That 5.2% Jump in Household Income? Nope, People Aren’t Suddenly Getting Big-Fat Paychecks

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The median income for men is below 1974 levels.

We’ll be hearing and reading about this for a long time, in all kinds of iterations: “Americans last year reaped the largest economic gains in nearly a generation,” the New York Times gushed. “Household incomes surged 5.2% in 2015, first gain since 2007,” the Wall Street Journal raved. Everyone was happy. Poverty rates dropped 1.2 percentage points. Finally, some good data in that beleaguered sector! The middle class and those below had been getting hammered for too long.

The impetus of these happy moments in the US economy is the Census Bureau’s Income and Poverty survey for 2015. It reported that median household income – 50% of households earn more, 50% earn less – rose 5.2% to $56,516, adjusted for inflation via the Consumer Price Index.

Median household income had been declining in fits and starts since the peak in 1999. But even after this phenomenal rise in 2015, it was still 1.6% lower than in 2007 and 2.4% lower than in 1999.

Nevertheless, it was welcome news, after years of dreary data points on this topic – though it left me scratching my head. Something didn’t quite add up, given other data we have on wage increases, which have remained a dreary topic. Then I checked with Lee Adler at The Wall Street Examiner, and he sent me back to the drawing board.

The 70-page report was based on survey data on a sample of 95,000 addresses across the US. The sample is very large for a survey, which makes the results more reliable and allows plenty of room to drill down into the details, and split the numbers by age, race, gender, and so on, and still have a sufficiently large sample size in each group.

To show some aspects of the range of the data: The median income of “family households” was $72,165. Within that group, “married couple households” made $84,626. “Non-family households” – a single person, for example – made only $33,805.

And then there were the crucial data points that explained the bout of head-scratching earlier. People are not suddenly getting big-fat paychecks:

  • “Men with earnings” saw their income rise only 1.5%
  • “Women with earnings” saw their income rise 2.7%.

Women have come a long way since the 1980s, in terms of median income, though not nearly far enough. Adjusted for inflation, it went from $30,000 in 1980 to $40,742 in 2015. And I hope women will make more progress going forward.

But men? Good grief! Their earnings in 2015, at $51,212, were 4% lower on an inflation adjusted basis than they’d been in 1973! 

Check it out. The chart is interactive. Hover over the lines to get the data points for each year:

If soothsayers want to know why men are frustrated, and more than frustrated, they can just look at the chart above: no improvement in real wages since 1973! For the median middle-class man in the workforce today, that boils down to no improvement in his entire working life!

So with men’s median income inching up only 1.5% and women’s income 2.7% in 2015, how could household income have jumped 5.2%? Something else must have been at play. Here are some thoughts.

1. Quirks in the data either for 2014 and/or 2015. Quirks in statistical data aren’t that unheard of, even in large surveys.

2. The number of men working full-time rose by 1.4 million in 2015, according to the report. The number of women rose by 1 million. Hence, with more people finding full-time work, some part-time workers became full-time workers, and that benefits median household incomes.

3. Then there are the millennials. They’re now entering the workforce in large numbers. Some of the live-at-home millennials have found a job finally, or a better job, and that benefits household incomes. Other millennials, upon graduating from college with a good job, moved back in with mom and dad because housing is too expensive. And that would benefit household incomes.

4. “Household income” isn’t just what the amount that income earners in that household bring home from their jobs. The survey also asks questions about the amount of “money income” each person 15 years and older in the household has received from these 18 sources, which include income from government benefits from investments:

  1. Earnings
  2. Unemployment compensation
  3. Workers’ compensation
  4. Social security
  5. Supplemental security income
  6. Public assistance
  7. Veterans’ payments
  8. Survivor benefits
  9. Disability benefits
  10. Pension or retirement income
  11. Interest
  12. Dividends
  13. Rents, royalties, and estates and trusts
  14. Educational assistance
  15. Alimony
  16. Child support
  17. Financial assistance from outside of the household
  18. Other income

The Census report sheds no light on how much of role each of these 18 sources of income played in the household total, and how much other factors were involved. We know that dividend payments have surged, and so has dividend income. Rents have surged too, and so has rental income. “Educational assistance” might include student loans, which have soared also. The possibilities are endless.

