I think probably most of us earn more at age 45 than at age 18. I know I did.
But, at age 18, I was able to make just over $2 an hour, which doesn't sound like much today. In 1961, however, it was enough to buy 8 gallons of gas. 90 hours paid for college tuition. 37 hours paid for a month's room and board at the university. Compare that with what the typical 18 year old can earn today and see if wages have kept up.
When I got my first "real" job in 1966, my salary was $5,900 a year. That was definitely an entry level salary, but it was almost half the cost of a modest home. It was enough for three brand new compact cars, or two larger ones.
I broke into the five digits in 1969 with a salary of $10,000. That year, I bought a house for $13,500 and a new car for $3,000. My son was born that year. The hospital charged $250 for a normal childbirth.
In 2001, my grandson was born. The cost for a normal childbirth was $10,000, or 40 times as much as in 1969. No, I wasn't making $400,000.
Of course, hospital costs have gone up way faster than inflation.
But, gas still cost a quarter back in 1969.
Last edited by Dittohead not!; 07-16-14 at 06:50 PM.
Can't we just turn Congress off and then turn it back on again?
“If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures.”
- Alexander Hamilton. Spiritual father of #NeverTrump
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville
But if we never become more productive in aggregate (as in more production per work hour, regardless of the cause of that increase), then the aggregate will never become richer, and the mean average income will remain the same.
Since our productivity has been increasing substantially (due to technology), all income classes should be increasing in income, with the possible exception of those who don't work. But that hasn't really happened much during the past 35 years. Nearly all the fruits of our increases in productivity has been acquired by the top 1%.
When all income classes don't share the fruits of increases in productivity more or less equally, then demand lags behind production (because the rich don't consume all of their income), and we end up with fewer jobs, and even less incentive for the owners of the means of production to compete harder for labor, thus we start slowly spiraling downward.
So what may be great for the individual, may have absolutely no effect on the wealth of the country. And sometimes what is good for the individual, such as saving a large portion of their income, is horrible for the country (look up "paradox of thrift").
There is a reason that microeconomics is taught in college as a class seperate from macroeconomics.