Middle Class income grew "only" 40% in 30 years!

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    According to the CPI calculator I used, today’s dollar is worth less than 30% of what it was in 1978, my first year in the tax-paying work-force, so even IF we in the lower income levels are making 40% more than we were 30+ years ago, we are falling way behind.

    When WILL the trickle-down begin? How much of our Nation’s collective wealth DO we need to give to the top 400 families before, through their benevolence, they start trickling on us?

    Tell you what Smitty, send me your paychecks and I’ll supply-side some of my new-found wealth down upon you.



    It’s not a zero sum game. There is no income pie that gets divided. Your neighbor gets a bigger raise than you, SO WHAT, you got a raise! Selfish people who rail against selfishness make me laugh.



    Smitty, I’m more concerned about the viability of my Nation and her people. I’ll get by; I know how to survive in the wilderness under harsh conditions. I just don’t want to see our Nation, one which created the conditions for the very wealthy to get very wealthy, to continue to fall into the 2nd (3rd?) world. The reason we went along with Republican championed supply-side economics for so long was the promise of a rising tide. Many people warned that it was a ruse to siphon our Nation’s collective wealth into the pockets of a rich and powerful few, but with the promise of tax breaks, which in reality went only to those at the very top, enough of the majority went along with it, many believing the the lie that they too, would/could one day be standing on top of the heap.

    In the end, we sell off our commons, fight endless wars against invisible enemies, stop providing for one another, stop building our Nation, and the broad base fights amongst themselves over the remainders, angry at the pennies their neighbors cost them while ignoring the much larger costs being visited upon them by their overlords.

    Do you really want an American society that looks like the one they have in Mexico? A tiny oligarchy, a tiny middle-class to provide support to the oligarchy, and a vast and rude underclass, doing whatever they can to survive? I don’t, I would hope you value your fellow Americans enough that you also don’t want that, but we have thirty+ years of proof supply-side doesn’t work (as advertised), it is what a continuation of Republican economic policies will deliver, and they have given no indication that they are changing those philosophies.




    i don’t mind if the rich get richer

    what i mind is subsidizing their taxes so they can suck the wealth out of my retirement income…



    Dawsonct, it sounds like you’d prefer a flat tax, and close all loopholes. It cuts out the need for lobbyists. Those who make more pay more. Everybody pays something, even the 47% of Americans who pay zero federal income tax might end up paying a few dollars and realize that the problem is government waste.

    Wait, that was wayyy too complicated! Let’s get back to JoB’s class warfare rant and blame our fiscal problems on “millionaires and billionaires” because they are eeeeevil!



    well, boys and girls, looks like we gots ourselves a new conservative player. Same Faux Noise claptrap, tho, so I guess the tennis game remains the same.


    HMC Rich

    Good, we should have some good volley’s.


    HMC Rich


    rich: did it now? why? because terrence jeffreys said so?

    i like how every assertion in his “article” is based on the little housing bubble spike in middle-class incomes in 2007, while the CBO report runs to 2010.

    the fact is that the middle class is earning exactly what it did in 1996 in constant, inflation-adjusted dollars. meanwhile, in constant, inflation-adjusted dollars, goods are more expensive.

    and the income number is trending downward.

    now, let’s see… who was in office in 2007, when the economy crashed for most americans?

    and it’s hard to take this guy seriously after reading this:

    …Americans saw their’s massively increase, …

    anyway, i’ll make this reeeeal simple. taking the CNN link/CBO graph’s starting number in 1980, the average middle class income was $45,000.

    by the time reagan left office, they had risen to $49,000, but were beginning a downward trend.

    by 2000, after the tech bubble, the number was $53,000.

    today, the number is $49,445.

    from 1980 to 2000, middle class income rose from $45,000 to $53,000. that’s an increase of 20%.

    since 2000, middle class income has fallen from $53,000 to $49,445.

    that is a decline of almost 10%.

    since 1980, middle class incomes have risen from $45,000 to $49,445, in real, inflation-adjusted dollars.

    that is an increase of less than 10%.

    from my link in my above post, CNN says:

    While the earnings of middle-income Americans have barely budged since the mid 1970s, the new data showed that from 2000 to 2010, they actually regressed.