All we know is that the median income from wages has ticked up at a frustratingly slow rate: 1.5% for men and 2.7% for women. And that is no reason to celebrate.

And now CEOs have the “unfortunate new normal.” Read…  The Chilling Thing CEOs of Corporate America Said about Jobs

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  68 comments for “That 5.2% Jump in Household Income? Nope, People Aren’t Suddenly Getting Big-Fat Paychecks

  1. Merlin
    September 14, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Wolf: the only household expense that has gone down in last 2 years is fuel cost, so could that be the quirk in the data? Spending less on fuel when all other outlays are static would result in an increase in income.

    • September 14, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      Expenses of any kind, including gas, don’t figure into “household income,” which is just based on money that comes into the household.

      But expenses would figure into consumer spending, household savings, measures of wealth, and the like.

      • Tim
        September 15, 2016 at 1:33 am

        I think you’re on to something regarding the contribution of millenials living at home while working. That would provide a big boost to household income in an era of stagnant or falling indivual incomes.

        • Petunia
          September 15, 2016 at 8:44 am

          The govt counts educational grants as income. A few years ago we hit bottom and had to apply for food stamps. We were given $79 in food stamps but our son was not eligible because he received a Pell Grant, given only to the poorest students. The Pell Grant made him too rich to eat.

          BTW, that $79 was everything we got. Entitlements indeed!

        • Richard Fermi
          September 20, 2016 at 11:21 am

          Perhaps the composition of the household is changing so that the income contribution owing to millennials is increasing, but that would suggest that we should see an increase in the household size as millennials move back home or stay at home, which we don’t see in the data. I went to Statista and searched for Number of people per household in the United States from 1960 to 2015, which shows that household sizes are trending down.

  2. Cathy
    September 14, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    I got a 9% raise last year. Very very thankful for it!

    But it just brought me equal to where I am a year ago, with the taxes taken out of my paycheck.

    • Cathy
      September 14, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      That means I hopefully won’t any taxes!

    • Lee
      September 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      Here in Oz we have had something like 10 quarters in a row where income per person has fallen. GDP increases, but people get poorer.

      I had a whopping 2.3% pay increase this year of which just under half will be given back to the government here. Add in all the increases in utilities, fees, and other costs and I’ll go backward again this year too.


      I’ll never get back to what I made in Japan or here in Australia in prior years. In fact if I even made 1/4 of what I used to make I’d probably get a heart attack!!

  3. OutLookingIn
    September 15, 2016 at 12:00 am

    A survey. By the Census Bureau. Okay. Very accurate then. Right!

    Picked up and ‘parroted’ by the New York times and the Wall Street Journal. Both news organisations that are beyond reproach as truthful, fair, objective, and above all honest. Oh! Please! These are just two of the biggest Main Stream Media “Snot Rags”! Phoney as a 3 dollar bill.

    Why not use the IRS tax with holding data? It is very accurate. With very little time lag. It will tell you pay scales, amount of hours worked, how many are working, where they are working, age groupings, etc. etc.
    Much more accurate. Trim Tabs reports this data on their site and their latest report as per incomes, does not look as good as the census bureaus survey. lmao

    • Meme Imfurst
      September 15, 2016 at 7:27 am

      WHOA! Hold the phone…imaginary numbers do not lie. Government has no reason to make up stuff. RIGHT? Right? right?. righ

      • Chris From Dallas
        September 15, 2016 at 8:43 am

        And they would never LIE RIGHT BEFORE AN ELECTION now would they?

        • Coaster Noster
          September 16, 2016 at 2:26 pm

          Have you ever worked for the US Census? I have.

          For reactionaries, the government works as a well-oiled, well-functioning machine when it comes to “LIES”, and not a peep is heard from any whistleblowers, though thousands potentially can shed light on a myriad of internet outlets. Otherwise, the gummint can do nothing right.

