Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More from Lane Kenworthy: It is Worse than you thought

The previous post showed that the median income in the United States grew more slowly than the average income during the Reagan administration and the two Bush administrations, breaking the trend of equal rates of growth from 1950 to 1980.

The graph above shows that the median income for households headed by someone age 25 to 34 was essentially the same in 2010 as was the median income for households of the same age in 1980.

The apparent increase in median family income was due to the aging of the population. Basically, the income of people in their 50s is higher than for people in their 30s for reasons we all understand -- seniority, income from savings, experience, etc.

Source: Zillow Blog

There is a long term trend towards smaller households, so that even when the median household doesn't grow, the median per capita income may be growing.

Source: Census bureau via this site

Moreover, single parent households are increasing and households with married couples decreasing as percentage of all households with children. Single adult households, in a society which has so many two earner married couples, are likely to have lower household incomes.

Thus one might with a jaundiced eye suggest that the rich are appropriating a larger portion of our economic growth at the expense of a subset of our children.

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