Maybe the kids are alright

From Full Stack Economics:

24 charts that show we’re (mostly) living better than our parents

If there’s one thing the left and right seem to agree about, it’s that the US economy’s best days are in the past.

“More than a decade of reckless fiscal policies have devalued the US dollar to the point that middle-class people can barely survive in the United States,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed in March.

“In America today, our younger generations, through no fault of their own, now [have] a lower standard of living than did their parents,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said last year. “The American dream is going backwards.”

There’s no doubt that the inflation of the last year has lowered living standards for many Americans. But pundits and politicians have been talking like this for years. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Sanders declared that “our standard of living has fallen” and “the American dream has become a nightmare.”

Donald Trump concurred, stating in 2015 that “the American dream is dead.”

But have average Americans really suffered from falling living standards over the last 30 or 40 years? I’ve spent the last month researching this question, and the data I’ve found simply don’t back up these claims.

Not every facet of our economic life is improving, of course. College tuition has risen a lot, and so have rents in some big metro areas. But even in problem sectors like health care, housing, and education, the situation isn’t as grim as pessimists claim. And there are many other areas of economic life where we are unambiguously better off than our parents.

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Maybe the kids are alright

  1. 3b says:

    25 to 30 years ago, one income could support a house and family of 4 if one slide chose to say home, while kids are young. That is gone.

    30 years ago many corporate white collar employees had pensions. That is gone.

    25/ 30 years ago health benefits payment for many corporate employees were almost free or very inexpensive. That is gone.

    So on those 3 issues alone , yes the young peoples living standards today vs then have declined.

    Oh and first!

  2. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Watch and learn..

    “$ARKK will go from the worst asset class in the first half of 2022 to the best performing Asset Class for the next 6 months. In July of 2002, $QQQ was viewed as a “joke” like ARKK. QQQ was absolutely hated. It then became an asset class over 20 years. Here we are.”

  3. The Great Pumpkin says:

    TARK…ship it!

    “I’m sure someone will exploit that to magnify the upside. How Bullish will Americans feel when Gasoline is $3.99 a gallon? How about $2.99? We are going in that direction between now and January 2023.”

  4. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “The ques­tion is far from aca­d­e­mic for any­one think­ing about how to po­si­tion their port­fo­lio in fu­ture years. A re­turn to the mis­er­able growth and ex­cess sav­ings of the decade be­fore the pan­demic sets up the same trade that pros­pered for years: long every­thing that ben­e­fits from the Fed go­ing back to loose money. That would mean buy­ing ex­pen­sive tech­nol­ogy stocks, bonds and pri­vate as­sets and ig­nor­ing cheap, eco­nom­i­cally sen­si­tive cycli­cal stocks.”

    “The mar­kets seem to agree with Prof. Sum­mers that in­fla­tion­ary pres­sures won’t last. The best mea­sure of af­ter-in­fla­tion yields, Trea­sury in­fla­tion-pro­tected se­cu­ri­ties, are still priced for sec­u­lar stag­na­tion for the long run. For those who think we are head­ing for a new world where cen­tral banks will be fight­ing new in­fla­tion­ary pres­sures, real yields should be far higher. That means most other as­set prices should be quite a bit lower.”

  5. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Already happening all over north jersey. Wayne is already there.

    “My suburban Boston hometown was pretty stagnant for the 20 years after my family first moved to it. Seeing bougie Xennials increasingly displace townie Boomers becomes more and more noticeable every year.”

  6. The Great Pumpkin says:

    When I moved to wayne 11 years ago, mostly boomers in houses they haven’t updated in a long time. Most of that has been bought up and updated.

  7. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Click links for graphs. There are two americas…the third world and first world.

    “one of the most disturbing demographic data trends you’ve ever seen.

    the united states—pre-pandemic, mind you—vastly underperforming the g7 in life expectancy”

    “the united states:

    greatest economic and education inequality in the g7

    by life expectancy has become a combination of 1st and 3rd world country”

  8. njtownhomer says:

    This tweet on life expectancy and the other one about independent state legislate possibility made this day horrible.
    Looks like DeSantis 2024 will be a forking point of the federalist system in the country. Hope TX will migrate to blue column to nullify that for sometime.

  9. Fast Eddie says:


    Thom Hartmann in that tweet above forget to add this tidbit below. The Republicans have secret allies to totally defeat the democrats. Shh!! Don’t say anything!!

  10. Chicago says:

    With due respect to 3B, I anoint July 2, 2022 the worst day in the history of this blog.

  11. Old Man Condo says:

    The process outlined in the tweets is in the Constitution and that is what makes the USA a representative Republic vs a democracy. Remember, Senators were only elected by popular voting starting in 1913. Prior to that it was state legislatures.

  12. Ex says:

    Happy 3rd of July

  13. Ex says:

    ummer kicks off, everything is heating up. Everything, it seems, except the housing market. Following a blistering two year tear, real estate firm Redfin is reporting big drops in demand and price cuts becoming the norm in many of the hottest corners of the market. According to a report on June 23 by Redfin, its Homebuyer Demand Index posted a year-over-year decline of 16%—the largest decrease in over two years—as 30-year mortgage rates neared 6%. “The market was still quite hot with lots of bidding wars, and it was still very common for homes to go above asking price,” Redfin’s chief economist Daryl Fairweather told Fortune in an interview. “But that has slowed down a lot since the Fed raised interest rates and continues to raise interest rates. It’s now almost 30% more expensive to buy a home that was just a year ago, so that’s certainly slowing down demand. Also, home sellers don’t need to participate in this market. They got record equity last year because of the increase in home values.”

