2012 U.S. Census data released last week doesn’t look good for the middle class, with median household income, income growth, and share of the total national income all continuing to decline.
Liberal think tank Center for American Progress published several charts on these despressing trends (re-posted below).
David Madland, the Director of the American Worker Project, thinks that the trends will continue, barring major policy changes in the government. “My expectation going forward is that median household income will be stagnant while the incomes for the wealthiest will increase significantly,” Madland told Business Insider.
The recent decline of middle class incomes is because almost all of the economic growth since the latest recession has been gobbled up by the super-rich. Large leaps in wealth for the top 5% have masked declines in income for the bottom 95%, giving the appearance that the economic recovery has benefitted all parties.
Even in good economic times (such as 2001-2007), median household income stayed flat. These trends, says Madland, are 30 years in the making — the result of “trickle down” economic policy and the loss of workers’ economic power to get higher wages.
“The gist is that we need a big change in the direction of where we are going,” says Madland.
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