This article starts off:
That’s the message from the Census Bureau’s latest report on “Income and Poverty in the United States.” The news is mostly good. The income of the median household (the one exactly in the middle) rose to a record $59,039; the two-year increase was a strong 8.5 percent. Meanwhile, 2.5 million fewer Americans were living beneath the government’s poverty line ($24,563 for a family of four). The poverty rate fell from 13.5 percent of the population in 2015 to 12.7 percent in 2016.
But later continues:
As astounding as it seems, men’s median earnings haven’t really increased since the mid-1970s. Here are the figures. In 2016, the median was $51,640 for year-round, full-time workers. In 1975, the comparable figure was $51,766. (Note: All dollar amounts are adjusted for inflation and expressed in 2016 money. Again, the median wage is the one exactly in the middle of the distribution — half are above, half below.)
Mostly good? Well, if by “mostly good” you mean totally sucks.
If you take $100,000 as a crude threshold of being upper middle class, then the share of households above the threshold was about a quarter (27.7 percent to be exact) in 2016, up from about a fifth (19.4 percent) in 1990.
But if you adjust $100,000 in 1990 money to 2017 you get:
At $188,000 only 8.32% of households (assuming an even distribution in the $150,000 to $199,999 bracket, which I think is being overly generous) then qualify as upper middle class instead of 27.7% as referenced above. I wonder why they didn’t say that. Am I doing something wrong with the numbers here?
I am trying to teach my boys about what’s real (that’s a pine tree, the wood is fairly soft, but can still be turned into decent lumber) and what is fake (90% of news has an agenda behind it which is not about keeping you informed on what’s really going on), without getting them depressed about the world in general.