A lot of political discussion over the last few months/years has been centered on the middle class–specifically how growing inequality has been rough, and the middle class has been “Hollowed Out“.
The Financial Times has a nice graph that shows just how true this is.
Back in 1971, the income distribution looked almost like a bell-curve, centered around 40k (in today’s dollars). Now it definitely doesn’t–there’s a lot more spread. BUT…. If you look closely, you’ll notice that nobody got poorer, it’s just that a lot of people got richer.
We can have a debate over whether or not this is a good thing, but it’s important to remember that when we talk about the “hollowing out” of the middle class, we’re talking more or less entirely about people getting richer.
H/T to Scott Summers, http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=31611