Decline of the middle class
There's a lot of talk about the middle class these days. I was playing with Quandl in R getting rapid easy access to financial/economic datasets, and plotting things. I made the following graph:
The way this works is I'm plotting the median household income as a fraction of a measure of productivity GDP/WorkingPerson (GDP/(LaborForceParticipation * Capita)) and then dividing by the current average number of wage earners per household (1.3, I didn't find a timeseries of wage earners per median household). It's a dimensionless ratio (dollars / (dollars/person) / persons = 1) that is related to the fraction of what's produced that is taken home by a typical middle class household (median income).
Anyway, what you can see is that the percentage of productivity that goes to wages has declined steadily throughout the time period. The middle class takes home a smaller fraction of what's produced than they ever have since 1985. It would be better to see how number of wage earners changed in time. But since it's in the denominator, and I believe it's gone up in time, using the full wage-earners per household timeseries would accentuate this decline, not eliminate it.