For the tiny handful of Americans who may still wonder why the voter rebellion against the establishment is so intense, a recent Economic Policy Institute blog post explains it. EPI called income inequality “a defining feature” of the American economy for the last three-and-a-half decades that has “directly affected most Americans.”
In the example that EPI cites, had workers’ wages increased correspondingly with productivity, as they did for 30 years post-World War II, an employed American earning $50,000 today would instead be making $75,000.
The economic data EPI points to, which has enraged working Americans, includes the following:
- Nominal wage growth of 2.2 percent remains below a level where workers would reap the benefits of economic growth.
- Real hourly wage growth in 2015 was fastest at the top of the wage distribution.
- The gap between the top and everyone else has grown.
- Evaluating men and women separately, from 2014 to 2015, the strongest wage growth was at the top of the men’s wage distribution and at the bottom of the women’s wage distribution.
- For men and women, those with less than a college degree had lower wages in 2015 than in 2007.
For broke Americans, little relief is in sight.
Democrats and Republicans alike promise to end income inequality, but voters have no confidence in their assurances. Little wonder they’re apprehensive. Income inequality dates back to the Reagan administration, and includes the George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies – two Democrats and three Republicans.