In the years since The Great Recession of 2008, our nation has, on average, made great strides towards economic recovery. On average. In reality, all of the money has gone to the rich.
Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released its annual Survey of Consumer Finances. You can read it here. Or, you can read our extremely short and less detailed but nevertheless accurate summary of its findings, as follows: since 2010, the rich have fully recovered and even made gains from the pre-recession era, whereas the non-rich have not gotten a god damn thing. When you average this all out you can still show statistical gains, so, hell with it! "Between 2010 and 2013, mean (overall average) family income rose 4 percent in real terms, but median income fell 5 percent, consistent with increasing income concentration during this period." In the past three years, the lower class has seen its income decline; the middle class has stayed roughly flat; and the upper class has seen its income rise. The three little pigs of capitalism are all doing just fine.
Across the distribution of families grouped by usual income, all but the highest quintile saw declines in median income between 2010 and 2013, with second and third quintiles seeing the largest declines (7 percent and 6 percent, respectively). Median income increased 2 percent for the top income decile. Mean income declined strongly for the bottom two quintiles and barely budged for those between the 40th and 90th percentiles, whereas the mean income of the top decile increased 10 percent between 2010 and 2013.
Also during those years—probably one of the biggest stock market boom periods you will see in your lifetime—stock ownership declined. "The decrease in stock ownership rates was most pronounced for the bottom half of the income distribution."