    CNN is right. terrence jeffreys is wrong.

    if you run CBO’s graph back to 1970, you’ll see that wages had declined until 1980. in real, inflation-adjusted dollars, middle class income has been flat since about 1970, with peaks and valleys along the way.

    trickle-down didn’t work.




    framing what i said as a class warfare rant might make you feel better about the hand dipping into your retirement income…

    but it doesn’t change the facts.

    One of our retirement income funds lost about 30 grand this year. That 30 grand didn’t disappear. It became profit for someone else.

    That is a transfer of funds…

    or someone else’s hand in our retirement funds.

    you could say that they play the same market our retirement funds do…

    but that’s not true.

    They play the market with funds they control themselves.

    We play the market with funds that are controlled by someone else…

    We never have the opportunity to take advantage of sudden changes in the market driven by the players who create those sudden whims in the market.. but our slow moving retirement funds sure take a hit every time they profit.

    and if that wasn’t enough..

    the agent controlling our captive funds makes the majority of their living servicing the guys who are making money playing the market.

    then there is that pesky little stagnant income thing unless you happen to be one of the top 5%.

    oh.. and the poor do pay taxes…

    they pay their own

    and then they pay those passed along to them by their landlords…

    wanting to squeeze the working poor who can’t feed their families without relying on food stamps and local food banks in the name of justice isn’t class warfare?

    try living it

    and i think you would quickly reevaluate your terms.

    speaking up about injustice only became class warfare

    when the right wing pundits pulled the “poor me” card.

    poor them

    i’d cry me a river

    but i am too busy helping the casualties of the economy they created and profit from.



    No, I’m far from the top 5%, but I don’t demonize them either. Good for them. Many of them made smart choices, took risks, and are providing goods or services that benefit the rest of us.

    As for Wall Street, I have no ties to them either. They do nothing but move money around, and keep some for themselves with each transaction. Just like the government. Or ambulance chasing lawyers. They are all the same to me; they provide absolutely nothing and get rich off while providing absolutely nothing in return.



    JoB, let’s not confuse the people who are truly poor, and those with poor values. The truly poor need help and we should continue to do everything possible to help them get back on their feet

    But there is a huge problem of people with poor values. You should stop by the “poor” neighborhoods and count how many satellite receivers you see, all of which are connected to flat screen TVs.

    Or go to the E.R. and see how many people are abusing the healthcare system, while talking on their cell phones. So they can pay hundreds a month for a cell phone and premium TV, but can’t pay $25 a month for health insurance? Those are examples of poor values. And throwing more money at the problem won’t fix it.



    pray tell..where can you get health insurance for 25 bucks a month?



    JV, do you know the definition of the word ‘apocryphal’?

    $25/month for medical insurance!? Really? Example please.

    BTW, MOST people in the top 1% “EARNED” their money the old-fashioned way, they inherited it.




    dawsonct says..

    “BTW, MOST people in the top 1% “EARNED” their money the old-fashioned way, they inherited it.”

    and they grew it in the stock market…

    as for those cell phones you see in the ER…

    a good many of them are handed out to the indigent and homeless with a limited number of minutes for free…

    and those satellite dishes…

    you may not have noticed but free television is rapidly becoming a thing of the past…

    hubby recently spent big bucks on equipment so his mother could keep hers

    satellite would have been cheaper

    it does come in small packages as well as larger..

    but it was the principle of the thing for her.

    drive by observation often leads one to erroneous conclusions

    satellite packages come in small sizes as well as big



    So you are saying that low income people have those things because they get them for free. Sure. You make a lot of assumptions after just getting on someone elses case for doing the same.

    What about all those people on food stamps who were turning them in for cash? The perfect example of people screwing the system. To me they are no different than the Madoffs of the world. Leaching off others.



    1.) I admit, I was thinking of a $25 co-pay, not insurance, and got my typing mixed up. But those in the ER freeloading off the system don’t even pay the $25 co-pay…they pay zero!

