The top 1% are getting richer, the highly educated and well paid are getting richer and everyone else is going backwards. White collar jobs are diminishing in status, pay and skill and the drivers of the economy are moving away from middle class spending. The lesson for those beginning their careers is to become skilled in something, anything. And keep learning and developing greater skills. If you are useful, you will always earn a living.
America is becoming a more divided society – divided not only between whites and African Americans, but also between the 1% and the rest, and between the highly educated and the less educated, regardless of race. And the gap can now be measured not just in wages, but also in early deaths. White Americans, too, are dying earlier as their incomes decline. This evidence is hardly a shock to those of us studying inequality in America. The median income of a full-time male employee is lower than it was 40 years ago. Wages of male high school graduates have plummeted by some 19% in the period studied by Case and Deaton.