          The reason they reported a 5.2 increase, and not a 4.9 or 6.1, is because the compilation of the numbers make it 5.2. There is simply no way to drive a fictitious number through from one side to the other…..same as attempting to drive a ten-penny nail through six feet of lumber.

          Just from personal antecdotes, I would say the count for Millennials at home, adding to the household total, would be a significant factor. In addition, a bump in people taking Social Security early, 401Ks flushing out, and many p/t jobs adding hours to become fulltime. I still see a lot of “Help Wanted” signs in the windows, and it’s been that way for a couple of years.

      • JerryBear
        September 16, 2016 at 5:26 pm

        Make up stuff? In an election year? Why, perish the very thought! ^,..,^

    • Maximus Minimus
      September 15, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      I trust guberment numbers on household income as much as I trust them on inflation – and that I can check myself. A magic number cooked up in witches’ brew.

      • Coaster Noster
        September 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm

        Sweeping BS. Just a huge generalization because “it feels like it to me, and it fits my pre-conceived notions.”

        Why not provide some sort of methodological detail as to how you decided “guberment” numbers are untrustworthy….in every case possible?

    • nhz
      September 16, 2016 at 11:55 am

      yes, these Ministry of Truth statisticians are at least as evil as the banksters; both need to be eliminated to have any chance of a fair and functioning economy.

      • Coaster Noster
        September 16, 2016 at 2:38 pm

        Why? You say that, because it fits your armchair distillation?

        Our economy is not a “functioning” economy? Meaningless comment.

  4. Hal
    September 15, 2016 at 12:14 am

    BLS reports average workweek down by .3 hours yoy august. Next, average weekly paycheck down 2.5%. Average hourly rate up 2.4%. I think taxes withheld up 1%.

    Now we know minimum wages are moving up. We also know BLS data can be “flaky”.the wage increase indicatred is for calendar 2016 and i am usung yoy august dara,
    But the big increase in earnings makes no sense.

    • OutLookingIn
      September 15, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Nine of the previous twelve August’s jobs were revised down an average of 46,000 with the past five years by 52,000
      August average jobs created over the period are 85,960

      So much for BLS and Census Bureau accuracy!

  5. Ehawk
    September 15, 2016 at 1:29 am

    Pretty Lame. Considering the Rents are still going up. Housing going up… The costs to put a roof on one’s head is ridiculous and keeps going up… When is this crap gonna end? I pitiful 5% salary increase is not gonna make anybody smile.

    Where’s the deflation and equilibrium some of you talk about?

    • Jonathan
      September 15, 2016 at 1:39 am

      Economists and bankers know our wallets better than us, how dare you plebs question their eminence.

    • September 15, 2016 at 8:08 am

      Please recheck the text: wage increases were only 1.5% for men and 2.7% for women. So it’s even worse than you think.

      The rest of the “household income” increase of 5.2% was caused by other factors, some of them having nothing to do with wages.

      • nhz
        September 16, 2016 at 12:05 pm

        maybe they are using similar tricks as the Dutch CBS (BLS) and tax office, e.g. simply assume that everyone makes 4% return on money in a savings account and tax it accordingly (at 30% rate)? It’s many years ago that you could get even close to 4% savings rate, currently more like 0.4% :-(

        And just like in the US, it seems the flood of subsidies never stops growing and some households are extremely good at getting hold of that money. I never received anything, but there are households where nobody has ever worked in their entire life and who have collected millions of euros in subsidies and other benefits (usually in addition to some illegal drugs business or other criminal activity). Probably enough to skew the statistics.

        We had similar claims in Netherlands this month regarding improving household income for next year (of course, 2017 is an election year). It sounds great until you start to check the details and find that only government workers are getting a pretty big wage boost, plus some smaller improvement for those on social security. But e.g. the self-employed are expected to earn significantly less again than last year (a trend that has been running for years now) despite a ‘strongly improving economy’.

        all smoke and mirrors

  6. night-train
    September 15, 2016 at 3:06 am

    Interesting. We have lost thousands of high paying jobs in the oil industry which has far reaching adverse impact on the rest of the economy. Yet, there is an increase in median household income. Sounds about right.

