Not Number One

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & DeficitLeave a Comment

The New York Times reports what we all know:

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

The numbers, based on surveys conducted over the past 35 years, offer some of the most detailed publicly available comparisons for different income groups in different countries over time. They suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality.

Although economic growth in the United States continues to be as strong as in many other countries, or stronger, a small percentage of American households is fully benefiting from it. Median income in Canada pulled into a tie with median United States income in 2010 and has most likely surpassed it since then. Median incomes in Western European countries still trail those in the United States, but the gap in several — including Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden — is much smaller than it was a decade ago.

What's to account for this?  It doesn't take a genius.  It's the policies the began in the early 2000's, and are still here with us today:  a tax policy that favors the wealthiest while placing burdens on the middle and lower classes.  There is no trickle-down.  These other countries did not apply the rightwing tax policy (plus, take note, they all have socialized medicine).  And they are surpassing the United States.

But try to tell that to your typical Fox News viewer, lobotomized by what he sees on Hannity.  You'll know what he'll say?  Benghazi!!!!