The new Economic Policy Institute (EPI) study — “The State of Working America, 12th Edition” — shows that the rich have gotten richer as the poor have gotten poorer. In addition, the middle class has done poorly as well. The study does not bring much to the view that there are “two Americas” economically. The EPI analysts write:
Low- and middle-income workers and their families would have had far better income growth over the past 30 years if economic policies had not directed the fruits of economic growth to the highest-income Americans,
had there been no growth in income disparities since 1979, annual income for a middle-income household would have been $88,875 in 2007, $18,897 higher than the $69,978 it actually was. The median household lost wealth between 1983 and 2010 and had just $57,000 in net worth in 2010, rather than the $119,000 it would have had if wealth had grown equally across all households over this period.
Douglas A. McIntyre