  7. Tom Welsh
    September 15, 2016 at 3:12 am

    My immediate reaction was that they probably included a different set of households in the survey.

  8. September 15, 2016 at 3:56 am

    This is the kind of positive socioeconomic data that sank the USSR. The scary part is our “leadership” now believes in, and acts on, this c**p. [The worst person to lie to is yourself…]

    We have the raw data (one poster cited IRS withholding records, there are many others) and the methodology (big data /econometrics) to perform critical analysis. These are either being miss-used, or not used at all. What can be done to force accurate reporting?

    • Doug
      September 15, 2016 at 7:00 am

      And it is intentional. As Charles Hugh Smith said at the beginning of 2015, expect more BS statistics that are manufactured to tell a false narrative. No surprise this comes out close to an election and both sources of the data want Hillary in there, dead or alive.

      • Coaster Noster
        September 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm

        Beyond wrong. Census Bureau Stats cannot be politically altered. Only when Reactionaries run up against some truth that distorts their reality, they flip to a picture of a well-oiled government conspiracy, with nary a single, solitary, report of how this is done, from thousands of possible insiders.

        Heck, for an election, why not 11%?, 10%? Why not pour it on?

    • Meme Imfurst
      September 15, 2016 at 7:35 am

      ” These are either being miss-used, or not used at all. What can be done to force accurate reporting?”

      If all the respondents in the above survey lived in Harlem, SE Detroit, Baltimore, Fargo, Eastern MD/DC Prince Georges County, etc. The numbers would not look so “San Franciscoed” or “Pala Altoed”.

      • Coaster Noster
        September 16, 2016 at 2:53 pm

        Gosh! The people working at the US Census, why, they never…
        considered an equitable type of sample!!

        They’re slapping their foreheads at the obvious “miss” they made!!
        How did it possibly get past eighty, two hundred, maybe four hundred people working on the survey????!!!
        YOU! You caught it!!!

  9. marty
    September 15, 2016 at 5:13 am

    “Women have come a long way since the 1980s, in terms of median income, though not nearly far enough. … And I hope women will make more progress going forward.”

    NOOOOO, don’t tell me that you believe the wage gap nonsense. Women earn less because of their child care duties. If you want women to earn more, that means they have to care for their children less–a social disaster the effects of which we see around us in a million ways every day.

    The wage gap is a total myth.

    • September 15, 2016 at 7:49 am

      I shook up the local end of my industry in around 1990, when I trained and elevated two women to jobs that only men had before, and paid them like men. It just wasn’t done at the time. These were men jobs. One of them was a key executive job that I relied on immensely. People were snickering about how stupid I was. Both women performed superbly. One of the best personnel decisions I’ve ever made. Nothing to do with kids.

      • william
        September 15, 2016 at 10:51 pm

        How times have changed. Now women openly express their preference to *not* have a female boss to report to.

      • QEternity
        September 19, 2016 at 12:49 am

        I ran a company for around 17 years where the majority of my staff was women, many highly capable and highly paid. It got to where I had no desire to hire men anymore,

    • Petunia
      September 15, 2016 at 9:00 am


      Since you think the wage gap is a total myth I will relate an incident that happened to me. While cashing my Bear Stearns bonus check at a Bank of New York branch, I was told by the teller that my bonus check was the smallest she had seen all day. I suspected that might be the case, but she confirmed it. When I related the incident to my colleagues they were all embarrassed into silence.

      • Chicken
        September 15, 2016 at 10:18 am

        DC Police chief is a woman, just imagining what this woman is certainly capable of is impressive.

        I wouldn’t mind working under/with her just for the valuable experience.

      • kitten lopez
        September 15, 2016 at 11:25 am

        Damn, Miss Petunia, i LOOOVE whenever you write–even and especially when i disagree with you. but i’ve been self employed just about all my life as an artist and had NO idea job inequality was THAT obvious–or nefarious—still.

  10. ERG
    September 15, 2016 at 7:41 am

    If you torture the data enough, you can get it to confess anything.

