Then there is this:
There are currently 130.738 million payroll jobs in the U.S. (as of March 2011). There were 130.781 million payroll jobs in January 2000. So that is over eleven years with no increase in total payroll jobs...Is it fair to expect standards of living to improve continually? That's been the American exceptionalist mantra for my entire life.
And the median household income in constant dollars was $49,777 in 2009. That is barely above the $49,309 in 1997, and below the $51,100 in 1998....
Just a reminder that many Americans have been struggling for a decade or more. The aughts were a lost decade for most Americans.
Some will say that income and quality of life are not strongly correlated or that technology has driven down the price of many goods (computers, TVs, iPads). Show me the math and we can discuss.