Look around. The stock market is soaring. Housing prices are pretty good. Unemployment is at a low 4.4%. Ferraris are selling and Kim Kardashian is a zillionaire — there must be room for everybody in an economy like that, right? But it’s all a top heavy story, and beneath the glittering surface — where icebergs are known to do their damage — lies an “inconvenient truth.” No, we’re not talking about climate change. We’re talking about what hasn’t changed — and that’s wages for a large number of Americans. The so-called economic recovery isn’t a rising tide that lifts all boats, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution. The study is part of The Hamilton Project, founded in 2006 as a Brookings economic policy initiative.
“The U.S. economy has experienced long-term real wage stagnation and a persistent lack of economic progress for many workers,” writes study author Jay Shambaugh. Meanwhile, “much of the growth in wages has been concentrated at the top.” The study says that while the rich get richer — heard that before? — the bottom 20% of workers saw their real wages actually shrink over the last 40 years. 40 years is more than half an average lifetime — that’s a long time for growth to be stagnant or worse, going backwards..
— The Hamilton Project (@hamiltonproj) September 27, 2017