April 20, 2017

Young Americans earn less than in 1975

Washington Post - Over the past four decades, young American workers saw their average incomes decline by 5.5 percent after adjusting for inflation, according to new figures published Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. In 1975, workers aged 25 to 34 had a median personal income of $37,000 in modern dollar terms. In 2016, that number was down to $35,000.

Earnings have declined despite the fact that today's young people are better educated than 40 years ago. Thirty-seven percent of young people had a bachelor's degree last year, compared to 22.8 percent in 1975.

In part, experts say, the decline in average incomes results from new impediments to financial success that confront millennials, but that older Americans did not have to overcome. A more unequal economy presents fewer opportunities for younger workers. Young people today must compete with a well educated labor force, while young people in the past often had an advantage over older workers who were less qualified.

4 comments:

greg gerritt said...

Clear result of the 1% looting the economy, and ecological collapse not allowing the growth rates to cover that up.

Anonymous said...

The notion of a job is inimical to our species as it evolved in hunting and gathering and agriculture. This was understood by Lincoln whose labor was sold by his father. Bonded labor was more restrictive than voluntary wage slavery, which recruits it's victims by preventing access to subsistence in hunting, gathering and agriculture, less severe than enslavement by capture. Consider why some prefer a life in the military or in criminal pursuits rather than submit to the master-servant relationship of a job. Sapir called it "spurious culture" as being inherently fraudulent and repressive. Since 1975 college confers advantage to the already advantaged who can afford it. Most movies in the 1930s were about rich people as a gilded age hangover. This trend now returns in the second gilded age on TV from Dallas to the Good Wife. We require that the famous be rich, whether a CEO, a rapper or a quarterback. The rest, whether above average or below average are merely comical, denoting a removal of respect first noted in the second gilded age by Rodney Dangerfield.

Anonymous said...

Contrast the progressive age of the 1940's in Saroyan's The Human Comedy. The young entrant into the work force played by Mickey Rooney is integrated into an revered profession sans college degree and he confronts real life. Genuine culture is where what one does in life delivers on fulfilling life's promise. Sapir borrowed this concept from Native Americans who also were a decisive influence on Thoreau. But it was Sapir in 1917 who realized that the Walden Pond option was no longer available. Life in Concord was merely suburban, involving a commute to a job.

Anonymous said...

As per Piketty, freedom is inherited in the form of family fortunes, slaveocracy restored. LaFollette style Progressives, having read the Constitution, know it's about votes and voter sovereignty but were strategically coopted by a socialist and a neoliberal, now lacking a party in a system where new parties emerge only inside the old. The old neoliberal Dems so far have prevented what happened to their Bush cousins in the other party, while now posing as antifascist. But since 1947 antifascism has not gained a foothold in either major party, certainly not under the uberliberal LBJ who supported Ky and J. Edgar Hoover. And it went downhill from there, with the end of the Church Committee. Lacking any policy relevance the Dems are comparable to their 60's Hippie origins in a rejection of actual politics for Woodstock type gatherings. This maybe gets the drop-out vote of those who can find no road to the middle class or the Sanders heads.