How Bad Has the US Economy Become for Regular People? (1970 – 2020)

Ideas and Data

For the last fifteen years or so, economic populism has become increasingly popular among both the political left and right. This rise has gone hand in hand with the proliferation of a narrative which says that the economic gains in this country have gone exclusively to elites since the 1970s while the  incomes of regular people have stagnated as the cost of living necessities has increased making the current generation poorer than past ones. Previously, I’ve argued that modern societal progress seemingly hasn’t improved people’s psychological well being (Last, 2020). Some suggested that this unequal distribution of economic growth explains why. In this post, I will argue that, for the most part, this narrative is not true. Because COVID has obviously caused economic conditions to temporarily worsen, the data I’ll be looking at in this post will end prior to the pandemic. 

Incomes Have Not Stagnated 

In the…

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