Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Americans have gotten a raise

Headlines about "Americans not getting raises" is just not true for most people or is at least misleading. Most workers do get raises yearly, even though the base pay they started at didn't go up.

While the base may not have gone up, most workers still get raises.

Admittedly not the best example,  the Cravath law firm  just raised starting salaries for new lawyers after holding it flat for 9 years. Yet every year for the last 9 years those associates got seniority and merit raises.

 Statistically their wages were flat, but in reality they got raises. 

The same is true of the  secretaries at my firm. Their base salary may not go up, but they do get seniority and merit raises. Again the headline is they didn't get a raise because their base salary stayed the same.

The articles saying Americans haven't gotten a raise for decades make an interesting statistical argument. However, for the reasons stated above, I feels that is misleading.

 I keep thinking about what Mark Twain said about statistics.

I just look around, and not just in my neighborhood, and things have gotten better for many Americans. 

Not everybody, and it's true some get paid way way too much, but our economy is not in shambles, and we are not at the edge of an abyss. 

The narrative of our horrendous economy in free fall with impending gloom and doom, is just false, and Donald Trump is the result of Americans believing that false narrative.

Rising upper middle class

While my blog posts about the "two way" shrinking middle class has fallen on deaf ears, my view has been confirmed by the CNN fact checking of Sanders speech last night and the article in CNN linked below.

Here is an excerpt from the fact checkers regarding the shrinking middle class:

"Income gains have caused rippling changes in every economic class.  A new Urban Institute Report showed a nation climbing the economic ladder-- and a lower class that is shrinking. From 1979-2014 , the middle class has decreased from 38.8% to  32% of the population. The lower middle and lower classes saw similar declines... Instead , previous middle class Americans are moving up the economic chain-- resulting in a thriving upper middle class."

It went on to conclude " that  the standard of living has gone up for nearly all Americans."

Although many problems persist, this view is consistent with Michelle Obama's speech last night.

Why have we had the misleading narrative for so long?