include a single parent with young children, or just an unmarried adult. The household income determines how well people live.

            It’s absolutely dishonest to put your name on a map like that suggesting all but FIVE counties in North Carolina are economically-depressed. The resulting media coverage from Farmer Ted’s presentation featured a lot of hysteria about ”income inequality.” Plays right into the hands of leftist groups and The Democrats.

            And what business is it of the state to facilitate some kind of income equalization plan? That’s straight out of Mr. Marx’s playbook.

            Income levels are rightfully determined by the market. If people in region A, with the appropriate skills background, will work there for X amount of dollars, that’s what the pay rate ends up being.

            Farmer Ted’s study was pure propaganda for somebody’s legislative agenda.

  2. Well it would be pretty silly if his numbers matched up with the Census Bureau considering his source was the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. See Slide 40 of the link below.

    Your post appears to be pointing out that his numbers do not match up with Census household numbers, and I am just suggesting that it might be because he says he used Bureau of Labor individual numbers.


  3. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Karl Marx (as influenced by French Socialist Utopians Louis Blanc and Etienne Morelly). Barack Hussein Obama is an eager student of this philosophy.
    “Income Inequality” has been the mantra of the American Left for some years now. This has also been the agenda of Poverty Pimps Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the Congressional Black Caucus.
    What the census bureau also failed to mention is the number of single parent families, where the female is the head of the household; because the sperm donator deserted his “baby mama” and subsequent offspring.
    Personally I believe in the words of the Apostle Paul: “If a man shall not work, than neither shall he eat.”
    Admittedly, it’s hard to find a job these days, in Hussein’s staggering economy (especially when all the illegal aliens he is allowing to come in are taking them).

  4. I live, and work, in Moore. What ever statistics Ted is using, he’s wrong. Always remember, lies, damn lies, and statistics.

  5. Maybe if everyone would quit worrying about what everyone else makes and just do their job everything would be fine.

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