Are the Poor Getting Poorer?

People often say that “the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.” Economics professor Steve Horwitz explains why in the United States, this characterization is largely a myth.

Real income levels of the poorest 20 percent of Americans have actually risen over time. Further, the individual households that comprise the bottom income bracket do not stay the same. The majority of Americans in the poorest 20 percent become wealthier over the course of their lives.


  1. Matt Wavle

    We are all slowly becoming better off, and the poor, getting poorer is a control mechanism to keep the masses in a constant mental state of "victimhood".

  2. Brian Phillips

    One thing that will be interesting to watch over the next few years is how our debt driven economy, especially with an entire generation saddled with massive student loan debt, effects economic mobility.  

  3. Caleb Watney

    I love what Robert Sirrico says, he says that we get so concerned about how high the ceiling is, that we forget to watch the floor rising too.

  4. Grady Flanagan

    rising waters raise all boats, or something like that. It’s all envy because they see the rich person in a big boat and the poor person in a small boat. It all goes back to caveman strategy of who has the bigger club or best cave.

  5. Anderson Chaves


  6. Gary Livesey

    Never was a better time to be poor.

  7. Keith Knight

    The rich will be rich in any economic system.  Only systems of capitalism or private ownership have poor people with cars, ipods/ipads/macs, internet access, a home, a car, a fridge full of food and a tv with cable.  If the 99% cared about the poor they would sell their non necessities and give to other countries with impoverished citizens.  

  8. Anonymous

    I don’t even have a fucking boat.

  9. Lukas Koube

    yeah, thomas piketty and his ilk should be discredited for portraying such awful misconceptions. the world is getting better, just stay out of the way.

  10. Vinay D Cardwell

    This is an interesting perspective to look at how the income gap is analyzed. Also last time I checked a poor person never created a job but we seem to want to go after those that are.

  11. lee brondum

    the poor are alot better off today than the rich 100 years ago the rich back then didnt have ipads or computers or a car that goes faster than pedestrians. but income inequality is such a problem socialists are just ungreatful and jealous

  12. GreedyCapitalistPig

    I love the Homestar Runner reference. You stay classy LL!

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