Social Question

LostInParadise's avatar

Does this graph of median income and per capita GDP pretty much say it all?

Asked by LostInParadise (31283points) September 28th, 2011

Check how much is expressed by a pair of line graphs Scroll down to the pair of line graphs. Per capita GDP has been rising fairly steadily over the last 20 years and per median income is about where it started and is heading downward. The rich are getting richer and everyone else is getting poorer.

Look at the two graphs by presidential administration. Under GHW Bush both GDP and median income were falling. Clinton turned things around and got median income to rise in parallel, in a strict geometric sense, with GDP. Under G W Bush GDP continued to rise but median income stagnated. Obama is struggling with Congress to help the little guy while GDP has recovered from the recession and is almost at its pre-recession all time high.

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16 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

You might find the Gini coefficient interesting. We keep some bad company in the income inequality department.

But don’t worry. If you work hard enough you will be rich someday. ~

woodcutter's avatar

Most people don’t want to be rich. They want to be comfortable. Just because a person isn’t rich, or on the way to being there ,does not mean they are lazy. That seems to be what the “haves” like to use to roll back these facts upon the struggling…that it’s all their fault because they aren’t trying hard enough. It allows them to easily have a clear conscience.The productivity of the US workers has gone up exponentially in recent years but not their standard of living along with all that increased productivity. What more would you have us do?

LostInParadise's avatar

@Jaxk , Just more confirmation that the rich are getting richer. Unfortunately, there has been a corresponding increase in those below the poverty line. So who is decreasing in number.? Say good-bye to the middle class.

woodcutter's avatar

One would think the corporate movers and shakers would be worried for the middle class about now. After all ,without the middle who will be their customers? The more people slip into the poverty class, the more the anger will grow and sooner or later as long as everyone can vote, the right is going to really run out of excuses for why things are the way they are and all their support in their elected officials will evaporate, which could be a disaster for capitalism as they know it. They ( the corporatists) will have realized they have over reached but by then it will be too late for them,and everybody. I think they realize this inevitability now, but not one of them is going to blink and look like they are weak to the shareholders, so this will be a self forefilling prophecy. There’s no way this is not going to happen.

Capitalism as well as democracy was an experiment in the beginning and like everything else mankind has tried they will both fail at some point. It’s the natural way of things.

Cool huh?

tedd's avatar

@Jaxk Oh don’t worry, once the rich here have milked the middle class for all it’s worth, we’ll no longer be the best place to get rich. (or the best country for that matter)

flutherother's avatar

Oh Dear Me, The mills gane fest
The puir wee shifters canna get a rest
Shiftin’ Bobbins coorse and fine
They Fairly mak ye work fo yer ten and nine

Oh Dear Me, The World’s ill-divided
Them that work the Hardest, are wi the least Provided But I maun bide Contented, dark days or fine
But theres no much Pleasure livin affen ten & nine.

Mary Brooksbank (1897 – 1980)

Jaxk's avatar


Yes, capitalism has fallen out of favor with the Democrats. We need a more manged economy like communism. You don’t have to worry about capitalist pigs in that system. Of course you don’t have a middle class either. At least everyone is the same, dirt poor.

“Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.”

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Taking in the fact of #1 on that list, I can chalk that one to being the rising cost of education coupled with greedy people and their greedy lawyers that feel they deserve $800k or more because a towel was left in them by accident. Instead of getting free corrective surgery and some compensation, they want to try to get rich off it.

The main reason for point #4 one need only to look at point #7, 11, and 14. Yankees want it all, and they want it now, as cheap as they can get it even if they do not have the money to buy it anyhow. More jobs go overseas because John Q wants to get his 15yr old daughter some boots because all her girl posse has them. But the department store sells boots like that for $68, John Q wants to please his daughter but not to that price. Big box blue department store gets them from Dubai so they only cost $45. So John Q buys from there. Because the other show was made in Illinois it cost more because it was union, the health ins cost was higher, the utilities etc. Now they are not moving product. So to keep the factory open, they have to purge 20% of the workers, and Larry Lunchmeat is one of them. Now he is going broke, he can’t pay his daughter’s ballet class anymore. Sell the extra car, and now he can’t even shop goods from his former factory. Even if he thought the quality was better and wanted to buy American, he can’t now because it is fiscally not sound. The kicker is, John Q wanted to be cheap and he was not even coming out of pocket, he was charging the dang boots.

#16 I put on the inept backs of government. Many people who get on welfare and food stamps find it nearly impossible to get off because the government penalizes you for having the audacity to do better. I know people who once they get on it they can’t find a way off with out drifting further back down the pit that got them there. Welfare seem to be geared to lock you in at one level; right above drowning. If you find something to climb up higher out of the sea they build the side of the ship higher. Whatever extra you get to help yourself get on solid ground, they lop off your benefits, so you are de facto no gain. If you earn, or is given and extra $700 so you can get a better search for and maybe get a job, the government CUTS YOU $700, you basically gained nothing, unless your gambit pays off and you get a job right away. I think everyone on should have the opportunity to get off if they want. They should be allowed to earn more a month over their benefit for a set number of months without penalty to help themselves get off the government teat. They should not be penalized for gaining one cent more than their benefits allow, that is just asinine to me. People on welfare are not dishonest, the system makes it so they can’t be totally honest or they shoot themselves in the foot.

There are things that are hard to pay out of pocket for, especially in an emergency, like a washer or fridge, so you need to purchase those on terms. There are far more things people can pay out of pocket for, or avoid all together to avoid paying on term. When you want it all, and you want it now, you want it all and you don’t care how, you are going to be bailing for a long time.

Paradox1's avatar

“There are far more things people can pay out of pocket for, or avoid all together to avoid paying on term.”

What do you mean by this? How can they pay out of pocket with no savings?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Paradox1 There are many things people spend money on they could or should spend out of pocket, and if they can’t do that, maybe they don’t need it as bad. I said, there are things too expensive to pay out of pocket for like a fridge or washer unless you have a slush fund for that. Theater tickets, shoes, clothes, eating out etc, should never be put on a card. If you can’t buy it right then out of your pocket, wait or pass. To load your credit up with junk like that is IMO unnecessary. You don’t really have to have that meal at that fancy type restaurant, and if it is a chain restaurant, shame on you more, if you cannot afford those concert tickets out of pocket, maybe you should pass. I see so many people get things with plastic simply because they can, and not because they really need it, they just don’t want to wait.

Paradox1's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Aha. I see your point. Great, thanks!

woodcutter's avatar

It was somewhat comforting to see Warren Buffet at the NYSE commenting that he’s in agreement that people of his ilk have really been getting over big time and really shouldn’t be sniveling about helping more than they do. These people have accountants and lawyers specifically to keep from paying more. Especially when they won’t even miss it.

It’s a shame issue. These top few thousand people clearly have none.

Paradox1's avatar

@woodcutter The funny thing is Buffet makes 99.9% of is money through capital gains (sale of stock) and his salary is only $135,000. So he wants to seem like he’s paying the same rate when long term capital gains are only about 15%. He wont be hurt by paying a higher income rate at all but I suppose a lot of the earners who make high salaries and yearly incomes certainly will be paying more

woodcutter's avatar

I just get a laugh out of some of these so called “poorer millionaires” crying foul because Buffet is a billionaire with a “B” so he won’t be hurt as much by taking his advise. I can’t get my head around the concept of millionaires understanding hurt.

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