Those Census Bureau numbers released last week show a typical U.S. family got poorer in the past ten years, in the first decade-long income decline in at least a half-century. Median household income fell 2.3% to $49,445 last year … and has dropped by 7% since 2000, after adjusting for inflation. Income was the lowest since 1996.
Looks like just about everybody lost ground last year. Income for the wealthiest Americans … the top 5% of households …was down 1.2% to $180,810. For the bottom fifth of Americans … those making $20,000 or less … income declined 4%. So the really poor got the worst of it.
The official poverty rate is $22,314 a year for a family of four.
It all goes back to a lackluster economy for the past decade … spurred on by 9/11, two wars, and mortgage and credit disasters.
I am an optimist. I see recovery possible, and hope it will come soon. But the kind of information I’ve just shared with you leads to a nearly-inevitable conclusion: America is in decline.
Our thought for today is from George Bernard Shaw:
“Modern poverty is not the poverty that was blest in the Sermon on the Mount.”