Income Still Hasn’t Come Close to Recovering From the Great Recession


Today’s announcement that incomes increased 5 percent in 2015 was genuinely good news. But it’s also worthwhile to put it in perspective. As most of you know, income growth was very high in the 50s and 60s but slowed down after that. However, it didn’t flatline. Income continued to grow, only at a slower rate. However, since 2007 we’ve fallen far behind even that anemic growth rate:

Even with last year’s spike, the effects of the Great Recession are still with us. If we’d continued growing at the rate of 1980-2007, median household income would be $4,500 higher than it is. That’s a big hit. There’s still plenty of work to do.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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