Between 1971 And 2011 More Americans Got Richer Than Poorer
The Pew Research Center has released a report entitled, “The Lost Decade of the Middle Class: Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier” which bemoans the supposed growth in income inequality which, we’re told, is what is driving the Occupy Wall Street movement (among other political developments).
From the report’s introduction:
As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare their closing arguments to America’s middle class, they are courting a group that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being. Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some—but by no means all—of its characteristic faith in the future.
That’s certainly very gloomy, but as Professor Mark Perry points out, there’s another way of looking at the data. ”Far from being gloomy, perhaps there’s a positive story here,” he writes. ”A story that over the last forty years there has been significant movement by income category among American adults, as would be expected in a dynamic economy, with movement going in both directions. But on net, the changing income dynamics have been positive overall, with about 150 Americans moving up for every 100 Americans who moved down.”
The numbers from Pew bear this point out:
Far from the “rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer” stuff we usually hear about from class warriors on the left, the truth is that significantly more Americans are leaving the middle class to move into the upper income class as opposed to the poorer income class.
In other words, the middle class is shrinking, but because more people are becoming more affluent than poorer.Tags: class war, income inequality, middle class, occupy wall street