The Ramblings of the Millahtime Man

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

What really does your average joe earn in the US?

I keep hearing politicians talking about taxes and tax cuts to the different income brackets. The one thing I never hear is what defines someone as upper, middle and lower income brackets. As a matter of opinion I was curious because this could sway my vote for the next president. I wanted to know who was looking out for me and my money.

So, I did some research on the numbers.....

The published number by the US Census Bureau for the median household income for 2002 (the most recent published year) was $42,409. The mean (average) income for 2002 was $57,852.

We have to look at both of these numbers to see what this really means. Let's start with a couple definitions from the Census Bureau.

Mean (Average) income.
Mean (average) income is the amount obtained by dividing the total aggregate income of a group by the number of units in that group. The means for households, families, and unrelated individuals are based on all households, families, and unrelated individuals, respectively. The means (averages) for people are based on people 15 years old and over with income.

Median income.
Median income is the amount which divides the income distribution into two equal groups, half having incomes above the median, half having incomes below the median. The medians for households, families, and unrelated individuals are based on all households, families, and unrelated individuals, respectively. The medians for people are based on people 15 years old and over with income.

The mean (average) income can be misleading. We take all the income for everyone in the US and divide it by the total number of people. This includes the incomes of people like Bill Gate, Donald Trump and others that skew the mean income.

The number to really look at is the median income. That is what the guy smack dab in the middle would make. So, your average joe 6 pack would make about $42,000 US dollars per year.

If you are interested in looking at the numbers yourself you can check them out yourself at the US Census Bureau here.

Lets look at the tax brackets. There are several brackets depending on what you earn. I could not find them for 2002 but the 2003 brackets (coutrsey of Fairmark Press) are....

$0 to $7,000 is 10%
$7,000 to 28,400 is 15%
$28,400 to 68,800 is 25%
$68,800 to 143,500 is 28%
$143,500 to 311,950 is 33%
$311,950 and up is 35%

Now this is where opinion comes into play on the upper, middle and lower income brackets. They say lower but what bracket do they mean? There are more than 3 of them. The mean and median incomes both fall in the 25% tax bracket. So, I would assume this to be "middle class" and at least the middle tax bracket. So, would that make the 10% and 15% brackets to be the lower income bracket. That is $28,400 per year and under. So, when they talk about the lower tax bracket I would assume this is what they mean. I would also take from this that the "upper middle class" is the 28% bracket and the 33% and 35% bracket are the "upper class" or upper bracket.

Now I know where I fit and how these tax incentives, cuts, and hikes apply to me. Hope you do too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

What to do when your home sick?

I am stuck home sick today. I don't feel so hot. Now, I am bored and wondering what to do. The few things running though my head are watch tv or read a book. Anyone out there have any better ideas?

Detroit as a Sports Town

I would have to say that Detroit is one of the best sports towns out there. We have all the major US sports. The Red Wings (hockey), Lions (football), Pistons (NBA basketball), Tigers (baseball), Shock (WNBA) basketball, Michigan State University and University of Micigan.

Between these teams the only one to not be constantly sold out is the Tigers. To get tickets to just about any other game is difficult and can cost you and arm and a leg.

Lets talk sucess in the past 10 years.
- The Red Wings have 3 Stanley Cups and 2 Presidents Trophies.
- Pistons have set several NBA records this season and one again have made it to the conference finals.
- Shock are the WNBA Champions. They have the coach of the year to boot.
- MSU mens basketball was and NCAA Champion and has won many conference chamionships.
- U of M was a football NCAA Champion and is amazing at many of it's sports.

Detroit is known for being overweight these days being the reigning nations champion there. It is cold half the year and I mean cold. So, we spend hours and hours watching sports and checking espn.com for the up to date scores and stats. If only the boss new.

As far as the fans go the Lions fans are the perfect example of that. They have been below .500 every year for the past several years. Yet, every game is sold out. And the fans are out there with faces painted rooting the team on to the bitter end. Every year after the draft and trades there is hope for the Lions in the eyes of the city. But, this year it isn't just hope; it's reality ;-)

Detroit is really a sports town. One of the best sports towns. We have all the drama of a soap (just looka the cujo and hasek goalie delima that drove us nuts for the year), the glory of a championship (the wings for example), and the hope behind a rebuilding (Lions and Tigers). We have all the parts for all the kinds of fans.

Go Pistons!!!!!!!!!!! Crush those Pacers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Going to Church Without Ever Leaving Your Computer

I grew up going to church. It was soooo boring. The way church was for me growing up was my parents style. The music was lame, the limited use of technology, the message coming across.

Times are changing though. Many in the church are waking up and seeing that times have changed. In part because there has been such a big drop off in attendance from those in the 20's and under. Churches are staring to make major changes in the way they do things.

One of the new things to the net is church on the net. It is a virtual church. They have preachers, references, you can interact with other church goers and more. This church is over in England where there is a lot happening in post modern ministry.

The site is run by Ship of Fools. You can link to it right from their homepage.

There have been problems with the online church. It seems that there have been a lot of americans that have been causing trouble in there. Some of the features had to be restricted because of it. It's a really cool place to go and 6pm EST Sunday night there are online services.

Now, if I want to go to church it's just a mouse click away.