  11. Chicken
    September 15, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I’m long fairy dust.

  12. Nicko
    September 15, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Wow you guys, some positive numbers come out and the denial flows. Face it, Obama has been great for the US economy, stock market is doing great, job market slowly recovering and growing, housing is doing great. What do I care, I’m doing great.

    • Chicken
      September 15, 2016 at 9:52 am

      You must be correct, considering the recent disastrous action in fixed income. Bunds actually sport a positive yield at this point.

    • ERG
      September 15, 2016 at 11:28 am

      Denial ain’t a river in Egypt. Perspective is everything.

      Here’s the big picture – second figure in the article.

    • JerryBear
      September 16, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      Nicko, whatever it is that you are smoking that so sugar coats the reality you perceive, I want some! ^,..,^
      Rose colored glasses anybody?

  13. Meme Imfurst
    September 15, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Ooooooo….now I get it. All the county employees here got a 6% raise for ‘cost of living’.

    All the others working here in non government jobs got nothing but increased living costs.

    I couldn’t figure how there could be a wage increase when almost every one I know is working 3 jobs to replace the income that one job used to provide. But I wasn’t think of government jobs…how about where you live, are they getting raises and if so why?

    I strongly suggest that you encourage your kids to get government jobs….good incomes, security, great benefits, and so much more.

    • polecat
      September 15, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      ‘government employment’ is to tax payers …… as are ticks to a dog!

    • night-train
      September 16, 2016 at 2:12 am

      “good incomes, security, great benefits, and so much more.”

      Your description of government employment is dated. Depends on where you are I suppose, but in many places, particularly red states, government workers have been targeted by the “let’s privatize all the juicy stuff and give it to our buddies” legislators. The results are poor paying jobs with few benefits.

      Don’t take my word for it. Go to your state’s personnel department’s website and check out the careers, pay scales, and benefit packages. It probably won’t be as sweet as you believe it to be.

    • nhz
      September 16, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      it’s similar in my country (Netherlands) and probably most of Europe.
      Admittedly, some parts of government – especially at the local level – have downsized, but they always make up for it by hiring more useless paper shufflers for the central government.

      Also, in my country those on social security are treated a bit similar to government workers: their income has been going up more than official inflation (of course, those numbers are bogus …) but at a lower rate than government workers. Have to keep this big chunk of voters happy!

      Of course, if you work in the private sector, are self-employed or lost your plush government job the situation is a lot less rosy ;-(

      Maybe next year they can include the income improvement for all the new migrants in the statistics? Those people from Africa or Pakistan who suddenly went from almost nothing to 1000 euros a month plus many benefits like free healthcare, that’s a sure way to crank up the household income numbers (with some secret sauce from the statisticians added for the right flavor).

  14. Ptb
    September 15, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Things are great , yet third party politics is making a paradigm changing advance in the US. Hmmm, doesn’t seem to add up.

  15. Chicken
    September 15, 2016 at 9:38 am

    “The median income for men is below 1974 levels.”

    One might anticipate there’s nowhere to go but up from here.

  16. cookie
    September 15, 2016 at 11:01 am

    It’s about the legacy.

  17. Bob
    September 15, 2016 at 11:47 am

    While going to college in 1979-1981 I worked at a pizza place part time. Still remember the price of a large pepperoni was $9.99 at that time. So at least pizza prices are staying the same with men’s paycheck – life without a pizza is a sad sad life…

    • nhz
      September 16, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      I bet that – like for many food products – you are lucky if the quality and nutritional value has kept up with what they served 35 years ago. Many food products are still ‘affordable’ thanks to a strong decline in quality, being assembled in factories from absolute junk and often with loads of ‘freebies’ like toxins that you really don’t want in there.

  18. kitten lopez
    September 15, 2016 at 11:51 am

    My dear amazing and cool MISS PETUNIA: i am finally reading this article James wanted me to read on the absurdity of cultural appropriation ( and i kept thinking of YOU. i’m over writing as a living or public expression of my own, but like my art and ideas, it’s still the blue print for everything i do and will become next.

    that said, I WISH YOU’D WRITE MORE: ANYWHERE/SOMEWHERE. there are so few enraged smart sensible complex and REBELLIOUS women voices to be heard out there. and i smile because you just don’t give a fuck what you say. oh man, that is SO refreshing, reading you is like jumping into a swimming pool on a hot day.

    i mean… you got bonus checks from Bear Stearns AND you’ve done the demeaning foodstamp jig???? as i’ve seen from the fall of america, yours is the kind of voice that usually gets silenced by the cacophanies of suicides of Personal American Failure.

