Median American Household Income Dropping Since 70s

Today’s Bruce Bartlett post on Economix “Fanning the Flames of Class Warfare” gives some interesting basic information – using a calculator from the Economic History Association we can see that the median American family income in Bartlett’s example of 1974 ($13,000) ranges in income or wealth value (depending on what type of value you’re interested in) between $57,500 and $126,000 in 2010 dollars.  By comparison the median American household income in 2010 was $49,445 – even allowing for the depression we’re in (the 2010 figure is a drop of 6.4 to 7.1% below the prior 2007 and 1999 income peaks respectively) – we’ve lost a lot of ground.  It doesn’t improve much if you use the more exact Census figure of $12,840 for 1974 median household income (pdf).

The basic story is not new – but the figures help illustrate the ground lost.