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.
The title is misleading. The studies don’t actually say that at all.
n 1980, the American rich and middle class and most of the poor had higher incomes than their counterparts almost anywhere in the world. But incomes for the middle class and poor in the United States have since been growing more slowly than elsewhere. Why? Among the reasons: This country has lost its once-wide lead in educational attainment. Other countries have increased their workers’ skill levels more quickly, helping create well-paying jobs. The United States also tolerates more inequality: The minimum wage is lower here. Executives make more money. The government redistributes less of it. By 2010, the poor in several other countries had pulled ahead. And Canada’s median income had reached a virtual tie with that of the United States. Since 2010, other data suggest Canada has moved ahead.
One would think that progressive paladins at NYT would be reluctant to publish this mishmash of studies and opaque conclusions (how come we never get to see the numbers and analyses that goes into these announcements?) given that on first glance it makes the Obama administration look bad.
But what they’re really about here is trying to make the point that the reason we’ve “slipped” is not Obama’s programs and policies, but that we have not permitted Obama to fully implement his European notions of socialist redistribution.
So I guess it’s all our fault for protesting Obama’s intentions to rape us for our own good.
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