Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Income in America: Where Do You Stand?

It's funny how most of us seems to consider ourselves middle class, whether we make $25,000 per year or $250,000 per year. 

This is convenient for the obscenely rich, whose millions and billions of dollars stolen from "middle-class" workers get a pass as long as most of the rest of us don't feel "poor."

Here are some American income facts, from Lawyers, Guns and Money:

Anyway, the government just published figures on wages in America in 2012. Some highlights:

153.6 million Americans earned wages last year. This means that just under 40% of all Americans 16 years or older earned no wages in 2012 (there were approximately 252 million such people in the country last year). Breaking down these figures into income categories:

Median wage of all Americans 16 and older in 2012 (working and non-working): $6,250

Median wage of Americans in 2012 who worked for income: $27,519

15.8% of adult Americans earned $50,000 or more in 2012.

26% of Americans who worked for income earned $50,000 or more in 2012.

18.9% of adult Americans of working age (ages 16-64) earned $50,000 or more in 2012.

95.5% of adult Americans earned less than $100,000 in 2012.

58.8% of adult Americans either didn’t earn income or earned less than $10,000 in 2012.

24.2% of Americans who worked for income earned less than $10,000 in 2012.

39.6% of Americans who worked for income earned less than $20,000 in 2012.

63.5% of adult Americans either didn’t earn income or earned less than $20,000 in 2012.

The last three statistics drive home a point that remains largely invisible among the privileged classes (defined here as social contexts in which people have arguments about how difficult it is or isn’t to support a family on a low-six figure salary). We read that the unemployment rate is down to 7.0% and think that doesn’t sound too bad — after all 93 is a lot larger than seven. Except:

40% of people with jobs are working for poverty-level wages.

Nearly three out of five adult Americans made basically no money at all last year (No money at all being defined as less than $10,000. BTW less than 13% of the population is 65 or over, and 65 is increasingly becoming a constructive rather than an actual retirement age).

If a “good job” is defined as one that generates wages of $50,000 (a figure that needless to say would make many of the people in the Prawfs thread shriek in agony at the mere thought of trying to survive on a third world income), then fewer than one in six adult Americans currently has a good job.
Here's a chart that shows how bad it really is:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iCsHcreeLaE/Uq9GmqkyOVI/AAAAAAAAxiQ/Iifk9SKHiuM/s400/Screen+Shot+2013-12-16+at+9.46.57+AM.png
Let's resolve in 2014 to get out the torches and pitchforks.

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