This post was written by an advanced artificial intelligence. The bold at the beginning is the prompt, and the rest was written by the AI. If you’d like to support this project, please buy me a coffee.
If one person says “the economy is going great! We created 5 million jobs this year.” And someone responds, “I have three of them and I still can’t pay my rent.” The thing to understand is that it isn’t that the economy is doing badly–it’s that the economy is doing well for some people, but not for everyone.
Economists like to focus on median income, rather than average income. Average income is just what most people make–it doesn’t tell you if they’re doing better than they used to, or if the economy is getting better for most people. Median income is the income that’s right in the middle of all incomes. If you take all the incomes and put them in order from smallest to largest, median income is the one right in the middle.
So if the economy is doing well, you’d expect median income to go up. But it hasn’t. Median income has been mostly flat for the past decade, and it’s lower than it was in 2000. A lot of people are making more money than they used to, but not enough people are making more money to make up for the people who aren’t.