Chart of the Day: Household Income Finally Beats 1999 Record

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The Census Bureau has finally gotten around to calculating household income for 2016, and the news is good: adjusted for inflation, income was up 3.2 percent last year. In fact, household income is now at an all-time high:

And now for the buzzkill portion of this post: this means household income has increased a whopping 0.6 percent since 1999. That’s $22 per year.

On the other hand, this is better than the top .01 percent has done. According to Piketty and Saez, their income peaked in 2000 and is down 4 percent through 2015 (with some spikes in between). Will 2016 be the year that they too beat their 20th century high? P&S take even longer than the Census Bureau to make their calculations, so we’ll have to wait and see. But I’ll bet they do.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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