While median household income soared 32 percent during the Clinton presidency — to $49,000 a year from $37,000 — it has slid 8 percent since before the recession — to $51,900.
Bill Clinton has a few ideas as to why, which he shared at the annual Clinton Global Initiative this weekend.
"Median income hasn't gone up for three reasons," he said, according to CNBC
. "One is the labor markets aren't tight enough, and we haven't raised the minimum wage as we should."
The minimum wage is now $7.25 an hour. President Obama has proposed lifting the federal minimum wage to $10.10.
"The second reason is we haven't changed the job mix enough, to raise the median income and have more poor people working into it. The combination of jobs has to pay, on average, higher wages," Clinton said.
Average hourly wages rose only 2.1 percent in the 12 months through August.
Finally, "GDP growth doesn't lead to growth in median incomes because company after company takes more of its profits and spends it on dividends, stock buybacks, management [pay] increases and less on sharing it with the employees broadly," Clinton said.
William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, echoes Clinton's sentiments in his weekly Wall Street Journal column
"It will not change for the better unless we can recreate an economy in which work is rewarded and family incomes rise," he writes. "That is the great task of the next decade."
© 2021 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.