YOU AIN’T NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD

As an official non-mayor of Carmel, you will be bombarded in coming weeks with messages from incumbent office-holders seeking re-election.

This is to be expected. And, also to be expected, is the cliché of the incumbent:

“You ain’t never had it so good.”

Well, let’s see.

The last time the U.S. Census Bureau performed an American Community Survey for Carmel was the 2005-2009 survey. At that time, it listed the median household income as $96,692.

The current Carmel Snapshot by the Bureau lists that income as $109,201. That’s $12,509 better, right?

Wrong. The Bureau doesn’t apply inflation adjustments to its numbers. However, I do.

That $96,692 income – in constant dollars – would be $124,332 in today’s dollars.

That puts us $15,131 less well-off – 12.2 percent.

Decline is easily seen. Men wear gym shoes to work and cannot afford neckties. Women wear sweaters and blouses with holes in the sleeves and back. Children are forced to go to school in gym clothes – “logo-wear” it’s called.

Seriously, when politicians come knocking at your door, ask them about the decline – not unique to Carmel, to be sure – and how borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars to build luxuries is helping you.