    • Petunia
      September 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm


      While my career did end on Wall Street, I don’t consider myself a failure even though I’m broke. On Wall Street you learn that money is basically meaningless, power is the real currency. Some people consider some of the biggest failures on Wall Street personal accomplishments. Just saying…

      • JerryBear
        September 16, 2016 at 6:33 pm

        Petunia, I also like a lot of what you say too, but
        I got on your case, not out of a sense of political correctness, which I detest but out of respect for the culture I live in and grew up in. I live politically in the United States but culturally in HispanoAmerica which stretches from New Mexico more than 7000 miles down the west half of South America to the far wilderness of Tierra del Fuego at the tip. This area has been Hispanic for 400 years. The Hispanic New Mexicans who moved here spent centuries of brutal labor fighting the vast cottonwood forest (el bosque) that filled the river bottom land and created farms and villages, pastures, vineyards and fruit orchards while fighting off frequent attacks from the Apaches (and occasionally Comanches) and created an admirably comfortable life for themselves. The locals here take great pride in what their ancestors accomplished and justly regard this as their land though they certainly don’t mind being part of the U.S. either.
        I speak the language and appreciate the nuances of the marvelously rich and colorful culture as well.
        I only wish you would not listen to lying troublemakers who try to get people to scapegoat others, probably the worst tendency we human beings have.

        • Petunia
          September 17, 2016 at 12:53 pm

          Jerry Bear,

          As a Latina in America, I have lived my whole life in two cultures, and not by choice. My mother’s wish for the family was always assimilation. When you speak of being politically one person and culturally another, you divide yourself from me. I am an American who grew up in a Spanish speaking household, that’s it. I am not nostalgic for the days when Spain ruled the world. The motherland is not anything to look up to these days.

          Just like you, I get annoyed with other Latinos that don’t agree with me. If you are so nostalgic for your true culture you need to go back to Spanish rule. This is the absurdity of the issue.

          In the meantime, I have nasty messages I need to send to my new congressman.

      • kitten lopez
        September 16, 2016 at 10:09 pm


        (i don’t know if you’ll get this after so long, but…)

        that’s the thing that is so beautiful about your attitude: that you KNOW money is meaningless. i’ve lost a lot of superfreak artist and general odd-ball friends to suicide because they felt inferior for not fitting in or doing well by absurd standards.

        i was saying that i wanted your slant on life to be heard more because you’ll save a LOT of people who might otherwise choose to suffer politely in private, when so much of what they couldn’t accomplish wasn’t their fault after all.

        you show there is life to the other side of losing all the “stuff” that our egos get so attached to as we try and craft this 2-dimensional vision of who we are.

        you’re already on the Other Side and it’s beautiful to feel YOUR POWER emanate even on the comments section.

        Wall Street Power is another kind of power that i hope is finally being eclipsed by The POWER OF THE PEOPLE!

        yeah… i also believe in THAT. the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are giving me CHILLS now.


        • JerryBear
          September 18, 2016 at 2:46 am

          Ay Petunia! Soy puro gabacho si no lo sepa, pero………

          I fully agree with what you say! To Hell with those Mexican revolutionaries and those damned Gringos!
          I declare myself a loyal subject of His Majesty, King Juan Carlos and I declare that this is still New Spain!
          Viva el Rey!


          Me siento que me equivoque’ quien es usted!

  19. Bobcat
    September 15, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    The electronics manufacturing industry was outsourced, pretty in it’s entirety. A untold number of high paying jobs disappeared with it. I spent 25 years in electronics working as an assembler, technician and an engineer. I was able to transition to software but I had to start over at an entry level job. I doubt many of my former coworkers fared that well. They ended up wearing orange aprons at big box hardware stores.