    This isn’t 2008 all over again. But Redfin and Fairweather say cities with the hottest housing markets are absolutely starting to cool. Areas like Sacramento and Austin are seeing prices fall after those migration destinations saw increased demand and prices. Metros in Utah saw biggest price drops, according to a report by Redfin. Provo, Salt Lake City and Ogden each had over 40% of homes for sale experience a price drop in May, though their median sales prices were still an increase from May 2020. (You can read Fortune’s recent report on the 37 markets that would do the best if a housing crash hits—and the 11 that would fare worst here.) Out West, where price drops are becoming common, Tacoma had just under 50% of available homes with a price drop, and 44% of Sacramento’s homes on the market had prices drop. A correction has begun, but how fast and how far will home values drop? And is there any relief for buyers on the horizon?

  14. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I’m sorry, we have become a country of pussies.

    “You wont see this on the news until it’s too late, but take this from an insider..

    The military is STRUGGLING with recruiting and retaining members. It’s a BIG problem that they probably don’t want to advertise too much. People are getting out at an alarming rate with no fills.”

    “I went to basic at Benning in 07 and we had milk and cookies (nutrigrain bars) at night. We have been getting soft for a while now.

    I read recently a military officer got kicked out for motorboating a subordinate. Hell yeah Uncle Sam!”

    “That’s cool! May 2007 for me. I think milk and cookies was a new and temporary thing. I’ve recently seen a soldier falsely calling out a major general for allowing sexual harassment in his ranks on social media…and that’s territory I’m unfamiliar w/.

    chain of command yo!”

  15. The Great Pumpkin says:

    When I was coaching soccer, couldn’t even have kids run laps for punishment. Illegal now. Joke

  16. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Too late to sell the top in Phoenix real estate. And relax 3b, this will not happen in north jersey.

    “Mike Orr of The Cromford Report – Recent Quotes

    Mike is a total expert on the Phoenix real estate market. He is NOT a permabear which makes his worried outlook a lot more worrisome.

    July 3

    All Home Types

    Active Listings: 14,406 versus 5,699 last year – up 152.8% – and up 52.6% from 9,439 last month
    Pending Listings: 5,766 versus 7,294 last year – down 20.9% – and down 16.3% from 6,887 last month
    Under Contract Listings: 8,621 versus 11,378 last year – down 24.2% – and down 15.9% from 10,249 last month
    Monthly Sales: 8,059 versus 10,184 last year – down 20.9% – and down 7.7% from 8,734 last month
    Monthly Median Sales Price: $474,374 versus $397,000 last year – up 19.5% – but down 0.1% from $475,000 last month
    “The rise in supply has been faster than ever seen before… active listings up 53% in a single month and up 153% compared to this time last year… percentage changes are far above anything we have previously experienced.”

    “Monthly sales are down 21% from June 2021 and down 8% compared with May 2022.”

    “When a housing cycle changes from positive to negative, we normally go from euphoria to uneasiness for a few months, followed by several months of denial and then several more months of pessimism before we get to the panic phase. This is what played out in 2005 and 2006. But in 2022 we seem to have taken just a week or two to skip through each of these steps and gone from euphoria to panic in no more than 10 weeks… In combination they caused the market to hit the brakes so hard it has skidded off the road.”

    “June 25 saw the highest ever weekly total of new listings being added to ARMLS [Phoenix area MLS]”

    “Those who measure monthly are almost flying blind.””

  17. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Again, dream on if you think the Fed will remain hawkish for much longer with rate hikes.

  18. BRT says:

    who’s he talking to?

  19. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Just sharing valuable information. Not talking to anyone. Just trying to help anyone that reads this blog. And you guys get mad at me for it…okayyyy.

    Like buy bitcoin or ETH, seem to refuse to go any lower. I know because I have been waiting to add to positions and no luck. Maybe this is another good sign that growth and risk assets might be turning. Starting to daydream about how to spend that cash if there is no more crash in the market.

    “If you think #bitcoin  is going to zero you are a muppet, doughnut and pillock all rolled into one. End of story.”

    Yup, the sky is falling…run.

    Happy 4th of July to anyone that appreciates my help. To the peeps that hate me, scroll past and ignore my valuable posts.

  20. Fast Eddie says:

    Good morning, all. Happy Fourth of July! Enjoy this beautiful day in your yard, on the beach, wherever and be thankful for the sacrifices of America’s true patriots who give, protect and serve so that we can live our lives in peace! Fly the flag of freedom proudly!

  21. BWE says:

    Tracy Alloway was asking if the BullWhip effect was a byproduct of consumer pantry loading / hoarding or simply a drop in demand.

    Some time ago, there was speculation and concern that there will be massive deflation. Pumps, since you are in the QE camp, best estimate / window when Fed stops raising and best estimate / window when they start cutting.

  22. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Based on everything I have read and see with the economy: they will stop raising rates this year and start lowering them as early as Q1 next year if the deflationary pressure gets strong enough.

    Depending on all the factors that go into lowering rates, they might hang around these levels into late 2023/early 2024. Meaning if unemployment remains low and inflation hangs around desirable levels.

  23. The Great Pumpkin says:

    …They will keep rates at these levels.

    But by the looks of the housing market…they might have to come to the rescue sooner than later. They spooked the chit out of the housing market with these rapid rate increases. Totally made people scared to buy housing. Aka might be a golden short term opportunity to buy housing while the fear and gloom has taken over the housing market participants.

  24. Fast Eddie says:

    The 10 is at 2.88%.

    Anyone care to explain why the rapid rise and fall?

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