Raw Data: Household Income Since 1975

Just in case you’re curious, here is the growth of household income over the past 40 years:

Please note a few things:

  • I have used the PCE inflation index in order to keep all the PCE folks happy.
  • The income data comes from the Census Bureau. It is market income. It does not include food stamps or Section 8 vouchers or other social welfare payments.
  • The growth rate since 2000 has been 0.44 percent per year. This is not “stagnant.” However, it is “sluggish.”
  • Thanks to high growth since 2013 (about 4.2 percent per year) households have finally recovered the income they lost in the Great Recession. However, that is flattening out and will most likely return to the ~0.5 percent growth rate of the post-2000 era.

Anyone who wants to call income growth of 0.44 percent anything better than sluggish is welcome to do so. But if you do, your understanding of the English language is different than mine.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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