This article – with sources a-plenty, makes a good case that when you’re talking about how people have done compared to economic growth in the US that it’s not just “top 1%” vs “everyone else”.
It’s far, far worse.
The author, David Leonhardt, outlines three groups. There’s the top 1% – and particularly the uber-rich. Then there’s the bottom 90% of households, who, despite the economy growing, have been doing significantly worse since 1980 (even when you add in things like government assistance). And then there’s the 90th to 99th percentile, whose growth has been roughly keeping track with the growth of the economy over the last (nearly) forty years.
Still not too different than the typical narratives peddled by either side.
Here’s where it gets worse: That “middle group” doesn’t start until $125,000 a year after taxes.
Let’s hit that again:
If your household income – AFTER TAXES – is not above $125,000 a year, YOU ARE NOT IN THE MIDDLE GROUP. So I feel pretty confident saying this is true for almost everyone reading this:
Your income’s growth is less than the growth of the US economy since 1980.
Look at this map from the US Census.[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]
That means that pretty much everywhere in the US, you have to take any two average households and put all their income together (and these days, that’s four working adults) to even come CLOSE to matching the growth of the US economy
Now look at that graph again.
Keep that in mind when you see that “big” raise – if you even get one.