The primary measure of success in a country is its GDP per capita, or more specifically REAL GDP per capita. Many socialists like to frown upon this measure because in debasing the production of wealth they can more easily confiscate it, meanwhile fooling you into thinking "low carbon emissions" or scoring high on the "human development index" is somehow a better measure of standards of living.
It's been a while an in preparation for my week-long book tour/seminar I decided to update my charts with more recent data.
The chart shows what we already know, the US has not been advancing and has more or less been stagnant since 2006. 6 years later we're still not at our previous peak, lending credence to claims the US is suffering a "lost decade" much the same as Japan did (still is).
However, remember your lovable, charming, dashing and Cary-Grantish Captain is gifted with "Super-Awesome Economic Genius (TM)" and his little eye spied something that most people's wouldn't. So trained is my eye looking at charts for the past 20 years, I can almost visually detect integrals and derivatives in charts. This piqued my interest and so I calculated the 10 year trailing average growth rate of RGDP. In other words, what has been the long term growth rate in RGDP per capita, i.e.-our standards of living?
And BLAMO! (old batman style)
Look at that. It hasn't been as bad since the end of WWII (remember the data trails 10 years). And we don't even have the scaling down of a war to blame. Heck, we even got a Keynesian's dream come true in terms of the stimulus we just blew through, and we STILL are suffering the worst recorded collapse in standards of living (bar war time).
Well, hope and change kiddies. Hope and change.
Enjoy the decline!