Home > Uncategorized > Median income: US, UK, France and Germany – 50 year trends

Median income: US, UK, France and Germany – 50 year trends

United States

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Source: An Economics Sense


United Kingdom

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Source : UK Office for National Statistics



France and United States

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  1. deshoebox
    April 23, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    …and this thick green line here, the one that shoots off the top of the page after about 2001, represents the mean annual income of the richest 1/10th of one percent of the population. How is that possible, you ask? Well, according to Oxfam about 3.7 billion people didn’t get any of the benefit of growing economies, so all that money had to go somewhere. (I know, right?)

  2. Patrick Newman
    April 24, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    We get the idea from these graphs and the many that have preceded them. The problem is how to do something about the widening inequality in Europe and the USA (as a start to challenge inequality worldwide).

  3. Helen Sakho
    April 26, 2019 at 1:38 am

    The trouble with not having a global approach to inequality remains the key point here. In a world that is now even more connected by poverty, conflict, and arms deals, not to mention pollution, it is now pertinent that at least the limitations of such statistical presentations accompany them.

  4. Ken Zimmerman
    April 30, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Again, history can teach us. Looking back to the post-World War I period, the soul-searchingly pejorative “merchants of death” rhetoric was in vogue. One of the most outspoken critics of war profiteering was Marine Major General Smedley Butler, a two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who had spent his 34-year career in uniform dutifully fighting various colonial wars at the turn of the 20th century. His highly publicized 1935 speech/short book “War is a Racket” spoke bluntly in terms worth remembering today.

    “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

    For anyone other than a person like General Butler this might be written off as just wild conspiracy theorizing. But he had seen war, its creation and its aftermath close-up for decades. He was in a position to understand why it existed and continued. We can, in my view transfer Butler’s insights to inequality. Like war, “profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives” and like war “It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many.” Out of inequality, like war a few people make huge fortunes. Simply put, if you want to know the “causes” of inequality, look to these “few people” and their “huge profits.” Remove these factors and inequality will be greatly reduced if not eliminated. Of course, this means we can’t keep capitalism. It’s primary goals are profit and monopoly. The propaganda about capitalism emphasizes competition but capitalists pursue monopoly and through monopoly great profit. Accepting no responsibility for the negative impacts of their pursuit.

    • Robert Locke
      May 1, 2019 at 5:57 am

      And Arthur Miller’s power play All My Sons (1947) made into an equally powerful movie, with Edward G Robinson. “They were all my sons.”

      • Ken Zimmerman
        May 1, 2019 at 10:36 am

        Robert, excellent example. Are most capitalists, especially the most successful and ruthless one’s sociopaths? It’s a question we need to consider. Sociopaths are defective humans. They lack empathy – cannot feel any sense of responsibility for how their actions affect others. Writers portray them (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Truman Capote, Anthony Burgess) as do play writes like Miller. Painters paint their portraits (da Vinci, Rembrandt). Poets compose rhymes about them (Coleridge, Mary Shelley). Sociopaths can be controlled and even help society. But not so long as the rest of us give them free reign over large parts of our lives.

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