Standard of Living

Low Income Households Have Expenses More Than Twice Their Income

A shocking claim was made by various press sources that those at the bottom of the American economic pile have living expenses which are double their income.

The bottom fifth of the U.S. income distribution -- 24.4 million households -- on average earned $10,074 in after-tax annual income and spent $22,001 last year,

Measuring the Decline of America

So, here I was, working on a contrarian (you ought to know me by now!) diary about inflation being near or past its peak for this cycle (which I'll post tomorrow anyway), when I realized that nobody should give a damn! After all, if there is ZERO percent inflation in the price of unleaded gasoline in the next year, what does that mean? It means that gasoline will sell for $4 a gallon for the entire next year! That's why it's worthwhile to post this graph all over again and highlight it:

because this is a graph of the decline of middle America over the last decade. The average American family hasn't had a raise since 1999, and in fact for most of this decade has brought home less income (inflation adjusted) than it did at the peak of the Clinton boom: