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The Numbers Game Discussion

How Is the Middle Class Doing?

Does it make sense to exclude the elderly when trying to measure the progress of the middle class over time?


I’d like further information on WHY the elderly make up a higher percentage of the middle quintile now vs the 1970s. Is it because working folks previously in the middle quintile are now in the upper 40%, or lower? While we’re at it, when considering household income, are we counting a larger percentage of dual income households now vs 1970? If so, wouldn’t that indicate that working wages have fallen - so it now takes two workers to achieve the same standard of living as one worker 50 years ago?

It does make sense to exclude the elderly because of the nature of their income, especially in the middle quintile.

You run into a similar issue as if you included the ultra rich, a distortion of results. Because the elderly often have fixed incomes, from retirement planning or government benefits, there will be very little growth by its nature.