The US is the most expensive country in the world for living standards.
The median annual household income (the average monthly income in the US for a family of four) in 2016 was $57,700, according to US Census data.
That’s a hefty $1,700 per year more than the OECD average of $46,700 and the UK average of roughly $38,100.
But if you’re like most Americans, your median household income is below the OECD’s average of just over $40,000.
It’s not surprising that people are getting poorer.
Economists generally think that the real income gains in the last decades have been a result of higher wages and benefits and better health.
This, of course, was true for most countries until the last decade.
Then the rich got richer.
The US’s median household net worth is now $14.9tn, more than a third of which is owned by the richest 1% of Americans.
But the US also has a higher rate of people living below the poverty line, as measured by the UN’s latest report on poverty, than any other OECD country.
What’s going on?
A number of factors contribute to US inequality.
The rich get richer The US economy is still recovering from the 2008-09 financial crisis.
The recession wiped out nearly half the wealth of the country’s wealthiest 1%.
But the recovery has slowed to a crawl, and incomes for the majority of Americans are not improving.
The average household income in 2016 is $43,400, more or less the same as in 2016, and the median household wealth of those in the top 1% is $72,000, according the US Census Bureau.
The richest 1 per cent have also benefited from rising stock prices.
The stock market has surged in value by more than 200 per cent over the last year.
In 2016, the average American household invested about $12,400 in equities, a 14 per cent increase from a year earlier, according a new report from Morningstar.
The gains have been particularly significant for women and minorities.
The share of the US population between the ages of 20 and 64 who are homeowners has risen by 16 percentage points in the past decade, and that increase has also been driven by women.
The increase in wealth among whites, by contrast, has remained flat.
What are the implications for the economy?
The US has a huge economy, with a GDP of about $11.7tn.
Its economy has grown by more or more than five times as fast as the UK’s over the same period, according for the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In the last five years, the US has added more than 3 million manufacturing jobs.
Yet there is little evidence that the US economy has been able to absorb the extra jobs created by the recovery.
In 2017, the jobs in manufacturing are down 13 per cent from 2016.
So much for the recovery being a net positive.
The poor have less money to spend The US government has been trying to get Americans to spend more money.
It introduced a number of measures, like the federal tax credit for low-income people and the payroll tax cut for the elderly.
But these measures have not worked.
The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates twice since 2008 and has now cut its benchmark interest rate to 2.25 per cent.
This means that the Fed has had to take a massive hit on the economy, but it has kept rates low, which makes it easier for businesses to borrow money.
What is the US doing about inequality?
The Fed is trying to boost the economy through stimulus, so it has been making big bets to prop up the economy.
But there is a big difference between boosting the economy and raising taxes.
Raising taxes on the rich will cause them to spend less.
If the US government increased taxes on millionaires, they would go bankrupt and their wealth would evaporate.
Raised taxes on lower-income Americans could also cause them not to spend enough.
Raises in taxes on middle-income workers, meanwhile, could increase the gap between rich and poor, so that the rich would be less able to spend.
So why is inequality increasing?
The reasons for US inequality have nothing to do with taxes or government policy.
The reason is the same reason why inequality is growing: people have become more and more wealthy, and so their ability to invest and pay taxes has become more concentrated.
As inequality rises, governments are trying to redistribute wealth.
They have done so through welfare programs, higher taxes, and increased spending on infrastructure.
But inequality can also be caused by policies that increase inequality.
Inequality can be a result not just of a policy change but also of an underlying system.
In this case, the underlying cause of inequality is that the distribution of wealth is being made less fair by an inequality that was already unfair.
This inequality is also a consequence of a number things, such as a lack of knowledge about how wealth works, which limits the ability