The Corner


California Claims

Here is a paragraph that does not make sense to me. As always, check my English-major math. Thomas Edsall writes:

Let’s look at the plus side first. Take per capita personal income, which grew nationally from $4,218 in 1970 to $51,631 in 2017, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve. In California, over that same period, income grew significantly more, from $4,966 to $58,272, in real dollars, unadjusted for inflation.

I think he means “nominal” dollars there, which are unadjusted for inflation. But if these figures are correct, then in 1970, California’s per capita personal income was 17.7 percent higher than the national average; today, it is only 12.9 percent higher than the national average. That would mean California’s per capita personal income grew more slowly relative to the country overall.

Which is to say, these figures show the opposite of what he says they do.

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