This is very interesting, but it is only one-half of the equation, is it not? While incomes may have risen, have they risen with the cost of living?
Very difficult question to answer.
If you ask the government about cost of living, they’ll tell you that it’s almost flat. The cost of living increases the government has given out to Social Security recipients over the last five years is as follows: 2%, .3%, 0%, 1.7%, 1.5%.
Anyone believe that?
So, you have to use better metrics that are individual to you, based on how YOU spend your money. For example, the largest payment for most people is housing, which has inflated at a rather fast rate over the last few years; BUT, if you have a mortgage and a fixed rate loan, you’re insulated from those increases.
Then there’s food and fuel, which the government deliberately excludes from their calculations, because of their volatility. But most people have hefty percentage of their expenditures tied up in these areas.
And to your point, if you have a kid in college……..
If average debt for these groupings has increased faster in relation to the rise in income, then (effective) income inequality may still exist/be increasing.
Oh, it’s definitely increasing. The point to the AEI graphs is that because it’s all relative, people tend not to perceive it as increasing.