Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Most Americans working harder, but not getting paid for it

The chart above from House of Debt shows how productivity gains were shared by everyone in the United States from 1947 to 1980. As productivity doubled, median family income doubled during that period.

Since then, productivity has doubled again. Median family income has not. The gains from increased productivity went to investors and high-paid workers.

Here's how real people experience falling equality:
I grew up in a lower middle class household. Not poor but just lower middle class. Over the years however things have deteriorated. Today my parents are barely at poverty level with social security income and live in a trailer. My sister is unemployed and her husband is on workers comp and they squat in a foreclosure. my brother is on SSDI. My other brother is an unemployed electrician.  
Me? I’m part of the professional class. I don’t make ‘a lot’ of income but I made more money last month than my brother receives from SSDI all year for his family of four! I have no doubts the income distribution is trending towards the top, with the top 1% taking the lions share. I’m just picking up the 1%’s crumbs but at the end of the year my household income is still more than the combined total of my entire former nuclear family. 
It’s totally screwed up. The middle class is disappearing as the lower and upper class expands. I jumped classes while everyone ... in my family fell down a few notches. Welcome to America!
It's hard to see how this trend won't continue...