Chart: The majority of Americans make more money than their parents, but…


The majority of Americans make more money than their parents:

big caveat:

Despite making more money than their parents, the bottom three income quintiles have all amassed less wealth. Only the top two income quintiles have done better.

Yglesias notes that “income” in the above graph includes “cash transfers from the government—things like Social Security payments and Unemployment Insurance—but not in-kind benefits”:

[A]s a larger and larger share of government spending at all levels goes to the purchase of health care services through Medicaid and Medicare it’s something to keep in mind. If we abolished Medicare and used the savings to make Social Security benefits more generous, that would register as incomes rising for the elderly and falling for doctors.



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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.