    2.) Apocryphal – I didn’t know, so I googled it.

    3.) Are they handing out iphones at these shelters? Great point JoB, I’m sure that’s what it is…you got me! (See point #2)

    4.) We do need to help people who can’t help themselves, that goes without saying. However, nobody addressed my point that cell phones, satellites, tvs, tattoos, cigarettes…these are items purchased with the money that the “poor” people have left over after your tax money covers all of their other expenses. I don’t think you are betraying your liberal ideals to agree that there is massive fraud/abuse/waste in our social programs. It just requires some intillectual honesty. Anybody? Anybody?







    Welll Job… please do tell what “type” of retirement account did you have? I want to avoid the type where you actually “lost” money, that was taken and by someone else. Now, if you are referring to some speculative instrument, like a 401K mutual fund… you know that never happened. Buying and holding stuff hoping it goes up in value .. that’s not lost income, or lost anything. It’s a speculation that didn’t materialize. No if someone actually got into your savings account or private bank box and took a bearer bond, Treasury, or something of the like, that is stealing. 401K’s were designed to give the illusion of wealth, until ya sell em.. they aren’t squat.



    Bostonman…I agree with you somewhat regarding those selling their food stamp cards for cash. But..that’s a handful of people compared to how many get them, and we must remember to not paint everyone with the same brush. In almost any system, there are people who will take advantage. That doesn’t mean that they are all bad because they are in the system.

    JV? Intellectual honesty goes for everyone. There are those in that top 1% who are just, if not more so, intellectually dishonest..like when they preach about trickling it down to the rest of society? Dishonest is a kind word for that. So, again…let’s not paint all with the same brush.Being “poor” does not make one a special part of society where you are restricted to do, or not do, certain things. Oh? You’re poor? No TV and cigs for you ! Oh? You’re poor? Oh, I’m so sorry…no phone calls for you..see how silly it sounds? Maybe we should just give them a giant black “P” to wear, so we’ll know when they’re doing something we don’t approve of.

    And, just an aside? How do you know that they’re not paying the $25 copay (if that’s really not just a made up number)…do you have special access to their files?




    Ya but its primarily due to healthcare and housing. If you are in a mortgage or lease they should have stayed the same. Healthcare…well it is what it is. You can elect to not pick it. I know we dropped my employer health insurance for my wife and kids because it was costing me $1400 a month out of pocket. We were able to pick up an independent policy much cheaper since we are all in great health.



    I don’t want to paint them all bad but I just want to point out that labeling the group as a whole is wrong. My boss (CEO) who is also a die hard democrat gave $24M to charity last year. I know because I review his taxes. He has already said if they raise his taxes 10% he will just chop it off charitable donations.

    All of this is to keep income after taxes at a consistent amount. Does he really need $25M or so a year in after tax income to survive? I would hope not but who knows. Perfect example of how changing the rules for all people in a group could have drastic effects that are unforseen. Trickle down as you call it isn’t just about giving back in cash to the middle class. It is also returned in charitable donations.



    JanS, thank you for proving my point about intillectual honesty. You are so tied to your liberal dogma that you can’t even bring yourself to say, “yes, there is waste/fraud/abuse in the system” without making it into an Evil Top 1% Class Warfare argument.

    And I don’t want to brand people, or remove anything from anybody. But if they can’t afford the basic needs, how can they afford luxuries? Again, poor values.

    Bostonian, I’m assuming your boss earned his money legally, so good for him! I think that he can spend $24M far better than the government can. Being a Democrat, his judgement may be a little suspect ;), but what he does with his money is not my business.



    I want the economy to work well for all. Charitable donations are exemplary..but do we want a society based on “benevolence”? We are told time and time again that if we just allow the tax cuts for the wealthy, or een give them more, that it will benefit us all..and that, my friend, is a load of crap. That’s what I’m referring to. I get perplexed at those who think “trickle down” simply means I want you to give some of your money to me. I don’t want a handout. But I do want fairness in what we give back…and that mostly is in the form of taxes. I give charitably, too, when I can, and I can verify that one does not NEED anywhere near 25M a year to survive.

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