To the Editor:

David Katz has trouble with real numbers like I shared on Sept. 24. Since he skipped my second sentence citing the Census Bureau as my source, here’s the URL: www.census.gov/library/publications/2020/demo/p60-270.html.

These independent, nonpartisan data show household income rose 50 percent more during the first three years of the current administration than during a full eight years of the previous one. Household income for African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and the foreign born all rose more than in any other three-year period and rose more than incomes for whites or native born. The percent of the population in poverty dropped to its lowest level ever. Income inequality fell 1 percent.

Katz’s complaints are uninformed. There are no mysterious “statistical effects of the two recent recessions” on household incomes. His revelation that “the poverty level was raised by 6 percent during the three years” gets the arithmetic backwards. Without that inflation adjustment to the income level that defines poverty, the number of people classified as poor would be lower, not higher.

Even more distressing is Katz’s dystopic wish for humanity. He bemoans “Growth at the expense of community and security.” But that’s backwards. Without growth in income and individual liberty, there is no community and no security. Just ask people in Cuba, Venezuela, or China. Or look at history. For 1,000 years from the fall of Rome until the Enlightenment, household income was unchanged. Because everybody’s economic production was owned by princes and brigands, there was no growth, only universal misery.

For Katz, higher living standards and millions escaping poverty seem less important than “decimated” government regulations. As children of the Enlightenment, we strive to make life better for ourselves, our progeny, and our neighbors. Now statists want to deny the benefits of human striving and reimpose regulatory Dark Ages.

John Early

Fieldcrest Drive, Oct. 2