Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The stagnant male wage

I thought these graphs were interesting. They show the median male and female income in the US relative to real GDP per capita.

Here's the male median income:

As you can see the median male income has stagnated since the early 1970s, whilst real GDP per capita has risen steadily. Now here's the female median:

Unlike male income, the median female income has risen steadily alongside the growth in real GDP per capita.

So it seems that large numbers of men haven't benefited from the growth in the US economy since the 1970s.

(Hat tip: Laura Grace Robins)


  1. My personal explanation is that this is caused by a welfare state where the state gets more and more money (measured in GDP) from a private sector and feeds public sector. And women work mainly in the public sector. The trend is not reversible until the state bancrupts. Then there will be even greater pressure on private sector to feed all those hungry people.

  2. Amazingly women in the workforce and careerdom have had a dual effect. On one side women get simultaneously richer (financially) and poorer (financially and culturally) while men just get poorer whether financially or culturally. The major benefactors of working women has not been the traditional family (this instead leads to family breakdown) but (liberal) government, (liberal) corporations and non-traditional families or liberal forms of behaviour (adulterers, single mothers/fathers, gays, transgenders, open relationships, polygamy, promiscuity, divorce, abortion and other ills).

  3. The graphs simply show wealth being transfered from men to women via government. Teaching, childcare, medicare, nursing, local government...

    How many of those will vote themselves out of a wage? Not to mention the immigrants.

  4. I'd like to see the contribution TO GDP included.

  5. In that time, illegal immigration from Mexico and other parts of the world has effectively created an unlimited supply of unskilled labor in the US. This in turn has all but certainly dragged down wages up the scale.

    The other effect IMO has to do with large scale entry of women into the US workforce; a huge increase in semi skilled and skilled labor also affects the price.

    The elephant in the room is Affirmative Action, which has become institutionalized deeply. Originally intended as a temporary effort to assist black men in the job market for a few years, it is now a preference scheme that benefits women far more than the original group it was targeted for.

    It is now justified on the grounds of "diversity", so even recent immigrants from, say, Africa are eligible for preferential hiring, preferential government grants / contracts, preferential college admissions, etc. even though there's no way they ever suffered from the pre-1965 era of Jim Crow discrimination.

    Since the majority of men are still white, and white men have been actively discriminated against since the 70's, it's pretty much not a surprise to see wage stagnation in a group that has been so targeted.