Home > Uncategorized > U.S. real weekly wages, 1979-2016

U.S. real weekly wages, 1979-2016

  1. March 5, 2018 at 1:54 am

    This is an interesting graph yet it is far more illustrative when it begins in 1970 or 1973.

  2. patrick newman
    March 5, 2018 at 10:50 am

    The gradient of the curve would be more acute if the figures for the top 5% and 1% were plotted. Also important is the provision of public services which is a significant element in the standard of living for the bottom quintile. If the USA is anything like the UK there has been considerable funding removed in the last decade (and probably before) with consequential loss of value to users.

  3. March 6, 2018 at 1:08 am

    Curves showing some very basic living costs – energy, medical, child care, education might be usefully displayed alongside the bottom two near “flat-lines.”

    Getting from these numbers to the “emotional charge” in the electorate in 2016, well, I’ve tried to make these connections. Savings for emergencies and retirement for the bottom 60% have been very hard hit.

    But we all still believe in the American Dream, right? Candidates have to pledge fidelity to it. Mrs. Clinton wanted to make sure we could feel we could “get ahead” again.

  4. March 7, 2018 at 10:33 am

    When we “believe” in the American Dream, what is it we believe in? We can trace the answer to that question to James Truslow Adams, a popular historian of the 1930s. He wanted to write a popular history of the whole colorful pageant of the great epic which
    is American history, but more than that he wanted to “discover” how America became what it became. That book was published in 1931 as “The Epic of America.” Adams had wanted to call the book “The American Dream” but was talked out of that by his publisher. Adams sets out the American Dream in the preface to the book. “…and, in especial, of that American dream of a better, richer, and happier life for all our citizens of every rank which is the greatest contribution we have as yet made to the thought and welfare of the world. That dream or hope has been present from the start. Ever since we became an independent nation, each generation has seen an uprising of the ordinary Americans to save that dream from the forces which appeared to be overwhelming and dispelling it. Possibly the greatest of these struggles lies just ahead of us at this present time – not a struggle of revolutionists against established order) but of the ordinary man to hold fast to those rights to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ which were vouchsafed to us in the past in vision and on parchment.” Adams took his cue from Henry David Thoreau in “Walden,” “I have learned this, at least, from my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” The American dream is an imagined dream. Historian after historian, journalist after journalist, commentator after commentator took up Adams’ “Dream” till it is as we see it today.

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