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Washington Post

Washington Post


The Washington Post reports the middle class is in trouble, with median incomes peaking in most counties many years ago.

In Monroe County, the article’s interactive map shows income peaked in 1969, when the inflation-adjusted median household income was $71,214.

The Washington Post reports:

It used to be that when the U.S. economy grew, workers up and down the economic ladder saw their incomes increase, too. But over the past 25 years, the economy has grown 83 percent, after adjusting for inflation — and the typical family’s income hasn’t budged. In that time, corporate profits doubled as a share of the economy. Workers today produce nearly twice as many goods and services per hour on the job as they did in 1989, but as a group, they get less of the nation’s economic pie. In 81 percent of America’s counties, the median income is lower today than it was 15 years ago.

In this new reality, a smaller share of Americans enjoy the fruits of an expanding economy. This isn’t a fluke of the past few years — it’s woven into the very structure of the economy. And even though Republicans and Democrats keep promising to help the middle class reclaim the prosperity it grew accustomed to after World War II, their prescriptions aren’t working.

Do you think our best days are behind us?


Links of the Day:


– Why women don’t work: U.S. lag behind in family-friendly policies.

– There is not much evidence the state’s Regional Economic Development Council grants create a lot of jobs.

– Like Rochester, Buffalo’s housing authority is also in turmoil and there are calls for the mayor to fix things.

– A Hobart College student, who was expelled, was acquitted on sexual assault charges.

– This is why state lawmakers might actually need a pay raise.

Rochester is lagging behind on snow this season. Don’t worry, plenty of time to catch up.

– Why are the magazines at doctor offices always out of date?


Tweet of the Day:


7 Responses to Best Days Behind Us?

  1. In looking at the story on the Hobart rape case, the disturbing factor is contained in the quote from the defense lawyer. In essence, she alleges the college forced the prosecution and the DA did nothing to vet the alleged victim’s account. That’s a much bigger story than either roc.com or MPNnow.com cared to report. It’s really crappy journalism.

    • December 13, 2014 at 10:58 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

      I thought the story wasn’t particularly balanced. It wasn’t clear to me if the reporter sat through the trial. In any case, it highlights why colleges are not suited to adjudicate these matters.

  2. Rochester has been taken over by government entities (schools, local government and more) as well as non-profits that do nothing whatsoever to create any new wealth, but merely move existing wealth around and take a bigger cut of what wealth exists (just look at your local property tax bill). One sure sign of a community on a down slope economically is to conduct the billboard test. Just count the number of billboards in town for businesses, and compare that number for non-profits and law firms. An outsider to Rochester might come to believe that Cellino and Barnes or William Mattar is the biggest employer in town. This is not a sign of progress.

  3. December 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm Larry Kilbury responds:

    Hi Rachel, You are the best and I thank you for your blog and posts. I disagree with this liberal modern women thoughts on child raising. If women want to make babies, fine, but take care of them. Don’t be asking Government or tax payers to help you out. I don’t want any of my taxes going to baby sit your kids, and I don’t want any special breaks for pregnant women in the work force. If pregnant women can’t perform their work, then they should go home. They seem to want to do less work but want to be paid the same as other workers. If you can’t do your job, then go home. There should be no day care at taxpayers expense. That’s the way I raised my kids.

  4. December 13, 2014 at 8:16 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    Yes the best days are behind us. Just like all the other rust belt cities because of the moving of Industry and Manufacturing to any other country than the USA with the approval and assistance of our state and federal governments.. Now we have buried the younger generation in student loan debt assuring there will be little economic growth from them. Welcome to America a free country if you can afford it.

  5. An erosion of manufacturing and an erosion of unions, that’s what it is. Manufacturing jobs created a lot of support jobs. 1 job at Kodak or Xerox supported several other jobs in sub-contractors and support companies. Manufacturing brings a lot of value into an area and we’ve lost a lot of it. The other side of that is the erosion of worker benefits and unions, now the cash goes to the CEO’s and stock holders. American workers are more productive now, but get less pay and benefits than before. I’m not saying CEO’s and stock holders shouldn’t get their share, but the scales have been thrown way out of whack.

  6. Rachel,

    The problem with the manufacturing argument is that’s the wrong focus. Everyone harps on outsourcing, which would have been true 15-20 years ago in a big way, but the real, singular issue is technology.

    Manufacturing and jobs are being automated, software is sophisticated, cheaper, and as powerful as it ever’s been–things like:

    3D printing
    Cloud computing
    Smart devices, internet, and incredible software-powered resources
    Self-driving cars
    Incredible advances in biotech/medicine, green energy, and even space exploration are at our doorstep.
    For the debate over the retail and fast food minimum wages, these jobs are going to be automated and eliminated–eCommerce is already doing the work on the retail front.
    Open sourcing of tools, programs, and resources

    Yes, we have always have had revolutions in technology, but I think it’s different this time. A booming global population, incredibly ambitious innovators and entrepreneurs, and technology that has caught up to our abilities and is accelerates faster and faster each day.

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