Chart 13 graphically depicts the growth in earnings over the past ten years. As you can see, there was an obvious lull in earnings growth between 1999 and 2002, brought about in part by both industry events and the economic impact of the 9-11 attack, but save for those three years, there has been steady and sometimes considerable growth from year to year, and over these ten years, earnings have increased by an impressive 34.5%.
The figures for the 1997-98 season were about $236,300,ooo; the figures for 2007 were $317, 824,000. Increase the first number by 34.5% and you get the second number. And everybody feels good, right? Of course, if you plug the numbers into the Inflation Calculator, a little bit different story emerges. That $236M figure from 1997 represents $294M in today's economy. Suddenly, the "impressive" 34.5% increase is a wee bit less impressive: 8.25%.
We all know a lot of organizations spin numbers to make its members feel good, but this sort of thing borders on insult. I mean, come on.