The median income of an American household increased 5.2 percent in 2015, the largest single-year increase since 1967. The poverty rate also fell, and the portion of Americans without health insurance fell to about 10 percent. That’s good news, especially during a recovery whose benefits have disproportionately gone to the very rich and large corporations. The bad news is in the graph above. You will notice that median incomes have risen after the each of the seven recessions of the last 50 years except for two: the last two. Although the historical trend has been for incomes to exceed or at least return to their pre-recession levels during each recovery, the median income is still lower than it was in 2007 or, for that matter, 1998.
The original title of today’s blog post was “Winning the fight against children”—which made the photo caption a lot funnier—and I was having a lot of fun writing it until about 30 seconds ago. It all started when I saw this article in the Huffington Post, about a restaurant in Pennsylvania that has banned children under age 6. I love that kind of thing, as you know, and it happened to dovetail nicely with an article about US marriage and childrearing trends I found while reading the footnotes to The Marriage Vow yesterday. So I wrote this fun intro paragraph:
Despite powerful influence from the likes of Bob Vander Plaats and Bil Keane, American society is gradually reducing the number of children in our midst. Okay, the actual number of children nears an all-time high and grows larger every year, but that’s because there’s also so many of us. By some stroke of luck, long-term growth in the number of adults has kept pace with the growth of children—even exceeded it in some cases, I think, although I’m having trouble finding statistics. So although kids clog our streets and animal-themed pizza arcades, the percentage of children in society has stayed low. According to CBS News, the proportion of American households occupied by married couples with children has dropped to 25%, a development they felt merited the rarely-seen six-deck headline.
Then I wrote this next one: