Median Male Worker Makes Less Now Than 43 Years Ago

Tyler Durden's picture

While the fact that a record number of Americans are living in poverty should not surprise anyone at this point, what should surprise many is that according to Table P-5 of the Census report of (Lack of) Income, the median male is now worse on a gross, inflation adjusted basis, than he was in... 1968! While back then, the median income of male workers was $32,844, it has since risen declined to $32,137 as of 2010. And there is your lesson in inflation 101 (which we assume is driven by the CPI, which likely means that the actual inflation adjusted income decline is far worse than what is even reported). The only winner: women, whose median inflation adjusted income over the same period has increased by 188%. That said, it is still at 65% of what the median male makes. So injustice all around. And now, it is time to be patriotic again and buy a Pontiac Aztek.

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wombats's picture

But are the male workers at JPM and Goldman doing well?  That is the only question that really matters.

Pladizow's picture

In the distance the chants can be heard - guillotine, Guillotine, GUILLOTINE, GUILLOTINE!

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

This just demonstrates the tragedy of free market wages. Raising the minimum wage for these poor workers would have resulted in much better equality in the workplace and far higher standards of living for American workers. This has been documented and proven beyond any doubt by harvard economist Alan Krueger ( But of course that's far too reasonable for heartless libertarians who only care about themselves.

gball's picture

Perhaps if business had less expenses to comply with gov't regulations such as unemployment insurance, workers comp, health benefits, compliance cost with gov't regulation, etc, wages could be higher.

would be interested in a study that showed imputed earning to employees factoring in benefits from unemployment insurance, empolyer subsidized health care, and workers comp.

And then the amount of money spent on regulation compliance.

That's consuming a lot of business income that could be used for wages.

Durrr's picture

Could, but probably wouldn't, the profit margins would be wider though.

whstlblwr's picture

This shows how Federal Reserve actions hurts all American.

Anyone see CNN joke debate last night? They didn't even ask Ron Paul Federal Reserve question. CNN is joke, they limit Ron Paul supporter comments on facebook and leave him out of online poll. Their "official" presidential polls are fucked up too.

We won't watch joke CNN anymore. Assholes don't realize increases Ron Paul allure.

Shocker's picture

This is so true, we are replacing good high paying jobs with lower, non skilled jobs. Manufacturing has all but went away, any real skilled jobs either gone, or they are replacing them with less skilled/pay workers.

Super Rich move to Mega Rich

Rich Move to Super Rich

The Others Basically move down a notch.

Top Earners move to Middle Class

Middle Class Moves to Poor

Poor Moves to Super Poor




Badabing's picture

"Manufacturing has all but went away"
Also back in 1968 a household could survive on one salary but not today.
Inflation has forced us to double the work force.
Twice the jobs needed with less work avalable.

narapoiddyslexia's picture

2010 was the last year for which I could find data, but then the US was still, by far, the largest manufacturing economy in the world, with $1.7 trillion in value-addded manufacturing. China was second at $1.3 Trillion.


Wages are a separate matter. Labor started globalizing in the 1970's so a factory laborer in the US started competing with factory laborers in China. A Chinese laborer is willing to work for $2.00 a day. Hence, the most mobile jobs went over there, and wages came down here. It is inevitable that when labor competes on a global basis, wages will tend to a global mean. And that is a fairly low number. When the Chinese unionize, American wages will go up.

Reform1776's picture

>When the Chinese unionize, American wages will go up.

That's going to be great news for Fiscal Year 2130, but no so good of news for Fiscal Years 1973-2129...

They continue to offshore and globalize jobs year after year. Each time moving higher and higher up the food chain. If they haven't come for your job yet, they will, as soon as they can.

The supposed job Creation that was supposed to occur has instead been job Cremation.

Yet all they wish to do is now enact even MORE free trade agreements. They brag how many jobs it will CREATE, but always leave out how many jobs will be lost. Kind of like only counting the DEPOSITS when balance your checkbook...



Jumbotron's picture

Bullshit, naraployydexlesia.

The global wage arbitrage will just go to Africa.

Hell....China is already there making massive inroads in maintaining wage arbitrage.

Andre's picture

This needs looking into, because I suspect cooked numbers. Put it this way:

If Texas Instruments' Malaysian facility makes a bunch of chips, is that still considered "US manufacturing"? It is a US corporation, and the numbers are on the books, but it has zero impact on US tax income and employment.

It's (possibly) a nice end-around the numbers

Reform1776's picture

Good point, likely for those types of numbers anything they can even remotely count they consider "US manufacturing".

Conversely, anything they can remotely count as "Overseas Profits", and not subject to US taxes, they count it that way for that particular calculation.


Michael's picture

Only Zero Hedge can entertain me with a topic like this.

Guinny_Ire's picture

Let's go old school. Cottage Industry Bitchez!

I did it by Occident's picture

but I don't want to be a dairy farmer!  (sigh)

StychoKiller's picture

Right then, latrine digging it is! :>D

John Bigboote's picture

The number is also for gross income. Think about how bad net income is with all of the new expenses and shit that needs to be paid for. Anyone with kids knows what I am talking about. The net number is much worse than the gross number.

Chrome Child's picture

+1 My friend. Couldn't agree more...

Jumbotron's picture

Oh...that will settle all of America's not watching CNN anymore, whstblwer.

LOL !!!

You're right...Ron Paul's allure just increased by 500%....from 1% to 5%. of the electorate.


I hate CNN.....I do not watch it......Most of Ron Pauls ideas are sound least on paper.

But please.....<snicker> ..... CNN is the LEAST of our problems and Ron Paul will never be more than a marginalized, nutter in the eyes of the American bovines.

GoinFawr's picture

"But please.....<snicker> ..... CNN is the LEAST of our problems and Ron Paul will never be more than a marginalized, nutter in the eyes of the American bovines."

Hey sneery McDefeatist, guess who's fault that is. (Hint: you`ll require a reflective surface to face up to this fact.)

Jumbotron's picture

I did look in the mirror and realized I was you....a wide-eyed bovine who believes in the magical bullshit of Ron Paul or anyones attempt to attain and preserve freedom.

GoinFawr's picture

That wasn't a mirror, that was a brick wall you were slamming your own face into while projecting your failings. You're going to need to learn the difference, and right smartly too.

SteveOoooo's picture

Morontron is a troll.

Why are we feeding him?



whstlblwr's picture

Jumbotron, I did not say will settle America ills, LOL. But I stop supporting bullshit media, no more viewing, no more advertising dollars from us. CNN think it matters they 'blacklist' Paul when we get our news from internet...shows out of touch.

I think you wrong about Paul view in eyes of America. It's why he being marginialized in media because status quo scared SHITLESS, Real polls and focus group tell story. Not bogus rigged bullshit from CNN.

Hear us CNN? we on to you and with social media, all our friends on to you too. It's spreading.

Everyone who reads here, get to work.

Jumbotron's picture


If the old guard media back in the days of the 60's and 70's, in which I grew up in, could be considered an old school washboard (remember those...I great grandparents still used them in a old tin tub when I was a kid)

then today with the internet and blogs and tweets and Youtube could be considered a large capacity washing machine.

Lot more room for stuff....but still just churning and foam.

Except unlike the modern washer....the truth is not any cleaner,

NeoCapitalist's picture

If Paul wasnt already out of the running, he is now after he comments that 9/11 was the fault of our foreign policies, quoting several Jihadists.  Whatever the truth behind that statement is, I happen to believe that some of what he said is truthful pertaining to that matter, the GOP War Hawks will crush him into the ground.  Its a shame.. the only man who understands the bankers are the real problem, and is willing and able to challenge them, has now taken himself out of the race with somewhat unecessary comments...

Jumbotron's picture he talks a good game.

Just like our Founding Fathers.

You know the ones who wrote those great speaches.....came up with that little know....the Constitution...the Declaration of Independence....the Bill of Rights.....even the Articles of Confederation.

Words so magnificently pregnant with obviously Right....that it brought King George to his senses that he ordered his soldiers to return everything they stole...leave every house they took over to house themselves....and paid restitution for a 100 years of theft and malfeasence and murder.

And....oh...wait a minute......they were domestic terrorists.....weren't they?

Thank God, that the Founding Fathers would not have given a shit about what Janet Napalitano would have thought about them.  It was the same thing King George thought about them. blathering, useless, sons of bitches....particularly in the TEA really took THAT NAME?  The name of members of a terrorist group who took action not against King George specifically but against the EAST INDIA TRADING COMPANY who at the time was the WAL MART of that age and was hollowing out the domestic tea market by flooding the American market with cheap imports.

Really?  Are you that stupid about your own history?  Are you that blind as to what it takes to obtain and preserve liberty?

Yes you are.  And you are also too cowardly to understand that violent, bloody revolution is the only Thomas Jefferson foresaw and warned about....that is efficacious in obtaining and preserving freedom.

After many more ballots will it take to restore freedom?  How many more hundreds of years?  When the populace now knows that all it takes to enrich themselves is to vote this politican or that who will "BRING HOME THE BACON.....A CHICKEN IN EVERY POT.....A GREAT SOCIETY.......WAR ON nauseum.

Am I advocating armed rebellion. NO!  A thousand times NO!

Am I a hypocrite?  No.  But you are with all your big talk of freedom and taking the country back.  In believing that by voting for one superman all the countries' ills will start to vanish and things will go back as they should.

I'm no hypocrite because, even though I know that armed rebellion it what has been needed for decades, it is ultimately a useless exercise.  For it is a real life Matrix we constantly.....every 20 years in the opinion of Thomas in a state of revolution.

So...I am quietly resigned to the fact that all of human history's great in terminal decline and will reach some much lower equilibrium someday.  Maybe much sooner than anyone now imagines.

You blowhards are too stupid to realize it....and too cowardly to do the one and only thing that will win back your least for a little while.....the way that it was won for you by your die for it.  And not on some distant land, sent there by a corrupt government.....but on your own soil, by your own hands.


whstlblwr's picture

No you are advocating taht we rebel to be arrested and waste away in jail cell, when instead smarter way is to change system within. It's what status quo don't want us to know, and why you come on this board to tell us votes don't matter, it's smarter to go to jail so you don't have a vote!!!! LOL!

Jumbotron's picture

Obviously you did not read my post adequately.  I said I am not advocating violence because I know that in the end it will be a useless exercise.  It ultimately was for our Founding Fathers.

However, it is a fact that armed violence by our Founding Fathers did indeed win what little freedoms we have left.

It is indeed a fact the Jefferson actually hoped that the American people would not go more than 20 years without armed rebellion and bloodshed, for he knew all too well that that is what it would take.

It is indeed a fact the the PTB hope you and the rest of the Freedom Blowhard Brigade believe like you that it would be bad to rebel, get arrested and waste away in a jail cell.

The game is so maasively rigged and corrupt that you will never fix it from the inside.

So you are left with only two logical conclusions and action,

Resign yourself to decline and work in the system that is left.

OR take up arms as the Founding Fathers did.

But please,.....all of you ......quit your bitching and moaning about the loss of freedoms and please stop your hero-worhsip of Ron Paul or Rick Perry or Sparticus...blah blah blah.  Take control of the situation yourself.

And as I said before....if any of you think that our government has become as corrupt and evil as you say it is you have a moral, sacred, HISTORIC duty to take up arms and save the republic and the population from such tyranny.

Otherwise STFU and deal with it.

whstlblwr's picture

But whatever you do, don't VOTE! Hear you loud and clear :)

SteveOoooo's picture

"you have a moral, sacred, HISTORIC duty to take up arms"


The Troll is inciting violence too!

whstlblwr's picture

I don't agree. This what he say and he's right, they are not attack us because we free and prosperous. The GOP war hawks hate him already if he wants to end wars and bring troops home. He has many statements that challenge status quo...He also has statement that defend Israel.

“This whole idea that the whole Muslim world is responsible for this and they are attacking us because we are free and prosperous, that is just not true. Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda have been explicit. . . they have been explicit and they wrote and said that “we attacked America because you had bases on our holy land in Saudi Arabia, you do not give Palestinians fair treatment and you have been bombing (audience boos). . . I didn’t say that. I’m trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind the bombing. At the same time we had been bombing and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for ten years. Would you be annoyed? If you’re not annoyed then there’s some problem.”

gball's picture

profit margins would be higher, but wages would be higher too.

business knows the gov't provides medicaid, food stamps, other welfare programs to people that make low wages.  So the people goto the government to demand handouts b/c the gov't gives it to them.

If the gov't didn't provide handouts, workers would demand more from business.  Right now, they don't face the ire of the masses because the gov't takes care of them with minimal substinance.

would profit margins be higher.  yep.

would people end up with more money...i'd speculate yes becuase the business would pay higher wages directly to employees.  whereas funneling it through the gov't yields additional administrative expense and bureacracy.

pods's picture

Shhhh, it is workers paying the price of issuing debt money at interest.

But it is a secret.  They want you to look at all of those things you stated.  

Whatever you do, do not look at the problem.


Larry Darrell's picture


Here's a breakdown for my average regular employee.

I pay out 45.96 per hour.  Of that, 24.43 ends up on his check.

Short list of some of the money he doesn't see which we pay on a percentage basis.

FRINGES (money he won't ever see because the system will crash.  If he does get, it will be in worthless currency)  $15.28

FICA      6.2%

Medicare     1.45%

State Unemployment     10%

Federal Unemployment     0.80%

Worker's comp     5.60%

General liability    1.53%


FEDbuster's picture

Throw in some sort of health insurance and you could knock a few more bucks off his take home.  Politicians wonder why the private sector isn't hiring.  Are they that fucking stupid (rhetorical)?

I did it by Occident's picture

yest, they are that stupid!

and not to mention the overhead charges per employee to keep the lights on.  Those computers and phones and paper don't pay for themselves you know!

Jumbotron's picture

Whlie I am most definately NOT a Keynesian....

I have to call BULLSHIT on you anyway, gball.

Whatever savings business would get would be stored up as increased profits that would still be laundered if possible overseas to escape whatever taxes were left.

Even if EVERY single regulation, tax, levy, fee, insurance, etc. was taken off the books you could never bring the #1 costs of every single business....both large and small....that being the employee itself...down to the wage costs of indentured slave workers overseas.

And since the cardinal rule of every company is to maximize profits and one of those ways to do that is spend less money maintaining your business then it has now.....and in the inevitable fact....that money spent on manpower move somewhere on the globe where it was cheaper for the company.

Wage arbitrage....for all of capitalism's good its biggest bitch and is inescapable.

Z Beeblebrox's picture

So the cause is low demand for American workers because of globalization. I'd also add industrialization/automation/technology in there. I'm not sure what we can do about technology. It has been enabling class structures since the invention of farming. So perhaps the more relevant question becomes, what is the cause of globalization? Without central planning, would it really be cheaper to ship goods across the ocean than to produce them locally? Would people in other countries be willing to work for so little if their economies were left alone by NATO/IMF/colonizing types? What if international thugs stopped just taking what they wanted?

Jumbotron's picture

Central planning has nothing to do with being able to ship shit across the energy...most in the form of petrolium does.  And that is coming to an end and with it globalization and the very rapacious,  boundary-less, unpatriotic capitalism that has been the driving engine since the end of WW 2.

But for the rest of your mean if human beings would just stop being....well...corruptable..evil human beings?

RKDS's picture

And if businesses didn't cut corners on safety, didn't pathologically lie to customers, didn't defraud small investors, didn't cheat on their taxes, etc....perhaps the regulations they cry about would rest alot lighter on their shoulders?

I did it by Occident's picture

But if they were exposed to a true free market, would those that engaged in such pathological behavior last so long as they do now?  Or would unfettered competition keep them more in line?  Regulation=moral hazard

unnamed enemy's picture

what could be used for wages ends up being used for executive compensation, executive bonuses and executive perks. 


//i hate executives

Citxmech's picture

Bullshit.  Costs incurred preventing a tradgedy of the commons are in our long-term national interests.  If China or Mexico are fine with turning their countries into toxic latrines to subisdize business for the short-term - fine - they'll pay for it later.  Racing to the bottom, either by devaluing currancy, or allowing no-holds barred development at the expense of the future both stripmine profit from future generations. 

Regarding health-care expences - I don't see how it makes any difference whether I pay for my own health care premiums (in exchange for a higher wage) or if my employer does (for a lower wage) other than the collective bargaining savings that belonging to a larger employee group allows.  Accordingly, it's probably more efficient for larger employers to have corporate health plans, and smaller businesses to leave it up to their employees, or do the HMO thing (which, surprise! is what generally happens)


MrSteve's picture

I suspect we all pay for a poisoned biosphere, not just the greedy fools who spilled the toxins into our food and water supply. Bhopal, Love Canal, Chernobyl- really, the list is too long. One fifth of the world's fresh water is in the Great Lakes and the fish in it are too toxic for pregnant women to eat. (see Wisconsin DNR warnings- they are posted on public fishing docks, etc.)

The longer I live, seeing watersheds ruined by industrial pollution, the more I support every environmental restriction on chemical and atomic pollution. Fracking chemical to free natural gas in shale may be one of the worse things we have done. Deep underground water supplies were the last pure water on earth.

Obama's failure to get serious about nuclear proliferation (of the worst kind) in Iran will be just another page of failure in his term of office. What part of the planet won't be effected by commoditizing nuclear weapons?

Get used to every day decontamination. It is the future of our planetary commons.


SheepDog-One's picture

OH sure...federally mandated $6 an hour and all would have been peaches and cake.

Internet Tough Guy's picture

$6 an hour? That's a moral outrage; it would shatter the national economy.

By the way, did you see the cool new stealth fighters the Air Force is buying?