    Outsourcing dramatically reduced the incomes of many Americans, pushing them out of the middle class. It was done to create profits for the top executives and boards of directors by moving high paying jobs to low wage countries. At the time, there was a 20 to 1 difference between US and Chinese wages. There were no wage and hour laws, no safety regulations and no environmental regulations. Of course, we were told it was being done to ensure global competitiveness. Perot was right about the giant sucking sound.

    • Chicken
      September 15, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      It was a painful divorce for too many, one that seems unending. Now we endure criticism and scorn for warning the younger generation out to change the world (where have I heard that one before?), I’m actually grinning.

  20. walter map
    September 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    “Educational assistance”, meaning student loans, is debt and not really income, and it is disingenuous in the extreme for the feds to call it that.

    “Alimony” and “Child support” are income-neutral transfers: one person’s ‘income’ is another person’s expense.

    Federal economic statistics are politically motivated and deliberately phony, designed to persuade the herd that they are not getting fleeced. As usual, your rulers take very seriously their Straussian duty to lie to the subject population.

  21. Agent76
    September 15, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 Why Won’t Americans Focus on the Issues That Really Matter?

    Over the past twenty to thirty years, the United States has lost a massive number of lower and middle class value-added jobs. These are largely the manufacturing jobs that allowed the United States to support its own needs and export goods, which builds real wealth.

    • walter map
      September 15, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      “Why Won’t Americans Focus on the Issues That Really Matter?”

      Decades of intensive indoctrination:

      • September 15, 2016 at 9:21 pm

        The general principle was old in Roman times when it was identified by the phrase “Divide et Impera” [Divide and Rule].

        The use of “wedge issues” has been raised to an art form by the two major parties precisely to avoid having the “masses of asses” realize that their individual and group goals, objectives, wants and needs are far more closely related to, and aligned with, those of the other individuals and groups in the 99% than they ever were with any of the 1%.

        If these groups ever become aware of their 90% or greater commonality of interests, the game is over for the career politicians, who would have to get real jobs, thus their continual efforts to set one group of voters against the others, mainly by raising B/S hot-button non-issues, such as uni-sex toilets.

  22. james wordsworth
    September 15, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    What is a household? Does a same sex couple count? I am guessing now yes, before ???? Just changing that definition could have an outsized impact by making two single income households into 1 double income.

    • September 15, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      A “household” in this survey is an “address.” It doesn’t matter how many people live there.

      So if mom and dad live there, plus three of their adult kids, all five of them earning money, their combined income – including money from the 18 other sources listed in the article – would count as “household income.”

      If only one person lives at that address, a student without a job, his “household income” would be his “educational assistance” (one of the 18 sources that count as income though it might just be a student loan).

  23. September 16, 2016 at 7:26 am

    A “household” in this survey is an “address.” It doesn’t matter how many people live there.

    So if mom and dad live there, plus three of their adult kids, all five of them earning money, their combined income – including money from the 18 other sources listed in the article – would count as “household income.”

    If only one person lives at that address, a student without a job, his “household income” would be his “educational assistance” (one of the 18 sources that count as income though it might just be a student loan).

    – Well the answer is right there. Where I live there are several “addresses” that have many family generations living there, Two houses have 8 cars that vanish by 10am, from grandparents to work age kids. Others have several people who have decided to live together. Our daughter lives in a double-wide with 3 other friends that just decided they were going to S.C. I suspect these are the anomalies in this data…. I would also suspect that this trend will continue and that it will not be a one time blip….


  24. innertrader
    September 19, 2016 at 9:15 am

    I noticed in the comments that when the phrase “increase in income” was used, that it was followed a lot by the phrase “increase in income taxes”. Therefore, I am taking the time to share a concept that has been working it’s way through congress for 20+ years. It’s called The “FAIRTAX”!!! The whole law is less than 40 pages (double spaced) and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU LOOK IT UP AND READ IT! I PROMISE, IT WILL BLOW YOU AWAY AND IT COULD BE THE SINGLE BEST FACTOR TO SAVE THIS COUNTRY!!!!!!!

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